We grew up being told we need to consume dairy products in order to build strong bones and teeth.
Advertisers tell us that products such as milk, cheese and yogurt are filled with nutrients like calcium, Vitamin A, D and protein.
However, there has been a lot of focus lately on the negative effects of cow's milk and dairy products in general.
In addition to its supposed nutritional content, it also contains pus, antibiotics, feces, growth hormones, and unnecessary fats and calories.
We are the only species on the planet that consumes another species' milk, which is meant to turn a small, baby calf into a 1,500-pound cow.
After realizing the horrible impact dairy can have on the human body as well as the animal cruelty involved in the dairy industry, I have not consumed any dairy in three months.
Since removing dairy from my diet, I have noticed immense changes in my body, as well as overall happiness.
1. My skin has improved.
The hormones found in milk can make your skin produce excess sebum, causing you to break out.
After cutting out dairy, my skin improved within two weeks.
I barely have any breakouts, unless it's my time of the month, and overall, my skin looks more vibrant.
2. I've lost weight.
My digestion has significantly improved, which has reduced my bloating and also helped contribute to my weight loss.
The fats, antibiotics and hormones found in milk all contribute to excess weight gain.
Since ditching the stuff, I lost some extra pounds, and I no longer feel extremely bloated after eating.
3. I eat healthier.
So, you want to give up dairy, but aren't sure what you can replace your favorite foods with? No problem!
Nowadays, there are so many alternatives to cow's milk, which makes giving up dairy products that much easier.
Instead of putting milk in my cereal, I put in vanilla almond milk. It tastes so sweet, and it makes me feel like I'm eating dessert for breakfast.
There's also coconut milk, soy milk and many others alternatives. If you're worried about what you can eat, Pinterest has a bunch of amazing dairy-free recipes.
The majority of them are plant-based, so the food you're consuming is much healthier.
4. I'm less tired.
The excess fat, cholesterol and hormones found in milk can leave you feeling tired and sluggish.
Since eliminating dairy, I feel more vibrant and energetic. I no longer get that mid-day slump around 2 or 3 in the afternoon.
5. I'm proud of myself.
Not only am I proud for sticking to my goal, but it also brings me so much happiness knowing I am no longer contributing to the dairy and farming industry.
I've rid my diet of dairy products, and I've also removed all animal products from my life.
I can honestly say it makes you feel so much better knowing you are making a difference.
If you don't want to do it for the animals' benefits or your health benefits, then consider ditching the dairy for the physical benefits.
Yes, there are times when it's hard to say no to things like cheese or butter, like when my roommates order a pizza after a night out or when there is a wheel of brie in our fridge taunting me.
But despite this, I don't regret my decision to stop consuming dairy products.
Even if you don't think you can commit to ridding yourself of dairy entirely, you are bound to see improvements in your physical and mental health by limiting your dairy consumption.
It is important that we become more conscious consumers and understand the impact of what we are putting into our bodies.
So if you've ever considered ditching dairy, I definitely encourage you to try it out.
This article was originally published on Unwritten.