Thoughts On Going Dairy-Free

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?

Linking up with Jenn & Jessi

4 Comments

  1. Have you tried cutting out grains? You said that you’re prone to bloating which is what I felt and assumed that it was dairy…it wasn’t until I cut grains out of my diet that I discovered the true culprit. Not even kidding when I say that when I cut grains out of my life, I felt so much *lighter* .

    I haven’t 100% cut out dairy – I do have 1/2 tsp creamer in my coffee and I eat 2 pieces of cheese each morning (old hags need calcium and cheese is a good way to get a boost of calcium) but that’s it…no milk, no yogurt, nothing. Sometimes I’ll eat homemade pizza which has cheese but that doesn’t affect me. I cut dairy out because if I eat too much, my skin starts to itch.
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    1. Megan
      June 21, 2017

      You have a very good point as far as grains go! I’ve had stomach issues my entire life but don’t have any sort of aversions to anything. At least I didn’t a few years ago when I had some tests done so maybe that has changed. I’m definitely going to consider cutting out grains to see if that does anything too.

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  2. liz
    June 21, 2017

    Grains are my big one! I had them totally cut out before getting pregnant but haven’t done it again! And I am sensitive to some dairy, but not all. I LOVE yogurt, but it’s a big one that usually affects me. I’m totally fine with cheese though. And I don’t drink milk, so if I do protein shakes, I make it with pea milk and I’m fine. I do use heavy whipping cream in my coffee though but that’s not going anywhere! I love it too much! I love the So Delicious coconut creamer and like it even more since they got rid of carrageenan in it, but still, I just seem to go for my heavy whipping cream and maple syrup every morning. This is interesting though!
    liz recently posted…WeekendsMy Profile

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    1. Megan
      June 21, 2017

      Oh, grains. Kathy’s comment made me think that maybe grains are more of the culprit than dairy. I mean, I feel better now that I’m not eating dairy for every single meal so now maybe I need to tackle other parts of my diet. Baby steps though, haha. What is pea milk?? I have never even heard of that before. I love using the Kroger Carbmaster milk for protein shakes but I’m okay with swapping that out for water. I haven’t tried the coconut creamer but I really like the almond creamer! I agree, heavy whipping cream does taste better though. 🙂

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