One of the aspects of the lifestyle that I decided to become more comfortable with in time was to stop mimicking old cooked comforts with my raw food. Sure, at first, it was extremely satisfying to make fatty, salty, dehydrated comforts spiced and textured to slightly resemble the foods I had sacrificed. Naming the dishes and pretty plating were also somewhat important for the illusion. I did attempt many of these delicious recreations in their raw forms. Perhaps it was my way of mourning the old ways a bit.
I recall feeling somewhat disappointed when a raw burger didn’t taste anything like a burger, or raw pasta didn’t have the right texture that I knew and craved from my many cooked vegan years. Zucchini noodles were an acquired experience. Cucumber noodles felt… slimy. Dehydrated patties (even gourmet) were, meh, at best.
I missed Gardein and Tofurkey and Field Roast and Follow Your Heart. I missed fatty yet hearty textures. I missed hot food! I wanted to have the same old heavy comforts. I couldn’t help but feel like I was constantly setting myself up for disappointment with each attempt. I just wanted some MF real pizza!! You know the hot and breaded kind, that if you took the time to dehydrate and prepare everything for the raw gourmet version, you’d still feel just slightly disappointed that it wasn’t the exact sensation locked away in your memory bank…
I had to get over my expectations. I had to STOP trying to imitate what I knew. I had to fall in love with food all over again… and that took time and emotional healing and releasing.
The creations that end up on my plate nowadays don’t resemble anything like “normal” looking food anymore. This is the new fruitarian culture I have adopted. 5 mangoes on a plate, or a bag of grapes, or a whole watermelon… mono-meals. Those are pretty easy to describe, but not as easy to adjust to actually enjoying them.
A bowl of not quite soup or salad… I don’t even know what you would call it. Saloup? If my dressing is just blended up sweet fruits, and my salad is chopped up or spiralized non-sweet fruits, maybe it’s still called a fruit salad even though it’s drowning in sweet real food sauce or dressing or gravy or broth? The textures and flavor combinations are entirely weird at first simply because they aren’t burgers and pizza. In time, though, these new flavor and texture creations of simple fast easy real fresh food will overtake your memory bank in the pleasure department.
You will eventually have emotional cravings for these foods if you keep eating them. After a long and hard day, all I want is my mega salad bowl filled with cucumber noodles and topped with tomango dressing to comfort me. If I’m feeling frisky, I’ll add hot peppers, lemon, ginger, or dates. If I gave my comfort bowl of “fruity coodles” to a fast food eater, they would be totally and completely grossed out just by the sight of it! For me, though, it’s my comfort food therapy.
I laugh now at how far I’ve come on this journey. I couldn’t tell you the moment when I stopped desiring the junk and started desiring the good stuff. It just happens in time with repetition, consistency, time, and patience. Making the decision to transform despite any initial discomfort is the first step. Then make that decision again… every single day. It gets easier.