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Notes From a Recovering Cheeseaholic

Posted Nov 14 2012 8:00am

I never met a cheese I didn’t like.  Whether it came from Vermont, France, or a can – I was in love.  I have a salt tooth and I would always pick smoked fish, olives, and cheeses over a chocolate cake.  Now that I eat a plant-based diet free of dairy, gluten, and processed foods , my cheese consumption is almost zero.

Hello Former Lovers

I (very rarely) indulge in cheese as  recreational eating , but for the most part I abstain from all dairy.  I’ve seen great results.  I’ve lost weight.  My skin is clearer.  I don’t need a constant pepto fix.  I feel good after the meals I eat instead of feeling like I need to lay down.

It’s fascinating, but now that I don’t eat dairy on a regular basis, I see how strange it is to consume milk that was meant for a baby calf.  Humans are the only mammals that drink the breast milk from other mammals (and 75% of us humans don’t have the enzymes needed to digest dairy ).  Doesn’t that sound a bit weird?  Even if you’re not into the animal cruelty angle , it does seem illogical to consume another animal’s milk.

I eliminated dairy from my diet after reading The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman.

Great read

He outlines a very convincing case about why dairy is not the glowing source of health benefits it’s made out to be.  Even the calcium argument doesn’t hold water.  I often get asked “where do you get your calcium if you don’t regularly drink milk?”  Instead of listing all the fabulous plant sources of calcium, I simply remind them that Asian diets contain no dairy, and there’s no glaring deficiency of calcium in Japan, China, and other Asian countries.  In fact, they are overall much healthier than Americans!  The American dairy industry has convinced us that we need milk to survive.  We can not only survive, but we can thrive without it.

There’s still a ways to go, but the world is changing.  While the Got Milk? campaigns still fill our magazines, it’s refreshing to see articles like this one this one from everydayhealth.com  give non dairy milk alternatives props for their health benefits such as vitamin D, lowering cholesterol, and protein.  All that without the health risks of dairy.

Non Dairy Milk Substitutes
milk alternatives (left to right): soy, almond, hemp, rice, coconut ( source )

And while every once in a while I still crave cheese, I crave being good to my body even more. So I’ll leave the milk drinking to the babies.

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