Cheese is my boyfriend, but we’re breaking up.

“I think you actually are under a lot of stress,” my friend said to me the other day, “But you just don’t want to complain about it because it’s princess-stress.”  Exactly.

Last night, Jake had a screaming nightmare, and I don’t know what you do when your kids wake you up in the middle of the night with a blood curdling scream, but my instinct is to jump out of bed and run to their bedrooms.  Unfortunately, I have low blood pressure and often get dizzy if I get up too fast from sitting, so you can imagine what might happen if I am awakened at three in the morning from a dead sleep and start running down the hallway.  I dizzily fell heavily into the doorframe, somehow simultaneously bruising my right shoulder and my left wrist.  It was not a particularly good start to the day, which included a trip to the dentist, yet another phone call about summer swim lessons, and no cheese.

If I was to name one single favourite food, it would just be cheese, as an all-encompassing description.  I love cheese.  I love dairy products.  However, as I age – Hello, I AM older than Mrs. Robinson! – I am realizing more and more that our amorous relationship is one-sided.  Dairy, it seems, does not love me back.  I have been thinking about this for months but have been in semi-denial, continuing to consume my 5-6 dairy servings a day. 

Here lies the problem.

I am biting the proverbial bullet and cutting down on my dairy consumption; although, as my friend said, if I cut down to ONE serving a day it would be a huge reduction, I am trying to cut down to only a few servings per week.  Like the day I decided that I would no longer have a daily glass (or two) of wine, but instead only drink wine on weekends (and moon days, I’m only human), I have decided that I will cut back to only what I consider the bare necessities of dairy consumption: feta, goat cheese, and Parmesan a couple times a week.  The thought of no dairy ever again has filled me with far too much angst and sadness; I’m hoping by restricting my intake I will be able to savour and love the things I love most when I have them.  When I curtailed my wine consumption, I found that I enjoyed it more when I had it; I looked FORWARD to Friday so I could have some of that nectar of the gods.  (When is it Friday, again?  Tomorrow?  YAY.)

So I guess we haven’t really broken up.  It’s more like dairy and I are casual fuck-buddies, rather than the committed marriage we used to be in.

However, I think I’m in mourning.  Yesterday I looked tearfully in the fridge at lunchtime, thinking that all the joy in eating is now GONE.  I look forward to my lunch every day, like this little noontime beam of light, and every single day I have the exact same lunch: veggie wraps with cheese, berries with yogurt.  NO CHEESE NO YOGURT MAKES NICOLE A SAD GIRL.  Today I rallied, though.  I dug out my nutritional yeast and made a spreadable cheese that made me feel like a bit of a douchebag, but it actually was not at all bad.  It was kind of tasty, actually.

So I have a question for you: have you ever had to cut a food out of your life that you loved?  When I went fully vegetarian it was not a hardship at all; I barely ate meat for many years and I didn’t enjoy it when I did eat it.  THIS, however, feels like a sad hardship, even if it IS a princess problem.  I mean, I’m reading a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder right now, and I’m reading On The Banks of Plum Creek to the boys, so hardship is a very relative term.  (THE GRASSHOPPERS ARE COMING, PA.  DON’T BUY THE HOUSE ON CREDIT.  YOU WILL NEVER MAKE A WHEAT CROP, EVER.)  I mean, I’m discovering that coconut milk is not bad on cereal, and berries without yogurt are still delicious, and even though it’s only been two days I’m feeling pretty great.  But still. 

I miss you, baby.  Can we schedule a booty call for later this week?


  1. I’m kind of confused. Why are you cutting out dairy products?

  2. Ugh. A vegetarian that doesn’t eat cheese? It just seems like you’re being mean to yourself. Although I get that you’re actually trying to be nice to yourself. Cruel to be kind, one might say. I can’t believe you used the expression ‘fuck-buddy’. I’m blushing. That might be because of the beer. I had to sit through the grade six musical tonight. It was bad. It was really, really bad. Like, if you imagine High School Musical with no talent, except this wasn’t high school so that’s kind of unfair, but still, it wasn’t even High School Musical minus three grades.

    What was I saying? Have fun molesting your cheese later on.

  3. I’ve never cut out anything. Do you think there might be some cheeses that work well with your body so you don’t have to deny yourself completely?

  4. I hear you. I’ve had to cut out a bunch of foods due to the kids’ food allergies. I used to LIVE on peanut butter – oh, oh how I miss it. And there’s no eggs in this house – I dream of French Toast and Toads in Holes. Sigh. Good luck…hope you and cheese can come to a happy understanding.

  5. BusyMomofTwins says

    I have been struggling with a diet a nutritionist put me on recently. I am “supposed” to cut out all dairy, wheat, sugar and fruit. It is BRUTAL. I seem to be able to go for about three weeks and then I relapse back into my old ways. What I have learned from it though is that I feel 100% better with those things cut out, but it is hard in our society to do so. I seek comfort in those foods, I find them at every restaurant, potluck and bake sale. I feel your pain. It is impossibly hard to cut out something that you love. That said, I really enjoy almond milk, thoroughly love almond butter and find that a latte or two a week does not offset my system. 🙂 Hang in there!

    • This is exactly the thing – our society is not great when it comes to cutting out the yummy things in life. I find dairy incredibly comforting, and the thought of no cheese is just sad.

  6. Ooo I’d so cry if I’d have to give up cheese. The only cheese I don’t like is blue cheese.

  7. Peanut butter and I had a long loving relationship until I had my second child. She is nearly three and I’ve just recently come to terms with the fact that PB gives me wicked heartburn no matter when I eat it. Denial was strong. First I thought maybe it happened only when I ate it at night. Then it was at lunch. Finally am trying to accept that PB and I are no longer meant to be unless I feel like having stabbing chest pains. Struggling to find a substitute. Still sad.

  8. I don’t envy you, my friend. xo

  9. You do remember my anti-christ gallbladder that hated anything that passed my lips.
    It was such an asshole.
    I still can’t eat dairy or meat.
    I think they left a piece of that son of a bitch in there.
    You’re a brave woman my friend. May the cheese…I mean willpower be with you

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