Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mo' Dairy, Mo' Problems

The low-carb life lends itself to be pretty dependent on dairy.  You’re welcome, cows!  While I am an avid cheese eater, I despise milk and always have.  I will have it with cereal but the thought of drinking it when my Lucky Charms are gone, quite frankly, disgusts me.  However, everything has a caveat.  I will throw down a glass of milk if I am eating it with Oreos or best of all, CHIPS AHOY!  Get those disgusting chewy ones away from me.  I want the original, crunchy, crumble-in-a-glass-of-milk cookies.  Oh, yum.  Needless to say, cookies and cereal are not in my daily eating anymore so I never buy milk.  I’ve always considered myself to be semi-lactose intolerant but mostly because I was forced to drink milk as a child in grade school and I would get sick every day because of it.  Shudder.  I’m obviously a huge fan of cream, whipped or iced, and can definitely put down some sugar free Jell-O pudding.  My usual dessert (daily) is one of these delectable cups with a little bit of natural peanut butter and whipped cream.  I think it’s the only thing that keeps me from strangling people on the regular. 

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the effects of dairy on your skin.  I decided that I was going to break up with cheese.  Since it is such a huge part of my life, this wasn’t going to be easy.  I used to eat ham rolled with sliced cheese as a meal or snack being that it is low carb.  Then, I cut the cheese.  Ha!  I couldn’t resist.  Now, the little cheese that I do eat is about 1 tbsp. in scrambled eggs for breakfast and any that is included in a salad I might order out for lunch.  I no longer buy cheese snacks, sticks or cubes in an effort to reduce dairy.  I noticed a HUGE difference in my skin clearance with just this little change.  I’ve had hormonal acne since puberty.  Another joy of being a girl.  I am 27 years old and still breaking out once a month.  By the time you recover from the breakout it’s about time for another one to surface.  Last month, with cheese reduction in full swing, I noticed that my several breakouts turned to a few.  Then I went and screwed myself.  I was craving pepper jack cheese really badly so I bought a block on my weekend shopping trip.  Well, this week I’m broken out.  Now, it is approaching time for a breakout but this month is noticeably different from last.  I’m becoming a believer in this whole dairy/skin thing.

In an effort to further test my theory, dear reader, I have made the bold decision to cut out my nightly pudding with whipped cream.  Gasp!  I know, I know, I too fear for the lives of those around me.  In searching for a substitution, I had a light bulb moment when a friend posted an Instagram photo of herself drinking chocolate almond milk (hey, Jen P!).  While at the store last weekend I checked out the milk aisle and discovered that this chocolaty goodness (so says Jen) doesn’t come in unsweetened!  One cup of chocolate almond milk is 100 calories, 2.5g of fat, 1g protein, 19g carbs and 17g sugars!  AKA I can’t drink this stuff. 

Here’s a fun fact, 3 Oreo cookies are 160 calories, 7g fat, 2g protein, 25g carbs and 14g sugars, which basically means I’d pick 3 Oreos all day.  I get less grams of sugar and 1 more gram of protein!  I see that as a win. 

Publix, where shopping is DEFINITELY a pleasure, obviously was reading my mind and knew I would search for my pudding stand in because right next to the milk case is a Hershey’s syrup display.  Thank you, Publix!  Someone had conveniently left a bottle of a sugar free version for me to look at.  Two tablespoons has 5g carbs, 15 calories, 0g sugars and 4g sugar alcohols.  Another light bulb.  I wonder what the nutritional facts on NesQuick to be.  I scoot over to the syrup aisle and find a no sugar added version of the chocolate powder I loved as a child.  Two tablespoons has 7g carbs, 35 calories and 3g sugars!  I bought the syrup and the powder with my unsweetened Silk almond milk vanilla and decided to have a taste off.  I couldn’t declare a winner, friends!  They both tasted pretty good.  It’s been almost a week and I’ve successfully used this “chocolate milk” as my pudding substitute and haven’t choked anyone out, yet! 

Further research is still needed to develop my no dairy/no acne theory.  I think the less dairy coupled with better eating, less caffeine, hardly any diet soda and tons of water might be the key to clearer skin.  I will, as always, keep you informed and up to date on my findings.  In the meantime, anyone have any substitutions for cream cheese, sour cream or ranch dressing that DON’T involve yogurt?  Another milk-based food I despise…unless of course it’s in frozen, soft serve form.  There’s always a catch!  Some things I might just have to sacrifice a pimple for because this girl doesn’t want to live in a world without ranch.

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