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English: milk bottle showing cream at the top

This is all I'm going to be consuming for a period of time.

(For 3 weeks, I did the milk cure, drinking 3 1/2 quarts to 1 gallon of raw milk each day. Except for water, all I had was milk. This is a series of posts (25) keeping track each day. For the entire series, start out on “Trying Something Old“). All links to the series is at the bottom of each article.)

I spent an evening going through two illuminating books detailing the milk cure this past week. Both were written in the early part of the 20th century by doctors who attributed a diet of between 3 to 6 quarts of milk a day to someone on complete bed rest as a miraculous cure for a variety of issues ranging from digestive, to rheumatism, and other conditions which were extremely debilitating during the time period.

The cure consists of sipping room temperature milk throughout the day, preferably in half or hour intervals. The idea behind it, according to the books at least, is that raw, grass-fed milk is comparable to blood and helps to build up a person’s healthy blood in a variety of ways.

I happen to be a very healthy person, but last year was rough for me health-wise. Most of that is attributable to the gluten I ingested (both from the gluten challenge and accidentally), but the idea of rebuilding my digestive system is intriguing. I do not think that I will cure myself of my gluten intolerance through this adventure, but anything I can do to strengthen myself will be a plus.

Complete bed rest (as advocated) is definitely out of the question for me and I plan on keeping up my regular activities (including work and exercise) as much as I am able. (Obviously, the exercise will stop before working will and I’ll stop the milk cure if it interferes with working).

From my reading, I plan on doing a fast today in preparation for starting the milk cure on Friday morning. This is to give my digestion a break. While I’ve done a liquid diet in the past, I’m not looking forward to it. It’s not necessary, but I think there needs to be a transition period between regular eating and the milk cure. The books recommended a 1 to 3 day fast, I’m going to fast for one day and it will pretty much involve, water, fruit and juice and chicken stock and of course a few glasses of milk. In reality, I think today is going to be the hardest part of the entire situation.

I went to Whole Foods last night to try to find some organic fruit and juice for the fast. Even Whole Foods is getting out of whole foods.  I spent 1/2 hour looking at juices. Most of the “juices” there were smoothies, most of them had tons of ingredients and added sugars.  I managed to find one bottle of “Columbia Gorge Organic” Pomegranate, Blueberry and Cherry.  Its ingredients are only juices and purees.  Unfortunately, there was only 1 small bottle left. The other juice I managed to find is from a company called “Red Jacket” which made an “all natural” (read not organic) juice whose ingredients are apples and raspberries or apples and strawberries.  Based on my understanding of how citrus juices are made, I really didn’t want to purchase any orange juice. I did get a few organic oranges and pears to keep me going today as well. I would have preferred organic, but chose to purchase products with fewer ingredients.

I work 10 hours a day, 4 days a week. Today I brought in 2 cups of milk, 6 cups of bone broth, an orange and a pear and the two bottles of juice.  Add in any water I choose to drink and I hope I can keep the hunger pangs (both real and imagined) at bay.  I also have another orange and pear at home for dinner as well as more bone broth and juice.

Tomorrow, I’m planning on starting with a gallon a day (4 quarts) and will ratchet that down if I start gaining weight. While the milk cure has the reputation of having its patients gain weight, that was mainly from the effect of very sickly people becoming well. There are other indications that obviously obese people lost weight on the milk cure. So I’m hopeful that I will find a medium. A gallon of milk contains 2,400 calories. 3 quarts would come in around 1,800.

According to the book, the milk should be sipped in equal amounts on a regular basis throughout a 12 hour period. It should be room temperature. The regular basis should be every half hour for the first day or two and then hourly after that. The digestion system should be rested for a full twelve hours.

This means that I need to start with about 5.3 ounces every half hour for the first two days. Since the milk needs to be room temperature, I’ll just bring the gallon to work with me on the days that I’m working in the office. Since raw milk doesn’t spoil like pasteurized, I should be able to go the entire day. Its okay if the milk is a bit sour in the late afternoon or evening. Sour milk is just starting to ferment, and fermented milk will work just fine for these purposes.

Because I am a data geek, I’m starting to track certain parameters now to provide a slight baseline. I’m tracking basal body temperature (taking my temperature when I wake up in the morning) and blood sugars. Since I am considered pre-diabetic and milk has a lot of sugars in it, I need to know what my reaction to it will be. I plan on checking blood sugars three times a day: wake up (fasting blood glucose), noon, and evening before bed. It will be interesting to see how that works. I do know that my last fasting test done before my physical a month ago was 92, and I also know that how I eat after this period will affect my blood sugars more than the number of days (weeks?) I am on the milk cure. For those wanting to know, my basal body temperature has run between 97.9 and 98.2.  Blood sugars yesterday were (Fasting: 114, Noon: 103, Bedtime: 110).  I think my readings are a bit high, but I have had some grains in the past two days.  I’m hoping these go down, but I’ll wait a week to see how I adjust prior to worrying too much about them.

As to be expected, I’m excited and a bit apprehensive about doing this.  But as I usually do, I’m planning it out.


  1. Milk Cure 2012: Trying Something Old
  2. Milk Cure 2012: Preparations
  3. Milk Cure 2012: The Day Before the Cure
  4. Milk Cure 2012: Day 1 – And Here I Start
  5. Milk Cure 2012: Day 2 – Why Am I Doing This?
  6. Milk Cure 2012: Day 3 – Ups and Downs
  7. Milk Cure 2012: Day 4 – Milk as a Health Food Part 1
  8. Milk Cure: Day 5
  9. Milk Cure 2012: Day 6 and Milk as a Health Food Part 2
  10. Milk Cure 2012: Day 7
  11. Milk Cure 2012: Day 8 and Milk as a Health Food Part 3
  12. Milk Cure 2012: Day 9
  13. Milk Cure 2012: Day 10
  14. Milk Cure 2012: Day 11 – Halfway There
  15. Milk Cure 2012: Day 12 – Milk as a Health Food Part 4
  16. Milk Cure 2012: Day 13
  17. Milk Cure 2012: Day 14 – Can Raw Milk Go Bad?
  18. Milk Cure 2012: Day 15
  19. Milk Cure 2012: Day 16
  20. Milk Cure 2012: Day 17
  21. Milk Cure 2012: Day 18 – Raw Milk is Safe
  22. Milk Cure 2012: Day 19
  23. Milk Cure 2012: Day 20
  24. Milk Cure 2012: Day 21 – The Last Day
  25. Milk Cure 2012: The Day After

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2 Responses to “Milk Cure 2012: Preparations”

  1. Lola LB says:

    Raw milk doesn’t spoil? Interesting . . . didn’t know that.

    • Sandra Clark says:

      It doesn’t putrify like pasteurized . It naturally separates and ferments if left out. So raw milk will start souring, but still be safe to drink.