02 May 2007

My Weird Diet

No, no, vegetarianism isn't weird. My diet is, though. Allow me to explain.

My weird diet is largely the result of being lactose-intolerant and somewhat selective about observing this restriction. In brief, I eat the dairy products that I enjoy, while my allergic aversion to items like milk, yogurt, sour cream and cheese makes me literally want to barf at the very smell. I will cook using the blacklisted items (except cheese), albeit sparingly, since the finished meal doesn't smell icky. I will also cheerfully go to town on some ice cream, butter or eggs, none of which smell nauseating.

This discrepancy makes my brother absolutely nuts. It makes my husband only slightly nuts, but my brother, who is nicknamed Cheese-Boy, is probably going to be frustrated by my diet for the rest of his life. In vain do I point out that this leaves more cheese in the world for him to consume. It does no good to suggest that he got all the cheese-loving genes for both of us. I think sometimes big brothers just need to be driven nuts by their little sisters.

So, because of my partial dairy aversion, when I announced to my mom at the tender age of 14 that I was now a vegetarian, she did what moms do best: she worried about me. She consulted a nutritionist who agreed that most vegetarians get important nutrients from cheese. And Mom did what moms are entitled to do: she put her foot down, saying I could be a vegetarian if I chose, but that I needed to keep eating fish so I could get enough protein. I acceded.

So I'm a fish-eating vegetarian who hates cheese. Nice, eh? If you're not a vegetarian, you're probably wondering what's left, what with the whole mercury-fish thing. I think it can be difficult for people to conceptualize other diets. I think that because of the number of friends that have invited me to their home with the caveat, "Although I don't know what you're gonna eat. What do you eat?"

Thankfully, there are lots and lots and lots of other vegetarians out there, some of whom eat fish, some of whom even dislike cheese. Once, while working as a cashier at the awesome health food co-op Weaver Street Market, in Carrboro NC, I actually met someone who had the exact same diet I do. I practically fell over, I was so astonished.

The important thing to remember is - not by sheer coincidence - also one of my favorite things about cooking. Every recipe can be adapted to your tastes. So even if you disagree with my diet, I hope you'll find some yummy tidbits on this blog to enrich your own culinary life.

1 comment:

terrycat17 said...

haha me too, i am a vegeterian that also eats fish, but not so often. :D