My Love-Hate Relationship with Cow’s Milk—A CEO’s Journey

I have always had a love-hate relationship with cow’s milk. I’m not sure how far back I can trace it, but as a child I tried Lactaid. That was marginally helpful, but it didn’t solve the issue. While savoring the delectable flavors of ice cream—LOVE. Unfortunately, I always had to pay the price after (hence the HATE). The happiness of having an Oreo McFlurry or a scoop of Ben and Jerry’s Americone Dream always led to tremendous pain in the aftermath. In addition to terrible bloating and gas, I typically experienced an explosive bout of irritable bowel syndrome that left me exhausted and in a cold sweat. (TMI? Sorry, but it’s true.)

So significant were my gastrointestinal woes throughout life that I decided to start a business around optimizing and healing the gut microbiome. At Ixcela (www.ixcela.com), which is named after the Mayan goddess of healing, we have a simple pinprick blood test that looks at the health of your gut and offers completely personalized plans (guided by registered dietitians) to help you optimize your health.

The gut is intimately linked to so many problems, including increased discomfort during pregnancy, weight gain, decreased athletic performance, and increased risk of injury. Add to the list greater chances of having anxiety, depression, autoimmune diseases, hormonal imbalances, food sensitivities, and even early-onset perimenopause. The list goes on. And though we often talk a big game about wanting to live longer and healthier lives, many of us decide to suffer through our pain, discomfort, and insecurity, spending our hard-earned dollars on things instead of our bodies and our health. (You know who you are if you have a sunglass, handbag, or shoe fetish.) News flash: You only have one body. Keeping it as healthy and functional as possible should be your number one concern. Hence, my specific interest in Malibu Mylk.

For those who read this and say, “Yep. Much of what I’m reading sounds like me. The symptoms of gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, and more, sound horribly familiar,” here’s a bit of hope. I was recently introduced to Malibu Mylk, a flax-based product that is healthier and less gastrointestinally aggravating than cow’s milk, and more nutritious than almond milk (if you have allergies to nuts this is helpful too). The product is high in fiber (because flax is high in fiber), but it is low FODMAP fiber, which is awesome for those of us who struggle with IBS and constipation. Malibu Mylk contains no emulsifiers or fillers. It’s just Mylk made of flax. It comes in various flavors, including my favorite, “slightly sweetened” (I’m not a complete purist), unsweetened, and even an oat milk blend. This product is great in your cereal, coffee, smoothies, you name it.

I was skeptical at first, and I would admit when I saw “shaking mandatory—dancing optional” on the carton, I wondered. YES. You ABSOLUTELY need to shake the product (and heck, dancing is fun, so I recommend it regardless), and it’s much better served cold. It’s tasty and nutritious. SCORE ONE FOR ERIKA!! I have gone back to loving my coffees and cereals and smoothies. The product costs a bit more than regular milk, but this goes back to my comment earlier about your health and longevity and where you choose to spend your dollars. It doesn’t cost that much more. Your health is worth it. I’ve ordered multiple times and will continue to do so. 2022 is a new year. A year when you decide to shape up and prioritize YOU. Test your gut health and get Mylk!

Erika Ebbel Angle, PhD
CEO and Co-founder of Ixcela

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