goodbye to the cheese

When I was 25 and a half years old, I was a pretty heavy smoker. About six months before my birthday, I decided that I was going to quit smoking the day after my 26th birthday. I psyched myself up about it, and I smoked about a pack of cigarettes on my birthday, but I did quit the next day. Landisdad and I had just started dating, and he was really supportive, up to and including chewing on licorice root, a truly vile substance that my hippie roommate had recommended. In the intervening 12 years, I’ve smoked one cigarette.

Last week, I had a bunch of routine blood work done, and I got the results tonight. For the first time ever, I have borderline high cholesterol. It’s not a dangerous level, it’s just something to keep an eye on, and of course, I have to make some dietary changes.

So goodbye, cheese. Goodbye pizza. Goodbye ice cream, and butter, and full fat lattes. I don’t have six months to psych myself up to quitting you, and it’s gonna be hard.

It’s been fun, eating all that fat.

But not as fun as living to see my kids graduate from college, and get married, and have babies of their own, and spoiling the shit out of those babies.

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July 11, 2006. thoughtful parenting.

19 Comments

  1. doth replied:

    Aw, I’m sorry to hear that you will have to restrict your diet. Trust me — I’ve been on the candida diet for 10 months now. I also said goodbye to pretty much everything and you can totally do it. Good luck! And if you need any fun recipe ideas (though you’ll still have so many options as you won’t have to be uber restrictive) then let me know.

    And congrats on keeping off the cigarettes! Well done!

  2. christie replied:

    good foryou
    and good luck!

  3. MetroDad replied:

    As always, LM, your timing is impeccable. As I write this, I’m on my 4th day of using the nicotine patch. Totally sucks. Do I want to quit smoking? Not really. I actually enjoy cigarettes. But the thought of making an early departure from this planet and missing a single day with my daughter (and my future grandchildren) has led me off Tobacco Road. But man, if I had to give up cheese and butter? I don’t think I’d make it. Good luck!

  4. Leggy replied:

    Good luck- do you have to give it up entirely? What about everything in moderation? Unless you are like me, and one bite leads to eating the whole thing.

  5. fidget replied:

    before you give up all the cheese and such, read teh Schwarzbein Principle – the first one has great insight into why the typical perscribe cholestrol diet doesnt work. Mine was border line and i started following the diet b/c of my adrenal gland, my cholesterol also went down despite eating cheese and butter and milk! If you cut out cholesterol your body will need to make it and more often then not it will over produce! Seriously get the book!

  6. Tawcan replied:

    That’s a good call. The last paragraph is very true.

    Good luck.

  7. Alexandra replied:

    very timely indeed. After reading a few scientific studies relating the consumption of milk with a slew of diseases, prominent among which are hormone related cancers like breast, ovary & prostate (for more info do a search for Jane Plant), I’ve decided to go dairy free. I’m now on my second week and I’ve never felt better!! So, if you are going to cut butter, ice cream, cheese and the like, take the extra step and completely remove dairy products. It’s not as hard as it seems 😉

  8. chichimama replied:

    Good for you for taking charge of your health. M, my FIL, my dad and my step-father all have high cholesterol, and what has helped them along with serious diet modifications has been exercise. 6 day a week, 45 minutes run/walks.

    Claps and hugs, and lots of support.

  9. jo(e) replied:

    I gave up dairy five years ago. The cool thing is that there are tons of vegan recipes on the internet. Just think of something you want to make and google it, adding the word vegan. There are lots of great vegan cookbooks out there too.

  10. Anjali replied:

    Well, if you can give up cigarettes like you did, this will be a piece of cake (ha ha, no pun intended) for you. Best of luck. Vegan stuff takes far better now than it once did!

  11. LadyLinda replied:

    I turned 26 this may, tried quitting smoking…ablolutely no luck.
    If you could do it, then you can certainly quit eating those “bad” things.

  12. Kate the Shrew replied:

    Sorry about the cheese. It would be hard to give up all the yummy dairy treats, but as you say, better to get to still be here to spoil your grandkids, when the time comes. I do have to chime in about ‘everything in moderation?’ though.

    I add my congratulations on your 12 years as a non-smoker.

  13. chip replied:

    you do know there’s good cheese and bad cheese (in cholesterol terms). Hard cheese, like romano, hard feta, etc. is less bad for you than soft cheeses like brie. There’s also tofu cheese, but having tried it I’m not sure why anyone even bothers…

  14. CroutonBoy replied:

    Given a choice between giving all that up and jumping off a bridge into a pool of piranhas with rotating blades strapped to their back and live electrodes dipped into the water, I’d jump. You’re stronger than I.

    Good luck! And whatever you do do NOT try the cheese alternatives…better to eat dirt.

  15. Library Lady replied:

    I understand about the cholesterol–we have a family history of that and my overall level and triglycerides are too high. I am tryig to eat in a healthier way.

    But I don’t recommend tossing dairy out of your diet. As several people have pointed out, there is good dairy as well as bad–and you need that calcium.

    Better to enjoy dairy in MODERATION than to go cold turkey. Just start reading those labels and measuring the portions.
    And I agree with Crouton Boy. “Cheese” substitutes are worse than dirt. And if it’s a choice between chemicals and fats, I’d go for the fats!

  16. Doppelganger replied:

    But… but… but… no cheese or ice cream EVER? Like, FOREVER and ever? This can’t be part of god’s plan. I’m in denial on your behalf.

  17. Phil replied:

    I’ve been saying goodbye to all those things for about five years now! Like a bad house guest, those food items just don’t seem to want to leave. It doesn’t help that my wife couldn’t care less and keeps buying the crap. And there I stand at the fridge, late at night, giving in to the siren call.

  18. Trasherati replied:

    Been there, too. And am in denial for you as well. I had to switch to skim milk for my lattes. Now, a few years later, I can’t tolerate whole milk. Tastes like downing pure cream to me – gag.
    Maybe the moderation mantra? Because to live without cheese and ice cream is really no way to live : )

  19. Library Lady replied:

    Meant to add after I wrote the first thing–look into the Mediterranean diet, now being repackaged and touted as the “Sonoma Diet”. It uses cheese and dairy, but in healthy ways and is very liveable–because it is really a lifestyle, NOT a diet.
    Some of the recipes I have posted are Mediterranean style foods, and I am going to do another post on it between other “stuff” this week!

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