This is me. Okay, this is not me literally, but–this is me. If you don’t recognize the character, it’s Monterey Jack from the cartoon TV show Rescue Rangers. He’s a lovable Aussie mouse with a penchant for cheese so great, that he actually falls into a state of hypnosis at the site or smell of it and is rendered completely helpless as he floats toward its location. Bad guys in the show would use cheese to lure him into traps and such. I don’t fight crime, but I do fight the utterly irresistible call of che-e-e-e-se.

For a time, I did quite well with fake cheeses and making dinners that were cheese-free. But what is hot dish without gooey, stringy cheddar? What is a pizza with out melty mozzarella? What is a heart without a soul? These are the existential questions that I’ve been battling as of late, and I’ve been off the cheese wagon hard. I may need an intervention.

I had a very dairy evening last night and, of course, I paid for it. I couldn’t fall asleep because I had a stomach ache, so I took some Pepto. That pink liquid is so foul. It’s like a bunch of candy canes decided to ditch the Christmas scene and go rogue. They robbed a bank, stole a child’s puppy, then jumped into a blender and became Pepto-Bismol. (They should call it Pepto-dismal) Anyway, at least I got to sleep, but when I woke up I felt like I was going to hurl. I was scared to get in the new car because I thought I might defile it.

I’ve been living under a false pretense that it’s the lactose that bothers me, but I’ve been taking Lactaid (an enzyme to help digest dairy) and I still get sick. HELLO! Stop eating dairy. It should be so simple right? Then Monterey wakes up and pretty soon I’m floating toward a giant enchilada that’s glowing like a sunset. This is my struggle.

First step toward recovery: I went to the grocery store today and bought ingredients for delicious but cheese-less dinners. And I bought lots of fruits and veggies to distract me from the pound of swiss that is lurking somewhere in the fridge. Give me strength!

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