Ever been eating a pizza, known that you were full 2 slices ago but still finish off the lot? You’re not alone.
It’s a well documented fact that cheese contains addictive properties. As it digests, it releases casomorphins, which are a mild opiate, into the body and that’s why when you eat something cheesy you just can’t stop eating it.
Giving up cheese can be tough, and for people transitioning to a plant-based diet or diet lower in animal products, cheese can be the biggest hurdle. However, there are plenty of vegans out there to prove that you can do it, it’s just a case of knowing how!
If you’re struggling, we’ve put together a handy step by step guide.
5 Easy Steps to Conquer The Most Serious Cheese Addictions!
Step 1: Know Why You Want To Ditch Fermented Dairy
There are plenty of reasons you might want to give up cheese. In order to make cheese you need milk, and if you’re concerned about animal welfare you might realise that dairy cows have it pretty bad.
From an environmental point of view, cheese isn’t a very efficient way of getting calories, with animal agriculture playing a huge role in the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere every year.
If you’re concerned about your waist line or your health, cheese is definitely worth ditching. High in saturated fat, cheese can clog your arteries and lead to poor heart health and even strokes.
Whatever it is that’s got you concerned about the yellow stuff, teach yourself about it and the impact it’s having. Then stick a picture of a cow, a melting glacier or a clogged artery in your wallet and put yourself off buying that cheddar.
Step 2: Taste Test Time!
If you have a vegan or lactose intolerant friend, you might want to enlist their help on this one.
The world of vegan cheese is already huge and fast expanding. In fact, the vegan cheese section in supermarkets can almost be a little bit intimidating!
Do any of them taste like plastic? Will this one melt? If I try and grate it will it just fall apart in my hand?
All good questions and ones that can’t be answered with the cheeses all safely nestled in their packets. The internet may be able to answer a few of the questions but as with every food, all tastes are different.
What you need to do is buy whichever one’s take your fancy, and then eat. Slice them up onto a cracker, melt some, eat some by itself, whatever you need to do to find your perfect cheese selection!
Step 3: Eat Pizza, Nachos and Cheeseburgers
My favourite step! Now you’ve found your perfect cheeses, recreate all the meals you loved with your new purchases and realise that they taste just as good, sometimes even better, without the dairy.
What’s more you might skip that sluggish feeling afterwards too!
Step 4: Go Cold Turkey
This might sound like the worst step, but if you’ve followed the previous three, it’ll be a breeze! You’ve got your replacements, you’ve got your picture of the cutest cow you can find (I mean, they are all adorable) looking wistfully into the distance worrying about the ice caps and you having a heart attack.
So just put the cheese down…go on…that’s it, well done!
Step 5: Reap The Rewards
That’s it, you’ve done it! No longer do you feel guilty whenever you tuck into a pizza, your three hour naps after cheesy chips have become a thing of the past and you’re pretty sure you felt the earth get a tiny bit cooler.
This calls for a celebration! Dairy free cheesecake anyone?