Wow it has been a long time since I have been on here. Sorry for the lag in my writing as of late. There have been so many focuses I have been putting my brain into and now I think I have my groove back. So many great changes are happening around here. I transitioned my practice to online and distance only, which makes me feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I also became the Suja Field Marketing Lead in Portland, which is a ton of fun! I get to meet so many great people all of the time. Suja sent me to Paleo Fx in Austin back in May and that was like Disneyland for me ha! Everyone I have followed over the years was there or speaking and all of the amazing food products I have been meaning to try were there and “free” so, yeah, it was like a little dream world for nutrition geeks like me.
After I got back I realized that I may not have been taking care of my body as much as I had hoped. I always justified that I didn’t need to give up dairy because it never caused digestive issues, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t in some way or another cause an underlying inflammatory response. You see I was super self-conscious about my skin the whole time. I felt like I had to wear a ton of make up to cover up my blemishes so that no one would know that, maybe, I am not really as healthy as I portray myself to be.
The truth is, dairy does cause an underlying inflammatory response for me. I am the body type that carries excessive estrogen and suffers from insulin resistance. I have always had constant acne and cellulite. Growing up I thought, well, that’s just the way I am. But why do we have to make such blanket statements to justify what we are doing wrong with our bodies? Why aren’t we taking action when we know we should make a change.
Maybe because we don’t take the time to emotionally deal with what the change means to us. The change to me was a shift in my identity. Almost everyone I know on a personal level knows the relationship I have with cheese. It may sounds silly to you, but as a previous professional cheese monger cheese was my identity. I knew every cheese name, every flavor profile, every animal and the complexity of their milk. Cheese meant the world to me.
I think I wasn’t really able to process the change until I was able to let go of my past. I have said this before many times, but food is emotional. We associate so many memories with different foods. They all affect us in different ways. If we eat 3 meals a day, 365 days a year, we will rely heavily on food. We will rely on food not only for sustenance but for comfort. We eat at funerals, weddings, birthdays, we have no emotional severance with food. So now you can see why it would be hard for anyone to break up with a food.
After my trip I told my husband, “I think it’s time to give up dairy for good.” He was over the moon, partly because, dairy also causes me to snore. For those of you who aren’t familiar, dairy produces excessive mucous and sometimes inflammation in your nasal pathways and lungs. People with asthma, seasonal allergies, snoring issues, or sleep apnea would see it best to give up dairy.
The decision was made in my mind, but in my heart I always need validation and support, so I made a bet with my husband. I bet him that if he went on the GAPS diet (the Gut and Psychology Syndrome) to help heal the pain he was having in his hands, (possible arthritis or gout, were not sure) I would go dairy and sugar free. He agreed and we began.
Years ago we did AIP (The Auto Immune Protocol) together and we were miserable. Not physically miserable, but emotionally miserable, we were not ready for restriction of that kind. Now, after years of self exploration and experimentation we felt ready and really haven’t given it a second thought. You see, nutrition is 90% psychology and 10% doing the protocol intended. Every choice we make is driven by our internal conversations. The more comfortable we become with the change, the closer we will be to making the change.
I think one of the biggest helps for me was having great dairy alternatives to keep a similar flavor profile and texture in my life. I cook EVERYDAY, so I need to get creative and make sure my creature comforts are still possible. I thank the universe for the amazing food scientists over at Kite Hill. Their chive cream cheese on a Fox Hill Kitchens’ bagel is like low carb paleo crack lol!! Not to mention my husband is completely in awe of how good the Kite Hill yogurt is, and he is a hard critic! When you are married to a man who’s mother is nothing short of a master chef and pastry extraordinaire, you know a “yes” is a big deal!
I think after really coming to terms with is and having this wide variety of dairy free foods, it became less daunting. I mean seriously, our freezer at New Season’s Market has Capello’s Paleo pizza in it, so worst case scenario I can give myself a free night from cooking and still stay on track.
So surviving going dairy free for me was honestly about having some very personal conversations with myself and then finding foods that would make me feel like I wasn’t missing out on anything! I have even made an Alfredo sauce out of cashews that would blow your mind, for real tho, you wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s dairy free! I’ll post that recipe next week!!!
Thanks for tuning in everyone! Maybe you want to join the dairy free train with me?!