|"The Social Aspects of Eating a Raw Food Diet"|
|Feature Article: |
The Social Aspects of Eating a Raw Food Diet.
I have been eating a raw food diet for more than 12 years now, and teaching about making the transition to a raw food diet for about 7 years now. As I travel across the world, one of the questions I get most often is: "How does someone consume a raw food diet, while not being considered an outcast by society?" I thought when I first started eating this way many years ago, that this was going to be an issue for me as well. But to my pleasant surprise, I have found it to be very easy.
Like any change, at first it can be a challenge, especially when most of the world doesn't understand the reason for the change or anything about it. The raw diet is different than any other way of eating. It is becoming the new "in thing" so it is not as challenging to be accepted by many people today as it was just a few years ago. However, when ever anyone makes a change in their daily diet, not only is it weird or different to the person making the change, but the response from friends and family can be difficult to deal with. In this article I want to give suggestions on how to be accepted by your friends, family and the world after making the decision to start eating a raw food diet.
It is good to know that years ago, consuming a vegetarian diet was considered weird or different. But today it is pretty much accepted all over the world. Today, the raw food diet is becoming accepted and there are more and more raw food, vegetarian restaurants opening all over the world, many in the United States.
First, if you plan to consume anything less than a 100% raw food diet (which is fine), you won't run into the challenges as someone who wants to go 100% raw. You can just simply have cooked food on those occasions when you can't get raw. If doing so, do your best to make sure the food is as healthy as possible.
Now, if you plan to go 100% raw, not to worry. Just like making the change from an animal eater to a vegetarian or vegan, how we handle the situation can make all the difference.
If someone tells you that you are sick, you might say to them, "How do you know how I feel?" But if 100 people come to you in one day and tell you that you are sick, you might start to think, am I? When first starting to eat a raw food diet, many people are going to tell you things like, "You are crazy; That's dangerous; You need cooked food, or You can't do that." The more you hear it, the more you might believe it.
As long as you thought through the reason and purpose for going on an all raw diet, you should not be bothered too much by what others say. But if you are in doubt before they say anything, their words might take you over the edge.
Don't go beyond your understanding. Do the research before changing your diet so when you get these comments, you will know you are doing the right thing.
Make the choice yourself and not because someone else talked you into it. As long as it is your choice to change, that will help keep you strong. But if you try to change for someone else, it will make it harder to stick with it when the pressure is on.
Even if you have the knowledge and you made the choice yourself, their words still might make you second guess your choice to go on an all raw diet. We are human and we have feelings and emotions. It's like if you get a new haircut and think it looks great. You could be pretty confident in that feeling. But the more people tell you, your hair looked better before you cut it, or something like that. you will start to think, maybe you made a mistake. It goes the same way with the raw food diet.
The most important rule we have to learn is we cannot let our feelings override our decision. I call this decision over emotion. It is hard to be consistent if we are living off of "how we feel." Just a few days on a raw diet, many of us will feel the need for cooked food. Also many of us will base our feelings on what other people tell us. This is why once we make a decision, we should learn to stick to it. Make a promise to yourself that your faith is so strong in what you are doing that you are going to stick with it, and no one is going to talk you out of it.
Once you feel confident in what you are doing, how do you deal with friends, family and others who think you have went off the wall.
*Do not get over zealous. It's easy to believe so strong in the message that you just want to push it on everyone else. You and I most likely know, that the raw food diet is the healthiest way to eat our food, but it took us a while to learn this, and it might take other people a while. Accept all people where they are.
*Live by example. Let people see how great you feel and look. And how much energy you have. Then they will start to ask questions. That will open the door for you to give them the answers.
*Pray for them. I can tell you first hand, you cannot change anyone, but by prayer, you can help everyone. The strongest thing you can do for the people you love is not create separation in your differences, but pray that they will come to see and understand the message about the healing foods and why the sooner they start eating a raw diet, the better their health will be. There is a great saying I once heard that says, "Do your best and leave the rest up to God." Well I can change that a little and say, "Pray for them, and leave the rest up to God."
*How do you eat when you travel? This is a question I get most often. I have never had an issue with these because I can get fruits and vegetables everywhere.
The most amazing advice you will ever get on how to socially fit into society on a raw food diet. Three magic words, will make this path so much easier for you. No matter who it is, or where you are, these three words will work for you. Do not tell people you are eating a raw diet because….. Most people do not care about health or understand it, and they will think you are crazy. Here are the three magic words: "My doctor said…" If you tell them that, then they can accept it with no problem. (You really don't have to try to find a doctor to say that. Most doctor's will never say a raw diet is best, but just saying that will help them accept you.
Understand, most people do not eat for health. They eat for taste. If you are making food for your family, don't put the food on the table and give them a health lesson. Just make the food taste great, and they will enjoy it, and you will enjoy most people accepting the way you eat.
If anyone tells you how to eat, just tell them nicely, "If you do not want me to tell you how to eat, please don't judge my eating habits." That should keep them quiet. If not, just shove a carrot in their mouth.
*If you liked this article, a CD will be available on this topic of a lecture recently given by Paul Nison. If you are interested in purchasing the CD, please go to www.paulnison.cm and contact Paul.