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?
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.