Milk, Dairy, should it all be avoided completely?
If you have worked with me, you know I am all about bio-individuality, which means everyone will feel their best on a specifically tailored diet for them. Today, I am inspired to write about dairy, since I happen to be drinking (for the first time in a while) a cappuccino made with steamed Organic Whole Lactose Free Milk. I normally do organic light coconut milk, but since I am visiting my family in PA I have been drinking the real milk. It does taste good and froths better than milk alternatives, but as has happened in the past, I am concerned I will see some pimples in a few days.
So the big question is- is Dairy/Milk something you can include in your daily/weekly/monthly/occasional diet? First, take a moment and ask yourself, which goal are you trying to achieve?
-healthier/better skin appearance
Healthier/Better Skin Appearance
If your skin seems clogged, more broken out than usual, and has some redness, it could indicate a food sensitivity (dairy is possible, but could also be others). Also keep in mind, when toxins try to exit your body through your skin (in the form or rash, redness, acne, etc) it means there may be a blockage in another route of elimination.
Instead of going to the dermatologist to get expensive and temporary treatment, here is what you can do:
Support your detox organ, the Liver
1) Avoid highly refined sugary, processed foods and alcohol
2) Mini Elimination Diet: Cut out gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, any other suspected food sensitivities for a week (Rather than three weeks). You may start to notice skin improvement within two days. After the week, introduce one back at a time per day. I would start to re-introduce the most highly suspected food first. After all, you know your body best. If Milk/dairy products are the culprit to your skin inflammation, it may be best to avoid. I can work with you on this.
3) Try a Milk Thistle supplement which supports the Liver and can help prevent breakouts. I personally take Life Vantage's Protandim NRF2 and NRF1 which contains Milk Thistle among other powerful adaptogens and antioxidants. Not only does it reverse and reduce oxidative stress, but I see amazing skin benefits as well. http://amoreyouthfulyou.lifevantage.com/products/protandim/dual/
I am not a big fan of the word normal, but it is common now for American's to have digestive issues: IBS, acid reflux, bloating, irregularity, just to name a few. Some people are Lactose Intolerant, which essentially mean's their digestive tract no longer produces the enzyme Lactase, so milk or other dairy products like Yogurt that contain Lactose (the sugar in the milk) can be irritable. Here are some ways to improve your digestion today:
1) If you are Lactose Intolerant and want your milk in the morning, I recommend Lactose Free Organic Valley Whole Milk. They add the enzyme, Lactase which breaks down the Lactose.
2) Take a daily Probiotic Supplement that contains Lactobacillus Acidophilus, which is a bacteria that can help with lactose intolerance among other things. I love this probiotic because of the unique round shape, the good bacteria makes it safely to your small intestine, rather than getting destroyed by your stomach acid. http://amoreyouthfulyou.lifevantage.com/products/physiq/probio/
3) Chew your food slowly and thoroughly before swallowing. Many people are in a rush and inhale their meals. This is an important step in the digestion process and should not be overlooked. If you need help with this, I can offer in my sessions.
When digestion works properly and you eat foods that nourish and suit you best, your energy levels should improve. In some cases, dairy and milk products like Yogurt, Cheese and Whey Protein that have sufficient protein and fats can actually boost energy levels, if you don't have a sensitivity. Here are some ways to improve your energy levels:
1) Make sure you are getting enough sleep. You should be waking up before your alarm goes off in an ideal world. For example, if you have to get up at 6:30 am, set your alarm for 7:00 am, but make sure you are in bed by 10:00-10:30 and asleep by 11 pm. Your sleep cycles are every 90 minutes, so you should comfortably wake up before your alarm at 7 am. If you are feeling unrested every morning when you wake up to your alarm, I can help you with this.
2) Cook your foods with saturated fats such as grass-fed butter, ghee, and coconut oil. Saturated fats are more stable than poly unsaturated fats and are better to eat and cook with. Because poly unsaturated fats are less stable, they can cause free-radical damage when exposed to oxygen. Saturated fats on the other hand reduce oxidative stress and are converted to quick energy in the Liver.
3) Eat within 90 minutes of waking up. This is really big. In order to stabilize blood sugar levels, it is important to always eat breakfast and make sure you eat in this time frame of waking up. I recommend eating a balanced breakfast such as eggs with veggies.
4) Check your Vitamin D levels. It is easy to take a liquid supplement, especially in the winter time. Milk is fortified with Vitamin D, but if you are not getting adequate sunlight, it may be time to take a liquid supplement.
There is definitely a lot of controversy over whether cutting out dairy can help you lose weight. It varies depending on the person's lifestyle, genetic predispositions and the type of dairy. Some people feel that cutting out cheese has led them to lose weight, and others say that introducing yogurt to their daily meal plan has helped them lose weight. Here are some ways to start losing weight today:
1) Incorporate Whey Protein (from dairy) if you have a routine workout, as this promotes lean body mass.
2) Lower carb and sugar intake. In this case, if you are looking to burn fat or are lactose-intolerant, it is best to stick to dairy products that don't contain sugar: grass-fed butter, heavy cream, some good quality aged cheeses: Parmesan, Pecorino Romano.
3) Incorporate healthy fats. It may sound counter-intuitive, but healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, almonds and walnuts provide substantial energy and satiation. Also, when reducing carbs, eating healthy fats are converted to energy quickly rather than being stored like sugary/carb foods. Once this happens, and your body needs more energy, it starts to burn the stored fat.
If you are still unsure about including dairy in your diet, feel free to consult with me.
If you want a personalized approach to losing weight, etc., we can work together on a plan that suits you. Regular counseling, pantry makeovers, food shopping and chewing lessons all work to form great lifelong habits.