When I was in Beijing, I had almost no dairy. There was some milk available for coffee at the hotel, but after that there was nothing. Nothing with cheese on any menu I ever found. No cream sauces. I doubt they used butter to cook with. I think that’s why real Chinese food has the wrap that you are hungry a half hour after you eat – because there isn’t that dairy to give you an inflated sense of feeling weighed down.
And I did experience the “hungry half hour later” thing. After a meal, there was usually a brief period of hunger followed by several hours of feeling very sated. And the nice thing was, I never got tired after I ate. I’m used to crashing after meals in the U.S. But in Beijing, we would eat and I would be ready to start off on my next round of adventures.
The other big shift is that when I got home, everyone commented that my skin looked so much better. If I felt my skin, then yes, it felt softer and smoother – but mildly so. I never would have guessed that it would have been that noticeable, but it was Rodrigo’s first comment when he saw me. I attributed it to the dairy after reading an article about Woody Harrelson’s skin and dairy issues: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/23/woody-harrelsons-vegan-ac_n_295765.html
The odd thing about having had next to no dairy for a week is that I realized I didn’t miss it. If the trade-off is that I have more energy, my skin is healthier, and I generally feel lighter and happier, well that seems like a no-brainer to me. So I’ve decided to minimize dairy as much as possible. I’m not going to say “never again”, because that usually just means I can’t stick with it. And it turns out it’s not as difficult as I originally thought.
My first fallen moment came when we had someone over for wine and cheese. I got a fancy cheese to share. I couldn’t resist a farmhouse cheddar. And once I had a little bit, I went back a few more times. The next morning I woke up with a headache and a head full of phlegm.
I always find it so odd that when I give up some unhealthy eating habits and then go back to them, what a gargantuan crash I have. Was it always this bad when I had dairy and I just never noticed? Or was body used to all the extra phlegm and coped with it better?
So dairy has been greatly reduced in my life with an end goal of getting rid of it entirely. After only a few days, I have so much more energy. Chronic sinus discomfort or pain? Gone.
If you have dairy now, just try going one week with as little dairy as you can muster. I think you’ll be surprised that you won’t miss it and the benefits are tremendous.