The Milk Cure: Conclusion

So, I have a confession to make.

I quit before the 7 day mark.

It was Memorial Day, people! We were having a BBQ with family! I made chocolate mousse for dessert! I felt great, and didn’t feel the need to stop, but simply decided to finish a day early so I could fully embrace the time with family.

But I will totally do it again, because:

  1.  I felt great the entire time. Wow. I know my body loved it.
  2. It was so easy. No food prep for this special diet – just pour yourself a glass of milk!
  3. It was effective. One way I could tell my body had enjoyed a great rest was during my visit to the chiropractor this week. When she adjusted my jaw for my chronic TMJ, it wasn’t painful like it usually is! There was not the usual inflammation and tenderness at the joint. How cool is that?

So now I can say I’ve done it, and recommend the Milk Cure to you personally. But before you dive in, I do have some advice:

Prepare. Plan to do it in a week or 10 days when you don’t have any special food occasions going on. Plan your family’s menu in advance so you don’t have to focus on food as much. Make as many meals ahead as you can. Go shopping BEFORE you start.

Be cautious. If you don’t already eat a healthy, nourishing diet, I’d enter into any type of cleanse with more caution. My detox symptoms were VERY mild, as I usually eat very healthy and had just come off a month on the very cleansing GAPS diet. Myself, my friend Claire, and the people who shared this idea with us all eat well to begin with, thus it was a positive experience. I have no idea how your body would respond if you have a lot of toxins built up. I wouldn’t look at the Milk Cure as a quick, easy fix if what you really need is a complete lifestyle change, you know what I mean?  If you have significant health issues, I would get the advice of a naturopath before trying any sort of a cleansing diet.

OK, got that off my chest.I just had to put that out there ’cause I don’t want you to take lightly the power and the effects of a cleanse.

And now for your questions.

Can you use goat milk? Goat’s milk is even easier to digest than cows milk, so go for it! Sarah actually did her diet on half cow and half goat milk.

What if I can’t drink milk/am lactose intolerant? You can try the GAPS diet for awhile to heal your gut, and then begin adding in cultured dairy until you overcome your sensitivity. Or you can do the Milk Cure with Kefir, which has most of the lactose cultured out of it.

Can I do this while nursing? Well, that really will have to be up to you. If your baby is entirely breastfed it may not be wise to mess with your milk supply. But if your baby is eating table food and not nursing as frequently, and you aren’t terribly toxic, it would probably be fine? My friend Claire is still nursing her 16 month old twice a day, and she said her little girl actually had an increased appetite for breast milk and her supply held up fine!

How did the diet affect your elimination? Do you really wanna know? Do I have to post about this publicly? Yes, you asked, and I promised to answer.
My stools continued to be regular though after two days on the diet they had changed to a very light brown. I had a small amount of constipation, but an enema would help with that. I simply upped my intake of milk and drank the occasional glass of water through the day, as well. And yes, I peed like a pregnant woman. And it was very light and almost greenish. OK, TMI enough? I think quite.

How much milk did you drink, or should I drink? Your build will determine how many calories you need to take in to feel good on this diet. I am 5’8″ about 145 Lbs and drank usually a gallon and a pint each day. The other gals who did this fast were also tall and they drank just over a gallon. If you are shorter, you could probably on around a gallon a day for the duration of the fast.

How were your energy levels? I repeat: I felt GREAT. I gardened, walked, square danced, cared and cooked for my family, and maintained my usual level of activity. The milk kept me satisfied and fueled.

Did you have cravings? Was it hard to cook for your family? Well, when I made the chocolate mousse, I was kinda salivating. But I promised to make myself another batch when I was done with the fast. It really wasn’t that hard, but it helped that I’d done the preparations I recommended above.

Did you lose your appetite for milk? This is what my Amish Farmer asked me the other night. I told him there was no possibility he would lose my business. I love milk more than ever, and have been drinking more milk since the fast as I have now experienced what a complete, nourishing, whole food it is and found for certain that my body loves milk.

My conclusion on the milk fast was that I will be doing this again. It was an excellent experience. I was actually kinda sad when I finished, and probably drank a half gallon the day I started to eat food again because I missed it.Yup. Totally doing this again.

A few of you said you were going to try the Milk Cure. Have you started? How’s it going? Did you have any more questions? Wanna find your own source for raw milk?

 

 

The Milk Cure: Days 4-6

The Milk Cure has gone well, people! Thanks for cheering me on. Here’s your promised updates…

Day 4 “This is so easy, it’s getting boring.”

Gosh, this fast has been so uneventful, I can’t even remember what Friday was like. I drank milk. I planned meals for my family for the weekend. I drank milk. I had wonderful energy. I drank milk. I may have gotten a little tired of drinking milk, but it wasn’t the taste–it was the need to get up and get myself a glass every two hours. But every time I did it was wonderful, and my body was loving it.

Day 5 “I can do this dancing!”

This was a big day because I was both preparing for the weekend and we had a square dance to attend  1 1/2 hours away. I made

  • and an oven pancake for breakfast
  • 3 dozen tortillas
  • a double batch of pizza dough, some of which I made into pepperoni rolls for the car ride later that day
  • a double batch of bread, some of which I made into rolls to go with sloppy joes, and some I made into cinnamon rolls for Sunday breakfast.

(all dough recipes are in my book!)
We piled into the car around 3pm, me with a cooler with 3 qts of milk next to me in the front seat. The biggest challenge of the day was trying to drink milk on the windy, curvy roads of upstate New York!

As my husband called dances, I visited with friends, kept track of my three active children, and even jumped in to dance the Cotton Eyed Joe, all on the energy I was enjoying from a diet of raw milk. We got home near midnight and I had a final glass before bed. It was still delicious.

Day 6 (whispering): “I did it in Church!”

I have a confession to make. On Sunday, as we were out in the yard getting a quick family photo before church, we found our first ripe strawberry. We reverently took it inside and cut it into 5 parts to share equally, all exclaiming at the flavor of our own, homegrown strawberries. It was at least 20 min. before I realized what I had done!

Then, in Church, I slipped again! It was communion Sunday, people! I had a teaspoon of grape juice and a crumb of matzoh…and the pint of milk I took into church with me, and yes–drank during the sermon!

That afternoon I continued preparations for celebrating Memorial Day, even making chocolate mousse for the next day’s dessert. I only just took a small lick–just to make sure it was edible. It was the first chocolate I’d had in 6 days (Hmmm–I never considered I had an addiction to chocolate until this week. Gonna have to address that. I will NEVER give up chocolate completely, but maybe it’s time to bring that a little more into balance?)

By Sunday evening I really was getting kinda tired of the routine, though I felt great and was sure I’d have no problem finishing the fast.

Tune in next time for the rest of your questions answered (as best I can) and the dramatic conclusion to the Milk Fast! (C’mon, people–it’s been so uneventful so far, do you really think it will actually have climax? Don’t say I didn’t warn you…)

In case you missed it:
Milk Cure Introduction
Milk Cure Days 1-3

The Milk Cure: Days 1-3

I officially started my milk fast on Tuesday morning. It was kinda a last minute decision. Monday night, as I was gathering jars to fetch our weekly 3 gallons of milk, I thought again of how I’d wanted to do this fast, and looked at the calendar to see if the next 7-10 days might work. Yeah, it looked like now was as good a time as any, yet I was a little chicken.

So I called my friend, Claire. She’s my support and mentor in all things nourishing. I’d planned on doing it with her, and today I was feeling slightly incapable of doing such a crazy thing on my own.

“Do you still wanna do the Milk Cure with me?”

“Sure! I’m actually fetching milk tonight. You want to start tomorrow?”

I couldn’t believe it – she was in, at this short notice! And we were starting tomorrow. Gulp.

I went and fetched 4 gallons of milk, then came home and read every post on Healthy Home Economist’s site about their milk cure. I also made a batch of cookies, as I knew this would be my last chance to have chocolate for the next week.

Claire texted me, “What, U mean no chocolate milk?!”

I texted back, “Um I don’t think that’s allowed! lol just read all the posts. u can supplement with tea and Kombucha.”

“Ok, I’ll be good, I promise.”

“You better be! You’re my moral support! lol”

“N u r mine!” Claire replied.

This was it. We were committed. What would tomorrow hold? Would we have enough energy to cook and care for our families? Would we get sick of milk? How would our bodies respond?

Day One—“This is Fun and Yum!”

I woke at 6:30 and poured a glass of milk so it could warm up a bit. It was recommended you let the milk come to room temperature so it’s not such a shock to your system. I didn’t fancy drinking all my milk at room temperature, but I figured it would be a nice touch for that first glass of the day.

It was delicious. Oh, my word. So creamy, flavorful, and satisfying. I thought, “I can totally do this.”

For the rest of the day, I drank a pint of milk whenever I got hungry, usually every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I also drank water if I was thirsty but not hungry. I had to run an errand with Jeremy before noon, so I grabbed some snacks for the kids, and a half gallon of milk for myself and hopped in the car. I wrote and sipped milk while my kids played at the park. I felt wonderful—energy was normal, and my blood sugar stayed stable as long as I kept drinking milk.

At the Park on Day One

In the evening I made sure to take a detox bath with Epsom Salts and Baking Soda—something I learned during GAPS: When you’re detoxing, soaking baths lessen the negative side effects like fatigue and headaches. I had a final glass of milk at 9:30, bringing my total intake to 1 gallon and 3 cups.

Day Two “I can do this at the Zoo!”

I spontaneously decided to join friends for a trip to the zoo on Wednesday. I was a little concerned that detox symptoms would set in, or that yesterday was just beginner’s luck and I might get really tired or something. Packed a lunch for the kids, and 3/4 of a gallon for myself, and off we went. We had a terrific day.

{Well, except for that part where I literally drove in circles around downtown Binghamton, lost as a goose, and I had to call my husband (who was 1 1/2 hours away in Syracuse) to use his smart phone to navigate me through the maze, street by street. I could blame low blood sugar, but I’ve always been a terrible navigator. The fact that I was ready for another glass of milk and I really needed a bathroom just exacerbated my problem.}

I was frankly amazed at my energy—I didn’t feel like I was on a fast at all. I was kinda waiting for the ball to drop, though, expecting Day Three to be when I would really start to detox, as Sarah had. Finished up over a gallon again that night, and slept peacefully.

Fetching Milk on Day Two

Day Three—“What about Mucus?”

So, I think I started detoxing on day three. The only indication I have is that I had a bit of mucus. When I say a bit, I mean, I had to blow my nose once in the morning. A lot of people are concerned with the mucus-producing affect of cows milk. In my own experience, since we switched to raw milk a few years ago, I and my husband have not struggled with the excess mucus we experienced on pasteurized milk.

Mucus is part of our body’s elimination system. When we have an increase it’s often the body’s attempt to flush out toxins. The gals over at Healthy Home Economist experienced an increase of mucus around day 3—said it felt like a cold coming on, and then it promptly cleared up. I experienced the same thing yesterday—sneezed a few times in the morning, blew my nose, and wondered if I was coming down with something. By bedtime I was feeling so good, I realized I wasn’t getting sick, but simply detoxing. The mucus is fine and clear, no sign of infection, and is simply my body draining toxins.

{If you have a lot of mucus when you’re drinking cows milk, it may be a sign you need to do a major cleanse and change your over-all diet. After you’re body has cleansed and your gut healed, you may be able to reintroduce cows milk with no side affects. Meanwhile, goats milk, or culturing your milk into kefir before drinking it are both great alternatives. But, don’t take my word for it. I highly recommend seeking a naturopath or kinesiologist to guide you if you have significant health problems.}

I continue to be amazed at the energy I have, and my friend Claire is experiencing the same thing. She took an hour long walk yesterday. I did some heavy gardening for 45 min. on Tuesday and had great stamina. We’re excited that we’re able to maintain our normal activities while giving our bodies such a great boost.

Another Reason I’m doing the Milk Cure

It’s great for the skin! Dr. Crewe wrote,

“Indeed we had a number of patients who took the treatment for “beauty treatment.” The tissues become firmer and the general appearance is markedly improved.”

What women doesn’t want a little beauty treatment, and firmer, clearer skin?

How long am I doing this? It depends. 10 days was what Sarah and her friends did. I feel like I could go 10 days, but I’ve got some stuff happening next week that makes me think I’d like to finish up on day 7. Another factor is that I just got off the GAPS diet—I don’t feel like I’m in need of a major cleanse. My body’s not acting like I’ve got a lot of toxins built up, so I think 7 days will be sufficient for me.

Can you do this fast while nursing? Um, I need to look into that more. I just finished nursing Seth Franklin, so I wasn’t thinking about that, but a few of you have asked, so I’ll see if I can come up with some more info.

I’ll be back after the weekend to update you again. Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Enjoy that burger for me, will ya? Thanks ;)

What do you think? Have more questions? Are you thinking of doing this fast yourself? Do you need to find a raw milk source first? I recommend prayer. That’s how I found mine. :) And you can check out this post — How to find your own source for Raw Milk.

The Milk Cure: Introduction

First of all, I owe ya’ll an apology. In my last post I said I’d post more about the Milk Cure on Wednesday, but then I remembered I’d chosen Wednesday as my Unplug Day this week, and then on top of that I spontaneously joined a friend on a visit to the zoo and was gone all day. So, I let you down. But, the delay means this post will have all the more accumulated information…Can you forgive me? Thanks! ;)

What is The Milk Cure?

The Milk Cure was an orthodox, accepted therapy in the early 1900′s, promoted and prescribed by Dr. J. R. Crewe, of the Mayo Foundation, forerunner of the famed Mayo Clinic. It was used to treat a wide spectrum of diseases, based on the belief that,

“To cure disease we should seek to improve elimination, to make better blood and more blood, to build up the body resistance. [The Milk Cure] tends to accomplish these things. Blood conditions rapidly improve and the general condition and resistance is built up and recovery follows.”  -  J. R. Crewe, MD
January 1929

Dr. Crew used the Milk Cure for years to improve vitality, cleanse the body, and even reverse serious illness in his patients and he wrote this article explaining the method and benefits. It’s a fascinating read about a simple therapy that had wonderful healing results, yet never really caught on in with the medical community because of its very simplicity. (Hmmm…)

The Milk Cure was seen to be beneficial in a variety of illnesses and disease including:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Disease of the nervous system
  • Cardiac disease
  • Hypertension
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Weight issues (both underweight or overweight)
  • High blood pressure
  • Toxic Thyroid
  • Anemia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Diabetes

Where Did I Get This Crazy Idea?

I first heard about the Milk Cure from Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist. She, her husband, and a friend did the Milk Cure as a 10 day cleanse together in April and blogged about it. I was so intrigued by the whole thing, I resolved to try it as soon as our local herd went out to spring pasture. (Thus the question that aroused my Amish neighbors’s curiosity last week)

How Do You Do A Milk Fast?

Basically, all you do is drink milk. Lots of it. A big glass whenever you’re hungry, supplementing with water when you’re thirsty and not hungry. No food. You don’t starve because,

“Raw milk from pastured cows is a complete food, a perfectly balanced elixir of highly digestible, nutrient dense fats, protein, and carbohydrates.” The Healthy Home Economist

The key is to only attempt this if you have access to full fat, raw milk from pastured Jersey  or Guernsey cows. 

“Milk becomes a completely different food once it’s pasteurized and many vital nutrients and enzymes are either totally lost or significantly reduced.  Pasteurized milk is not a complete food like raw milk is.” The Healthy Home Economist

If you only have Holstein milk, they recommend you supplement with extra cream so you get the right ratio of fats. For more info on how you can do the cleanse if you can’t tolerate cow’s milk, or if you want to use the cleanse to help lose weight, head over to Sarah’s account of their 10 day fast and check out all the comments, too.

So, Why am I doing the Milk Cure?

Because I’m weird like that. Because I love trying new things and crazy stuff. And because I love raw milk. An excuse to drink it all day, every day, as much as I want? I’m all over that! Actually, here’s the real reason…

“Even when you eat a very clean, whole and traditional diet, toxins still build up and need to be released for maximum health.” - The Healthy Home Economist

I’m doing the Milk Cure as a gentle cleanse. It’s great, because it allows me to continue my duties as wife, mother, and (this month) landscaper without the fatigue and mental fog you get from a full fast. Besides, I think a juice fast or other stringent, cleansing diet can be a shock to your system. A Milk Fast is anything but – it’s nourishing and gentle and very satisfying–kinda like the GAPS diet, but without having to cook!

Well, I still have to cook for my family, but it’s not been that tortuous, because while I inhale the aroma of the delicious, nourishing meals I’m preparing for them, I just sip a glass of milk and my body registers complete satisfaction. There’s been no cravings, and I only get hungry if I get to busy in the garden to fetch myself another glass of milk.

So, yeah, it’s pretty simple. So simple, you may want to try it yourself!

But Wait–There’s More!

In my next post I’ll detail more for you what my experience has been so far, 3 days into my milk fast. Oh, and I’ll share the other reason I’m doing a milk fast (it has to do with my vanity, gals). I’ll tell you this much–I’m not tired of milk yet! In fact, I’m gonna go get another glass right now…

The Milk Cure–Days 1-3

If you have questions (or just need to vent about how I left you hanging and how crazy this whole thing is) feel free to leave a comment. I’ll be sure to respond in the comments or in my next post!

Of Vintage Cures and Curious Amish

Have you ever seen a curious Amish?

Usually Amish are quite reserved. And they would never pry into your business. But the other day I got my Amish neighbors to raise their eyebrows with a simple request as I paid them for that week’s milk…

“Let me know when the cows go out on your spring pasture – I’ve been wanting to try something with grass fed milk!”

I admit to stringing them out, ’cause I didn’t tell them WHAT I was going to do. They already know I make kefir, buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt, butter, and icecream. I feel sorry if I gave them a sleepless night wondering what else their crazy English neighbor was going to do with their milk. But I couldn’t help it. I like me a good cliff-hanger. :)

Finally, last week, as I was fetching our weekly three gallons from the bulk tank, The Farmer peeked into the barn just to let me know that “the cows had been put out to pasture that week, so…”

Then he hung around waiting. I was kind and didn’t draw it out any longer. I told him I was going to try the Milk Cure.

After my explanation, he went off to finish his chores, and next thing you know, The Farmer’s Son came into the barn, just to let me know that “the cows had been put on pasture that week, so…”

I put him out of his misery by explaining the Milk Cure. Then they finally left me alone so I could concentrate on operating the spigot on the milk tank so I didn’t spill 500 gallons of milk all over the dairy floor.

This week, as I was once again crouched on the floor of the dairy, duking it out with the finicky spigot, The Farmer’s Wife and the Farmer’s little daughter walked all the way from the house to the barn just to say hi (never happens) and…to see what I was doing with this week’s milk.

I told them about the Milk Cure, too. But I think I’ll wait till tomorrow to give you the scoop, ’cause I don’t think it’s fair that the Amish should be the only one’s losing sleep about this thing.

And…I’m gonna go drink a glass of milk. (Do you hate me?)