I spend a lot of time telling people how easy and yummy it is to be raw…and it is, under ideal circumstances, with health food stores and great grocery stores and a dehydrator always at your disposal.
But when you are away from home, sadly out of range of a food processor and stuck in the land of SAD food (standard American diet), it gets a little tricky.
And if you are like me, it’s NOT GOOD to get over-hungry, and then be faced with irritating factors like an inability to find anything raw to eat. I seriously sometimes go berserk when I’m past the point of needing to be fed. [Side note: My mom told me that she recently saw on Dr. Oz that this is an actual medical condition, where some kind of chemicals in my brain or belly aren’t working right. So I’m not nuts. Well, I am nuts, but it’s not that I want to be! Still, this information is of little consolation to those around me when I get HANGRY – a combo of hungry and angry.]
Last weekend, there was an entire day in which my hangry reign of terror nearly made my boyfriend lose his mind. First, we made impromptu plans to stop at the home of friends of his, whom I’d never met, for lunch on the way back from a little road trip. Great, but I don’t know these people, and I don’t want to walk into their house demanding to be fed only raw goodness. On the other hand, the likelihood is low that they just happen to be firing up the dehydrator to make me some kale chips. And of course, it’s always polite to bring food to a party…but all we can do is stop at a regular grocery store, and hope for the best.
Fortunately, they had a few prepared packaged salads – carrot-apple-raisin and cucumber-tomato – that were reasonably nice to bring to share. Otherwise I might have tried to hit the olive bar. I was dreading the idea of rolling in with my own bag of lettuce. Is that any better or worse than refusing egg salad sandwiches or a quiche someone slaved over? I didn’t know…it was a careful balance of not wanting to seem rude and also wanting to eat. I got really anxious at the store, trying to figure out what I should do. Walking into someone’s house with plastic containers of supermarket fare is not my idea of being a gracious guest, but that’s what happened. Our hosts had made Caesar salad, so I had just the veggies along with the side salads we brought, and it all went fine, and we had a lovely, lovely time.
Until later that night, when we were in search of some takeout to just go home and eat and not have to prepare anything or wash any dishes. The first Italian place had literally nothing raw. The second sandwichy place had seaweed salad – that does not a dinner make, and it was getting late, and I was hangry and anxious! I melted down, like a two year old with a tantrum, and then my meltdown embarrassment made me melt down further. Not at all pretty.
After the adult equivalent of throwing myself on the floor and beating my fits on the ground, I ordered veggie sushi (no rice! Just avocado, cuke, and carrot handrolls. I believe the nori was probably toasted, but this was an emergency) from a Japanese place, with, duh, seaweed salad on the side. There was joy – well, at least no more hangriness – in Rawville.
Fast forward to the next evening: I’m in
Fast forward again to the evening after that: Ordering takeout from a fancy pan-Asian place. A friend orders RAW veggies for me. They promise they will be raw, and I can add my own sauce…but alas, somehow they arrive steamed. What can you do? I could just eat the veggies – will steamed broccoli and greenbeans kill me? – or I can make everyone feel bad and demand lettuce. I went cooked, and I’m still alive!
I envision a day when every restaurant will have a raw entrée on the menu – just as most have vegetarian options now – and life will get a lot easier. Until then, I will pack Lara bars to help stave of the hangry horrors.