Health, sustainable living

How I Became An Accidental Vegan (Part 2)

Losing ice cream and cheese was much more heartbreaking. I used to be a pint of ice cream for dinner kinda gal, the kind of woman who got a large queso with her small margarita, the kind of girl that every modern day stereotype describes. But then I started to experience the painful effects of lactose intolerance. I would get horrible intestinal pains about 2 hours after eating dairy and the next day my face would be broken out and I’d look like I gained 10 pounds from being bloated.

After working hard for years to not get educated or believe that this was my issue, I lived in painful, blissful ignorance as to why I was feeling sick all the time. After deciding I was no longer at the age where abusing my body on a daily basis was acceptable, I decided to cut out dairy all together.

I’m obligated to throw a small snippet in here about animal rights. Have you ever thought about how the dairy industry makes cows perpetually produce milk? Animals only produce milk when they are feeding their young, which means they have to keep the cows super hopped up on hormones or perpetually pregnant for their whole lives. Maybe I’m being a tad anthropomorphic (woah, vocab word) over here but imagine being pregnant for virtually your whole life… how awful. In an effort to avoid being too ranty, just do a quick Google search and find out for yourself.

From a health perspective though dairy products are not good for you. Humans are the only species of animal that drink the milk of another animal. I can’t help but think of what weird thing the first person who discovered drinking cows milk was doing…

When we stop to think about the original intention of cows milk, it is supposed to make a baby cow grow big and strong quickly so it doesn’t get eaten by predators. That means it’s naturally filled with sugar, fat, protein, and growth hormone to do exactly what it is supposed to do; make an animal gain weight and grow really fast. So what do you think it’s going to do to you?

Here are the facts:

  1. Around 75% of adults don’t produce the enzyme (lactase) that breaks down the lactose in milk. Humans lose the ability to create that digestive enzyme after childhood, ya know when we are supposed to stop drinking milk
  2. High cow’s milk consumption is scientifically associated with higher rates of osteoporosis and decreased bone health overall. While it is high in calcium, humans only absorb about 30% of the calcium in milk. But when we eat veggies such as kale, broccoli, spinach, and other plant-based foods, we absorb twice the amount of calcium.
  3. For cow’s to continually produce milk, they have to be constantly given female sex hormones, which in turn you’re consuming in their milk. There’s a ton of debate about how much of these hormones we are actually consuming, but better safe than sorry to avoid it completely.
  4. Dairy consumption is linked to multiple curable and non-curable diseases.

Even if you don’t suffer from lactose intolerance, dairy products are no Bueno. Since I’ve officially cut them out I feel more consistently energetic, less bloated, and have lost weight.

The plant-based lifestyle isn’t right for everyone but I can tell you from my experience I feel better than ever after suffering from digestive issues for years. This is the first way of eating that I’ve consistently felt great. Check it out, do your research and find out if plant-based eating is an avenue you want to pursue.

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