Wednesday, May 9, 2007


I know I am front-loading a bit in these blogs, but honestly, it's just because so much happens and has happened in the past that I want to be sure to keep up.

Part of eating raw for me has been about seeking support. I pride myself on my independence and while of course I can survive on my 'own' in terms of necessities, I find that that is a lonely path and limits my energy flow considerably.

I have been to a handful of potlucks in my area and found that it's a great way to connect with others. While the event is based around food theoretically, I find that conversations lead to other things (rather than at cooked food potlucks, when I bring my own raw dish, we talk about eating raw...) and I can let the food 'complication' go (because it's not complicated!). Our potlucks have around 20 people, give or take, and it's such a pleasure to see old faces and then new faces and know that everyone is on their own raw path. Being with like-minded and like-bodied people has helped me see that I don't have to just go along with a crowd of people to be social. I love my close group of friends, but it's nice to go and be with other folks who do different work in the world.

Another thing I do is READ. Lots of prepared food books, lifestyle books, different systems of being raw, etc. I read blogs, listen to podcasts, read magazines, and generally let my curiosity guide me. This is such a pleasant way to live! I feel like I am back in school, only I can decide exactly what to learn, how much, with whom, for how long, etc. It's the best education I've had so far!

There are days when I wish I could shout what I've learned from the rooftops but I know that because I am ready and open, the education comes to me effortlessly. It's not necessarily my job to educate others against their will. I know many raw fooders feel similarly. They simply go about eating the food they enjoy and only when asked do they talk about raw food. I am learning patience (with myself and others) and while I always feel I have a gift to offer, it's important to not be pushy. Adopting a raw food life can be challenging and while it's been more than pleasant for me, it could be different for someone who is not really into it like I am.

The down side of support is when you don't get it.
When I first started eating raw, I was proud of myself and was eager to share. It seems that the more weight I lose (from 160 lbs to 135 lbs), the less inclined I am to share. My weight loss, although desired and welcomed, is not the point of my going or staying raw. And I'm aware that some people may think going raw is an underlying eating disorder. It's tough to hold to your values if people think you are starving yourself (even though you simply aren't craving food) or worry about you. Society pressures run rampant because some people may not want to examine THEIR eating habits, they'd rather judge and criticize yours. Not to mention, Americans and other well-fed (or over-fed) cultures simply look different. Eating raw food changes bodies fundamentally and it can look 'unhealthy' to people who are simply not comfortable with a slimmer body.
And we're back to support. Find folks who understand, appreciate and are knowledgeable about raw food. I also find it helpful if I don't point out my cooked food beliefs to those who don't care. It doesn't make the interactions any easier.

My friends and family have the grace to support me, but when it comes time for sharing food, out comes the elephant in the room. It's a small one, and possibly imagined by me, but I know that since I don't enjoy eating cooked food anymore, we have less occasion to go out to eat, and therefore hang out. On the flip side, it does allow me/us to think about other ways to interact with people and that's great since I need to flex my creativity muscles more.
Food has been entertainment for me for so long, that it's challenging to not rally 'round the dinner table every time I hang out with friends. But it's much cheaper and a lot more fun!

Also, it can be hard to eat raw with a partner or family that isn't raw. Josh and I are differing levels of transition, and I'm okay with that. We tend to eat when we are hungry, which is not at the dinner table mostly, but we are finding other ways to share each other's company instead, so I don't worry too much.

Another thing I like to do now is listen to raw food podcasts. I go to iTunes and search raw food and download whatever seems interesting. Raw Vegan Radio, Celebrating The Potential, Rawkin Radio, and several others have caught my attention. Interviews with lots of well-known raw fooders are interesting and continue to help me find out the specific ways I can interact with my raw lifestyle. Lots of podcasts aren't even about food, but coincide with eating raw food and the changes that one can experience.

I haven't gotten into YouTube as much, but there are lots of videos on there. Check out Raw Vegan Channel as well with the Talifero family.

The fact that there are magazine articles, restaurants, film festivals, food festivals, podcasts, websites, blogs, workshops and books means that we can get support for our lifestyle and therefore make it easier to stick with it.

More soon!

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