When the Biggest Cheese Lover Gives Up Dairy for Two Weeks

I’ve been wanting to give up dairy ever since I read this article, but I never had the courage. Cheese is my favorite food. I put sour cream on everything. A bowl of ice cream a day keeps the doctor away (that is the saying, right?). But today, the dairy turned on me. I made myself an egg and too-much cheese quesadilla drenched in sour cream, and my body said “enough.” I spent the next couple of hours laying in bed, rubbing my bloated tummy and feeling exhausted and disgusting. Also, my skin broke out the next morning. Coincidence or not, I decided it was time for an experiment. Two weeks, including FINALS WEEK, completely dairy free. Pray for me.

Day 1:

I started my first morning of dairy-free life using almond milk for my morning tea. I had to opt for a bagel with PB and banana instead my usual pound of cream cheese. For lunch I had Mexican quinoa with corn and beans, and for dinner I had pad thai. Yay! I got this!

Day 2:

Holy shit this is hard. All I want is mac and cheese. Or a slice of Swiss. Or cream cheese. Or sour cream. Or all of them at once. But I didn’t quit cross country in middle school even though I came in dead last during every race, so I am not going to quit this either! 


Day 3:

I knew I loved dairy, but I truly had no idea how addicted I was. Today I am cranky and emotional and irrational and eating my feelings in sushi.

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Day 4:

I feel better today! Still craving dairy, but less than yesterday. After surviving the past few days, I feel like I can make it through anything (well except giving up carbs, because NOPE). For breakfast I had oatmeal, for lunch a sandwich with dairy-free cheese (which isn’t the best thing in the world but when you sneak it into a loaded sandwich it does the trick), and for dinner I cooked up some spaghetti with homemade bolognese. I passed on the parm and didn’t even miss it.

Day 7:

Week one is in the books! It took about 4 days, but I finally feel really good. Prior to giving up dairy, I never really noticed if I was bloated or not. But now I feel like a skinny mini. So far, the hardest part about going dairy-free is when you are hungry and lazy. Quick and easy meals (grilled cheese, mac and cheese, leftover pizza… ya know, the things that make life worth living) are all loaded with dairy. Tonight I am going to eat an entire pint of dairy-free ice cream and no one can stop me. Look at all the ice cream my mom surprised me with, she is the best!

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Day 9:

I just realized I haven’t been writing about my skin, which means I haven’t been thinking about my skin, which is absolutely absurd because I usually am always thinking about my skin. I have been struggling with acne since elementary school. Yes, it is possible to have acne in the 5th grade and yes, I was teased relentlessly for it. It has subsided thanks to multiple trips to the dermatologist, but it still flares up. Right now, my zits are nbd. They are not completely gone, but they are seriously improved. After just 9 days, that is enough of a reason for me to continue this dairy-free lifestyle for as long as I can. Coincidence? I think NOT. 

Day 1 vs Day 9. Granted in the second picture I had some light makeup on, but my pimples are still either completely gone or less irritated.

Day 11:

Today I was on campus all day and had to buy breakfast and lunch, which posed my biggest challenge yet. I was faced with buffalo mac and cheese and had to turn it down for a fruit cup. That might be the saddest sentence I’ve ever written. Unless I wanted to eat a salad (I hate salads and refuse to eat them), my options were super limited. I commute to school, buy my own groceries, and cook my own meals. Therefore, my only obstacle in going dairy-free was my willpower and undying love for sour cream. But for most college students who rely on dining halls or on campus cafés, I can’t image how difficult it must be to eat dairy-free. You have my utmost respect.

Day 13:

Someone told me I was glowing today. GLOWING. And I didn’t even wear highlighter.

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NEW HAIRCUT AND NO FOUNDATION, WHO DIS?!?!

Day 14:

I did it! On my last day of being dairy-free, I celebrated by eating dairy. Yes, you read that right. I am super proud of myself and learned a lot about my diet, but cutting dairy out of my life cold turkey is just not something that is practical for me. I love mozz sticks and cheeseburgers and life is too short to deny myself of what makes me happy. But after my two weeks of being dairy-free, I am definitely going to be more mindful of my dairy intake because I really do feel fantastic. I no longer have a cheese addiction, and I feel liberated, proud, and healthy. But for now, I’m off to get some pizza!

 

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