In these difficult times, many are struggling to maintain good mental health in the face of social isolation and economic uncertainty. Health experts warn that it’s important to make time and space for self care, especially the act of eating an entire block of Parmesan cheese over the kitchen sink and unequivocally lying about it afterwards.
“Sure, there are plenty of things people get told to do in order to deal with stress. Exercise, meditation, and sleep are all great, but they can only go so far,” said Dr. Thom Wing, a mental health expert. “But the most effective thing you can do is get the hardest, saltiest cheese you can and gulp it all down as fast as possible, preferably while your spouse or roommate is in the shower.”
Experts explain that rapidly consuming parmesan hunks in secret dramatically increases endorphins needed to fight stress and stay positive. “The less you taste it the better!”
Since emotional stress can lead to spirals, it’s helpful to focus your mind by establishing a mental balance between calming and motivating thoughts. For example, as you breathlessly scarf down bite after grainy bite, mentally toggle between affirmations such as “holy shit, this is probably like 1300 calories, what is wrong with you you disgusting jerk” and “fuck it, this is the last time you’ll ever be happy, keep eating”.
“If you run into trouble, just keep repeating the phrase ‘one more bite and then I’m done’ over and over and you’ll be gnawing on that weird wax rind part with the date stamped on it in no time,” Dr. Wing says.
Although it’s best to eat the cheese over the sink, it can also be eaten over the garbage, a potted plant, or even toilet. “As long you can find a place no person with any regard for themselves, other people, or cheese would eat cheese, the exercise should work,” Dr. Wing says. Furthermore, the cheese does not need to be fancy or expensive.
“Feel free to get creative with what you have on hand. If you tilt your head back over the sink, you can probably shake in at least a half a jar of that powdered parmesan stuff from Kraft before someone catches you.”
This point brings up another key step: to ensure no one knows that you ate the entire 350 grams of Parmesan over the sink.
“In order to get the full benefits of this practice, it really is necessary to betray the trust of people close to you who may want to help. So when your Mister or Missus says “honey, are you okay, you look a little green” or “honey, I noticed that entire $12 Parmesan you specifically said you couldn’t wait to grate over salads throughout the week is totally gone” or “I think you ate all the Parmesan, is everything okay?” Do. Not. Crack.
“Make sure to deflect your co-habitant’s concern with a lie that is both convincing and definitive,” says Dr. Ashley Frim. “For example, just say you put it in a recipe you’ve already made. You can also say a cat or dog ate it, or, if you’re feeling extra wily, tell them you threw it out because ‘you knew you would just eat it all if you kept it in the house’.”
“That one’s my favourite,” Dr. Frim added.
While speed-eating Parmesan is useful, this technique is not enough for everyone. Fortunately, there are other steps you can take to boost your mental health. For example, try waking up in the middle of the night to scroll through the social media feeds of celebrities who live in a different time zone. Buy a bunch of succulents and helplessly watch all of them die. Take a little time every day to contemplate a friendship that fell apart. Masturbate with something you’re not supposed to masturbate with. Before you know it, you’ll be as happy, centered and present as you were that time you threw out all the booze in the house before realizing you forgot that weird blueberry liqueur, then drank all of it.