It’s Not As Easy As Giving Up Milk…

05 Feb

I’m on lots of “mommy” groups on Facebook, and most of them are also to do with breastfeeding. There’s always someone talking about being asked “when are you switching to formula?” which invariably inspires people to say how cow’s milk (and that’s what most formula is made of) is for baby cows, not for people.

At the moment there is an horrific video going around these groups that shows how badly dairy cows are treated. It’s awful…it really is. Most women are commenting saying that they couldn’t watch the whole thing, and I cried while I was watching it. Unsurprisingly, it is inspiring an awful lot of my fellow group members to say that they’re going to stop drinking milk. They all start discussing alternative milks and how to make your own nut milk and how much better they’re going to feel.


…but it’s not that simple.

I don’t want to be Polly Partypooper about it, because the dairy industry IS barbaric, and going dairy-free is MUCH healthier, and wanting to stop drinking milk is VERY admirable, but bottles of milk aren’t a stand-alone product.

Milk is in absolutely everything.

Cutting out milk means foregoing butter, it means no cheese, it means reading the ingredients for every processed food you buy (milk in sausages and ham is totally a thing), it means asking to see the allergen folders in supermarket bakeries and delis, it means going to a restaurant and only having one or two dishes that are safe for you to eat, it means endlessly googling “restaurant name + allergen info” before you go out or having to rely on waiters to know their stuff…it usually means no dessert (next time you’re eating out try to find one that isn’t made with butter or milk or cream or cheese).

I don’t mean to make it sound like it’s a massive chore but it’s a MASSIVE chore.

I have to be overly cautious because eating dairy will mean pain for George to deal with, and lots of screaming and horrible poop for me to deal with. It perhaps wouldn’t be so difficult for you if you didn’t have to avoid milk so stringently…

The trouble is that now the dairy is out of my system, I also get sick if I eat anything with milk in it. It’s a common problem. When your body stops dealing with lactose it stops being able to process it, so reintroducing it can be problematic.

Life is harder for us in some ways because we can’t have soya either and lots of dairy-free stuff (like chocolate, spreads, ice-creams) is made with soya, but there’s people who have it a lot worse than me. I can’t imagine how difficult eating (especially eating out) is when you can’t have eggs, nuts, coconuts, fruits…

I don’t want to put people off because I think that removing milk (and related products) from your diet is a great thing to do. It is also a difficult thing to do, and often a demoralising one too – especially when you are watching people eat pizzas and creamy desserts.  If it weren’t for the fact that eating milk would hurt my son, I’m not sure if I would have had the will to keep going this long.

We’ve only been dairy/soya-free for about eleven weeks, but I’m immeasurably proud of myself for every day that I keep going, and I might even take it past breastfeeding…

…it might just become a way of life.


Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Baby, Breastfeeding, Dairy-Free, Food, Life


Tags: , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “It’s Not As Easy As Giving Up Milk…

  1. Sarah

    February 5, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    All valid points, but as my fathers daughter you know what I’m gonna say. Maybe I shouldn’t say it, but what the (dairy free fudge). I think giving up dairy is admirable. No longer supporting barbaric practice is hard, yes, but the more you do it the less difficult it becomes and you soon realise that all that processed junk you take for granted as “standard diet” is actually pretty shitty stuff and there are better, simpler things out there that won’t chock you up with crap and actually support your body 😊 It helps ENOURMOUSLY if there is somewhere local to you that is a vegan store, takes the headache out of store shopping. A bit of forethought about meals and snacks after a while soon becomes part of your routine and you wonder what you’ve been doing all of your life!

    Sorry dude, you know how I feel about this. It takes time, sure, but the things that are most difficult are usually the most rewarding even if we can’t see it at first x x

    • onegirlandacampervan

      February 5, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      Oh yes! I agree! It’s incredibly admirable to give up milk because you want to make the world a better place (or even just to be healthier)…but it’s bloody hard! I guess I’m more bewailing the reliance of our food culture on milk, whey and lactose. On the whole we eat pretty clean so it’s only when I wanted something like cake or pastries (some crisps have caught me out too)…and it was ridiculous on holiday when the language barrier meant that I was never sure whether I’d ordered something that was safe or not.
      I just don’t think people have any idea of the effort and forethought giving up milk entails (at first) so the phrase “I really want to give up milk and start drinking almond milk” gets bandied around a lot xxx

  2. Sarah

    February 5, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Eating out is a PITA when you’re with dairy consumers, granted, but a lot of restaurants are now more clued up to lactose intolerance. Phoning ahead is usually welcomed to advise of dietary requirements too. Eating habits are a bitch to kick. I found after I juiced that stuff like pizza was something I only craved once in a while and didn’t want to eat! And pudding too. I’m ranting. Soz. Have you noticed the global awakening about this and eating for health rather than pleasure more often than not though? The times they are a changing 😊

    • onegirlandacampervan

      February 5, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      I only want pizza for the convenience of the easy meal (so don’t really miss it) and I found out you can take Violife to Pizza Express and they’ll make you a dairy-free pizza with it! Amazing!
      I definitely think I need to start thinking about eating for health rather than pleasure…it’d be a good way to reset my head xxx


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