I have recently seen many things on social media, and the internet in general, about allergens. People all of a sudden realizing they are not responding well to dairy or gluten, mama's having to give up certain things in their diet in order to continue breastfeeding their babies, etc. When I was first trying to figure all of this out with Riggins, I felt so alone. I was considering just being done nursing him all together because it was just so much to try to figure out with a brand new baby and healing from a c-section and caring for my toddler. I just kept praying for answers and within a day, I knew that dairy was the issue. I am so thankful for the information I was able to find. Once I ridded dairy from my diet, Riggins completely changed. And once I accepted the problem and had the confidence in myself that I could make the change, everything became easier. I have not had dairy in over three months. The best thing that has happened, obviously, is having a happy and healthy baby again. Weeks of a screaming baby made me feel so hopeless. Since getting into the routine of it and realizing what works and what doesn't, I have now noticed even more changes than just having a happy and healthy babe. I will most likely not be adding dairy back into my diet even once I've finished breastfeeding.
1. My skin is CLEAR. I haven't had horrible skin problems in my life, but it hasn't been wonderful either (monthly breakouts, small white bumps around my mouth and chin, overall soreness). Since giving up dairy, I really have not had a break out in months. My skin is softer, smoother, and I'm actually using way less product on my face. I wash and moisturize every night and exfoliate once a week. In the mornings I just rinse with fresh water and apply my tinted moisturizer and it's really all I wear.
2. My digestion is better. I used to get horrible stomach aches after eating yogurt or cottage cheese, but I love them so much I just never gave them up. Even coffee would upset my stomach sometimes with the creamers I was using. I've found since ridding dairy completely, I don't have stomach pains. I've also learned about certain breads that contain milk and other foods that I didn't think would contain it but do. I've learned even more so what foods are helping my body and what foods are harming it. When I'm at a restaurant, I typically order a turkey burger with no bun. At home, I rely on lots of proteins and vegetables and Silk Soy Vanilla Creamer. And lactation cookies with coconut oil (probably like 4 a day ha!).
3. Faster Postpartum Weight Loss: I've said this before and it's true. I am in NO rush to lose all of my baby weight. I just can't put that pressure on myself. I workout because it makes me feel good and that is all. I have noticed, however, that my weight with this pregnancy has dropped significantly faster than with McCoy.
4. Reducing Exposure to Added Hormones: The consumption of cow’s milk has been shown to increase the serum level of IGF-1 in humans by 10%. Consequently, higher levels of IGF-1 in humans have been linked to a significant increase in the risk of prostate, colon, lung, and breast cancers. Dairy free milk alternatives don't contain any added hormones or antibiotics since they are derived from plants.
5. More Energy: I actually have more energy since giving up dairy. This might have something to do with Riggins being happy and not screaming 15 hours a day, but overall, I just feel less bloated and more energized. I am encouraged to prep smoothies and salads and protein bowls without even really having to think about it anymore. Comfort foods like lasagna, desserts, and pizza aren't in our house - and I really don't even miss them. Actually, sometimes I do ha!
All of this being said and taken into consideration. I believe the health benefits of not having dairy in my diet out weight the act of missing comfort foods. Once Riggins is done nursing, I am going to continue the dairy free lifestyle, however, I know that having a dessert every once in a while (that includes dairy) is pretty amazing for the soul. If you have any questions about this journey, please let me know! Or if you are living a dairy free (or really anything free) lifestyle, I would love to hear from you! Nutrition and wellness stories I absolutely LOVE, and it's even better when we can keep cheering each other on!