This year, instead of having a huge, long list of New Year Resolutions, I decided to break it down into one resolution per month.
Last month, well, I don't think I ever posted about that. Last month was Yoga month, where I began an early-morning Yoga habit. I love yoga. The best way I can describe the incredible impact it made is this:
Think of your spine as a stack of those cute, wooden alphabet blocks. I had some for Atticus when he was a baby and Ernie ate every.last.one. Beagles aren't the brightest bulb in the canine kingdome.
Anyways, instead of having a nice, straight tower of blocks, my spine felt like a slowly curving, forward leaning hunch of a spine. My part-time seasonal desk job wasn't helping matters, either.
Yoga takes those blocks, stretches them out (making them taller) and restacks them, one directly above the other, in a nice, uniform line. You leave feeling about 2 inches taller and with a ballet dancer spine.
Anyway, more on the yoga later.
This month is Dairy Conversion Month. We eliminating all dairy products.
(warning: I feel a bit passionately about this subject, so soapbox ahead!)
Why? Simply put, we are not meant to drink milk. Milk is meant to grow a baby calf into a 300 pound adult in 6 months. Nothing more.
Would you want to pour breast milk in your cereal? Of course not! You may even be gagging at the thought!
Would you drink orangutan's milk? After all, they are closer to us as a species. But would you? No way, no day.
So why do we like to pretend we are baby cows? Baby cows have:
-4 stomachs (pop quiz: how many do we have?)
-9 feet of intestine (we have 27 ft)
-the biological need to double their weight in 47 days (no wonder we pack on so many pounds do to this "food group")
Should we eat a health, balanced diet of a variety of natural foods/grains, we would consume more than enough calcium.
The whole "we need milk in order to have strong bones" thing is a crock of BS that the government, in connection with the high-dollar dairy lobbyists concocted. Do the research. The whole dairy food/convenience food is a symbiotic, double-edged sword. Fill our bodies up with enough red meat, bleached foods and soda and we virtually eliminate any chance of absorbing any calcium you may have (but probably not) ingested via food. So enter milk and voila! You can get the calcium. But at what cost?
How about heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, kidney stones, allergies, nasal congestion? How about those bovine growth hormones? Yummy.
And if all that "logical" stuff isn't enough to convince someone to say adios to milk, then go for the gross-out factor. Ask if the dairy farmworkers clean all that cow pie off those udders every.single.time.they.milk.
So milk is gone from our home. We switched over to a combination of soy milk, rice milk and almond milk. The kids like it all. I have a hard time with soy milk in my oatmeal, but find almond milk to be very delicious in it.
And I have to add that I am SO proud of my Mister for being 100% on board with this whole plan. That's a huge step for him (and one more thing to cross off on my evil scheme's plan to turn the Mister into a Vegan!)
But I don't expect it all to be easy. I am a bit worried about the cheese conversion. Okay, really worried. We're Cheeseheads, for goodness sake! But, I'll report our progress and give you my honest impression of alternate choices for cheese.
I'm hoping that we experience many of the promising benefits that countless others have received since becoming dairy-free: less allergies, no more nasal congestions, losing the 'puff' in our faces. I have no intention of putting Keenan and Miles on milk when they come home, so now seems like a very good time to switch the rest of us over before our little guys are home.
And did I mention that it's February?
And despite the fact that Punxsutawney Phil had many people groaning this morning about the rest of this month, I am feeling pretty darn good about February.
New month, renewed hope, renewed faith.