Has Anyone Else Experienced this?

I’ve spent most of the morning trying to think of a pithy title but nothing comes up. I have been on GAPS for several months. Last month I started sliding again. What gets me most? Chai. While it’s fine sometimes to just have the tea with water, what I really want is a latte. As I’m working on healing my gut flora and even raw milk makes my nose drip, I’ve been trying to avoid all dairy. This only makes me crave chai more.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Starbucks. I figure at least it’s a local company (if you count driving to the original store taking only 25 minutes at 2 AM and 45 minutes to “I turned around after three hours because traffic wasn’t moving” during normal hours local). They are also the only place that serves Tazo chai. I used to love Oregon Chai but after going back to Traditional Foods, Oregon Chai started tasting too sweet. Now it has to be Tazo.

Grande no water chai was my choice. And boy did I pay. My nose didn’t just drip. I had a headache and stomach pain and bloating like I’ve rarely had in my life and never after drinking milk. I thought that this was just because my body knows how good it feels without something that bothers it and so it reacts more.

Did this stop me? No. A couple of weeks later the siren song of chai called again. Same body reaction. I could hardly eat the rest of the day.

One last time. This time as I was suffering through the ill effects I thought eventually such a reaction has to make me hate this stuff and I can stop craving it.

The next time something prompted me to try something different. “Grande, whole milk, no water chai.” No bloating. No crampiness. No heartburn.


Try again (same week but after all this is an experiment right?) Whole milk. No bloating. No heartburn. No problems. Normal appetite. Normal everything post chai.

I know that many people who can’t tolerate milk tolerate Raw milk. However, I’ve never heard of anyone experimenting with whole milk versus low fat milk. Could it be something in the additional processing in the low fat milk that makes it even harder to digest than pasturized whole milk? Alternatively, is it possible that my body is reacting to something in the Tazo liquid chai that the higher fat content of the whole milk coats allowing my body to deal with it?

I’m publishing this as part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday in hopes that one of the knowledgeable food experts will come by and perhaps offer any answers or at the very least any opinions! Thanks!

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Bonnie Koenig has been a licensed acupuncturist since 1999. She is passionate about helping people find real healing and real health. In the process she keeps asking about our attitudes towards sickness and health. Only by being clear on what sickness is, can we ever find health.

6 thoughts on “Has Anyone Else Experienced this?”

  1. Hi there! I found you via the Fight Back Friday and I just felt compelled to comment. I’ve switched my family to whole raw milk several months ago. Before the switch I was mildly lactose intolerant (we were drinking pasturized/homogonized skim milk).
    After switching to raw milk all of my symptoms went away completely. I love my milk now and I drink quite a bit of it. On an empty stomach even!!
    This last week, I decided I wanted to make some butter and creme fraishe from my raw milk. I separated the cream and kept the skimmed milk to drink. I did add some whole milk back into the jar so I’d have what is probably the equivalent to maybe 1% milk? My body is having a heck of a time tolerating it. I’m getting the cramps, the loose bowels, everything again. I feel like I’m back on store bought pasturized milk. Bleck.
    I haven’t done any research on this yet, as I’ve just noticed this in the last few days, but I felt compelled to share my story.
    You aren’t imagining things!

  2. Now that’s interesting that it can happen even with RAW milk… Again it makes me wonder about the protective mechanism with the milk fats… hmm…

  3. You really need all of the components of milk to make it beneficial. You need the fat in order to absorb the fat-soluable vitamins like K, A, and D. Raw milk has the enzymes intact so that your body can easily digest it. Jessica, see if you can buy just cream from your raw milk supplier for making butter, etc. My farmer will separate it for me. I buy the whole milk by the gallon and cream by the quart. She uses (or sells) the “skimmed” milk to people who like to make cheese or to people who insist on buying skim milk because they don’t know any better! It’s best to drink raw milk whole.

    And Bonnie, do be careful with “whole” conventional milk. Many times powdered milk is added to milk (because the industry usually skims the milk to sell as cream and sour cream), and powdered milk is basically oxidized cholesterol.

  4. I do not normally drink anything but raw milk at home. The whole/low fat question only comes up when I am not at home and want chai. Normally I’d get a regular chai (made with 2%) which causes digestive upset. A whole milk chai doesn’t. That’s the extent of my curiousity there.

  5. Bonnie-
    I found the same thing! I’ve been two percent or lowfat my whole life, but if its whole.. my body doesn’t hurt me for it. In fact, dipping strawberries in just a pool of heavy whipping cream made my tummy do a happy gurgle… happy gurgles aren’t usually around this part of town.
    I tried it out of curiosity, since it was on a list of safe foods for me (I’m one of those ridiculously allergic to corn and corn derivatives people) and was pleasantly surprised. I wasnt sure if it was the fats, or the fact that the 2% here in California is mandated to have Vitamin A added, generally with a corn carrier, and whole milk has no mandate. I thought it was corn, but I’m really glad to hear someone else was noticing that! I did the same thing with my yogurts a week or two later, and I had a similar response… easier to digest, longer satisfaction, happy tummy.
    Alright belly… whole it is.
    Have you found this pattern emerging with many other people?

  6. I haven’t gotten a whole lot of feedback. I’ve talk to the baristas as I normally have one chai a week and I go to a Starbucks that is the last one before the pass in a small town. The baristas there haven’t noticed anyone else talking about that and in fact I’m one of the few who require they get out the whole milk to make a chai.

    Did you read Jessica’s comment Nikki? I found that one fascinating as far as her intolerance of raw milk that had the cream skimmed.

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