My food journey.

Many of you know if you are on my twitter that I have spoken about giving up dairy earlier this year, I believe it was around May/June. I initially did this for my skin. I was having break out’s I never had before. Growing up even in my teenage and early adult years I had baby smooth skin. A few years ago that started to change and I came to this super frustrated point of being like what gives? My break out’s were never too intense but regardless no one is a fan of dealing with acne whether it is a little issue or a big one. I wanted my skin back. I did some research and I read a lot about people giving up dairy and their skin cleared up. I figured it was worth a try, I knew it would be hard for a few reasons. CHEESE right? Everyone loves cheese (more about that later) Dairy is in EVERYTHING. In so many things that it simply does not even need to be in. We all know the world revolves around money and if money can be made and a product used and it does not matter if it’s healthy for the consumer or not. I mean we all know what is advertised to us at the check out lane at the grocery store right? (candy)

I was not expecting the changes I was about to experience and in a very short amount of time. Within two weeks I had realized my anxiety was gone. I had dealt with intense anxiety for years, sometimes even panic attacks. I thought, this is strange perhaps it is a fluke and I’m going through a good phase. I’m here to tell you my anxiety has never returned. (except one situation which is extremely interesting and will tell you about as well) I do not want to sound super human, there has been times since changing my diet that I felt a little anxious over life changes or a super busy personal time in life etc. But it went away quickly and it did not affect my day, week or month like before.

Some other benefits I have experienced: I’m rarely ever tired (I use to feel tired every day, sluggish, unmotivated) I lost about 5 lbs…dairy is very inflammatory. Think gas, bloating and general rounder look. I have none of that any longer. (I’m TINY to begin with so my goal here was not weight loss but it did happen) My periods are a breeze…I barely realize they are coming and I no longer want to sit in bed for 3 days with intense cramps. I rarely have aches and pains that are unexplained like before. I even have some injuries that I live with from life situations that I now have little to zero pain association with since removing dairy. It just no longer hurts like before. I fall asleep SUPER easy and I STAY asleep. Before I would lay awake and wake frequently. I also wake up more AWAKE in the morning. Instead of feeling slow and sluggish. I use to feel anemic and bruise VERY easy (dairy can induce anemia in people, this is a fact and not something I made up) this would cause my heart to speed up and slow down. I could FEEL this happening. I now can’t tell you the last time I felt this happen. WOW? That alone, is huge. That was not healthy. I feel like a zen monk most days, super chill, lots of patience and little to no intense reactions to life situations.

I experienced all these benefits without even realizing they would occur. Then I recently watched two documentaries on Netflix. “What the Health” and “Game Changers”. They were very eye opening and also validating in my situation as I realized that the people in the documentary had the same life health changes that I did. I recommend if you have any interest at all to take some time to watch those. Also they are science based, include doctors and nutritionists, top athletes who are vegan etc.

To touch on my return of intense anxiety, this happened just last month. I started taking probiotics wanting to make sure my gut bacteria was balanced. I bought a vegetarian type. I feel quite silly now but I did not read the label, it was from a top health food store in the area and I was unaware it would have anything it it, like dairy. I was wrong and within a few days of taking them I had intense anxiety return. I was so confused, my diet was being refined more so every single day. A friend asked me what was in the probiotics, I turned them around and there was dairy. Within a few days of quitting them again I slowly returned to my new no anxiety normal. There has also been a few instances that I went out to eat somewhere, verified with the chef there was not dairy in certain products and I learned soon after from how I reacted that there indeed WAS. I rarely go out to eat now, it is just too troublesome in choosing items I know are safe for me. That sure can take the “fun” out of socializing BUT I have found that how I feel is worth it.

I also want to note that I’m an extremely sensitive person and I’m very in tune with how I feel. Not everyone is aware of their bodies in this manner. I consider myself HSP-which is a term for highly sensitive person and we literally perceive and experience the world differently than others do.

I also want to note that in no way am I writing this to convince anyone to change their diet or to give up foods they are eating. I suggest doing your own research, see a nutritionist, talk to your vegetarian or vegan friends and really just do your own journey with food. I’m writing this blog for me and for the others I’ve had conversations with who have been on a very similar diet journey.

I find the relation between the human brain and what we eat (our gut is considered another brain with how it communicates with our body now with science!) very fascinating and I will continue to explore this and perhaps there is even another level to how amazing I can feel? I’m entirely willing to find out after experiencing all the positive changes in my life since making these choices.

OH and about that cheese comment….it is very similarly addicting just like cocaine. That is where you cheese addiction comes from, it is literally an addiction. (I did not make this up, it is in the “What the Health” documentary)

I also have to thank my horses for spurring me on in exploring how food affects us. I changed all my horses to a grain free no sugar or starch diet about 3 years ago and wow they are so healthy. Many issues I was having with them just gradually disappeared. (Grain is not a natural horse forage food, it is man made convenience) I might sound like a true hippie here, but this hippie feels amazing and like I was given a new lease on life. Therefore I’m stay in my crazy lane because I’m really loving it for myself and others in my life that I take care of.

My most recent change is cutting out eating meat as often as I was. I no longer eat it every day and I use it as a side dish and not a main course. The other day I ate meat twice, albeit in small amounts, and I ended up not feeling well. This situation with changing your diet the less you eat those things maybe your body does not process well the more you can tell when you do eat them how it does not make you feel well. Some of us are so stuck in this cycle of eating so terrible for ourselves we think that how we feel is normal and our body is in a constant state of “this is fine I’m just trying to cope” and until we make a change most of us may not realize it.

If any ladies want to chat diet or any foods you like feel free to message me ANYTIME. I love hearing what works for you and how your food journey has changed your life as well. I have found so many substitutes that make me feel great after I eat, energy and stamina I did not have before.

Once again I’m NOT a nutritionist, doctor or someone advocating to shut down the dairy and meat industry. I hope you all find what works for you, changing your diet can be very tough and a mental battle to start. Make sure you are supporting yourself, speaking with others going through the same thing and even have some cheat days. But if you are like me, you could not pay me to go back to eating dairy.

If you do not agree with this and want to eat whatever you want and think I’m a score card away from being crazy, that is fine. No need to comment or message me. I realize some people are super addicted to their life styles and what they eat, that is fine. You keep doing you, I have no reason to have or convince anyone to change their diets. I’m only worried about myself.

Thank you. Have a great day friends. MV

EDIT: I forgot to touch on sustainability. The way that the meat and dairy industry is ran is very taxing on our environment and on the people that live around these facilities. There is a lot of chemical run off, dead animal bacteria, unhealthy living conditions around these farms. Many of these people are underprivileged and can not afford to move away from these areas. Why do I get to eat bacon while others suffer? Why would I want to eat bacon from these facilities? That feed dead pigs to the other pigs and water run off from the entire situation makes humans near there ill. To me I can not ethically choose to continue to consume selfishly these items. This is a personal choice but one I like to bring up so others are aware this is a very real reality for some to have to live this way and how many factory farms are ran for the mass production of these products.