I’ve spent a long career working as a health and fitness professional focusing mainly on preventing disease. Eighty percent of chronic diseases are actually preventable, so I spent years learning how to help people make long-term, healthy changes in their lives. The science related to behavior change is complex because each person is different.
As an educator, personal trainer, health coach, and writer, I’ve learned to use a variety of tools to motivate people. In terms of health today, the biggest obstacle is perception, regarding how we view dietary fat. There’s a “perceived” belief that dietary fat is unhealthy and a “real” view based on facts. Since the 1970’s we were told (erroneously) that high-fat and high-cholesterol foods were going to kill us. I believed it for almost thirty years! New science tells us otherwise. Books written by NinaTeicholz, Gary Taubes, and David Perlmutter, M.D., have unraveled the mystery concerning fat, cholesterol, and health. They have debunked all of the old beliefs. As a result, their message has released millions of us from fat prison, but oddly enough, forty-seven percent of Americans still follow the low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet. How did they miss the news?
My transition from cheese avoider to cheese promoter happened in 2011, when my home-cheesemaking husband announced that he was going to the American Cheese Society Conference in Montreal. He had been making cheese in our kitchen for a few months and wasn’t happy with the end product, so he hopped on a plane to learnfrom the experts. When he returned, he would not stop talking about cheese, which didn’t interest me in the least. After a day or two, I said with a firm tone, “I can’t eat cheese because it’s unhealthy.” We argued about it for about a week, and finally, he suggested that I dive into the research to see for myself. With a confident voice, I said, “I’ll not only research it thoroughly, I’m going to travel across the state to talk to dairy farmers, cheesemakers, and scientists. Then, you’ll see that I’m right about this.”
The Texas Cheese Tour took two years to complete and after interviewing thirty cheese professionals and a few goats, I had to admit to him that he was right about high-quality cheese…it is actually healthy! Now, I’m obsessed and known as The Healthy Cheese Lady. The message is simple: “Eat cheese without guilt!”