"What is the worst that could happen? Absolutely nothing…you have no reaction, no change, you go back to your cheesy habits. What is the best that could happen? Your migraines subside, your cholesterol plummets, your energy increases, your body seems lighter, your stomach calms down, you just FEEL BETTER."And, they're right… It is comprised of a 10 day dairy-free diet. The first seven days are the initial dairy break where all of the dairy enzymes are being eliminated from your body. The beginning includes documenting your feelings, physically and emotionally… after the 10th day, you can reintroduce dairy. And for the next three days you once again document your feelings. The idea is that you'll feel overwhelmingly better on the days that you are not eating dairy.
Many people who have taken the challenge - whether officially, or on their own, have reported reduced joint pains, aches, migraines, bloating and better sleep. With that information, I've set a couple of goals for myself in the hopes of linking some of my chronic problems with my diet. The initial and ongoing journal assessments list categories to measure and monitor changes in your health. You rate various details of your digestive, respiratory and integumentary (skin) systems, as well as sleep and psychological factors. Interestingly enough, I have chronic symptoms in each of these categories. Therefore, I've chosen to list a goal in each:
- Decrease congestion. For nearly six months, I've had congested sinuses. I saw an ENT, had a scope, and all looks good. I've also been wheezing occasionally - which is new for me. I have an epi inhaler for emergencies, and have been prescribed some nasal sprays and Singulair (which I stopped taking). I've opted for more holistic solutions like a Neti pot, saline spray, sinus massaging, a humidifier and increasing my fluid intake. I haven't seen any progress, so I wonder if the dairy consumption has anything to do w/ this...
- Healthier digestion. It's pretty much a norm for me to feel full until I'm starving. I have a disorder called gastroparesis - which literally means "slow stomach." I don't know if it's all connected, as my gastroenterologist didn't seem to bothered by it, but I also have acid reflux and not so healthy or consistent "emptying" if you know what I mean.
- Clearer skin. While I've never really had acne, I do get MASSIVE pimples. Usually one or two at a time.. but always those giant ones that I end up trying to pop way too early, which leads to weeks of red spots. I never learn.
- Improved sleep. Lately, I've had poor sleep. I think it's related to the fact that I can't really breath. But, last night I woke up in a cold sweat... it's happened a couple of times in the last month. I think this could be related to stress, but maybe not.
- Reduce aches. I carry my tension in between my shoulder blades. My knees ache sometimes and my headaches never ease. I'm hoping removing something that may be toxic to my body will help.
And the very TMI stats for my pre-dairy-free day 1 (yesterday).