I Don’t Give My Kids Milk…
The great dairy debate – making sense of propaganda….
It has been about 10 years now that my children and I ditched the dairy. They are now in their 12th year of life. So, they have not had dairy since they were quite young. I made this choice for us for a number of reasons. I am not going to lie… countless people have judged me for it over the years.
Making bold dietary changes is definitely not easy. Coffee or no coffee? Milk or no milk? Wheat or wheat free? Meat or no meat? I recently went to a bricks and mortar Barnes & Noble and couldn’t help but notice the array of books about food and diet on display. How does one make a smart choice in this sea of information.
So, I did a little research and found what I suspected all along. I googled and easily found several links telling me the reasons why I should remove dairy from my diet. Then I googled “advantages of dairy” and also found several links telling me why I should drink milk. Propaganda is everywhere. Facts are malleable. Every side makes a compelling argument. Some of the points overlap.
Here are two opposing links just for argument sake:
Ironically, both articles will tell you that following their advice will help your skin look better and lose weight. Hmmmmm…
So, here is what I believe. We don’t need dairy. Maybe in the old days we did but not anymore. So, here are my top 5 reasons I am completely comfortable standing on the no milk side of the fence:
1 – Years ago, before the advent of Trader Joe’s and health foods in every supermarket I used to go to a mom and pop health food store in my neighborhood. These just don’t exist here any longer…but I digress. I became friendly with one of the guys who ran the store because I would walk there with the kids a ton and was at the beginning of my new healthy eating life. I always had lots of questions and he always had good advice and recommendations. We were talking about t he topic of milk one day and he said something so simple and yet so wise.
Cow’s milk is made for baby cows.
Ah yes, that’s right. Cows produce milk just as women do – for their offspring. Some one a long time ago decided to take some for themselves.
2 – The cows of today are not the same as the cows of yesteryear. Today’s cows receive lots of hormones and antibiotics. The milk is then homogenized. Lots of processing.
3 – “Alternative” milks are fortified. There are so many great choices – rice, almond, soy, cashew, macadamia.
4 – There are plenty of the same vitamins and minerals we need in real food – leafy greens and broccoli, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds, quinoa, sweet potatoes, beet greens, tomatoes and mushrooms to name a few.
5 – Dairy is not good for the immune system. Since we eliminated it we are much healthier. My children and I rarely get sick and when we do we make a speedy recovery.
I share this so you can get perspective. Eliminating foods or food groups from your diet is a big deal. Always make an effort to educate yourself on the points of view on both sides. Assess your health and try it out for a month. Take notes. See if you feel lighter, less bloated, more energy. Just make sure to assess how YOUR BODY is reacting. Your health is ultimately in your own hands.
Love and light,
I decided at the end of October to go meat free for the month of November. I have been mostly plant based for a while now. I made this decision mainly for spiritual reasons. The thing is, I believe all living beings are connected. If I subscribe to that belief – how can I eat living, breathing creatures?
So, it has been mostly very easy. I slipped up once early in the month just by not eating mindfully. I did not realize it until after the fact. Ok, small fail.
Then Thanksgiving came. I initially thought it would be easy because turkey is not the star of the show for me. Then I realized all of my favorite stuffings have sausage in them. Yes, we make 3 different types of stuffing. Then my mom went and bought all sorts of deliciousness for some light antipasto before dinner. Then I made stuffed mushrooms and somehow sausage made its way in. Oy! Not good!
So, I fell off the wagon. I decided not to beat myself up for it ahead of time. I decided to live by the mantra – progress not perfection. So, mentally I let it go.
Now, here is the interesting part!! By the end of the weekend I felt like SHIT. I ate in a way all weekend that is not in line with my beliefs and lifestyle. By Sunday my stomach was a mess. On top of that I hurt my good knee. I was not feeling my best by Monday. So I did what I had planned all along…and I am feeling more like myself already.
Monday I went back to basics. I took away all of the foods I do not need. I only ate and drank things that support my body. Total detox. Some people might look at that as a punishment. I see it as self care. I chose to go back to my best version of self care – eating only food that nourishes me. So this week I will run my 5 day detox – no wheat, dairy, alcohol, bread, meat…just the basics. I feel better already.
Will I ever eat meat again? I don’t know. Today I feel more than ever that I do not want to. I can’t make any promises that I won’t slip and fall again. That is part of life and its beauty. We stumble, we fall and then we get back up. Life is all about balance. We do what we can on any given day – and that is what it means to be enough. Truth is our choices need to be the best only for ourselves.
Love and Light,
Here are my top 3 reasons for trying this on for size!
I was not going to tell anyone this but I am thinking of going all the way to the plant side. I have been MOSTLY plant based for a number of years now. I never went all the way because well if I am out and want a burger…or well anything animal…I can without guilt. It’s a once in a while thing anyway so it never felt bad. Plus, I live by the theory of balance – eliminating something from my diet forever doesn’t feel like balance. Lastly, if I commit to something I am all in.
Lately I am having a change of heart. Truth is I took the kids to lunch on their birthday and ordered myself a burger. It was good, but I didn’t have that feeling afterwards of oh that was worth it. It was ok. In truth, my attachment to meat has lessened quite a bit over the years. This change has been a slow and natural progression. I really believe giving up meat is a process – not something you just wake up and do.
Here are my top 3 thoughts on why I am thinking of taking the next step:
1 – HEALTH MATTERS: There is scientific proof that a plant based diet lowers hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. When we up our intake of fruits and veggies our health gets better. I need to live a long and healthy life!
2 – WEIGHT MATTERS: The less meat I eat the less I think about calories. I always tell people I lost a ton of weight without weighing and measuring my food. That’s because there just isn’t enough kale out there to make me fat! Right? It simplifies life and eases digestion.
3 – SPIRITUAL MATTERS: This is NOT SCIENTIFIC. For me today this is probably the top reason I am moving in this direction. We are all connected. I have been expanding my spiritual practice. As time goes on and I imagine myself connected to all beings I share this planet with I can’t help but think of the animals too. We live in a world where animals are raised for slaughter. I never gave this too much thought before – because I did not want to. As I evolve in my life I feel more connected to this issue.
So, I have been a plant based food dabbler. I know I CAN do it. I have some commitment issues though – in more than one aspect of my life. It is for that reason I decided to discuss this publicly. It is November 1st. I will go meat free the month of November. That will include Thanksgiving…and then I will make a decision. I want to make a short term commitment during a difficult time of the year and see the results! I bring you along on this journey because I like accountability and support.
Would you like to join me? Commit to trying the veg life. It does not have to be a long term commitment. Commit to meatless Monday’s until the end of the year. Commit to a meatless week. Try it on and see how it feels. Maybe it will not be something you want long term BUT it will bring more fruits and vegetables into your life. Maybe it will just make you realize how much you enjoy them. What do you have to lose?
Love and light,
Google any nutrition question and I am pretty sure you can find evidence to support your current belief system. There is a sea of information on the world wide web. It can be confusing and well down right daunting. One of the catch phrases I hate in particular is “juice cleanse”.
When I revamped the way I eat one of the first things I was told by my nutritionist was to buy a good juicer. Since those days I have seen an explosion of “juice talk”. People buy all sorts of pre made juices, bottled and fresh, as well as products that are known to cleanse. This is not necessarily good or bad. When spending your time, money and calories you want to choose wisely.
So, here is my two cents based on years of experience and what I consider success. By success I mean years of maintained weight loss, health, vitality and energy to spare.
If you are serious about cleaning out the body juices are an excellent way to do so. That said here are a few practical tips:
- Go heavy on the greens and light on the fruit. That does not mean you can not eat fruit. It just means that you want to get as many raw greens in your body as possible. That is the primary goal!
- You can buy a really good juicer and stick a whole apple in there and it will be awesome. Keep in mind those juicers need to be cleaned very seriously. It is a fair amount of what I consider to be annoying work. It is not so bad if you are doing this one time per day but if you are having a juice with every meal (which is how I operated when I began my “food journey” )you just may tire of it quickly.
- The Ninja saved my juice life. This machine is pretty inexpensive and compact. I don’t always love everything about it but for me the pros outweigh the cons. The clean up is practically non-existent. The drink is already in the cup and everything that goes in gets ingested.
- Less is more. Keep it simple. I do not believe in giving up food in a quest to clean the colon. If you really need a kick start have a juice at every meal and up your water intake. I can guarantee your body will cleanse!
Remember, the most important rules to follow are the ones that feel right to you. It does not matter how great another person’s food plan is for them. In order to have success you need to stick with it. Sticking with it is easier when it is more convenient, is palatable and within your budget. Don’t follow the pack. Forge your own path to wellness!
Host a cooking event!
Food plans are great. Having the know how to execute them easily and deliciously is even better!
So often people ask me about the specifics of cooking and prepping meals. Now is your chance to see first hand how the magic happens.
Host a party for 6-8 friends at your home. I will come with food and tips for all of you. Here is what you can expect:
– I will show you and your friends how to utilize my favorites from my pantry
– See how I cut prep time and organize the week
– Let’s discuss mixing and matching foods for more variety
– My secrets for getting portions under control
This is an opportunity to see in a hands on environment how to prep and plan your meals.
So, let’s make food fun, exciting and delicious. Food is life and I am passionate about making real clean food a part of that.
Click below to set up a call to discuss setting a date and time for your party!