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Ditch-the-Dairy Challenge!

Ditch-the-Dairy Challenge!
November 05, 2019

Have you noticed lately that plant-based milks are everywhere? It seems like a lot of people are quitting dairy altogether--even those who aren’t plant-based or vegan. 


What about you? Have you ever considered breaking up with dairy?  Or has dairy been quietly whispering in your ear that you must stay in a relationship with her or your health will suffer?


Have you ever thought, even for a minute, about going dairy-free? How does it make you feel?

Quitting dairy for even one week can give some pretty amazing results.


  • You’ll feel lighter and less sluggish.

  • You’ll be less bloated. 

  • You’ll have easier, faster digestion and no constipation.

  • You may lose a few pounds and lower your cholesterol… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


Here are 5 reasons you might want to consider ditching the dairy today.

1.  Heart Disease is the number one cause of death of Americans (and it's mostly preventable).  For most people dairy is one of the biggest sources of dietary fat, cholesterol and animal protein--all of which contribute to heart disease. In addition, cheese has been shown to have an addictive component, which means that we experience 'good feels’ from eating cheese. That’s why it’s so hard to break the cheese habit.


2.  Dairy protein also causes extra inflammation in the body. Excessive inflammation is linked to heart disease, cancer and autoimmune disease.


3.  Dairy can worsen acne, eczema, ear infections and asthma for some people, due to its inflammatory effect.


4.  Dairy protein can cause constipation. Removing all dairy is often all that’s needed to resolve even severe constipation in less than a week.


5.  Up to 75% of people are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance can cause bloating, abdominal pain, gas and diarrhea. That’s because humans, and all mammals, are not meant to be drinking milk after they’ve been weaned from their mother’s milk.


But isn’t dairy necessary for strong bones?


Contrary to what most of us have been taught, dairy isn’t good for bone health. Wait, what?? Read the evidence here, here and here.


As a mom, if you’re interested in ditching the dairy, you might consider doing this for your little ones too. 

Is it safe for children to go dairy free?  


YES! It’s safe and healthy for anyone to go go dairy-free, from toddlers to mamas. Read more about the effects of dairy on children: 6 Reasons Why Your Child Should be Dairy Free. 


What about the nutrients dairy offers?


We’ve all grown up believing we need dairy for protein, calcium and vitamin D. 

We’ve been told, as women, we’re at higher risk for osteoporosis if we have don’t have enough dairy.  

We’ve been preached-to by ads, school lunches and the “Got Milk” campaign that children need dairy to build strong bones.


But have you ever thought it's odd, that humans “need” milk from another species in order to be healthy? 


It’s easy to get the same nutrients from other foods (and they come in clean packages without harmful side effects).


Calcium comes from leafy green veggies, tofu, beans, lentils, almonds and almond butter, sweet potatoes, oranges, fortified orange juice and fortified plant-based milks. Fun Fact: Cows get all of their calcium from plants, and humans can, too. 

Research shows that for strong bones, weight-bearing exercise like walking, running and jumping may be even more crucial than the amount of calcium one eats.


Vitamin D is not found naturally in dairy. Vitamin D is an additive to cow’s milk.

You can get the same amount of vitamin D in fortified plant-based milks (check labels). Other ways to get vitamin D is by taking a supplement or spending 15-30 minutes in the sun every day.


Protein is found in just about every food including all vegetables. Even vegans who eat no animal protein at all are NOT at risk for protein deficiency. Just look at elite athletes Serena Williams and Rich Roll; they get all their protein from plants. All animal protein, including dairy, meat, eggs, poultry and fish is harsh on the kidneys and increases inflammation in humans.



So, now that you know it’s safe to get rid of the dairy, how do you actually do it?


3 Practical Ways to Ditch the Dairy


  1. 1.  Replace cow’s milk with plant-based milk.


  1. 2.  Remove all dairy from your home if you can. Replace dairy foods like yogurt and sour cream with plant-based options.  There are so many good ones out there!  This article has some good dairy-free brand suggestions and tips to get you started.


  2. Remember that plant-based/vegan cheeses, yogurts, sour creams and ice creams can be high in fat and calories just like their dairy counterparts. So even though they have less harmful effects than dairy, they are no friend to your waistline if you're trying to slim down.

  1. 3.  Make meals that your family already likes where you can omit the dairy easily.


What kinds of delicious meals can you make without dairy?


Tacos, burritos and burrito bowls:  skip the cheese and sour cream or offer these on the side so each person can add their own if they choose. Or offer vegan versions of cheese and sour cream.  


Try buddha bowls, sushi bowls, stir fries, soups, stews, chilis, rice dishes, sandwiches...all of these are delicious without the dairy. Try Pinterest for endless dairy-free meal ideas.


How do you replace dairy snacks like cheese, yogurt and ice cream?


This is the biggest challenge for most people trying to get off dairy, so get them out of your house for your Ditch-the-Dairy week.   


What about dairy in packaged foods?   


Be sure to read labels.  Anything with casein, whey, lactose or milk proteins means it contains dairy. So avoid these ingredients.


Here are 3 tools to set you up for success to ditch dairy:


1. Plan

2. Prep

3. Support



Planning is so IMPORTANT because it frees your mind and energy from having to make constant decisions about food all throughout the day.  Planning is the number one key to your success. So don’t start without a plan!  While you’re doing the challenge, plan your meals ahead for the week, then plan all of your daily snacks the night before. Before bed, go prep your snacks for tomorrow. Slice up an apple and put in a ziplock in the fridge. Pack little bags of mixed nuts or popcorn ready to grab and go. Mini muffins make great snacks, just replace the dairy with plant-based milk and plant-based butter like Smart Balance.


Prepping means you’ve already prepared your snacks and meals ahead of time (or at least parts of them). Prepping parts of your meals ahead will simplify your week and help you stick to your plan and prevent last-minute slip-ups.  For help with meal planning and prep grab this free Complete Step-by-Step Easy Meal Planning Guide for the Busy Mama.


Find a support buddy to give you encouragement, accountability and a kick in the butt when you need help to stick to your plan. Recruit a friend and do the challenge together. It will be easier and more fun!   


For extra support, sign up for the Free 7 Day Ditch the Dairy Challenge  and you’ll receive 7 Days of uplifting emails with complete support to keep you on track-- from me to you-- so you can experience the awesome outcomes you’re looking forward to. Yay you!!


What if you slip-up?


No worries. Get up, brush yourself off and don’t look back. 


What outcomes can you expect at the end of your week without dairy?

 

  • You’ll feel lighter and less sluggish.

  • You’ll feel less bloated. 

  • You’ll have easier, faster digestion and no constipation. 

  • You might lose a few pounds, especially if you normally eat a lot of high fat dairy, like cheese, yogurt and ice cream. 

  • Your cholesterol should decrease. Have labs before and after if you want to know this result.

  • If you have eczema, acne or asthma it may start to calm down.

Finally…


If you like how you feel after your 7 Day Challenge, why not try it for another 7 days? The longer you go without the dairy, the more profound your results and long term health benefits will be!


Use hashtag #ditchdairychallenge and share your experience on Instagram.


Sign up here for your 7 Day Ditch the Dairy Challenge.


Heidi













Heidi M Follow

Hi, I’m Heidi. I’m a plant-based pediatric nurse, experienced mama of 4 and grandma of 2. I LOVE helping mamas and children. My mission is to make it EASY for moms to feed and raise healthy little ones.
I created my website, www.leafyvibe.com because I saw a need that wasn’t being met. Many younger moms are moving to a plant-based lifestyle and are in need of support which their providers are not able to meet.
So for now, I’m here to fill the gap with evidence-based nutrition information and meal inspiration...to give moms peace of mind their families can thrive on a plant-based lifestyle.
I’ll help you grow your little ones into healthy big ones!


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