Dairy-free. That’s me! And, I will tell you why. I grew up with asthma. From the time I was two years old, I was prescribed medications for my asthma. By the time I was in fourth grade, I could expect a horrific asthma attack every fall. There was even one instance in which my mother rushed me to the emergency room because my lips were turning blue because I could not breath. I spent time in the ICU and subsequent days in the hospital and later recovered at home. I definitely could not play any soccer that fall. Due to that hospital episode, my medications were increased and I was even instructed to get twice a week allergy shots. All of this did alleviate some stress on my lungs but it did not alleviate all my stress and also came with side effects.
Long story short, when I was in college at Texas A&M University, I started reading about nutrition in my spare time. I like the idea of being able to be free. At that time in my life, I was not free. I was held captive by the medication I was on and asthma. Towards the end of my college years I decided to cut dairy out for two whole weeks. I wanted to see what would happen, and I really had nothing to lose. I cut out yogurt, milk, cheese, and anything with any sort of dairy artifacts within it. I cut dairy out completely.
Well, that experiment just so happened to be one giant step into a greater quality of life. I have not looked back. Two weeks turned into four. Four turned into a year, and I have not added dairy back into my diet. For a better part of the decade, I’ve been dairy-free. I do not have trouble breathing, nor do I wake up with a runny nose or experience ‘allergies,’ and I don’t even have that dreaded time of the year anymore.
Some of you might be thinking about what I could possibly do to control my asthma. The answer is that food is my medicine. By cutting out dairy and grains (gluten) I’ve cut out 98% of my asthmatic triggers. I also get adjusted regularly so that nerve function from my spine to my lungs is optimal. And, I also get acupuncture once a month. I’m proactive in my health.
I’m writing this post for many reasons. One is to share my personal experience with you. The other is to reveal the big misconception that our country has in regards to dairy.
Issues I have with dairy…
- Each mammal’s milk supply is produced with their specific offspring in mind. The goal of that mammal, cow or goat for example, is to help their young flourish just as it is our goal with our young. The milk supply of a cow has specific antibodies, nutrients, enzymes, hormones, etc. designed specifically for a calf. Our human milk is designed specifically for our newborns.
- Milk contains lactose. Conventional milk does not contain the enzymes to aid in the breakdown of lactose. This can interfere with hormone regulation and even contribute to diabetes.
- Milk contains proteins that create a cascade of allergen responses. Casein can enhance mucus production and make exiting mucus thicker. Whey is another protein in milk that has the potential to cross react with gluten especially if one is already sensitive to gluten and lactose.
So you get my concern with dairy, but what about the calcium…?
Salmon or Sardines
The conventional dairy in our country is pretty much leached of all nutritional value. There are countries in which people never consume milk past infancy and do not have osteoporosis as a concern. For example, Finland, Sweden, and the US all have high rates of dairy consumption, and all of those countries have the highest rates of osteoporosis. Milk does not do all bodies good.
If you are experiencing allergy or asthma troubles, digestive issues, and/or even skin issues, then I urge you to cut out all dairy for a month. Be strict for one month. You have nothing to lose. If after a month you want to add dairy back in, then by all means do so, but do it smart. Add in ghee first, and then maybe goat’s unpasteurized milk. Do one at a time for a few days and see how your body reacts. Headaches, mood swings, bloating, digestive issues, skin conditions, and more are all in appropriate reactions. These symptoms are letting you know that your body does not appreciate dairy and functions better without it. Everyone is different. There is so much individuality in response to gluten and dairy. You have to figure out what works with you and your body.
Advanced (65#), Intermediate( 45#), Beginner (35#)
100 Double Unders (Options: Step ups, Lunges)
50 Air squats
25 Shoulder to Overhead (Options: barbell, KB, DB, PVC)