It sounds like a dream, right? Cheese that can burn fat, not create it.

I was never a fan of cottage cheese and remember growing up in the 80s watching dieters eat bowls of the stuff. I tasted it and couldn’t decide if it was a savory or sweet dish. Regardless, I didn’t like it.

My perception of cottage cheese completely changed when I traveled from Israel to Russia and then India, where I discovered different cultures making their own versions of cottage cheese and blending them with fruit, vegetables and even eggs. When I needed to burn some of my own bulge, I looked deeper into the benefits of cottage cheese (as well as the drawbacks – high in sodium!) and discovered the best way to eat the curdled white mass.

BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF COTTAGE CHEESE

What’s so good about cottage cheese? Well, it’s high in protein, which I lacked at breakfast time to get into the fat burning zone. My breakfast used to be a piece of toast with butter and jam. This was fine for me for many years until I hit 40 and suddenly it wasn’t working anymore! I wasn’t used to eating big breakfasts – eggs, tempeh scrambles and other protein rich foods in the morning, and so cottage cheese delivered the perfect punch at minimal volume.

If you are not lactose intolerant, there are some wonderful properties in cottage cheese, however there are also drawbacks you should be aware of. Cottage cheese is a dairy product, and it contains lactose, which is a problem if you are lactose intolerant and may be hard to digest. It also is a hormone disruptor if you go for non-organic. Too many cows nowadays are injected with hormones and antibiotics which seep into the milk and ultimately our dairy products, not to mention their cortisol (stress hormone) from a stressed out animal about to be slaughtered or raised poorly.  So, if you must do dairy, please go for organic.

The final drawback of cottage cheese is that it is high in sodium. However, certain brands create a low sodium version, which is a much better choice in general and absolutely necessary if you have high blood pressure. I don’t eat much cottage cheese and save this as a snack or for breakfast once a week. I like to have this recipe on days that I do not exercise or am not moving very much, as it is the lowest in calories for a big protein kick in the fat!

There are plenty of thriving aging populations that include dairy in their diet, however, remember that dairy is not a cornerstone of their diet and the production of their cheese and milk is completely different than the products we find in the supermarket.

Vitamin B12 in cottage cheese helps the brain’s nerves and blood cells develop and function, and may prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The phosphorous and calcium encourage the development of strong bones to avoid osteoporosis.

If you’re not intolerant to dairy, give this protein rich recipe a go to build muscle. The more muscle we have the more fat we can burn and if you’re looking to lose weight, avoid sarcopenia (age related muscle loss) or simply need to include more protein in your diet, try out a variety of cottage cheeses and PLEASE add nutrient dense ingredients to it for the biggest impact to hack your age…and taste good!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup organic cottage cheese
10 raspberries
6 blackberries
15 blueberries
1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon flaxseeds
1 teaspoon hemp seeds
4 leaves mint, chopped

DIRECTIONS

Mix all in a bowl and enjoy! I even like to smush up all the berries and make a gooey mess.

Another favorite blend of mine is mango and mint!