Going dairy free: One month on

Some of you have been following my experiments in going dairy free to see if it’ll help improve my crappy spotty skin. You can read more about this here. I thought I’d give you a round-up of my month but first, here’s a reminder of how my skin looked before…

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WEEK 1

You can read all about my first week here. And after one week of dairy free, my skin looked like this…

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Not much improvement that I can see but my skin does seem to take a long time to heal and a change of diet can always have an effect on skin, I guess. Perseverance is needed at this point!

 

WEEK 2

I gave in to temptation and ate a little pot of Rachel’s uber creamy rice pudding over the weekend. It was divine. I savoured every last bit. Within a few hours, I had two spots break out on the neck, just under my jawline. I have no idea if this is a coincidence or not. But my skin really seemed to have calmed down a lot until this point. This could be down to my hormones though. I’ve just passed the ovulation stage of my cycle and I always tend to have a bit of a lull on the skin front at this time. Time will tell anyway. This is why it’s important for me to try this for a whole month, to distinguish between hormonal skin changes and changes as a result of going dairy free.

Made naan bread pizzas with the girls. It was a quick tea because my eldest had football after school so we were a bit later than usual. I put a tiny sprinkling of grated mozzarella on mine, then a little bit of my lactose free cheddar. I put extra sweetcorn and cubed ham on it and honestly didn’t feel deprived.

Discovered Moser Roth dark chocolate with sea salt in Aldi today. Yum. Very tasty. Jaffa cakes and Party Ring biscuits are also good dairy free options for a sweet treat. But to be honest, a side effect being dairy free seems to have inadvertently reduced the amount of junk I’m eating. Can only be a good thing, I guess.

I’m really starting to crave yoghurt now, even though it isn’t usually one of my favourite foods. Might brave a trip to Holland & Barrett tomorrow.

At the end of week two, I’m quite impressed. My skin does seem a lot clearer:

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But then, as I said above, I do usually have a ‘good’ week at this point of my cycle so I reserve judgement until I’ve seen the whole month through.

Weirdly, I feel buoyant. Quite energised. I’m not sure if this is a placebo or not. I can’t really describe it properly but I somehow feel a bit ‘cleaner’. As if my body appreciates the change.

 

WEEK 3

Paid a trip to Holland & Barrett and found a whole heap of dairy free goodies to try. I usually only shop there occasionally for dried fruit, nuts and bulgar wheat. I’ve never browsed properly before so I enjoyed having a good wander round.

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I’m particularly looking forward to trying the Booja-Booja chocolate ‘ice cream’ and the Pudology products. I’ve really been craving something yoghurty so I hope they live up to expectations.

Meanwhile, my skin isn’t lookly particularly clear. It’s not the worst it’s been but it’s not great. Not as good as last week. I also completely forgot to take a photo. Doh! But I shouldn’t have got my hopes up. Sigh. Bit disappointed to be honest.

 

WEEK 4

The ice cream was a bit of a let down. The flavour was ok but a bit thin. It didn’t have the richness or depth of real, creamy, dairy ice cream. But the real surprise was my little Pudology desserts. I wasn’t expecting to like them but they were fab! I had the coconut yoghurt dolloped on top of syrup sponge:

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It might look a mess but it really hit the spot. Creamy and delicious. And then there was the chocolate orange ganache. Oh my…

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I had this with my lunch one day and it was lush. It didn’t taste thin or synthetic, like some of the dairy free treats I’ve tried. The orange oil was zingy, the chocolate thick and indulgent. I struggled to finish it. Really scrummy. I noticed afterwards that it was high in calories and sugar. But then, it is coconut-based so that’s to be expected. It was quite pricey, only available in single pots, and seemed quite heavy on the packaging but it was definitely worth it for a once-in-a-while special treat.

And here I am. One week after my period. Back where I started. And hey presto! My skin has started breaking out again. Particularly along my jaw line.

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Excuse the hideous morning hair. I’ve just woken up!

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I feel pretty down about it. But I think this proves that my spots are not related to dairy in my diet but rather fluctuations in my hormone levels, according to where I am in my menstrual cycle. Ovulation seems to be the best time of the month, when my skin is at its best and I noticed a boost in my confidence around this time as a result of having clearer skin. The lack of dairy doesn’t seem to have helped at all. Maybe it is just something about myself that I need to make peace and live with.

Having said that, I don’t want to go back to my old diet. I’ve enjoyed the challenges this has brought. It’s made me think a bit more carefully about what I’m putting into my body and the effect it has. I definitely feel a bit more energetic since I started these changes. I’ve been eating far less chocolate and junk. And, bizarrely (I’m cringing as I write this because I know some of my family will read this!), my … ahem … libido seems to have had a bit of a kick-start! No idea why but it came as a bit of a shock to the husband! If you know me in real life you are barred from ever mentioning this because I will die from embarrassment!

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

So where do I go from here? I’m still not ready to go back to the GP. I don’t really want to put anything harsh on my face again. A friend contacted me after reading this series of blog posts and suggested rosehip oil so I may hunt some down and give that a try next. But, just as I was about a dairy free diet, I’m sceptical. If my spots really are caused by natural hormonal changes, I doubt anything will help. But I’ll let you know how it goes!

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7 thoughts on “Going dairy free: One month on

  1. The Intolerant Gourmand March 4, 2015 at 09:04 Reply

    Sorry to hear you’ve not had much improvement from going dairy free. It can take up to 6 weeks for the body to be totally clear of the build up of dairy in your system, and that’s when you have a really strict diet! Maybe worth doing?
    There’s some great dairy free alternatives out there, and I’m glad you found pudology! They are one of our favourites! 🙂

    • The Pie Patch March 4, 2015 at 10:22 Reply

      I’m going to carry on with it because I do feel better for it, despite not being v strict with it. So maybe I’ll see some results still. Thanks for commenting.

  2. journey2dfuture March 4, 2015 at 10:11 Reply

    Sorry to see your skin hasn’t improved much. 😦 Although a while a go I once read it can take up to 6 month to see any results once you stop eating a product. Good luck on your next phase.

  3. Maggie March 4, 2015 at 16:19 Reply

    That was a most interesting summary of your dairy-free month Lu and well done for keeping up with it. You know I was a bit sceptical at the start but the energy benefits seem worth continuing with. Rather than putting more stuff on your skin would you go down the antibiotic route as I did? Mind you, that was thirty-two years ago and maybe the doctor would be more reluctant to prescribe antibiotics these days. Good luck.

    • The Pie Patch March 4, 2015 at 23:14 Reply

      Thanks, Maggie. The Duac face cream I was prescribed a few years ago was a mild antibiotic & it did work. But I didn’t like the side effects or the fact that I’d have to use it indefinitely. So at the moment I’m going to continue down the natural route until I’ve exhausted those possibilities. Then I’ll have to reasses & maybe go back to the GP.

  4. ruthanna December 1, 2015 at 04:12 Reply

    You should try incorporating Fish Oil supplements. I’ve been on acne medicine for years and went off of it because I hate taking medicine. I would get those cystic acne bumps on my chin. Always would have one and sometimes three or four. Since taking the Fish Oil and then Biotin I have had only 1-2 pimples in about 8 months and that’s been when I stopped taking the supplements. Also, try going gluten-free if you aren’t already.

  5. Hannah Wright September 6, 2016 at 14:32 Reply

    Stop buying processed dairy free foods! You have cut out dairy and replaced it with sugar. That it why your skin is not clearing up.

    Eat natural foods most of the time, take probiotics and drink more water.

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