Eggnog, ice cream, milk, cheese…these are a few of my favorite things. But that doesn’t mean that my skin or stomach feels the same way. Dairy can wreak havoc on your skin and digestive system. So how do we include the foods we like and not feel miserable in the process? Easy, we’ll provide some delicious alternatives that taste like the real thing (if not better.)
Let’s start with the largest organ of our body – the skin. The reason that dairy products can spell trouble for your skin is that milk contains components related to the hormone testosterone that may stimulate oil glands in the skin, setting the stage for acne. If you’re not sure that dairy is the culprit of your skin issues, there’s only one way to find out. Eliminate all (or most) dairy from your diet for at least six weeks and see how your skin fares. If it improves – bingo! You can then choose to slowly reintroduce a bit at a time or you can stay away from it completely. Since dairy is an important source of calcium and vitamin D, make sure to replace the ,calcium that you would normally get from dairy by eating other foods such as calcium-rich leafy greens, broccoli, and sardines.
Milk does a body good…or does it? Many people can eat dairy with no gastrointestinal issues at all. Lucky them! For the rest of us, consuming dairy can trigger diarrhea, bloating, and gas – no fun there. If this sounds familiar, you likely are lacking an enzyme that digests lactose (a sugar in milk and other forms of dairy.) Lactose intolerance happens when your small intestine does not make enough of a digestive enzyme called lactase. Lactase is what breaks down the lactose in food so your body can absorb it. The good news is – there are options. You can try eating very small amounts of dairy at a time. You can also take lactase enzyme tablets right before a meal containing dairy. Or, you can eliminate dairy completely.
There are many dairy alternatives that actually taste really good! I’ve tried them, so trust me. The most popular milk alternatives are almond, soy, rice, oat, coconut, cashew, and even pea milk! Here are my favorites:
- ,,Vanilla Almond Milk (comes in a low-sugar option)
- ,,Cashew Milk Ice Cream (the Snickerdoodle is UH-MAZING)
- ,,Soy Nog (who says you can’t indulge this holiday season?)
- ,,Dairy-Free Cheese (it melts and stretches like real cheese)
- My favorite recent discovery is these ,,Arrae Bloat Pills. They are a completely natural digestive enzyme made up of five clean ingredients and they WORK. Take them after an indulgent meal, (we’re looking at you DAIRY), and your stomach will thank you.
You can still partake in your favorite foods this holiday season, and beyond. Whether it means eliminating dairy completely, eating it in small doses, OR trying some alternatives, we hope you find what works for you!