Friday, May 11, 2012

My Milk-Free Diet Results: Less Acne, BO and Aging

A few months ago, after suddenly gaining a pound a day, and by sheer coincidence, reading The Paleo Answer by Loren Cordain describing the insulin-spiking effects of dairy, I changed my diet. I gave away my custard and low-carb ice cream and cut way back on the half and half. I've kept eating cheese--it doesn't have much insulin-spiking effect, according to Cordain.

I stopped gaining weight and dropped three pounds, but I'm still up five pounds from my weight before my sinus infection. Nevertheless, all my clothes still fit (albeit a little tighter). (I had just taken a gigantic dose of vitamin D. I like to imagine my weight gain being mostly bone mass.)

Other effects ensued. Since I'm not sure how to put this delicately, I'll just say it: I smell better. Before, when I went for a leisurely walk in warm weather, my Right Guard took a left turn. I had to soak a lot of my shirts in Biz to make them smell fresh. But last weekend, for example,when I was putting in a new lawn on a hot day, planting pots, cleaning up the yard, fixing up things around the house, and going dancing, at no point did I stretch my arms and think, "ick." No Biz required, either. Whenever I have too much coffee with half-and-half (milk and cream combination), I think I smell icky in short order.

Also by coincidence, the same day I wrote about reducing dairy, Dr. John Briffa wrote a post about milk contributing to acne. (Cordain also hypothesizes that milk in part causes acne.) Soon after I started avoiding milk, my complexion improved. Since I tend to have ups and downs in this department, I held off writing about it until now. It's been almost two months, and my skin has been as close to perfect as it has been since I was twelve years old. That's over 30 years. It's not just clearer, but smoother and softer. Not many people would look at me and guess I'm past 35. "...most dairy products..." writes Cordain in The Paleo Answer, "are loaded with [AGES, or advanced glycation end-products]." "AGEs are known to speed up the aging process...In human beings, restriction of dietary AGEs lowers markers of oxidative stress and inflammation."

What do I use in place of milk? Heavy cream in my coffee, limited to one cup a day (my party place is one of the few restaurants that offers this instead of half-and-half), almond milk, custard made with coconut milk, and coconut milk curry. The Primal Blueprint Cookbook by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier has two recipes for coconut milk custard. (If you use those recipes, though, note that there's an error: it takes an hour and a half, not 30 minutes, for custard to cook. And don't be intimidated by the bain marie: I use one of those cheap pans you cook turkeys in; they show an ordinary cake pan.) As for butter, I use only a tiny amount on vegetables. I fry with coconut oil and use homemade mayonnaise as an alternative dressing for vegetables.

Hearing all this, my best friend asked a good question: why did dairy suddenly start affecting me? Tonight, my aunt had a piece of the puzzle: I've always been allergic to milk. I couldn't even tolerate it when I was a baby. In fact, I couldn't tolerate any formula. When I was older, I thought I'd gotten over my allergy, but I see now that there were symptoms of milk intolerance all along.


nomilkdoc said...

Hi, Ms Lori
Take a look at these videos

I just saw them for the first time. I confess a bias because they highlight my work, but they are exceptionally well done.
Better than my web site, in fact. It needs updating ... but is still worth visiting. See

Lori Miller said...

Thanks for the videos. It's interesting that skim milk and 2% milk have more hormones than whole milk.

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Lesa Mitchell said...
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