When Cheating on Your Diet Is Worth It

I stopped eating dairy four and a half years ago, and it was the most beneficial thing I’ve ever done for my digestive health. Having been lactose-intolerant for most of my life, I still managed to eat dairy often — sometimes up to three meals a day — by taking lactase enzyme supplements, otherwise known as Lactaid.

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Generic version of Lactaid.

Yet even with the help of these pills, I frequently felt bloated and gassy, and suffered from stomachaches, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea. Fun, right? One day, when I was doubled over in pain after sucking down a root beer float, I finally said, “Enough.” Now that I no longer eat dairy, my digestive system is so much happier.

That said, every so often I come across a dairy-laden food product that is worth cheating on my diet for, something extraordinary and rare…

Like the peanut butter pie at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in Las Vegas.

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A year ago my husband and I went to this fancy restaurant in Vegas, and I ordered a piece of the peanut butter pie, partly because, of all the desserts on the menu, this one sounded the least dairy-heavy.

The peanut butter filling was so smooth and velvety, it was like eating silk, almost like a cheesecake but not as dense. I’m no pastry chef, but it seemed to me that there was simply no way to create such a texture without a lot of dairy. I quickly popped a couple of Lactaid pills (which I still keep on me at all times, just in case).

Thankfully, the pills did the trick and I didn’t have any problems with the peanut butter pie. It became my favorite dessert, and one that I fortunately can’t get too often! But when we went back to Vegas last week, the first thing on my to-do list was to head to Joe’s and get that pie again.

It lived up to the memory.

Besides being unbelievably smooth, the filling is also not too sweet. It’s actually pretty salty, as peanut butter should be. The crust is like a graham cracker crust, but made of chocolate cookies instead, like super-fresh Oreos. The hot fudge topping is delicious as well, but almost unnecessary.

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The aftermath.

There’s a Chinese saying about eighty percent being perfection. Meaning, if you eat healthfully eighty percent of the time, you’ll be fine. It’s human nature to need a treat every now and then, and by “treat” I don’t mean the salted rice cakes. We have to be bad sometimes or we’ll crack like an egg.

So this summer, treat yourself. For God’s sake, don’t eat dairy if you have an allergy to it; we don’t want anyone ending up in the hospital. But if you’re just lactose-intolerant, pop a Lactaid pill and eat that dessert you adore and can only find once a year. Then get back on the wagon and feel good about your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

You can have your cake — or in this case, peanut butter pie — and eat it, too.

JOE’S SEAFOOD, PRIME STEAK & STONE CRAB, Located at The Forum Shops at Caesars, 3500 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

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