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January Health Hack – Dairy Free

Instead of trying to do lots of different health resolutions for this year all in one go I decided to test out a different health hack every month for the year of 2018 – the thinking was it is easier to attempt something for 1 month and doing one hack at a time may help me recognise any changes that take place based on that specific hack for the month.

I decided to start off easy and build up to harder tasks as the year went on – so January was ‘Dairy free’ month. I have been attempting dairy free for approximately 18 months now and have cut down dramatically but I continue to allow a little dairy here and there in my diet as it didn’t seem to have such a strong effect – however, as happens over time I soon realised that actually I was enjoying dairy every day although less than previously. So you can see why I considered it an easier task for me than others. I had eaten quite a lot of dairy over the Christmas period – probably even more than usual because I knew I was stopping completely for January.

The reason I choose to be dairy free is because I have tested intolerant to dairy and so it affects me with recognisable symptoms of bloating and excessive wind. this choice has a health benefit for me but may not for others – if you feel that you have symptoms from eating certain foods it can be a good idea to get allergy or intolerance testing to confirm – alternatively you can eliminate foods from your diet and monitor any changes.

To help me track any changes I monitored several different things:

  • Weight
    • I wasn’t actively trying to lose weight but I could happily lose a few pounds and it’s a good way to track a physical change.
  • Measurements
    • I never quite managed to do my measurements, which is not the best start, but I have done them for February so I’m making improvements already.
  • Gut motility
    • I am testing this with sweetcorn – monitoring when it goes in and then comes out. (trying not to be too graphic)
  • Daily diary of mood and physical feelings

Test results for the dairy free month were:

  • 3 pound weight loss
  • The sweetcorn took 6 days to re-appear at the beginning of January  – which quite frankly horrified me! At the start of February the sweetcorn took 4 days to transit through my digestive system – still not good but improved.

Mood and physical feelings were by far the most significant changes for me; an uncomfortable feeling of bloating was quite consistent at the start of the month and I also had low mood. It was 2 weeks into January by the time I felt any real changes. The bloating was gone and I felt lighter, my mood also lifted and I was better able to feel more positive and also had more energy.

After feeling so much better having completely eliminated dairy from my diet I will endeavour to continue being fully dairy free but I am allowing myself the concession to have one portion of dairy per week; because I have food that contains dairy that I don’t want to waste but also because I actually enjoy the taste of dairy.

February’s health hack is to meditate daily. Come back at the beginning of March to see how it went.

Hazel  Dillon is a Chiropractor at 360 Chiropractic. If you think Chiropractic may be able to help you please feel free to give us a call: 07582 907702

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