How to deal with non-raw family?
This goes for two families in my life. One is mine, that is a bit critical of my raw ways and often tries to get me down by sending me articles and such on how bad raw food diet is for health, etc... The other is my new boyfriend's family, whom I am desperately eager to impress and "coming out" as a raw vegan feels very uncomfortable right now since I don't want to be judged the wrong way.
HELP! I need sage advice!
You know, I used to try 'deal' with people too. But honestly don't try. You shouldnt have to impress them and unless you were starving yourself to death or eating yourself to obesity they shouldnt be concerned or judgemental on how you eat.
I wanted so much to convince my family that I was doing the right thing but also impress, but it's each to their own journey, they need to understand this is your journey, something so precious doesnt need to be killed by trying to explain it away to people or 'impress' people with it.
If they chose to judge you as a person by what you eat, then that is their falter. I honestly think the best thing to do is not feel the need to explain to them, you dont expect them to do the same for their diet. I think confidence in what you are doing and the ability to not be lowered down by it is the best thing you can do.
Treat your diet like it's no big deal, because it really isn't. Be confident in your decisions and don't argue. Simply tell your family that this is the way you enjoy eating because it makes you feel good, which makes you happy, and leave it at that. You would never expect them to explain their dietary decisions to you so why must you explain yours?
Once they see that you treat it as a non-issue, they will stop pestering you.
Your responses are also an encouragement to me. I recently had to say no thank you to sweet potato pie. The person just wouldn't let it go and even called me uppity lol both of these approaches are wonderful and very encouraging. Thank you.
ItVegan I'm glad you had the strength to say No, it's hard because you look ungrateful. But people dont seem to put Raw in the same context as other diets.
If I was offered a peanut pie and I said Im allergic to peanuts - which I am, they wouldnt push me. People really dont understand and they find it astonishing. I'm not 100% Raw and so when I have a nice cup of tea (hey I'm British) my folks still put dairy in it instead of my nut/soya/etc milk in - I throw a tantrum but they dont see it as a biggie.
Btw, does anyone else get 'that' look when you say you dont cook you're food. You know the look I mean, shock and horror as though I've just stepped out with a loin cloth and a freshly killed bird hanging over my shoulder as I grunt ugg lol.
Its that look, or the look of repulsion where they assume I eat bloody raw meat.
Thank you all for your advice and support. I guess I just have to learn out to zone out their chatter and stick with my guns. Luckily I at least have a super supportive boyfriend!
Hey I am in the exact same boat, but opposite kind of. My boyfriends parents are like ahhh why are you so weird lol (hes vegan now too thanks to me) & my family just doesn't get the whole raw thing. I mean they try and accept, but still I'm the little odd ball. I talk a lot about it on my blog and how you can incorporate vegan and raw vegan meals/snacks/&desserts at family/friend functions!! I am so sorry you are dealing with this I know how frustrating it can be. You know youre right so just stick with what you feel!! Hang in there!!
Here is my blog!
Thanks Raw Passion. I actually said no because I"m gluten free (I try to eat high raw, but it's turned more into 50/50 and less). I couldn't have even imagined the reaction I would have gotten if I said I eat mainly raw foods lol. But I still wouldn't have cared...This person sees me as uppity, because that's the opinion she has formed on appearances lol. My mom thinks it's hilarious that she called me uppity lol and i have to repeat it everyday- her dose of laughter for the day lol..We I began to eat a vegan diet, my family was supportive, but still want me to eat "normal" food as they call it. lol, especially if I get sick or have an obvious deficiency which is temporary because of a slight change in my diet.
Guys, just hang in there. That's why we have this site. For support :)
Haha yes, the detox seen by going raw people see as a bad side effect of the diet!
its hard my girlfriends parents actually fell out with me because i wouldnt eat her fried greasy food, i wasnt mean about it i just said im an athlete i try to eat as clean as possible, because i have digestive problems mean i cant tolerate dairy, gluten, wheat or egg. Even at that she wasnt happy and in the long run put a huge strain on our relationship.
Yes i should be overweight like yourself scoffing fried eggs, bacon, sausages and chips every night to be "NORMAL"
I was on the phone with my mom last night who asked me when I was going to eat again?
I eat so much food I just had to laugh.
I say ignore them, but maybe don't bring it up with them either.
It sounds like you need to live your own life and let them know that is what you intend on doing.
Ignoring them is sometimes what you have to do, however, many of my family says that is nice to know that someone cares so much!! I didn't give up on my grandfather and guess what... easter sunday he is going low fat raw vegan for 3 months and if he loves it he is sticking to it! Just do what you feel will be best.. listen to yourself! :D
We will need it!! Luckily if he says he will do something he will give it his all! :)
IsisDC my husband asks me ALL the time So when are you going to eat? Too funny...I eat all day!! He doesn't consider my gigantic salads real dinner food. He loves salads but doesn't think a person can live on them. I just make jokes right along with him about his s.a.d food and keep the conversation light and easy going. My habits have definetly worn off of him tho since becoming vegan. He admits he doesn't look at meat the same way and doesn't request it near as much, hardly ever actually.
My dad also freaked out when I went vegan. He was so concerned about not getting enough protein, but now he admitted he watches how much meat he will eat in a week. I couldn't BELIEVE it. Progess..slowly but surely.
I always saw diet as a personal choice and fortunately my family never gave me much grief about it even thought it was quite different. I'm not sure why any family members would take your diet changes "the wrong way". Your diet choices effect your body and health, not theirs. Just tell them you feel better and have more energy eating this way(if its true, of course). I am at a point where I would get physically sick it I ate certain foods, maybe this also applies to you also. That's always a good reason.
Good luck and best of health to you.
Thanks for all the posts! The issues with family are getting easier to deal with. My type-A family did freak out when I went vegetarian at 17 and then vegan at 21 because I think it made them question their own diets and health and such, and I guess an anticipated response would be aggression to protect their own egos. It is funny though because how often do people on a SAD diet question where they get their protein, etc? Or even where their food comes from and what is done to it before they eat it? NEVER! My immediate family knows that I'm raw, which they have accepted better than I expected, but I am also studying Traditional Chinese Medicine, so they think I'm a little "different" to begin with. I will eventually "come out" to my boyfriend's family, but after spending time with his folks a bit I don't think they will be a problem after all.
Kitty- When I announced that I was going to raise my new baby (21 yrs ago *gasp!*) vegetarian, my former inlaws threatened to call CPS and report me for "child abuse".
My own mom was a bit better, but still could not understand not eating chicken and fish.
Funny how eating flesh has been so ingrained in our culture resulting in chronic health issues all over our country.
But, being obese and with diabetes is "ok" because it makes you "normal"? Because it's "normal" to scarf down a big Mac with a large fries followed by donuts and fat ladled coffee frappes.
But eat right and healthy, lots fruits and greens, keeping trim with nice skin and you're a "freak"?
I love being a "freak"!
I asked my girlfriend one day (who has educated me immensely on how food gets to our table) why do people practically shun me when I am near them (and talking/dealing with food)? I have not asked them to change their diet or way of eating, nor have I imposed my lifestyle upon them, so why the dirty looks?
Se told me and it makes so much sense, that by us just being healthy, and I am not even talking about us on the raw food journey, take just an ovo-lacto vegetarian. We by making choices that do not confine us to their same, normal box, we then make them think about their choices. And deep down when they look at what they are eating, it then makes them mad, even if they do not say it.
Then it hit me, how right she was. By me sitting next to someone and me munching on my apple and them woofing down a bag of chips, I am making them re-evaluate their choices, and I did not have to say one word. But when they internally look at what they are doing, we then become someone to pick on.
I teach raw food classes at my local health food store. And trust me, when I say I am by no means an expert on raw food, but I am learning. I tell people to just think where your food comes from, what our big companies are doing to our foods, watch documentaries, read, research, the truth is out there. And common sense should eventually take over.
I no longer feel the need to defend what I eat and or why. But if the question does come up, THEE ONLY thing I need to say, and I try so hard not to say it laden with sarcasm, is, 'You are what you eat.' And with that, I have thrown all responsibilty on to them, and they still do not like that. But I know deep down I am doing what is right and right for me. Another thing I point out to them is let's compare doctor bills now and 20-30-even 40 years form now, and that also gets them thinking.
I am rambling now, but thanks for letting me vent.
I told my dad I went vegetarian, and he ask "How long are you planning on doing that for?" LOL
People just don't get or understand lifestyle changes.
It's ok for somebody to eat 30 chicken wings and down a pitcher of beer, nobody questions that. But when somebody eats a dozen bananas people start to freak out LOL
They say too much potassium and that it is bad for me.
But alcohol, cigarettes, high fat, high sodium, no exercise, processed foods, etc is ok, nobody questions those things.
Fortunately my parents have been very supportive. They're even inspired by me now and eating a lot more vegetables and fruit than they used to. They've helped me grocery shopping and bought a vitamix that the whole family can use. I haven't really told my friends yet. I don't really care what other people might think of my diet, because I'm doing this for me and my health.
the best way about anything to do with health is be so clued up that anything they say to you, you can counteract.
although im still not sure how healthy just fruit and vegetable diet would be long term, without including seaweeds and some other things it would likely be deficient in quite a few essential nutrients.