My Raw Food Faux Pas

Sometimes the universe delivers a mischievous, little, foot-in-mouth moment to clearly illustrate how fallible we are.  Perhaps it’s meant to humble, help, or humor, but when it happens, we remember how thoroughly capable we are of making asses of ourselves.

Maybe I should just speak for myself?

My moment, yesterday, went like this…. I was standing in line at the takeout counter of a raw food restaurant awaiting the arrival of a delicious, healthy, and appallingly expensive green juice.  It was approaching 9 PM, and I hadn’t eaten in several hours.  These hours and those that preceded them included teaching three heated yoga classes, riding my bicycle across town twice, and going to the gym, among other hunger-inducing activities, the most basic of which is life.

I was approaching hangry—an intense level of hunger that borders on growing angry fangs.  I wasn’t really up for small talk.  I really just wanted to inhale a bag of kale chips, chug my juice, and get home, where I would then have a proper dinner.  So, really, the raw food was an appetizer for a 20-minute car ride, followed by my nightly routine of circling for a parking spot in Boston’s South End.  Doing this without sustenance was, in the moment, unthinkable.

Hey, aren’t you Rebecca?  A friendly voice asked. 

Yes.  Hiiii!  John, is that right?  How’s your summer going?

I responded with all the remaining cheeriness I could muster, grateful my brain had retrieved this fellow yoga teacher’s name from a mental archive of studios where I once taught.  As a side note, I left said studio upon deciding I didn’t want to sign a non-compete.  This is a niche topic for another day, but my belief is this: non-competes are never in the best interest of a teacher/entrepreneur.  Ever.  I do not sign them.  Ever.  It’s possible this memory contributed to my edginess.  (I’ve changed his name to John because he is an innocent, nice man, who does not deserve to be outed here by a too-hungry lunatic).

The exchange that followed was altogether benign, except when John enthusiastically asked, So, are you a raw foodist

Me?  Oh, god, NO.  I’d be way too thin and angry for that all the time.

I punctuated this with a little too much conviction, and the pause that followed was awkward.  John looked down at his slender frame and opted to make light.  Please excuse the pun.

Ha!  Looks like that’s what I’m working with….

Now, commences the back-peddaling.  The apologizing.  No, no, no, you could never be angry.  The effacing myself as a cranky yoga piglet unworthy of a virtuous raw food diet.  That’s what happened.  I felt terrible.  I’d insulted his diet, which in the yoga world is serious stuff.  It wasn’t intentional, but it was the equivalent of calling his baby ugly.

It wasn’t intentional, but it wasn’t untrue.  It is how I feel.  I love raw food.  Adore it.  Swoon for it.  It’s delicious.  The health benefits are manyfold.  But, it would be unwise for me to eat that way all the time, never cooking meals above 115 degrees and subsisting largely on fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and sprouted seeds.  I suspect my body would too often feel deprived, and my fangs would too often glint in the sunlight.  I respect the choices of those who eat raw as a lifestyle, but for me, it’s too restrictive.  For women, I also believe it’s too often rife with the danger of disordered eating.

I drove home feeling the small social gaffe in the pit of my belly, or maybe it was hunger?  I couldn’t wait to get home and put something other than my foot in my mouth.  A nice hot meal, I hoped.

 A recent working lunch at my desk: steaming hot kale soup.



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  • MJ

    Love the first paragraph!

  • wendy cook

    omg i love this rawness of this piece. really! ;-)

    I have learned to never ask a woman with great excitement if she is pregnant. It took me a couple of times to learn this.

  • Fred Crane

    Faux Pas are popping like hot cakes:

    So, I’m outside in the parking lot prior to an Om Gal class. I don’t really want to go in and kibbutz. I have plenty to meditate out and a good half hour to do it over. I head in around 15 minutes before class. Ahh, but class is still in session. I go down by the double doors and quietly give it a listen. I find it interesting to hear an experienced teacher play with cadence, sequencing, timing and the like. ‘Ohh this is interesting’ I’m thinking mid eavesdrop,’ how, oh how, is she going to get them from here into savasana in 5 minutes.’ After about 5 minutes of listening, I found out I misread the schedule, and ‘my’ class was 20 minutes along. My brain was so oxygen filled (or deprived) when I noticed the complete lack of other people, I thought ‘traffic must be awful’ and ‘geez, I hope someone shows up’. Then that mental image picture of Opie appeared in my head. Thanks for being so nice when I lumbered in…

    Who doesn’t love a $12 juice. The new cashew juice at Whole Foods hurts my Dicken’s upbringing, but one must look to the inner peace of good digestion and it’s associated extravagances. Here’s another:

    See you in the woops cue,


    p.s. love ‘hangry’ and fangs in the sun instead of the moon. cape optional.

  • Lyndsey Gago

    I love the way you speak of diet, exercise, and nutrition. I want to be a dance/physical therapist when I’m older–right now I’m a performing artist in many areas–and people like you inspire me to keep on the path I’m leading.

    Thank you for making me feel like I don’t have to loose weight, I just have to be healthy.

  • agus

    enaklah soupnyacara mengecilkan perut