Have you ever been addicted to something? I was addicted to cheese. If you ever thought you could never give up cheese, watch this video to see how — and why — I did it AND the unexpected benefits I got from kicking the habit.
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This Really Is a True Story
Yep. I really had arthritis in my knees and shoulder and I really needed to get cortisone shots in the summer of 2014. And while they made me feel like a 20 year-old, I was worried that I’d have to keep going back again and again — or worse, have surgery. What a drag!
A few months later, I saw the movie Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, which I heard about through my friends The Dirty Hippie & the Bohemian Girl. DH and BG are vegan, but they never said to me “This movie will make you go vegan!” They just encouraged me to check it out. So halfway through the movie, when I found out about the impact of my diet — even my vegetarian diet — on the planet — I decided right then and there to go vegan.
I knew I had to do it, but I was scared because cheese was part of at least two — sometimes three — meals a day. I truly was a cheese junkie. Cheese is an addiction. Just like drugs and alcohol. But now that I’ve stopped eating it, I don’t crave it anymore.
Less than two weeks after I decided to go vegan, I got a call from my health insurance company to just check in to see how I was doing. I mentioned my arthritis and, without prompting, they said, “A plant-based diet is great for arthritis.” By the way, a vegan diet is often commonly referred to as a plant-based diet.
“Get out!” I said. “I just switched to a vegan diet!
And I’ve been on that diet for over 2 years now. My veganniversary is September 13 and I fully intend to maintain this diet for the rest of my life!
My arthritis is no longer an issue, I lost weight since I wasn’t eating all that cheese, and I feel confident that the cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis that runs in my family may be held at bay since a plant-based diet reduces the risk of these diseases.
Try It Out
If the thought of going through life without cheese seems unfathomable to you, I am here to say that it can be done! If going cold turkey like I did is too overwhelming, consider going meat-free (and cheese- free) for at least one meal a day, or at the very least, have a meat-free day, like Meatless Mondays. One of the ways I started going cheese-less was just by not adding the cheese – on top of pasta and pizza and potatoes and more. I started adding in more leafy greens and more fruits and trust me, my colon is loving me!
There are a ton of resources out there to help you go vegan. If you like to cook and bake, check out all of our plant-based recipes. Eating out? We love to use the resource Happy Cow, which is a database of veg-friendly restaurants around the world! You can also check out our Vegan Inspired YouTube playlist and our Recipes board on Pinterest.
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I love this video. I don’t think I’m brave enough to give up my cheese though.
Thanks so much for watching, Caren! I didn’t think I could do it either, Caren! I felt JUST like you and that is why I was scared. But by going cheese-free, it opened up so many new doors to me AND my health is a heckuva lot better! Begin with small steps such as eating a sandwich or pasta without the cheese or choosing fruit, nuts, and veggies instead of a cheeses stick. Your grandkids will thank you!