A funny thing happens as you age. All those changes that have been going on in your body begin to show in different ways. Dry hair that doesn’t seem to grow as fast. Brittle nails that break right when at the perfect length. Parched skin despite excessive moisturizing. You begin to realize that your physical attributes really are affected by your daily habits – exercise, nutrition, hydration, hygiene. As my nuptials are just around the corner, I have really been focusing on how my lifestyle effects my external health. My bachelorette party confirmed that excessive alcohol, while obviously not good for your body, wreaks havoc on my skin. I can see a difference in my brightness and firmness of my face when I do not drink enough water the days before. I have a multi-step regimen both morning and night with things like snail secretions and Manuka honey.
I am one of those super lucky people (can we just confirm that writing in italics = sarcasm? Okay, great.) I have nice skin most of the time, but every few months I have a nasty fit of large cystic like mountains on my cheeks that scar terribly and last forever. While I do see an improvement from changing my skincare routine and seeing an esthetician, I still have these breakouts and I am SO TIRED OF IT. Not tired enough to take medication for it, but definitely ready to drastically change my diet if that’s what it takes.
Dermatologists and bloggers agree, for once, that a valid method to prevent breakouts is to eliminate dairy from the diet.
Maybe you know me personally, or maybe you have been following my posts here on the blog and Instagram. Regardless, a stranger could easily determine that there are a handful of foods I cannot live without. Cannellini beans, lemons, spinach, garlic, zucchini, salmon, and Romano cheese. The later of the group, often considered my vice, is sprinkled into almost every dish I put together. And when I say sprinkle, I mean ¼ cup of that salty goodness smothers my food. I drink half and half in my morning coffee. My breakfasts are usually Greek yogurt based. String cheese is common snack for me. Oh and the Romano cheese. This is not going to be easy.
I think I am up to the challenge. I can get my calcium through many other non-dairy foods such as leafy greens and shellfish. I will be the first to admit that I use dairy as a crutch. Why explore with new spices and flavors when I know I can just add cheese and it will taste great?! Aside from the potential benefits to my skin, I am hoping this exercise will help me to broaden my tastes and recipe cache.
So there you have it. I begin my new dairy-free trial today. Yesterday, I said my farewell to my beloved dairy. If anyone has any suggestions to help me make this transition easier, please share! I will also be posting the different non-dairy food substitutes I try and what I am eating this month for those of you also interested in putting dairy on pause.
A few items I have already experimented with in preparation:
So Delicious coconut milk creamer to replace my half-and-half. Spoiler alert: it tastes like coconut. I’m more a fan of the smell vs the taste of coconut, I really only got it because I thought it would be creamier than almond or soy milk, which it was. I’m not in love, but I’ll keep it around in case I have a donttalktomebeforemycoffee kind of morning. I can do a good tea if necessary, but I will not give up finding a worthy creamer substitute.
Still on deck to try: Califia Almond and Coconut Creamer, Silk Soy Creamer, Ripple Pea Protein Milk, Hemp Milk, FlaxMilk, Cashew Milk
Epic Protein Bars, Chicken Sriracha flavor. These jerky like bars are awesome. 15 grams of protein to keep me feeling full enough to say no to dairy when a snack attack comes on. I will definitely be checking out the other varieties!
I am hoping to make this Vegan Parmesan Cheese in the near future…
This should be an interesting month!!!