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Social life while being raw


I would like to know how you handle diner invitation. Do you tell your relatives about your diet ? How do you do at restaurants ?

For myself, I am in France. Over here, the salads proposed in the restaurants always contain animal products in it. Sometimes, restaurants have nothing raw, not even those kind of salads !

Besides, I find it difficult to tell my friends I eat raw. At work, people noticed I brought salads to lunch. They were expressing concerns for my health (even if I looked healthier than them !) and I found it tiring having to justify all the time.

As a result, I tend to refuse invitation to lunch or diner.

I would like to meet other raw people, but I think there are non such people in Paris.

And you, how is your social life ?


  • When I eat out (which is rarely) I order a salad and just ask to leave the cheese, croutons, dressings, etc. off. I sometimes bring a small baggie of sprouted seeds and raisins to make the salad more filling. I also ask for a wedge of lemon to squeeze on for a dressing. I have slowly told a few people at work about my new lifestyle, but only if they ask first. I agree-it is tiring to explain. My husband and daughter are not raw but are tolerant of me. My extended family does not know-they only know that I am a vegan.

    I have gone out with friends for drinks on occasion, but limit myself to 1 – 2 glasses of wine. It is fun just to watch all the drunk people!

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie

    You can tell people that your are ‘alergic to cooked food’ or ‘cooked food intolerant’. If they think you have a condition, they may leave you alone.

  • JoescJoesc Raw Master

    I say, tell them you allergic to cooked food. Like chris stated. I haven’t went out to eat at a restaurant yet. I have only went to my friends house and I end up bringing my food and extra because they tend to dip their fingers in my food.

  • Pomme,

    Here is my take on the whole social life issue. I am doing raw for my health. Well, not interacting with others is not healthy. So, in some circumstances, being 100% might actually be bad for your health, since you might not be interacting with other people. Yes, ideally, it is good to find other raw friends. Check this out: http://rawfood.meetup.com/256/?gj=sj6 Or, find some social activities that do not involve food.

    As for people being concerned. They are misinformed. For many of them, their health is bad or will become bad, because of the choices they make, and they do not even see it. Do not argue with them. They might start learning by example—they will see that you are healthy and full of energy, and will wonder about your diet. You don’t have to advertise your diet, but if they ask questions, give simple answers without arguing.

    Also, do not discuss diet while people are eating, even if they ask questions. When people eat, they want to enjoy their food. If they hear that there is something wrong with their food, they will just become upset and argue with you. If someone asks you questions while they are eating, tell them you can discuss it with them after everyone is finished eating.

    As for telling people you are allergic to cooked food, as some have suggested, I am totally against that. Just my opinion.

  • i eat out everyday, i go to a few select places that i know serve what i eat.i find alot of places that serve salad not much else. i gave up the party scene now the only social life i have is going to my spots and eating.

  • TThank you for your replies. Lots of good ideas and interesting advices.

    Girlygirl, it is a very good idea to bring some sprouts. Now that I have this idea, I may be able to organise myself in advance. I won’t apply this solution if I am to eat with people that are not close friends though, or just try to leave aside the crouton, chicken or whatever else I don’t want.

    Chriscarlton, I apply something hat looks like you idea. . I say I need “watery food” to digest when people feel offended (yes offended, maybe that’s because it’s in France, the country of food), that I choose salads. I fear I won’t be able to be clear if I say I have a health issue though. Would people believe that an allergy to cooked food exist? But when I think about it, I could almost say it is true, because I have such bad effects when I eat cooked. It is just people that disbelieve that.

    Joesc, what kind of food do you bring that please your friends so much? That’s a nice way of sharing your diet!

    Jaymz 72, I wish I knew a lot of places like you do. It is a good idea to search for those kinds of places, so that I can propose to go there. Hum, I need to work on that.

    This leads me to the idea of Alex S that social life is part of a healthy life. That is very interesting. I agree, all the more than I have a tendency to close myself and refuse to go out.

    I had this idea that being with people discussing was a waste of time. The ideas expressed in a discussion are never very precise; they are often opinions or jokes. They don’t follow in a logical way. After a period in my early twenties when I was out all the time, meeting a lot of people, I rejected that way of life, thinking that was not the path to knowledge and wisdom. I though the only way to gain knowledge and ideas was to read them in books, as writers need to organise their though more when they write in order to be understood. (I laugh at myself to have such undiluted goals, but I feel the time passing will allow me to be more nuanced).

    Anyway, I try now to meet more with the few friends that I have left.

    I though I could leave my raw food for the times I was with tem (often during meal times). The problem is, when I at cook food, I have bad reactions (tummy aches, fell bloated, tired, etc.) and also, my eating pattern are disrupted afterwards (eat a lot, impression of craving for sugar, fat, whatever gives my body a hard time), which make me feel bad for longer time. I always need to “recover” after.

    Anyway, I thank you very much Alex S for your link to meet other raw foists in Paris. I have requested a registration.

    Thank you everybody.

  • Hi Pomme

    I’ve got the same problem. I do live in one area of the U.K. where there is only 1 vegetarian restaurant in the whole town – and I believe that nobody have ever heard of raw food. I’m happily living a sort of anti-social life – I do not feel the need to go out paying money for a food that I do no enjoy or gives me headache. I’ve also been spending few months for work in France and Italy and I have to admit that France has been the most difficult place to accommodate my food requirements. When occasionally I go out for a dinner I call the restaurant in advance, explaining I have ‘special diet requirement’. I normally ask for a plain fruit salad as starter, followed by a BIG salad (and I bring with me a listo of salad suggestion ingredients to hand out to the chef – just to help in case of lack of fantasy..), sometimes I may go for a COOCKED stir fry veg ( with no noodles or rice or restaurant sauces) I still believe is the less damaging option. I bring with me few little bottles of Tamari, olive oil, cider vinegar and usually some tahini or some home made dressings (such as the Gravy from Juliano’s book) and if I have some, a couple of slices of onion breads. The tahini goes well on fruit salad and also on salad mixed with tamari and cider vinegar. That usually saves my dinner even in the worse scenario. Mind you my bag is always so heavy to carry!!

    All the Best!

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Hi Gayatri,

    Chris and I live halfway in between Liverpool and Manchester. We live in what is known locally as Pie Land – people are VERY serious about their pies here ;)

    Where d’you live? There aren’t many raw foodists about in the North, or outside of Brighton, Glastonbury and London I guess…but you’d be very surprised at the amount of raw curious people there are. We get phone calls and emails every day from our website.: We’re doing classes that we intend will change this sorry situation, and flood the UK with raw foodists! We’ll probably start doing a pot luck soon, love to meet you if you live nearby, you can email us personally if you like, via our website, www.purelyraw.com

    I have found people to be understanding and fascinated by raw food, despite that it is so unheard of here.

    I have had one of my closest friends go raw because of a trip to my house last year, and my parents are also going to try it.

    Chris and I take our food with us wherever we go, and people just can’t resist it. We went to a party and took a plateful of raw burgers, crackers, cheese and juice and just plonked it on the food table along with what everyone else brought ( normal stuff like crisps and pork pies). We didn’t say our food was raw vegan we just set it down without a word, and watched what happened. Well, our food was eaten up way before anything else was. Then we told everyone it was raw vegan, you should have seen their faces! Big meat eating Northern lads who thought they were eating meat burgers were totally gobsmacked!

  • Hi Zoe

    I live in ‘Geordieland’ a.k.a. Newcastle upon Tyne – good for stag nights, nightclubbing, BBQ and fish&chips. I had a look to your website – which make me feel happy – just to see all this raw enthusiasm northern than London I feel very isolated here as even my partner is not supporting me – but just having a daily look at the goneraw web makes me feel even more enthusiastic and wanting to try new recipes.

    Amazed by your party story!!! Your’re not the only one, actually I’ve had the same testimonials by the guys who run a Detox retreat in Devon – rawfoodists for more than a decade!! I wonder if people ‘scoff the whole lot’ because they’re drunk or if it is because there is some higher inner living consciousness in the Human Beings…. Nice to meet you.

  • Hello Pomme, I wanted to let you know that I relate and sympathize with your situation enormousely. I live in southern Italy in Sicily to be exact, and the health food stores are a joke, I cannot find any organic food and I just do my best. Last week I had to go to a conference, so I simply ate vegetarian meals, I tasted the pastas and risottos, but I mostly ate tons of fruit and huge saladsat the lunches and dinners. I did let the banquet staff know that I vegan, no animal products. They gave me pasta with tomato sauce, risotto of spring veg made with olive oil and not butter, but I was lucky in that there were lots of raw veggies and salads. I would keep going out with my friends, eating salads, salads and I would also eat before I went out so that I could just eat my salad and remain full and participate. Good luck to you, Paris is a whole lot better than Marsala I say. You can probably get coconuts, and durian, and all sorts of exotic asian veggies and fruit. Take care and courage! :)

  • find out what restaurant before hand and look at the menu online. Then you will know whether you can eat there or need to make another suggestion.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Hi Gayatri,

    Chris just went to Geordieland for a training week and he had to stay in a normal hotel. They welcomed him into the kitchen and let him make his own meals, which they served to him at his table where he sat with his collegues! The chefs were really into finding out about his food and raw food recipes…It always amazes me how nice and accepting people are about it.

  • I dont understand why anyone has to explain anything. We don’t ask the heavy people why they are eating cooked foods?? For 5 years I have had a wheat allergy. I told my extended family that I can’t eat anything with wheat. My mother in law still offers me cake every time I go for a visit. I simply say no thank you. I don’t feel as though I owe anyone an explanation for anything. It’s my life and my body. My advice.. get thick skin like a coconut. :)

  • JoescJoesc Raw Master

    Some of the things my friends liked are the flax crackers. One friend told me that in the Philipines they sold it in the store. They also like the almond butter sauce I make, guacomole, and desserts I make. My mom liked my energy bars, desserts, flax crackers, and carrot pecan burger and the juices I make. I made some fruit roll up by blending strawberries and adding honey and a friend that tried it like it because it tasted like the real fruit roll up. When I go to work people are inquisitive to see what fruits I have, to the point of trying it. My coworker next to me had tried some of my jack fruit because he didn’t know what it was. I haven’t had anyone try my more nutritious foods because that is an entree for me.

  • I agree completly with you Tlrosbach. I got tired of explainning to people that has no interest in understand anything about health living. I went to a restaurant with a friend on Sunday and I told the Chef that I was allergic to dairy,meat,and wheat and he made me a beautiful salad plate with avocado and evrything else.That was easy !!! It’s easier to say that you are allergic,your doctor told you,or things like that.Like Chriscarlton said,”if they think you have a condition” they will leave you alone.

  • Hi Zoe,

    I would need the name of that Hotel!! Having said that, to be honest I found that in England restaurants tend to accommodate ‘special requirements’ more than other countries. I will be shortly going to California – and I’m looking forward to have numerous choices of raw food caffee & restaurants. Maybe soon in the U.K. too!!

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Hi Gayatri, Chris thinks the name of that hotel was the Tavistock Rocker. They have 3 restaurants in the hotel and it was the Italian one where they were so good to him. We went to California a couple of years ago and it blew my mind!!! They have whole massive supermarkets that sell the best organic health food, we went to Humboldt. And we ate at a raw food restaurant which was fab. I was still eating some cooked food back then and I was amazed at the incredibly good vegan cooked food on offer too. You’re going to want to stay there, I did! I’m going back in June, but won’t get the chance to go out on a tour of the raw food restraunts. I want to plan another trip to Los Angeles and have a whole trip just going from raw food restaurant to restaurant!

  • Hi Zoe,

    Thanks for that. I will be going to San Diego from the end of May to the beg, of July – I’ve beean already there twice, but before I got raw. I would love to live there if only there was a way to overcome the strict immigration law… maybe a raw-green card??

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