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how did you "come out"?

suzyqsuzyq Raw Newbie

Hi everyone! I’m really new to raw food, just starting actually. My plan is to transition slowly, although more and more I feel like I might just need to ‘take the plunge’...

Anyway, my question is about how all of you handled the social part of eating raw. How did you tell your friends and family?

I’m thinking back to years ago when I first stopped eating meat—all the questions, skepticism, even harassment from my (extended) family. My grandma still serves me bowls of beef stew, then blushes and apologizes and says she’s sure I can just pick out the chunks of beef. It all makes me feel guilty when I go back home to visit, like I’m putting some burden on them to prepare special foods (I would NEVER ask them to, I can feed myself), or like they think I’m trying to lord it over them that I eat healthier and am therefore a better person (I DON’T think this)...

Which is all to say, I can’t imagine their reactions if I were to tell them I’m planning to start eating mostly raw food.

So how did you all handle this with friends and family? I’d love to hear stories or advice, anything you can offer! Thanks!


  • I still find this sooo hard – I’ve only been raw for about 6 months, so it’s coming up more and more as I get together with people I haven’t seen for a while.

    I refuse to be defined by what I DON’T eat, which is why I hate it when friends etc always ask “so what is it that you’re not eating again?!”. I prefer to focus on what I DO eat. So if someone asks me about my diet I say that I just prefer to eat fresh fruit and veges, and living foods.

    And if I go round to someone’s place for dinner, I always tell them not to do anything special – and I either bring a raw dish for everyone to enjoy or eat the token salad…and make sure I take a h-u-g-e plateful so people don’t think I’m starving myself or being picky! People round here only take a spoonful of salad so that their plate looks balanced so they flip out when they see me eating (and enjoying) a huge plate!! :-)

    It’s getting better now though, because people are noticing how lean I’m becoming, and also how good my skin is (not even wearing makeup these days) and thats prompting them to ask more questions. My mum was my biggest critic (she’s of the ‘you need dairy for calcium’ school) but now she fully supports my raw eating and incorporates some herself because she sees how healthy I am.

  • I know how you feel!!!

    My Mum is always on the lookout for me being “faddy” with my eating, especially as I’m diabetic and she worries about my health. I wouldn’t say I am trying to be a raw foodist because she would get hysterical. I just said that I was trying to eat a lot more fruit and vegetables and that I’d heard these were healthier raw rather than cooked because more nutrients are retained. When I go to her house I ask if she can get in fruit or veggie sticks/dips rather than chocolates/crisps etc…but I guess I’m lucky in that I have a health issue and people put weird requests down to that!

    Actually my Mum told me the other week that I looked very well and should keep on doing whatever I am doing.

    I have a Nan who always gets in cream cakes and general junky stuff when people come to visit. I have started making home-made healthy treats and taking them with me, saying that they are a present for her and shall we try some together…a bit devious but hey it has worked! Also when she offers me gunky stuff I say I don’t fancy that, but could I have some fruit because the stuff in her fruitbowl looks really good. This has worked really well. As long as I eat something she is satisfied and she has even started buying huge amounts of fruit at the market for me to take home with me, because she has noticed that I “like fruit”!!!

    If I had the situation where someone had made me a meal and it was not raw, I would probably eat it because I would not want to offend or cause trouble. And then I could go back home and eat how I wanted. Your story about your Nan rings a bell because my Nan, who is Italian, would for years make lasagna and just tell me to scrape the meat off if I didn’t want it. Well I did that and it didn’t do me any harm and now we have progressed, slowly but surely.

    Wow, that got a bit long, sorry! Just something that is relevant with me too at the moment as I am transitioning!

    good luck :)

  • Luna bluLuna blu Raw Newbie

    I just tell people when they comment on what I eat. I don’t offer up the information unless it is to a close friend who I think is open minded enough to understand. Also, it helps not to give a poop what people think. The proof is in the raw pudding! I FEEL INCREDIBLE!!! And that is all that matters.

    You also have to arm yourself with knowledge. If you know why raw is the way for you, then you can briefly explain it to people. If they don’t get it, I usually say, ‘well, it isn’t for everyone I guess” Then I change the subject! :)

  • omshantiomshanti Raw Newbie

    isnt it funny how people notice what we eat? i dont comment on their plate of meat but they never fail to point out how many veggies im eating..or how those veggies would ..err…negatively affect them! teehee I keep my eating habits to myself and if someone trys to make it out to be “my dietary limitations” impedeing a resteraunt or dinner choice I laugh and say ” its all salad to me!” then i drink them under the table…..JOKING THERE AT THE END….;)

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    omshanti. “it’s all salad to me!” that’s cute. i like that =)

    suzq- oh my! this was by far the hardest aspect of going raw for me. my mother and i STILL talk about how i SHOULD have “come out.” and i remind her of what i TRIED to do and how she REACTED.

    one thing i did do was buy my mother a beautiful gourmet raw cookbook (“RAW”). she is a master chef, so i knew she would appreciate the new beautiful ideas of a “foreign cuisine.” it took a while, but now she makes all sort of raw condiments and side dishes.

    as for my friends it was a case by case basis. it was SO difficult deciding what/when to say because it was new to ME at first, and i wasn’t sure how big of a deal i should make of something that i may or may not stick to. but i have, although it’s form has evolved as i’ve become more comfortable with myself as “raw.”

    but i think the most important thing for me was realizing that this isn’t WHO i am. it is something i do. i changed my diet, not my personality. =)

  • Oh, you beat me to it! I was planning to start this topic!

    So to answer, how have I handled coming out (ha ha)? Um, I haven’t. I eat raw at home, and strive to do my best if at a restaurant ie. ordering a big salad.

    If I’m at someone’s house, that gets tricky. I don’t want to impose, so I just eat whatever is offered. I have been a vegetarian for years, so that is nothing new. Really, the toughest part is saying no to dessert!

    It never cease to amaze me, how touchy a topic food is with people.

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    Hi suzyq! That’s a great question. I was very nervous, secretive at first, ready for the backlash, as we vegetarians are used to, but the response was so much more positive than I imagined. It’s different from coming out as a vegetarian, which is threatening to people. My raw lifestyle generated nothing but curiosity and interest. My sister-in-law came to visit and I was worried that I would either have to cook for her or she would hate my food, but it was exactly the opposite, she insisted on raw and left feeling like she’d been at a spa!

  • you know what i did! i wrote a blog and sent them the link! i know, could i be any more chicken? gay people should totally try this…

    but it worked because i was able to explain all my reasoning without being interuppted, and i was able to write answers to the questions i knew they would ask (i.e. protein) so i didn’t have to answer them in person. plus, i was doing it for 30 days, so they seemed fine with it. now i’m sticking with it, but they’re used to it already!

  • suzyqsuzyq Raw Newbie

    mandelicious- I love that you just sent them a link :) But actually it sounds like the 30-day trial thing is a good idea, since it shows people you’re not rushing into something blind, gives them time to adjust, and then after 30 days if you stick with it, it’s based on experience and evidence (and people love that!)

    skinnoz- That’s pretty much where I am now, but like you say, it can be really tough!

    Yeah, it is amazing, even absurd, how touchy people are about food, especially about other people’s decisions about food! But then, maybe I interpret mere curiosity as somewhat hostile when it’s not…

  • If they already know that you do not eat meat, do not tell them that you are eating raw foods unless they ask or you are eating at their house.

  • people can be bizarrely hostile… the people you would least expect. my best friend is always shouting eating disorder at me. hse thinks it is unhealthy to be obsessed with health. i think she’s a lawyer and she works to many hours! i love her though, and she has promised to fill her house with fruits and veggies for me when i come visit! so she is great.

  • Oi! I really haven’t told anyone outside my own husband and kids. In fact, I even ate a few corn chips with salsa when I was out with some friends who kept asking why I wouldn’t try some. It felt gross, but I was too embarassed to try to explain. And yet, at the same time, I want to share this information with the whole world – everyone should know! I teach aerobics, and I really want to tell my classes, beacause all these people are there with health as a goal. So far, I’ve only shared my morning green smoothie recipe, and told them to try to eat foods in as close to their natural state as possible. (Some asked me after class how I got my protein – heh.) But, you know, maybe that’s okay. Maybe I don’t need to label myself, right? Maybe I just share a little information, set a good example and let them discover it themselves!

    I have to admit, it felt really good when, while checking out Whole Foods, the cashier asked ‘Are you raw? Wow! That’s so awesome – I’ve been looking into it.’

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    My friends think I’m odd – but they already thought I was a health nut for being vegan! So it’s nothing new. BUT i love to talk to people about the raw lifestyle – and they give me this glazed look of disbelief. It’s so frusterating that people only pretend to listen – i do keep my explanation of raw very brief. Is there anything that will wake them up, and make them hear what I’m saying??

  • Karen22Karen22 Raw Newbie

    I was just going to post a similar topic!! Glad I’m not the only one feeling frustrated….I swear if ONE more person asks where I get my protein and calcium from…..ahhh!! Working at a restaurant, word travels fast!! I told one of my good friends that I heard a lot of good things about having a raw diet and had been trying it for the last two weeks. A few hours later coworkers are asking me where do I get my protein, calcium, this, that, blah blah… I like talking about raw food, but I’m still learning a lot about it and don’t have all the answers! This particular situation happened a few weeks ago. I bought a lot of raw food books and have been learning as much as I can. I know what I am doing is right for my body because I feel amazing…yet I don’t have all the right answers when someone asks me a million questions about this diet….I’m just so frustrated! Sorry for the long post!

  • coconuttycoconutty Raw Newbie

    I have yet to really come out. My husband is my biggest supporter and that’s about it. As far as everyone else, it seems like my family still can’t get over the fact that I’m vegetarian, so I’m not gonna even bother with telling them the whole raw thing. Maybe one day I’ll be able to put up with their criticism, guess I just haven’t reached that point. I don’t even want to give them the chance to try to bring me down, you know. Soooo until then, I’ll just keep my eating habit to myself. Although my husband likes to go around and announce it to everyone cause he’s so proud of me… so then I leave it up to him to do all the explaining when people ask questions! haha!

  • worleyhimself2worleyhimself2 Raw Newbie

    it was rough. i got alot of beef from my coworkers and family. it was pretty upsetting when i turned vegetarian. it seemed as the whole world turned against me. then going vegan then going raw. as much as i know now and how i can come back with a quick responses. people let me be with how i choose to live. the same people that made me feel like crap are now the people that come to me for advice because all the numerous ailments they put on themselves.

    you have to make them believe. in the beginning you act like you know what your talking about till you actually do.

    Basically just know your positions. know your stuff. tell them how your food puts lead in your pencil. lol something funny to break the ice and the tension. sorry girls i dont have any quick cocky remarks…yet!

    you’‘ll always get numerous questions so make sure you know what you are talking about and sound confident in your answers. have quick come backs and responses to people. luckily i had 2 smart ass friends who showed no mercy when it came to me becoming vegan. so we would hang out and battle. which was tough in the beginning. since they throw around useless knowledge. they know a whole lot about nothing.

    where do you get your protein??? Ask them the same question and as they respond with beef, chicken, fish etc. tell them how they only have 50% protein left in that chicken and how it is not even complete, if cooked lightly. if microwaved, forget it. 0%. then proceed to tell them how it will take 2 days to digest that meat if digested and how it will go rancid in their intestinal track. lol.

    with my younger buddies i respond to that question with how much they suck at life to ask such a stupid question. and tell them if they had any sense they would ask where i get my b12. lol. then we might have something to talk about. but sorry i know my stuff so you are going down. i am a masterdebater. then we will wrestle I cant always beat them but i will always outlast them as they feel like they are having a heart attack. then i will stand up in victory.

    i love to attack the dubious manly man we portray in our society. nothing hurts more then attacking a mans manhood. his ego. his mojo.

    arrgh!. i am man. i am tough. i drink light beer, i eat beef, i have erectile dysfunction, but it is ok because i am man, i drink light beer i eat beef.

    gotta love it.

    i have an illustration for this, at www.finalcrit.com/portfolio/worleyhimself

  • worleyhimself2worleyhimself2 Raw Newbie

    oh i pack my own food. i eat out very rarely to restaurants preapproved by myself. which is basically a salad. and you basically are socially accepted. it is only when you decide not to drink then forget it. people get bent out of shape.

    for holidays like Christmas and thanksgiving. i would like to just come with food i normally eat. but you know you have to go all out. and sow them the luxurious lifestyle of a raw food vegan.

  • Karen22Karen22 Raw Newbie

    Worley I love your responses to your friends questions..quite funny! I am reading as much as I can right now and taking in so much information…yet sometimes still feel unprepared when asked by my friends, but I will get better! Surprisingly my dad called me this evening asking me some ways to add Raw protein to his diet. He said I am a good influence on him! :) He’s 53 and is starting to work out heavily again and wants to build muscle! Currently he is making some protein shake in the morning with some powdery junk…anyone have any tips I can give to my dear ol’ dad? Oh you guys will love this, when ending the phone conversation with my dad, he asked if I would come over to grill up his steaks for him while he does his bills….ARE YOU Kidding me?!....haha I just laughed, and then he laughed…anyways, all info is appreciated!! Love this site!

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    worley – I admire you for your quick comebacks, but I knew it would never work for me. So I generally just laugh along with the doubters and say, “Yeah, I know, it’s crazy, we’ll just see how it goes!” And then when they see you looking healthier and happier they start to shut up. Or ask how they can join in!

  • I haven’t mentioned my transition to anyone, but I have mentioned to friends that I want to follow a vegan diet and not cooking is so much healthier than cooking. My parents however, won’t even let me give up fish- last time I tried to explain that to them I got sent to a terribly obese therapist to work out my relationship with food. I’m sorry, but I’m not the one who needs to work on (or break up with) my relationship with food.

    As it is, I limit myself to raw most days of the week with tea and a little non raw almond milk or organic homemade salad dressing ingredients as my little indulgences- until I learn to make alternatives myself! When I have to eat at home, I try to pick out a recipe on the basis that I haven’t been home for the entire week so its my turn, or I have a salad on the basis that my greens can’t get used up in smoothies. I still get force fed salmon occasionally, and had a big lecture about the idiocy of veganism yesterday, as well as another about the fact that almond milk isn’t enriched like soy is. Eating out, I get salads with dressing on the side if its good and vegan, a lemon wedge if the dressing is nothing special. I’ll also request that nuts not be toasted and for no cheese and no croutons etc.

    I haven’t encountered my extended family yet, but they are Newfoundlanders and eat terrible things that I’ve hated my entire life. I figure with my grandparents it won’t be too bad next time I visit as I have replaced meals with fresh fruit since I was quite young. I just have to be a little more strict on the fact that boiling greens with salt beef is not good greens and is not vegan. The rest of the family will probably tell me as usual that I have to gain weight and that I look like a prepubescent girl (I was told I was starting to look healthy only after unhealthy weight gain, and my healthy body weight is around a 17.7 bmi so vs the overweight tendencies of the family… its shocking and unaccepted, despite the fact that everyone who doesn’t live by a traditional diet tends to be or border on being underweight as well)

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    nicci- you know i read this article that there are more essential fatty acids in seaweed than fish. you could research that one, but i don’t have to justify my food to anyone, so i don’t really do much research. i keep saying “well, i’m still alive” (but they do notice that i’m the only one on the hike doing cartwheels, rather than slowing down, towards the end)

  • Ohh, I might have to check that out! Seaweed is so tasty too. Miso might not be puuurely raw but miso soup with seaweed just warm enough to be somewhat soupy is sooo good! Either way, I’m moving out next year so after a month vegan I can officially complain that I can no longer digest animal products when I come to visit. Until I move out, I have friends with apartments whom I can harass for eating away from home constantly.

  • I guess I do not look at it as coming out,I have had a gluten allergy for years which made it easier for me to graduallychange my eating.However, I never force my views or lifestyle and will occasionally “suffer digestivelly(sp?) in silence. I like how I eat ,I talk about it,share food and get the occasional laugh or question. At the end of the day if you can rest your head and feel fufilled,happy and well,than you are on the right path with food and being.Everyone will get “something” wether foods or life stuff at their right moment. Be happy you are becoming aware and be less worried about coming out,have to say not sure if I really like thet term “coming out”

  • suzyqsuzyq Raw Newbie

    mham—I can definitely see how not everyone would relate to the “coming out” metaphor, but since so many people describe eating raw as a lifestyle, as something that follows a transition, and as something that transforms their lives, I can imagine it’s an apt way to describe some experiences. I certainly don’t mean to imply that eating raw is a shameful secret people need to find an appropriate time to divulge! Nor that incorporating raw foods needs to be an all-or-nothing or drastic and rapid change to someone’s life. But it seems like, for some people, it is. And in my own experience, I know that choosing vegetarianism or veganism has been hard to explain to others, especially family. I’m sure that’s partly because I was still young when I made those decisions, and people don’t always trust youngsters to make responsible decisions! Anyway, it’s really interesting to hear everyone’s stories and perspectives, so thank you all!

  • In my family my daughter had always been the strange one with her being vegetarian, so now that I am going raw, this should be a VERY interesting Easter at home with the whole family. Let’s all tune in to this blog after Easter and see how we all have done…..the ones that get to go home and explain why you’re not going to eat that ham….. I totally agree that just saying you eat fruit, veggies and living food is just the way to go and not talk about what we don’t eat.

  • I have asked whether my Mum can get me raw chocolate instead of an egg this year. Don’t think she really understood the concept of raw chocolate even though I tried to explain :) But she’s happy because she’s still getting me “chocolate”. I have ordered it myself online…hope it shows up in time!


  • megantheveganmeganthevegan Raw Newbie

    This is a question I can relate to. A lot of my close friends and family have known that for the past 3 years I’ve been attempting raw, but always swaying to and from cooked. But this time around, when I’ve gone raw again, I didn’t tell anyone for a couple of days. I let my strength and inspiration brew inside of me….then after a week I told friends when they’d comment on my luminous skin [that fast!]. It took me A LOT to get to this point of social comfort, talking about Raw. Raw has been like a sacred area in my life that I haven’t wanted anyone to soil, so I’ve kept to myself about it for so long. But after a series of soul-strengthening events, and some inner peace and meditation, I find it easy to tell anyone I’m raw. I feel it’s a part of me.

  • megantheveganmeganthevegan Raw Newbie

    PS, a raw oma!!! I AGREE!!!! That’s what helps!! Is talking about all of the delicious food you DO eat, instead of talking about the things you no longer eat anymore. I love it!!

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