Thursday, January 05, 2006

Feeling Raw

So, y'all know how I feel about my beloved veganism (I love you veganism), but recently I've had to come to terms with the fact that I could EASILY become a junk food vegan. I know me well and I know that I could/would/will turn my enthusiasm for all the new glorious vegan choices into a sly excuse to oink out on some processed, albeit vegan, foods. I'm realizing that when I'm saying, "I can't believe this is vegan!" that this may not be a good thing. I've never been a fan of soy "chicken" or "tu-no" or seitan "shrimp" -- barf!-- (though Soyrizo is crazy good), but if the word "cookie" follows the word "vegan", I am ALL-OVER-IT.

When I worked at Mothers, I boasted to employees and customers alike that I was the Company Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, and I could recommend a cookie -- and eventually a nutritional bar -- like a good sommelier. I would confidently approach a confused customer who was scanning the organic chocolate aisle and after asking a few qualifying questions, I would break open bars to sample. They would leave with a new item that they loved. I continued my research and I was set on eating my way through every packaged vegan item sold at Mothers. Good for me.

THE POINT IS, just because it says vegan, it doesn't mean it's ok for me to eat an entire delicious Fabes blueberry pie - regularly. Why? Uh . . . wait, I know this . . .I'd like to pretend that vegetable shortening is doing me some good, but come on. I decided that 2006 would be the year I get back to basics, get together more with my good friends, Fruit and Vegetable. Ever since I went to San Francisco and experienced the eye-opening raw-food extravaganza, I've had a crush on the Raw Lifestyle. And since then, I've been reading about and I've been flirting with the idea. A couple of weeks ago after some research and soul searching, I dove into a Raw Until Dinner regime. I eat fruit and fresh juice until noon and raw veggies and other raw shit ("crackers" and nuts and avocados, raw bars even) until dinner. I was terrified to give up a hearty breakfast. But when Santa surprised me a juicer (he was thanked handsomely for that stunt!) and when I just dove in and went for it, I realized it ain't that hard! I was kind of shocked by this. So, I'm digging this decision like you can't even imagine. You know that Rebirth Post? It was written during one of my many fits of euphoria I've experienced since getting raw. I mean, I felt good as a vegan, but it's a little ridiculous to feel THIS good.

However, speaking of raw, my mother is coming to visit us tomorrow. We see each other about once a year, maybe every year and a half. And I always get very nervous before she comes. It usually all turns out fine and we have a good time because she’s interesting, artsy and hip. . While she's here, Husband notes, I'm cordially tense, not quite myself. I am polite and accommodating. I do my best to be a good hostess and I run around nervously getting her whatever she wants when all I want is for the weekend to be over so I can relax. She's very nice too, now. But there is a synapse missing between us. We relate, but we are on different continents. Our misfitting is not generational, it's emotional and historical. I keep her at bay with my hospitality. I had written more, but then deleted it because I’m not quite ready to betray her troubles, more than I already have I suppose. Or, really, I’m not ready to expose the one big issue that I can’t seem to make peace with yet. I brilliantly planned her trip around a tattoo convention - she likes tattoos too-- so we can mainly talk about that, and we can people watch or even spend time under the needle. She’ll like to hear about my raw experiment and she’ll like the juice I make, I’m pretty sure. I’m just nervous. It will be ok.


Marigoldie said...

Lead the way, raw foodie! If it makes me as high as it does you, I'm in. We have just resolved to do our beans & greens extravaganza three nights a week. We think it gives us superpowers.

Maybe a joint tattoo effort could be a healing thing. Who knows. But good luck to you. As avoidance behavior goes, hospitality is a good one.

kiki said...

yay! for raw foods. i love to eat raw as long as it's warm outside. as soon as it gets cold out i have to have oatmeal and congee and beans n rice.
as for your mom, good luck. i was never able to make it work and there are times when i regret it.

Green Whale said...

I've had a lot of vegan chocolate chip cookies and an entire Mother's Market cherry pie the first week I became vegan. So I'm no stranger to the excesses you're talking about. But you have such a great sense of humor about it all! I was moved by your writing about your mother and by your choice to be kind instead of honest and not divulge too much about her personal life.

Janine said...

It will be OK Madness, it really will. I have the same, same deal when my mum comes to stay and I count down the seconds until she leaves..sometimes I think there are rifts across which bridges will never be built. I'll be thinking of you.

Rebel Girl said...

People make fun of me but I LOVE SOYritzo!

Good luck with the mom.

(PS - have you ever read Doris Lessing ont eh subjects of mothers? Esp. Martha Quest's mother's visit in The Four-Gated City.)


andrea said...

wow, I feel a little bit healthier just READING this. but I'm so overwhelmed by the changes I'd like to make and so I'll have to talk to you about that.

goodluck with your mom. it will be okay.

yolie said...

I too am "toying" with this raw eating idea. Have you seen all the raw food cookbooks there are lately? Or should I say, recipe books? It is amazing how clear I feel since I stopped eating animal products.
The Mom difficult on each end. I'm trying really hard to understand how it happens. What happens? Where do we derail as mothers and/or daughters? And is there a place somewhere where it is healed somehow?
I will light us both a candle to Obatala for some clarity.

Marigoldie said...

Hooray for your new blog subtitle!

madness rivera said...

Y'know, living the Cali Life I didn't even think of you poor people with snow. So, I won't tell you that we are having a heat wave and it's 80degrees outside so livin' raw 365days a year probably will work here. That was cruel to report, sorry! I'm diggin the raw'til dinner because I do look forward to a cooked meal at the end of the day. As of right now, 100% raw is not my goal.

Yoli - I did check out one of the raw recipe books -- one where I wouldn't have to dehydrate or soak stuff. That's were I learned some juicing tricks and "recipes". Nothing really beats a big ass salad with a whole avocado and My Drinkable Dressing (see recipe in the comments of the Best of Me post.)

Andrea, you know it took me many many years to get to these health conclusions. Steps made in one's own epiphanies seem to last the longest. But I was inspired and encouraged by particular people too.

Thanks for the encouraging words about my mother. And thanks Janine, saying that the rift may never be built over gave me odd comfort. I feel like I'm scrambling to HAVE to make it all ok. And maybe it's ok just glossed over the way it is.

Marigoldie - I celebrate my chinahood! HAHA - thanks for noticing.

madness rivera said...

Oh and thanks Rebel Girl. I'll definitely check these out.

Michelle Fry said...

Soyrizo is the best! I admire your post because I am vegetarian, not a vegan and have really had a problem with a lot of the vegans I meet because they think it's okay to eat french fries regularly, etc. The raw food thing sounds amazing and I think I will try to do more of it myself. I have a crush on phytochemicals, the crazy good for you stuff that's in raw fruits and veggies.

bettyboop said...

not to mess you up or anything, but have you tried "uncle eddie's vegan oatmeal raisin cookies"???? unbelievable!!
damn, now i'm going to have to do this raw thing. can i reverse it, and have cooked in the morning and raw after??? probably not.
i'm still working on not pigging out just cuz it's vegan. it's still about portion control too.
go bears!