Green smoothies are the easiest, tastiest way to drastically improve your health! Use spinach, kale, lettuces, bok choy or collards and you won’t even taste them! All you get is creamy fruity deliciousness, while directly ingesting an easily absorbable bundle of essential nutrients! What are you waiting for, go make one!
A few posts ago, I introduced the fruitmonster mascot – the orangutan! The orangutan has been declared the official mascot of fruitmonster.com because they are the ultimate fruitmonsters! They will consume up to 10,000 calories a daymonstering fruit all from fresh local and sustainable produce! They depend on the jungle areas for all of their dietary needs and good ole’ Mother Nature provides them the ultimate feasts of jackfruit, durian, rambutan and even mangos and bananas! They often spend up to six hours a day eating or foraging for food to satisfy their voracious fruitmonstering sessions, with plenty of rest, play and caring for one another in between.
Sub-optimal Conditions – Survival Time
But sometimes orangutans aren’t able to gorge on enough fruits to fill their bellies, owing to a scarcity of the fruit resource! This could happen because one family of orangutans is pushed out of a feeding area by another, or for changes amongst seasons or, more commonly, because of palm oil plantations (save the orangutan! a post on this is forthcoming). During these times, they realize that they can’t survive without eating other foods. So, although their optimal diet, the one on which they thrive, is fruit, they are able to shift their diet to other sources to survive. So when a period of fruit scarcity occurs, they shift their diet to leaves, vines, roots, barks and insects. But as soon as they spot some delicious fruits, they are quite happy to return to monstering mad fruit piles.
Aww HECK YEAH!! That is one happy little fruitmonster!
This is EXACTLY how I eat.
No, no, no I don’t resort to eating bugs when apricot absentia strikes, but I do shift my diet to eating a more casual one when necessary. From one of thriving to one of surviving. Let’s be honest, as The FruitMonster, my diet is quite different from the standard cuisines of most cultures. So whether I’m at an acquaintance’s place for dinner, meeting up with a friend for lunch or grazing on nibbles at a conference, there are many times where I am not served or able to order the optimal food choice (fruit and leafy greens).
What no durian? Pass the 'ants on a stick'!
At such a juncture, the common school of thought amongst vegan, raw food and fruitarian culture seems to suggest that I ‘stick to my guns’ and either demand something from my host that fits my dietary needs, push everyone towards my preference for dinner, or even altogether abandon group dinner outings. I think that all of these ideas are a bit silly and dogmatic, and at these times, that is when I really start to eat like an orangutan, modifying my diet to a suboptimal condition – eating more cooked foods, processed foods, maybe even milk or cheese! Now before you freak out and call me a sellout or a hypocrite, let me explain that this is all a matter of your personal judgment (and don’t worry, my non-vegan moments are few and far between). The ‘right’ answer will vary in any given situation. Here are a few examples…
Dinner at a Friend’s Place
If you are going to a close friend’s or a family members place for a meal, you are probably able to make more advanced requests for food. These people may often find it fun to incorporate more fruits and greens into a low-fat meal and will likely be happy to keep it vegan.
Meals with an Acquaintance
Don't Whine, Pass the Vine
But if you are going to a friend of a friend’s place for a meal, it is likely much more gracious to request a ‘vegetarian’ meal rather than a ‘vegan’ one, and impose less restrictions on those poor folks! You’ve got to remember that veganism is not as widely accepted (yet!), and often can be intimidating to folks who aren’t familiar with it! BUT, If you approach this situation thoughtfully and carefully, you will likely end up with some very good opportunities to talk about your fruitmonstering habits when they catch you pounding the fruit salad. Isn’t that worth eating a little bit of ‘normal’ food? I’d say it sure is! You don’t have to eat a lot of the less optimal stuff, its the perfect chance for a light meal.
You should also not let your veganism, fruitarianism or fruitmonstering habits get in the way of social opportunities. Breaking bread with other people is such a foundational part of culture, communication and companionship and you would simply be foolish to skip out on lunch time outings with friends or conference dinners, etc. just to make a point or maintain some dogma. Drop the self-righteous, ego-driven drama. This is survival time – its time to ‘eat the ants and bark‘ baby! There is no reason you can’t order a low-fat, vegetarian option from wherever you go. I often get pizzas with no cheese and extra veggies, or a veggie burrito or even rice and steamed vegetables. The possibilities for a healthy meal exist, even if its not fruit-based.
Sometimes you might even eat meat. *GASP*. Don’t worry, this will very rarely ever happen. But here is a quick story… Once upon a time, before I was a fruitmonster, I spent a week with a family in Taiwan, with whom I could not communicate very well. They were wonderfully gracious hosts, and they nearly never stopped feeding me (wo hen bao!). At times they fed me food that had meat in it, and although I had absolutely no desire to eat meat, I graciously accepted the meals. I ate as little of the meat as possible. Because I was in their home, and they were being so generous with sharing their limited resources – turning it down would have not fostered good relations with them. You might come across a situation such as this – don’t be afraid to break your own rules. I would do the same thing today, even as The FruitMonster, if the same situation repeated itself. Don’t be dogmatic, be aware of all the factors influencing the situation.
Leafy Green Monster
So if you eat a non-vegan, non-fruit meal, don’t worry! You’re still a fruitmonster! In fact, that’s part of a fruitmonster diet!A fruitmonster is alright with eating some survival foods, but focuses on eating as much thriving food as possible.
Fruitmonsters are Reasonable Folks!
So in summary, it’s important to note that while you have a set of dietary ideals as a fruitmonster, imposing them on others or creating an uncomfortable social situation does nothing but isolate yourself and push others away from realizing a potentially fruitastic lifestyle. Heading off to dinner with a crowd and getting the chance to have some great conversation and make some new friends, is far more important than eating a 100% strict fruity, raw-food, vegan diet.
Remember, you share 97% of your genetic code with an Orangutan! You could learn a thing or two from these red-headed people of the jungle. So go ahead, get out there and…