CHEESE. ICE CREAM. MILK. YOGURT. Name it, I love it. All of my favorite foods contain some amount of dairy in them.

Growing up a vegetarian, my mom always told me how important it was to drink milk and eat yogurt so that I could get the calcium and protein I needed. Now, being a college student, this was even more important due to the lack of time I had to cook. Having a bowl of milk and cereal is a go-to when I need something fast. Thus, dairy has always been a part of my diet. In my wildest dreams I never thought I would give it up, but after a ton of thinking, I finally decided to go dairy free for a week. 

The idea came about after my recent attempt to become overall healthier. I had started going to the gym and making better choices for my meals. On top of that, I was constantly researching ways to be healthier. What I was doing was good, but I knew I could still make some more positive changes.

During that research, I came across several articles about celebrities and people, including Khloe Kardashian, who cut out dairy. They all had great things to say about it. Khloe even lost 11 pounds! 

Thus, my decision to try being dairy free came about. It was hard, but here is what happened. 

Day One

cream cheese, cake, toast, dairy product, cream, bread, cheese
Isha Modi

A typical breakfast for me is a piece of toast with a fried egg topped with some cheese and a glass of milk as a drink. This was an easy meal to make dairy free because I just didn't add cheese. For a drink, I opted for water.

So far, so good. I even opted for almond milk instead of cream for my mid-morning coffee. For lunch I was nervous because I was going to my friend's apartment. Luckily she had some frozen noodle packs, which surprisingly did not have dairy!

Dinner was easy since I had already had some brown Mexican rice made. For snacks throughout the day I had a Larabar, a banana, and a vegan protein shake.

#SpoonTip: A lot of protein powders or protein products contain whey protein, which means they are made from dairy!

Day Two

I started off with the same exact breakfast as the day before. When I opened the fridge, it was almost instinct to reach for the cheese to sprinkle on top of my egg on toast, but I had to remind myself of the challenge I had given myself for the week.

For lunch, I had a wrap with a cauliflower and broccoli patty from Trader Joe's. Dinner was actually easy as well. I bought a build-your-own salad from the Union Marketplace. Without adding the cheese, I was able to add another vegetable as a topping. Snacks were similar to the day before as well. 

Day Three

meat, salad, bread, cheese, tomato, lettuce, sandwich
Isha Modi

Day three was much harder! The entire day I did well and I really did not think it was too difficult. It's when dinner time came around that I really started having trouble.

My days typically get hectic after 5 pm. This particular day I had two meetings back to back, homework to do, and a three-hour dance practice. During this craziness, I ran into one of my friends, who offered me some of her nachos. I was so tempted to have some, and it took all my willpower to say no.

I ended up resorting to going to the Subway in the Union for dinner. I don't think I have ever gotten a Subway sandwich without cheese before and it felt weird not to this time, but I had to. Surprisingly, it didn't taste as different as I thought it would. I was expecting it to be dry, but it wasn't. 

Day Four

yam, carbohydrate, sweet potato, potato, pasture, tuber, vegetable
Lily Allen

I knew this day was going to be a challenge because I had an event/show later that night. Despite that, I kept to my dairy-free diet the entire day. Since I knew that there might be some food with dairy at the event, I decided to eat a whole baked sweet potato before I went.

The event I was going to was a cultural show for PCUC, so they had Desi food like Chaat, Naan, Chole, Paneer, etc. Surprisingly I was able to eat almost everything they had besides the Paneer. I also tried to avoid the parts of the Chaat that had the yogurt mixed into it. 

Days Five, Six, & Seven

espresso, tea, coffee
Courtney Claassen

These days were packed with tons of long car rides and events. I attended a bridal shower and a white coat ceremony. This was the true test. The bridal shower was a tea party theme so I was constantly being served tea. I made sure not to add any milk to the black tea just so I could stay on track. Unfortunately, that did not last long.

The lunch that was served was mini sandwiches... every single one of them with cheese. This is kind of where it went downhill. The bride insisted that I eat and would not give up until I did. Needless to say, I kept the bride happy and ate whatever she asked me to that day, which had a lot of which had dairy in it.

The next day at the white coat ceremony, food was provided for a reception afterwards. Surprisingly, there were so many options! I filled up on salad, grilled vegetables, and bread. I did indulge in ice cream as a little celebratory treat.


Overall, my week of being dairy-free was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I found myself eating a lot healthier since I was conscious of what was in the food I was eating. I felt so much lighter and not weighed down, even only after a day of being dairy-free.

Along with that, I had so much more energy throughout the day. Some of these days I only got five hours of sleep, which would typically result in me having a cup of coffee the next day. I found that I didn't need it though, not even an afternoon nap! A big plus that I lost three pounds in the course of the week. It wasn't only the weight though, my stomach felt flatter and I looked less bloated. On top of all of that, my skin looked a lot brighter and clearer.

I was surprised at how much I liked being dairy-free. I don't think I personally could do it for my entire life (I love cheese and ice cream too much), but it's definitely something I would do for five out of seven days a week. If you want to lose weight, clear up your skin, or just have more energy, I definitely recommend trying to be dairy-free!