did you think that was me in the picture? it's totally not me. my boobs are bigger and i would never wear those shoes. or that sweater. or, use a handheld shopping basket because i'm lazy. i'm way cooler than that lady is. hopefully she's not you.
now that i've cleared up any confusion about the photo, let us talk milk. it's possible that i'm at war with milk. it started a while back, i don't know when exactly but there was a point in time when i decided i didn't want to drink milk anymore. milk was never my favorite to begin with (unless i'm growing humans in my belly) but, i need it. don't i?
some smart folks will tell you that milk is actually bad for us. they say that our digestive system is not able to digest cows milk after the age of one. now, i don't know anything about that but apparently, if we were to look at the world as a whole, only a small percentage of people drink cows milk and most of them are caucasian. in fact, most people don't drink cows milk because it makes them very sick. just in case you're interested in reading about this theory, this is an interesting read.
last week when i was running at the gym i was listening to another of jillian's podcasts which happened to be all about milk. the girl knows her shit, i'm telling you. she's one smart cookie and she practices what she preaches so when she talks, i listen.
as i move through this never-ending journey to improve/maintain my health and the health of my family, i learn a lot. healthy changes are easier to make when you understand why it is you're making them. baby steps are crucial because time is needed to gather information and soak it all in. for me, it's a lot all of the time and can be overwhelming so i celebrate all victories no matter how small. something is, in fact, better than nothing. this little disclaimer is necessary because it needs to be understood that i understand where i fall short as far as true, complete wellness is concerned (if there's even such a thing).
after i listened to jillian's segment on milk i jotted some notes down. she touches on many of the varieties; dairy, soy, rice, almond, coconut, organic vs. non organic etc. and basically gives each one a grade.
most of this is verbatim. first of all, a large percentage of the population is lactose intolerant which means they have a very bad reaction to dairy (cows milk). for those who are not, dairy is okay as long as it's organic but organic milk is very expensive so it is not assessable to the masses.
[i went to costco and noted that i could get four gallons of non-organic skim milk for roughly $8.00 while the 1% organic milk was $8 for 3 half gallons. if you're not good at math, that's more than double the price of regular milk].
when dairy is not organic, she says "this is a pass." basically, stay away from it. why? because these cows are being treated with hormones that make them produce massive quantities of milk. normally, an average cow would produce something like 14 gallons of milk per day while these cows pumped full of hormones are producing 100 gallons per day. as a result, they end up with massive bacterial infections in/on their udders and they're treated with massive quantities of antibiotics. then there's how these cows are fed. instead of eating grass, like cows do (or should do), they're fed genetically modified corn. cows can't digest corn so it destroys the lining of their stomachs. hello more antibiotics!
grass fed cows have healthier milk with more healthy fats and they won't be full of hormones and antibiotics. i don't know about you but, i'm a little bit suspicious over how quickly kids start going through puberty these days and i'm not interested in poisoning my children too often.
now. if one were to say, "we've been drinking non-organic milk forever .... " as if to imply "we" are all doing just great and dandy health wise or, leave good enough alone, let's take a good look around at our ever-growing population and i'm not referring to the number of people on the planet. clearly, milk as we've been drinking it is not doing our bodies good among many other foods we choose on a regular basis. sickness everywhere.
what we know now is that dairy milk is a go as long as it's organic and as long as it doesn't make you ill.
she also mentions rice milk and says, "pass" it has zero nutritional value. almond milk is okay as long as the almonds are non-GMO. it must be noted that almonds can be GMO and they don't have to label it. the problem with genetically modified almonds is they're untested and require high quantities of pesticides. so if you go with almond milk, it must be organic.
then there's soy milk. jillian hates all things soy. she's very outspoken about this and her reasons why were enough for me to quit buying my beloved non-GMO, organic soy milk. she says she "never wants to see it in your fridge." several reason why quickly recapped: soy, unless fermented, is actually toxic to our bodies. isoflavones in soy attack our thyroid. soy could potentially be related to breast and ovarian cancer because of estrogen in soy. when genetically modified (GMO), soy is heavily drenched in pesticides. [her co-anchor asks about why it's advertised as being so good-for-you?] press and propaganda = big business only because it's cheap to produce and it's subsidized by the government. soy and corn are in everything "trust me, you're getting plenty of soy in your diet."
last of all is coconut milk. coconut is all the rage right now because it's considered a "super food." personally, i've been using coconut oil quite a bit while baking and i really like it. the milk is only okay. good enough to be used with my cereal or over my fruit and that's all i care about. here's what jillian has to say (yes, i'm aware that she's on the carton. she endorses it because she personally chooses coconut milk. she doesn't endorse anything that she doesn't believe to be worthy. like subway for instance. only bob harper walked into those subway's with the biggest loser contestants because jillian won't recommend subway until they remove HFCS from their bread which they have yet to do).
coconut milk, not the canned kind. lactose intolerant? not an issue! non-GMO (they're not genetically modifying coconuts these days) which means it's organic. it tastes good. less calories per one cup of milk compared to skim milk (90 calories in a cup). coconut milk is antiviral and antimicrobial which helps to support a strong immune system. it's also loaded with medium chain fatty acids. medium chain fatty acids are actually processed by the body as energy. the don't lend themselves to being stored as fats. it's good for you!
[she also touches on the importance of getting enough calcium when not consuming dairy]. it's important that we get our calcium so any substitute for dairy must be fortified with calcium but the body can only process so much calcium at once so you need to get the right amount and it needs to be combined with vitamin d and magnesium for absorption. coconut milk is fortified with calcium, vitamin-d and magnesium. one serving of coconut milk equals 30% of the recommended daily allowance for calcium.
[one thing she's heard people say about coconut milk is that it doesn't offer much in regard to protein when compared to dairy. she responds to this as well.] so it doesn't have a high quantity of protein in it but, that's kind of like saying raspberries or spinach don't have enough protein. protein is not the purpose of the milk (or the raspberries or spinach).
when jillian talks about milk, she's very passionate about it. she's not the only one. when i started to try and determine where to focus our money as far as organic food is concerned marion nestle says, "milk is a good starter food for organics ... since the side effects of pesticides in kids are likely to be worse than in adults, and kids drink proportionally more milk" (source)
here's the other thing (just when you thought i was off my soap box), not all organic products are created equal. the cornucopia institute maintains and organic dairy rating scorecard.
is this as frustrating to you as it is to me? sheesh.
what i've decided is i'll be buying this organic dairy milk for my family from now on and coconut milk for myself. i'm uninterested in cows milk but, they like it and i'm not going to ask them to drink coconut milk. not yet anyway.
i feel good about this choice. moving on.
what kind of milk do you drink and why?