I’m really behind on doing a recap of my dairy free month (May)! I have never really had any issues with dairy throughout my life but this past winter/early spring, I was feeling so BLAH. That’s about the best way to describe it. 😉 I just felt heavy and bloated all the time which trickled into my workouts. As in, I felt like I just couldn’t do some moves with the same intensity because of how bloated I felt plus I occasionally ended up with a stomach ache about halfway through my workout. I read a few blog posts by people who had cut out dairy & thought maybe that was triggering my stomach issues. I realized that I was eating something with dairy in it for almost every single meal. I’d use lots of sugar free coffee creamer, have some greek yogurt or string cheese as a snack in the afternoons, Halo Top ice cream…you name it. In fact, it was actually the greek yogurt that sparked this whole venture. The days that I would eat an Oikos Triple Zero were the days that I felt the worst for some reason.
So, starting May 1st, I cut out all dairy.
For my protein bars, I picked up some single packets of vegan protein power & switched from Carbmaster milk to unsweetened almond milk. Oh, and also started using dairy free chocolate chips rather than my usual dark chocolate chips. I love love love jalapeno ranch on sandwiches (something I picked up when I worked at Runza in high school/college) but I switched it out for vegan chipotle mayo. I stopped putting cheese on everything, switched to almond milk creamer, and switched yogurt for fruit as snacks throughout the day. I did pick up a bag of Daiya shredded cheese but it has been a struggle to get through. It tastes like the macaroni & cheese powder but in shredded cheese form. I’m sure I still ate some things that had dairy in them, especially if we were out to eat somewhere (like the boneless wings from Old Chicago for Mother’s Day or peanut butter chicken from Crystal Jade). But, I stayed on track throughout the month. It was a little tough at first as I had to get creative with my work lunches and I’m pretty sure I ate my weight in grapes, pineapple, and strawberries each week.
By the end of the month, I was actually feeling really good. While I think I’ll always struggle with being bloated, I didn’t feel heavy like I did before. As for my workouts, I felt a lot better & didn’t experience any of the stomach pains that I had before. Unfortunately, everything went out the window while we were in St. Louis. I mean, we couldn’t spend a week there & not eat gooey butter cake or St. Louis style pizza.
Since getting back into my routine after St. Louis, I’ve gotten back to eating some dairy but NOTHING like before. I never realized how many things were made with milk! For one, I love Kodiak Cakes. I’ll occasionally make a huge batch of waffles on Sunday afternoons to eat throughout the week. BUT… they are made with milk. Protein powder is another big one — I only used Sun Warrior vegan protein powder for my bars but I don’t know if I could stomach it as a shake or in anything else. Whey protein just has so many better flavors! Not to mention that I had just gotten a tub of vanilla whey protein right before I started cutting out dairy so I really need to get through it, haha.
It’s weird how I don’t really crave cheese or yogurt, regular coffee creamer, or anything like that. I don’t need to put a slice of cheese on a sandwich or drink coffee with regular creamer. I definitely don’t need to eat dairy for every single meal! I feel good without all of that junk so I think this is something I’ll continue for awhile.
So… tell me your story! Have you cut out dairy & what was your experience?