I Gave Up Dairy & Processed Sugar For 30 Days & I Can’t Believe The Results

As January 2nd approached I made every effort to dispose of my Christmas chocolate in the best possible way, by binging it. Standard. The average day diet of December was pizza, biscuits, chocolate, cheese and Christmas cake, and boy was it the best thing ever.

But as it became more evident towards the end of 2018, I needed to make some drastic changes to my diet for a number of reasons bar losing weight.

There were 3 huge reasons I made the drastic decision to give up dairy and processed sugar for 30 days.

-After suffering from pancreatitis when I was 17, it’s fair to say I have NEVER felt the same way since. My life thus far has been crippled with stomach pain, tests, doctors appointments, a lot of sickness, weight loss and feeling generally SHIT. I was at my wits end and I never received any help. Giving up alcohol almost 6 years ago definitely saved me from a cruel reality of chronic pancreatitis, but I was still scarred and not well on the inside. Research shows that after an acute attack your pancreas doesn’t fully recover.

-My skin. I have had cystic acne, under the skin bumps, hormonal acne and the latter in the last 5 years. Again, my skin started to decline from after my summer holiday in 2018 and I was convinced my jawline and chin acne was being caused by what I ate after tracking my skin over the last couple months of the year.

-Asthma. Despite taking a steroid inhaler, it was an appointment in December with worrying chest pain that led to the fact my peak flow was a lot lower than it normally is. I was getting tightness in my chest, coughing up mucus every morning, having coughing fits and generally feeling exhausted.

So it’s fair to say I looked shit and felt shit. Enough was enough and after doing HUGES amount of research I knew I had to make some drastic changes, giving up processed sugar was the one thing I had never tried. I knew I wanted to give up dairy which was definitely the easy part, but I wasn’t doing it to just eat other crap which was ‘dairy free’, just cos it’s dairy free chocolate, doesn’t mean it’s any better for you and it’s usually just replaced with more sugar and preservatives.

Based on that, I knew to do it properly I had to give up processed sugar too, I already knew that sugar really affected my stomach and pancreas, I’m already at a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life and I desperately don’t want to become a statistic.

I never thought this would be an easy fix, and obviously after reading through pages and pages on google of various long tail search terms, I was fairly positive about the changes I was making, but I had no idea how it would personally change my life. Besides the fact if I’d actually stick to it. Here’s how I got on…

Day 1

Can’t believe how slow this day has gone, don’t know how I’m going to even last one week, time is going so slow.

Livias kitchen raw millionaires bites saved me today, so thank you.

I’ve also signed out of social media for a while. So what else do I do but google questions like ‘dairy and hormones’ ‘giving up dairy and acne’ ‘does dairy give you spots’.

Day 1 done. Swimming tomorrow and I won’t be reaching for a protein shake afterwards and I’m worried I’m going to feel hungry all day, so that should be fun.

P.S – isn’t it funny when you take pics of your skin thinking it’s a bad day and then do another one a week later and think your skin was GOOD then.

Day 7-12

These first couple of weeks have been the hardest of all.

I’m not far enough in to see any changes, facially that is and if anything I feel like my skins getting worse.

I imagine it’s a similar feeling to someone who needs to lose a lot of weight, checking each day and not looking any different in the mirror. But really, everyday you make the conscious effort you’re going in the right direction, it’s that consistency over time that reaps the rewards you sow.

I’m just so impatient. Every morning as soon as I wake up I touch my face and run to the mirror to see if there are any changes. The only changes I’m seeing are new zit formations, nice.

The one thing I really enjoy in life is nice food and eating out, I’d usually eat out at least twice a week in some capacity. So the fact I can’t do that at the moment is only adding to my misery.

It’s early days still and I just need to remain positive, after years of bad eating how could my skin possibly be perfect after a little of only 12 days??

This is the perspective I needed.

OK, so I’m so self obsessed with my skin that I’ve totally forgotten I haven’t had one stomach pain, flare up or sickness since starting this diet. Not ONE pain, wtf?? Now that really is a miracle and good enough reason to push through and continue. I’ve already decided I need to give this diet at least 2 months of serious dedication.

Day 15

OK, so my skin actually looks worse than it did after Christmas. I have spots in areas that I never got spots before. This shit is hard. I can’t even be spotty and enjoy eating the food that’s producing them.

Days are going so much quicker, the average day is flying by like normal. I’m not even fancying sugary rubbish anymore but I just feel hungry all the time. Really need to look into more filling snacks cos everyday it’s like oo nuts and rice cakes again *insert eye rolling emoji*.

Wanted to title this blog 30 days without dairy and the results are shocking, yeah so there’s gonna have to be some big movements in the next 2 weeks.

This has been the longest month to date and I’m not just talking about the fact that I’ve been waiting for the January pay day for literally weeks. Roll on the 31st.

Day 20

After another message to my Mum saying ‘my skin is worse than ever’ she replies ‘Time, time, time’.

Truer words have never been spoken.

Day 27

I think today is the turning point for my skin.

Day 30

30 DAYS, DING, DING. Like, how?

I can’t even begin to comprehend the emotions I have felt during this month. If you watch my VLOG linked below you’ll be able to see the sheer difference in my attitude week on week.

It’s the only reason you’ve all flocked to my blog. So, has it helped?

Firstly, I have lost 7 pounds, HALF A STONE. I was utterly shocked because I never did this for weight loss, if anything Ive been eating more good fats, a lot of nuts, avocado’s, lean meats and olive oil.

This has demonstrated to me what cutting sugar out of your diet actually does, I don’t think giving up dairy had anything to do with this, stat. I can see that those pounds have literally dropped off around my abs as I’m more defined than ever so I am happy with this result, but I need to make sure I don’t lose anymore continuing with this diet.

Asthma. It wasn’t until after the 2 week mark that I realised I wasn’t congested every single morning and I’ve barely touched my reliever inhaler. It has even helped my performance in the pool which I will happily take. I know that this is because of cutting out dairy as cheese used to congest me within an hour of consuming it, I haven’t had that awful full stomach that means I can’t take a deep breath in either. I think that’s a success in itself.

Well, perhaps the biggest indicator of the success of this month has been my stomach. Whilst there has most definitely been hunger pains at some point, I have not had one serious stomach pain, sickness or any other vile stomach issues. NOT ONE. Whilst I am surprised, I’m also not. I’ve always known that sugar has been my downfall and was causing my pancreas and IBS flare ups. I can’t quite believe that I can feel this wonderful EVERY DAY.

I no longer fear the pains setting in when I’m out and about and the exhaustion and nausea I used to frequently experience have literally disappeared over night. To be honest, it only took 3 days for me to feel this amazing and here we are 30 days later.There can’t be further proof that my stomach issues were exacerbated and caused primarily by sugar (oh, and definitely pizza and fatty foods, neither of which I’ve had). Every time I felt like giving up I clung onto this and focused solely on where I wanted to be, and it worked.

When I tell you I have had the skin month from hell, I ain’t joking. My god. I thought my skin was bad on the 2nd of January and I wasn’t prepared for the purge I have been through. Not only was it appearing on my chin more than ever, I was getting more spots in areas I never had them before. Coincidence? I think not.

After reading into it it looked like a detox reaction, but not only that, as I wasn’t feeding my skin with the clogging properties of sugar each month, my skin has dramatically unclogged and spots that had been under the surface for months were finally coming out. Pretty nasty, but I digress.

It has only been since Monday of last week and everyday since then that I have not woken up to any new spots on my chin. If my gut instinct and research is correct, spots take up to 4 weeks to develop. Whilst there are still some areas including my jawline that are still suffering I’m so positive that my diet has had a huge impact on my skin and I won’t reap the true benefits after only one month of ditching sugar and dairy.

There’s no denying that this hasn’t just been a dietary change, it has been a lifestyle change, and a truly drastic one. I’ve had to cut bat habits like eating packs of biscuits in the evening, binging on chocolate, eating white potatoes most nights and yes, it has been a very anti social month as I’ve been avoiding eating out for ease.

There is so many people out there on a daily basis posting things on their profile such as ‘never deprive yourself’ or ‘everything in moderation’ and ‘life is too short’ and perhaps. But my life is going to be a whole lot shorter if I carry on consuming sugar each month and reaching for things that make me ill. I had to be cruel to be kind, it’s like offering an alcoholic just one drink, it never ends at just one drink. It’s all or nothing. Yes, it was a 30 day challenge, but it’s triggered something in me that’s realised I was not looking after myself. Only now that I’m a little bit older I realise that my health is EVERYTHING – if it means declining cake and missing social events then so be it.

My mood has improved massively, I’m feeling great, hopefully looking even better soon and my eyes are on the prize. I’m going to be continuing this throughout February and perhaps introducing a few items back in like 90% dark chocolate on the odd occasion and greek yoghurt (I don’t believe dairy has had the biggest impact on me except my asthma ). I’m going to continue listening to my body and feeding it what it needs.

Life can be and feel so wonderful if we have the willpower and dedication to get there. Sugar, it’s you, not me.