The Gouda, bad and ugly: NYC law student addicted to cheese went to nearly $6K-per-week rehab

It’s the gouda, the bad and the ugly. 

A Manhattan law faculty student was so hooked on cheese she had to go to rehab to finish her insatiable urge for food for dairy, she informed The Post. 

Adela Cojab mentioned her Camembert cravings started throughout her junior yr at New York University, in spring 2018, when she binged nearly each day on the “cheapest” bricks of white cheddar and Parmesan she may discover.

Adela Cojab holding up a triangle of Parmesan cheese
Cojab mentioned she binged on bricks of white cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Helayne Seidman

“I stopped by either Morton Williams or by Whole Foods and I would just buy cheese, and I would literally just eat a block of cheese with my hands,” mentioned Cojab, 27, typically whereas sitting on the ground of her Midtown condominium alone at the hours of darkness.

“It was the only thing that would make me feel somewhat whole.” 

The feta fiend mentioned she devoured an estimated 5.5 blocks of cheese per week, together with savory parmesan crisps she stocked in her pantry.

Her pitiful makes an attempt at a salad, she mentioned, amounted to “eating Parmesan with Caesar, with lettuce on the side.” 

“I kept telling myself it was actually cheaper to just buy some blocks of cheese” than to get a $12 salad from Fresh & Co.,” Cojab mentioned. 

“I was telling myself I was making an economic decision, as people with addictions rationalize.” 

A phone with a picture of Cojab when she was much heavier, surrounded by triangles of Parmesan.
Cojab went by an estimated 5.5 bricks of cheese per week throughout her habit. Helayne Seidman

Dr. Neal Barnard, creator of the “Cheese Trap” and adjunct professor of medication on the George Washington University School of Medicine, defined folks like Cojab turn into addicted to cheese due to the excessive focus of fats and salt within the meals, together with a protein referred to as casein that may “get people mildly hooked.”   

“Cheese contains opiate chemicals that attach to the very same brain receptors that fentanyl or any other narcotic attaches to,” he mentioned, including that due to the excessive focus of casein in cheese, “some people refer to cheese as ‘dairy crack.’”

Cojab mentioned her habit stemmed from stress.

She was the president of a Zionist student group referred to as Realize Israel, at odds with different student activists and professors calling on the college to sever ties with Israel.

A heavier Adela Cojab in a pink dress
Cojab’s weight shot up to a peak of 172 kilos throughout her cheese habit Courtesy of Adela Cojab
Adela Cojab slimmed down in a blue dress
Cojab’s habit precipitated her to cease menstruating and put her in danger for diabetes. Courtesy of Adela Cojab

The dairy food plan rapidly wrecked Cojab’s well being.

Her weight skyrocketed to a peak of 172 kilos.

She additionally stopped menstruating for 5 months throughout the throes of her cheese feasts and turned in danger for Type 2 diabetes.

“My mom said, ‘You’re not well, you’re not okay. . . . you need to go away for a while,’” she mentioned of the household intervention that saved her.

Cojab smiling while surrounded by cheese
Cojab realized at a South Carolina wellness retreat to depend energy and wholesome snacks she may eat in lieu of cheese. Helayne Seidman

Attending a two-week wellness retreat at Hilton Head Health in South Carolina, which prices at minimal $5,820 per week, helped the asiago addict acquire management over her consuming dysfunction.

Instructors and counselors taught her the fundamentals of how to order and put together wholesome meals, depend energy and think about more healthy snacks, like blueberries or popcorn in lieu of havarti.

Her weight has since dropped to a string-cheese-slim 123 kilos, partly aided by Ozempic prescribed to take care of her diabetes threat, she mentioned.

Before and after photos showing Cojab's weight loss, from 166 pounds in May 2018 to 148 pounds in September 2018, with her being swallowed by her old, bigger pants.
Cojab misplaced over 40 kilos following rehab, aided in a part of Ozempic prescribed for her diabetes threat. Courtesy of Adela Cojab

Still, Cojab, who settled an antisemitism lawsuit she introduced in opposition to NYU in 2019 and is about to graduate from the Cardozo School of Law in June, hasn’t sworn off cheese fully.

These days, she mentioned she reaches first for a “lighter” mozzarella over a Vermont cheddar or parmesan.

And throughout a go to to the Ideal Cheese Shop in Midtown East, she smiled whereas nibbling on samples of Gruyere and Prairie Breeze cheddar with crackers. 

“I dabble, but not in the way that I used to before,” she mentioned, including the latest waves of anti-Israel encampments at Columbia and different universities prompted temporary relapses.

“When I’m really stressed, I’ll have a block of cheese, but it doesn’t happen that often.” 

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