30 Bananas a Day!

Hello!!


This is a bit difficult and complicated to explain, so please bear with me :) 


At the moment I am in England, not really for holiday but to be with my brother who lives here and my mum who came with me. 


As a family we are going through an extremely tough time at the moment (this is not random, it is to explain the next bit! :) Long story short my dad has gone to
prison for possibly one of the worse crimes you can commit and we are not going
to see him again. He used to be mine and my brother's hero, but he has been
lying to us all and our whole childhood is basically a lie. 



My brother got the worse brunt of this and was confused, maddened, depressed and in disbelief, and turned to alcohol and drugs as escapism and a way to
numb his escalating emotions. 


He was an emotional wreck when he found Jake while looking for work. Jake, of Indian origin, owns a cafe and got on really well with Liam. He took him under his
wing, providing him with a place to stay, free food and a family setting. This
was about 5 weeks ago, and since Jake has blessedly got him off drugs
and alcohol. This is all great and amazing. Around 3 weeks ago my mum went
to England to sort out stuff. Then they both asked me to come so we could all
be together. So I came last week.


(I have lots of positive things to say about my stay here, but as this is a rant, I am just going to focus on what is not!! :) 



Jake has helped changed a LOT of people for the better. He is kind of like a councilor (or a bit like Mother Teresa). He just lives to help as many
people as he can for no personal gain. And please don't get me wrong after
reading this, I am soooo glad my brother found him. 


Everyone holds really high opinions about him, like anything he says is right. And most of what he says is very knowledgeable and wise and whatever,
BUTTTTT.......



The first thing I noticed is that my mum had started eating meat again under the encouragement of Jake. I was, of course quite upset by this but Jake just said
"No, no, you're mum needs meat now. Besides, it's turkey and
low-fat". ERG. 



Then he saw me eating. (and during this time I have actually been eating a fraction of what I normally eat!!) His first reaction is that he took me aside and said "AJ, you are eating too much fruit. You would be better
off eating a few donuts than all of that fruit
 (he was SERIOUS) It's going to damage you're liver!". Well, kind of just the
normal reaction we get, right? ;)

 He then went on to tell me that he used to eat a lot of grapes (1 stalk?;) and that he developed blood sugar problems so he went to his doctor and he told him to cut out grapes. He did and his blood sugar problems went away. I explained to him the link between a high fat diet and blood sugar problems but he didn't say anything. (And he really does eat a VERY high fat diet even though he doesn't think so. You should SEE the amount of oil he uses in cooking and every surface in the kitchen is GREASY!). 


A few days ago it was my birthday and my brother took me to the grocer's to get some stuff. When we got there He told me that I am only allowed to buy maximum 3 pieces of fruit as I was eating too much and that it is going to damage my liver. I did get upset and just left the shop and went up the road to another grocery store where I bought 3 cartons of strawberries. I came back and he said "You're unbelievable! That's more like 50 pieces of fruit not 3! (Like 1 strawberry counts as 1 fruit anyway?) See, you're just showing me you're unflexability as you can't go without fruit for just one day. You're just like me when I was on drink and drugs. I was spending all my money on them, wouldn't go places where I couldn't get them...". 

All all the way back home he then explained that how everyone around me but me could see how I was putting myself on a pedestal by eating only fruits and veggies and how egoistic it was as it offends other people when I don't try their food, and how I was doing myself a disfavor by not trying new things and how I was being "hollier than thou" or whatever and how it was just my pride talking and how I'm shutting all my doors by being so narrow minded ect, ect. 

 Then, he goes and buys a (n organic) ginger beer and asks me to take a sip. He wants to prove his point but of course I say "no thank you" so then he's like "see! No harm is going to come from taking a sip. I am not asking you to drink the whole can, just asking you to take a sip. No biggie!" I said no thank you again. "See! Thats your ego talking! What makes you better than me in that you can't drink this!? Why is it too good for you but not for me?" I told him about the environmental impacts (monocrop, litter ect), the animal impacts (affects of monocrops on biodiversity ect), the health impacts (obvious:) and that I choose not to because I don't want to support that kind of thing. But he just said "Look, I've already bought the beer. And I'm going to drink it no matter what. So  Not of your ethics are going to be compromised by just ONE sip." ERG. The he tried a nother tactic I guess I am quite hard headed and when someone winds me up I get even more so so I just said "NO! thank you" and walked away.

His next point is that I run away from everything as I am spoiled when I don't get what I want (fresh fruit and veg is ALL I want? Wow, I really am spoiled!:) and how selfish that is and that it is a luxury as we don't have any money and that I spend my money on that (Oh, but you having 3 teas a round nearly everyday in a cafe costing £1 pound each isn't a luxury?) . But he says he's telling me this cuz he loves and cares for me and doesn't want to see me putting my self in a box and not being open-minded. 


(Note about my brother: I love my brother so much and he understands me better than probably anyone. He holds much the same values and ethics as me (he is a timber frame builder and wants to build his house in the woods :) but I guess the difference is that he does not practice them. He respects and admires me for a lot and embraces aspects of the raw food lifestyle but obviously not to the extreme :) But for the last 4 years we have lived apart (in different countries) so he has missed much of my life. And when I came to England this summer, I was/am in a bad place, and I am more reserved than usual as that is how I deal with stress and depression. He took this as how I usually act and concludes that it is because of my food ways. 


Okay, so that was the morning! lol! On the way back from the grocery shop me and my brother meet my mum and Jake at a Cafe. It seems that they all have the same agenda to get me to change my ways. These are just some of the things Jake said to me:

" What do you value more, your brother or my diet?" (To which I obviously responded "My brother" and then he said "Well then, why don't you drink some coffee?" WTF? Just because I eat only raw food it means I don't love my family?????)

"You've got a fixation on your diet. Out of all 17teen year old I'v met, you're the most concerned about what you eat" (Maybe cuz you've never met a 17 year old raw foodist!?!? And all the teens youv met eat junk???

"It's not even you're own opinion. You just think you know it all because you've read some book and read stuff on the internet. Don't believe everything you read"

"At your age, you can't be so close.minded. YOu need a blanced diet. A bit of meat, a bit of milk. It's all good"

"My advice is to keep your diet open at your age. The world around you is surviving on cooked food. It is not poison. Have a cooked meal with your mum once in a while. It will make her happy."

"It's all about compromising. I am not saying raw fruits or veg are bad, just don't limit yourself. All I see is people compromising to you, eating more fruit and veg, but you make no compromise to eat their food" 

"You're tricking yourself, cutting yourself off, always doing stuff one way"

"You're becoming a fascist with your rigid ways"

"If someone you love offers you cooked food, don't let your pride get in the way, try it"

"Taking a sip of ginger beer makes your points more valid as right now you're too one-sided."

"You might as well make life easier for yourself as life is difficult as it is!"

"It's becoming an obsession"

"You seem so cut-off " IDK, maybe thats cuz I just lost my DAD? and that you know nothing about my life and just met me a few days ago?!

"Never seen a 17yo so obsessed about food"

"We arn't meant to eat only veg. After all my mother wasn't a vegetable, we arn't made of vegetables" WTF?


This was in just ONE sitting! We stayed at that cafe listening to him talk for 3 HOURS! And everyone was like nodding their heads to what he said as if he's a flippin guru (which he believes he is) and he would hardly let me talk. I felt cornered and attacked :( Not nice. I am not saying that I wasn't listening. he obviously made me think and what I have to learn is to try and take this positively and not be offended as I know they just mean well. But I know the problem is not in the food. For me, I need to learn how to be more open and confident as a person. But that's another story ;)

 I was just so dumbfounded by some of the arrogant and uninformed (sorry, if that sounds harsh, but it is true) stuff he said. 


The next day went similar, as we all went to a cafe again (as everyday we all go for a walk). This time he really RANTed and didn't stop and was even almost SHOUTING at me. Again, everyone else was noding and saying "he's right" ERG. It really pissed me off.

Some of the stuff he said:

"Permaculture and organic food is not the solution to poverty" (I never even said it was)

"Learn to be a economist and then you will make a difference in people's lives"

"All you Western people worry about food but don't put your energy into helping people"

"My sister had 15 children. That's 15 mouths to feed! If my sister had to go looking for organic food and spend extra money, they would have never had got an education!!! And here YOU are saying that cooked food is POISON! Well, excuse me, they were even having WHITE rice, not even brown rice and they're still ALIVE. I can tell you that if my sister did tht she would not have died a saint"

"You've put your mother in a trap. And forced her into eating better. You've influenced her with all your fruit and veg. A bad influence" OMG, I think I just have to laugh........

"It's okay to be wrong. You must have to admit it"

"Follow the truth. What I am saying is not opinion. It is fact. I am speaking the truth. " Okay, that REALLY pissed me off. 


Most of what he said was based on assumptions. And applying Western ideas on the developing world, which REALLY does not work. Besides, actually a large proportion of WHY I eat the way I do IS to help people and poverty as what we eat AFFECTS people so much. And NO I don't think and didn't say anything of the like that I think that people in poor countries need to go veggie or eat only organic food! OMG! How ignorant is he? But the fact is what we eat in the WEST determined a lot of what goes on in poorer countries and either helps them or destroy their land. The fact that he does not recognize this already tells me he is UNINFORMED and obviously has not researched this area.... what makes e so made is how he thinks he can comment on it with such authority!??!


So yes, now he has gotten everyone convinced that I need to start to eat cooked food to have an open-mind and has even started to cook me dishes.... last night he said, "here this is for you, it's just some cooked veggies in olive oil"... the veggies were drowned in olive oil and salt and spices. I just politely said "It looks great, but no thank you" ERG. Well OF COURSE IT'S GOING TO LOOK LIKE I MAKE A BIG DEAL ABOUT NOT EATING COOKED FOOD IF I HAVE TO REJECT IT ALL THE TIME IF THEY KEEP ASKING ME TO EAT IT WHEN THEY KNOW I DONT. arggggggg!!!!!! I feel like I am fighting a loosing battle with them!

And also last night when my mum came back she dipped her fork into the sauce on her plate and said "Just have a lick at this. Look at how little we are talking about". I mean, WHY BOTHER? If it's so little why the fuck should I even be inclined to eat it!?!? Honestly, they are actually pushing me away from cooked food even more, as I tend to rebel against people who force stuff on me anyway! BUt it do just feel outnumbered and that this is UNNECESSARY!? I just want to turn this England trip into a positive experience!! (We are having lots of good moments too though!) But the food moments too! I am starting to feel guilty about eating food (fruit) around them though as I know they are thinking badly of it. 

The problem is my confidence. I wish I had the confidence to just sit down with them while they are eating and get out my 12 bananas or something and eat WITH them, just like it was normal. But I'm just not there yet and it's partly becaus I feel I don't have any support. MAN I wish I also lived with / knew other 80/10/10ers. It would be so much easier if I wasn't on my own! :P


If anyone could offer some advice or support on what do to or thing I could say it could be much appreciated :)))))))))))) What would you do?


Thank you! And sorry for this being so long!! 



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"We aren't meant to eat only veg. After all my mother wasn't a vegetable, we aren't made of vegetables"

...

I think the cooked food addiction is clouding his mind. LOL. So should we be eating humans??? xP ;P

My suggestion is to not let this be one sided, but instead start criticizing his beer drinking. Nicely, of course, but silence implies acceptance and consent.
I KNOW! Lolll! Thank you! That's what I said. "What, so we should all be cannibals?" But they all just shook their heads like IIIIIIIIIIIIII was the crazy one!?!?!?!?!?
Wow. You are a FAR better person than I am...I think my head would have exploded if I had to deal with this guy! Actually, he reminds me of my step-father....so I COMPLETELY understand how difficult this is.

Honestly? I wouldn't even engage this guy. Cultural or not, he clearly has NO respect for you or others who do not do what *he* says/declares is right/etc. If possible, can you simply get together with your mum/brother during NON meal times? At least that way you could eat in peace. You are not going to clue him in to the health benefits of raw food. He is not going to accept your way of eating. It should be a non-issue. He should be willing to agree to disagree, as the reason you are there is not to be saved from your lifestyle, it is to be with your family, no? Perhaps you can state to him/your family that you would love to get together, but that your diet is a non-topic. If the discussion goes to your diet/lifestyle, simply say its time for you to leave. That is quietly and politely taking a stand without having to deal with this guy's abuse.

Good luck to you...sending you strength... :)
You get 'em Utopia. I agree, this guy has a HUGE issue with people who won't conform to society's standards. He should be the one on the chopping block here. He should fess up to why it BOTHERS him so much that you don't want to eat what you want. You are exercising your free-will, and he's dishonoring that. Maybe the question to him should be "Jake - why does this bother you SO much?"
thanks for your kick-butt support Utopia :)))) I am deeeeeeefo a real vegan, living a (as much as poss) total vegan lifestyle :) I do it for the animals and planet first, but health is also a motivating factor. That's why I got so incredibly upset with this guy because he 1) got my mum eating meat again 2) thinks IM not helping people when I eat this way to help people indirectly who are affected by our foods ect ect. Yes, I have mentioned to him but he just says 'KARMA, if you want good karma then go and help people blahhhhhh' or something like that. In fact last time i said that he said 'Well, how do you know that the fruit and veg your eating can't feel you eating them?!?!' ARGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!
"Long story short my dad has gone to
prison for possibly one of the worse crimes you can commit and we are not going
to see him again."

"The fact that he does not recognize this already tells me he is UNINFORMED and obviously has not researched this area.... what makes e so made is how he thinks he can comment on it with such authority!??!"

He sees that you have lost your paternal figure, and wants to replace him. You are not very interested in that. Tell him you're fine, mature and don't need anyone telling you about food. That if you have a question about food to him, you will ask, but until then, we each choose our own food. You may want other advice or support, keeping that in mind may help. If so, you might address that. We're not infants that need food offered to them or explained.

"The problem is my confidence. I wish I had the confidence to just sit down with them"

You can't confide in them because they do not inspire it, they cross your boundaries. Confidence is earned. Who would feel comfortable being lectured for hours about their food, and then hours the next day?

There must be some people from our forum near you in England. Why don't you contact some, get a group together end of the week, have something to look forward to. Take a breather and eat and socialize half a day with those who can eat around you without attacking you. Afterward you may feel much more comfortable and strong when you return to them.
I feel really sorry for you, and your family. When you last told me you had family problems, I didn't imagine that kind, and since you were not specify, I didn't want to ask you details, not to harm.
I wish I'd be living closer to come visit on day and talk with you and Liam.
What can you do about this Jake? Not much I think. You won't be able to convince him of anything. He seems to have a typically guru like behavior. He got your brother under his wing, then your mum joined and he got her too. But he quickly figured you'd be the toughest one to get. So the way he fond is to turn them against you on the food detail, by convincing them that it was what was keeping the family apart. Also it's the easiest way for him to keep Liam and your mum under his wing, by having them to focus on an external issue instead of really working out their own personal ones and ways to deal with the current family situation.
Imo, the only thing you could do is to get your brother and mum on a talk, just the three of you. Ask them to listen to you, not to judge, just to listen. Explain them how you feel about the situation with your dad, but don't mention the current attacks on your food habits. Explain them how you currently need more emotional support than what they seem to be offering for now. Ask them not to only listen to what Jake is saying, but to consider that you too are in some state of distress, and you need to feel that you can be accepted and loved the way you are, and not that you have to be someone else to be loved, especially after what happens with your dad. Don't be scared about telling them that maybe you are wrong, but maybe you are right in what you are doing. Only time will tell, but for now the time spent on it tells more right than wrong, but if in the future it seems wrong you'd be the first to recognize this (that would reassure them a bit).
Something I'm not sure about, but I think your mum can felt as some times that you were a bit too pushy on her, and she mentioned that to Jake, and he dug into it deep. Maybe if you think that might be the case, you could beg her pardon if she felt this, and tell her you did it by love, but were maybe too young to find the right way to approach it. To the emails I got from your mum last year, she seemed to have a very protective approach to her love towards you and Liam, having a hard to let you both go live your lives on your own. Since she lost her husband, and almost lost her son, she must be in a pretty bad emotional shape.
Both her and Liam are emotionally malleable right now I think. So it's easy for Jake to get them under his wing. Maybe you stayed stronger because you have stronger beliefs in life in general. I think I'd be the happiest dad if my son turns 16 the way you did, so aware of the world, curious about everything, and with a deep responsible feeling. Your ID may list you as a 17 teenage girl, but that doesn't mean your mind is further up. For me, I never met a teenage girl your age before I could actually talked too! So don't be ashamed of it, but don't be proud of it either, just live the way you are.
One thing you can tell Jake is that maybe he is the one that is not open minded since he lives just like he had been told from birth, that maybe he is the one obsessed with food because he is always talking to you about it and focusing on it, but it won't change is mind. And I think that if Liam and you mum hear you talking to him this way, they would get mad about you right now (maybe not later, once they passed through this turmoil).
Jake is all about helping, but helping is not judging neither forcing one in one way. Helping is accepting the other where he is, where he feels safer to be, and helping him/her to get more confidence into him/herself to advance as a person. He thinks he is helping, but there is a difference between getting people out of drugs and alcohol and helping people become their true one.
Also, when Jake talks about truth and that he is talking facts... There is no truth. The facts he sees are the one he wants to see. There are billions of others facts at the same time is he not aware of, and if he considered them, then his truth would be different.
I don't know if that would help you. If you need to talk, don't hesitate to send me an email or to call us.
If you want to escape from all this, our home is open, you know it, and Liam knows it too. Actually, you can remind Liam that if he wants to come over, I offered him to pay his plane ticket (not first class though ;-). You know and he knows that our home is open minded. We live the way we want to live, but we don't force others to do it, apart from smoking too close to baby Moya of course.
Hope to hear from you soon
People and shoes have one thing in common. The tighter they are the more they hurt.
I think your doing an amazing job AJ by keeping yourself raw and not giving in... to this bshit.
Permaculture and Organic Farming wont solve the poverty ah. Maybe desertification and robbing 3th world countries of its resources by eating "some" meat hey??

My suggestions: find some real people that see you for what you are and want to be. Join them. It can be quiet hurtful going trough such transitions - you already do a lot of good.
AJ,

I'm in England, just outside London

First off, I'm Indian and so is all of my family and most of my friends. Without too much detail, everyone thinks I've lost the plot. My sister recently called me an ethopian (no intention to offend anyone, just repeating what waas said) since I believe man orignated from there and I consume an ape like diet. Mother thinks I'm depressed and brainwashed by people such as Dr Graham. They believe no one consumes only fruit and veg (LOL, if they saw this site, they would most likely say, I created it to try and lie to them, and that's no joke). Some people will take a lot more understanding than others, though everyone comes around eventually.

Indian people thoroughly enjoy telling others what to do. Lets take my uncle, who has had his gall bladder removed thanks to excessive alcohol in his life. He told me that I'm mentally disturbed eating in such a fashion. Virtually every single one of my relatives will give anyone dietary advice. They are so unhealthy and ill-looking in appearance that I would never even think of taking health advice from them.

The point is that you must not give in, never believe what they say. They just wish to feel better about their own choices. This man which you speak of, "jake". Personaly, I believe that he knows deep down what he is doing is unhealthful. However, he currently lacks the discpline and motivation to change his diet and lifestyle. Therefore, he makes himself feel better and at ease my ensuring more of those around him eat and act in accordance with his own choices. In this way, he is able to no longer be the odd one out and can conveniently pick on someone who is unique and extraordinary, as you are AJ.

I'm not entirely sure what kind of "complex" this Jake fellow has. Are you sure he is Indian? I would expect him to have an Indian name. He seems like a "nock-off-nigel" type of Indian Guru, lol. At least tell him to choose a traditional Indian Guru name such as "Swami 'I talk ballogney'" or something along thse lines :-)
Simply put, If It were me I would tell him to keep his opinion to himself. I would Say, "I'm sorry, you seem to be mistaken. It seems that you feel I actually care for anything you have to say. Well, I'm sorry, I wish to remind you that I do not. I am happy eating the way I am and do not criticse your dietary or lifestlye choices. I would appreciate the same courtesy and respect in return. If you are unable to do this then I would rather sit at a different table. Thank you and enjoy your meal/food, as I am doing. [Insert a warm, genuine and wide smile :-)]"

I'm a little short for time right now, but I hope this helps. You can send me a personal message and we can speak via email. I can usually reply most days.

Mang0-Man

"People laugh because I'm different. I laugh because they are all the same"

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