I’ve always been considered a healthy eater compared to the average person, but in 2016, I really took an interest in where my food came from. This led me to a “semi” dairy-free lifestyle.
I wanted to activate my inner B.S. detector when it came to reading misleading food labels and truly focus on feeding my body the best.
During this journey, I started cutting out a lot of meats, got a subscription to Green Chef and focused on incorporating vegetables into every single meal I had. All of this also led me to ditching the one food item I held sacred – Milk.
It wasn’t that I was truly a milk lover, my heart was stolen by cereal (and still is). I love, love, love all kinds of breakfast cereals and have ever since I was a child. My parents love to remind me how 3-year-old Victoria would stand by their bedside during the early morning hours begging for someone to fix me a bowl.
While you’ll still catch me with a bowl a few times a week – even at dinner sometimes – I’ve adapted a dairy-free (well sort of) lifestyle.
What I learned about milk
Once I began to learn about the antibiotics pumped into cows to help them grow bigger, faster and produce more milk, I knew I wanted to find an alternative. Those antibiotics later find themselves in our milk, and I wanted no parts of that.
A big thing was noticing how my body reacted to dairy products – especially milk and cheese. I was constantly bloated.
I had heard about almond milk, flax milk, hemp milk, rice milk and soy milk, but was admittedly afraid to try them. Mainly because I was being cheap – let’s be real. I was afraid of spending nearly $3.50 for a half gallon of almond milk and hating it – then I felt like I had wasted my money. For some reason, I also could never find these milks in personal-sized containers.
One day, I chalked it up and bought my first almond milk. That was two years ago, and I never looked back.
My relationship with almond milk
You’ll now find Kroger’s Simple Truth Unsweetened Almond Milk, Blue Diamond’s Unsweetened Almond Milk or Aldi’s Friendly Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk in my fridge.
I will admit, it’s a taste you’ll have to get used to, but the benefits are well worth it. Here are some I’ve noticed:
- It’s low in sugar
- Rich in phosphorus, potassium and zinc
- Contains vitamins A, D, E and B-12
- Yes, it has calcium – more than you may think
Because it’s lactose-free, I noticed one huge change – I lost weight unintentionally.
I wasn’t bloated anymore and my skin looked clearer (I’m assuming after ditching the antibiotic and hormone-filled milk). While the weight loss was due to a combination of ditching meat and traditional dairy milk, I noticed I still kept the weight off even after reintroducing some meat into my diet.
While losing weight wasn’t my intention, the real benefit here was how I felt. I feel so good living this semi dairy-free lifestyle. I say that because I still eat cheese, but even then, I limit the amount and try to stay away from certain brands of packaged “cheese.” I also look for non-dairy ice creams during the summer.
I’d love to know what healthy lifestyle changes you’re making. Let me know in the comments below.
“When you know better, you do better” – Maya Angelou
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