Healthy Living

Dear Cheese: It’s Not You – It’s Me

After many months of going through multiple bouts of getting sick (with virtually EVERYTHING) I finally decided that it was time to go to my actual doctor and not a MedExpress. Six months of on again off again illness is nothing to take lightly, and truly – shame on me for not going earlier but those pop up MedExpress’s make it so easy!

Anyway, one of the areas that my doctor and I decided to explore was that of food allergies.

I’ve never had a food allergy before. I have always been one of those people who have been blessed to have a gut, respiratory system, and body that reacted just fine to everything that I put in (with the exception of Alfredo sauce!)  But as I get…older….I realize that just like my body changes in other ways, it can also change in the ways in which it processes, stores, or utilizes what I am putting in!

After a review of my diet, we found there was a lot of dairy hanging around in there. Three various protein shakes a day that were whey based, some Greek yogurt thrown in there and…cheese. Oh…one of the loves of my life. Cheese.

Let’s just have a moment:

Cheese – you are amazing. I love you on my spaghetti, in my salad, and on my broccoli. There are no chips – without queso.  No macaroni – without cheese. No grilled cheese – without 2 slices in the middle. Cheese – you are a dear friend of mine, but we have gotten too close and so I feel that we need to take a break.

I know, I know -we do so much together. Like that one time I was driving down to camp and I was

The cheese struggle is real.

hungry and you accompanied me in the form of string cheese. Or that other time when we bought the all-you-can-eat seats at the Pirates game and they didn’t offer cheese with the burgers – you were there…in a secret compartment in my purse…ready to rock n roll. I even sold your siblings for a quarter a piece that day. You made me a dollar. 

When I am happy – you are there to accompany my chips and margs. When I am sad, you are there to accompany my chips and margs.  However, this co-dependency needs to stop – at least for 3 weeks. I swear, I’ll be back…I’ll always be back.

Don’t hate me, 

Your buddy Nicole

Yes. I find myself cheeseless for the next 3 weeks while my body fights whatever it’s fighting. One of my comfort foods has been ripped violently from the equation and I am left with nothing.

Okay, that’s be a little over-dramatic. Do I miss my cheese? Every day. But I am learning to live without it! The one thing this dietary restriction has made me do is to pay more attention to what I’m eating. I am back to eating with a PURPOSE (which is to fuel my body so it can recover) and not just out of boredom – which is where the cheese usually comes to hang out. And heck – in just the first few days I’ve lost 5 pounds! Can’t be all that bad, right?

What I didn’t realize prior to this was the fact that cheese, if a food allergy, can weaken your immune system since it screws with your gut health AND! it can do so up to two weeks AFTER consumption. Did you know that!?  It never ceases to amaze me the power and science behind what we put in our bodies. Truly, I didn’t realize how much dairy I was taking in until the review of my diet was done.

So here we go – onto another leg in my overall health and fitness journey. A cheeseless journey. I’ll be honest – i really hope after the 3 weeks are up we come to find it is NOT a dairy allergy, but I’m willing to experiment and see where this leads. If nothing else – I think it will lead to an even healthier lifestyle!

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