When you decide to eat strictly plant based foods for whatever reason, health, animal welfare, global warming, the one thing you'll struggle with no matter what is kicking the dairy habit.  There is a reason for this.  The primary protein in milk is casein.  When digesting casein the body produces casomorphins which have an opiate-like effect on humans.  Scientists have also found traces of morphine in cheese products.  This morphine is produced by the cows and it's thought to be a natural way to keep the calves coming back to the mommy cow for more milk.  So this is one reason you may be having a hard time staying away from dairy.  You're getting a little high when eating cheese.  How is this legal?!?!  

I've been avoiding cheese for some time now and I still get an overwhelming urge to eat my way through the cheese display at the grocery store.  In fact sometimes if I go past the beautiful cheese mountain at the store my mouth waters uncontrollably.  Unfortunately I can't tell you that there are substitutes out there that taste exactly like cheese and are healthy for you.  Nope, there is nothing out there that tastes like a warm gooey grilled cheese sandwich.   I will tell you that there is a vegan mac and cheese recipe that will help you through the initial withdrawals of your dairy purge and here it is.  Make it and think of all the love those cows have for their calves and remember you are helping them and yourself by not eating milk products. 

Here is a link to the study of casein.  

10 ounces dried macaroni (or about 2⅔ cups)
1 cup peeled/diced yellow potatoes (or russets)
¼ cup peeled/diced carrots
⅓ cup chopped onion
¾ cup water (preferably use liquid from pot of boiled veggies)
½ cup raw cashews
¼ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ to 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 pinch paprika

Cook macaroni al dente, according to package instructions drain, and set aside. Bring several cups of water to boil in a small pot. Place chopped potatoes, carrots, and onion in the boiling water, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soft enough to blend. When veggies are soft enough to blend, use a slotted spoon to remove them from cooking water, and place them in your blender. Add ¾ cup of the cooking water to your blender, along with your remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth. Pour sauce over your cooked macaroni noodles in a dish of your choice, taste for salt, and serve immediately.