Dump the Dairy

In the same way that we've become accustomed to thinking of meat as the only source of protein, we've come to think of dairy prod­ucts as the only source of calcium . This myth is having detrimental effects on our health. Dairy products are not health foods, contrary to what dairy boards and their milk-moustache-wearing celebrities may suggest. There's no question that milk and other dairy products contain calcium. But just because milk contains calcium does not mean that your body will absorb the calcium, nor does it mean that it is a healthy food option. Laboratory conditions used to determine the amount of calcium in dairy products are simply not the same as the conditions inside the human body.

Other than domestic animals to which we feed cow's milk, humans are the only species that consumes the milk of another species. And that's long after we're supposedly weaned from milk consumption as infants. Cow's milk is simply not suitable for human consumption. A cow has four chambers in its stomach to help it to digest its mother's milk. A human being has only two stomach chambers, which is insufficient to adequately break down the milk protein.

Our modern cow's milk supply is laden with growth hormones used to fatten cattle and lengthen the duration of lactation, antibiotics used to ward off animal infections, and residue of other medications that they may have consumed.

The United States and Canada have two of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world, yet North Americans drink more milk and eat more cheese and ice cream than most other countries in the world
. What are better sources of calcium? Try almonds, leafy salad greens, fresh carrot juice, kale, and tofu .

If you need more convincing, consider the environmental impli­cations of raising meat and dairy cattle. As more parts of the world, including the American Mid-West, experience extended droughts, water is becoming an increasingly precious resource. The amount of water required to raise beef and dairy cattle is staggering, especially in contrast to the amount required to grow an equivalent measure of vegetables.

Begin today to wean yourself off dairy products. Yes, that means all dairy products: milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, and even "cheese substitutes" that contain casein or other dairy ingredients. Your life force will thank you! For most people, the more they avoid dairy products, the better they typically feel. This is especially true for anyone with allergies, breath­ing disorders, and pain disorders like arthritis , since many people have hidden food sensitivities to dairy products that are creating the symptoms of these illnesses.

Use almond milk or rice milk in your baking, on your cereal, or to make smoothies. Don't expect them to taste the same as cow's milk-they have their own delicious taste. If you don't like one particular variety, try another one, since the taste varies between varieties and brands.

Ready to dump the dairy? Post your health intent and find community support and content to help you achieve it!

Michelle Schoffro Cook, DNM, DAc, CNC, is a six-time and best-selling book author whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, and The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. She is a doctor of natural medicine, holistic nutritionist, and holistic life coach®. Visit: www.TheLifeForceDiet.com to learn more.

Week 2: Eliminate the Unhealthy

Each day this month, Michelle will explore another nutrition element of her Life Force Diet on Intent.com.