Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eating Raw Socially II

This is part II of Eating Raw Socially - The Food Part.

There are many situations you will find yourself in that will challenge your will to eat. You may throw up your hands and eat a cooked meal due to a few factors:

Cravings - Along with hunger and limited options, most people are prone to go off their diets, whether it is a cooked diet or raw.

Make sure you never leave the house hungry, or never go to a restaurant, person's home or an event really hungry. Leave the house on a full stomach, and bring some snacks or fruit along with you just in case you decide not to eat.

Guilt - Often people "break" their diets because they are made to feel guilty for not eating someones special recipe, or a meal set before them that has been paid for by someone else. Many times they will use the excuse that they are being a good guest, but a good guest should not really be eating anything they are allergic to or eat food that will harm his or her health. This is no different than eating something that isn't raw if you are commited to a raw food diet.

Lack of freedom - the best eating situations are those which will give the eater a choice of foods, such as a buffet, an open menu in a restaurant, or a pot-luck. The times when many of us feel a bit stuck or end up not eating altogether, or even give in to eating cooked food, is usually when we are a guest at a sit-down predetermined meal, or in the rare case of a restaurant not having fresh food.

There are ways to get around this. One of them is to let the host know you are on a special diet ahead of time, and that you'll be bringing a large salad or fruit plate along to share. If this is met with disagreement, you can tell the host that you'll be bringing it for yourself, since this is what you are able to eat. The host might want to make you a meal that you can eat, in that case be very specific.

I once told someone that I was vegetarian for health reasons (I wasn't all raw at the time) and they made me a special chili relleno casserole. It was loaded with cheese, and they are notoriously made with eggs - full of cholesterol. So be specific. Tell them you eat fresh, uncooked fruit and vegetables but be prepared - not everyone understands this and you might find cheese, croutons and meat on your salad. You might find whipped cream with your fruit or your fruit suspended in Jello. This would be the extreme case here - most people I know would not do this.

In the case of a wedding with a preset sit-down dinner, my personal thoughts are to bring some food along in a nice gift bag or purse. I have heard of some people calling the caterer ahead, but I wouldn't do this, knowing that they are juggling over 100 guests in most cases, and the last thing I want to put on the bride and caterer is having to worry about the one raw fooder.

Many times I have seen untouched dinner plates, so I wouldn't worry about not eating the mass-produced food at a wedding as much of an issue. It is easy to avoid sitting in front of your plate - getting up to mingle or walking around is a way to avoid eating, or just getting engaged in a conversation with someone else at the dinner table.

Here are some ideas of things to bring along just in case you are hungry:

  • Dates

  • Nuts

  • Bags of grapes

  • 2-3 Bananas

  • Apples

  • Oranges

  • Raw crackers

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