"Some foods are fattening, others are addictive. Cheese is both...loaded with calories, high in sodium, packing more cholesterol than steak and sprinkled with hormones. If cheese were any worse it would be Vaseline."
Neal Barnard, MD. PCRM
The average American consumes 33 lbs. of cheese per year. The U.S. produces more cheese and dairy products than any other country in the world.
Most everyone LOVES cheese.
It is the hardest food to give up when going to a plant-based diet. Cheese and dairy contain casein protein which turns into casomorphin in our stomachs when digested. These are morphine like compounds that attach to the brain receptors the same way heroin and other narcotics do. We become addicted to the pleasure our body receives when eating that big slice of cheese pizza.
You can check out an earlier post on "Got Milk".
For an even more interesting and informative listen, check out "Neal Barnard MD." on the Rich Roll podcast. His ground-breaking research on "Breaking The Cheese addiction" is very enlightening.
There are many dairy-free cheese on the market now to help you break the addiction. Just remember, they can be highly processed with a lot oils, keep them to a minimum. But they are helpful in removing dairy from your diet.
Here are a few brands:
*Daiya: makes great shredded products for homemade pizza, etc.
*Kite Hill: makes a cream cheese that is awesome on a sweet potato, sprout sandwich.
*Follow Your Heart: Everything from cheeses to Mayonnaise.
*Miyoko's Kitchen: Some of the finest plant-based butters and cheeses.
You can also make your own cheese at home. The time investment is well worth the health benefits from lack of dairy in these delicious cheeses. Recently, Kris and I purchased "This Cheese is Nuts" by Julie Piatt. We invested in a Breville Smart Oven Air which also has a dehydrator, which is needed in producing most "cheeses" in her book. The Breville is a great investment, almost eliminating the kitchen oven. We've made "air baked" fries, pizza (there is one baking right now!) and its a beautiful kitchen appliance.
We created are first batch of Ahimsa Goat Cheese out of soaked sprouted almonds. You have to get the cookbook for the recipe.
Creating and cooking foods together as a family is very rewarding and therapeutic. If you have young children, get them involved, not only will it produce great foods, but lasting memories and bonds. It will help them live a self-productive and healthy lifestyle.
I have to go, pizza is done.
Have a great week.