So you’ve made the decision to start incorporating more raw food into your daily life – congratulations! Now how on Earth do you tell people without them thinking you’re a nutcase? 🙂
Sadly a lot of people get a negative response if they show that they are in any way different from the “norm”. Please try not to judge them, often people have a tendency to react badly to subjects that they know nothing about. I was like that once, making fun of vegetarians, and now look where I am…all it took for me was to know one vegetarian, before then, I’ve never been exposed to it.
If you have a wonderful self esteem (good for you!!!) then you can follow Dr. Seuss in thinking:
“Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don’t matter,
and those who matter don’t mind.”
However, the majority of us will probably care to a certain extent what other people think of us. I like to divide them into groups:
1. Close family and friends
2. Understanding acquaintances
3. The critical clueless
Telling your family you have started eating raw food
For some of you, telling your family will be the easiest thing in the world, if they are similar to you in the way they perceive life. Telling my mum and grandma was the best, they went raw with me that same week after I told them how amazing with it – and my grandma is over 70 years old and ate meat up until this year…this is for those of you who think its impossible to change elderly people or those with very strong habits.
Not all family is like that though, for some of you it may be terrifying, but they are your family and there’s no point in hiding it (unless you speak once in 5 years). If you still live with your parents, try including more salads and raw vegetables into your meals. If they start asking why, tell them that you’ve read that raw food is good for you and you want to give it a try. Gradually they may not even notice if you stop eating other stuff at the table, and each time drop a line about how raw food is making you feel, like “oh wow I love the feeling that I’m full but not awfully stuffed like I used to be”. Another great way of getting approval, is by making (or buying) raw desserts and getting your family to try, most likely they will be shocked and will love the flavour! If your mums the main cook, try making it with her, she might get curious at how easy it is to make raw stuff.
If you live alone, you’re just going to have to build up the courage to tell them, maybe try putting it in a positive way, like “I’ve been learning so many recipes lately, I feel great from them!”. They may be critical. When I told my dad, he right away went to find some article about a guy who “died from eating raw food” – that just made me laugh, I was like ooook dad I’ll be careful hahah. Some families may never understand you, but you just need to be persistent. When I told my dads side of the family that I am vegetarian, my grandma happily proceeded to give me meat dumplings. I was like “…gran…I’m vegetarian” – “but that’s just dumplings!” Yeah…just keep going, they will get it eventually. Try not to shout at them for being critical, after all they care about you and they want to make sure you aren’t killing yourself by eating too many healthy organic vegetables full of life energy 😉 Prepare some responses to obvious questions, like “what about PROTEIN???” or “what’s wrong with cooked food?”
Telling your friends you no longer want to eat cooked food
With friends, it will be somewhat similar. They may not get it at first, but they will stop arguing against it after a while, they are your friends after all. I’m so lucky that 90% of my fiends are vegetarian, most of them raw to a certain degree. I did have trouble with my best friend from childhood though, her dads a doctor and she’s a dentist, and people who study medicine can be…well let’s not go into that, but basically she was very skeptical for a little while. I actually avoided her for a few weeks just so we don’t go into that conversation again, but after some “transition” time, I’m not sure what happened but she just accepted it, or maybe gave up trying to interrogate me lol (love you sweetie! *cheeky grin*).
Telling your colleagues
As for the second group, this includes people like your colleagues or just random people who you kinda know but not too well, but they don’t seem critical and are rather nice to talk to. These guys are probably the easiest to tell this stuff to. When I told a few colleagues (like someone asked me, “are you vegetarian?” I’m like, “well raw vegan as off a few weeks ago actually”. -“Oh wow, what does that mean?”) they got super curious and asked me to take them to a raw restaurant – to my surprise, they all loved it! They may not change their habits right away, but at least now they know what it is and that it’s good, so who knows, in a few years time they may come to it too. If they don’t react well, it doesn’t matter, it’s not like they’re your friends anyway 🙂
Telling everyone else you’ve gone raw
Let’s get to the last bunch. These people will just not be happy with anything you do that they don’t understand. I went out with a “curious” colleague for raw food, and she loved it. We bumped into another colleague who asked what we had for lunch. The girl I just went out with started telling her about raw food and the look on the other girls face, throughout the whole conversation, was that of just pure disgust. It’s like someone farted under her nose. You could tell she wasn’t even listening to anything, she just didn’t care. Personally I would have avoided that conversation all together. When people I don’t care about ask me where I went for lunch, I say stuff like “Covent Garden” or “just my usual little place” etc. If they ask what you ate, you can say you had a burger/pizza/lasagne – most vegetarian/raw dishes have the same names as normal food so there’s no point in explaining that it was a raw pizza (to them, it will just sound gross). I also don’t bother telling them that I’m raw if I don’t have to, I just tell them I’m vegetarian, which isn’t lying really.
It may feel odd at first, but it’s your life and you have the right to be healthy without other people criticising your decisions. If they don’t get it, don’t force it on them and don’t judge them, there’s a time for everything and it may just not be their time yet. Build up your courage and self esteem, and surround yourself with loving friends who support you no matter what 🙂
Love and light xxx