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…spending time with our college-aged daughter who is home for a short visit!

Because of this, I bring you an article from pcrm.org

Giving up cheese, including the mock ones (Daiya, in particular), was one of the hardest dietary changes I have ever made. The process took over four years!

Although I can finally say I miss cheese not one iota, I never make a fuss if it is included in a meal that someone has made for me, unknowingly included in a restaurant meal or if I visit the Boyton restaurant and the order is Artichoke Heart & Roasted Pepper pizza!!

So why is it so hard to give up? Keep reading…

Breaking the Cheese Addiction: Step 3 Cleansing the Palate

For the past two months, we have been getting real about cheese in order to inspire motivation to kick the habit! We spoke frankly about the components of cheese that contribute to disease, and we offered up some alternatives to replace dairy-based cheese products in the diet. Now, let’s discuss why cheese is so addictive and what has gotten people “unhooked” from such a formidable force.

Arguably, one might consider the smell of cheese enough of a reason not to want to eat it. But that’s not how addictions work. After all, there are few things more offensive than the smell of cigarette smoke, yet tobacco is truly one of the most addictive products on the market. It’s really the association we have with cheese that makes it so powerful.

In 1981, scientists in North Carolina discovered that cow’s milk has traces of a chemical that not only looked like morphine but turned out to be exactly that. It’s not unique to cow’s milk—you can find it in human milk as well. Morphine, of course, is an opiate. If that weren’t enough for your brain to handle, a protein in milk called casein releases opiates, called casomorphins, upon digestion, too. When you eat a slice of cheese, digestion breaks the casein into casomorphins of various lengths. One of them, a short string made up of just five amino acids, has about one-tenth the painkilling potency of prescription morphine. This opiate effect may be why dairy products are constipating, the way opiate-based painkillers can be.

To have a calf, or a human baby for that matter, addicted to mother’s milk makes sense, from an evolutionary perspective. They have to really crave it in order to survive.

Calves and infants are not the only ones privy to this information. Dairy marketers are well aware of the power of cheese and have made lots of deals through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make sure cheese is available in abundance and at almost every turn. Government appointed dairy boards spend millions of dollars marketing through fast-food giants such as Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Subway, and Denny’s, to name a few. Is it working? Americans now consume more than 34 pounds of cheese a year, each, three times as much as they did in 1970. Cheese is now the No. 1 source of saturated fat in an American’s diet.

But never fear – the craving for health can be even more powerful than cheese! Have you ever heard that it takes 21 days to break a habit? At the Physicians Committee, we have seen this maxim proved true again and again, both in our clinical trials and through our free online program the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart.

Getting started:

  • Choose a three-week period when it is convenient for you to make dietary changes.
  • Spend one week before the start date getting ready. That means cleaning out the pantry and refrigerator of the cheese and other dairy products that may string you along the dairy path. Find substitutes and recipes that will help you through this (see Step 2 from last month).
  • Do it 100 percent for 21 days! Absolutely avoid cheese products for three weeks, and consider avoiding all dairy products if you still dabble in the dairy. If you keep reintroducing the high-fat dairy products, your palette will never learn to let go. Use the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart to help you along.

After three weeks, you will be surprised how great you feel and how unappealing cheese can actually look, smell, and yes, even taste!

Breaking the Cheese Addiction

Food for Life News You Need
August 2013

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