I like a good challenge. Maybe it’s the athlete in me, but I am all about the competition…even if I am just competing with myself. Maybe that’s why I like running so much! Anyways, in an attempt to better understand my body, I decided to undergo a little challenge.
Eliminating meat from my diet has not been too big of a deal. Sure there are times when the only thing I want is a delicious cheeseburger, or a juicy bite of tilapia, but it hasn’t made me feel too deprived. So I decided to take it one step further and put myself through a cheeseless challenge for one week. Not for deprivation purposes but to kind of control my feta addiction a little, and also to see how it made me feel.
I love cheese. I have never met a cheese I didn’t like. And while it is a good source of protein, it is also full of fat and calories. I did not decide to partake in this challenge to lose weight, but I am determined to clean up my diet even more than I already have lately.
In her book, The Kind Diet, Alicia Silverstone talks about how cheese is addictive because of the opiates found in dairy. Do I think I’m ADDICTED to cheese? No. I don’t HAVE to have it. But I do really like it! So in an attempt to understand my body a little more, I decided to go cheeseless for a week, starting last Saturday.
So far, I have faced a few challenges along the way. First…pizza. I love pizza. I love the warm melty cheese and how it holds all the toppings onto my crispy wheaty crust. So what did I do? I made my usual homemade pizza and left the cheese off of my side and added nutritional yeast for that yummy cheesy flavor.
My pizza consisted of organic pizza sauce, sautéed mushrooms and onions, tomatoes, and nutritional yeast. Marcus’ pizza had the same, along with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. No cheeseless challenge for him!
I supplemented the meal with an arugula salad made from fresh farmers market arugula, corn, celery, carrots and Mama Pea’s Mmmm Sauce. I just threw all the ingredients into my Magic Bullet and in a few seconds had a delish, homemade dressing for my salad.
I have eaten this sauce on top of my salad for three days straight and it has left me licking my fork clean every time. It’s sooo good. I must make more tonight!
Ok, pizza crises averted. Onto eggs…I love eggs. I love the cage-free eggs I buy at the farmers market every two weeks. I loved topping eggs with feta cheese and eating them on top of whole wheat toast. It’s my go-to meal. It’s my comfort food.
No cheese challenge means no cheese on my eggs. What did I do? Added nutritional yeast and fresh tomatoes. Did it replace the cheese at all? No. Did it taste awesome? Yes!
Similarly, I made an omelet last night for supper. Instead of the usual cheddar cheese, I added spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and nutritional yeast. I topped that baby with lots of salsa and hot sauce. It was an eggy/veggie mess of goodness and I loved it. The cheese was not missed with this meal.
So now it’s Tuesday. I have been cheese-free for almost four full days. I will report back with my final thoughts next week. Expect to see the ultimate sacrifice in a few days….a Mexican-themed meal with no cheese! How will I survive?!
I am hoping that at the end of this challenge, I will be open to eating more meals with other awesome and flavorful substitutions. I am also hoping to reduce my future feta consumption. Because a container of Trader Joe’s feta a week, was getting to be a bit much! I needed feta rehab! 😉
Have a fab day and make yourself some Mmmm Sauce…you won’t regret it! 😀