So, I've never been into vegetarianism or veganism; not even a little bit. On the flip side, I've never judged anyone for being one or the other either; I actually think it's quite admirable. Somewhere deep inside me, I always wished I cared enough that I was eating a cow, pig, or a cat (if you're eating at your favorite neighborhood Chinese joint). The truth of the matter is, I've always been a "meat and potatoes" kind of gal. I love a good steak. Boy oh boy do I REALLY love a good steak (preferably from Ruth's Chris medium style thank you very much!). I also have a sick obsession with milk (yes, I even drink out of the carton), cheese, butter, cream in my coffee; did I mention cheese? Give me a fresh block of any cheese and I can and WILL sit there and just eat it, basically until I get sick, or distracted.
Okay, so what's' the point of this blog? Well, up until recently like I said, I never cared that I was eating a cow, chicken, milk from a cows "boob," a chicken fetus (egg), etc. Why do I care now? Well, it's not so much the fact that I'm eating animal product, it's been irking me about the treatment of these animals and the steroids/chemicals/magic potions that caught my attention. Ya see, the more I know the more I obsess and for those of you who know me, I want to know everything about everything. Although I do still close my eyes and plug my ears during a killing scene of a horror flick (THAT is not something I want to know about!). Even when the animal cruelty commercials come on, sometimes I just change the channel. Maybe I'm too sensitive. I don't know. However, I decided it's time to put on my big girl panties (if that's what you wanna call them) and get to the root of the evil that has taken over our food industry.
This also all started because I have a burning desire to eat much more vegetables than I have in the past. My body (especially during this pregnancy) has been feeling awfully sluggish, which in turn has made me take a microscopic view at my own eating habits. I have always known that food has this superpower of contributing to ailments, disease, symptoms, emotions, etc. But to be honest, I've always been one of those people who thinks (yeah, that can't happen to me). WRONG, SISTA! So, I set out on a curiosity journey and began asking people I know who are vegans, raw foodists, etc. for recommendations on some worthwhile reading materials. In comes Crazy Sexy Diet by the uber fabulous Kris Carr. Okay, so you know I mentioned this book in an earlier posting, so it should come as no surprise that this is what's really revving up my veggie engine. Below I will talk about dairy, how it effects us, gross facts, cellulite, and alternatives that I currently follow.
It must be noted that while I am in the process of changing my lifestyle, I am not a full blown vegetarian, vegan, raw foodist, etc. I am slowly but surely eliminating dairy out of my life, but I still allow some.
So, what about milk and dairy?
More likely than not, milk comes from cows that have been injected with genetically engineered growth hormones.
"The only time milk is essential for good health is when we are babies, being breast fed by human mothers." Why? Breast milk is rich in DHA which is for brain development; but relatively low in protein.
Head scratcher: "Cows milk contains more than 3x's more protein as breast milk. Well, that's because cows need a lot more due to the fact that they grow to be 1500-2000 POUNDS!"
While protein in human milk is designed for human bodies, much of the protein from cow milk can't be digested by humans (a-ha!).
It's been found that the protein that consistently promotes and creates cancer is casein, which just so happens to make up 87% of the protein in cows milk.
Allergies, eczema, asthma, arthritis, inflammation, and zits can all be linked to dairy. What about skim or non-fat you ask? Yes, they're just as bad.
Belly pain, gas, bloating? Well, may be good reason! According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, around 75% of the worlds adults can NOT digest milk (meaning they're lactose intolerant).
Now for the real GROSS!
Just incase you need some added incentive to cut dairy: As a result of the milking process, cows often have mastitis (an infection of the udder), making their milk full of white blood cells, aka PUS. Yes, I said PUS. This means that milk based foods, such as butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, all sorts of hard cheeses, and so on, are often also filled with PUS.
Okay, okay so what about Calcium, right?
Well, what's most important is how much calcium we KEEP from what we eat. Two other nutrients that particularly affect how much calcium we hold on to are protein and sodium. The more of those two that we eat (which is a LOT due to the Standard American Diet) then the more calcium we urinate out. Useless!
The other side of the equation is calcium absorption which is better absorbed when eaten with Vitamin C, (Helloooooooooooo Lemons!).
Good plant sources of calcium: Dark green veggies like broccoli, kale (my fav), collard greens; along with nuts and seed like almonds, flaxseeds, etc.
HELLO EXERCISE! Your bones don't thrive on calcium alone, YOU my dear need to pick up the weights! Yes, hit the gym and lift HEAVY. You can also enjoy walking, jogging, dancing, and the stairs. Sorry, swimming or biking wont count.
Some ingredients that are dairy based:
1. Whey (Yes, WHEY PROTEIN POWDER)
2. Casein (Yes, CASEIN PROTEIN POWDER)
Some argue that raw dairy is much healthier than milk that has been pasteurized. Well, lactose is lactose and pus is pus, according to guru Kris Carr!
There's one saying that I use a lot when it comes to food and that is: Eat breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess, and dinner like a pauper. Meaning, your biggest meal should be breakfast :) Well, the same holds true for types of foods.
For example, meat (I will be covering meat and protein NEXT!) and dairy are the supporting cast, grains are the costars, and veggies are the center stage DIVAS! Yes, animal products should be used as a side dish or a condiment (if eaten at all). This very small and inexpensive change will rock your world, up your lifespan, and vanquish the scariest C of all; CELLULITE!!!!! AH!!!! Cellulite is formed because of fluid retention and the accumulation of waste products and toxins in the body. Yes, from FOOD!
*****Now, my simple swaps that I have been working with*****
1. Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
2. VEGA protein powder
3. Earth Balance (Buttery spread)
*I will post my reviews of these products and why I love them so much!*