Ditching dairy is one of our most popular topics here at One Green Planet and with good reason. The entire dairy industry is ludicrous! It wastes more of our money than we can imagine, gives us a false sense of getting enough calcium, contributes to environmental and humanity havoc, and leads to health issues like diabetes, cancer, food addictions, and weight gain. Dairy stinks! It’s also silly to think all of it occurs so that we can consume the milk of another animal when we don’t do so with any other animal (including our own mothers) after birth.
Considering that only pregnant cows produce milk, all dairy products are the result of lactating cows that have been falsely impregnated multiple times a day so that Ben and Jerry’s can be found on every convenient store corner and all grocery stores can carry tubs of butter and gallons of milk. Whoever decided cows had to bear this burden? Poor things – they had no idea!
Aside from the fact the dairy industry is just downright insane, it’s also a huge money maker for people in the government who don’t want us to know that they’ve got serious dough invested in making sure the dairy industry does well. Who do you think pays for the food pyramid to include dairy as one of the main “necessary” food groups or who makes sure posters of cute cows tell kids to get their calcium from milk? Yep- you guessed it – the dairy folks and those whose pockets benefit from your dairy purchases.
Of course, it’s not your fault. Dairy has sadly given us a false sense of tradition through past times that make it even harder for us to give up.
We all grew up consuming (and likely enjoying) dairy. Some of our fondest childhood memories include summery days filled with freshly churned ice cream or pies topped with whipped cream. And who didn’t love milkshakes or buttery popcorn? Let’s face it – our country has made dairy such a false sense of security in our culture that it’s ingrained within us to think it’s natural. And dairy is also one of the hardest foods for vegetarians to give up when they’re transitioning into a vegan lifestyle (or trying to).
But it’s time for that to end. It’s time to ditch dairy once and for all!
If you’re looking for signs that your body might not like dairy, here are 5 to keep a watch out. Don’t ignore your body, it’s your BFF when you treat it well!
5 Signs Your Body Doesn’t Dig Dairy:
1. Your Digestion is A Little Nuts
Your digestive system is one complex little train of magical tubes and twists. It houses billions of bacteria cells and is responsible for everything from breaking down your food to obtaining nutrients from your food, and then using what it can and getting rid of the rest. What a job! In the midst of this consistent workload, it’s also responsible for cleaning itself out and dairy makes that job a little bit difficult. The myth that milk coats the stomach isn’t completely misleading – milk does somewhat coat the intestines, but this just leads to constipation, leaky gut syndrome, lactose intolerance, diarrhea, and excess mucus production. Some signs of digestive problems from milk include: pain, odd digestive functions, gas, bloating, feelings of painful fulness, delayed emptying, pain, and you may also experience a runny nose or may cough up mucus after consuming dairy. You might even find excess mucus in the stools. Yep- sorry, it’s true – dairy stinks!
Dairy can also lead to a funny stomach-churning noise after you eat it. It’s like your body is crying out, “I don’t like this!” Are you listening? Our stomachs prefer clean, plant-based foods. They break these down easily, can use them to produce nutrients, and there’s no mucus, digestive cries, or any of that funny nonsense to go along with it.
2. You’re a Little (or A lot) Achy
Dairy causes widespread inflammation because it’s so highly acidic. It also leaches calcium from the bones, despite the myth that it’s actually a good source of calcium (there are better sources). This effect leads to joint pain, arthritis, and general muscle pain and soreness. If you’re an athlete consuming dairy and notice you have a hard time recovering, or you suffer extended amounts of muscle pain and inflammation, you might want to consider giving up the whey, Greek yogurt, and milk. It’s not doing your body a diddly of good.
Pack those muscles out with plant-based protein and you’ll be free of inflammation and joint pain. Even if you’re not an athlete and just suffer general fatigue or pain, ditch the dairy and see how things go. Chances are you’ll ache much less and feel better in no time.
3. Your Skin Looks Like a Teenager’s
Got acne? That should replace the “Got Milk?” slogan since dairy promotes inflammation that often causes acne. Since it’s mucus-producing, dairy can lead to excess sebum production in the skin cells that promotes acne. Dairy is also hard for the body to get rid of, so when the intestines can’t properly remove all the dairy, the skin will try to excrete whatever toxins are left over. This can lead to acne quickly, along with general feelings of fatigue and sluggishness.
Then there are the hormones in dairy which also often contribute to acne. Since cows are pregnant when they produce milk, we can’t help but take in those hormones, even if the products contain no added hormones of any kind. In fact, there are 60 kinds of hormones found in one glass of raw, bovine-free and added hormone-free milk. Yikes!
Want your skin as clear as a bell? Ditch dairy and say hello to natural gorgeousness – no creams or products needed!
4. You’ve Got Major Brain Fog
Dairy’s addictive properties occur due to the protein casein found in milk, which is associated with cancer, diabetes, food addictions, and weight gain. Casein causes a drug-like feeling within the body that can be seen through short spurts of brain fog after consuming it. That “high” feeling you get from ice cream and cheese isn’t your imagination – that’s the casein giving you a false sense of security and nourishment. Most people testify that after a couple weeks off dairy, they no longer crave those foods and feel much more “clear-headed” overall and also focus better.
Kick the excess caffeine to concentrate- just ditch dairy instead!
5. You’re Always Tired
Dairy isn’t only taxing on the body, but it’s also opiate-producing which makes you sleepy. Milk also naturally contains high amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid that makes you tired and relaxed (just like turkey). Milk can also make you tired because it’s so hard for your body to digest, which takes up excess energy in the cells.
Some plant-based foods like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli, oats, and hemp also contain some tryptophan, but in much smaller amounts and without one drop of casein to go along with them. Ditch those beliefs that you need milk to help you sleep. Check out our better options instead, and wake up feeling refreshed and energized, not foggy and tempted to crawl back into bed!
If you need more reasons to ditch dairy, check out all our favorite Ditch Dairy posts here. If you need help ditching dairy and don’t know where to start, leave us a comment so we can help you out.
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Lead Image Source: Melissa Weise/Flickr