The dilly-o on dairy

I’ve been a vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, white meat-eater, flexitarian, and everythingtarian at least once in my life.  I am always trying to figure out what my body and taste buds like/don’t like.  Right now I consider myself a vegetarian but I think I am on the brink of going vegan again.  I have been testing out the way my body feels when I eat dairy and lately my stomach has not been a fan.  I don’t consume much anyway (just some Greek yogurt and sometimes cheese) but when I do I tend to feel really bloated (sometimes pregnant-looking) and get weird stomach cramps.


What does this mean?  I am going to have to go about this the right way this time.  When I went vegan in the past, I didn’t plan my meals properly.  I wan’t necessarily a “clean” vegan.  Twizzlers and potato chips aren’t really the keys to a healthy body!  I’m doing a pretty good job at eating a mostly vegan diet at the moment but I am planning on putting a greater emphasis on variety (mainly so I don’t get bored and go grab a bag of candy to fulfill my need for exciting food) and cutting out the stuff that makes me feel not-so-hot.

Will this be a challenge?  Of course!  Considering I am on James Wilson’s program and intend on building some muscle, I may not get the same results as someone who eats a high protein diet.  I eat more carbs and less protein than the average bear.  I already talked to James about this though and he is confident that I will be okay.  I am already starting to see some changes in my upper body that I’m really excited about. :)

Now that I have the amazing Eat Clean Vegetarian Cookbook (which includes a lot of vegan recipes), I will have a lot of new recipes and ideas to help fuel my body.  I will also be picking Jenn’s brain since she has been following a vegan diet for quite some time now.

I will try my best to document my eats on here for those of you who are interested in incorporating some plant-based meals into your diet.  I post a lot of pictures on Instagram as well (the_athletarian) so feel free to add me on there too!

Don’t forget to enter my running shoe giveaway!

If you were to go vegan, what would be the hardest thing for you to give up?


  1. 1


    When I did a 30-day vegan challenge, I found that it wasn’t hard to give up things, but it was more of a challenge to see what items included dairy that I would’ve never guessed.

    In an office environment, it can be challenging when meals are often catered and the people that want to be helpful in your dietary requirements don’t realize the scope of avoiding animal products.

    One example happened when the office got sandwiches, chips and soda for lunch. The organizers knew I was adhering to a vegan diet, but brought me a sandwich with lettuce and tomato – seemed okay, but I quick googled the bread (it was a yummy bun) and sure enough, it included milk. Then, the chips – salt and vinegar – included milk powder. All I had was a soda – not healthy at all, but I really felt bad that they tried and I didn’t want to toss the whole pack.

  2. 3

    Nikki says

    I’ve been seeing a naturopath for a bit now because I had similar problems that you are having with dairy. I would often feel sick after eating and get unbelievably bloated! I found out I’m allergic to about a million things (so depressing), but honestly, once you cut them out and feel like a “normal” human being again after eating it makes everything worth it! Focus on that amazing feeling that you get when you feed your body what it needs and that should help power you through the tough times when you want to make twizzlers your BFF. Good luck and I look forward to reading your new meal posts to inspire some ideas!

  3. 4


    Have you tried goat dairy? (There is goat milk yogurt, ice cream, cheese etc) Goat dairy is far more gentle on your digestive system than cow dairy and it’s somewhat similar in structure to human milk (although all species are different) Otherwise give coconut (milk, yogurt etc) a try it’s delicious!!

    • 5


      I don’t eat much goat dairy, but I wanted to second this! In Hong Kong, a lot of people are lactose intolerant. However, they often eat goat dairy products with no problems at all. Just a thought!

  4. 6

    Elizabeth says

    Do you think it’s lactose intolerance? That is what I deal with and am miserable after consuming milk products, though I DO love cheese and am ok most of the time.

  5. 7


    Nice! You’re like me, trying to test what your body likes. I’ve been a vegetarian for a number of years now, but it seems like I am shifting to Pescatarian. I, like you though, don’t like dairy so I’m thinking of doing a “Pesca-Vegan” diet. Yep, such a one exists. Seafood, no Other Meat and No Dairy. It’s pretty rare, but it’s the one my stomach seems happy with. Good luck, now’s the time to be changing diets it seems!

  6. 8


    Last year I gave up dairy for lent- it was amazing to see how many products contain ‘milk solids’! After 2 weeks I dropped 7lbs so I definitely think its beneficial to cut out for all that bloating. Look forward to seeing the variety you add to your diet :)

  7. 10

    Allison says

    Have you heard of the books “Thrive” and “Thrive Fitness”?
    Brendan Brazier (author) is a vegan athelete and creator of Vega the nutrional supplement line. I have heard nothing but great things about these books and plan on reading them soon. I too have similar issues and have recently switched to eating more alkaline diet and feel much better.

  8. 11


    I’m also mainly “pesc-vegan” and have found that not eating any dairy really helps with my stomach issues. I miss cheese the most and when I do cave in my stomach feels aweful afterwards and I get super bloated. I eat Daiya cheese to statisfy my pizza and grilled cheese cravings. I also have a Vega One smoothie after working out to make sure I get enough protein. Check out my blog for some good vegan recipes!

  9. 12

    Julia @ Pain, Pride, Perseverance says

    i think just milk in general would be so tough for me to give up…i drink almost a gallon per week! haha! i also have a cheese addiction i think;)

  10. 18


    You are so awesome Christina! I really admire that you are willing to do whatever it takes to feel healthy and so willing to alter your diet. That is just awesome and I wish you the best of luck on this new adventure. Yes keep us posted on how it goes.

    You look freaking amazing and your arms rock! Wow, wow, wow girl your hard work is really paying off. You and Dean will be on the cover of Oxygen magazine any day now!!!

  11. 19


    I’m so sorry dairy has been effecting you negatively, love:( Dairy really isn’t good for anyone though, and while I [used to] LOVE cheese I honestly don’t miss it because it –and dairy in general — is so easily replaced!

    Fruit & healthy fats (think 3,6,9 Omegas) will definitely even out your hardcore workouts. Beans & “healthy starches” will also help!

    When you’re working out hard go heavy on nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts, & cold-pressed oils. Make friends w/bananas & mangoes because they both have a high caloric density — plus, it’s mango season!! :)

    I’m trying to get better at publishing more informative pieces and up-to-date challenges, accomplishments, discoveries, but seriously, hit me up ANYTIME!! And thank you sooo much for the shout out!!

    PS: Fresh fruit is also the most optimal source of energy, BUT not when adding to a diet including [lots] of fatty, cooked, or processed foods, so the fact that you already eat clean is perfect!!

  12. 22


    How exciting babe! I am glad you are listening to your body and not following a trend. I am so happy you’re not a protein crazy person just because the majority of people who want to build muscle tend to be!

    I love it and I notice your progress as well! Nice guns sista!

  13. 23


    Good luck! I think it is so important to be aware of how foods affect you and to make changes that are right for you! I love my dairy and don’t feel as though I have any negative effects from it…although I don’t eat too much of it! I love milk and cheese the most! And ice cream, but I don’t eat much of that :)

  14. 25


    For a while I was in the vegetarian/almost vegan camp, but now I’m pretty much vegan. I didn’t find it hard to give up things like cheese; instead I think the hardest part was just trying not to eat products with sneaky milk ingredients in them.

    And, I used to LOVE yogurt, but soy yogurt gives me the heeby jeebies. So Delicious makes amazing coconut milk yogurt and ice cream!!

    PS You look rockin’! 2 tickets to the gun show 😉

  15. 26


    Looking pretty good there, Girlie. Loving those arms. And good luck with feeling better going dairy free. I really think we all need to pay more attention to the way food affects our bodies.

    After getting dehydrated and salt depleted while running my half marathon a couple of weeks ago, I have been paying way more attention and finding it all quite fascinating, too.

    Good for you to pay heed and act.

  16. 28


    It’s great you are not following any trends and just eating lots of protein/grain free because that is the trend happening. You have to do what is best for your body, and if no dairy makes you feel better than I’m happy you realized it and are making positive changes! Good luck with the challenge! The hardest for me to give up would be greek yogurt and egg whites.

  17. 29


    The hardest thing to give up would be dairy – which I am actually doing soon! I’ve heard that I will feel a lot better without it. But, I’m waiting until after my town’s local dairy festival this weekend :)

  18. 31

    Julianne says

    Lookin’ good! Keep up whatever you’re doing because it’s working!! I’m still not sold on the death-defying challenge, though, but it’s a great incentive to become GI Jane!! ;O)

  19. 32


    Your arms look great! I think giving up cheese would be the hardest for me. I recently became a vegetarian and it was pretty easy because I didn’t really feel like I was compromising anything.

  20. 33


    Hey girl! I’ve been dairy-free for two weeks now, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I know that dairy in the hot summer months is not cool in the first place. It doesn’t sit well with many people in this heat. But, in general, it’s made a world of difference in the way I feel.

  21. 34


    Dairy is a no-go for me and I love it that way. :) If you’re looking for some good recipes you might want to check out Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. She is basically my vegan idol. She has an amazing podcast and several cookbooks. Color me Vegan is a good one, but my favorite go-to cookbook is the Vegan Table. I definitely don’t feel that humans are meant to consume cow’s milk in any way, shape or form, but that’s just me. Good luck!

  22. 35


    You should check out the Appetite for Reduction vegan cookbook. It’s really good, and the recipes are mostly easy to make and are all low fat/low cal. I try to eat mostly vegan but have decided to cut out all dairy for June and see how I feel. Good luck with your vegan-ism!


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