Cheese: A Love Story Full of Heart Break Sure Sure quit is a bad word but I have to come to terms with my reality. Let me preface you a bit, I LOVE cheese. It is one of my favorite past times. When I was a chubby little girl I would sneak my head in the fridge and put as much cheese in my mouth as possible. I ate a lot of food solely because it had cheese on it. As I got older I was more conscious of fat and salt intake and so for that purpose I tried to cut back on my cheese intake, but I truly didn’t comprehend a burger without the delicious dairy-filled substance.
When I was about 21 I started to have deep, cystic acne in my chin. I had never suffered from chronic acne as a teen, only the occasional hormone or diet related zit from time to time. When I was struck with this breakout that never ended I started to try anything I could. I began a strict skin care regimen specified to my skin type (oily). I looked up every internet article about acne that I could find and read it three times to figure out the cause. I changed my pillow cases daily. I. did. it. all. Nothing helped though, and at 25 I was still sitting there with teenager pizza face. It actually just continued to worsen. I would have times when there were only scabs or healing wounds but before they were fully gone another zit would rear its ugly, cystic head.
Right at the beginning of this year I visited a naturopath who recommended that I quit dairy, gluten and/or sugar one by one for about 1-2 months to see which is causing my allergy. LET’S BE REAL, this little cheese monger knew what it was. In fact my intuition had told me to quit it with the dairy for along time but I didn’t want to admit it to myself. Heck, even after I saw the naturopath it took me meeting my boyfriend who had the exact same allergy and quitting dairy with him as my copilot to really commit.
So thanks for listening to my story, these are some tips for the cheese lover who is quitting dairy and not feeling so good about it. You’ll feel good soon!! My skin is nice and clear, unless I concede to chocolate :/… but that’s another article for another day :
1. EAT BACON! Seriously just get down on the bacon. Of course be weary of your salt and saturated fat intake but your body will be seriously lacking in fat reserves after it wears through all of the dairy pockets that it has stored up. Sure all the health minded cheese eaters out there will tell you to eat avocado but they don’t even understand you right now. You have grilled cheese sandwiches and macaroni and cheese cakes parading out of your life like its no big deal. So Treat Yourself! TO some delicious pig’s belly.
I’m sorry vegetarians, you can enjoy those avocados.. I also recommend them for anyone else. Not only do they replace the fat content of dairy quite well but they make sandwiches and hamburgers almost feel cheesier.
2. Don’t be scared of dairy substitutes. When I met boyfriend he had just given everything containing dairy up, which was absolutely not in my ability. I had to figure out how to make every food I’ve ever loved without the dreaded milk fats I was allergic to. He had been depriving himself of finding an option that was safe for him, but hey that’s one of the many reasons we found each other right? There are some really wonderful brands that I have found keep my world alive right now as I am currently dreaming of cheese cakes.
- So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut yogurt and ice cream and ice cream bars: great consistency and flavor since it’s coconut milk, grab some home made granola and fresh fruit and oh jeez is that a divine breke bowl. Also check out their ice creams, this brand makes some yummy ice cream flavors.
- Tofutti cream cheese: I have not yet become acquainted with their ice cream or sour cream, although I’ve heard good things. But I do love their cream cheese, it is an amazing option for both bagel topping and even cream cheese frosting.
- Daiya Cheese: The best in vegan cheese options. The cheese melts into epic grilled cheeses, taco topping, pizza, or anything you could desire. Try it, it’s so worth it.
3. Introduce new foods while you cut the old ones out. I wasn’t only a cheese loving chubby kid I was also a picky kid, I kind of only ate cheese and bread if possible. So as I was cutting out such a huge part of my diet with dairy in general, because oh jeez the things that come up that you never thought about, I decided to add in things I had under appreciated. I’ve always been a texture eater so I started by exploring the crunchy things in the universe. I eat a lot of cabbage and bell pepper now. I am also more interested in making my food into my medicine, eating full color spectrums and getting all of my vital nutrients. Take advantage of the hole you create in your diet and learn to love new foods that are beneficial to your well being.
4. Experiment with goat cheese. Once every pay period boyfriend and I grab some Cypress Grove chèvre from Humboldt, CA. We don’t go al the way to Humboldt, the Tourist Home carries it. But we make sure to go get that delectable goat nectar and make ourselves fun pizzas. Not all goat cheese is trust worthy, I’ve come across some that say that they contain milk which is just rude in my opinion. So read your labels.. Always. Grab artisanal goat cheese, and a friend of mine has actually visited Cypress Grove and noted they have really happy goats… always a winning situation for me :D.
5. Don’t trust the dark chocolate lies. Listed on the ingredient list of all chocolate products, no matter the cacao percentage, is milk fat. There is no getting around that. There are some yum yum almond milk chocolate bars that cost a ton of dough but are totally worth it when you have a gnarly craving. Don’t eat dark chocolate and lie to yourself, you’re only going to end up fighting the healing your body is trying to do post-dairy. Every time I tell myself ‘It’s dark chocolate, it’s fine!’ I get a huge zit to remind me I was just lying to myself. No dark chocolate, no chocolate. I know, my mom also gasped when I told her but we’re adults now guys. Milk fat is in the past now.
I hope this list let you in to the insight I’ve acquired post cow dairy. My diet has drastically change, but fortunately I still exist. I never thought I’d live post cheese, but here we are.. breathing. Life is good and my skin is actually clearing for the first time in years. Check in with your body from time to time, if you’re frustrated with something (acne, weight, hair texture, nails) listen to your body because it’s probably just trying to tell you something.
WARNING: Beware of your salt, saturated fat and soy intake on this journey. Replacements are great until you form another allergy from overdoing it. Balance is always key.