I Gave Up Dairy For 10 Days, And My Body Has Never Felt Better

by Francesca Maximé
Melanie DeFazio

For the last couple of weeks, I've given up dairy and followed a strict vegan diet.

And there's one thing that's really stood out regarding the whole experience: I've pooped a lot.

Even though I've basically been eating vegetarian for the past two years, I've never given up eggs and dairy. But after reading how dairy products can affect your skin (and living with adult cystic acne), I decided to give the vegan lifestyle a try.

When I stopped eating meat, it was because I wanted to go along with what Buddhist teachings call the Five Precepts, one of which is non-killing. 

When life got busy, however, I ate like everyone else: nachos, tacos, burritos, steaks, etc.

When I was running around for work, I'd grab food on the fly, which usually consisted of a bag of Cheetos and a Diet Coke.

But when I finally stuck to being vegetarian, I switched over to a ton of Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese and 1 percent milk to get the protein I needed.

I never thought about having meat again, but that part wasn't hard.

I lost 35 pounds by quitting drinking, giving up meat, exercising (walking, yoga and tennis) and sticking to a high-fiber, high-protein diet. 

That protein mainly came from the dairy products I just mentioned. But, I also ate a lot of black beans, peas and edamame, which are vegan protein sources.

My first step into upping my game from vegetarian to being vegan was switching to soy milk. And to be honest, it was delicious. I can't imagine what I was thinking by not trying it before.

It still has all the protein as well as calories of regular milk. 

Instead of my morning eggs, I went for a bunch of gluten-free cereals, special gluten-free vegan breads, oatmeal, stewed prunes, fresh fruit and more.

Usually, I'd eat stewed prunes and oatmeal every morning, and I'd add in some psyllium husks to help with my fiber intake.

Fiber is one of those diet staples that helps food, as they say, “go right through you.”

For lunch, I'd have something like black bean chili or mung bean or lentil dal (basically an Indian curried dish or soup). I'd eat it poured over a bowl of steamed kale, bok choy or broccoli, along with some green tea and soy milk.

So, as you can probably tell, I ended up using the bathroom pretty frequently.

I was really hoping going totally vegan and giving up dairy might make me get rid of my cystic acne, but it didn't.

I got three new zits, and they're still taking some time to calm down.

But, I did lose 3 pounds and feel really good overall.

So, going vegan for me for the past 10 days has pretty much resulted in me feeling better and using more way more TP than anyone else I know.