I adore rawvegan potlucks. It's what got me into rawvegan food. I wasn't even a vegan the first time I attended a potluck. I was just curious and interested in improving my health.
Potlucks have changed my life dramatically. They've helped me heal, grow, make friends, explore talents, ideas, inspirations and allowed me to help heal others. It's a magical experience, and I never get tired of them.
A friend asked me what potlucks were upcoming, and what potlucks am I usually attending. I replied:
There is a weekly potluck thing that's just vegans, not raw vegans (although some raw vegans usually attend) on Sundays in North Buffalo.
I do picnics on many Saturdays (such as this Saturday), at 1:00pm at Bidwell and Delevan on the grass. This one should have a pretty high attendance, which I'm excited about.
The third Saturday of each month is a rawvegan potluck at an awesome dude's house on Livingston on the upper west side (not very far from Bidwell and Delevan honestly.) That one starts at 5:00pm and is run by Aaron Fried. Aaron tries to create a good party setting and invites people to come early, prepare their food in his kitchen (which has a juicer, etc), and invites people to stay late jamming on instruments and stuff. I really like his place and style.
Every other Wednesday is the Gathering Wellness Forum which is a general study of wellness group for gathering information to share with each other and the world, and that is also sort of a rawvegan potluck. That is at an elderly couple's house (they are both thin, fit, active and healthy with grey hair!) not far from me on 16th street. That's not far from Richmond. That starts at 7:00pm and the couple's names are Toni (the woman) and Paul. I adore them both.
When the weather changes and I can't do the picnics anymore, assuming the renovations are done on the kitchen, those potlucks will transfer to our house which is in the middle of the west side, kind of between upper and lower west side.
There is also a monthly raw vegan potluck at the Holistic Center on main street the last Sunday of each month at 4:00pm.
All of this information is here on the Buffalo Live-Food Meetup group.
I'm an organizer for the group. It happened pretty fast since I'm as active as the actual group owner in the community.
Everyone is really friendly, even to non-vegans.
My nephew was afraid of not feeling comfortable, but he really likes the potlucks I keep taking him to, and my mom too. Both my nephew and mom eat fairly typical diets, but they are both experiencing benefits from small changes I'm assisting them with.
My nephew has serious migraines, which is an issue Toni used to have but rid herself of through the rawvegan diet and a few additional restrictions because of her extreme sensitivity to glutamate -- even from entirely natural sources.
It's been such a positive influence in my life that I could write a book about it. Why it's so great, what to bring, how to impress people, how to bring something simple and affordable, how to turn it into a learning experience, and how to discern the "health gossip" from the valuable information, how to discern which dishes people brought are truly in the nature of healing and which are not-so-wholesome.
In fact, in time, I believe I will write a book about it. I would also include recipes of course.
Perhaps recipes in each of the following categories:
- Easy to prepare / Beginners
- Extra wholesome & healthful
I think those are all valuable categories to know a handful of recipes in, especially for someone who wants to make rawvegan potlucks a major aspect of their life, as I have.
On an unrelated note, I'm doing wheat-grass juice for the first time and I'm loving it. I'm experiencing serious detoxification symptoms after I drink the juice, but once those symtoms pass I feel really good. The symptoms consist of nausea, dizziness and fatigue, and last between twenty minutes and an hour. After they're gone, I feel amazingly clear headed. I've found that drinking plenty of water in the two to four hours after the wheat-grass is very vital.
A recent facebook status of mine said:
"I was so shocked to find that "mono sodium glutamate" is listed in plain English as one of the first three ingredients on many of my mother's "spices." Things labelled "Chicken Seasoning" or "Beef Marinade" or even "Italian Seasoning" contained a shocking amount of pure chemical garbage."
A friend replied:
"Mono" meaning one, "Sodium" meaning salt. It is actually a sodium salt of gludamic acid. Which means it is a naturally occuring, non-essential proteinogenic amino acid. Those are amino acids that can be found in proteins and require cellular machinery coded for in the genetic code. So our bodied are already hardwired to process this. There are 22 amino acids. Of those 22, 20 are directly encoded by the universal genetic code. Of these 20, humans can naturally synthesis 11 of them from each other or from other molecules of intermediary metabolism. The 9 that we can't are called essential amino acids and must be consumed in diet. These 9 are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. The other two, selenocysteine and pyrrolysine, are incorporated into proteins by unique synthetic mechanisms.
The word "proteinogenic" means protein building. It's not "pure chemical garbage." It's what our bodies are made to process naturally and all it is, is basic chemistry. It's what goes on in our bodies all the time. In fact, so much of what we need in our bodies, when spoken in it's chemical terms, sounds processed when it's not. How many of you actually know what ascorbic acid is?
There are some good points there, but I believe my friend missed my real point. So I replied:
When we refer to "chemicals" we mean something refined. Something that is concentrated and refined in such a way that you'd never find it like that in nature. Huge vats of msg don't occur in nature, nor does high fructose corn syrup. They come from natural sources, but they are not natural to consume. We can get plenty of natural glutamate from seaweed, tomatoes, etc. We don't need to add it to food. We can get plenty of salt from celery. We can get plenty of sugar from fruits, carrots, etc. We can get plenty, plenty, plenty of everything we need from soil, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and sprouts. There is no need to refine things to an obscene degree. It's just corporate manipulative bull designed to make them money at the expense of our wallet and our bodies.
PS: I acknowledge that your reply was educated and reasonably backed up. Most people are not as reasonable or educated when they try to talk about nutrition. I appreciate it. My response is purely explaining why your response isn't quite relevant to the core point I was trying to put across.
Moved to Buffalo in April 2011
Overall, recovery from the move is coming along well. I grew up here, so this is my home, but in many ways it is new to me again after living in California with my husband for a year. It's good to be back. I'm glad my husband likes it here, because it's entirely new for him.
I'm very grateful. I'm blessed to have found my husband (whom I found on OKCupid.com). I am blessed to have discovered a healthy way of living and eating. I'm am blessed to have parents who love me and support my decisions. I'm blessed to have in-laws who range from awesome, to dull, to okay -- none of them being particularly difficult.
I'm blessed to have this blog and my readers. I'm blessed that you're reading this, and you are blessed to. Be thankful for your eyes that can read this, and this moment of your existence.