I am so fortunate to live in an area that makes whole food plant based living so easy. I am forever indebted to finding Paul Chatlin and his wonderful vision of a community of plant based people. I know it sound cliche but having a ‘tribe’ makes this journey possible. Last night I had the privilege of hearing and meeting another Plant Based Hero of mine Dr. Neal Barnard . Dr. Barnard was the missing link for me. I too, was a quasi-vegan. You know I’d be totally vegan if I could just let go of cheese. His book The Cheese Trap was the point of no return for me. I had not been eating any dairy for about 10 months and that included not eating cheese but I always felt if there was something that could draw me to the dark side it was cheese.
My heritage is Italian and I always associated cheese as a family staple. I was, nor could I ever be as good of a cook as my mother. She was an amazing cook, the proof would be old home movies of how overweight as a child I was. I just couldn’t stop eating her amazing food. One thing I know about good Italian cheese is that it is the great enhancer of any mediocre Italian meal. I am not ashamed that I had made some very mediocre meals, especially after she died, for my children that I loaded on the Locatelli cheese. The kids never complained.
While I served those meals my husband “The Smith” always complained that the house smelled like feet when I added the cheese. He would always pass on the cheese. I attributed this to his ‘Smithness’ and not growing up in an Italian house. I must be honest that it really bugged me when he said that. Fast forward this year when I read The Cheese Trap and found out that the cheese that was so much of my heritage was indeed made with the same bacteria that is found between your toes. That was it for me – no more stinky feet cheese EVER!