I've been blogging for over a decade so I thought I would create a FAQ to answer some of the questions I get frequently, and also just give you an idea about where this blog is headed over the next decade.
Why is the site called Cheeseslave?
I wanted to start a food blog back in 2005. I was brainstorming names and as I thought about it, of all the foods in the world, cheese is probably my favorite. I mean, it's hard to actually pick a favorite but when I think about some of my favorite foods, they almost all include cheese…
I could live on stinky cheese and crusty bread, but if the glutenphobes one day removed all bread from the earth, I could still get by on nachos. If cheese were one day abolished by dairyphobes, I would probably resort to living on sushi.
Cheese is also a great thing to base a site around because, if you think about it, it's one of the greatest things ever invented. It's a way to take milk, a nutrient-dense food which is perishable, and preserve it literally for years. It's also a food that makes most other foods better.
Who are you?
My name is Ann Marie. I am a former ad exec and mother of 2 children living in Southern California. Read my about page.
How old is this site?
I started writing Cheeseslave in 2007 when my first child was born. I had worked in advertising for over 10 years at that point I really wanted to be a blogger and work from home. I had no idea how I would support myself as a blogger, but I knew I had to find a way. And I did.
It hasn't been easy (see this post about how I lost my million dollar company a few years ago) but nothing worth doing is easy.
Is this blog just about food?
I started writing mostly about food and while food is one of my main obsessions, I'm also extremely interested in health, travel, faith and style.
Scroll down to read more about my positions on “health, travel, faith and style”.
Why do you write so much about health?
When I was 25 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I was able to completely cure myself within a few years by changing my diet and taking supplements.
Read about how I did that in this post: How I Cured My Rheumatoid Arthritis. In that same post, if you scroll down to “Jennifer's Story” you can read about how we cured our former nanny of chronic acne, migraines, seizures and ovarian cysts.
Is cheese healthy?
Yes! Cheese and dairy products are one of the most nutritious food groups in the world. Humans have been thriving on dairy foods for thousands of years.
How come so many people can't digest dairy?
It is true… people cannot digest dairy:
Approximately 65% of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. Lactose intolerance in adulthood is most prevalent in people of East Asian descent, affecting more than 90 percent of adults in some of these communities. (Source)
However, if you are exposed to dairy, particularly raw dairy, and you don't have auto-immune issues, you will have no problems digesting it.
It's kind of like the native Americans who died off when exposed to the germs brought to the new world by the European settlers (read the book Guns, Germs and Steel — it's excellent).
The reason raw dairy is important for digestibility is because it is enzymes in our gut that help us digest food. Raw milk contains the living bacteria (they are not killed by the high heat of pasteurization) that produces the enzyme lactase, which helps you digest lactose.
A much smaller population of people are allergic to casein, which is the milk protein, but that in my opinion is usually indication of an underlying auto-immune disorder which is probably caused by something else.
Can we recover from dairy allergies?
Yes. Most people can. Dairy allergies are actually much easier to reverse than other allergies like gluten intolerance. Read my post: Yes, You Can Reverse Food Allergies: How I Did It.
Why do so many people have health problems?
I am not a doctor or nutritionist but it is my hypothesis, based on decades of research, that many modern degenerative diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, are caused by auto-immune disorders. A lot of people have hormonal issues as well, which is often caused by auto-immunity.
I think some of the main causes of many people's health problems is exposure to heavy metals such as aluminum, mercury and fluoride. Yes, abnormal gut flora is an issue as well, but the exposure to metals seems to compound the problems.
I plan to write more extensively in the future. Two excellent books to read are The End of Acne by Melissa Gallico (about fluoride) and Crooked: Man-Made Disease Explained: The Incredible Story Of Metal, Microbes and Medicine – Hidden Within Our Faces by Forrest Maready (about mercury and aluminum).
A lot of health problems are also caused by pretty basic things… not getting enough sun (insufficent vitamin D) and not getting enough exercise (obesity causes many issues). Read my post on how to get enough vitamin D, even in winter.
But I don't believe most health problems are caused by many of the boogey-man issues you hear about on other blogs, in books and videos: gluten, dairy, meat, etc.
While I have no issues with vegans or paleo or keto proponents, I don't believe an extreme diet is necessary or even helpful for most people when it comes to health. And I think most people obsess about their diet unnecessarily as a result of all of this nonsense. Orthorexia is dangerous and it's no fun.
My health advice comes down to these basics:
- Eat a balanced diet of mostly whole foods like dairy, seafood, meat, grains, legumes and fruits and vegetables
- Use real, stable, traditional fats like butter and coconut oil
- Eat when you are hungry and don't overeat
- Get enough sun, and make sure your vitamin D levels are good
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise regularly — even if it's just walking and lifting weights
- Sugar and alcohol in moderation are fine
- Avoid unstable fats like modern vegetable oils
- Avoid pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines as much as possible
- Avoid fluoride, mercury and aluminum exposure (more on how to do that coming soon)
- Don't smoke, including marijuana (look for a post on that coming soon)
OK, you covered food and health. What do you mean when you say you are interested in “travel, faith and style”?
Travel is one of my biggest passions (right up there with food and writing and my family). See my Travel Bucket List which also has links to some of the places I've been recently.
Faith means I'm a Christian. I was baptized in a Catholic church and named after a nun, Sister Ann Marie. I became an agnostic at age 7, due to questions I had that could not be answered.
In after-school catechism, I asked the nuns about the fossils I had seen at school that day. I was trying to figure out the chronology and so I asked, “Did the dinosaurs come before or after Adam and Eve, or did they live at the same time?” One of the nuns said, “We won't be discussing that,” and so I told my mom I was done with catechism.
I am a very logical person and I like facts. If someone can't prove their argument with evidence, I'm out.
I actually became an atheist in my 40s after reading some books by Christopher Hitchens and Richards Dawkins. Looking back, Dawkins' books never made any sense. I mean, they were just illogical. Hitchens was just really angry. Anyone who could accuse Mother Teresa of being a bad person has some serious issues.
I came back to my faith in 2017, at age 49. Except posts about my awakening coming soon. Also currently working on a post about why I don't do yoga.
Style means living with style. Lifestyle. Fashion, yes, and looking good, but also the design of your home and surroundings. I think when you pay attention to how you live, it shows a reverence, an honoring of what God created.
I love good food, but I also love beautiful things.
It was Catholics, after all, who invented wine, Champagne, pasta and pizza, croissants, high fashion, and produced some of the most beautiful artwork known to mankind.
So you can expect to see more posts soon about home decor, beauty and clothing.
My comment policy
I love to get comments on this blog! However, it is important to keep things civil. Please be kind and respectful. If you wouldn't say it in person, don't say it online.
Spam comments will be deleted.
Personal attacks will be deleted.
I will ban you from commenting at my discretion if you make personal attacks or threats.
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