I love cheese.
In college I had a serious love affair with Brie and I think I consumed my weight in buratta, parmesan and mozzarella during a single trip to Italy.
I will be the first person to admit the salty, umami, creamy flavor is definitely one of the things I live for. While I was born lactose intolerant the fondness for milk in Indian culture basically meant that I was coerced into loving and drinking milk regardless.
I visited a Ayurvedic retreat in early 2020 that made me kick start the journey of elimination and these are my learnings after a couple months with no dairy:
1- My skin is so much happier - dairy products just didn’t suit it. Who can relate?
2- One of the major dairy free diet benefits has been debloating and just having smoother hunger cycles.
3- There’s tons of plant-based, healthy food options that I actually love and will continue to explore.
4- My mood just more Zen and I am much better at rolling with the punches despite this pandemic.
5- Dairy free alternatives are pretty bomb - shout out to oat milk!
6- Learning to plan meals and keep dietary requirements in mind.
7- Realizing the people who really want to support me don’t mind sharing some dairy free ice cream.
8- Sleep cycle is infinitely improved. Move over melatonin.
9- I am overall happier. There is a lightness and liberation that has developed through these choices over time.
10- Learning to love and accept my body and it's limitations. Caring for it so I can show up as my best self.
So in conclusion - am I going to continue with this lifestyle? Probably, but in moderation. As long as majority of my dietary intake suits me I can probably sneak in a little Gouda love because….
I still love cheese.
Slice slice baby....
And I refuse to feel guilty about it because the occasional slice of pizza because even if dairy clearly doesn’t love me, it makes me happy.
Leave me all your dairy replacements in the comments below - any suggestions are much appreciated.