Trials & tribulations of an almost vegan raw chef
Happy snow day, everyone!
Here in Kansas City, we’re snowed in. Despite (or, perhaps, thanks to) the white fluff blanketing the city, it’s a gorgeous day out there. Sun + snow is one my favorite types of scenery, and we’ve got plenty of both today.
Though I didn’t have a post planned for today, there is something I’d like to get off my chest. Forgive me for doing a little bit of “out-loud” self-reflection here. I’m not looking for any sympathy, but I would be interested in hearing any thoughts you have on the matter.
Here’s the thing: I received a slightly nasty comment on Monday’s post. The commenter asked, with an underlying tone of accusation:
Why are you even a raw chef if you eat things that are commonly known as unhealthy?
The fact of the matter is, I do not eat even close to 100% raw. I don’t even eat 100% vegan (though at 99.5%, I’m pretty damn close). In addition, I do, on occasion, eat foods that are not perfectly wholesome or flawlessly nutritious in everyone’s eyes. But all of these things are exactly what comprise my perspectives on food, diet, and health, about which I am always up-front, candid, and honest.
I defended myself mildly in my response (Matt came to my defense as well in a reply of his own), but I will admit it: the comment got me down. All along, I’ve thought that my notions of dietary flexibility and healthy and balanced living are messages that resonate with others. After receiving that comment, though, my mind took the first train out to the Land of Self-Doubt.
What if a lot of people who see or read my blog doubt my credentials and abilities because of my flexible attitude toward food?
What if so far, the absence of people crying “Hypocrite!” has just been a stroke of luck?
What if there are more people who feel disdain for me than there are who feel admiration or respect?
What if this view of me is common and widespread enough that it prevents me from succeeding in the world of raw food?
…and so on.
I have full confidence in my beliefs, skills, and smarts. What I don’t have confidence in, I guess, is how I appear to others in light of those things.
I’m not upset with the commenter. In fact, if nothing else, she seems to have brought to the forefront of my mind these fears and concerns that have probably been lying dormant all along.
As you may know, I am writing my first cookbook. The concept aligns with my flexible food philosophy, and the book is a synergism of cooked vegan food and modern raw cuisine. I have the bulk of the book completed, and I also have a full proposal drawn up and ready to send to publishing companies. But I haven’t yet. Why am I hesitating? I guess I’m worried it’s not good ENOUGH. I’m trying to seek advice from people who have written successful cookbook proposals, but it’s slow in coming. I think I’m anxious that if the proposal is any less than 100% perfect when I send it out to publishers, I might blow my chance at getting published with them. Long story short: I suppose that deep down, I am afraid of failure.
That said, I can tell you this: one discouraging comment is NOT going to change who I am or what I believe. This quiet anxiety is NOT going to stop me from moving forward. I WILL get my cookbook published. I WILL forge an exceptional reputation for myself as a chef and author. I WILL achieve my dream of a lifelong career in raw and vegan food.
Things are looking up. Onward!
What do you guys think? Is there a place for my message of flexibility here in the raw and vegan world? Do you relate to my stance on food and diet, or do you think it’s cheap or hypocritical? Do you believe that someone like me, who does NOT have a cut-and-dry approach to veganism, raw foodism, and health, has a decent chance of being a successful chef and author?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading, all. 🙂