As we at MamaSezz well know, changing to a plant-based diet can change your life in ways you never expected. In this series, we talk with some of the world’s most soulful, dedicated (and often funny) individuals. We get to hear their stories of suffering, transformation, and service — and we learn how food is an essential part of their journey. For some, they reverse chronic diseases, for others, they learn to balance hormones with diet.
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This week, we speak with three women who each turned their hormone health around by cutting out dairy and loading up on a plant-based foods.
But first, how does going dairy-free help with hormones?
If you drink milk regularly, it can be difficult to take a step back and look at it for what it really is: breast milk. Like human women, female cows only lactate if they have recently given birth to a baby.
In 2017, it was reported that 80 percent of milk came from factory farms. In these mass production farms, and even in medium to large family farms, cows are impregnated using a machine at an early age. They give birth and their baby is taken from them to either be made into veal (male) or to be raised for milk production themselves (female). The female dairy cows are then hooked up to a machine that pulls the milk from their udders and are immediately impregnated again. This means that the majority of milk in the US comes from pregnant cows. Even if you buy “hormone-free” milk, it is LOADED with natural hormones.
Natural hormones in milk:
- Growth hormones (able to make a baby calf grow into a 2 ton cow in a matter of months)
- Estrogen (naturally found in breast milk)
- Pregnancy hormones (chorionic gonadotropin hormone)
- Female sex steroids
- Progesterone (and other placental hormones)
*No difference was found in natural hormone levels found in organic vs. non-organic milk
Because human babies grow at a much slower rate, they don’t need the surge of protein and growth hormones that cow's milk provides, which is one reason cow’s milk is not recommended for children under 1. Grown adults are also not meant to consume breast milk (from cows or humans). We have done our growing and developing and no longer need the surge of growth and sex hormones that cow's milk provides. Let’s leave the cow's milk to the calves, and human breast milk to human babies.
Not only do we not need cow's milk, it can be harmful to our health. These hormones from cow's milk can contribute to female infertility, among other hormone-related issues. When put to the test, studies concluded that 36/37 year old women who drink cow's milk regularly had ovaries comparable to that of a fertile 50 year old! But dairy can alter women's hormones in more ways than one.
How to balance hormones with diet:
Many women with PCOS, endometriosis, and other hormone-related disorders have reported symptoms diminishing or going away completely once they’ve cut out dairy. And this makes total sense! We each have a delicate balance of hormones, and ingesting high levels of estrogen and other female sex and pregnancy hormones is actually quite dangerous.
Ready to give dairy and meat the boot?
Make it easy with the MamaSezz Detox and Reboot Program. You get coaching, two weeks' of ready-made and delicious whole food plant-based meals meals, and easy meals plans to set you up for success. Learn to balance hormones with diet!
3 Women Who Balanced Their Hormones by Going Dairy-Free
At MamaSezz, we've heard countless stories from women who've been able to heal their symptoms caused by hormonal disorders by moving away from dairy. This week, we're shining light on three such women:
1: PCOS-related acne: Ava's dairy free diet
Ava M. struggled with painful cystic acne since she was 12 years old. She cycled through prescriptions, dermatologists, and expensive topical treatments. Ava tried next to everything but the painful blemishes persisted throughout high school and college. She also suffered from weight fluctuations starting at an early age.
Eventually, Ava got her diagnosis. She was diagnosed with PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. She learned to accept her natural beauty. During this time, Ava tried out a vegan diet and saw a huge difference in her skin and weight. Our skin is the largest organ of the body. It is a great indicator if something is off balance on the inside!
Ava has a healthy outlook on her (mostly) diary-free diet. While she feels no need to eat meat ever again, she believes in everything in moderation. Ava doesn’t sweat it if she wants to enjoy some bits of cheese or butter here and there. Wow, what a healthy outlook on diet. Ava hopes by sharing her story she can help other women feel confident in their skin, and heal from the inside out. Read more about Ava’s journey with PCOS.
2: Painful Endometriosis: Lianna tried a dairy free diet
Since her first period, Lianna suffered from painful menstruation. As she aged, Lianna had to have several large cysts removed, experienced regular yeast infections, horrible stomach and digestive pain during her period, and her painful periods didn’t go away. She was diagnosed with a fertility-threatening ovarian cyst that needed to be removed and a diagnosis of endometriosis.
Lianna's doctor told her to go back on the pill immediately to regulate her symptoms. She decided to give an elimination diet a try, as removing gluten had cleared up her IBS. Once Lianna removed dairy from her diet, she braced herself as her period came. What happened next changed her life forever. Lianna has never been happier than she is on a dairy free diet.
3: Ovarian cysts: Jen learned to balance hormones with diet
In her late twenties, Jenn T. was having yearly surgery to remove her painful endometriosis cysts. Sometimes even several times a year. She knew this wasn’t sustainable, and this was well before she could turn to Google or the University of YouTube. Jenn headed to her local library and found that estrogen was the main cause of endometriosis. She realized how much dairy and white meat she was consuming, but felt as though her diet was relatively healthy because she had cut out red meat.
Eventually, she came across actress Marilu Henner’s book, Total Health Makeover, about how she reclaimed her health by cutting out meat, dairy, and refined sugar. Jenn was willing to give anything a try at this point, and decided to do a one month trial to see what happened. Jen went forth with her plan even though her doctor told her that “diet has no impact on endometriosis.” Jenn was determined to prove him wrong, and special ordered non-dairy milks from her local co-op (as they weren’t widely available at the time).
After just 30 days her whole world changed, and it wasn’t just her menstruation pain that went away! Read more about Jen’s healing journey.
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Balance hormones with diet, and cut out dairy for good!