Hello! Dining out?
I'm totally new to the forums and to the raw vegan lifestyle. I've been very high raw (transitioning) from ovo-lacto vegetarian for the past few months. Lately when I eat a cooked meal, especially with lots of fat, I need recovery time after. I thought I was imagining this, but I kinda just fall asleep for two hours and I can't do much else.
I had two completely cooked days and this didn't happen. It happens if I've had raw breakfast, then either cooked lunch or dinner.
One of my biggest obstacles, and I imagine anyone's, is dining out. It's summer, and I go out with friends three to four times a week. It always involves some sort of eating.... I try to avoid it sometimes, but other times I feel rude or just crazy for wanting to live off of uncooked stuff.
I love my friends and I know that they are each blessings in my life. I love that I get to hang out with them. So I don't know how to resolve the issue at hand without significantly reducing time spent with them.
Have you ever taken your own dinner to a restaurant? is this something I could/should look into?? I've also never had gourmet raw myself, and am not planning to for the near future. So taking them to "my" kind of restaurant is not an option... although if you think that's the best plan of action let me know.
Mm, it can be tricky navigating social events which involve food/resturants.
You could just go somewhere you know will serve good salads as that would be an easy option for you to order.
I know some people on this site have said they've taken their own food along but I'd personally find this slightly awkward.
Other options are eating a raw meal before you go then just having a light bite/drinks when you get there. Or you could phone ahead and explain to them your position and ask if they could whip up something. It never hurts to ask and you might be nicely suprised.
I'm not 100% raw so eating out isn't normally too difficult but I do occasionally struggle at some places just finding a vegan option....can be fustrating at times.
My husband and I go to vegan restaurants whenever possible that have raw options. My husband is not vegan, but has food allergies, and the vegan restaurants around here tend to be more understanding in our experience (although we've been to some sushi bars that were great about it). My family goes to the restaurant as well - the raw vegan desserts make it easy for anyone to have something tasty regardless of their "normal" preferences.
Generally, my view is it is not the end of the world if I have one cooked vegan meal if it means socializing. But, my friends have accepted that I tend to order tea and just sit with them and talk. If I get hungry, I"ll look for a salad. I almost always eat ahead of time. I do not bring my own food. I personally consider it rude. I'd rather eat ahead of time - my friends order plenty enough for me to feel fine about being the light ticket at the table. I don't feel like the restaurant should accommodate my preferences - they work hard to come up with a menu and people eat there because of the food they produce. Allergies are a different story for me - that I feel should warrant some flexibility and understanding, but I try to order an item on the menu that looks reasonably close to what I can eat.
Sometimes it's easier to have a pot luck or have dinner at our place. That way I can have plenty of options for myself and my husband can man the BBQ if others are not vegan as well.
I hope you find a place to eat that does nice salads. I havent eaten out since I went high raw but when I do I can go to either a veggie cafe as I know the guy, and he does salads and is vegan friendly and only does wholefoods or a vegan saturday cafe which does a lot of wholefoods and salads. As I'm high raw I'm happy to eat a cooked vegan wholefood meal as long as it is wholefood, vegan and hasn't any of my food intolerances in it. Italian places might also be ok as they do salads and tend to use just olive oil and lemon for dressings.I once did a working holiday in Italy as a vegan and they were only too happy to accomodate me.Italians are quite into fresh fruit and veg.
I'd agree with eating before and or getting a salad, juice, smoothie, side of vegetables, etc. as bringing your own kind of seems rude. It shouldn't be, and if you're comfortable with it go for it, but typical societal norms tell us not to I think. Feel free to ask your server any questions on items or if you can get something off menu. On my first day attempting 100% raw, I went out with family and ordered a smoothie and side of vegetables, and turned out neither was raw; the smoothie had preservatives/flavoring and presumably milk, and the vegetables(I got asparagus) besides being cooked was heavily salted/seasoned. So definitely doesn't hurt to ask.
Yeah- why do they keep putting milk in smoothies! Coconut and banana thicken them up just as well and are nicer!
Thank you so much everyone. You're right, taking my own food to a restaurant is kind of "weird", and I will probably not go for this one.
I wouldn't mind eating a cooked vegan meal every once in a while, though even that can be hard to find.
Eating ahead of time seems like a great option also.
Something I have also noticed is that lots of time everyone gets what they want from different places and we sit outside in a park or something to have it (it happened yesterday but several times before also). If I could just pack some raw goodies with me i wouldn,t feel so tempted to get something cooked.
Anyway, great tips! thank you.
Sometimes the smaller cafes/restaurants are better there more willing to accomodate/cater to you so they can get there sale.
But ive had some good success in bigger restaurants too the key is dont be afraid to ask, the waiters will go back and get the answer for you and if that doesnt suit you then leave. Its not that hard to chuck a salad together thats already cut and prepared most times anyway etc.
i brought my own fruit salad to a restaurant before and the manager came over and told me i'd have to put it away or leave. some places don't tolerate you bringing your own food. it's so annoying! i rarely dine out though because i'm not gonna pay 8 bux for a few scraps of lettuce. you can always go though and just get a cup of tea or something.
Before I went high raw vegan I suspected wheat was an allergen for me (I have been standard vegan since last year) and would take in my own wheat free biscuits and milk free chocolate to coffee shops when I met my mum-I would even share them with my mum and we would eat them and no-one noticed! You try and find wheat and milk free treats in coffee shops- impossible! My mother would say to me what would we do if they came over and told us not to eat them. I replied tell them we have allergies and they haven't anything for us.True in my case!
This is why I am not 100% raw. I have friends who first introduced me to raw foods that were 100% raw vegan, but eventually gave it up because the were ostracized by friends. They didn't get invited to social events because people didn't know how to cater to them. It was also hard for them when people went out to eat and there was nothing for them to feast on. I never went 100% myself and it was for this very reason. I feel that people are far more important than food, and I don't want to pick my friends based on a diet.
I think there is too much arrogance in the raw food community about how high of a raw diet one eats. In the end it doesn't matter at all. I would encourage you to be more flexible. Take digestive enzymes when eating cooked meals, the WILL help.
Also make good decisions when having cooked meals as well. Opt for salads whenever possible, enjoy chips and salsa and guacamole. I find I am much happier when keeping a good balance. If I go to far raw I go crazy trying to keep up with prepping foods, buying produce, etc. If I get to far away I start feeling unhealthy. I find the middle ground is best for me. But figure out what works best for you.
I bring my own fruit to restaurants all the time. I order a large salad of just greens and eat it along with my fruit. I've never had a problem doing this. Funny looks, sure, but never any problems. ;)
I actually just put up a video on eating raw at non-raw restaurants:
Salads are easy and ubiquitous. Mexican and sushi places usually have avocado, which is filling. I think bringing your own "extras," either fruit as Swayze suggests or some other kind of salad topping, can make your meal more filling and shouldn't attract the attention of the restaurant--especially if you're paying for their food. I'm all raw, and I go out to eat with friends regularly, and it's not a problem. Even Chinese or Thai places that don't generally have salads are almost always happy to bring me a plate of raw vegetables.