30 Day Dairy-Free Experiment

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Since the beginning of January 2012, my thinking about nutrition has been greatly influenced by the principles of the Paleo/Primal/WAPF/Bulletproof movement. I didn’t follow any of these concepts specifically but more or less mixed them all together in one bag and picked the dietary guidelines I could stick to most easily and which gave me the best health and performance outcomes. This resulted in a personalised diet which suited my needs and wants.

God's Greatest Invention?

God must have really liked humans on the day when butter was invented

What is most common among these movements (except the WAPF approach) is that dairy products are to be excluded for the most part. The reasoning applies to those individuals who can’t tolerate the proteins found in dairy (lactose, casein etc) or if the dairy is of inferior quality (i.e. pasteurised/homogenised skimmed milk from grain-fed, hormone-injected mammals). Many will argue that dairy wasn’t consumed by humans during our evolutionary past and that no other mammal drinks the milk of different mammal.

Personally, I think there is a flawed logic to it. Hunter gatherers in the past would kill a mammal for the meat, organs and bones but wouldn’t consume the milk of a lactating mammal? Nonsense! We probably consumed dairy for a long long time and have adapted to it quite well.

Furthermore, I can tolerate lactose and have had an amazing resource for raw full-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows back in Germany. And to be honest, my culinary life wouldn’t be as enjoyable if I intentionally gave up the taste of butter, cheese, milk and yoghurt.

However, ever since moving to Vancouver, BC I had to discover that high-quality dairy is hopelessly overpriced for me to able to enjoy it to the extent that I am used to. Therefore, much to my regret, but also to see how my body reacts: I will not be consuming dairy for an initial 30-day period. Furthermore, since it is unlikely that the dairy prices in Vancouver will have plummeted by the end of my experiment, judging by my body’s reaction, I will likely continue being dairy-free till the end of my in mid-December.

The 2 Exceptions

Pricey Exception

There will be two dairy exceptions in this experiment. Butter & Whey Protein Concentrate. The price for butter is horrendous here but still I like the taste too much to simply abandon it. Pretty much every food you put butter on tastes will taste better because of it. No arguing, please. The Whey Protein will be used around workouts mostly but still I wouldn’t want to go without considering how time-efficient a protein shake is.

 

What Outcomes Do I Hope For?

I don’t exactly know what I hope to get out of omitting dairy in terms of improved health. Usually, my opinion is that the health benefits of high-quality raw dairy products far outweigh the potential risks. However, as with all good things: I think that my body could benefit from an occasional dairy-free period. While I tolerate lactose, maybe there are proteins in dairy that my body doesn’t handle well. The experiment will show when I re-introduce dairy again.

With that said, I actually hope that my skin appearance will become better. Ever since I was 18 years old, I have kind of always struggled with occasional pimples on my face and on my quad muscles. I would like to get rid of them for obvious reasons. Dairy may be the problem but it might be that I am barking up the wrong tree. As for the two exceptions, both butter and whey protein concentrate are fairly low in lactose and therefore I don’t anticipate any problems with that. We shall see!

 

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