Going Dairy Free

I’ve done a lot of self-experiments over the years – gluten free, vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, paleo, 365 days alcohol free, standing vs seating desks, smartphone vs dumb phone, caffeine free, 30 day fitness challenges. I have learnt a lot from doing these trials and testing out what works or doesn’t work for me. A human guinea pig if you will. 

  • These trials have helped me adopt a mostly plant based diet with some fish and eggs. Meat has been moved to the “on a rare occasion” bucket.
  • I have realised just how disruptive my smartphone is and am in the process of moving to a more intentional device, like this one that helps me minimise incoming distractions but more importantly removes the temptation from MYSELF to look up every casual thought that comes into my head on the internet.
  • I now stand 90% of the time while I am working. Sitting is hell for circulation, energy, motivation and mood and ultimately, productivity. In years to come, standing will eventually become the norm but right now, you are an outlier if you stand in an office.
  • I am very happily living my best life, alcohol free and really happy in myself.

So dairy free eh? All that milk, cheese (oh the cheese), butter, milk chocolate, biscuits, cheese and onion crisps and so many more products that they seem to add milk or milk powders to these days.

What has led me to this experiment of going DF?

  1. Since the lockdown started, I have been mindlessly eating far too much junk mostly in the form of chocolate (remember Easter?), crisps and biscuits. I don’t mean gorging on them, small bits far too often that all together is adding up to significant consumption – this is leading to me feeling rather chunky around the middle so the first reason is weight loss, especially around the tummy region.
  2. Secondly, in the nutrition literature, there seems to be a strong link between casein, the primary protein in cow’s milk and cancer.
  3. Thirdly, I am all about curiosity and not blindly following conventional wisdom for the sake of it, which leads me to ask some tough questions:
    • Are humans designed to drink the milk of other mammal? I would say no.
    • Cow’s milk is designed by nature to grow a 65lb calf into a 700lb cow as fast as possible. What happens when we apply this to humans? Is it helping to grow humans at a faster than normal rate also? I’m thinking obesity and cancer cell growth here.
    • The dairy industry is very cruel to animals and I do not want to support such cruelty but by buying dairy products, this is exactly what I was doing – not just supporting the industry financially but also condoning the cruelty and violence that is part of this particular foods supply chain.

So my reasons extend from vanity (I want to lose the belly) to health and chronic disease (casein) to animal welfare and supporting products that I believe bring good into the world and do no harm in their production.

Who knew that there was so many big issues wrapped up in those nicely packaged milk and cheese products that shine so brightly on the supermarket shelves?

I post this as I head into Day 7 (of 21) of going dairy free and so far I feel a little lighter in myself, I have been able to post my longest run so far this year at 10 miles and psychologically, making non-dairy choices just feels more ethical and aligned with who I am as a person.

Here’s to the next 14 days and let’s see how it goes.

Yours in health and happiness,

JP

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