Most every cleanse involves eliminating dairy. Dairy is a difficult food for most of us to digest and if we are unable to digest a food, the vitamins and minerals are not available for our cells to utilize. Since the intention with the Community Cleanse is to give our bodies a break, we are going to want to break from dairy and yes, this includes cheese. If this cheese addict can go without it for four weeks, trust me, so can you.
The main issue with milk and the products made from it involves the sugar, lactose. Our bodies create the enzyme, lactase, needed to break down lactose when we’re babies. The problem is most of us stop producing this enzyme in the quantities needed to properly digest dairy in adolescence and many of us stop producing lactase all together. Many of us are also sensitive to the more than twenty-five proteins found in milk.
Digestive issues such as bloating, gas and pain, respiratory issues like sinusitis, and colic in babies are only a few of the common complaints related to an intolerance to dairy. Dairy can also create chronic inflammation and mucus build up. According to the book Allergies Disease in Disguise by Carolee Bateson-Koch DC ND, “Milk is the number one allergic food. An estimated thirty-three million Americans are allergic to milk.”
As a Holistic Nutritionist, I had many clients resist the elimination of dairy from their diets. Once they did, the results were amazing. People with chronic conditions like sinusitis, eczema, and arthritis felt better. This is the element on the cleanse contract I think we need to personally experience to understand the impact of taking a break from dairy. Many of us have never avoided milk. I left goat cheese and yogurt as possible dairy options because goats’ milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk and the acidophilus (good bacteria) in yogurt helps the body to digest it. However, I would incorporate these dairy products ONLY if you feel you’re going to cheat. I want us to succeed, so use goat’s cheese and yogurt if necessary.
“But what about calcium,” you ask? Well calcium in milk is difficult for anyone with an intolerance to absorb. According to Bateson-Koch, “Milk loses 50% of its available calcium during pasteurization. Low fat and skim milk make calcium unavailable because fat is necessary for the proper transportation and absorption of calcium.” This is why if I drink organic milk, it’s always 1% – 2% milk. The same goes for yogurt. Consuming “no fat” products is really not the way to health. We want our bodies to absorb the nutrients we feed it.
There are many other foods that are good sources of calcium and highly bio-available including; canned salmon, sardines, sesame seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, soybeans, collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli, Swiss chard, kale, sesame seeds, peas, asparagus, avocado, green beans, parsley, spinach, chick peas (garbanzo beans), navy beans, wild rice, brown rice, black strap molasses, kelp, and wakame. If you drink milk try incorporating an alternative milk; almond milk, multigrain milk, hazelnut milk, and soy milk. Holy cow – there are so many options for calcium!
Well, now I’m going to go and eat an organic grilled cheese and tomato sandwich to lessen the amount of cheese in my fridge and prepare for the Community Cleanse on Monday. I might as well eat it while I can, right?