Comfort is often found in the food we grew up with as a child. I have fond memories of camping in the mountains with hot dogs and s’mores over the fire, pizza at parties with soft drinks, and the decadent desserts we enjoyed as a family. Unfortunately, these foods are what contributed to me getting sick.
After making what many people viewed as a drastic change in my eating, I started bringing my own food to parties and family gatherings. Raw pizza with plenty of green salad and fruit graced my plate as I noticed weird looks from others at the table. Occasionally someone got up the nerve to ask what I was eating, making looks and comments of disgust after finding out. This hurt my feelings as I took their words to heart and I began withdrawing from these events to avoid feeling uncomfortable.
Not long afterward, however, I realized this was only hurting me so I decided not to allow their comments or actions determine what I ate and how I felt. As I took care of myself, I became more confident and healthy and others took notice.
Friends and family asked me different questions with genuine interest. These were perfect opportunities for me to help educate them about the reasons I decided to eat more raw foods and the many benefits I received because of it. Sometimes they asked if they could taste my food followed by a request for the recipes. I was elated and appreciated their authenticity.
Many people struggle in social situations because they have different nutritional needs due to food allergies and ill health. If this is you, here are some great tips to help you navigate the occasion with ease.
TIPS FOR THE GUEST:
TIPS FOR THE HOST:
If you are the host of the event, you may want to prepare ahead with the following suggestions.
Food is an important part of social gatherings, but try and focus more on the event and people you are celebrating with. Above all, have fun!
3 c. watermelon, seeded and pureed in a blender
1 c. seeded watermelon, diced small
1 c. peeled, seeded cucumber, diced small
¼ c. red bell pepper, diced
¼ c. green bell pepper, diced
2 T. lime juice
1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
½ small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 green onion, white and green minced
1 t. sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
In a large bowl, combine the ingredients as listed and stir to combine. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Refrigerate to chill, then serve in individual bowls.
Wendy P. Thueson is owner of Raw Chef Wendy, LLC. She is a certified Chef, Master Herbalist, and Raw Food Coach. She is passionate about the healing power of plants and sharing her message of hope with others because of her life changing experience regaining her health in 2009. She suffered from chronic fatigue for 28 years, debilitating neck and back pain, brain fog, stuttering, Grave's disease, and hypoglycemia to name a few. Wendy began eating a high amount of raw foods and using herbs medicinally. As a result, she is now symptom, pain and medication free. She educates all ages through hands-on classes, speaking at various events, and has been featured on television, radio and in magazines. She has authored several books and online programs to help others learn how to eat and live happier lives. She is an adoring wife and mother of four. You may find her at www.rawchefwendy.com