Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Guests and Rawkin Cuisine

Being a RAWKIN family poses some challenges socially as we entertain on different levels. Over the last few weeks we have experienced some challenges on the social front in staying commited to our RAWKIN lilfestyle and making others comfortable around us with our choices. The first of these challenges is sending children to play dates without making the hosting family feel strange about my children's nutrition.

Having had a child with autism and at one time on a very restricted diet, I have walked this path before. At one time my son was allergic to gluten, dairy, casseine, citrus, peppers, pineapple, chicken, corn and soy-oh yeah-and refined sugar. Yeah, wasn't a lot he could eat but what he was able to eat, we learned to capitalize on. However, we could not trust many foods because SO many foods have hidden ingredients, there was wheat and soy in EVERYTHING. Citrus was another sneakky food. I learned to just pack him food for wherever he went. I suppose raw food will be very much the same. Although most places have fresh fruits and veggies, keeping the protein levels up and stable is important too. I have been packing them full of a protein rich food before they leave and then packing them a few yummy things for the journey.

The next social issue was kids coming here to have play dates. Honestly, we are seeing some rejections. One of my son's friends doesn't want to come here because we eat fruits and vegetables and at his house he eats candy, soda and junk food. He's a nice kid and all but I figure if he doesn't want to come and share in some grapes and cut up apples then he can stay home with his junk food. My son see's it different and it hurts his feelings. He's not willing to compromise on the raw, he really loves being raw, but it is hard on him.

Then there is the movie theatre...yes...popcorn. I folded and we got popcorn. It is a weakness of mine and it has been heavily programmed into my little wee brain that movies and popcorn go together. It really didn't taste that good anymore, more like salted styrafoam but the kids enjoyed it. I found it interesting that my daughter ate a HUGE amount and was still "starving" at the end where with a rawkin meal she is so quickly and easily satiated. Was it the salt? There was no butter on it so it makes me question what triggers are in there for her.

In the last week we had two guests come to our home to visit. The first set of guests posed the most challenge for me. It was my Dad and his wife. They are self proclaimed "Foodee's". I'm not exactly sure what that means except that they really like cooking, cooking shows, cook books, gourmet cooking "stuff" and seem almost happily elitist about it. I'm sure I mean that in a nice way. Hey, their food is delicious! When I first went raw by myself, I was scheduled to go visit them and offered to bring some recipe's to share but was immediately shot down with, "We aren't going to eat any of that raw food stuff!". Okay...nuff said. So, now that the whole family has gone raw, they were scheduled to come to OUR house. Ah ha, so the tables turned.

I thought about it and thought about it and tried to think of the easiest but yummiest hourdevour I could find in my brain. I decided to make pesto stuffed mushrooms. I also brandished some of my delcisious latest variety of flax seed crackers with shredded carrots and shallots in them, and some raw guacamole since it is summer and avocados are irresistable right now. As we sat down, I could tell they were pensive but my step mom was politely and subtly making my Dad give it a try. They actually LOVED it! He loved the guac and flax crackers as well. It prompted me to show off our raw chocolate and fruit leathers which they were deliciously pleased to encounter. I think I heard their brains crack wide open to raw food.

We also recently entertained my daughter's teacher for a "home visit" and found it easy to offer cut apples and almond butter as a nice snack. He was very open and supportive of our rawkin habits. I think that will help my daughter when she goes back to school. We are fortunate that she goes to a charter school with families more prone to natural foods. Having met most of the parents, I do not think anyone else does raw but I don't think it will be seen as freaksih as it would have in a more main stream public school. My son's school might be a different story, although private, not kids from a more natural experience. His friends are more main streamed and McDonald kinda families doing the best they can with what they know having a kid with challenges.

It will be ineteresting to see how the kids will handle these social challenges. Some might criticize me or our family for making more differences then we need by eating all raw. I still say the health benefits that have been proclaimed by others about raw food, the environmentally friendly benefits and the incredible benefits of nutrition it is giving my children and myself are far out weighing the "challenges" of eating different then most others. At least, that's how I feel about it today. Today we are RAWKIN on!

Falafel's are a big hit for me, not so much for the kids. I don't think they like the tahini much. Made more cinnamon rolls so kids are very happy. Was gifted some egg plant and zuchini from some clients so I will be making some egg plant parmesan and spaghetti in the next couple of days. Looking forward to it. Made muffins with peach inside and pureed strawberries dropped on top. They were delicious. Tried to make the toaster tarts and something went wrong. I think I left them in the dehydrator too long. Turned 'em into something else with peanut butter and pureed strawberries. Kids are agreeable but disappointed about the toaster tarts. Not sure what to make next, so much to chose from but my cravings are going away so I need to really begin planning and thinking harder. I'm feeling kind of tired so I may need to tweak my protein intake to match my work out better. Kids seem to be okay.

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