Cut the Cheese.

I love cheese.  I love it with bread.  I love it with crackers.  I love it alone or mixed with other delicious stuff.  However, I also love feeling healthy and un-bloated.

We all know the other meaning of the ”cut the cheese”, but I’m talking about a way to make a small change to gain a big health benefit.

Baby steps, right?

Cheese is everywhere.  It’s on sandwiches, on burgers, in omelettes and even on salads. And if you love it as much as I do, you happily welcome it to your plate.  But if you want to start that health resolution early, then cut it.  That’s right, cut the cheese.  You don’t need to cut it everywhere.  But when you are out to eat, try to cut the cheese, or maybe when you are home alone, cut the cheese.  Maybe even when you are on a date, yup, on a date…cut the cheese.

Seriously, though.  My two biggest recommendations are as follows:

1 – Completely cut American cheese from your diet.  I have a hard time even calling it cheese.  Canadians call it “processed” cheese for good reason.  And you would think if we were going to name a cheese to represent our country, we would choose something that doesn’t taste like plastic.  Even cheddar would be better!  The problem with this childhood dairy staple is not just its lack of flavor and excess of fat, but we typically don’t put just one slice of it on anything.  So, not only is it packed with calories and fat and lacking in flavor, but we use a ton of it.

Solution – switch it out!  While my first suggestion is just to cut it out, what about those times when you need a piece of cheese?  You can’t have a grilled cheese without the cheese.  That would be, well, toast.  So make the new year full of new cheese!  There are, literally, over 600 types of cheese and while your grocery store may not offer all of them, there should still be many alternatives to choose from. I guarantee you will like at least 3 or 4 or maybe 9 or 10.  The other bonus about different cheeses is that many of them pack a ton of flavor so you don’t need to use as much.  You may pay a little more for goat cheese or manchego, but the flavor is stronger allowing you to use less, save more and show a little love to your blood pressure! Once you find THE ONE, look for it when you are out and find new recipes to make your new cheese friend feel welcome. If you know me well, you know I love beets (roasted, not pickled).  Goat cheese and beets taste fabulous together and beets are so, so good for you.  And if you don’t like beets and you don’t like goat cheese, at least try them together before you shut them out altogether.  If you still don’t like them, I’ll come over and finish your plate for you.  Although, I still argue that beets are something that you should make yourself like.  You really should.

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2 – My 2nd suggestion is to find a place where cheese doesn’t need to be.  Many of us promise that we are going to stop hitting up fast food joints or stop getting take-out.  Then, before you know it, you’re in the drive-thru or searching Grub Hub. When you find your resolution isn’t fitting into your busy schedule, adjust something.  If you order a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger at Mcdonald’s you will save yourself 50 calories and 3 grams of fat.  Then, once you get used to your burger without cheese, it will become normal.    It sounds like such a small change, but small changes turn into big differences.

For me,  I love omelets.  I order them often when out for breakfast and sometimes lunch.  The problem with a restaurant omelet is that many chef’s feel that anything less than 1/2 lb of cheese on top of an omelet is unacceptable.  What I’ve also found is if you order an omelet without cheese, the waitress looks at you like you’re crazy and proceeds to confirm that you do not want any cheese on your eggs.  But following the weird looks from the server and fresh cup of coffee, all is right in the universe and my gorgeous omelet arrives sans cheese and is quickly covered in hot sauce.  We can address my obsession with hot sauce at a later date.

Happy Fall and Happy Cheese Cutting!  And if your husband (or wife) complains, tell them your cutting the cheese to stay healthy and sexy!!!

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