At the height of the “Got Milk” campaign, Olympic silver medalist Dotsie Bausch found herself appalled at the assumption that dairy milk created successful athletes. She decided to do something about it. Today, I sit down with the remarkable cyclist, advocate, and co-founder of Switch4Good to hear her story.
Dotsie shares her inspiring journey of overcoming adversity, conquering anorexia, and finding solace and strength in cycling. While her transition to a plant-based diet was initially fueled by ethical convictions, it ultimately led her on a quest for improved health and performance.
She is also doing incredible work with Switch4Good, a nonprofit organization she founded to promote plant-based eating and challenge the dairy industry’s status quo. Plus, she is rocking her advocacy for the Add Soy Act and its potential to provide healthier, non-dairy options in schools.
Switch4Good is Born
Dotsie Bausch’s journey to founding Switch4Good was catalyzed by a pivotal moment during the 2018 Winter Olympic trials. Witnessing a commercial perpetuating the myth of dairy’s necessity for athletic success, Dotsie, herself an Olympic silver medalist, felt compelled to take action against the pervasive influence of the dairy industry. With a team including Academy Award-winning documentarian Louis Psihoyos and five other dairy-free Olympians, Dotsie produced a powerful commercial showcasing their athletic achievements fueled by plant-based nutrition.
This grassroots initiative swiftly evolved into Switch4Good, a women-led nonprofit organization amplifying the voices of over 400 dairy-free athletes and medical experts. Through disruptive messaging, impactful campaigns, and unwavering advocacy, Switch4Good continues to challenge conventional narratives surrounding dairy consumption, advocating for dietary justice, planetary health, and animal welfare.
Plant-Based for Vitality
Through poignant anecdotes and powerful insights, Dotsie sheds light on the health, environmental, and ethical implications of dairy consumption, advocating for a more compassionate and sustainable world. Her story is one of resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment to making a difference.
You will gain valuable perspectives on competition, compassion, and the transformative power of plant-based living. Dotsie’s journey has always inspired me to challenge norms, embrace change, and live with purpose – I hope you it does the same for you!
Here are Dotsie’s key takeaways:
- Dotsie’s Story: From battling anorexia to Olympic glory, all through the power of cycling.
- Why Choose Plant-Based: Changing her diet for ethical reasons not only transformed Dotsie’s health and performance but also ignited a powerful movement for change.
- Switch4Good: Learn about the bold campaigns and disruptive messaging that are revolutionizing the way we think about plant-based eating, sparking a wave of compassion and conscious choices.
- Inflammatory Dairy: The harsh truth about dairy’s inflammatory effects and its link to widespread health issues.
- Add Soy Act: This groundbreaking legislation proposes a vital shift towards healthier, non-dairy options in schools, offering hope for the next generation’s well-being.
Listen to Dotsie’s episode
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Want to learn more about Switch4Good and plant-based athletes?
- Learn more about Dotsie’s organization
- Learn more about Dotsie’s career and advocacy work
- Follow Dotsie on Instagram
- Get inspired by vegan athlete Fiona Oakes
- Dotsie’s journey to Olympic silver medal and recovery from anorexia. (0:02)
- Athletic performance, plant-based diets, and ethics. (5:01)
- Plant-based nutrition and its impact on athletic performance. (9:07)
- Activism, courage, and taking on big dairy industries. (14:51)
- Dairy intolerance and plant-based alternatives. (19:25)
- Dairy industry’s impact on health, performance, and justice. (24:03)
- School lunch program waste and advocacy for healthier choices. (28:12)
- Soy myths and their impact on health. (33:04)
- Dairy, nutrition, and performance with a focus on plant-based diets. (38:34)
- Plant-based diets, eating disorders, and identity transition. (45:32)
Sonya Looney 0:02
Dotsie, I’m so excited to get to chat with you because we have so much in common and I am in such admiration of the work that you’re doing.
Dotsie Bausch 0:10
Well, thanks. Like he said a moment ago, to me privately, it’s really strange that we haven’t met before, because we do have quite a bit in common. We both like to wheels a whole lot. And both plant based athletes, and it’s just exciting to be together and get to have this conversation. So thank you. Yes,
Sonya Looney 0:27
I guess to start, I’d love to hear two stories, one, your journey as an athlete to becoming an an Olympian and you want a gold medal? Is that correct? I want a silver silver medal. And hopefully, that doesn’t strike a nerve.
Dotsie Bausch 0:44
You know? No, not at all. It was, I was taking any color, freaking
Sonya Looney 0:49
awesome. So I’d love to hear your journey as a cyclist to becoming an Olympic silver medalist and also your journey to becoming plant based. And those two journeys kind of met and included with this incredible performance and beyond.
Dotsie Bausch 1:05
Yeah, yes, they did. The journey to becoming an athlete or coming in Olympian, because it was it was long and windy, and as they always are. But but the beginning of my story was fraught with almost losing my life to anorexia, and through healing from anorexia is actually how it found cycling and found the bike. So I’m grateful now that I’m 100%, I’ll say 100%. Well, 100% Healed like, I have no fear of going back to those days, there were also a now a very long time ago, 2527 years ago, but I’ll always be grateful for fighting through that. Because as I was, towards the end of my healing journey, like, everybody’s healing journey is usually packed with 1000 million ups and downs. So mine was the same it was, you know, in and out of rehab, and in and out of treatment centers, and you know, I’m gonna get better, I can’t get better, I don’t want to get better all this stuff. And so, towards the end of my healing journey with a therapist that finally I finally connected with, and who I give credit for saving my life, she said to me at the end, I mean, we were, you know, only had probably worked together five more times after this session. And she said, You know, I feel like, you’re really ready to start to be able to move your body in a healthy way again, because I hadn’t, I had the overexcite exercise, part of anorexia and would spend, you know, eight hours a day in the gym, elliptical, treadmill, you know, all of the stuff, weights, everything. And so she said, Because of your history, I think you could probably do anything, you know, do it and have it be any cognitive exercise, because you’re strong in body and mind now. But I would prefer you pick something that you don’t have any negative connections to, you know, that you weren’t over exercising during your anorexic time. And so I really, just very quite randomly chose the bike. I said, Well, I had recently moved out to Los Angeles. And it was January, and I noticed that it was 75 and sunny, the middle of January, and I hate to be cold. And so I thought, well, how glorious would it be to be able to ride my bike here 365 days a year, and I just had this, for some reasons, this pole to ride my bike up Pacific Coast Highway and into the Santa Monica Mountains and through Malibu and all of the beauty that is that scape of the mountains that just kind of burst out of the Pacific Ocean. And I think I just created this story in my head that I’ll just, you know, just I don’t know what I thought I was going to do ride my bike every day. And literally, that’s what I started doing. So it was a really unconventional entry into the sport because I was 26 at the time, which is like grandma age for you know, somebody starting a sport to then make it to the Olympic games, but I fell in love with it from day one. I’m glad I picked it. I’m really glad it didn’t pick like gymnastics or volleyball or so because I wouldn’t have made it in those words, I don’t think but it was then then it was about a 14 year journey to the podium. But of course when I you know started it wasn’t anything like Oh, I’m gonna like try to make it to the Olympics. No, no, no, that was much, much later. And few broken, collarbones later. And you know, you know, the journey. Love, lots of hard work, a lot of suffering and a lot of joy. But yeah, I don’t know that they’re there. I was in in London. And so now that you your listeners know a little bit about my story, you’ll know why I’m very thrilled with silver. Top 10 would have been fine. You know, I mean, I wasn’t one of those that grew up and you know, was five years old and like I’m gonna win an Olympic gold medal is it was just it was just a joy to even beacon SideRed for the team?
Sonya Looney 5:01
Absolutely. Yeah, it’s always interesting talking about results, because everybody has a different relationship with results. And like, sometimes you hear, you know, well, there’s actually research that about, like, what place people came in their level of satisfaction. And that’s not the case for everybody. And then there’s people who, you know, they want a medal. But there was like, something that happened, and it wasn’t how they had hoped. And yeah, I think that the gratitude that you bring for your journey and the pride, like, I think that that is so admirable, and, and so needed, like something that I’m really passionate about is learning how to celebrate our achievements. Because it’s really hard for many people to do and it’s never quote, good enough. So yeah, it’s, it’s amazing to hear somebody say, like, I’m dang proud of my enemy, you should as you should be a frickin silver medal in the Olympics is amazing. Well,
Dotsie Bausch 5:53
the research does tell us from the Olympic games that the silver medalists leave the Olympics, the most depressed athletes of all the athletes, including all the ones that didn’t win a medal, because they lost their finals. Right? I lost I was in the gold medal final and we lost whereas the bronze medalist one their final. So that’s kind of unique when you think about like, oh, I can see how that happened. But yeah, I mean, of course, we want to do in the final, but the British kicked our butts and the Queen and the princes and all were there watching it. So just wave to them and took her. And this is really my favorite part of the metals from the London Olympics. The gold medals are silver medals dipped in gold. Wow. So they really have silver medals to us, right? They’re not solid gold, right? So because the gold got so expensive. So Oh, no,
Sonya Looney 6:46
there’s so many things I want to ask you about your journey. But there’s so many other things to talk about. So I think we’ll just move on to talking about how you found eating plant based. And I’d also be interested to hear, you know, with a previous or past history of anorexia, like some people will say, Oh, you know, people with a past, you know, eating disorder disorder from a meeting should not be eating a, quote, restrictive diet. So I’d love to hear about that too. Right? Well,
Dotsie Bausch 7:12
I think health and wellness and performance are fantastic reasons to try a plant based diet to learn about it, and, you know, try it, you know, either all in or slowly change over. But I think the stickiness, if you will, of the diet and sustaining it, you have to eventually find the epics. Because it’s, there’s not another choice, if the ethics are involved for, in my opinion, anyway, and for me, and I actually came in through the ethics route, not through health and performance, because nobody thought it was going to enhance health or performance, you know, 10 years ago. So I just, you know, lots of people have been on your podcasts that have probably, you know, expressed this, it was literally just, you know, the the wool was pulled off, you know, that I opened my eyes and saw what I saw and said, this, I can’t be a party to this, this, this just can’t be a part. I can’t love something and then kill it needed. I mean, that just doesn’t make any sense. So it was a pretty quick transition than I was couple years out from Olympic Games, not really knowing what was gonna happen. It
Sonya Looney 8:27
takes so much courage to do that. Well, it’s just
Dotsie Bausch 8:31
had this I mean, thank you, but I, you know, it I just had this feeling inside. I’m doing doing the right thing. I’m following my heart. I’m living in peace and love and acceptance. And it just can’t go wrong. I always had this like thing in the back of my head, like, it just can’t go wrong. I, I don’t know. It’d be it could have but so it with that living in my consciousness on a daily basis. I wasn’t that scared. I wasn’t that worried. You know, I knew enough because you know, you know, nutrition to some degree that like is an athlete, right? You’re having to pay attention to it, you have to focus on it. I mean, I always call it forced feeding. Because when you’re, you know, at that level, you’re having to put in 5000 calories a day, 6000 calories a day. So you’re really having to look at what you need to do to repair and replenish. So I already knew enough, I knew that all foods had protein. Well, not all foods, but many, you know, plant based foods had protein, you know, I just knew that it. I mean, I knew it didn’t have to come from an animal. I already knew that. It’s not like that was like, shocking. So it was just it was just kind of tweaking it and figuring it out. I already loved grains, beans and veggies. I just had a taste for them. So I had a little bit of an easier journey than people are like I hate the taste of everything green or I hate the taste. You know, I already liked it. I already ate that way. To some degree, but I just also ate dead things and secretions from dead things. So that I just felt like I could just take that out and still get the nutrients I need. And and as we all know now, that’s not 15 years ago. It’s easy peasy. It’s it’s not it’s not even a question on if it’s or will you get better? Yes you will. Everything changes in the most positive way. And I feel it all the way to today right just just being a recreational cyclist and just enjoying staying fit and exercising. I mean, it just keeps I feel like I always want to say like it keeps me Sparky. Like it’s just it’s such it is lighter food I do eat we are a lot more volume of food right as plant based people, but I can I can eat like large volume of plant based food and just like, like a sparkplug and you’re just out the door on the bike or out the door going out to the beach or out the door. Like I just always feel like I have energy to do whatever I want. And that was not the case at all. When I was eating animals not the case at all. I used to wake up in the morning feeling lethargic and overtrained and tired. And I used to say it felt like you were hungover. You know, I work a training hangover. It feels like an alcohol angle, right? Like you’re foggy. And you know cobwebby, and just like, where’s the coffee, and you just complain for like two hours before you get out on the bike. And that everything changed. As far as that just what capable got, you know, got out of bed was like, let’s go. Yeah,
Sonya Looney 11:35
your energy and vitality are definitely like I can see it in your eyes. I can see it in the way that you show up to life and for the energy that you bring to everything that you do. And I think that that’s a really good point that I for some reason wasn’t able to connect is. People always ask me like, Well, how do you do so much? Like you’re you take on so much like, how are you doing it? And I said, Well, it’s like, how I manage my time or but then I just realized when you’re talking like, oh, wait, it’s not just time management. It’s like having the energy to do it. So thanks for helping me put words to that. So speaking of Energy, let’s talk about switch4good. Like how did like tell everybody what it is and how it started?
Dotsie Bausch 12:16
Yeah, so switch4Good is a nonprofit organization that I started in? Well, a group of us started in 2018. And I ended up as the executive director, but it did not start with the intention of forming an organization by any stretch of the matter at all. It started because some athletes, some of us came together around in 2018, the pm Chang the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, we’re going to happen in that that February. And there were a group of us that were just I don’t know, we just had kind of an awakening in terms of we had been sold the lie for so long training at the Olympic training centers in the US that dairy, what does the body good, right that, and then we had been sold even a bigger lie that it’s going to get you to the podium, and then it’s going to be your vehicle to win medals, which is just sort of insane when you really break it down, like what dairy is, and how that could possibly like maybe the cow could win a medal. But
Sonya Looney 13:24
what the hell and we’re gonna get into that. Yeah. And I want to get into that in a minute too. Okay. might be wondering like, Well, Mike does about like, I don’t get it. So. But yeah, right.
Dotsie Bausch 13:32
Yeah, sure know why it could why. So you it. Some people don’t know this. Many people don’t know this, that the United States and New Zealand are the only countries in the world that the whose Olympic teams are not government funded. So they have to go out and get private sponsors. So the USA Olympic team had the dairy industry as the title sponsor for 10 years, which is about the whole 10 years that I was really in the program and in the system training, you know, as as we headed towards the Olympic Games, so it was highly pressed upon us, the recovery bar in the Olympic Training Center, cafeteria and Colorado Springs, in my day was only dairy. It’s, I mean, it’s white food, it was just white. Because it was cottage cheese, and it was yogurt and it was milk. And it was whey protein. Oh, sorry, there were some eggs on there. So only animal foods, only things that came out of an animal were what we could recover from. Now, I’ve heard it’s changed. And there’s some lovely plant based options on the recovery bar at the Olympic Training Center. But so it was just, you know, just this this seated belief for for so long. And so we just said, Let’s what if we were to put an a commercial on the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in 2018. And told the truth, like we just all felt like we need to stand up and tell the truth. And I think most of us thought it was a one off. Like we would film this commercial, we got some funders, incredible cinematographer, like just a beautiful group of humans that were with us and wanting to tell the truth. And we said, Okay, we gotta buy, you know this airtime on NBC is very expensive, because it’s the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. And so we’re only be able to afford six cities to air this commercial in. And so it’s the night it’s supposed to air. I’m in Los Angeles, right? So I’m gonna see it last. So it airs in Washington, DC is supposed to run across the country, no, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, and I don’t see it in Los Angeles. I mean, we’re all there. We’re having a party or a Twitter party, everything’s go and it just nothing just doesn’t show up. We know exact airtime. Right? It was seven 752 30. Yes, I still remember. And so, next morning, call NBC. They were very cagey with their response. But basically, the dairy industry called and said, Take that off, and who you’re going to listen to our money that we only gave them one time that they’re probably not going to ever get from us again, or the dairy money, who’s you know, maybe keeping them in business during the Olympics. So I’ll be forever grateful to the dairy industry for that one reason, because I don’t think switch4good would have started if they hadn’t gotten kicked off. But you’re an athlete, you know, that type that jet directly going against telling the truth and being able to share, it’s supposed to be free to free, we’re supposed to have freedom, right and up in the press, and being able to share in a, especially in a vehicle like that, and we had paid the money to do it. And that that, you know, big dairy won that battle. But I’m glad that they did what they did, because it inspired us that we really needed to do so much more. And so, you know, long story short, like lots of conversations ensued. And, and, and we started switch4good. And we’re still here, we’re still alive, we’re still thriving, we’re still fighting. The first year was kind of like, whoa, what’s happening, I don’t know how to run an organization like I been consulting in sports technology before, after I retired as an athlete. So it was, it’s very, it was very scary. To me, the first couple years, like, way scarier than being an athlete and trying to go to the Olympics, you know, I felt like I, you know, knew how to do that I didn’t. But anyway, I’m getting more seasoned. And we have an incredible team. And we do all sorts of different styles of work. When we started, it was almost entirely focused on behavior change. But now we do food policy work. We do governmental policy change, work with our ad soy act. We do a lot of Billboard like disruptive billboards telling the truth with just all sorts of different styles now and reaching a lot of people. I
Sonya Looney 17:49
keep hearing that a strength of yours is courage. Like to be able to do the things that you’ve done requires an immense amount of courage and optimism. I want to ask you, whenever that ad went out, and the in you’re going up against big dairy, whose pockets are are infinite. How did you not give up? Because I think a lot of people would say, well, it’s hopeless, like I’m never going to be able to take this down.
Dotsie Bausch 18:13
Right? Yeah, I don’t know if it’s courage. I’m just pissed all the time at what they do. That’s really the truth. Like it’s just I’ve yield from a little bit from anger. And then and I think that was very much in the beginning. And honestly, I think that the work that we did, and the way that we presented ourselves to the world was angry in the beginning, which is not a great way to bring in the 95%. Right, like they don’t want to hear like activists screaming at them. So we’ve we’ve, we’ve definitely matured and changed our approach in so many, so many ways. But I, I really believe that Jerry will be the first animal based food to fold. It is teetering. It is barely hanging on. 73% of the dairy industry’s income comes from our federal government in the subsidies, our tax dollars were paying for it. And plant based milk market is almost 20% of the market. Whereas like if you compare it to like the plant based meat market, that’s 2.5% People consumers are choosing alternatives. Why? Because dairy makes them feel like shit. That is what I have realized over the last three years that I definitely didn’t necessarily know on day one. I’m white as hell and I can drink a gallon of milk and not get sick. I am not lactose intolerant. I am lactase persistent. My, my lactase enzyme stayed on because my ancestors were the first ones that thought it was a genius idea to milk a cow. Right. So I I am the weird one is I think that’s very important to say. Lactose Intolerance is totally normal that lactase enzyme and is designed in our bodies to turn turn off after breastfeeding years because we don’t need to, I think digest right that that that sugar in our mother’s breast milk anymore. And so because it makes so many people feel crappy, what we’ve noticed that switch4good is that if they take it out if people take it out, first of all just if they’re lactose intolerant it’s like a complete game changer because there’s so many gnarly What do you want to call them side effects to lactose intolerant and people just feel terrible. But they think that a lot of people we’ve been sold the lie that we need it. So a lot of people will just suffer through it and take a pill. And it’s like, no, you there’s other, there’s other foods with these nutrients. And you know you can. So because it’s such a game changer, people get really interested in really excited really fast, which I hope. And for many people it does leads them to the other animal foods, they start getting curious, they start wanting to feel even better. Oh my gosh, I can feel this much better. Could I feel even better? Because the catalyst of let’s say, if you just took turkey out, you’re not you’re not going to be as much of a game changer on your first week. I mean, people our lives are completely changed sometimes in 24 hours, if they are highly intolerant to dairy, or if they have an allergy, God forbid, right? Some people do. And they don’t even realize it right? That they just are they get really fired up really, really fast. So I now in the beginning, it was like, Oh, this is a tough entry point. Because there’s so many vegetarians that people love cheese and yogurt and all. But it’s an incredible entry point for people if they’re willing to do it. And so many are who are suffering. Instantly, they feel like a new human. And then they just, you know, they’re on fire for ditching dairy and then you know, what else? What’s next? Just kind of cool. Yeah,
Sonya Looney 21:55
and I think for some people, it is really hard. Or it used to be really hard to give it up because like there weren’t good plant based cheese options, for example, that were meltable or they didn’t have you know, plant based creamers. So like you couldn’t, you couldn’t effectively like steam. us like a soy milk or an old milk that would taste good point, you know, that texture for like a cappuccino or something. And now they have those things. So I think that makes it even easier to switch
Dotsie Bausch 22:17
1,000% I mean, what they have nailed the plant based milk producers, is they have nailed the taste of plant based milk. And there’s 17 of them to choose from. Right. So like whatever you’re looking for, right? If you I like ice cold rice milk and my serve cereal, and I like almond milk and my smoothies and I like oh milk and my lattes and I like soy milk if I want to recover and have like a lot of protein and you know, good amount of carbs and some fat. But, and that is different in the meat department. It’s you know, I think they’ve done a great job. I don’t you know, you and I aren’t looking for something that tastes like meat, but it hasn’t necessarily been nailed yet, like the the plant based milks have. So that’s just skyrocketing. So just fluid milk people aren’t after that anymore. I mean, they’re just not buying they would the dairy industry fold overnight if we pulled the subsidies. I mean, we know the number so it’s not the people, but cheese and cheese vainly. I mean, I think they’ve nailed yogurt too, personally, but cheeses cheeses is, you know, people are addicted to it. Because rightfully so there’s the case of morphine, like we know that. But I think they’ve done they’ve certainly made great strides. And I think I think we’ll get there you know, I think we’re still people still want that. hard cheese. That’s what I don’t think we’ve nailed yet right? Like the that, like a min che go at it. But anyway, we’re getting there, we’re getting very close.
Sonya Looney 23:47
So I wrote down a bunch of things, because the switch4good website is I was really impressed after spending some time on their, how the information is conveyed. And what a wide amount of it for like a wide range of information available to people no matter where they’re coming from. So I’m going to read a quick little list here. And that way people kind of have an idea. And this is not a conclusive list of what’s on the website. And then I want you to pick one that you want to run with that you’re feeling particularly passionate about today. Okay. Okay. So I do have the Add soy Act, which I definitely want to talk about. And then I have like dairy in the planet, dairy and performance, dairy and health, dairy and kids, dairy and racism, dairy and animal cruelty. There’s so many ways that switching away from dairy benefits the world and anyone listening can come at it from any one of these angles that they’re passionate about and make a massive difference.
Dotsie Bausch 24:42
Yeah, no, that’s so true that I mean, so we kind of when we started, we said, you know, we wanted to create kind of the pillars that we stand for that we want to help or make a difference in and so all of our work is centered around making a difference for People’s people’s health, but also their everyday performance. Right? In the beginning, it was, you know, some of us athletes, and we were really focused on obviously performance. But people that are not athletes are just focused on, you know, premium, everyday performance, right, having energy and feeling great. And being able to, you know, get up early in the morning and be productive and still go to the kids baseball game at night and do homework and just have energy and have good everyday performance. So that’s, we focus on that. I mean, health is a component on that, but just kind of everyday output, and then planetary responsibility, and food justice. And then, of course, as I mentioned earlier, the ethics of the whole thing, but the, the the food, the food justice, the dietary injustice has been the cornerstone of a lot of our work in the last couple of years. A no one was really doing it the way that we’re doing it. Most of the time in our movement, when you think about or you hear about dietary injustice, food injustice, it’s mostly or underserve humans that are living next to factory farms, right? And they’re having like the pig crap sprayed on their yard, right, which is a severe form of dietary injustice, but not many people were talking about, what are we foreseen on our children in school? This is an example of dietary injustice, we work on it in a variety of different ways that you mentioned the ad soy act. And when you start to dig in, and you look back, you see that cow’s milk was put into schools as part of the National School Lunch Program, post World War Two, so we’re going back like 7077 76 years ago. And it was simply because when the war was over, we had a lot of commodity on hand, the United United States did, because we were feeding a lot of the allied forces in the war, and then all of a sudden, it’s over, we’re not feeding them. And so Truman, who I’m sure had good intentions at the time, it was like, okay, dairy, we can dump that in schools, right? There’s all these children? Well, first of all, schools are segregated. Only white children in school and white children are violent about 10 15%, intolerant to drinking cow’s milk. So that happens, and nobody really asks any questions seems like, okay, that makes sense. And then multiple acts and amendments have taken place since then. But now we have an incredibly culturally diverse country. And we have a lot of black and brown children and children from all sorts of different cultures, including our own Native American, that are very lactose intolerant, upwards of 85%. And so we have a situation where more than half of the children in our school system, which is 50 million children, and 30 million of those are on the breakfast and lunch school program. Some of them so food insecure, they may not get dinner when they go home. And so they actually need a beverage that offers a solid macronutrient profile. We get a lot of flack from folks who write in and and go because you could tell the Add soy x, we’re looking to add soy in as a choice next to dairy milk for these kiddos are like, Why soy, I mean, it’s got to be organic. And I don’t mean to say it like that. But that’s how they write in and it’s like, you have the means to as I said earlier, have your rice milk here and your almond milk here and your oat milk here. And these kiddos don’t have this choice and they need a full macronutrient profile, they need the six brand grams of protein for pint right and not many of the other milks off for that. In fact, it would be it would really not serve the children if you did like a coconut milk or something. It’s delicious, but it’s like 40% fat. So we had to be very selective and very careful about about what we chose. But what we’re trying to do is put soy milk in it’s the simplest Bill you’ve ever read. But the congressman said I think I’ve ever have ever introduced because it’s literally that simple for all of the children whose cow’s milk make sense, make make sick, and it’s a lot of them. And you can see it in the waste, about 30% 29.8% which is from a USDA report. Not our mouth, their mouth was thrown away. cartons of milk were thrown away, unopened, untouched in 2021. So what are the kids they either don’t like it or it makes them feel horrible. I mean, those are the pretty much the two reasons that you can come up with that they’re just like, and why is it being placed on their tray right because that’s How the school lunch program works. And that’s how the schools get reimbursed for the milk. And so it’s it’s a huge problem. It’s a huge waste problem that the school lunch program is a billion dollars a year. So that’s $300 million of our tax dollars that just go drop right into the trashcan, wow,
Sonya Looney 30:15
$300 million getting dropped in the trash can and a program that’s supposed to help children get some nourishment that’s actually not helping them. So it’s two things. And it’s actually three or four, like food waste is one of the worst possible things for our environment. And then think about all these cows that are suffering, you know, and their babies being taken away, like all for nothing like that. So the milk can get thrown in the garbage. So yeah, it’s you have a place where people can actually take action on this on on switch4good. And I just want to make sure people know about it. Can you tell us about that? Yeah,
Dotsie Bausch 30:52
it’s super easy. Just go to switch4good.org. That’s the number four. I’m sure you maybe put it in the show notes, Sonia. And it’s really right above the fold. And it says our ad soy Act gives kids healthier choices at school. And you just literally click on the button that says help our kids. And you can then send a letter if there’s a pre written letter, or you can write your own. And then you put in your address, which will then help the system. Select your congress, person and your two senators, and that’s where it will go. And we’ve we’ve sent in over 20,000 letters so far. It’s it’s very important for the Congress and Senate senators to hear from their constituents. They want to hear what y’all want to happen. So everybody, not everybody, but some people think, Oh, I’m really gonna go a letter is gonna matter. Yes, it matters. It matters. And you’ll get one back. There’s a lot I’ve read some really interesting letters that are coming back from different Congress folks and Senators, they’re they’re very aware of the bill is introduced in the Senate just about six weeks ago, by incredible bipartisan staff, if you will of senators. So of course we have Booker on there. We also have Senator wicker from Louisiana, and who’s Republican and then also, I’m sorry, he’s from Mississippi. And then from Louisiana, we have John Kennedy, who’s also Republican. And then Booker, obviously Democrat. And then John Fetterman, who’s Democrat from Pennsylvania, which is a pretty big dairy state. And he’s just like, I just takes no bull. He’s just like, it’s the right thing to do. They need a choice. You know, nobody’s trying to take dairy out of school yet. But yes, it’s so it the bipartisanship of it is is incredible same thing in Congress is a bipartisan bill, which you can’t get anything passed these days without having it be more bipartisan. So it’s a it’s a push now is a big, big, big push. So if people will write in, we’d really appreciate it.
Sonya Looney 33:04
We’ll definitely put a link in the show notes for that. And okay, I just keep thinking about, you have such a high level of agency like you believe that you can go and make change in the world, even against what could some would view as like a sort of an insurmountable problem, like some people think, well, I can’t make a change. I can’t write into my senator, it’s not gonna matter. But you are showing people that yes, actually, it does matter whenever you do these things, or I’m just one person, you know, maybe I do care about the climate. But if I change the way that I do things, it’s actually not gonna matter. There. They’re gonna, I’ve heard people say, Well, if I don’t eat animals, or I don’t eat, drink milk, or whatever, they’re still going to make it anyway. So what difference does it make if I do it, but you are demonstrating across many different many different topics here that the act of one person matters, and that we actually should do the thing that we believe in?
Dotsie Bausch 33:56
Yeah, that’s well said. I mean, I think I look at it so on you’re like, I don’t, I don’t seem to have the DNA to not fight. Because I’ve there’s all sorts of days where it’s just like, Okay, this is not working. Just you have those days. Often. And then I think of the alternative, which is do something else right with my life. That’s plenty. I’m sure it could come up with definitely things where I make more money, not nonprofit. But I just always come back to I I just I don’t think I could live with myself if I wasn’t fighting. I just wouldn’t. I don’t know. I just it’s just it’s just kind of ingrained. It just feels like if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work right or if because I pretty sure it’s going to work. It you know, are is probably going to maybe become more of a reality. I won’t live to see it. I’m not sure We’re, I don’t know, I think I could live to see dairy fold. And if I’m in my grave, I’ll be dancing, that’s for sure. But I don’t know how I could look at myself in the mirror in the morning, if I wasn’t fighting, I just, I just have to
Sonya Looney 35:18
let you know. I know, and I love it. But I would like people to hear that you should fight for the things that you believe in. And you should believe in yourself and the impact that you can make in the world, because I think a lot of people feel helpless. And whatever, you know, we believe, I think, I mean, I think eating plant based for all the reasons is a really good thing to fight for. And there’s other things that people want to fight for to that are important. So finding, finding it within yourself to not be helpless. And to not say that my actions don’t matter.
Dotsie Bausch 35:50
You must feel that way too. Or you wouldn’t be doing all that you’re doing where it’s just like you’ve you don’t do you feel like you know, if you’re going to win or lose, but you just keep going or do you feel like you know, well, I
Sonya Looney 36:01
think it’s because the outcome, the outcome, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about making change. And sometimes that doesn’t happen quickly. And whether it’s an external change or an internal change. It’s about the actions that you take that really matter. And those actions over time compound into something really big. And athletes know that there’s many athletes listening to this podcast, or how many days are you going out doing something and you feel like nothing’s happening. And then something happens. And you look back and say, Oh, it was all those small things that I did over time where I felt like nothing was happening.
Dotsie Bausch 36:31
Yeah, that’s very well said, I wanted to make it just about winning and losing. Your thought was so much deeper. It’s so much more eloquent. I love it.
Sonya Looney 36:40
So I want to ask about soy. You know, you have this your podcast, you guys have like about 300 episodes. I think on your show. It’s like a pretty, pretty big show. So you’ve covered many, many things. Same on this podcast. So people have maybe heard this before, but maybe they haven’t. People might have been hearing ads. So I Well, soy is bad. For all the myths about soy, can you demystify soy for us that way? People who are hesitant about it can know that they’re in good hands, and it’s backed up by many, many, many people who have been on your podcast and mine. Who are researchers, physicians, dieticians? Yeah.
Dotsie Bausch 37:14
I mean, look at Walter Willits work out of Harvard, like if you really want to dive into who’s done some of the best, best research. But it’s, I think it’s I don’t know, it’s gotten very complicated, because the dairy industry has spent a fair amount of money trying to make it’s complicated and complex. But it’s it. It’s been, you know, it’s like we could have garbanzo milk or black bean milk or kidney bean milk, but that just wouldn’t taste that good. You know, just happens that soy tastes good. I mean, people like tofu. Not all people, but you and I do. And soy milk is thick and creamy and delicious. I mean, anytime I ever asked anybody, if they’re just drinking a milk straight, sometimes it’s all men, because they liked the taste of almonds. But it’s just swim up just, I mean, it’s just, I think it’s delicious. So it’s to demystify it. It’s like it’s a, it’s a bean. It’s a lagoon. And then now, very popular on Netflix is Dan Buettner show, right, which is just off of his book about the blue zones. And there’s four episodes, and he does five blue zones, if I have it, right might be six, but literally all of them, like soy is the center of their diet. It is packed with fiber fiber, it is packed with phytonutrients. It is packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s a it’s a superfood. So it’s the exact opposite of what the dairy industry had tried to paint it as. And I think that they did so much work on that because they knew that they they know how good it is. And they know the research and they know so they say okay, this is what we’re going to have to shoot holes in they, I mean, they knew that very early on. It has phytonutrients and phyto estrogen in there that is very protective against breast cancer, ovarian cancer. So you know, that was a whole that was a I should say that was a study. It was a study paid for that comes from a study that was paid for by the dairy industry. Now it’s 2526 years ago, I used to say 20 years ago, but it’s even longer now. And they gave rats, more soy than five humans could even ever ingest in a day. So I don’t know, I’m pretty sure if you give rats, you know, five times the amount of broccoli that a human could consume in one day, they’re gonna get tumors, like, too much of a good thing is about I mean, it was it was an obscene study that they did, it was obscene. And so that’s where that myth came from. And Yeah, gosh, it’s just crazy to me that it’s still living. It’s crazy to me that there’s so many good doctors good gynecologist Right. Like, that’s what I hear mostly from women. Oh, my gynecologist said a better stay away from sewing or like, oh, no, I mean, that’s how we possibly do. It’s literally the most protective thing you can do. So it is, it’s, it’s a superfood, and anybody that’s eating it knows that including all of the, most of the centenarians from the blue zones, and these are the people living the longest. So those are the people I’m going to follow whatever they’re doing, and they drink a little red wine too, which I’m very glad about. But you know, that’s a wonderful show for people that are like, Yeah, I don’t know this vegan things weird. But I just I just want to know what people not just eating but what they’re doing, how they’re living, how they’re experiencing the world. Who are the oldest people on the planet? It’s it’s a, it’s a great four part Netflix series. Yeah,
Sonya Looney 40:59
and like, as a side note to that. I like what you said, it doesn’t always have to be just black and white. Like, I’m never drinking any alcohol ever again. Even for people like I take a more moderate approach, like you don’t have to be 100% plant based to make a huge difference in your life and for the world. Yeah, if you don’t want to be 100% Like, that’s fine. Like, just absolutely just trend in the direction. And just be curious about what that’s going to feel like and how you feel. And it’s pretty interesting whenever you give yourself the space to not be perfect to not do 100% And then just see what happens whenever you do that.
Dotsie Bausch 41:34
Yeah, the my favorite word is that you just use that in this is curiosity. Because it’s that’s such a it’s such a fun way to live. Like let me just try this. Let me be curious. Let me see. Oh, yeah, no, I don’t like that. Okay, cool. You tried it? And just, you know, I think I just I think that stagnancy, right, which is kind of the opposite of curiosity, because you’re not driving towards learning and being open is really the biggest killer, right in our nation anyway, you know, just literal stagnancy in life. So I love that. I love that curiosity. I think that’s so important to just, you know, just encourage people to do or be curious, I’d
Sonya Looney 42:20
be remiss if we didn’t talk about dairy and performance, because many people listening to this podcast are interested in performance and not only performance in sports, it’s just this podcast is about how to live a high performance life and how that intersects with well being. So how does dairy impact performance?
Dotsie Bausch 42:38
Yeah, well, besides all of the things that we’ve already talked about surrounding dairy, in terms of the lactose intolerance, there’s also other a lot of intolerances besides lactose intolerance to dairy and allergies. Which, if you have any of those will highly impact your port and performance in a negative way. And I think people can see that and realize that know that in so many people are intolerant to it, and they’re dealing with a rash or hives or blam. Right. And they’re not able to take really good deep breaths they’re having you know, breathing problems, a lung issues. All it’s really you could just kind of go from head to toe with with the issues that are connected to intolerances to dairy. But like
Sonya Looney 43:23
I mentioned the quick sure on your website, you have a list you have like cancer, bone density, asthma, hormones, inflammation, breathing, and there’s more. Yeah,
Dotsie Bausch 43:33
right. And some of those are instigated by an intolerance, and then others are not. So I was just going to go to inflammation for athletes, like that’s what we’re constantly fighting, because we are in an inflamed state a lot of the time because we’re training so hard, right? Because training, and being an athlete is just damage repair, damage repair, that’s all we’re doing, we have to have damage to get repair. And we are used to acute inflammation, right? If we sprained her ankle, or even, you know, break a bone or something, and that’s the body and you know, rushes all of its faculties and vehicles and nutrients to heal that. And so acute inflammation emulation is part of it. Chronic inflammation is what is, you know, a performance killer. It’s a recovery killer. And that’s what you see in non athletes and just heart heart disease, right? That’s that’s inflammation is inflammation and blocked arteries, and you know, where the blood can’t go through. So any type of inflammation in your body is going to hit inhibit that repair and recovery process. And dairy, dairy is a highly inflammatory food. So if you don’t have an intolerance, I mean, and that’s what I noticed, because like I mentioned earlier, I am not intolerant at all I can drink a gallon of milk and like, you know, I don’t throw up everything’s fine. But so when I dropped it, that’s kind of what I wasn’t ready for what was gonna happen like, I didn’t know any of this stuff back Then, but I just felt less inflamed cleaner, leaner more fluid, it just like putting the soy milk in and get and getting that whey protein out, which is just some nasty ass stuff if you ever see whey curdled and how they make it. That’ll turn you off right there. But that was the difference for me because I wasn’t having the issues from the intolerance. I wasn’t having the the stuffy nose and the hard to breathe. And you know, it was an experience. That’s just just the inflammation getting the inflammation out.
Sonya Looney 45:31
Yeah, a change that I experienced was that I used to get, basically chronic sinus infections. And I changed my diet over 10 years ago. But like I’ve had very, I’ve had a few, of course, like you’re not invincible. You change your diet to plant pace, but I went from something that I would have all the time to something that I rarely had.
Dotsie Bausch 45:50
That’s incredible. I have heard that before with sinus infections. I mean, I tend to to lean in on it probably being the dairy more than, you know, taking that out more than some of the other aspects. But it could be everything. But that is that’s exciting, because they’re horrible. sinus infections are oh my gosh, it’s so so painful right in here. Yeah, that’s so good.
Sonya Looney 46:12
Something that I meant to mention earlier, we were talking about eating disorders and disordered patterns of eating, which are different. Something that I experienced myself is I never had an eating disorder. But I definitely had a disordered relationship with food, and always trying to control things. And I don’t want to go too much into it. But basically, when I changed my diet to plant base, all those problems, the disordered relationship I have with food went away completely, like, obsessing over things, trying to control things, the remorse and guilt, like all that stuff just went away. And it was something that I struggled with for a very long time. So if people think about restriction, like, Oh, if I change this thing, I’m gonna restrict and of course, like, You should do this safely, safely, if you are getting triggered, but there is opportunity there to actually heal yourself. And it makes sense, because if you’re eating in a way that doesn’t harm the world, it doesn’t harm other beings. And it isn’t harming yourself, of course, that could provide an opportunity to heal yourself.
Dotsie Bausch 47:19
Yeah, I just, I felt like freedom and food. And I went plant based. Yeah, cuz it just, it’s kind of hard to describe it and someone tries it, right. But there’s just something about sitting down to a meal. That is peace. And not violence just feels different. It feels different. Looking at it, it feels different, chewing it and tasting it and being full from it and getting energy from it. It’s just different. And I felt the same way. And I can’t necessarily put my finger on the freedom part. From any kind kind of disordered behavior. But I can say that I I eat a lot of food. I’ve always been able to put down a lot of food. And I have no thoughts about food ever. any day, any moment anytime. I mean, it’s kind of crazy from from the past, and I did do a hell of a lot of work on myself. So I mean, that that that is a part of it. But I don’t know that I wouldn’t have gone back and like post athletic career to you know, as I’m aging and heading towards menopause, like getting weird around food again. I don’t know. It’s just I never think about it. I eat when I’m hungry. I don’t want I’m not I mean, I you know, eat too much chocolate sometimes. And then I don’t worry about it. And it’s dark. I eat I just It’s just I it’s just it’s very cool. I mean, I don’t I love how it feels where it’s just, it’s it’s not so here, right? It’s just really kind of in a heart centered place. And it just is fun to eat peaceful food.
Sonya Looney 49:03
Yeah, yeah. And I’ll give people a quick resource. Dr. Greger has a new book. I don’t know if this is coming out before or after the book launch. But he came on the show to talk about it. And it’s how not to age. So it talks about plant based diets and eating and an aging and those types of things. And I think that is of a keen interest for many people.
Dotsie Bausch 49:20
Yeah, no doubt, right? Because the before that he had the book, How Not to Die, which is fantastic, but we’re gonna die. And so I bet this one’s gonna do really well, because that’s what everyone’s after is longevity. Right? Like, how do I how do I not age and how do I mean people are like, you know, figuring out how they’re going to freeze themselves and wake up again and 40 hours. Exactly. It’s like that’s a little extreme. But yeah, very cool. Can
Sonya Looney 49:45
I ask one more question? Yeah, yep. It’s about identity. And I know it’s kind of a long, not an easy answer, but like, you retired from the sport you achieve the highest level that you could possibly achieve in sport. And that’s a wrap really hard transition for many to switch away from your soul identity. And everything is about the Olympics or becoming this thing and then doing something different. Like, what was that transition like for you? And what is your relationship like with cycling now?
Dotsie Bausch 50:13
Yeah. As I mentioned earlier, I found the sport very late at 26. And as much as I thought that was a big hurdle I was going to have to overcome like not having started when I was 10. It’s really been in retirement the greatest gift because I started so late, I already had like a full life prior to even finding cycling, like I had, you know, I was 26, I had already had like, two or three different jobs and in a career that I was starting, and and so since it wasn’t seated into my identity at seven, right, well, I mean, that’s what so many Olympians, you know, their stories like I’ve been doing this since I was five. And everyone told me I was going to do this with it. So I didn’t have that identity as a as a young person. And I already had a life before cycling. And no one in their right mind was telling me I was going to become an Olympian. So nobody put that expectation. I didn’t even it wasn’t even clear that it was even a possibility. So I’d say like, maybe five years before, where it was like. So those two things, which I think are the greatest pressures that people experience, and why they have such a hard time in retirement and such a hard time with identity. I didn’t have those two pressures. So my transition was like, vegan butter. Like, I was like, Cool. That was fun. Yes, just, I was ready to like I didn’t, I actually made a comeback in 2014. Because I thought, Oh, my God, I’m plant based. Maybe I can stand on the podium at 44. Because I did it. Why? And my husband and I moved to Colorado Springs to the Olympic Training Center. And I got back in with the team and I trained the whole summer with them. And at the end of it, I just said, I just thought, I don’t know, I’ve already done this. It just didn’t it. I wasn’t curious anymore. To your point. I was like, I know what it’s I know this whole journey. I don’t know what will happen at the end. But I know the whole journey I’ve already done. And so I was just very enamored by it was really interesting. I’m glad I did it. Because I think I would have said what if like, if I didn’t go back in, I had a really great mentor that was like, you can’t just talk about it, and train with your husband in Orange County and have great you need to go back into the trenches with the girls. And you know, and I listened to him and I’m glad I did it. But it’s my heart goes out to those athletes. There’s so many that started so young. And that was their entire identity was formed as that athlete and then I can’t tell you know, all the stories and I know that I’m close to some of them that it’s just, they’re still just not feeling fulfilled. Post, you know, like a Olympic career. It’s tough.
Sonya Looney 53:14
Well, thanks so much for sharing that. I wish I’d asked that in the beginning. But it was like well, I want to get into the plant based stuff. There’s just so many things I could ask you because you’ve done so much. Well, where can people find switch4good and find more about you and your podcast?
Dotsie Bausch 53:26
Yeah, let’s switch Switch4Good is switch the number for good on everything. Like well, so that’s it’s super easy, the website and Instagram and I am like, you know, I’m old. So I just I’m not on to social media. I but I’ve been around long enough that vegan Olympian was available on Instagram when I got it and so that’s where I am on Instagram because if I I’m never on there but but but switch is very active. So yeah, check that out if somebody’s curious.
Sonya Looney 53:58
Well, thanks so much for coming on the show. It was great to finally meet you and I wish I could give you a real hug and I hope we get to see each other in person and go for a ride sometime.
Dotsie Bausch 54:06
That would be amazing. Thank you so much.