Sunday, February 8, 2009

On the 7th day

7 days since I what can I tell you? First, it wasn't as hard as I expect. Mentally that is. I never really craved anything. In fact, I noticed by the 3rd or 4th day that I had not craved rich, decadent sweets the way I usually do. (I won't even talk about treats that taunted me earlier today at the coffee shop) Out of sight, out of mind is helpful, but seeing thing...oh man, I even had to lay off some of my usual food blogs and communities cause everyone was posting desserts for Valentines day and all kinds of stuff I can't enjoy right now.

So, what are the things I've noticed most? My morning appetite...I'm still shocked. When my feet hit the floor in the morning, I am ready to eat. Before this week, I have spent most of my life unable to even THINK about food for at least an hour or two. Some mornings, I can barely brush my teeth. It's an odd feeling to try and's like my gag reflex is set on high and even trying to drink water first thing in the morning is hard. Not anymore. This week I alternated between my favorite Kashi cereals, fruit smoothies with silken tofu and eggs and toast. I usually have some fruit if I'm not having a smoothie. I do better with lots of protein early on.

Now something happened yesterday and I'm still not sure if it was a fluke or an actual reaction. I'm going to go another week and do another test next weekend to see if I get the same results. Went to grab a bite of lunch with some friends yesterday...wasn't planned so I wasn't prepared for dealing with dining out. They picked a pizza place close by, but I knew it had other things. To be honest, I was not in the mood for salad...I've eaten a lot of it this week and their prices were a bit high. I decided to risk it and have a sub w/out the cheese...I figured the dairy (if any) in the bread would be minimal...but I knew the chances of cross contamination in a pizza place would be high. I had been feeling fine all day, woke up early and had lots of energy. Came home after we ate and took a nap for about an hour or so. When I woke up, I was itchy, sneezy, had a runny nose and felt like I had a cold. It was so strange. I took my allergy meds, but continued to itch, sneeze and drip. I felt weak and wasn't quite flu-like, but a milder version. Took it easy the rest of the evening, felt SUPER sleepy very early despite my nap and went to bed. I feel asleep feeling almost as if I was about to run a fever, but never did. Woke up the morning and have felt fine all day.

Fluke? No clue. Like I said, I'm going to experiment next week. It was the body itch that really made me wonder though...could 6 days of detox cause such a reaction? I'm not sure, but I'm going to find out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


It's only day 3 and I'm not going to write much, but I did want to mention that things are already happening. Good things and bad. I've always been a bad news first type of gal, so here it is...and it's kind of gross. Mucus. So far it's just a runny nose. I have sinus issues and take Zyrtec daily to help control my allergies. Normally, it's the opposite...congestion. But today the faucet turned on and won't stop. Hmm.

The good news and a bit more scalp is already clearing up. I don't expect an immediate improvement in my skin for a few weeks at the least, but the red splotches that usually cover my scalp are going fact, there are areas that are completely clear. It's freaking me out but in a good way.

I've read some reports that claim detoxing from dairy makes them feel really bad, some even report no energy, flu like symptoms and the Great Mucus Escape. It may happen, but I did wake up a lot earlier than usual this morning ready to get out of bed...and that rarely happens.

Maybe it's psychological, I don't know...I hope it continues.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


People, let me tell you something...dairy is EVERYWHERE. I'm almost convinced that it's hiding under my bed. You probably already know this, but as a newbie I've discovered it sneaking all over the place. Who knew dairy was such a stalker?

So yesterday, Day 1, I was proud of myself. Nay, I was downright SMUG. Yeah, from just one day...I know, but hey...I'm like that. Don't worry though, I got knocked down a few rungs after discovering that my soy yogurt AND my veggie burger both had milk products lurking in them. Now, they were probably minimal and compared to eating a bowl of ice cream or eating half a ton of homemade mac n' cheese, it was nothing. BUT STILL. Did I mention this stuff is a stalker?

So I've become more vigilant...I'm not only reading labels, but I'm brushing up on symbols and extra-secret hidden ingredients. Luckily, a law was passed in 2007 (I could be wrong) that requires labels to include the top 8 allergens on product packaging. It's usually very clear, which makes things easier. Plus there are the D and U symbols which are equally helpful.

I didn't really want to do a huge grocery shopping trip till the weekend, but I kind of had too today since the cupboards were pretty bare. Gone are the days that I could breeze in and out...nope, I'm reading and reading and reading. And I'm frustrated. I just wanted some convenient frozen veggie mixes for quick lunches and dinners...and they all had milk product in them. A good friend did point out that generic Pop-Tarts and generic brownie mixes don't contain dairy...I didn't buy either, but at this point they may be the only two packed food items that are safe.

I'm hoping my big trip to the Natural Foods Warehouse and a local co-op place will wield better results. Stay tuned.

Oh and tell me some of your favorite packaged products that are common, but DF.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Cheese Stands Alone

Well hello there. Welcome to the Dairy Free Diaries. This blog will document my journey as I attempt to remove my most favorite of food groups. To be honest, I'm a little bit (ok, a LOT) nervous about this change. Dairy products have always been a part of my life and although I never really thought becoming dairy free was something I would entertain, I have finally realized that if I want to see certain changes in my body, this is the first step.

First, let me introduce myself. I'm Jen...and I'm beyond a shadow of doubt a DAIRY-HOLIC. I'm 32 years old and considered by medical standards "morbidly obese". To look at me, you may not think that...sure, I'm heavy...but when I think of morbidly obese, visions of people that are barely able to move rush into my head. I don't have this problem, but I DO have plenty of other problems that are associated with being extremely overweight. This is something I plan to attack, but first things first. Why am I quitting dairy?

The best answer I can come up with is vanity. Unlike people who suffer severe allergies to foods, I am not really allergic to dairy. I do believe that I am dairy-sensitive. My theory is that dairy is the culprit for my myriad of skin problems...and this is my stepping stone for a dairy free life.

I have always suffered from severe cystic acne. As a teenager, I was treated by a dermatologist for years and tried every cream and oral medication out there. Nothing worked. As I've gotten older and my weight has increase, my skin has gotten worse and I've developed PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome). I am losing my hair, I have horrible skin, I have horribly unwanted and embarrassing facial hair that even laser hair removal has not been able to help. Yep, I'm spilling it all here people. My scalp is covered in red splotches and gross little scabs that are more and more apparent as my hair gets thinner each day. It's no fun and I can't tell you how low my self-esteem is when it comes to both my face and body.

What I'm finally coming to realize is that nothing is going to change until I do. There is no magic fast-forward button that I can press that will skip the hard parts of reaching my goals. Like many people, I just want the magic pill...the quick fix, but it ain't gonna happen. So this, my dear reader, is the beginning.

I hope you will check back in with now and then to see how things are going. I plan to include video posts, recipes, product reviews and who knows what warned, I will probably make a lot of "cheesy" jokes as well. *crickets*