On my path to regain health, I had to eliminate all dairy products. When you think my teeth will probably fall out soon and my bones are going to break, think twice. We've been trained to believe that drinking milk helps us to keep our bones and teeth strong. However, countries with the highest dairy consumption (most modernized cultures) have the highest rate of osteoporosis. Yes, Europeans and Americans not only consume the most milk, we also suffer the most cases of osteoporosis in the world. Shocking, isn't it?
Osteoporosis is a chronic disease linked to acidosis in the body. The more milk we drink (and acidic foods we eat such as all processed foods), the more acid we bring into our bodies, and the more our bodies leach alkaline substances from our bones. Milk in its natural state, or ‘raw milk,’ is an alkaline food. Once it goes through the pasteurization and homogenization processes it becomes an acidic food.
Another issue with conventional dairy products (and all diary) is its lactose content, a sugar molecule present in milk. In order for lactose to be absorbed from the intestine and into the body, it must first be split into glucose and galactose. The glucose and galactose are then absorbed by the cells lining the small intestine. The enzyme that splits lactose into glucose and galactose is called lactase, and it is located on the surface of the cells lining the small intestine. Lactose intolerance is a common medical condition that results in diarrhea, abdominal pain, and gas (flatulence) and is caused by reduced or absent activity of enzyme lactase. Approximately 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. Lactose intolerance in adulthood is most prevalent in people of East Asian descent, affecting more than 90 percent of adults in some of these communities.
So if you feel bloated, have abdominal pain or diarrhea after consuming dairy products, you might lack the enzyme lactase.
After saying good bye to dairy products I had to figure out what to use instead. We all crave a cup of hot chocolate on winter evenings, right? And although the market with non-dairy milks skyrocketed in the last few years, most of them, unfortunately, contain some processed form of sugar and a thickening agent. That is why I mostly make my almond milk (sometimes I use the store bought option, I am not a saint, ha, ha). This is the best recipe for creamy almond milk I've found and it comes from Kris Carr's wonderful book Crazy Sexy Juice.
Homemade Almond Milk
1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
2 pitted dates
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups filtered water
Blend all ingredients till smooth. Hold a nut milk bag over a large bowl, pour the almond milk through and squeeze. Compost the nut pulp. Homemade almond milk will keep in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.