I have never decreased dairy products in my diet before this past week. It is actually very difficult to do, especially if you are like me and you eat chocolate, yogurt, milk and cheese every day. I normally would never choose to decrease these foods from my diet, but I am nursing a newborn who may have an allergy to milk protein. So I have given up my favorite foods for the moment to see if that helps.
During this time, I can see how a dairy-free diet could assist with weight loss! Can you think of many junk foods that have no dairy in them? Cheeseburgers, chips (yes–most chips have mild products), ice cream, pizza, nachos, etc. And desserts are nearly impossible to find without dairy unless you like hard candy or sour patch kids, which I don’t! Almost all pre-packaged cookies and crackers also have dairy. I’ve had to catch myself before taking a bite several times this week, forgetting that I can’t have these products right now.
So what have I been eating instead of milk products?:
1. Almond milk, which actually tastes good (at least the vanilla flavored one)! It also has a lot of calcium!
2. High-calcium foods, such as spinach, turnip greens, baked beans and soybeans.
3. Raisins, for my sweet tooth.
4. Nuts, for when I have the munchies.
5. Peanut butter and jelly (with the kids) instead of grilled cheese.
6. Fruit popsicles (instead of my preferred chocolate ice cream).
7. More natural and homemade foods.
Another recent change in my diet is that I am eating to prevent acid reflux. So now I cannot eat tortilla chips with salsa (already I had eliminated the queso), tacos (even without the cheese), pizza (from both dairy and acid), etc. The benefit to combining both of these diets is that I am eating less simply because there is less to choose from and because the tastiest foods are eliminated. In that sense it is becoming less enjoyable to eat, which normally would bother me. But right now I would like to quickly lose my baby weight and fit back into my non-maternity clothes! So maybe these 2 unexpected diet changes will help me with that!
In general, the reason so many of us are overweight is simply because we either love food too much or are addicted to food. I was reading the Bible today, and I read a verse that talked about food. “Jesus said, My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work” (John 4:34). The context is that Jesus’ friends were telling him to eat because they were all very hungry and had not eaten in some time, but he obviously had other priorities.
So next time you are tempted to eat something you shouldn’t, just remember: eat to live; don’t live to eat.