When you live on a diet that is predominantly made up of live plant-based foods, it’s not uncommon to find invitations to dinner drop off. Family and friends are either confused, anxious or repulsed by what they will eat when they come over to your house and stymied if they even consider having you to dinner at their home.
No matter what your dietary idiosyncrasies are, you probably find yourself having to explain what you can or cannot eat. You often are the brunt of thoughtless comments, rolling of eyes, or just out and out disregard. Going out to eat should be a simple pleasure that turns into an ordeal in which you find yourself avoiding.
Since opening Rawsome Living Foods Cafe and Juice Bar I have found people hesitant at first, running through their list of restrictions, and relaxing when they find we are dairy and gluten free. These are not necessarily people who eat raw, however, they find their needs can be met through our menu. Those with nut and seed allergies find our menu more of a challenge until they discover they can have juices that are made from fresh fruit and/or vegetables. Others are ecstatic that there is a fresh, live, plant-based option on the island serving dishes made from primarily organic and local produce and ingredients. Again, these individuals are not ‘raw foodists’, just people looking for a healthy option in the community.
We all want to feel like we can belong. We all want to feel ‘normal’ and not have to explain why we eat the way we eat. We all just want to be able to walk into a cafe and feel we can safely order from the menu. And we also want to know that if we require adaptations or accommodations to be made, they will be made without judgement. Acceptance and comfort go a long way to aiding our digestion, assisting us with maintaining our health and well being, and feeling part of a community of like-minded people. And it definitely raises one’s ‘happy’ factor.
Looking at this poster of seretonin rich foods, encompasses a great deal of what we serve daily in the cafe and eat in a live whole foods plant-based diet. One Friday I looked up and saw a table of young parents with their babies and preschoolers, joined by a young single woman reading a book. Another more mature woman joined the table and all the ensuing chaos just to hold a baby and join in the laughter. The table was covered with an array of delicious treats, entrees, and smoothies. The happiness factor was through the roof. I know for a fact not one of those individuals is a ‘raw foodist’. They were a group of individuals who came to the cafe looking for something to eat. They not only found that but they also found a community.
From August 10-12, Raw on the Rawk – A Raw Living Foods Festival will be launched here on Salt Spring Island.
I held firm to the belief we could attract 100 people. I was doubtful in the early days of registration. These past couple of weeks I have had to turn people away. What struck me is that those who are interested in live whole plant-based food options are looking for a community in which they can share, network, and learn. And of course eat healthy vibrant food.
No matter how you choose to eat consider the benefits of sharing your food, your interests, and creating a space to be with others. It enriches your appetite, and it takes away the focus from being only on the food, but rather the esthetic of the surrounding environment and the people you spend time with.
- 3 cups soaked sunflower seeds (soak for 4 hours)
- 1 Tbsp chickpea miso
- 1 lemon – squeezed
- Tamari to taste
- Water – ½ to ¾ of a cup
Put mixture into a bowl. Mix in with a spoon the following:
- Chopped 1-2 green onions and 1-2 celery
Eat with crackers or use as a dip for vegetables. Use as a pate in raw vegetable sushi. Use as a pate in a lettuce roll up garnished with tomatoes, cucumber and sprouts