I ate cheese and it was horribly wonderful. Horrible because I no longer crave it which saddens me, and wonderful because I no longer crave it which is great for my path to having lower cholesterol!
While in NYC with my co-workers, we decided to get pizza for lunch because when in Rome, amiright? Trying to be good and mindful of my dietary restrictions I ordered a slice of white pie. Yes, I ordered a slice of pizza with double the cheese and no sauce. Why? Well, because I thought that a white pizza was a white clam pizza which has minimal-to-no cheese at all. I was sorely mistaken. Bella, the veteran Italian of the group, gave me a blank stare when I told her what I had ordered. “Aren’t you supposed to avoid cheese?” she asked me. “Well yeah, that’s why I got a white pizza.” I replied. She told me what I had just ordered and I was just a little embarrassed. “You picked the piece of pizza with the most cheese on it.”
I picked up my order at the window and my mouth began to water almost instantly. I felt like I was holding kryptonite in my hand. Everything I have been avoiding for 3 months was just a bite away. Two pieces of scorching hot pizza topped with bubbling ricotta and mozzarella then finished with garlic and olive oil. (My mouth is watering as I write this). I was holding a one way ticket to permanently being on cholesterol medication. I was fighting with myself all the way back to the table.
Here is exactly what went through my head: I can’t waste it! Maybe I’ll eat one slice. I feel like this is a bad idea. I really can’t waste this pizza that’s so bad. I’ll have a couple of bites, that won’t kill me. OK here goes nothing.
I indulged. Four cheesy mouthfuls of warm ricotta. Four salty bites of stringy mozzarella. These four bites made me feel some type of way. It was sensational to get a taste of cheese after a 3 month hiatus, but if I’m being honest, it didn’t make me want to go off the deep end. I wasn’t eager to have a fifth bite, I didn’t want throw away my will power for this one slice of pizza, and that’s when I realized, I don’t miss cheese. I gave the second slice to my co-worker, and ate the crust of the piece I had in front of me.
This was a horrible and wonderful experience all at once. How could I feel this way towards cheese? It has been missing from my diet for so long and I finally have a taste, but it wasn’t love at first bite. It’s horrible to think that I could actually live without eating cheese. It’s an unfortunate realization that my cheesy lover no longer had a place in my heart (or stomach). This was both a victory and a defeat. In its absence I had found other ways to enjoy lasagna, nachos, and even pizza for that matter.
No longer will I cringe when someone says “we are going out for pizza” or “let’s get take-out tonight”. I’ve found other ways to still enjoy the crust, sauce, and toppings without needing a thick white layer of dairy perfection. Only time will tell if I can find a substitute for cheesy bread or mozzarella sticks, nothing absorbs Captain Morgan quite like fried cheese.