What Happened When I Didn’t Eat Dairy for a Month | Non-Dairy January

This weekend I should be counting down and stocking up on heavy cream to celebrate the end of my month-long dairy elimination challenge.  Instead, I’m tightening the screws just a little more and buckling in for at least a few more weeks.  You see, Sturdy Readers, some interesting things have happened over the past few weeks that underscore why non-scale victories are so much more useful for tracking progress on keto (and with lipedema) than the scale.

Last weekend my friend Kristin called to see how my challenge was going.  You might remember she’s the coach from Lipedema Simplified who encouraged me to do this whole thing.  I told her nothing had happened and that I planned to go right back to dairy on February 1.  “Hmmmm,” she said pausing thoughtfully.  “Tell me more about what you’ve been doing.”  I showed her my Milkademia and explained how I had, for the first time, been eating a lot of nuts.  During the first few days of the challenge, I experienced cravings and finding a long-forgotten bag of macadamia nuts at the back of the cupboard felt like stumbling upon a case of cold La Croix in the desert.  Salvation.  I checked the carbs and serving size and did a pretty good job pacing myself, but I enjoyed them so much that when that bag was gone, I bought more and I also bought a big canister of pecans, which sat dangerously on the corner of my desk.

 “You swapped one problem for another,” Kristin deduced.  “Keep going a few more weeks but get rid of the nuts and clean up your nut milk.”  It turns out Milkademia contains a few different gums and emulsifiers that may or may not cause inflammation.  Kristin’s advice was to steer clear and see if that made a difference.  Thankfully, a few days earlier, I picked up a jug of Malk.  It’s super clean (three simple ingredients) and foams like a dream, so move over Milkademia.  Malk is expensive, but comparable in price to the super clean, organic, and local heavy cream I bought before.

So, for the past week I have been off my nuts and on my Malk.  Here’s what happened.

First, my energy went through the roof.  And I mean through the roof.  I literally feel like I have a jet pack on my back on my daily walks. My speed has increased that noticeably.  I’ve even started running the last few blocks to my apartment just because I feel so good. 

Second, I went down a size in my jeans, which is a big deal when you have lipedema all over your hips and thighs.  No, I don’t think all that shrinking happened this week, but it certainly happened this month.  A few weeks ago, I needed to buy a belt.  Then I needed to start tightening it a few more notches.  Finally, this week I decided to try a smaller pair of jeans and… bam!  They fit. Same brand and same style that I was wearing before.

What didn’t happen this month?  Any weight loss.  Not a single pound.  In fact, at one point I was up more than five pounds, but I didn’t let it phase me.  As the user of this body, I know when it’s doing great and it’s doing great.  That’s why non-scale victories are so important to track and rely on rather than the scale.  I didn’t weigh myself the first six months I did keto.  Heck, I didn’t even own a scale.  Instead, I took pictures and made notes about how I felt and what I was doing, and I did something similar for non-dairy January. 

You don’t need a fancy tracker or a spreadsheet for non-scale victories.  In fact, I keep mine as a list on my phone.  Since it’s always with me I can easily add to it when I notice something and before I forget.  The important thing is to give yourself as many data points as possible in addition to (or even instead of) the scale.  Just think!  If I wasn’t paying attention to my clothes and only watching that digital display, I would think nothing had happened this month when, in actuality, I lost two dress sizes in my hips and thighs! That’s a sturdy woman win. I also want to stress bio-individuality and how different each of our bodies are. Working with a coach can be a game changer and really help you figure things out quick. Kristin and the other Lipedema Simplified coaches all offer free consultations so you literally have nothing to lose.

So, that’s it. I’ll give my body a few more weeks on my new cleaner regimen then sometime in February I’ll have a big cup of cream and see what happens.  Stay tuned.  In February I’m also planning to restart my fasting protocol.  Be sure to sign up for sturdy updates to learn why I love alternate day fasting and how it has taken my ketogenic lifestyle and my health to new levels.

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