Hello Dairy! …after 3 YEARS of being dairy free!

Okay, I have a ‘Dairy Joke’ for you. 

Q:  What did the mom cow say to the baby cow?
A:  It’s pasture bedtime!!
I know, you’ve never heard me tell a Dairy Joke, and that’s because for the past few years I haven’t been able to smile about anything ‘dairy’ at all! Three years ago I went ‘dairy free’ to help heal some digestive issues. I also suffered with daily tummy aches and frequent bloating. So, cheese has not been a big part of my life lately. 

But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, my childhood nickname was actually “CHEESE!” and I used to LOVE the stuff! I loved all things cheese… mac & cheese, mozzarella sticks, string cheese, sprinkle cheese, cheese pizza, cheese balls, cheetos, cheese flavored popcorn, nacho cheese gold fish… the list goes on and on! Oh, and I also smiled a lot and whenever my mom took the camera out, I would flash my pearly whites and shout, “CHEEEESE!”
On Instagram I shared how I’ve been going through a variety of changes in my life. And this is just one of many. 
Over the past few months I’ve found myself incredibly dissatisfied around food. I’ve felt like I’m always hungry. I’d come home from work ravenous even though I had eaten enough throughout the day. I secretly referred to myself as a “salad savage”… it wasn’t pretty. Because the food I was eating (mostly veggies) was so low-calorie, I would eat MASSIVE bowls of salad to the point where I was stuffed but not satisfied.
I realized that I while prided myself on intuitive eating and balance, in reality I wasn’t actually listening to my body. I was eating the exact same things every single day! Hardly any variety at all. I soon found myself literally craving yogurt (which is an odd thing to crave when you haven’t eaten it in years). 
I started slowly. I knew my body wasn’t used to breaking down dairy, so I made sure to start taking probiotics and prebiotics. The first few days I added a couple scoops of Greek yogurt to my oats and that was it. I spoke with a Functional Medicine doctor and she explained how I should go about slowly reintroducing dairy products. One word- FETA. It’s a great place to start. It’s gentle and delicious! I’ve been loving in on top of my salads or mixed into scrambled eggs.
Honestly, dairy is even better than I remember!! I physically feel SO much better with dairy back in my life. Over these past few weeks I’ve noticed a HUGE change in overall satisfaction regarding food. I’m shocked at how well my body has responded and I’m really excited about it!
My diet has had a label for 5 years now (starting with gluten free) and it has worked for me. Following a restricted diet has truly helped and healed my body of various ailments, but right now I’m embracing adding foods back in (rather than taking them away) and I enjoy seeing how my body responds. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, smile and say, “CHEEEESE!”


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