When I first went dairy-free three months ago, I honestly never expected to be able to last as long as I have. I used to live a life full of cheese, milk, pizza, and so much mac and cheese. Without those things, my life would have seemed so boring, but here I am three months later, still dairy-free and happier than ever.

I used to feel bad asking for things with no cheese or double checking to see if menu items had milk in them, but now I have come to terms with my new normal. This change bettered my health, not for weight reasons, but for my migraines. Going from having migraines constantly from having ONE in three months is something I never thought I would ever get blessed with.

With any dietary change, your body is constantly thinking “WTF Elizabeth? What are you doing, and why can I still not have this?" I have experienced so many positives from this experience but with that being said there have been a few negatives along the way as well. 

The Positive

beer, coffee, pizza, tea
Elizabeth Faile

As I have mentioned above, my migraines are completely gone and I couldn't be happier. I no longer have this extreme pressure in my head and I only experience regular caffeine headaches if I don’t drink my morning coffee. Living with migraines is an extremely hard thing to do and to have this new freedom from them is a liberty I am never giving up.

coffee, tea, beer
Elizabeth Faile

I used to think dairy wasn’t all that bad for you, and there are a lot of positive things that come with eating the right type of dairy products, but honestly my body has thanked me. I have lost over 20 pounds since I've gone dairy-free and I feel cleaner than ever.  The photos above were taken at the same time of day and three months apart.  

Without the heavy food keeping me down, I find myself no longer bloated constantly, full of energy and loving myself more than I did before. I loved my body and wouldn’t have changed it before I decided to give up dairy, but seeing how healthy I am now makes me so much more confident in myself.
Elizabeth Faile

This change has given me a better appreciation for food, I have learned to cook meals without dairy in them and have found my home in the kitchen. Pizza was something that I loved to eat with my roommates, and by recommendation I found a pizza that contains no dairy that is bomb.

I could spend hours experimenting with different types of recipes and seeing what spices make things taste better. I can also say that with this change I assumed my grocery bill would be very expensive every week, but I typically only spend $25-30 on produce and ingredients for food for a week.

The Negatives

Elizabeth Faile

In my original article, I mentioned how wonderful my digestive system was working now that I only eat clean food. That's still semi-true, but I think that was a temporary blessing. Going into the third month has brought up some intestinal issues, and my body is lacking the probiotics that I was getting from the dairy I was previously eating.

Probiotics are extremely important, and to help with this problem I have begun taking a supplement to help with these issues. It is very important to keep it natural, though. Don't start taking laxatives and other forms of digestive means that will cause you harm in the long term. 
vegetable, meat, seafood, pizza, pepper, chicken
Elizabeth Faile

Something else I have been struggling with was watching my roommates eat all the things I can no longer eat. That Papa John's pizza and homemade mac and cheese was complete torture to watch. When I think about wanting to eat those things, I think about how horrible my stomach feels when I do eat it, how I will get a headache, and just how much better my body feels when I eat whole foods. Holding onto those things have made the adjustment easier for me, and so has living in an apartment with people who appreciate food as much as me.   

tea, beer, coffee
Jena Donovan

Staying as healthy as possible is the most important thing you can do during dietary changes as drastic as this. Taking the right supplements and making sure that you are getting enough protein to sustain yourself properly is the priority. I have stayed in contact with my doctor throughout this process to make sure that I am doing everything I can do keep my body happy and healthy. Dairy-free life has presented me with some challenges, but for the most part I am loving it completely and see no end to it in my future.