How Going Dairy Free Changed Us

How Going Dairy Free Changed Us

Did you know about 3/4 of the worlds population is intolerant to lactose? And that humans are the only species that consumes milk in adulthood, as well as the milk from another animal? (

At the end of March, Aalap and I made a decision to cut dairy out of our lives. Meaning we cut out: milk, butter, cheese, etc…

No, we are not vegan.  We eat eggs sporadically

Here’s how it all began:

Each and every time we went to the grocery store, Aalap would end up having 2-3 different kinds of cheese in our cart. Soon, at one point we had 10 types of cheeses in our refrigerator.

Aalap and I wanted to make some changes to our diet as we were not feeling our best ( bloated, uncomfortable, at times nauseous) after certain meals we were eating and but we couldn’t pinpoint any certain ingredient that would be causing us to feel this way.

Then two things happened:

  1. Aalap was sent a few videos of the dairy farms around America, which portrayed the treatment of cows and the horrific process they are put through to continuously produce milk.
  1.  Dear friends of ours went vegan and said it was one of the best and easiest decisions they’ve made.

These two moments opened our eyes and we decided we wanted to cut dairy from our diet. So we cleaned out our refrigerator and had one last gulp of milk.

There are two MAIN reasons we feel strongly about our decision:

Treatment of Animals & Our Health.

Just like many of us, we think that the cows are treated with respect and given the best of treatment as they are selflessly providing us with milk. We imagine them grazing fields of green grass and living a beautiful life. Unfortunately, that is far from what is happening. Watching these documentaries was heart-wrenching and nauseating at the same time. Seeing how inhumane the treatment is towards these beautiful creatures was more than enough reason to take this decision.

Aalap & I are both vegetarians. Although we get questioned constantly about this, we’ve realized we don’t need to justify our reasonings to anyone. Us being vegetarian is culturally and now more than ever, morally linked.

It’s been challenging to have a conversation about our decision with folks who are adamant that milk is our ONLY source of calcium and without it, Aalap and I will have bad bones.  When in actuality the hormones, peptides, antibiotics and so much more is way more harmful to your body.

Fun Fact: Calcium is found in beans/lentils, almonds, leafy greens, tofu, edamame, carrots, sweet potatoes, oranges, butternut squash, and SO much more!

Milk is the biggest culprit of the dairy products since it trickles into the rest of them. Unfortunately, we’ve been trained to think milk is healthy for us.

The milk from a cow is made for their calves, the same way women produce milk for babies.

Since March, not only have we felt better internally after eating but not to sound vain, we look better also!

Cutting out dairy means we cut out a lot of foods that contain dairy: ice cream, sour cream, coffee creamers, salad dressings, potato chips and many more. With this subtraction, we cut out many foods that are considered ‘inflammatory’. Consuming dairy products can lead to inflammation because human bodies are not very good at digesting their certain proteins. Lactose and casein are present in abundance in dairy products resulting in chronic inflammation.

All the hormones, antibiotics, peptides and other harmful ingredients in dairy products were having a direct effect on our skin. We were both having a hard time keeping our skin under control, we’d wake up with large pimples and redness around our cheek area.  Now, we’ve both noticed a significant difference in how even our complexions is and the significant decrease in breakouts!

For both of us, we were able to shake some unnecessary pounds which have helped us feel lighter and more determined to stick to our mission. Not having dairy as ingredients has made our meals feel lighter and easier to digest.

Have we had slip-ups, of course. But it’s not intentional. We are trying to break a 27-year habit of eating dairy. It’s not going to happen overnight.

Stay tuned for some of our favorite dairy-swap-outs and other tricks/recipes we’ve used so far! We’d love to hear if you’re dairy-free, vegan, or just thinking about making a switch! – P


Arrived and adjusted in the Motherland, took a couple days and a few cold bucket showers to get with the timezone…

The biggest reason for my year break was India. To spend time with my grandpa, learn to read and write Gujurati, to attempt to learn to cook, and to experience India. Well, each of those is happening and it’s a good feeling. Here’s a little bit about each…

Spending time with my grandparents is something I have and always will cherish, I’ve been fortunate to know all four of my grandparents and be in their presence. As time and life would have it, two have left us and two are still here-  so these two months here in India are the best time to get as much time with my Grandpa as I can. He’s one person I have a really hard time describing because he really is one of a kind. But though he’s stubborn and quiet, he has so much knowledge to spread. Even though in a day, he may sit with me for maximum 20 minutes- those are the minutes that add up to so many memories and moments. I’ll take whatever I can get….

Since I like to think I am pretty fluent in speaking in Gujurati, why not learn to become fluent in reading and writing.. Although I wish I had started when I was younger, there is no time better than the present. Right? So I’ve busted out my super beginner books, notebook, and even got a “slate”/pen (chalkboard and chalk) and as of yesterday, I have mastered the basic alphabet. Hurray! Luckily, mom is my teacher and she sits with me for an hour each night to review and learn. Slowly, but surely!

Please note, the key word is “attempt” to cook. :)  Watching anyone cook here requires super fast eyes, you never know when and how much salt they put and which spice is which and how to cut the vegetable and which way to stir. Ay. That is why ‘attempt’. Maybe I should teach people here how to make bean and cheese burritos, hmm..  I’ll learn something, don’t worry!

Experiencing India.  Every time I come here, its for three weeks and we are always shopping or with family or traveling. Which will happen on this trip, but on this trip I want to see what its like to be a part of and celebrate festivals here. So far, I’ve gotten to see when Bhagvan (God)  leaves the temple to get married and people will do anything to be able to catch a glimpse. And hopefully, I’ll get to see much more on my travels….

Coming to India means a whole new lot of experiences and feelings.  Each has their own meaning and revelation behind it. Being in India is a feeling that is really hard to explain….

Stay tuned for so many more Motherland Moments. My chai is getting cold!

Avjo! DSC_0570 (1)



%d bloggers like this: