Losing lactose

natrel lactose free

As part of my (undocumented) new year’s resolution to improve my health and just feel better, I’ve made a few simple changes in my diet to see if there were any improvements. The first thing I decided to do was to eliminate caffeine from my diet.  I would normally have anywhere between one to three cups of coffee a day.  I still have my morning coffee while driving to work, but I’ve now switched to decaf.  Everything I’ve read said that I would have caffeine withdrawal jitters for the first day or two, but I really didn’t experience that.  It was actually quite easy to make the switch.  It’s been a few months now, and I feel better for eliminating caffeine from my diet, but I wouldn’t say anything has really ‘changed’ for me.

I also decided to try to eliminate lactose from my diet. Actually, to be totally honest, I started the year trying to have a probiotic yogurt once a day – you know, the “Activia Challenge”.  I didn’t really notice anything after about two weeks.  I still had some mild digestive issues, but nothing I could really contribute to anything specific.  By sheer chance I was reading up on some benefits of eliminating lactose (one Australian website said eliminating lactose would improve the appearance of under-eye circles) so I thought I would give it a try for a week or two.

So the next day I purchased lactose free milk, and lactose free cheese, and lactose-free yogurt (we actually already had lactose-free margarine). I don’t drink tons of milk, I have it with a bowl of cereal in the morning, and maybe a glass with my dinner in the evening.  I also have it in my (now decaffeinated) coffee.  I do like cheese though.  And ice cream.  Mmmm.

I was hard-core lactose-free the first week. To my surprise the biggest change I noticed immediately was that my eczema cleared right up, within two days!  I’ve long suffered from eczema, and had it particularly bad as a kid – behind my knees, and on my arms.  In my teen years it seemed to moved to the back of my fore-arms and I had a bit on my face.  In my twenties, it seemed to retreat a bit, but around 10+ years ago it really came back in full force on my hands.  I haven’t worn rings since 2008 because of it.  But two days after going lactose-free, my hands were virtually eczema free!  It’s really quite remarkable.  Sadly, the under-eye circles are still there – oh well.

I initially bought a different brand of lactose-free milk, but it tasted a bit weird. My husband has been drinking almond milk for about two years, but that tastes even weirder, in my opinion.  Now I purchase Natrel 1% lactose free-milk.  For me, it so closely tastes like regular milk, that I hardly notice.

It’s been a few months now, and I’m definitely not as hard-core as I was that first week. My mild digestive issues seem to have cleared up along with the eczema, but I do have regular dairy products here and there – left over pizza from meetings at work and the occasional double-double. But I’m most happy that I can start wearing my rings again!

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