I had been toying with the idea of becoming a Vegan. I had done it once before and I figured it would be a piece of cake. Little did I know the hold cheese had on me. It is amazing how much power food has over us. It is practically scary.
I did not have a choice in the matter of giving up cheese. In 2005 I started to develop an intolerance to dairy. First I gave up milk which was my drug of choice. I drank a cup of milk with every meal. There was something so refreshing and relaxing about a cold glass of milk. I thought I'd never be able to give it up, but I did. Slowly I replaced it with rice milk, then almond milk. Then went ice cream, yogurt, butter and finally cheese.
It took me about five years for the entire process from milk to cheese. During those years my intolerance became a horrid intolerance followed by full blown allergy to dairy. I remember during the last days of eating cheese or having a croissant I would enjoy the edible amazingness (not really a word) for maybe ten minutes and then I would suffer the consequences for the next five hours. I decided ten minutes of pleasure was not worth the five hours of hell I would go through afterwards.
I had to reinvent my diet. No more pizza, lasagna, ziti, tacos with sour cream and tons of cheese. It was a lot to deal with. I went through withdrawal. I missed eating cheese so much to the point that I would go in the room to cry because my family was having pizza and I couldn't. I know it sounds bizarre but I promise you cheese has that powerful of a hold on us. If you don't believe me I dare you to go without cheese or dairy for just one month. Let me know how you do. After about a month I could tolerate being at a table with others eating cheese.
About six months into going dairy free I decided to be meat free as well. You could almost say that I am a vegan but I'm not. I still use honey in my tea and if something has eggs in it like bread or pasta, I'm okay with that. Maybe one day I will be a complete vegan as far as my diet is concerned but today is not that day. Being a dairy free vegetarian has opened up so many doors to so many different types of cuisines. I am really enjoying this new way of life. I feel healthier. I actually lost like ten pounds without even trying. I went down one size in clothes. All from eating fruits, vegetables, rice, beans and nuts.
I love being almost Vegan :) That should be the title of my new blog! LOL I actually have a board on my pinterest account dedicated to Vegan Cuisine. Check it out if you get a chance. Try some of the recipes out. You don't have to become a Vegan to enjoy some yummy vegan meals. You just have to be willing to try new things. Hope this link works. I am technologically challenged.