Saying that you are “going raw” or have ”gone raw” can be challenging at the best of times, but saying it to your own family – those who have seen you eat all manner of things over the years without issue – is something quite different!
As with all of the suggestions I have shared around social issues and raw food, much of it will come down to the attitude you choose to adopt. Plus it’s as much about what you don’t say as what you do. It’s also about remembering that everyone has an opinion and we all think we’re right. What matters is that you are happy with yours but don’t push it on anyone. That way they won’t push back!
Here follows my top tips for navigating those waters otherwise known as explaining your choices to your family for the first time, or even the umpteenth!
2) Keep calm – you may be congratulated or challenged. It can go either or both ways.
Whichever way it goes it is up to you to be calm and unfettered by it. Opinions are opinions, they do not have to dictate your life or your own opinions.
3) Stay focused – you chose raw for a reason (or many reasons). Remain aware of what those reasons are at all times. The more reasons you have and the more they make sense, the more likely others will understand and give kudos to you.
4) Keep your opinions to yourself – in your new incarnation as a raw food fan you may well find yourself wanting to spread the “word” – rarely a good move, unless the other person/people are en route to that already. This is often the quickest way to turn what could be a simple and stress-free conversation into a full-scale food debate, or worse! Don’t do it.
5) Only say more if asked – as per above, the less you say, generally the better. When you do say more, have it be in response to someone’s (polite) question. Keep it light and non-confrontational and non-judgemental. Not doing so is the quickest way to make people turn against the concept of raw food, and then, possibly, you!
6) Impress, wow and seduce – whether you are discussing food, serving it or bringing it along, be sure to present your best and most favourite recipes. This is not the time to say that a simple salad does it for you, even if it’s the truth. They won’t believe you and they won’t want to “sign up” either. Bring on the raw chocolate cake and the strawberry “cheesecake” and it could well be a very different story!
7) Relax – there is not a lot more off-putting, unattractive and unconvincing than sitting with someone who is uptight and regimental about their food choices. Be cool. If you eat something that’s not raw, you will not die (although this may be something you don’t wish to bend on, so just roll with it in whatever way works for you). Laugh. Chat. Be yourself. Let the food fall into the background and be the supporting role in your life, not the main focus, and others will see you first rather than what’s on your plate.
I hope these tips have helped you, but remember, ultimately it is up to you to know your own family and what way of handling things is most appropriate. Humour and brevity tend to work well in most families. Be prepared to laugh at yourself if necessary. Not everyone will understand your reasoning, and that’s okay. There may be many things about them that you don’t understand or agree with either, and that’s okay too.
Live and let live, and you will find that others will extend you the same courtesy.
You can do this!
© 2011 Karen Knowler WOULD YOU LIKE TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR ON YOUR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Karen Knowler, The Raw Food Coach publishes "Successfully Raw" - a free weekly eZine for raw food lovers everywhere. If you're ready to look good, feel great and create a raw life you love get your FREE tips, tools and recipes now at www.TheRawFoodCoach.com.