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The Reverse Vegetarian

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What is "The Reverse Vegetarian"... 
 
Aug. 15, 2013 9:59 pm 
Updated: Sep. 1, 2013 7:29 pm
What is a 'Reverse Vegetarian'? My personally coined "call sign" for how I cook now.  I guess you could say this was forced on me...my husband has had escalating food intolerance(s) for the last 5 years. It started with pitted fruit, apples and progressed to Gluten-Free, which actually started with me... but his got worst...moved to almonds...then cane sugar...now it includes: dairy, eggs, yeast, garlic, corn, peanuts...eat the animal, just not what comes out...but what is left...eat organic produce with a splash of meat and fish...thus...The Reverse Vegetarian. Now...take this list and try to buy anything premade...Ready to add fuel to the fire? ...he now has been diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma...look it up...not a nice cancer...My new "mantle" is to give him the whole and complete nutrition that his Naturopath Oncologist and Oncologist have recommended to help reduce, if not eliminate the side effects of chemotherapy...good news...it is working. I'm just getting started...but if you are interested...learn with me. I'll share some great recipes...I've made up as I go... I grew up in a house with fresh ingredients, for the most part...and good fundamentals.
My favorite things to cook
This has all changed...I have joked in the past few weeks that NOTHING in my kitchen or pantry, has a label my mother would recognize. There are also very few cans, mixes, condiments and then best, my spice cabinet that has a label with more than one word. I have a new word..."WEDG-SPCY" (the acronym for all of his intolerance/allergies...)...in the first few days of realizing the magnitude of how deeply the food intolerances and the cancer was turning our life into chaos...my analyzer/stabilizer personality was SCREAMING for control. I stood on my step stool in my kitchen...at my spice cabinet and soon realized, that everything I have ever known about cooking...was no longer valid or useful. Not only that...restaurants are out of the question...a fast food joint...can you hear me belly laughing. My new favorite kitchen appliance...my brand new...top of the line professional-grade Vitamix brand blender. (I LOVE THIS!!! I use it 3-5 times per day. Well worth the money!)  The first three days...that's all I could muster...oh, at least the mustard was still in the fridge...one less condiment to learn how to make...
My favorite family cooking traditions
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; color:#333333">Cooking traditions...out the window. The only things left are the fundamentals I learned, which included opening the cupboard and "Zorich-izing" (my maiden name = customizing) whatever dish might need a flavor life ring. Long gone are the days of my grandmother's T-Rings pastries, cinnamon rolls and my Mom's County-wide famous Chocolate Chip Cookies...like only she can maketyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; color:#333333">. Even my favorite Christmas meal...Potato Dumplings, Sauerkraut and Pork Roast, can never be made the traditional way. I realized in the moment that H.O.P.E. was my new mantra. Happiness, as One, with Patience, Every moment. 
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; color:#333333">
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; color:#333333">So let's start with what I grew up in...cooking. The good news is...I now remember that I was taught to cook...long-hand... or for lack of the better word...let's use two...from scratch...(My 15 year old, until 6 weeks ago would have said "What's that?" - kind of like 8 track tapes or LPs).   I have joked in the past few days that my normally pristine and well designed kitchen...looked like a storm ravaged home in tornado alley and I have my lab coat on with my name tag that says "Reverse Vegetarian In-Training, Head Flavorologist". I never took chemistry in school...but I know flavors and interaction of flavors, textures and techniques. Those fundamentals I learned "from scratch"...will serve me well, and has so far.  I guess it speaks well of my meals when my resident chemo patient says something to the effect of..."When did you become such a good and creative cook?  You've never cooked like this before?".  Hmm...I would say, desperation is the mother of all teachers.  I've never been to detention, but I would guess this might be one path back to the classroom. I have all the basic "ingredients", ... the only thing I need more of now...is TIME....or is it Thyme?

More later...
N
 
Comments
njmom 
Aug. 19, 2013 11:33 am
wow - keep us all posted on your progression!
 
Aug. 26, 2013 3:23 pm
I used to think taking measures to ensure I didn't follow in the footsteps of my family's high rate of cancer, diabetes and other unfortunate diseases was unusual. Noticing the pattern in which we were raised to cook I vowed to move on the opposite direction the moment I was entrusted with a spatula. Losing some of the most beautiful people in my family to these, I resolved to becoming dedicated to cooking healthier for my family. My husband was raised the same way, high fats and deep fried goodies that are a culinary obsession, but he has become my biggest support as he too has seen signs of these problems emerging in his own family. To him, looking out for our health is as caring as a parent who would like nothing better than to feed their family whatever their heart desired. So now with the help of herbs, flavored olive oils and vinegars and many...many modifications that move us away from lard, fatty meats and deep fried choices, I can say I live a healthier life than most anyone in my family at my age. With intense asthma and allergies, it all just helps me that much more. Thank you for sharing this with us, I cant imagine the effort, but I appreciate your passion for a truly unique culinary goal that I consider many should adopt as a healthy lifestyle.
 
Sep. 1, 2013 7:29 pm
Hi RV - I too have a wheat/gluten intolerance, plus reactions to dairy. On-going symptoms have me convinced there must be more intolerance issues. I am still searching for the culprits and am fine tuning my cooking and food choices, as well. I look forward to reading more about your future endeavors in cooking. Good luck, esp. with the lymphoma, and keep us posted!
 
 
 
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The Reverse Vegetarian

Living In
Vancouver, Washington, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2010

Cooking Level
Expert

Cooking Interests
Low Carb, Healthy, Dessert

Hobbies
Music, Wine Tasting

Links
 
 
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About Me
What is a 'Reverse Vegetarian'? I guess you could say this was forced on me...my husband has had escalating food intolerances for the last 5 years. It started with pitted fruit, apples and progressed to Gluten-Free, which actually started with me... but his got worst...moved to almonds...then cane sugar...now it includes: dairy, eggs, yeast, garlic, corn, peanuts...eat the animal, just not what comes out...and eat organic produce...thus...The Reverse Vegetarian. Now...take this list and try to buy anything pre-made...Ready to add fuel to the fire? ...he now has been diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma...look it up...not a nice cancer...My new "mantle" is to give him the whole and complete nutrition that his Naturopath Oncologist and Oncologist have recommended to help reduce, if not eliminate the side effects of chemotherapy...good news...it is working. I'm just getting started...but if you are interested...learn with me. I'll share some great recipes...I've made up as I go...
My favorite things to cook
This has all changed...I have joked in the past few weeks that NOTHING in my kitchen or pantry, has a label my mother would recognize. There are also very few cans, mixes, condiments and then best, my spice cabinet that has a label with more than one word. I have a new word...WEDG-SPCY...in the first few days of realizing the magnitude of how deeply the food intolerances and the cancer was turning our life into chaos...my analyzer/stabilizer personality was SCREAMING for control. I stood on my step stool in my kitchen...at my spice cabinet and soon realized, that everything I have ever known about cooking...was no longer valid or useful. Not only that...restaurants are out of the question...a fast food joint...can you hear me belly laughing. My new favorite kitchen appliance...my brand new...top of the line Professional-grade Vitamix. The first three days...that's all I could muster...oh, at least the mustard was still in the fridge...one less condiment to learn how to make...
My favorite family cooking traditions
Cooking traditions...out the window. Long gone are the days of my grandmother's T-Rings pastries, cinnamon rolls and my Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies...like only she can make. Even my favorite Christmas meal...Potato Dumplings, Saurkraut and Pork Roast, can never be made the traditional way. I realized in the moment that H.O.P.E. was my new mantra. Happiness, as One, with Patience, Every moment. So let's start with what I grew up in...cooking. The good news is...I now remember that I was taught to cook...long-hand...for lack of the better word...let's use two...from scratch... I have joked in the past few days that my normally pristine and well designed kitchen...looked like a storm on tornado alley and I have my lab coat on. I never took chemistry in school...but I know flavors and interaction of flavors, textures and techniques. Those fundamentals I learned "from scratch"...will serve me well, and has so far. The only thing I need more of now...is time....or is it Thyme?
My cooking triumphs
Triumph to date... - Smoothies, grilled fish, chicken both, lentils, rice, salads, cooking with flowers, using fresh spices, pesto, smoothies, turkey with savory gravy over flavorful lentils with leek, fennel and fresh herbs, smoothies!, puree, homemade bullion, carmel tapioca with mango, mango dressing with dill and tarragon champagne vinegar dressing, herbed vegannaise mayonnaise with smoked parika and french toast with black & blue maple puree...and all WEDG-SPCY style.
My cooking tragedies
My first attempt at tapioca with fruit compote...I made a new form of rubber you could use in your bra in place of silicon... :-)
 
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