You guys know that I went vegan for moral reasons and not health reasons, but there are some seriously awesome health benefits to being vegan. In this case, I’m talking specifically about going dairy-free which is not specific to being vegan. I’ve talked to other people who have chosen a dairy-free lifestyle and they all agree that it just heals their bodies. My experience is no different. There are four health issues I had struggled with my whole life until I quit using dairy in my food: terrible acne, painful bloating, being overweight, and having weak bones. Cutting dairy out of my diet ended up being a total game changer!
I struggled with acne from a very young age. No matter what I did, it just wouldn’t go away. I used more acne treatments than I can remember and every time it was a waste of money. In the off chance my acne started to heal and vanish, it would just come back the next day. This went on into adulthood. When I quit consuming dairy I wasn’t using any acne medications or face wash at the time (it got expensive and I wasn’t seeing any change) so I was surprised when my face started clearing up on its own. I haven’t had dairy in over a year and my face has stayed free of acne except for the occasional single pimple every couple of months.
Bloating is just a fact of life, no matter how healthy you eat. I mean, I eat an entirely plant based diet and I still bloat after a meal from time to time. But since I quit dairy the bloating has been considerably less of a problem and it’s been much more manageable. When babies reach the age when they quit needing their mother’s milk, they naturally start losing the enzyme lactase. The whole purpose of lactase is to break down the sugar in milk, lactose. So as we get older we have a harder time breaking down the sugar in dairy (this is why everyone is at least slightly lactose intolerant). If lactose travels through your body it can pull water into your gut which is what causes gas and bloating. So, easy way to decrease bloating? Go dairy-free.
As a naturally curvy gal, I used to always have people judging me for my weight which led to me having a really low opinion of myself. I had a pretty healthy vegetarian diet before I went vegan/dairy-free, but I was still a little overweight. I know a lot of people choose veganism for health reasons and even though my reasoning was purely moral, I was still interested to see where my health would be a year later. Well here we are over a year later and while I’m still curvy (and always will be), I am finally at a healthy weight and I feel confident for the first time in my life.
Okay so this is probably the most shocking part. When I gave up milk and all other dairy products, my bones got stronger. We grow up our whole lives believing that we need the calcium in milk. Honestly though? We can get more calcium from plant-based sources than we ever could from dairy. Also, milk can actually increase your risk of getting osteoporosis! I don’t lift weights or anything like that, but I definitely have way more strength than I ever did before I gave up dairy.
If you struggle with any of these health issues, I highly suggest a dairy-free diet! Try it for a couple weeks first and feel the difference. Your body will totally thank you. If you’ve already adopted a dairy-free lifestyle, I’d love to know in the comments what kind of awesome changes you’ve experienced. 🙂