It's been 6 months since I wrote my post about quitting dairy. It feels like a long time ago, but yep, only 6 months.
Even though I wanted to be completely dairy free by now, I'm still not. My biggest struggle has been replacing butter; I don't like butter substitutes because while butter isn't the healthiest substance in the world, it's void of hydrogenated oils, which are actually worse for you than trans fat. As well, coconut oil, the preferred vegan cooking replacement, is hydrogenated and actually 82% saturated fat; one tablespoon is 11 grams of saturated fat, and the limit suggested by the American Heart Association is 12g of saturated fat per day. (To read more about how fitness blogs and fake health experts have mislead most of the public about coconut oil, click here.)
The other preferred substitute are basically margarine, most of which contain soy. One brand makes a soy-free version that I would describe as being like eating solid oil. It's not good.
I've started using olive oil again in cooking (ugh, the most expensive mistress!) and most of the week I use avocado or peanut butter on my toast. But every Sunday, I treat myself to buttered toast (my favorite food in the entire world).
I haven't had milk in my coffee, not even from Starbucks or Dutch Bros, since around October. That's been a big one for me; I love a creamy Starbucks frappucino and i really worried that the almond milk version wouldn't be as good. But gosh, I was wrong. (Also, Starbucks had a toasted toffee almond milk hot chocolate at Christmas that was truly heavenly.)
The big question I get is, has quitting dairy helped my skin at all? As I wrote in my blog post on my acne journey, I saw a lot of good results with jojoba oil. (I have noticed a lot of texture on my face recently from my super simplified skin routine, so I've added an extra exfoliation during the week; just something to remember if you want to try jojoba oil!) I still get a little bit of acne related to my cycle, but nothing like I used to experience.
I've also noticed that if I eat something with dairy (like cheese or a lot of sour cream), I tend to break out almost immediately. Like, within hours. Obviously, this is only anecdotal, but it has definitely scared me from "treating myself." (A few times, I've run out of almond milk and had to use Forrest's 2% milk in my coffee; I regretted it every time!)
It gets easier to go without dairy as time goes on. I don't miss cheese and milk as much as I thought I would; finding replacements for things (like sour cream) has been pretty exciting. I do occasionally still have a yogurt, as I find it doesn't aggravate my skin as bad as other dairy products.
I'm really happy with my decision to quit dairy. I'm going to give it a full year before I decide if it's something I want to do for the rest of my life, or just try to limit for the time being.