ASU Attempts: No Dairy for One Week

When approached with the task of going without dairy for one week, I thought it would be too easy. I’ve never liked drinking milk, and I can’t stand yogurt or cheese on their own. I thought it might not even affect my life! But after remembering the purported acne-reducing benefits of cutting dairy out of your life,  I decided to give it a try in making skin improvements in my goal. I started my attempt with confidence and, unbeknownst to me at the time, a different idea of what lesson the following week would teach me.

Almost immediately, I began to realize just how little I think about what foods I am putting into my body and began to have ongoing epiphanies about the foods I eat most often. On my first dairy-free day I encountered a problem that somehow had not crossed my mind previously--my favorite food of all time, alfredo pasta, is a dairy-based meal. Determined to rid my face of blemishes, I conceded to a week without my favorite food and moved on.

The following day, I realized that my family eats a lot of Mexican food, and cheese is a major component of nearly every dish--nachos and burritos, just to name a few. My family ate theirs with the fixings  while I ate mine sans dairy--not bad, but definitely lacking.

Then, a week later, I realized that my favorite condiment, ranch, is also dairy based! After seeing just how many foods incorporate dairy, I finally settled on Chinese food for the remainder of the week--no dairy to avoid in any of those dishes!

Every day throughout the week, I checked my skin, hoping for less acne across my face. I knew that a week wasn’t long enough for a major change, but I was still disappointed to see absolutely no improvement in my skin’s oiliness or number of blemishes. However, by the end of the week, I realized that my skin quality wasn’t the main change I’d been making; I had been changing my habits towards food as well! Obviously I know that cheese and alfredo sauce are dairy, but this attempt showed me how easy it is to forget what you’re actually putting in your body. After one week without my favorite foods and condiments (and ice cream), I’m eager to incorporate these foods back into my diet in a thoughtful way. They may or may not have a significant impact on my skin, but I think that my approach toward my diet has changed for the better.