The Sequel Series - Part 3 / Dairy
Updated: Feb 26, 2019
I have given this one some thought and genuinely am not sure where to start on this one. This is a hot topic and one that some are very passionate about. The debate is real! I will remind you this is my opinion and the decisions I have made on dairy came from years of reading about it and listening to my body. My choices for me and my family work for us. It's not one size fits all.
First - my struggle with dairy, specifically, drinking cows milk is that humans are the only "animals" to drink another species milk. Odd right? Well for me it is. We also are the only animal to drink milk beyond infancy into adulthood.
Milk, it does a body good.
Remember these? I also remember my mother making sure we all had a glass of milk with dinner every night. Why? Because they (that generation) were told it was the best choice. It was a good source of calcium and we need it for strong bones and so we can grow up strong and healthy! I get why they did it.... it was everywhere. The media pushed the message and the government gave you dietary guidelines that included it. Unfortunately the industry benefiting from that half truth was paying to promote it. Conflict of interest maybe? Well - surprise, surprise that still how much of the food industry works now thanks to lobbyists and corrupt government agencies.... I digress.
So - what does all this mean? I am not going to bore you with science of it. I can refer you to some sources if you want to learn more. I do not believe we need to drink milk regularly. I personally don't digest it well which makes sense since humans have never possessed the enzyme necessary to break down the sugar in milk (lactose). Looking for a calcium source?Calcium can be found in many plant-based sources, but all we hear about, unfortunately, is that we need to get it from milk — a reality which clearly serves the dairy industry.
Another consideration (this could be an entire blog)..... but we have to remember what I addressed in my previous blog - we are what we ate, ate. Commercially produced dairy is coming form cows that are being fed corn and injected with hormones to grow faster and produce more milk. That all makes it into your glass at home. This is very concerning for me and there is more and more evidence about the negative effects of this.
So where does dairy fit in my home?
The only person in my house that likes milk is my son. So I buy organic milk from grass fed cows. He gets one glass a day if he asks. He loves chocolate milk which has added sugar but I don't mind that. For the rest of us I keep unsweetened coconut milk for cereal and cooking. I use coconut creamer in my coffee but typically always have good organic (grass fed) half and half in the fridge for an occasional treat in my coffee and for cooking.
We occasionally do yogurt but no one really loves it. However, it is a nice alternative for breakfast instead of eggs, etc.... I just recently tried organic coconut yogurt and I really like it. I digest it well and eat it a couple times a week with grain free granola to mix things up.
Now let's get down to the good stuff.... CHEESE. Oh how I love thee. BUT - I do in eat in moderation now and over time I have reduced the types I eat regularly. Your best options really are goat/sheep cheeses simply because they are not produced in the way dairy cows are. BUT that is an acquired taste. I like it but in small doses. I stick to hard cheeses and try and buy European imports. MY faves: parmigiana reggiano and pecorino-romano, gruyere and swiss. I love cheddar and will pay for good imported cheddar. I do my best to avoid buying processed cheeses, like the already shredded, but sometimes you need a quick pick up so I stick to organic.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream? Well - my daughter does. I've never digested it well but my girl loves it. So I keep it in the house and try to be selective about the brands. I have found a good coconut milk ice cream the hubs and I eat for a special treat now and then. You only live once right?
As always - share your feedback, comments and SHARE these. I am enjoying writing them and sure you are enjoying reading them!