Day in and day out I evaluate other people's diets, advise them on what to incorporate, and what to eliminate based upon their overall health goals.
Depending on the particular member's outlook on nutrition (old school vs new school / hollistic mentality) will determine how detailed I will relay information and suggestions of change to them.
One of the most CONTROVERSIAL topics of conversation (although soy is up there) is dairy. Old school mentality is that its great for you, after all its the 'building block of healthy strong bones' due to its high calcium content. Although milk does have a great deal of calcium, research has shown that its not readily bio-available, due to it it being too large for your body to break down. Cows have multiple stomachs, humans have one- we are not designed to drink cow's milk and our body has an extremely hard time breaking it down. Cow’s milk contains on average three times the amount of protein than human milk which creates metabolic disturbances in humans that have detrimental bone health consequences.
In short, when you eat any type of animal protein, including milk, it has an acidifying effect on your body. As your body breaks down protein, it creates a toxic waste which your kidneys generally flush out via the urine. With milk, the protein molecule is so large, your kidneys can't flush it all out so your body uses calcium, an excellent neutralizer, to correct this problem. Guess where your body's largest store of calcium is?!?! Your bones! The very calcium you are trying to get in your diet, is actually causing your body to leech its own stores of calcium. There is a DIRECT correlation to countries highest in osteoporosis with the highest in milk and dairy consumption.
If this isn't reason enough there are also many studies on how milk and dairy causes allergies, overweight issues, and diabetes in children due to your body's response after consumption- produces mucus causing more inflammation in your body. More and more health practitioners are leaning toward more of the hollistic way of treating their patients vs. traditional medicine, and are finding that eliminating dairy from your diet can have amazing benefits.
Dairy, especially cow's milk is something I am EXTREMELY passionate about. Although I'm not an RD, I am a registered nutritionist and a large part of my focus was on healing your body with vitamins and minerals via food and of course *good quality* supplementation. ( so much crap out there on the market today which could be another post in itself) I could go on for hours about this topic, but I think I might get a writing cramp. If you have any questions or want further explanation feel free to comment or email me at Jamesondirect@yahoo.com
So off my soapbox...
I gave up drinking milk about 3 years ago- occasionally I have a craving for chocolate milk and will indulge in that, but otherwise milk free. I don't have too much dairy in my diet, but I LOVE cheddar cheese and ranch dressing- mmmmmmmmmmm. I figured since I'm always telling people how dairy isn't what you think you're getting, I should take the plunge and eliminate it all from my diet. What better time than to start with lent?!?!
In celebration of fat tuesday I did extra dairy as my big last hoorah! The plan is to have absolutely no dairy for all of lent- even no bread, crackers, cakes made with milk. After lent I'll re-evaluate and see what I can go completely without in my diet, and what I will need to do in moderation
Lunch- chicken and CHEESE quesadilla w/ ranch. veggies, sweet potato fries, and Odwalla chocolate protein shake (they were all out of chocolate milk so this was the closest i could get)
I also used extra creamer in my coffee (will be switching to almond milk or coconut milk for that starting tomorrow). Lastly after work I had to drive to the middle of nowhere, aka, Murray, KY to work a Health Fair tomorrow morning. The drive took 45 min longer than anticipated due to rain and then GPS taking me to an abandoned parking lot saying it was my hotel so I stopped, at a Dairy Queen to get another dairy fixing- chocolate mint oreo blizzard with added cookie dough (yum) and a chilli CHEESE dog haha. Not a big ice cream person so I ate it just because it was my last day, however if the urge does strike me, I can always get coconut milk ice cream for the future.
So thats my dairy tuesday- I'm happy with my choice, I think the hardest part will be no chocolate since its made with milk and I don't like dark chocolate. I'm pretty sure at the end of this process, chocolate will have to be one of the foods I put in the 'moderation' category and not 'elimination'
Regardless of your faith, lent is something fun to practice to keep you in check with your indulgences, or in my case, a catalyst to make a change in your life you've been debating on.
Did you give up anything for lent??
all dairy products, and I'm thinking of doing bacon too (i'm obsessed)
What has been the hardest thing you ever had to give up??
for those of you who know me on a personal level, freshman year of college was the hardest sacrifice for that point in my life haha. aside from that, the first year I gave up soda.
For all those out there who are turning over a new leaf Wednesday, best of luck!!