View Full Version : social situations
09-23-2008, 10:36 AM
i know this has been talked about many times before, but i guess i just feel like i need a place to voice my feelings/frustrations?! i've been raw for about 2 months (with a couple of days in there having cooked food, the result was not feeling all too well). i'm living in spain, in a shared flat, studying for my master's...i was in spain last year, but ate all kinds of things. this year i'm having a harder time adjusting. it's very difficult to feel connected or involved/integrated with other people without eating what everyone else does (bread, cheese, ham, etc. and sometimes "healthy" cooked things).
i already told myself that i would eat cooked food when certain social situations came up (but only few and far between). for instance, i taught english last year and one of the teachers at the school is taking me out to eat on friday. i feel like there is no way to avoid that...of course i do know deep down inside that if i wanted to be 100% raw i could be...i just have a hard time dealing with the "consequences". i don't want to deal with the negative comments or the weird reactions. it's hard enough watching the reactions when i rinse and drain my sprouts!!
i just found out there is going to be a little tex mex party at my flat tonight. one of my flatmates approached me and told me...said they were going to go out and get some food now...i said that i eat mostly raw food (not wanting to label myself a "raw vegan") and he was pretty much speechless...i said don't worry about it, i'll just "mingle"...but then he said that he supposed they could make a salad...lettuce and beans (?!?!?). i feel like no one actually understands what being raw is about. usually people think i must eat a lot of sushi!
i don't go out on weekends because most other people my age go out to bars drinking until sunrise! it's not that i want to drink, i just want to feel connected...it's just that everything seems to revolve around food. i know no like minded people here...no one who even remotely eats what i could consider healthy. BUT i know that feeling the way i do eating raw is worth it!
sorry for rambling on and on...i just wanted to vent i guess. i know there are plenty of people in the same situation--or even harder situations. i just keep thinking that when i move back to the states i want to go somewhere where there is a large raw community...people who understand...
any comments or suggestions are always welcome. but mostly, thanks for reading...it always helps to just get it off your chest....you know?!
09-23-2008, 10:51 AM
I think sometimes we just need to vent as you said. I used to struggle with this "Big Time" and it seems to be a theme with most of us transitioning. What I have found is that I can get a salad anywhere and most people don't think that's weird. I was the one feeling weird and seperating myself. There really is no seperation.........just different food choices. We are all different and on different paths yet still connected just like we may have different beliefs about religion, politics, as it is with diet and health, too.
Hang in there it will get easier and you'll get more comfortable.
09-23-2008, 11:06 AM
Tex-mex is the worst for raw! You may indeed have trouble there. However, there are some foods you can get in Spain that we would totally envy in the States. I would SOOOO be living on oranges and olives if I were in your shoes! I think I'd be hanging out at the local health food store, too. There are healthy kids on campus - there always are - you just haven't met them yet!
09-23-2008, 11:11 AM
Denise--I got to spend a summer in Madrid taking some classes at the university and living in a dorm. It was just a fantastic experience! Are you getting a masters in Spanish or something else?
Anyway, your situation reminds me of that movie, L'auberge espagnole, where all different nationalities of students shared the apartment/kitchen in Barcelona. I always thought their happy group dinners were probably unrealistic! :) People eat so differently!
I guess my only suggestion when there's a party is to bring/make your own. When you're out, it's just like the rest of do here--eat salad, bring raw nuts / whole fruits in your bag for later.
In fact, I don't like to say "raw vegan," either. I just tell people I eat mostly fresh fruit and salad. Somehow, using the word "fresh" goes over with less negative connotation than the word "raw."
In my very limited experience, keeping to some simple principles when you must eat cooked, it will probably help you not to have a food hangover. No wheat, no meat, no cheese, and above all, no cooked fats. Bread, cooked starchy vegetables, pasta, and rice are like eating sugar. Not good!
Always have a salad with greens in it along with cooked food. Choose foods that you would eat raw. That keeps your taste buds as well as your body from getting too "corrupted." ;) That means vegetables and perhaps corn or fresh legumes such as peas. Olives and almonds, of course!
If you frequent a restaurant, speak to them about serving you those same vegetables raw. I'll bet they would. Hopefully, you'll be able to find a few good places to eat out and you can suggest one when the opportunity arises.
Edited: I just realized you probably don't need all this advice! Sorry if I assumed more than I needed to! I just got all nostalgic about being a student in a foreign country, and I myself am still fairly new to raw, when this is likely all "old hat" to you!
09-23-2008, 11:15 AM
jenifae--thanks. i see what you mean...i guess to some extent i am the one separating myself. i appreciate your insight.
petaltothemetal--haha, funny you mention oranges. i just got 4 kilos of oranges at the store yesterday for a good price--and they are so good and juicy! oddly, though, with so many oranges from close by in valencia, these oranges came from argentina?! i couldn't believe it when i saw that. i have yet to find raw olives! and yeah, there is a wide selection of fruit to chose from, which is great--just haven't come across organic yet...that's one thing i'm trying to look into. as for other kids at campus, i'm in a small program here through a private college in the states. just american kids sworn to only speak in spanish! haha...i have yet to meet anyone who isn't inlove with the idea of eating ham, bread, cheese and wine everyday! yikes! but i know things will just get easier with time!
09-23-2008, 11:19 AM
emma-liza--yes, master's in spanish :) i like that you tell people you eat mostly fresh fruit and salads...that really does sound a lot better than "raw" to most people. i'll have to remember that! thanks for the tips for eating out. i appreciate all of your advice!
09-23-2008, 11:31 AM
I guess as a Dallas girl I'm trying to get my head around the concept of "Tex Mex" in Madrid.
I suppose corn tortillas would be too cooked though I don't know how hot they get when they are made. I'm thinking you might want to stick with lettuce wraps with guacamole and pico de gallo. Or, line a bowl with tortillas (for decorative reasons), pile in a big salad that you like and snack on that.
All right, I haven't read the responses but wanted to say a couple things...
When I lived in Spain, I was a "bit" younger and wilder. I smoked lots of cloves and went out to dance and drink with friends until sunrise, like you described. Heck, I even had beer at the university canteen at lunch time. It was a different life.
Now, I don't drink. I don't like it. BUT, I did recently go to a music festival where there were these "party tents" after the festival that were HUGE, we're talking thousands of people, dancing to top DJs. Lots of people were drinking, doing drugs. It was not my scene. I did not decide to suddenly start snorting cocaine for the night. LOL, it's just not me! I wouldn't feel any better about suddenly starting to drink alcohol or eat cooked food just to fit in either. Those things are also not me!
So what did I do? I danced the night away! And I did have fun. In fact, I think I had more fun and felt like more of a free spirit than everyone else probably did. And one friend I was with also does not drink. She is a break dancer and was dancing it up too, doing some tricky moves that would have been tough if she were "on" something (anything!). Our other friends? Drinking. And THEY left way before sunrise because they were "tired".
My husband has beer and wine sometimes, although he complains that it makes him feel bad. If he wants to go somewhere to have a beer, I come along and enjoy myself.
Anyways... this is new and different, but people will respond how you show them to. If YOU feel like it's a big deal, then they will probably make a big deal. If you are happy and have fun without the mind-altering stuff, then relax about it. Have fun. If someone asks, just tell them you don't drink. Period. No big thing. You can even tell them you're not, um, molested when they drink.
hahaha sorry, I mean bothered, not molested. ;)
P.S. I usually have an herbal tea or a mineral water at these places. At restaurants, I ask for a very big salad with a lemon and olive oil.
09-23-2008, 11:45 AM
[QUOTE=Eva;460163]You can even tell them you're not, um, molested when they drink.
hahaha sorry, I mean bothered, not molested. ;)QUOTE]
eva--thanks for the laugh--i needed that! great response, as always...thanks.
raine--well, tex mex madrid style is red meat (maybe some chicken), cheese, some greasy tortillas and beer. hah--nothing like it should be, of course. i actually spent a year in mexico and if there were fresh tortillas here i might actually be tempted, but, lucky for me, it's just the fake stuff... ;)
09-23-2008, 11:46 AM
...i have yet to meet anyone who isn't in love with the idea of eating ham, bread, cheese and wine everyday! yikes! but i know things will just get easier with time!
And in Spain, those things are stellar! I admit that I ate an abundance of them (it was, cringe, 1977).
About the Argentinian oranges, I imagine that since its not quite orange season in the northern hemisphere, they are still importing, just like we are here. Or maybe the Mediterranean climate is different and I have no idea what I'm talking about! I was raised on Texas and Florida citrus, so I just wait for those to arrive.
I never made it past 4:00 am for the nights out dancing. What was that, like, every night? I learned not to drink and dance--it interfered with my good time!
09-23-2008, 05:26 PM
gs4life, i understand your angst and thank you for bringing up the topic. Although I'm quite a bit older than you, I'm single and new in town, and often find myself confronted with these social dilemmas. I don't do the bar thing or drink at all, so that's not such a big deal for me now, but people do seem to go out to eat for every occasion, mood or whim that strikes. I pick and choose the occasions when I feel willing to deal with it. For example, if the occasion is a special one, I will go, order a salad, and just enjoy the moment. But I won't put myself through it for any old reason.
I live with several people from various countries and whenever I prepare raw foods, I make sure to have an open, friendly aura about me, and it's been really fun to see what's happened...a woman from Viet Nam asked for the cheddar cheese sauce recipe from this site, I ened up answering questions galore from a group of girls from Bulgaria and Romania about raw foods and why I chose to eat the way I did, etc. They were interested and felt comfortable asking b/c I acted comfortable with it myself. I make things and share them alot.That's been fun. My experience is that people are pretty interested.
Good luck with finding your comfort zone. Who know, maybe by staying raw you'll become an inspiration for someone else. :) Think positively about it and it will be ok!
09-23-2008, 10:10 PM
I can see how this can be disturbing. I guess you have to discover what you value more, what you think, or what others think. It seems to me that being 100% is not an easy thing, and as you said, you have to want it enough to do it.
However, what is the value of being 100% raw if you are miserable? I am not putting down 100% raw at all, just stating that when you put up a ton of barriers, yes, you will feel miserable.
I can't talk from a standpoint of ever being 100% raw, because I'm not. But, I allow myself to be what I am and where I am right now. When I'm ready, if that day comes, then I will decide to do it all the way. maybe all the way is not your way for right now...
09-24-2008, 08:00 AM
thanks for all of your responses! each and every one of them helped me...and i'm happy to say that i went out and bought a couple avocados, tomatos and onion and made some gaucamole--that everyone enjoyed very much! while everyone else piled their plate high with flour tortillas, seasoned beef, cheese, etc. i was happy and comfortable (!!!) with my spinach, gaucamole and salsa! no one made a big deal about it and i enjoyed the evening. that was a lot easier than i thought it would be!
goobygirl--i see what you mean. sometimes i forget that it's way more important to feel happy and healthy overall than to be 100% raw. i think i sometimes get hung up on the label--that NEVER helps! thanks a lot :)
09-24-2008, 08:06 AM
gs4life? Why wouldn't you want to "label" yourself a Raw Vegan? I'm proud of that. I've worked hard and healed myself by being a Raw Vegan. Also, it makes people ask questions and consider a different eating (healing) lifestyle. When they hear (and see) how I've healed and regained my youth (the glow and all ;) ) they have never made fun of me, cut me down, or been negative about this choice I've made. I was just curious why you stated that.
I am so glad it worked out for you. Being a "RAW VEGAN" IS easy!
09-24-2008, 10:24 AM
veganforlife--i said that i didn't want to label myself a raw vegan for a couple of reasons. i don't care for the way (some) people respond to it...i realize that the way people respond shouldn't bother me, but i'm just not "there" yet and still am having a hard time with negative responses. when some of my family members found out i was "raw" they gave me such a hard time about it.
i also find that when i label myself "raw" and then slip up and eat something cooked, mentally, i have such a hard time getting back "in the game". i'm too hard on myself sometimes and feel like i let myself down. if i just try to eat as healthy as possible (that meaning raw maybe 90% of the time--maybe even 100% at some point) then if i do have something less than optimal i know that it's okay, that it's not the end of the world.
i am very happy to hear that you are proud to call yourself a "raw vegan". i hope that someday (soon!) i will be able to proclaim that as well :) right now i'm not at that point...i'm learning and growing...i do hope to reach a point where i don't mind negative comments about the way i eat...a point at which i can feel totally comfortable with being raw. but until that point i have chosen not to label myself.
09-24-2008, 05:17 PM
That makes sense to me, Denise. Glad it was a good evening for you!
09-24-2008, 10:58 PM
I agree. When you think you have to be a certain way, instead of letting yourself evolve that way, then it can lead to guilt. Instead, you should be happy for many things, including that you are trying, and that you admit that it isn't the easiest thing to do for you right now. Feeling bad is not a good thing! :)
So, embrace where you are and while being conscious of things that appear to be holding you back, realize that you will be there when ready.
It's not a race, but a journey.
09-25-2008, 12:18 AM
Isn't amazing how the mind our own mind can get triggered by our own thoughts? I can so relate to you. I did that for awhile (triggering myself that is). But, now I'm getting better and not triggering myself so much.
You have a right to be personal about who you are. Not everyone needs to shout from a mountain top. Many of our greatest teachers are those who've been silent and lead through their example.
Good for you for knowing who you are.
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