Giving Up Dairy | Why My Body is Over The Mooooooon

Over the mooooon.

Get it? Get it?! Man, my puns know no bounds. My clients are lucky people.

This post is about my break up with dairy. I once read a book as a lovestruck teen, called ‘It’s Called a Break Up Because It’s Broken’. And broken it was. My relationship with dairy, I mean.

I think I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts about my love of coffee. I believe the exact words I used were ‘my morning skinny flat white is like a giant hug’. Interpreting a milky bev as an emotional gesture. Hashtag barrier issues.

But it was. And like any addict, each day I vowed that that one flat white would be my first of the day, and my last. But it wasn’t. That morning flat white soon became the first of two or even three a day on some days, and the purchase of my beloved Nespresso machine didn’t help matters. Shout out to the Aeroccino for making ma milk so effin’ foamy, you total babe.

There’s about 225ml of milk in my morning coffee. If I got to 3 a day, I’d find myself staring straight down the barrel of nearly a litre of the white stuff, 360 calories, 9g of fat and 37.5g of sugar. WHAT. I almost loosened the grip on my Keep Cup and fell unconscious when I discovered the amount of sugar in skinny milk. Like, if I’m consuming that much in milk, HOW will I find the room to justify the odd doughnut?

It wasn’t just the coffees. I don’t eat a lot of cheese since going healthy, but that’s not to say this girl ain’t partial to a humble triangle of brie every so often.

Let’s take a moment’s silence for brie, shall we?

…………………

Okay.

So cheese wasn’t a huge issue, but I soon had to face up to the fact that my love affair with Chobani Coconut yoghurts could be the problem. Don’t be fooled, by coconut yoghurt I don’t mean it’s made with coconut milk. I mean it’s a regular dairy laden yoghurt with oh-so-sweet-and-seductive coconut gooey bits on the bottom. Dreamy.

But not for my bloat, nausea and fatigue. One of those little huns every other day quickly pushed my dairy sugar consumption off the charts. I won’t lie, sometimes I had one daily, especially when Coles put on that babein 5 for $5 offer. Never forget.

So, I went cold turkey. DUM DUM DUM.

After a weekend of bloating and concluding I obviously had ovarian cancer (let’s all bow down in my calm and realistic approach to ailments, shall we?), I decided to cut out all dairy for a week. I didn’t just cut out dairy. I went back to basics. Breakfast was oats (made with water), lunch was salmon or chicken and greens, and dinner was salmon or chicken with greens and a complex carb (brown rice or sweet potato). And all coffee, was BLACK coffee (with a dash of soy milk on occasion). I KNOW RIGHT. If only I could eat like that all the time. Victoria might even tell me her Secret.

Aside from feeling a bit gassy from all the greens – hey there, broccoli – I felt SO much better. I wasn’t fatigued, I didn’t have tummy pain, hey, I didn’t even get that afternoon slump where you just sit at your desk and rest your chin on your hand and daydream about laying on an island eating brownies from the tray. None of that.

So come the end of the elimination week, I made the decision to make our breakup more permanent.

I started using coconut milk instead of regular milk, but I kept the black coffee rule. Over the week I’d actually started to get used to it, so now, I drink black with just a splash of coconut milk. So we’re talking between 12 and 40 grams of sugar from my old milk habits that are gone from my diet. MORE ROOM FOR DOUGHNUTS.

I haven’t tasted that silky smooth feeling of a whole milk flat white for over a month now, but I don’t miss it. I’ve created a new habit and I’m pretty darn pleased with it.

Yoghurt wise, I’ve actually switched to goat’s yoghurt, and I’ll eat goat’s cheese and feta cheese, too. There’s arguments as to whether these are considered ‘dairy’ or not. Obviously, in a vegan diet, yes, they’re banned. But I find they sit much better with me than cow’s dairy, so whether they are or not, I don’t really mind. I’m gonna back this up with a bit of science. Ready?

Goat’s products are much easier on the human digestion system because the fat molecules are far smaller than in cow’s products. Goat’s milk, cheese and yoghurts contain far less dairy sugar than cow’s (that’s the lactose that irritates a lot of people’s gut), and it’s naturally homogenised – so it doesn’t go through our processing to make it drinkable and uniform.

That said, I still don’t eat a whole heap of the stuff. A blob on some blueberries every so often, sure, but even though I’ve switched out the cow’s dairy, I’ve cut the consumption of the type of products in general. *Self five*.

Now, while this all sounds too good to be true, I’m going to be frank. Yes, I’ve made all these changes, and I can honestly say I have cut dairy lattes/flat whites out completely, in do believe in the 80/20 rule. Or even 90/10. At this point I’d say I’m 90/10 cow’s dairy free.

I don’t want to be that person that’s awkward when someone’s cooking for you. I don’t want Jess’ poor mum to have to accommodate non-dairy, and most of all I don’t want to cut anything out completely. Because if I do, if I’m not sensitive to it now, I will be eventually. Complete lack of exposure to something is bad for us, so yeah, once a week or so, I’ll have a slice of cheddar cheese on something, or some mayo, or a scoop of dairy ice cream. And that’s all cool. It can be done.

This lifestyle change comes in part of my pursuit of balance – something I struggle with. I’m an all or nothing kinda girl. People tell me my obsessions with healthy diet and exercise are dangerous, but to be honest, I wouldn’t have got to where I am without that little bit of addiction and obsession. I half-arsed health my whole life. Sure, now I’m tasked with finding a balance, but I’m not overweight anymore. I’ll find that balance one day, one chia seed at a time.

Ciao,

Coco xxx

 

 

Behind These Black Doors | Nobody is Ever as They Seem.

Walking into the lobby, fumbling for my key fob, I mindlessly stub my index finger into the button to call the lift, and stand in a familiar silence with a pretty blonde girl in office attire. No casual Friday, I thought to myself as I gazed jealously at her perfectly polished black-on-black silhouette. She must be a lawyer or something. When the comforting ding of the lift signalled its arrival on the ground floor, I trudged my New Balance shoes into the lift, tapping my key fob and pressing floor five with the same irritated attitude that I did it with every single day. The system never seems to cooperate with my key and it wound me up. Behind me, she glided into the lift in an almost ballet dancer like fashion, not a single one of her blonde strands shifting out of line for even a second. She taps floor five – the same as me – and the doors slide closed in unison.

The silence continued, the atmosphere marinated in anonymity. We exchange a forced smile through pursed lips as we ascend floor after floor. Level five. There’s a moment; it’s almost as though we bid one another a silent, faceless farewell. She bounced out of the lift and turned right, the tail of her neatly flowing trench coat engulfing her delicate frame. I hear her key slide into one of the doors. It sounded exactly like mine did – they’re all the same doors in this apartment block, so every entry to every door sounds harrowingly identical. In a flash, the familiar clunk of the closing door sounded, and she was gone. Her weekend had begun, just like that.

As I walked the opposite way down the corridor to my apartment, I took a moment to notice at each door. Black. All of them. A chunky, matte silver handle the only thing standing between me and what lay on the other side – only our human restraint adheres us to boundaries, preventing us from ever seeing beyond those black doors.

For a moment my mind removes itself from the building. My mind paints an imaginary blueprint of the building. Twelve apartments per floor. Seven floors. Three towers. 252 apartments. 252 capsules of life. 252 homes to probably double or triple as many people. Behind every one of those black doors is another story. Another answer to a question. Another ending to the book.

Some days I work for myself, from home. I’ll amble down to the coffee shop underneath our building, or nip out for a lunchtime run. I pass people by. I wonder what they think when they see me. I allow myself this moment of narcissism as I start conceptualising what I could be to them. Am I unemployed? Am I off work sick? Am I rich? Do I work nights? What do they think is behind my black door, other than the empty coffee cup they see me clutching, or the sweaty running shoes I wear as I pound past them in an unjustified fluster. That’s all they know of me.

Behind my black door is my one bedroom apartment I share with my boyfriend. Behind my black door is a pretty simple, contented life of two twenty-somethings in love. A good day behind my black door is a great episode of Masterchef, a new blend in the Nespresso machine, finding $10 in a pair of old jeans. A bad day behind my black door is a crappy day at work, the car running out of coolant, getting stuck in traffic, worrying about a family member near or far. I’m lucky the walls behind my black door have mostly happy stories to tell.

I never saw the pretty blonde girl again. But I still stare at her black door. And the others, wondering what’s behind them. I let my mind wander into an endless daydream of unknown possibility about what’s really behind those black doors, what stories the walls would tell. I take comfort from the fact I’ll likely never know. My hopeful fascination the only source of reason.

That pretty blonde girl. I hope she is a lawyer. I hope she’s happy. I hope she really does command my envy.

I never want those mysteries to be shattered by the real story. The heartbreak, the sickness, the bankruptcy, the loneliness, grief or emptiness. The stories I create behind those doors can’t be tainted. Everyone behind their black door remains nameless. All I can do is leave those black doors closed, each with their own ending to their own story. I just pray that their story is as happy as I painted it.

A wise person once told me, every man is an island…and it’s true. Everyone has their own benchmark for tragedy, their own pillar of happiness. Your bad day at the office, your broken ankle, that few thousand dollars you lost. Those things could be paradise to someone else. Every man may be an island, and in my case, every man’s black door hides a story I’ll never get to read the end of. 

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25 musings about turning 25 next week | Turning 25

Hello, hello

So in just five teeny tiny days time I’ll be turning a quarter of a century. Yep, twenty flippin’ five. How exactly has that happened? This, among other things, have been crossing my mind as this mini milestone has leered over my shoulder for the past few weeks, so I thought I’d condense them down to an appropriate 25 strong listical, cos, y’know, content.

  1. I’m starting to wonder if we’re now too old to still classify people into what year group they were in at school.
  1. I’ve seriously considered spending about $50 on a single candle, which is a sure indication of my progression to being stereotypically middle aged.
  1. I also now apparently give two shits about the thread count of my bed sheets.
  1. Instead of spending our money on gallivanting round hotels and restaurants, Jess and I now lust after couches, flatpack furniture and Le Creuset cast iron cook pots.
  1. People are beginning to ask me what my “partner’s” name is. So I’m either old and/or they think I could possibly be a lesbian. (Though the fun part is when I say his name is Jess. They must get their mind absolutely blown).
  1. I’m actually giving people younger than me advice. And they’re taking it.
  1. I’ve got a plethora friends’ of hen parties and weddings in my calendar.
  1. Turning 25 does now mean that I’ve made it 25 whole years without ever squeezing a spot.
  1. I’ve also learned that people instantly despise you when you say this to them.
  1. I’m wondering what the next form I fill in will be, and shuddering a little at the thought of ticking the 25-29 box.
  1. I’m feeling incredibly equipped for when I receive my ‘invitation’ to my first smear test, as I’ve already had one and am looking forward to explaining this to the clamp-bearing nurse.
  1. A small part of my soul dies every time one of my friends buys a house.
  1. My body has started actually needing herbal tea to function.
  1. The other day I got heartburn for the first time.
  1. I think at 25 I’ll have inched into the next age category in terms of breast cancer prevalence so there’s a little nugget of joy for my anxiety.
  1. People no longer seem to give me a judgey look when I buy pregnancy tests even though in my head I still feel like the stick is basically my audition for a potential appearance on Teen Mom. (FYI I only buy prego tests because I’m super paranoid and check every month just to be sure, not because I’m an idiot that still thinks risking it is cool.)
  1. If I don’t get enough water for like half a day, I seriously wilt like a flower.
  1. It’s becoming harrowingly apparent how far away I am from being the subject of Taylor Swift’s song 22.
  1. Apparently my body can no longer handle the ‘warm up’ cider I used to chug before a night out sponsored by heavy spirits. Mixing drinks ain’t cool no more, says my ever-aging liver.
  1. Chunders are no longer ‘tactical’.
  1. White bread consumption is now a one way ticket to guaranteed bloat.
  1. An exciting week is dictated by things like new accounting software to manage my invoicing.
  1. An intense and wrenching wave of nausea consumes me when I so much as think back to how I handled going out so much at uni.
  1. Things that I thought I’d know by now are still utter mysteries to me. This week I witnessed a conversation that I think was about some form of political unrest in Japan, and I’m ashamed to admit I had literally zero clue what they were talking about, and I just sat there wondering where they ever learned about this stuff.
  1. Everything we want to do is dictated by the two words I hate the most. ANNUAL EFFING LEAVE.

So that’s that. Here’s to another year of me spoiling you with perfectly pointless lists of shit that you probably didn’t want to know.

Over and out,

Coco x