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I did not eat dairy – read CHEESE – for the entire month of January. It started as a personal experiment. And ended up with confirmation that dairy and I are not of the best of friends. Insert heartbreak here.

As a long-term cancer survivor of fourteen years, hormone imbalance has been part of my medical path. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me on the outside and then others, like this past September  kicked my butt. I started to break out like a teenager. Actually, worse than any acne I ever had before. Working with a dermatologist confirmed my hormone related skin explosions. I tried to identify what was making my skin change in my diet. And after a few months of ignoring it, I said it out-loud  “I break out the most when I eat cheese.” Heartbreak. Almost immediately, I saw an improvement in my skin and system after removing diary out of my diet.

In our country, most foods, especially dairy products are laden with hormones. There has been very little research done to show the side effect of hormones in food on humans. This Huff Po article from last year was a good breakdown of what we do and don’t know. This also showed me I need to read more about hormones in general from reliable sources. And go see the endocrinologist who can actually calculate my hormone levels and give some educated feedback to what I already know.

As a foodie, we all have our “thing.” For some it’s homemade kumquat jam or homemade pasta or butternut squash ravioli or chocolate ganache. My greatest indulgence has been cheese. All different kinds. All different smells, tastes and colors. Cheese o’ glorious cheese. I’ve made my own ricotta, read cheesemonger tales and dedicated many a glass of wine to the pairing experience. I do not see myself with any extreme dietary changes at the moment, but I do think my hormone crusted foods, especially cheese, will be less and less.

As I re-introduce dairy products back in, to see what bothers my system and skin the most, let’s pray for the cheese.

Murray's Cheese Shopw

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