Got milk? Dairy and milk have been marketed to us as one of the primary food groups since we were children. A cold glass of milk or delicious bowl of cereal with milk is one of our childhood favorites. But let’s drop the marketing for a second (visions of Beyonce with a milk mustache) and talk about the biological effects of dairy consumption.
There are many alarming red flags scientifically proven to cause serious health risks. But once we get through these terrible truths, we will be sharing with you our favorite health boosting alternatives, so stay with us beautiful.
Humans from the beginning of time have existed without the use of dairy products from other mammals. We only find evidence of non-human mammal milk consumption in humans in the last 3000-6000 years. And here’s where it gets interesting: recent studies show most of us on the planet (70-75%) are lactose intolerant. Simply put, many of us do not produce the enzyme (lactase) to break down the (lactose) molecules of milk products.
Photo by Engin Akyurt.
All milk products including butter are filled with high saturated fats and, on top of that, two highly inflammatory proteins (casein & whey.) Now, if our bodies are unable to break down the proteins from dairy consumption, the alternative is inflammation. And there is not another animal milk alternative to avoid this biological reaction. Even skim milk just means less milk fats and more servings of dairy proteins (inflammation).
Research shows dairy intake can lead to an increased risk of prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, failing heart health, high blood pressure, and the list goes on. Studies have gone on to show the calcium in milk does not protect our bone health or osteoporosis, but is possibly linked to bone fractures.
Instead, go directly to the source of vitamins from a plant-based approach for magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium. That's how the cow got it in the first place, after all. Nutrition from a cow is actually second hand; the vitamins from any cow product is what they have absorbed from their plant consumption.
This fact is a tough one to report. Babies under the age of one should not consume other mammals' milk besides their mother’s breast milk. Exposure during the early development of a baby can trigger iron deficiency or type 1 diabetes. There is no reason to play Russian roulette with your or your baby's health.
Photo by Noelle Otto.
How Mass Milk Production Works
(Trigger warnings: forced pregnancy, animal cruelty.) In order for a cow to produce milk it must be pregnant and this is where it gets horrifying. Just like any mammal, pregnancy produces milk, therefore the dairy cows nationwide are artificially inseminated. It was heartbreaking to find out these cows are repeatedly forced to be pregnant for their entire lifetime. A cow’s life expectancy is typically around 20 years, but in this abusive environment these cows only live to be 5 years old.
What is worse, once these exhausted cows collapse they are carted away to be processed for meat sold in our grocery stores. This abuse is just the beginning of the horrific treatment throughout the dairy process. All to produce a material that our bodies do not naturally digest. It is time to ask ourselves why we want a substance in our precious bodies that will cause harm?
Try Some of Our Favorite Non-Dairy Alternatives with Health Benefits
Please note, deviating from these recommendations can lead to poor additives and inflammatory oils that are also bad for your health. These are our tried and true cleanest in class, dairy-free products we love and want to share with you.
Photo by Shameel Mukkath.
Delicious Dairy-Free Yogurt
Try CocoJune, for a delicious creamy coconut-based yogurt with the cleanest additives on the market. We love to buy their plain flavor to use as a creamy component, which we mix it different flavors according to what’s cookin...Tzatziki over roasted vegetables, tahini cream drizzle over lentils, or even with berries and raw honey for breakfast.
Photo by Ana Madeleine Uribe.
Gooey Mozzarella Dairy Alternative
Next, Miyoko Vegan Liquid Mozzarella, made from cashew milk. This revolutionary non-dairy cheese is beyond incredible. We love to top any dish with this and throw it under the broiler to brown.
Our ultimate favorite flatbread is to take a grain-free tortilla, top with Miyoko vegan mozzarella, add your favorite toppings (artichoke hearts, olives, caramelized onions, capers) and make sure to season with fennel, oregano, pepper, (no need for salt, Miyoko is salted.) Add a handful of raw arugula for an incredible nutritional boost and a drizzle of olive oil + pepper. Enjoy!
Photo by solod_sha.
Craveable Non-Dairy Cream Cheese
Miyoko wins our highest seal of approval for taste, quality, and best in class ingredients. Our favorite yummy snack with Miyoko Organic Cashew Milk Cream Cheese is a warmed grain-free tortilla (must be warmed for texture/taste), a layer of cream cheese, and loaded with thinly sliced cucumber, oregano, and olive oil. This cream cheese is a delight. You can add to a portobello stroganoff, carrot cake frosting, and even grain free crackers and homemade olive tapenade.
Photo by Tijana Drndarski.
Organic Coconut Cream + Coconut Milk
Last, but certainly not least, we always have an overstock of these two coconut milk ingredients in our kitchen. Think Thai curry, gut-friendly ice cream, cream additive to sauces and dressings, fudgsicles, whipped coconut cream to add on top of organic berries. Endless options that benefit your health, a great replacement from cream or full fat dairy, and a true pillar of a balanced diet.
The ‘Why’ Behind Wellness Wednesday
At the beginning of last year I was unable to walk due to extremely high inflammation levels causing all over body stiffness, I could not even bend my fingers to turn a doorknob. I have made the study of human wellness my number one priority as I work to reclaim my health.
But the more I read, the more I realized, the signs and symptoms of dis-ease in the body are happening to all of us. A headache, bloat, acne, asthma, joint pain, digestive issues, constipation, depression, anxiety, brain fog, insomnia, and on.
After one full year of self healing and study, I have felt obligated to pay it forward and share the truth for those searching for answers.
Your health is your responsibility and remember, you truly are what you eat. Imagine your body is a car...When was the last time you cleaned it, gave it an oil change, and fed it 100% nutritional non-toxic fuel?
My perspective of dietary guidelines resides in how the body biologically reacts to it as I work to keep my inflammation levels undetectable as they were in my last checkup, but I truly believe we should all be this proactive with our health to prevent the bioaccumulation of disease.
One of the worst symptoms plaguing us all from daily toxin consumption is brain fog. And after a year and a half of non-toxic living – lifting a lifetime of a foggy mind, I tell you it is something priceless we should all fight for each day. Fullest expression of self, high levels of happiness (95% of serotonin made in the gut), and a lightweight vibe everyday is my wish for every human on the planet.
Also check out our recent podcast on Women's Health, Autoimmune Disease, and the Side Effects of Birth Control...