Friday, March 11, 2011

Just Say No

I decided on a whim yesterday that I am going to go a month without cheese.

This will be the hardest month of my life.

You only THINK that's an exaggeration.

This is not for Lent, although maybe everyone else talking about Lent gave my subconscious the idea. What basically happened is this: I've been watching what I eat and exercising way more than I used to and the scale is simply maintaining. And while maintain is better than gain, I still find it frustrating. I already eat tiny portions. I've already been trying to increase my veggie intake. I've already been trying to say no to cakes and candy and am *usually* successful. But those pesky BMR calculators tell me that even if I exercise regularly, if I want to lose 2 pounds a week*, I can only eat 1000 or so calories a day. Folks, that is NOT healthy. (BAD BMR calculators.)

I'm perfectly willing to amp up my activity levels instead of cutting down my calories, but in order to do so, I've got to give my body fuel. So I was thinking of everything I could eat, and how to incorporate more vegetables into my meals because I find most vegetables to be all eh. And I realized every idea I had for recipes included cheese. Veggie pizza. Veggie quesadillas and burritos. Spinach in grilled cheese sandwiches. Veggies in cheesy pasta.  Veggies on my chicken, with melted cheese.


I already knew it's a weakness-- hello, burnt cheese my love-- but I hadn't realized that I had incorporated some form of cheese into every noon and evening meal and even into the occasional breakfast. And while some cheese is fine, actually encouraged in some diets, I have to break the cycle. There is more to food than cheese!


So this isn't a forever thing, or a vegan thing, or a lactose intolerance thing--  this is just an experiment meant for me to broaden my culinary horizons without a delicious cheese crutch. I suspect I'll have the hardest time on the weekends.

And in the evenings.

And at lunch.

We'll see.

Feel free to send me your easiest, delicious-est  recipes that are cheese free. Emphasis on the easy. I am quick to get intimidated in the kitchen.

No Cheese "Month" is March 15-April 15th. (I'd lose motivation if I had to wait until April 1st, and then everyone would think I'm joking anyway.) I have four days to use up the cheese in my fridge. . . and then I'm done. Done I say! And you can always join me in my challenge, if you think you're strong enough to just say no.

(*Two pounds a week was only the goal of the first month, and that's because I somehow thought the first month would be easier. I may need to reevaluate this.)


  1. Oh god... You're a stronger woman than I am. Cheese and booze are what stands between me and a 10lb lighter frame.

    Do you like sweet potatoes? Those are like, a MAGIC food with TONS of vitamins and they taste good on their own or doctored up with as little as a bit of butter and salt & pepper. Stir fry's are easy, chock full of whatever veggies you want, and cheese-less. Actually, might want to look at Asian style cooking- i can't think of one common Asian dish(outside of crab rangoons) that has cheese in it.

  2. Seconding the Asian stuff (though watch the soy sauce...the sodium is insanely high).

    Wander through the marinade aisle at the grocery store. Saute/simmer meat of choice in a bit of marinade, add in veggies of choice, serve with rice. I do this a LOT (that whole lactose-intolerant problem combined with raging indifference to most veggies unless they happen to be peas or something in a squash).

  3. oh man, that's tough. cheese and i are like *this* and there's no way i could give it up. i'm like you, most of my recipes (if you can even call them "recipes") include cheese, so i don't have too much to contribute. however, i did just post recipes for a mexican meal- tacos, rice, and beans- which could easily be eaten without the cheese and probably taste just fine.

    good luck.

  4. I love cheese. I mean, I lovr food but I do loooove cheese. I wish you luck in your challenge my friend. =)