I love cheese just as much as Oprah Winfrey likes bread.

Dairy is a main component of my diet: cream in my morning coffee, yogurt for breakfast, cheese on my sandwich and, a recent favorite, Corine's cheese pasta for dinner (just kidding). Dairy is so ingrained in most American diets, but in Hollywood, it's almost considered unhealthy. Instead, vegan restaurants, like Café Gratitude, are all the rage here.

When E! News and The Rundown host (and Flamin' Hot Cheetos lover) Erin Lim shared that she was following in the footsteps of health-conscious celebs like Victoria Beckham, Megan Fox and Beyoncé, and doing away with my regular indulgences, I was hesitant. But, why not? At least, I'd be in good company.

After shifting to a dairy-free, gluten-free diet, Kourtney Kardashian told her subscribers, "I've noticed a positive change in behavior of my children." The mom of three even goes so far as taking extra dairy-free cupcakes to their birthday parties, surprisingly to the delight of her two sons and daughter. If kids are enjoying being without dairy, then maybe I wouldn't be too bad.

A month later, Erin and I now know why so many of Hollywood's elite are dairy-free—better skin being the main example. What else happened when we went dairy-free? Keep reading for all the lessons we learned!

1. NO MORE BLOAT

Erin: What's a burger without cheese? Sadness. I heard that being dairy-free has a lot of positive effects on the body, but I didn't buy into all of the hype immediately (especially when my job can involve eating Taco Bell). About five days later, I noticed that I felt lighter, not in that I weighed less, but I was just less gassy.

On a scientific note, milk products are gas-producing food that lead to bloating. Reducing intake of dairy can reduce the "puffed up" feeling.

Stay tuned for a mouth full of this #NakedChickenChalupa! @tacobell #ilovemyjob

A photo posted by ERIN LIM | E! (@erinlimofficial) on

Disclaimer: I took off the cheese before eating the taco, I promise!

2. A TEST OF SELF-DISCIPLINE

Alanah: Since dairy is ingrained in my diet, going without it became a testament of my self will. Picture this: On one particularly busy day in the office, the company ordered food for the team. I ran to the kitchen looking for a promise of succulent sustenance. I began salivating at first sight of the hefty tray of lasagna, which, of course, sat next to a stack of cheese bread. I love lasagna. I reached for a fork, only to have my dietary commitments hit me like a pound of bricks. I almost cried. But, I returned my desk with a plate of Parmesan-free Caesar salad.

It's bittersweet. On one hand, the vision of your co-worker stuffing a forkful of lasagna in their mouth, closing their eyes and chewing in slow motion, may make you envious. But, I have to say that it feels good when you make a decision and stick with it.

3. BLEMISHES, BE GONE! 

Erin: I'm in front of the camera every day. And, I can tell you that makeup only goes so far. I make sure to follow the basic rules for healthy skin. I don't go to sleep with makeup on. I drink a lot of water. But still breakouts are inevitable.

After learning that milk products cause the production of oil (sebum) in the skin, which leads to clogged pores, I thought being dairy-free would help. My co-worker also mentioned that the hormones in milk, in particular, cause inflammation in the body—another cause of acne.

Honestly, I didn't even notice the effect of being dairy-free on my skin until after our diet was over. My skin was relatively blemish-free during 30 Cheeto-less days. I didn't break out once. Then, it was over, and I ate cheese. My skin instantly freaked out, and I could feel the dryness. Now, I'm not sure what to do. Do I have to leave cheese behind? The dilemma!

4. IT'S A "GATEWAY DIET"

Alanah: When I started going without dairy, I didn't think that my diet would change very much. I thought I would eat everything I wanted, just without cheese. I was very wrong. Coincidentally, dairy products are in most comfort foods (a.k.a. my favorites). Once we decided to do away with dairy, that meant no pizza, breakfast sandwiches, mac and cheese, cheese burgers, cupcakes...I mean, c'mon!

After a couple of weeks, I noticed that I was eating better in general. I couldn't eat most desserts. And, most of the unhealthy foods that I love just didn't taste the same without dairy (chili, for example). The dairy-free diet is a gateway to larger dietary restrictions, and a shift to a healthier lifestyle.

5. BETTER BREATHING

Erin: I was three years old when I learned that I had asthma. As I got older, I grew out of needing a respiratory machine and inhaler every day. I still suffer from sports-induced asthma. Essentially, when I workout, I have to be very conscious of my breath. Exert too much energy, and I could be wheezing soon after. It's real cute.

As a child, I had to eliminate dairy completely because of the phlegm that it created. Since re-introducing dairy in my adult life, I notice lingering congestion after indulging in a block of cheddar cheese. That being said, being dairy-free helps me breathe better.

We understand why celebs say "no" to dairy products. It's definitely a direct path to both feeling and looking healthier. Don't get us wrong—we still love our Cheetos, lasagna, ice cream, you name it. Instead of depriving yourself of favorite foods, however, try substituting dairy products for better alternatives (i.e. almond milk) and consciously reduce intake. And, every now and again, indulge with no regrets.

Try being dairy-free, and let us know how it goes!

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