Yesterday I had the strongest dinner craving for a Waldorf Salad. My version of it includes:
* goji berries (instead of raisins)
* blue cheese dressing
* collard greens
I had everything I needed except for the collards, so I stopped by the grocery store on my way home from work, and picked out some of the biggest collards I’ve ever seen. So big, in fact, they were taller than my grocery bag. Well, I’m walking home from the store… with the tops of my tall greens swaying back and forth… and this guy who lives in my building was sitting out, enjoying the pleasant summer evening:
Him: (big grin) Say, whatcha got there? Collards?
Me: Sure do!
Him: (excited) Lemme tell you how I make ’em… roll ’em up, like a cigar… chop ’em small… add some turnips… cook ’em low and slow…
Me: (smiling) Sounds good, but I won’t be cooking these. I got them for a salad.
Why in the world did I say that? His grin turned into a disapproving frown as he snarled:
Him: Daaamn, that’s bourgeoisie… Barbie!
And he walked away. Disgusted. Apparently I broke a soul-food covenant by not cooking all the nutrients out of my collards (let alone not tossing in some neck-bones for flavor). Thankfully, I don’t need his blessing over my food to enjoy it. But it did make me wonder. Why would my preference to eat those collards raw piss him off so much? I didn’t tell him what to do in his kitchen… I didn’t try to get him to understand how raw veggies are so much better than cooked ones… Yet he walked off in a huff.
A couple months ago, when I started exploring raw foodism and living foods, I made the decision to mostly keep my eating changes to myself. I want to spend my energy learning and adapting. Not defending. But despite my efforts of diplomacy, I see now they won’t always be reciprocated.
This is my first blog posting about choosing a raw, living, plant-based diet for myself. Having seen so many debates and resentments arise from vegetarianism and veganism, I know how touchy people can be about their food. And in the example above, someone else’s food. Well, as a Lifeblazer, I really don’t care much about the acceptance of others. But I did want to take my time getting informed and grounded enough, so I could mindfully and joyfully accept this lifestyle/eating upgrade. With full, unwavering commitment. And I do.
I’ll say more about why in my next post. In the meantime, for those of you already on a raw/living foods diet, would you please share with me some of your favorite peace-keeping responses to overly-opinionated, wrongfully-offended Standard American Diet (SAD) eaters? Thanks!