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ARGH!!! American culture is SO frustrating

Alrighty, this may be sort of annoying and “ventish” but seriously, our culture makes things so hard!

Every weekend there are at least a couple social events going on that I’m obligated to attend. In general, I can bring a dish or there are a couple options like salads or something like that. But when it comes to BBQ in America there is absolutely no way to get around anything. Bad quality meat slathered in sugary sauces served with mayonaise soaked coleslaw and potato salad and lard covered canned beans also loaded with sugar. There isn’t even a remote chance of finding nutritional value in it.

Unfortunately I live in Kansas City which is conveniently known for it’s BBQ. So there are many parties that get BBQ catered in. This means that I can’t bring a dish, or eat anything and be in any way discrete because all raw food looks so incredibly out of place.

I’m frustrated…...


  • ugh, I feel your pain. I say bite the bullet and bring a huge fruit salad anyway! and drink a big green smoothie before you leave, haha. It gets so old though, having to explain why you’re not eating all the crap, when everyone else is cluelessly (or care-lessly) downing it. It’s hard for me not to feel preachy when I explain why I eat healthy. :P

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    Hey! I just went through this at a wedding. The rehearsal dinner was a BBQ, which for our area means burgers and dogs on the grill, potato salad and a salad with some bottled dressings. My strategy in situations like that is to stuff myself right before I go with the intention of just hanging out and socializing, drinking lots of water (!), and then when I get out of it I stuff myself as soon as I get home. I also keep snacks in my purse in case I want to steal away to the car if things are going on for too long. For me this works better than picking through the SAD version of a salad with no dressing and looking like you’re on a diet diet. If it’s a group of strangers they may assume you ate before them or you’re waiting to eat, typically all they really care about is what they’re eating, they can’t keep track of everyone else. But if it’s your friends, they’ll catch on and hopefully allow you to contribute your own creation, no matter what the circumstances.

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    yeah, I plan on eating a massive salad before I go. They’re my friends and a few others but not close enough friends for me to bring a salad when the dinner is catered unfortunately. Also, it’s not a big group of people so I can’t really get lost in the crowd like I do if there’s a bbq at work or something.

    I’m with you merwing. I always feel preachy when I explain. I’m not trying to but it just seems like I’m telling them that I’m better than they are and have more control or whatever.

    thanks guys for the fast support. I really needed it. haha

  • beanybeeganbeanybeegan Raw Newbie

    If you feel uncomfortable or they do, get new friends. There are a lot of people out there who could use a friend.

    There is a word we use a lot.”New Lifestyle” sometimes that means a whole new lifestyle.

  • thecavsmanthecavsman Raw Newbie

    Do what I do, just try to make it as normal as possible. No label like raw vegan. Just say that you only eat healthy things. It’s simple. Bringing a dish? Might be weird…or they may just ignore. Seems like bringing metaphysical crystals to a doctor’s office lol.

    Sometimes I don’t even tell people I am a raw vegan…in fact, even people with whom I end up getting semi “preachy” with (rarely happens, but some people beg for it when they try to give ME advice) never learn that I have the label “raw vegan” because it sounds like a fag, group, or cult. Nope – it’s just health. I eat healthy things and I will only eat what I deem to be healthy.

    I know all about barbecues – and there is one way to look @ the glass as half full – no one will deny that barbeque is unhealthy so it’s a good explanation. It’s easier than explaining why you won’t eat a rice cake or whole wheat pasta or bread. Especially for a woman – you are “supposed” to worry about health. Imagine what I get as a 21 year old male who doesn’t want to eat a chicken wing lol

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    Oh wasn’t i just venting about this same issue, tjab. In the beginning friends are tolerant because it’s some “new diet” then a year later you start getting things like, “God. Are you still really doing that?” I’ve found those invitations have dwindled significantly which is maybe worse since that just contributes to the social isolation. I’ve played around a bit with attending a raw potluck, but I keep thinking they’ll be those people dressed in hemp ponchos, chanting raw food songs and i won’t be able to leave before being kidnapped to halleluia acres! And really…I’m not knocking any of that. There is just a funny stereotype there. I’d do much better with a raw food group run. Actually, just dawned on me there is a raw food restaurant that opened a while back in the city here. I could drag some very cool “raw when we’re not sucking down martinis” friends there for lunch! Even my husband would go out for a raw meal.

  • MOTHMOTH Raw Newbie

    I usually bring two big watermelons to a BBQ – one for me, and one for everyone else. :-)

  • Izhpt – LMAO – I too, try to avoid being kidnapped by the hemp adorned, raw song singers. Not that they wouldn’t be great (I’m sure) but I have stuff to do.

    thecavsman – I like that advice. There are a number of labels being thrown around by my family and friends and I won’t own any of them. They don’t seem to be able to settle down until they have figured me out. I’m sure once they believe they have me figured out, then they will begin to plan the best way to ‘fix’ me. (lots of eye rolling).

    Peace, Karuna :)

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    I agree with eating before you go – someone once suggested to me that I could bring raw crackers or fruit in my purse & eat them in the bathroom so no one notices. I haven’t tried it yet, but the option is there…

  • omshantiomshanti Raw Newbie

    You know what always works for me… just say:I have severe food allergies….. its pathetic but it keeps me from having to explain anything! no preachy, hemp wearing,tree hugging, liberalism pops up on their radar!;0) never mind that i am that way in real life, but i dont need to make new friends out of aquaintences so i keep the subject light and off topic and about them as much as possible!!1 teehee ..if they say “oh like what kind of allergies?” I say sugar, gluten, msg, what ever comes to mind that they may have heard of….. then i dont have to explain when i bring my own little salad or munchies and i always have some wine or beer to “blend” in more…I brought a little salad for myself to a relatives picnic/ barbeque and was asked where i got it! hahaha seems like others where looking for a healthy option too!

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie


  • greenghostgreenghost Raw Newbie

    Moth I like your Watermelon idea… simplicity at it’s finest.

  • I don’t think it’s necessary to lie or to preach (though I admit to having felt uncomfortable going out to restaurant for big group dinner when i was doing 100% raw). And I can’t imagine going to eat my fruit in the bathroom as if I’m shooting up or doing lines off the tank. Since when are we relegated to eating apples in the john?? Just bring your fruit or your green salad, and if anyone asks, you say something like “Oh, I’m being good today. This watermelon is amazing, though. Want a bite?”

  • beanybeeganbeanybeegan Raw Newbie

    I say when you turn 50 you can eat and do as you please. That is exactly as I did. I really don’t care for people talking behind my back, Or giving that eye ball look. I am only on this earth for so long. So if some one thinks I am odd in any way, I just move on. Tho do you know the best people to be with during a function? It is the younger children. Take a bunch of raw cookies and see how fast you make friends. This is time to be a kid again.

    By the way, isn’t food a first priority in other countries???

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Lzhpt – Haha! Like your description of the raw potlucks! Very funny. Yes, you might meet a few rawies like that here and there but I would say that 90% of the people you meet at potlucks will be very normal – can depend where you live too. My bf and I are very far from what we call “flaky”. I met a few of the “flakies” at the beginning of my raw food journey and yeah, it sort of scared me off a bit. But I try to hang out with the “normalies” when I go. :)

    When you go to those SAD events, I normally just say I am not hungry and that I can’t eat that stuff – no matter how much they push – I keep saying “No, No, I really don’t want any. Thanks anyhow”. It sucks I know but you gotta be tough. If people ask me about my diet, I will explain it to them – not preaching but the way I explain it – it definately makes them think twice about their diets! :)

  • Why do you think America is SO fat??? Like me. :(

    So, I say, “you GO GIRL!!!” Just bring that watermelon or big-ass fresh, raw, BEAUTIFUL, COLORFUL salad with everything you love in it! Everything WE love in it! Who knows how many other scaredy-cats are in attendance standing right next to you who are secretly doing Weight Watchers and are about to sabotage months of successful food restriction only to gain 5 pounds because of one of those nasty little BBQ’d chicken legs Whooo! Girl, don’t get me started! :P

  • Okay so, I didn’t see the post about the small gathering of friends and a few others… You could always bring a big purse with cubed fruits or sliced veggies in ziplock freezer bags and sneak off to the restroom if you get too hungry! Ha Ha Ha!!! I crack myself up! By the way, I love the tjab abbreviation! Makes you sound like a feisty boxer!

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    I just RSVPd to my first raw potluck! This is HUGE for me. I must say when we have BBQ potlucks in the cul-de-sac, My salads are the first thing to go. Once i even made that great dinner salad from Raw Food, Real World. It’s got everything in it and is served with an avocado dressing. When I stopped chatting long enough to grab my portion of the salad, I was digging out scraps. i really couldn’t believe evryone ate that dressing. It looked like something the Incredible Hulk would eat.

  • bittbitt Raw Starter

    Last BBQ I went early and said I had another commitment and left as soon as the food started cooking up. I typically hate BBQs because I hate the smell of meat cooking (i’m a long-time vegetarian). Most other events are a lot easier. Can you tell the host you are vegetarian? I think it’s pretty bad form for a host to not offer veggie food. But of course I live in Seattle. ;-)

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    Okay, the bbq went alright. I ate on the way(didn’t have time between work and the party to eat before we left). My hubby chopped some cabbage and and veggies for me so that I could. He’s so sweet:) But unfortunately, when the host told me to eat I had to say I had already eaten and he made a huge deal about it and then kept asking why and I said “I don’t want to make a big deal about it but I can only eat raw food. Don’t tell anyone” and he yelled “you don’t eat meatn?”. The only thing that saved me was that there was a little girl there who was a vegetarian and had brought her own food. So because of all of this one lady came up to me and asked me all about it and the benefits and hardships and was really impressed. I doubt she’ll try it but I’m really glad to find someone who was interested.

  • TroublesJustaBubble- cute name! Have you found the Kansas City Raw Food Meetup group yet? Great people, info, and get togethers all the time! Here’s a link: http://rawfood.meetup.com/197/ (In case the link doesn’t work… go to www.Meetup.com and type in Kansas City Raw Food)

    Way to go on sharing a more healthful lifestyle with someone interested. You never know. She may not be interested in trying it yet, but somewhere down the line she may remember what you shared and want to look into it. Handling the group food functions will get easier, too, as time goes by. You’ll probably quit caring what anyone else thinks and just be happy knowing how healthy and happy your body feels. :)

  • Hey Izpht!

    Just met you at the raw potluck. I heard you mention Gone Raw and wanted to ask you about it as I love this website and thought I had seen your profile, but just didn’t get a chance. I think the pot luck is very diverse, a lot like this site. I hope you had a good time. If you ever want anyone to got to Lovin’ it Live with, Greg and I would love to go with you.

    It seems like my boyfriend and I have had such a different experience going raw than most. Most people I meet are very curious, sometimes really interested and never critical. Our friends often times are very concerned about having something for us to eat. We met some new friends in the neighborhood this past weekend and went out to a show. They were having a little pre-show party in the afternoon to commemorate Elvis’ death day, which we didn’t attend, but found out later that they had made a point of buying some raw veggies just for us! We attended a regular cooked food pot luck a few weeks ago and brought my raw tostadas. They were the first things scarfed up!

    Maybe it is where we live, in the city of Atlanta, or just the sort of people we gravitate to, but I’m really surprised about the amount of people that aren’t criticizing us and who really seem interested.


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