Is Milk Good For You? Learn the Truth

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH
Published January 15, 2019

Podcast Transcript

Dotsie Bausch: I just think in general, we just need to cut ourselves some slack. Like, take it easy on yourself, be gentle to yourself, be kind, this is that kind of diet, it is. So, be kind to you. And if you slip up, there's no vegan police in your backyard that's going to come in and tie your arms up. It's okay.

Food is just so entrenched in our familial connections, and our cultural connections, and our emotional connections, and our connections that we have with people and friends. And so, just allow yourself to go on this journey, and don't judge yourself the whole way through. It's not set up to be a perfect journey. Nobody ever took a perfect journey. I don't even care if it's somebody that did it overnight, at some point, they slipped up, or there happened to be bacon in their salad, and they just enjoyed it anyway. Or, you know, I mean, it's like, just cut yourself some slack, and try to enjoy it because it's really freaking awesome.

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Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Welcome to the Mastering Diabetes Audio Experience, where we teach you how to sit in the driver's seat of your diabetes health for the rest of your life. We'll teach you how to reverse insulin resistance, achieve your ideal body weight, gain energy and get your best A1c following more than 85 years of evidence-based research in the Mastering Diabetes Program.

Robby Barbaro: Our program teaches you how to reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and how to simplify your life with type 1 diabetes by maximizing your insulin sensitivity, using food as medicine.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: We're on a bold mission to reverse insulin resistance in 1 million people. We're glad to have you joining us.

Robby Barbaro: Welcome back to the Podcast. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. We have a great episode for you today, but before we get into that, I want to cover a few things.

So, first off, it is the middle of January right now. I'm sure a lot of you have made progress on your goals, maybe some of you are struggling a little bit, no matter where you're at, I want to remind you of some of the resources we have to help you in 2019.

So, first off, we have a free Facebook group. You can just go to Facebook, type in Mastering Diabetes Support Group and you will find us there. And the group is a great place to ask questions, share what you're doing, you're going to get a lot of help from the community, we pop in there and help as much as we can. It's a really, really supportive place to get started.

We also have recipes on our website. We are building a library of very clean, delicious, simple, affordable, easy to prepare recipes on our website. So, definitely go check those out. We also have a lot of articles and success stories on our website. And we have videos that go along with those articles. So, check that out. If you want to just go straight to our YouTube channel, do that as well. Just Google “Mastering Diabetes YouTube”, and will pop up right away.

We also have our Summit, all right. You go to our website, just click “Summit” in the navigation bar, and you will get access to the world's leading diabetes experts and beyond. It's all free. You're going to love it, alright? So, those are some of our great resources.

The bottom line is we want to help. This is why Cyrus and I created Mastering Diabetes, as people living with diabetes we know that we can help other people. And you know, I'm on Instagram, I regularly share pictures, and recently I shared some photos being more clear about my carbohydrates-insulin ratio, and people were just, they're blown away, “I can't believe you eat that many carbohydrates, and you only use that much insulin”, it just reminded me, I got to share that more often, and it just reminds me all the amazing success we're getting with our clients, thousands of people around the world, it's like, man, there are so many more people to reach. It's over 5 million people US alone with type 1 diabetes, and I'm just like, every single one of them has got to hear about what we're doing.

So, that brings me into the second point I have here today. We would love your help in raising awareness about what we're doing in Mastering Diabetes. So, sharing this Podcast is a great way to help. You can do that by giving us a review and rating it on iTunes. That helps. And also taking a screenshot, so if you're listening to this episode right now on your phone, take a screenshot, share it on your Instagram stories, share on your Instagram main feed, or Facebook, and just tell people what you think of the Podcast. That will really help us grow and have more people know about what we're doing here.

Okay, so for today's show, we have some special guests. You're going to hear from Dotsie and Alexandra, they don't have diabetes, they didn't live with diabetes in the past, but I think you're going to relate to a lot of this stuff they share. So, you're gonna hear them talk about eating disorders, addiction, and also a lot about their experience as athletes. And they're going to cover the whole confusion around dairy, and people thinking that's such a health food, so you can hear about that more, especially through their campaign “Switch 4 Good”. It's all on this episode. So, that's it for the intro. Let's get into the show.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: We are super excited to be here today with Dotsie Bausch and Alexandra Paul, two powerhouses of positive change with very important stories to tell, each of them.

Now, Dotsie had a prolific, professional cycling career that included a silver medal in the 2020 London Olympic Games, as well as 8 US National Championships, 2 Pan American gold medals, and a world record. She's a powerful influence for plant-based eating for athletes, and for non-athletes.

Dotsie is one of the stars of the upcoming film “The Game Changers”, which if you haven't seen it is an amazing film, which is directed by Academy Award winner Louie Psihoyos, and executive produced by Oscar winner James Cameron. So, this is a fantastic film. It's a documentary that goes into the actual evidence of plant-based nutrition specifically for athletes.

Now, Alexandra Paul is an actress who's appeared in over 100 films and TV projects. She's now a health coach, and the co-host of the Podcast “Switch 4 Good” with Dotsie. Alexandra has been a vegetarian since she was 14, and she's been a vegan for 8 years. In 2014, Alexandra was honored as Last Chance for Animals vegan of the year, ACLU of Southern California named her Activists of the Year for her work on environmental peace, and voting issues. Alexandra is also a former Ironman triathlete, and a long distance swimmer.

The two of them are insane. Dotsie and Alexandra are on a mission to disrupt the dairy milk industry through an athlete driven movement called Switch 4 Good. We'll be talking about that in detail today on this Podcast. So, thank you so much for being here with us today, both of you guys.

Dotsie Bausch: Yeah, thank you. We're so happy to be on the show.

Robby Barbaro: We’re super honored to have you guys here, and we're looking forward to talking about some important topics.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: So Dotsie, let's start with you. Throughout your life, you've had many obstacles in overcoming an eating disorder, drug addiction, and even a suicide attempt. So, each one of these are sort of very big topics unto themselves, and we could talk for hours about each one of them. So, why don't we just start at the beginning, can you talk to us a little bit about your eating disorder? Kind of give us an insight as to what happened when you realized you had an eating disorder.

Dotsie Bausch: Yeah, I think it's a quite a big misnomer out there, in that most people think that if you have an eating disorder, especially anorexia, that you just have a deep desire to be skinny. I mean, it's just, you know, through no fault of anybody's could think that, or judges in that way, because that seems, from the outset that that would be the case. But I like to describe any eating disorder, and anorexia which I suffered from, just like any other severe addiction that is a result of severe inner pain.

So, like alcoholism, or sex addiction, or drug addiction, that is just how I was acting out on my inner pain, it was just kind of like my drug of choice, because starving yourself is euphoric. You hit a place quite early on that you can feel like you are euphoric. It feels like you're floating, it almost feels like you're on kind of in an alternate state. It’s really your body in this space of trying to save itself, because that's really the only thing that our body is programmed to do on this earth, right, is to survive. Period, end of story. That's its main goal. And so, as it's doing that, it drops your respiration rate, drops your heart rate, drops your metabolism, and you enter kind of this euphoric state.

So for me, my eating disorder got started because of a real need to usurp control over a life that I felt like was very out of control. And I was spinning, not knowing who I was, or what I wanted to do with my life. I felt scared. And I was in significant amount of pain. And so, I started slowly, and kept going to where I was consuming just a couple hundred calories a day.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Okay, got it. So, how old were you at the time that this started to happen?

Dotsie Bausch: 20.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: You were 20?

Dotsie Bausch: I was a junior in college.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Junior in college? And did you think that this was normal at the time, or was there sort of a voice in the back of your head that was saying, “Hey, this might be dangerous in the long term, let's rethink this strategy”?

Dotsie Bausch: Well, when it got started, I didn't even think about it, right. And then I was, I think, my conscious and subconscious were living two different lives, and I sort of was very unaware for a few years, really. I was aware that certain people around me, that loved me, worried about me, but I was like, “I’m fine, you know, just kind of, this is just picking my poison. And there's worst ones than this, you know, I'll be okay.”

But towards the end, and definitely the suicide attempt was the rock bottom, I became aware that my body wasn't functioning, that I was really, just had lost so much weight that I didn't have good cognitive function, brain function, I was just pretty much staying in the house all day. Couldn't work anymore, I couldn't be involved in deep relationships, or any relationships for that matter. So, when it got to, it's worse, I became aware. It took a long time for me wanting to do something about it, but I was aware that I was sick, when it got really bad.

Robby Barbaro: What did you do about it?

Dotsie Bausch: Well, I hit rock bottom when I ran out in the middle of 76 freeway in the middle of the night. So, that didn't work, obviously. It’s busy freeway, I still don't quite know how. But so, that was just the plummet towards the reality that this disease was going to kill me, or I was going to have to make a choice to go down a different fork in the road, and seek some help.

And basically, honestly you guys, what was in the back of my mind, I didn't care if I lived, I didn't really want to, obviously, that I had just tried to not live. I had this feeling in me, that my parents and my sister were so desperate for me to get better, and I just kept thinking, “It’s going to be so lame if I just die. That’s so mean to them.” And so, I just want to show them that I try, because I'm probably not going to survive. But if I just simply show them that I tried, then when I die, they'll know I try. And maybe, I don't know, they're gonna be less sad. I don't know, you know, your brain is doing crazy things. But, that was literally the impetus for me. I mean, that was the catalyst that said, “You've got to try and find some help.” And I found some help. I had been through many, many therapist and none of that had worked, but I found one that I really connected with, and we got to work. And then, she was amazing. And it worked.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: So, you also, correct me if I'm wrong, had a drug addiction as well. Can you go into that a little bit?

Dotsie Bausch: Yeah, I had a drug problem. It was an addiction, but it wasn't as intense as the eating disorder was for me. And I only say that because I was able to stop using drugs on my own. And I fully recognize that that's rare with a drug addiction. I did have an addictive relationship with cocaine. I had a hard time stopping it. But I finally got to a place where I hated the down so much worse than I love the high, that I just finally stopped. Thankfully.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Got it. And what was the total length of time from when you started with anorexia, to the time that you had attempted suicide? How many, we’re talking a couple of years, 5 years, 10 years? How long was it?

Dotsie Bausch: Yeah. No, it was about two and a half.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Okay. So, you know, it's interesting, this is a Podcast specifically about diabetes. You don't have that diabetes, Alexandra doesn't have diabetes, but one of the things that can actually sort of connect your personal experience to the audience here, is that many people living with diabetes also find themselves suffering from sort of, like many psychological and emotional problems, as well as metabolic physical problems.

So, they might develop high blood glucose, they might be overweight, they might have physical pain inside of their joints, inside of their muscles. But in addition to that, they also end up with a lack of self-confidence, sometimes. Sometimes they don't know what to eat, they literally are plagued with indecision when they get to the grocery store. Some people end up in a poor financial situation, some people become depressed. So, it's sort of this whole domino effect that can really unfold, and end up crippling you.

So, given what you've been through, if you were speaking to somebody who was also in a similar position, you know, they're living with diabetes, maybe they were diagnosed with it 5, 10 years ago, and they're experiencing physical, emotional and mental obstacles simultaneously, what could you tell them to try and help them move even just a little bit forward?

Dotsie Bausch: Oh Gosh! There's so much wrapped up in that right. I mean, self-loathing and self-hatred, and feeling like you are at the bottom, and how are you ever going to climb out of this rabbit hole that you have perpetuated for yourself, really, a deep, dark space. Obviously, it's a combination of the physical, but also the mental, and emotional health. For me, I had to really attack all three. And something that I loved about what my therapist said, when we started, was instead of spending an exorbitant amount of time going through my past and my history of why I may be at the spot now, we dove right into tools to help me deal with my disorder.

So, in other words, we just spent a couple sessions on my past, and then we got to work. So, I would suggest to anyone that finding somebody that's willing to dive in, and dive in deep straight away, but I suggest getting help. It's multi layered, and I don't think that an eating disorder, or many of the addictions, and issues that you are describing, that come up for people that are suffering from diabetes, I think it's probably pretty tough to climb out of there all alone, you know. You've got to have an army first of all, you know, a team by your side that loves you and support you, and that you feel safe with, you feel safe talking to them about everything that's going on. But, I think that you have to get help, and getting help is not a sign of weakness, right? It's a sign of strength. It's a sign that you're showing up for yourself, and you're putting your health first, because if you don't put your health first, nothing else is going to matter. You know, your family's health, your children's health, your husband, wife, you've got to get control here.

Robby Barbaro: It makes perfect sense. What you're saying reminds me a lot about one of our former team members, Tara Kemp, talks about a lot, and she promotes, I forget the exact name, it's like better help or something, where you can go and get really affordable health, and find people through a digital service. We’ll define the actual link and include it in the show notes. But it really makes a lot of sense. So, why don't you tell us a little bit, and give us some background when you became a plant-based eater, and why.

Dotsie Bausch: Okay. Fast forward many, many years, and I was about halfway through my, almost three quarters the way through my professional cycling career, and was about 3 years out from the Olympic Games, and was completely well from my eating disorder by that point, for sure. And I just, oh Gosh, I became aware of what's happening behind closed doors every minute, every second of every day to billions of animals that we’re killing more during one week, than all the wars the world has seen, and had had people perish from, and I just got really overwhelmed with just the magnitude of that, and the horror.

And I just, overnight, said I'm not going to pay into the system anymore. I don’t want to be a part of it. I don't know how I'm going to go to the Olympics, cutting all of this food out, I don't even think that it's food anymore, personally, but it was time for me. Anyway, but I figured it out. And then it's been about 8 and a half years, about the same time as Alexandra for being vegan.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: So, you went into a plant-based diet mainly for animal rights issues.

Dotsie Bausch: Yeah, exactly. It was, it was for me. I didn't know, I got a big surprise and gift by the performance and health enhancements, because I didn't know, I wasn't researching, you know, better health or better performance at that time. I felt like I was on a good trajectory. I felt like if I stayed healthy, I had a good, and uninjured, I had a good shot at making the team. So, I wasn't looking for anything alternative. I felt like what I was doing was working.

So this just, you know, it blew my mind and the coaches minds, and the kinesiologist, and the physiologist, and the nutritionist, and the dietitians. I mean, they're all like, “What are you doing? This is not a good time to stand up for the animals. Let's pull it together, and we need you on this team.”

Anyway, but I think a good thing at that time I was 36. So, they didn’t really have, they couldn’t really strong arm me like they might be able to like an 18 year old athlete or something, that's in the program. You know, it's kind of like, “Okay, she's going to do what she's going to do. We can't really control this.” So yeah.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Got it. Okay. I want to get to your experience as an athlete, especially as a world class Olympian, so we have a lot to talk about there. But before we get there, let's switch over to Alexandra now. Because Alexandra, you yourself, have a really interesting story. I’m doing some pretty fun background research here on you, you're an environmental peace and justice activists from what we can tell, and apparently you've been arrested over 16 times for various peaceful, civil disobedience issues.

So, I'm super interested to learn a little bit more about your background, and then what also led you into plant-based nutrition. So, maybe let's start by, how about you tell us your background, and what led you to being so bold in standing up for what you truly believe in?

Dotsie Bausch: Cyrus, can I just translate what you just said?

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yes.

Dotsie Bausch: Alexandra is a badass. In every way, shape, and form in what that means.

Alexandra Paul: Well, I'd like to tie it actually, since we have a limited amount of time to specifically the focus of your Podcast. And I just was fortunate to have a mother who was active in a way not assigned, caring way, but in a way where she voted, and we took in kids for the summer from the city to our country house, and we lived in the country, and you know, she boycotted certain things that she felt was against her values.

So, I had a mom who was an activist, and as kids we came out, or sign waving and all that. But my first activism was around animals, around the time, the environment, when I was in middle school, and one of them was that we boycotted tuna, because by catching tuna you also caught dolphins. We didn't give up meat, or fish, or anything, that came when I was 14, I became a vegetarian.

I didn't know about dairy then. And what Dotsie and I have interestingly learned is that the doctors that we've had on our show, Switch 4 Good, really recommend ditching dairy first, and that that is the most important thing. But most vegetarians, or all vegetarian, ditch meat first, and then come to dairy later. And dairy is just devastating for the animals, and for our health, and especially for diabetics, and I know you've probably talked about that on your show, for you certainly talked about it on our show. So, I came to be vegan just 8 years ago, just after Dotsie. I didn't know her yet, but I was following her.

And so, yes, I am an ethical vegan also, but I see the benefits of being vegan and vegetarian for health. But mostly vegan, because I think vegetarians can often, they ditch the meat, but then they substitute with a lot of cheese and dairy.

I suffered from an eating disorder also. I was anorexic, but then mostly, what really took a toll on me was 12 years of bulimia. And I think the way that Dotsie and I can maybe help tie in with your listeners, is that even if you don't have an eating disorder that is so devastating and up ending for your life, most Americans have some kind of disordered eating, and especially Americans who have affected their health through their diet, which a lot of type 2 diabetics have from their food choices. They have certain addictions, like I did to sugar, for example, to dairy, and things like that.

So, maybe what we can discuss is sort of how to get over that, and to get rid of the shame and to really talk about it. Dotsie and I certainly went right into the hell of an eating disorder. And I basically stuck my finger down my throat over the toilet several times a day. There's not a lot of dignity in that, but I want to share that, because I want people to talk about their addictions and things, rather than hide them. That's the first step to getting over them.

Robby Barbaro: Yeah, let’s definitely have this conversation, because I know many people listening can relate on some level, you know, when it comes to disordered eating, like, just this idea of, a lot of people, they have heard about eating better, they've heard about our program, they've heard many of our Podcasts, but yet, they're still struggling with getting rid of certain foods or getting the results they want. So, maybe you can give some tips on how people can begin to overcome that.

Alexandra Paul: Well, I went to therapy also, and I think a lot of us have, and it really helped. But what actually got me to stop throwing up, and to change my attitude towards food, and therapy was so good, because we use food a lot to help us through emotional times, but also, I actually went through a 12 step program, Overeaters Anonymous, and that actually got me over bulimia.

And it was the same as with Dotsie’s excellent therapist, I actually had tasks to do, instead of just talking about my past, which made me understand myself, actually having tasks and discussing things I can do, steps I can take, like people do in your program, by the way, is so helpful. And that was really the thing that got over this.

Yes, we can talk about how we all screwed up in our past, and how in pain we are. And that's important to know. But what are the actions? And one of them for me, was to really do the 12 steps, and go through those. And that really, I stopped throwing up, and I stopped wanting to use food in that way. And I've been absent now for 27 years.

Robby Barbaro: That's terrific. I think what you guys are talking about here is so important. You both kind of support each other saying the same thing, like, talk, we’ll get some help. And I just do want to confirm that the resource, if you have any good resources, please share them, resource I was referring to earlier, it is called Better Health. And Tara, she's off at Northern Arizona University, getting her PhD in this area, and she has recommended it highly. And I think it's a good resource to check out. So, if you guys have any, please share them. But this is an important topic.

Alexandra Paul: Online health can be really great, the online community, because people really share themselves with emails and you know, Facebook shares, you know, chats and all that.

Dotsie Bausch: Yeah. NEDA is good, National Eating Disorders Association, their website. So, it's NEDA, they have a ton of resources on there. So, that's a good spot to land if you're looking for help.

Alexandra Paul: Yeah, and disordered eating is sort of, right Dotsie, one of the reasons we started our Podcast was not to talk about eating disorders, it was more about disordered eating, because so many people in the United States have addictions to foods that aren't whole-foods, plant-based like cheese, and fried foods, and meats that are so fatty. We have those addictions.

Dotsie Bausch: Yeah. Like, you can have an eating disorder, right? It was clinically recognized disease, but it seems like everybody has some kind of, let's just call it for lack of better terms, like odd way that they relate with some foods, or certain foods, or sometimes even all foods, and they practice this disordered eating behaviors that are not healthy for them. And are not healthy for their minds either in any given day, like, you know, eating only certain foods at certain times, or eating just one food at each meal, or eating only certain calories, or weighing your food. Just all these different connections that we really emotionally have with food, because it's, you know, deep within us from when we're a little kid, I think.

We get, you know, we were rewarded for food with food. That's just one dynamic that I feel needs to completely end between parents and children, right? Food is not a reward. Food is nourishment. Food is wholeness. Food gives you energy, and you eat the food that you love, and that feels good in your body, at a young age, you know, that can change everything that catapult you into adulthood. But sugar is, you know, you have a sugar addiction and so many people, I think, and obviously that’s another conversation with them.

Diabetes, processed sugar, not whole fruit sugar, or whole-foods sugar, but overly processed sugar. Donut addiction. But that starts, you know, for so many people that starts when they're teeny tiny, and that's what they're rewarded with. So, they want more, and more, and more, and more that I watched my nephews and nieces do it on Halloween. Oh, it's sad, right? It's just breaks your heart because some of them aren’t going to have a sugar addiction, but some are going to be developed directly out of that reward system.

Robby Barbaro: Yeah. It's a very, very sad situation.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: One of the things that I actually see, I have five nieces and nephews. And both my sisters have talked about the fact that even though they try and teach their kids how to eat a more plant focus diet, you know, less processed food in general, less meat, less dairy, sometimes the kids themselves feel like outcasts when they go and hang out with their friends, right?

It's like, imagine you're eating a pretty healthy diet, and then you go to your friend's house for a sleepover, and your friend doesn't have anything healthy in their house, right? Or you go trick or treating, and all of a sudden now, boom, you're bombarded with a bunch of candy. And if you didn't grow up eating that food, or you have been sort of taught, what are the dangers of eating that food, then all of a sudden, you're like, Wow, now, this is a social problem, and now it's difficult for them to actually interact with their friends. So, as a result, they have to somehow adopt some of those less than optimal behaviors just to be accepted.

Robby Barbaro: And we've talked about this in previous interviews, Cyrus, about how this is drugs, like truly drugs are socially acceptable. And so it's like, you know, when somebody has a cocaine problem, or something it’s, “Okay, well, that's a problem. We got to address that.” But when it comes to sugar, or flour, it's like, “Oh, if you don't have that at Thanksgiving, something's wrong with you.” It's so messed up.

Dotsie Bausch: Yeah. They all worry about Halloween, always like, somebody putting like a needle in the candy, putting something unsafe in the candy. And I'm always like, “Needles are better than the candy itself!”

Alexandra Paul: I found that most of the people that I know, at one time or another use food in a disordered manner. And a lot of women do. But I guess the key is to just understand, I don't know, how do you do it with your clients who have these addictions. What did they say to you? Like, I can't give up my pastry in the morning, or?

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: You know, that's a really good question. I think one of the most of effective strategies that we've come across, and that we utilize is step by step transition. And it may sound almost too simplistic, but the sum total of food you eat within a 24 hour period can be a lot, right? You're talking multiple different meals, multiple different plates, it's a lot. So, rather than me turning to you and saying, “All right, let's try and make you more plant-based. Let me just get rid of all this, and put this new stuff in.” It's too much. It's overwhelming.

So, instead of that, we literally take out one little puzzle piece at a time. So, we take out one puzzle piece that's called breakfast, and we say, “Okay, these are the foods that you used to be eating. Let's just put these in, and let's do it for seven days, and see what that feels like” right? So, now it's an experiment. Okay, let's try this out. Let's see what this feels like. And then, not only can you report back to us as to how your body actually feels, but what's happening to your blood glucose, what's happening to your insulin use, what's happening to your oral medication, right?

And so, after that sort of seven day experiment, then people, we move them onto the next step, and say, “Okay, let's take out this other puzzle piece. And let's put in a new puzzle piece.” And so you eventually get to dissect a puzzle that's got many pieces, but you do it one piece at a time, and you do it over the course of months. Yeah, that way, it feels less intimidating.

Alexandra Paul: Yeah. And then also, as a coach myself, I let them choose often what they want to take out, so they feel more involved with what they're doing. And also, they'll pick things that are easier first, and if you take the low hanging fruit, no pun intended, then it gives them the self-efficacy, and self-confidence to then make changes that are harder.

Dotsie Bausch: Yeah. I don't know why this society seems, everyone seems to be so all or nothing. It's like, if they can't do it perfectly, they’re just are like, “Oh, I don't want to do it at all.”

Alexandra Paul: You're like that!

Dotsie Bausch: “I want to be vegan, but I love ice cream”, and I’m like, “Well, eat ice cream and then do the rest vegan”. And they’re like, “What?” You know, they're not expecting that, like, “Absolutely, if that’s what you're saying, then transition all that you can eat, that should not be the one thing that stops you. Then eventually you'll run into coconut ice cream. And then eventually you won't even really want ice cream. But keep the ice cream in.” That shouldn't stop us, if we can’t, it shouldn’t be perfect or nothing at all. And I don't know, nothing really works well that way. I don't think.

Robby Barbaro: I couldn't agree with you more. And that's the intended about our program and how we work with people. We're not the food police. So, it's a great point.

Now I really want to talk to you guys about Switch 4 Good. I mean, this initiative seems, it’s just, the commercial I’ve seen is just powerful, it's an amazing idea. So, talk to us about it. What do you guys are hoping to do with it? How does it work? And, let’s hear it all.

Dotsie Bausch: It got started in late January this year, 2018, on my couch, in my living room, minding my own business, watching Olympic trials, seeing which one of my friends were gonna make the team for 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games. And a Milk Life commercial came on that uses Olympic athletes, and their beautiful relationship with their mothers, and tries to basically paint a picture that elite athletes drink milk. It says 9 out of 10 Olympians grew up drinking milk, that it has natural proteins, and balanced nutrition. That specific commercial.

I had seen Milk Life commercials before, it is the United States Olympic Committee, has a partnership with the MilkPEP Board, and it goes through 2020, unless we can disrupt it sooner.

And so, I just felt that the truth needed to come out. That there are many athletes, many Olympic athletes and many pro athletes, many amateur athletes, that don't believe the lie, that do not think milk is a health food, that think it is just simply a marketing campaign, which it is, and it's making people very sick, as you guys well know, with what you do. And so, we quickly got together with production team and a PR team, and we created and shot the commercial that I think you guys have seen, a 32 second spot that we put on NBC on the closing ceremonies of that Olympic game. So, like six weeks later, after I got off the couch.

And then that just catapulted into this coalition, this movement, this nonprofit called Switch 4 Good. And, Alexandra and I are doing the Switch 4 Good podcast together, because you might as well just dive right in, and do everything you can when you start something. So, here we are just four or five months later. And we have a great team of 10 people that are working full time at Switch 4 Good. And we've got a lot of great plans, and are doing good things, I think.

Alexandra Paul: Yeah. What's great about Switch 4 Good is that you're taking a very common myth about milk, and just busting it. That if you drink milk, you won't grow up strong and healthy. And you're taking Olympians, and other athletes, and showing that that is not true.

Dotsie Bausch: Yeah. It's a little bit of a, you know, page from their own playbook, because they've been using us for years to say, “This is healthy, and this is normal, and this is what you should be drinking for premium performance.” And it's not true.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: 100%. I remember back in the 80s, when I was a big milk drinker, in fact, I would drink like a pint a day. And I would drive, you know, my mom would drive me down the highway, and there were these giant billboards, and it would just have like Andre Agassi's face with a milk mustache and say, “Got milk”. And at that time, I had no idea that I was being programmed.

But, it's a brilliant advertising campaign. It's unbelievable, right? Then you get, I don't even know, it was Michael Jordan, or Pete Sampras, you know, you have these prominent athletes that are basically saying, they're insinuating that they drink milk in order to become world champions. And in reality, whether or not that's true, the advertising behind it is unbelievable. So, I'm super glad to hear that you guys are actually going in, headfirst, to try and tackle a really important and difficult subject.

You know, with our audience, we talked about the dangers of eating and drinking dairy products all the time for people with diabetes. And despite the fact that there are volumes, I'm talking over, close to 100 years, of scientific evidence that clearly demonstrates that dairy products are addictive, they're inflammatory, and now there's evidence to show that they're actually potentially causational in autoimmune diabetes, just like Robby and I have.

But despite that these mainstream organizations are still promoting, not only they're promoting milk and dairy, they're neglecting, flat out and neglecting large volumes of scientific evidence. And it blows my mind that in 2018, that that's still allowed to happen.

Dotsie Bausch: They’re trying to create, I mean, they obviously create their own science. And I say that in quotes, because recent research came out just not that long ago, only four or five weeks ago in trying to prove that chocolate milk is the most premium recovery fuel that you can ingest. And they did a study in the sports of Judo and rock climbing. When you dig into the study, we can put it in the show notes if you want, guess what they compare chocolate milk to as a premium refill tool.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Marshmallows?

Robby Barbaro: Strawberry milk.

Dotsie Bausch: Water. So, you know, anything that has any macro or micro nutrient, would beat out water, but you're gonna beat out water if you eat a pile of dirt after a workout, by a long shot, because that's going to have probably even more nutrients than milk, by the way, right.

But that's just a great example of, you know, we need to be thinking much more critically as consumers. I mean, it even reminded me, I thought, you know, this is just true across the board, you see a car commercial and it's like, “Drivers voted this, the most safe car in 2018”, and it's like, in comparison to what. Do they compare it to a 1950 Chevy, or a car from 2018? I don't know, maybe. But, we need to be thinking more critically. I mean, we need to be asking these questions. It's a great recovery fuel. Compared to what? Water. Oh, okay, well, that's helpful. Throw that out, compare it to something that is comparable, and then, we maybe have a conversation.

Robby Barbaro: Let's talk about that a little bit further. I mean, as an athlete, what do you recommend as good recovery tool?

Dotsie Bausch: Well, I like food a lot. I didn’t use to, but I do now. When I was training, I was going through 5000, 6000 calories a day. So, there would be times when I would rather drink my calories because I just literally got tired of eating and chewing. That's not the case anymore. I rarely do protein shakes now. I mean, if ever, I just eat food.

But if you really are desiring to make something quick and easy, and a protein shake, I would suggest either a brown rice protein, or a pea protein. If you want to use a plant milk, use what you love, I love coconut milk, but use soy milk, or use almond milk, or use macadamia nut milk, or flaxseed milk, it’s really an endless supply. And then I just put a bunch of seeds in there, I do hemp seeds, and I'll do a chia seeds, I'll do a couple different nuts. And I'll do some fruits, and plenty of fruits, always to get the nutrient density up.

But you want to create something that's going to give you the most bang for your buck. So, if you want to compare something like a, you know, a shake like I just said, to a glass of milk, do you have your macronutrients and a glass of cow's milk? That's another conversation that we need to keep having, we need to keep calling cow's milk and not just milk, right? Because it's like, let's call it what it is. It has protein, carbs and fat, but it also has saturated fat, it has trans-fat, it has sugar, and it has 15 sex hormones, which we could get into that at another time. So, you're getting some good with lots of bad, and in the shake that I just described, you're getting all good. I can't think of anything bad in what I was just describing.

So, I think everybody needs to start thinking like athletes, which is how do I get the most bang for my buck. So, the highest nutrients, the highest antioxidants, in this of whatever I'm going to eat, shake or regular food.

Alexandra Paul: But that's not how we Americans think, because I get this question, and I'm sure both Robby and Cyrus, and you get it Dotsie, as an athlete it’s, “But what about the protein?”, and they're all wanting to count protein. And I feel like we've misdirected our focus on to protein, which is something that it's just not the correct focus, and it should be on what is harder to do, here in the United States, which is whole-foods. And if we just concentrate, and I know that Cyrus and Robby, you're completely, you don't eat things out of a package. That's what we should be talking, but people are obsessed with getting their protein. And as an athlete, Dotsie, I would imagine that's the number one question you get asked.

Dotsie Bausch: Yeah, it's constant, right? It really is. When you talk to most plant-based athletes, and they have realized and recognized over time that that's a ridiculous conversation, because if you're getting enough calories, you're getting enough protein.

They don’t even think about it. 50%, meat eaters get about 50% of their protein from plants. They don't even know that, they just are counting all the dead animals on their plate. But it's coming in from everything, as long as you're getting enough calories, you're getting enough protein.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Correct. Now, this movie that's coming out The Game Changers, it's being specifically, you know, the message of plant-based nutrition is now being brought to the athletic world, which I think is a huge, huge, huge need. And I'm loving the fact that it's going to hopefully change the minds of millions of people.

Men in particular are stubborn. Very, very stubborn creatures. And I remember having the same mentality as a lot of men do in this country, even now, which is, “I'm a man. Don't tell me to eat plants. Salads are for women. Where am I going to get my protein?” right?

Dotsie Bausch: Quinoa is for sissies, give me meat.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah, “I'm not gonna eat broccoli. I'm a man. Don't tell me to eat broccoli, men don’t eat broccoli. Come on.” Right? So, you know, I'm glad to see that this movie, hopefully it’s going to change lot of minds, but like, have you guys also notice either in the ethical world, or not in the ethical world, that men tend to be a little bit more stubborn, and harder to convince than women are? Or is it just my observation?

Alexandra Paul: Well, I think there's a lot of ethical vegans among women, where we just tend to follow our emotions more, but also there is, a lot of women will initially go vegetarian or vegan to lose weight, because that's something that's important to us. Whereas men want to get bigger muscles, so they think they need to have more protein for that. So, I think that's why women, there might be less resistance among women to go vegan.

Dotsie Bausch: Yeah.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Yeah, I think you're absolutely right. You know, imagine you're living in a household with both a man and a woman together, right? The woman decides maybe she wants to go plant-based first. And then oftentimes, I've heard from a lot of women that it's really difficult to convince their spouse to do the same.

Alexandra Paul: Yeah, my husband is still a meat eater.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Is that right?

Alexandra Paul: Yeah. We've been together 23 years, and he admits that he still has this deep, deep thing about protein, and we have the kind of relationship where I don't harangue him, or tell him what to do, or anything like that. It took me 33 years to go from vegetarian to vegan. So, I really feel like I can't judge anybody for taking their own journey too. But we are in a mixed marriage for sure.

Dotsie's husband is vegan and an athlete, and he's proof positive, as both of you, that there are men who are able to shift. But Ian, I adore him, he's the most amazing man I've ever met. So, and I'm confident that one day he will ditch meat. And actually it's so little now, but you know, he's still hangs on to it, even though he's surrounded by people who eat plants only.

Robby Barbaro: So, before we wrap it up here, I want to just ask you guys one final question. People that are listening to this show, maybe they can relate to some of the stuff that you guys have been through, with disordered eating and all that. And I know you've covered some tips already, but let’s just, either bring home some of the ones you already said, call some new ones. But what's the one tip you would give somebody who is just starting to begin their journey into a plant-based diet? What would you tell them?

Dotsie Bausch: I did touch on this a little bit, but I just think in general, we just need to cut ourselves some slack. Like, take it easy on yourself, be gentle to yourself, be kind, this is that kind of diet, it is. So, be kind to you. And if you slip up, there's no vegan police in your backyard that's going to come in and tie your arms up. It's okay.

Food is just so entrenched in our familial connections, and our cultural connections, and our emotional connections, and our connections that we have with people and friends. And so, just allow yourself to go on this journey, and don't judge yourself the whole way through. It's not set up to be a perfect journey. Nobody ever took a perfect journey. I don't even care if it's somebody that did it overnight, at some point, they slipped up, or there happened to be bacon in their salad, and they just enjoyed it anyway. Or, you know, I mean, it's like, just cut yourself some slack, and try to enjoy it because it's really freaking awesome.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Actually, Robby is perfect. So, you know…

Dotsie Bausch: He's not allowed in this! I know he is, it's true. You're right. Like, what are you talking about?

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: Alexandra, what would you say? Do you have any sage like wisdom on your end?

Alexandra Paul: Well, I know that Dotsie mentioned it, I tell people to take out what's easy first, and just take out easy stuff, because if you eat chicken or eggs, and you don't really like it, and you leave it on your plate, that's so disrespectful because an animal suffered for that. So, just don't, start there, and you'll be doing your health and the animals a lot of good, and if you can't get rid of cheese, and you're really struggling with that, then leave that till the end, and take your time with it.

Robby Barbaro: That’s great. Very practical advice here. And you guys have experienced something that is going to resonate with a lot of people listening to the show. So, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today.

Alexandra Paul: Thank you.

Dotsie Bausch: Thank you guys.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: We really appreciate it. And I cannot wait to see the Switch 4 Good movement absolutely explode, and really start changing this conversation about milk because, you know, I have friends that are in their mid 30s, and 40s, and you know, still asking me “Is it okay, that I drink milk?” And it's like, “I'm not gonna judge you for asking that question. But like, let's get to the root of it.” You know, so I really appreciate what you guys are doing.

Dotsie Bausch: Milk’s for babies!

Alexandra Paul: And cow’s milk is for cow’s babies. Thank you so much for having us on the Podcast. Y'all do a great work.

Dotsie Bausch: Keep it up!

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD: We hope you enjoyed this episode, and can apply some of these principles to your personal life. Now, we have an Online Group Coaching Program that has helped thousands of people living with all forms of diabetes, reverse insulin resistance, drop their A1c, lose weight, and gain tons of energy. And also reduce their need for oral medication and insulin using, their food as medicine.

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About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, and Robby Barbaro, MPH are the coauthors of the New York Times bestselling book Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. They are the cofounders of Mastering Diabetes, a coaching platform that teaches people how to reverse insulin resistance via low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition. Cyrus has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002, and has an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from UC Berkeley. Robby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2000, and has been living a plant-based lifestyle since 2006. He worked at Forks Over Knives for 6 years, and earned a Master’s in Public Health in 2019.