Back in college, before we were married and even I think before we were dating, I, totally on my own (not coerced in any way by my then-girlfriend / future wife) decided to try giving up dairy.
I read a book about how cow milk was unnatural for humans, and having had parents who both grew up on dairy farms, literally born and raised in the business of churning out bovine milk for human consumption, and having drank at least three glasses a day of milk for most of my natural life (powdered or otherwise), I was fascinated with the idea that perhaps I shouldn’t be drinking all that cow-stuff after all. Maybe that was the source of all my unhappiness and problems in life. Maybe giving up cows milk would be life-altering!
Well it was life-altering, in that the milk alternatives out there for people suck (at the time anyway). I tried them all:
Rice Milk – Super sweet, tastes weird, not at all like milk. Kinda bearable on cereal, but again too sweet to eat early in the morning, and impossible to drink. And this was the least offensive option. Also it creeped me out that it says it didn’t need to be refrigerated.
Soy Milk – Oblivious to the massive and well-known issues with modern soy (GMO, Monsanto, Female Sexual Hormones, etc.) I drank an awful lot of the stuff in an attempt to replace milk in my life. I think I actually tried this first before the rice milk. It was just nasty.
There may have been a third option but I can’t remember, probably I suppressed the memories because they were so horrible. I really missed normal milk. I had finally settled on Almond Flavored Rice Milk (I think it was called ‘Nice Milk’ but it wasn’t all that nice…or milky) but eventually threw in the towel.
Interestingly, during the experiment I lost exactly two pounds from my roaming daily average weight. And when I went back to milk, I gained exactly those two pounds back. Otherwise there were no health effects for me, for better or for ill, in giving up cows milk.
Except for the ill of not being able to enjoy life anymore.
I figured if the price of drinking milk was being two pounds heavier for the rest of my life, it’s a price I was willing to pay, kind of like with the gluten thing. Life’s too short and all that.
Now it turns out that with my protein and fats metabolism, I actually thrive on dairy. My wife intentionally adds milk and cream (we don’t have access to raw but we are able to get non-homogenized and pasteurized at low-temp milk form grass fed cows) to dishes in order for me to be able to digest them better! I even turn all of my ice cream into milkshakes. I put it in a cup with milk, stir it up, ‘been doing it that way since I was a kid. I can’t eat straight ice cream without milk on top (to dilute it) otherwise my stomach feels bad.
Yes, you read correctly: I add dairy to make dairy more digestible.
Don’t judge me.
But some people don’t have a choice, and for you, there is help: Go Dairy Free – The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living
NEXT WEEK, ON THE CRUNCHY DUNGEON: