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I remember vividly the last time I ate a “regular” gluten-filled REAL cheese pizza. It was my junior year of college, and yes, it tasted delicious, but I paid for it with intense nausea, hives and some serious un-fun side effects.

That was the beginning of the end for me with cheese. Trust me when I say, the cons started to outweigh the pros. As I’ve learned more, I’ve had plenty of people suggest I try lactose-free cheese (like parm!), goats milk cheese and many more. Sure, I could stomach those cheeses MUCH better than the cheese on a Dominos pizza, BUT I still felt blah after I ate them.

Enter: Nutritional Yeast.

Having worked through the Candida diet a few times (this is something top of mind at the moment), I always saw the word yeast and thought AVOID. Thankfully my former roommates put an end to that foolishness and taught me their wise ways!

Here are 8 things I never knew about nutritional yeast before living with my fab health-conscious, vegetarian pals.

1: Nutritional Yeast is free of candida albicans.Hooray! If your gut is as sensitive as mine, this is a HUGE win.

2: It’s an EXCELLENT source of Vitamin B-12…AND iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, chromium, selenium, and other minerals as well as 18 amino acids, protein, folic acid, biotin, and other vitamins. And we’re talking just 1 TBSP here.

3: Depending on the Whole Foods Market where you shop, it can be found in both the bulk section and the Whole Body supplement section. If you want to try just a little bit at first, bulk is the way to go.

4: Sprinkle some nutritional yeast on your popcorn with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt. You will thank me later.

5: The cheese factor! Nutritional yeast is beloved by vegans because it enables  you get a snazzy cheese-like flavor. I love this “Alfredo” recipe.

6: Sprinkle on kale chips. Voila, a major upgrade.

7: You steamed some vegetables but they look kind of plain? Throw a little bit of nutritional yeast on there. I love doing this with freshly steamed asparagus.

8: Here’s one that I just learned…you can replace breadcrumbs with nutritional yeast and it will act as a binder in a recipe. Amazing tip especially for gluten free folks.

Three things:

1.) I am participating in the Strike Out ALS ice bucket challenge this evening in honor of Pete Frates a BC alum. Bring on that bucket of cold water!

2.) Heading to Maine for a couple of days with my mom this week. I’m hoping to visit Lila East End Yoga Studio and Bam Bam gluten-free bakery.

3.) Yoga pant hunt. I’m in the market for some new yoga pants, and Lululemon doesn’t really fit me right. I’ve been eyeing Teeki – fashion created from recycled bottles. How cool!