Dairy-the gray are of the paleo diet. It works for some people and not for others. The first time I saw the word primal I thought it was another word for paleo. It’s not. Basically primal refers to eating a paleo diet that includes quality dairy. Quality dairy refers to things like raw milk, grass-fed whole milk, grass-fed butter or ghee, etc. I’ve written about my experiences with dairy before. I was a daily dairy eater pre-paleo. Between my home-made yogurt , cheese sticks, and the occasional glass of skim milk with dinner, I ate dairy with no real issues. Fast forward to November 2011 when I finished my first 63 day paleo challenge right before the holidays. I decided to reintroduce dairy with a cannoli from Mike’s Pastry in Boston & some homemade coffee pudding (think heavy cream, marshmallows, and coffee-it’s fantastic!) I was in heaven! All it took was one bite & I thought “oh yeah I am not giving up dairy.” Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…the bloat, nausea, the blah-blah belly. How did I become lactose intolerant in such a short time? Turns out the protein casein in milk is very similar to gluten (which I also can’t tolerate.) The whole point of my story is that I would have not known that dairy and me were not friends had I not taken a dairy vacation.
All I am asking is for you to open your mind and look at this as an experiment-as a dairy vacation. You are the scientist and the subject. Anecdotally, people report that they just feel better when dairy and grains are eliminated. I know from personal experience and observational experience with my own kids. Each of them had the little white bumps that look like the pimples on the back of your arms (keratosis pilaris) this past winter. My daughter had them on her cheeks and my son had them on his thighs. After a few months I asked Brent if he thought we should make an appointment with a dermatologist. I remember distinctly looking at my son and saying “I wonder if it’s something you are eating that is not agreeing with you?” Then it came to me: dairy was the one thing that I was allowing in their diet and not in mine. It took about a month but the bumps completely went away from my daughter and they 80% improved in my son. I’ll still let them have dairy once in a while, but it is no longer a daily staple in their diet. Clear skin, better/sounder sleep, belly fat decreasing, decreased allergies and congestion, & increased focus and concentration are just a few of the symptoms that people report when eliminating dairy from their diet. If you are concerned about calcium, don’t be. The calcium that you get from dairy is not as bio-available to us due largely to the phytates in grains and legumes we consume ( source. ) We are better off getting calcium from things like dark leafy greens, almonds, bone broth, and physical activity. Yup, weight-bearing exercise and strength training are actually the best way to ensure strong bones. Well that and making sure that your vitamin D & magnesium levels are adequate. My whole family takes vitamin D3 drops (when we are not getting enough sun) and fish oil for omega 3 fats-that’s it.
Hands down the hardest thing for me to give up in my first paleo challenge was cream in my coffee. I tried for a week to drink it black with no sugar. I just couldn’t do it. I searched
Paleo Coffee Creamer
for a paleo creamer and ended up creating my own. My paleo coffee creamer recipe is not only delicious, but it’s the most popular recipe on this site! Let me know what you think if you make it.
Good luck this week and let me know if you have any questions!