Cooking Delights

Saturday, September 23, 2006

More Uncheese Sadness....


I was really excited to try another recipe from my uncheese cook book. I made the baked macaroni and cheese with high hopes. This too was disappointing. It wasn't cheesy at all. Mind you I had a cold when I was eating it and not much of an appetite at all. But the whole uncheese experience (along with a healthy dose of PMS) seems to have thrown me back onto the cheese wagon. Later that day I ate crackers and cheese and then cheese melted on toast... and felt pretty horrible about it. I want to make the switch to veganism but this cheese thing is just not happening yet. I don't understand it. I totally understand about all the saturated fat in cheese that any sane person would want to stay away from, so why can't I do it? I was saying to my friend Michaela tonight that I probably shouldn't beat myself up about it... that like everything else on my path to vegetarianism and now to veganism it will fall away on its own time. In fact I have been recently noticing a real aversion to eggs... so maybe cheese will be next (please fairies of nutritious eating cut my cravings to cheese!)


On another note. My friend Nancy is an incredible cook. She loves talking about food and is one of the most committed vegans and animals rights activists I know. I think she should have her own blog. Here are some peanut butter and banana cupcakes she made for me. They were beyond delicious. So moist and rich and peanuty. Nancy please start a blog! The world needs your input!


On yet another note.... I read a really interesting article that explains why I have been feeling a lot better about the internal balance in my body after having made a commitment to eating more salads (obviously the recent cheese episodes excepted). The author, Dr. Zoltan Rona, was advocating an alkaline forming plant based diet. The author was saying that "it is a biochemical fact that all disease, especially cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis exist in an acid medium. All animal products, refined foods, and most high gluten grains create an acid condition in the body. Plant based diets create more of an alkaline body pH." OK, so this is probably way too personal, but I think it is important because it speaks to the value of plant based whole foods in our diet. This month for the first month in years was the first month I did not have a yeast infection. It was also the first month I made a conscious effort to eat a huge serving a salad - raw leafy greens, every single day. Coincidence? I think not.

13 Comments:

  • At Sunday, 24 September, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Melissa, I have read about the ph balance too, and that our meat/dairy eating culture is VERY acidic. I have never had a yeast infection (I know, personal stuff, but we're puttin' it out there)!, and while yeah, I get colds and stuff like other people, I don't get these recurring infections that many people do (thankfully), though I've had a sinus infection in recent years, but that's about all. I do notice that when I'm eating too many sweets, my energy and immune system is not as vital, and so being vegan is not the total answer, but eating a large majority of whole foods and lots of greens and veg is very important. I think you can be too alkaline as well - but that's not very common with how most people eat - even as vegan some of our foods are acid-forming.

    I love this post, and I am now whisking away your cheese craving... :)

    (p.s. it is known that cheese IS actually addictive, so it's not you or your pms, it's hard stuff to give up for most of us! Oh, and I had a huge aversion to nutritional yeast for a long time, and now I love it, so maybe you will enjoy that 'cheesy' taste after time too)

     
  • At Sunday, 24 September, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Melissa,
    Cheese is a toughy...there really is no replacement for it. I make uncheezes, but I almost prefer not to call them that since they taste nothing like cheese. Personally, I believe life isn't about absolutes. Eating 80 or 90 or 99% cheese will have a drastic impact on your health and on the welfare of animals, the environment etc...so if these are the reasons you want to be vegan, then you have already made huge strides even if you still eat a little bit of cheese once in a while.

    I read Brendon Brazer's book recently and he talks a lot about pH and how meats and soy create an acidic environment in our bodies. It made complete sense to me and I couldn't understand why other "diet" or "health:" books didn't mention these facts. Then, I tried out my own body test similar to your yeast infection test. I cut out a lot of acidic food and brought in a lot of alkaline foods and I noticed a dramatic difference in my muscle soarness after rigorous exercise. Makes sense...lactic acid in your muscles is what makes you soar, and with a more alkaline body there wouldn't be as much acid buildup. I don't understand why the mass health industry is screaming this info from the rooftops?

    Megan the Vegan

     
  • At Sunday, 24 September, 2006, Blogger Melissa West said…

    Thanks for your support on this one Dreena and Megan. I can't believe what a hard time I am having with the cheese. I so want to be vegan, but I am finding the change really challenging.

    Yeah, the PH balance thing is really interesting to me and is definitely keeping me motivated to keep eating my greens.

    I wanna get that Thrive book Megan... I think I would really enjoy it.

     
  • At Sunday, 24 September, 2006, Blogger Carrie™ said…

    Hey Melissa. I COMPLETELY understand and HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR about cheese. OMG! I put it on my top 5 list for crying out loud. I really want to stop eating it, but I think I'm weak. I must be because I keep getting sucked back in. It's like crack to me. I'm glad Dreena said that cheese IS addictive. I totally agree. But I'll keep trying. I'm bummed to hear that you're not having much success with recipes from the Uncheese book. I really wanted to get that one, but if the dishes you made don't taste cheesy....what's the point? Unless, maybe after being away from cheese long enough, it will satisfy.
    Interesting about ph in our bodies. Might be worth checking out that book.
    Oh, and tell your friend Nancy we bloggers are waiting for her.

     
  • At Monday, 25 September, 2006, Blogger Gordo Guru said…

    Melissa:

    I'm also a recovering cheese addict and did my first experiments with the Uncheese cookbook over the weekend.

    I also made the casserole, and made the same substitution you did...brown basmati instead of white. Like you, I found it to be weak.

    However, the other recipe I made was the Cheez Please Soup with Broccoli...this one I HIGHLY recommend. In fact, I liked it so much, I'm going to look at ways to use the soup base for other "cheez" recipes. Add a little black pepper and it really is amazing. Word of warning though, it's AMAZINGLY filling.

     
  • At Monday, 25 September, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Melissa:

    I'm also a recovering cheese addict and did my first experiments with the Uncheese cookbook over the weekend.

    I also made the casserole, and made the same substitution you did...brown basmati instead of white. Like you, I found it to be weak.

    However, the other recipe I made was the Cheez Please Soup with Broccoli...this one I HIGHLY recommend. In fact, I liked it so much, I'm going to look at ways to use the soup base for other "cheez" recipes. Add a little black pepper and it really is amazing. Word of warning though, it's AMAZINGLY filling.

     
  • At Monday, 25 September, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We're on a high alkaline diet at my house :) From all the reading I’ve done, I’ve learned that a high alkaline diet is recommended for any chronic ailments - from asthma to cancer to depression. Our motivation is my son's ADD/ADHD-type behavior issues, while a friend of mine survived leukemia and swears that her recovery was due in large part to the alkaline diet she strictly ate.

    Good luck with the cheese – you’re right, it will fall away on its own time :)

    Mikaela

     
  • At Monday, 25 September, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Melissa, you're doing well! Cheese takes time to get over--I even still think about it sometimes. Luckily, since cheese was about the most unhealthy thing I had to give up, that makes it a bit easier. But you can do it--just don't be too hard on yourself if it's difficult to do all at once!

    So I've never heard about this acidic-alkaline thing before, but I want to read up on it now! Very interesting. Sometimes I feel like you are my own personal nutritionist, Melissa!

     
  • At Monday, 25 September, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i am somewhat addicted to cheese as well, Melissa! when i get cheese, which is rare since i know i shouldn't eat it for many reasons, i buy cheese without animal rennet, but even so, i know that's not the right thing for me to do. I'm a work in progress, and cheese is the last dairy thing that i hang onto, so i know how you feel.

    I am finding the discourse on the pH balance and the acid/alkaline quite interesting. Megan might be onto something!! Always good to have Dreena's input as well. She's got great insight.

     
  • At Monday, 25 September, 2006, Blogger Melissa West said…

    Hi Carrie - I actually heard that cheese is kind of like caffeine because it actually constricts the blood vessels giving you a bit of a high. Maybe that is why it is addictive. Thanks for the support!

    gordo guru - thanks for the broccoli cheez soup recommendation, I will definitely try it!

    Hi Mikeala - do you have any resources for learning more about a high alkaline diet?

    Thanks for the support laura jesser! I know, I want to learn more about the alkaline PH thing too.

    Thanks for the support kleo! This alkaline PH deal has definitely peaked some interest. I will definitely continue to research it and use my own body as a labratory! LOL!

     
  • At Saturday, 30 September, 2006, Blogger Kati said…

    All this talk about being "addicted" to cheese is actually very accurate. Milk has properties in it that actually convert to opiate-like substances in the body, making it extremely difficult to give up dairy foods. These opiates are more concentrated in cheese, which is why some people have no problem giving up milk but can't kick the cheese habit. Just FYI: human milk also contains opiates. It is a survival strategy - babies get "addicted" to their mother's milk and, therefore, want to feed more and, thus, grow to be strong and healthy.

    As others have said, eat more alkaline foods and your body will feel so good you'll naturally begin to want less of the acid-forming substances. Keep at it!

     
  • At Friday, 06 October, 2006, Blogger JAM*tacular said…

    Melissa - I just saw that you replied to my comment. I'll send a separate email with our experience and resources that we've used :)

    Have a good weekend!
    Mikaela

     
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