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Joe Caputo

"Happy cow" mozzarella & ricotta

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So, I've been doing really well so far... I'm past my Whole 60 and still going. Some things I can permanently do without, like sugar. Others are more difficult. I'm okay with eliminating most dairy, but my downfall will be cheese. It's one of my favorite foods. Oh, I can certainly eliminate "crap" cheese like the processed "cheese food" stuff you get in the dairy aisle of the grocery store. But real, high-quality cheese is like manna from heaven.

To make matters worse, my brother & sister-in-law are cheesemakers, which brings me to my question: how bad is it to "cheat" with artisan, happy-cow *real* cheese now & then? All of their cheese is made with milk from grass-fed, pasture-raised, hormone-free "happy" cows from a local dairy. Their mozzarella is cultured for hours using rennet (unlike most commercial "mozzarella" in the U.S. which uses vinegar for 30 minutes). I'm led to understand that, unlike most commercial fresh cheeses, neither their mozzarella nor ricotta contain much lactose because the enzymes break it down. Also, their ricotta is whey-based (whereas most U.S. ricotta starts with whole or skim milk), so I think probably contains less casein (??)

Thoughts, advice?

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Joe, how does your body feel after you eat the really good artisan mozzarella?

If it doesn't give you cravings for more, or make your skin or digestion freak out, then I think you might as well keep on enjoying it.

I love artisan cheese, too, and I'm hoping to get back to dairy after my Whole30.

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After 2 whole 30s I tried dairy and every time it made my skin extremely itchy and the last time I had it I missed half a day of work because of stomach issues. I have friends that tolerate it extremely well and drink a lot of raw milk post workout. That's the beauty of whole30 - seeing what works for you!

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Joe, these guys have nailed it. If it works for you (or you decide the consequences are worth it!) then roll with it! You may find, as I have, that a small amount is okay, but a large amount is not. Or, perhaps, that cheese one day with one meal is okay, but two days in a row is not. And there's a chance that cheese on its own may be okay, but combined with some gluten (like bread) and it's a whole new ball game. The key is awareness - pay attention and you should be able to figure it out for yourself.

Keep up the great work!

Melissa

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