Would You Like Salad With That Oil?


My old house mate was visiting his family about 1 hr north of me, and said we should catch up for lunch.

For most people, catching up with a friend whom you haven’t seen in a long time would be exciting, but for me it’s so much more.

Yes it’s exciting, but it’s also a nerve racking, skin scratching, panic making event that makes me want to hide in my well known wardrobe.

What will he say when he finds out I’m vegan?
What will he think of me when I say I can’t have a drink?
What will I wear!?
Will I explain to him that I’m in recovery?
Oh bloody hell, look at the state of my nails!
What if I get lost and crash on the way there?

I needed to calm down and I was overdue for a mani and pedi. Because there isn’t a vegan & cruelty free salon that I have seen (oh that’s a great business idea!) I decided to do my own mani and pedi . I bought cuticle scissors seeing as I have watched it being done many times before and it doesn’t exactly look like rocket science.

Anyway, as it turns out, it’s harder than rocket science and when performing such drastic measures, make sure tissues and band aids are on hand (no pun intended).

So after being reassured that I won’t die on the drive there and that I won’t be forced to eat meat, I said my dramatic goodbyes to my dog and hit the road.

I made it there safe and sound. I sometimes get in the habit of judging my thighs when I sit down so today I made sure I didn’t (you’re welcome, fellow drivers).

You see, although I am proud of being vegan, I do still stress over what people will think of me. So today I just tried to make my eating, not such a big deal. The game plan was to just shrug it off.

So when ordering lunch today, I asked him to order me a salad. When I did this I was thinking, god does he think I ordered this because of my ED?  Does ordering just a garden salad look typical?

I didn’t want any dressing on my salad, but I didn’t ask him to tell the waiter when he ordered because I didn’t want to seem fussy and a pain.

And this my friends is where I learnt my lesson.

So my salad was vegan – score. It was fresh -score. But it was smothered and swimming in oil.

A little bit of oil on my salad is okay but it was swimming and I am not comfortable with this.

I didn’t want to seem like a bother or be a pain so I put a confident smile on my face and acted like nothing was wrong and ate it.

When I got into my car and on the drive home, my heart was pumping pretty damn fast.

I know oil is good for you and I eat oily foods all day, every day, but I wasn’t ready for this..yet!

So although I didn’t cry, kick or scream at the restaurant (you’re welcome everyone) I did, however, feel crap all afternoon.

When I really think about it, I felt mostly crap because I didn’t speak up about what I wanted. I didn’t want to be an inconvenience, and I didn’t want to seem fussy. I felt embarrassed about asking for no dressing!

I realise now that the message I send to the universe is that I’m not worthy of what I want. This has to stop.

I shouldn’t have to apologise for being vegan and asking to leave out the cheese and if they could have the dressing on the side (please).

I need to work on being confident when asking for what I want. But geez it would be so much easier if everyone somehow knew what and when I wanted something!


As always your comments make me smile 🙂

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x



Filed under Body Image, Social Pressure

13 responses to “Would You Like Salad With That Oil?

  1. good post! i try to make my salad dressings oil-free when possible. although i must say, an organic balsamic vinaigrette with some sesame or hemp oil is pretty irresistible 😉

  2. Oh no, I know how you feel. I used to be really bad at speaking up about what I wanted too but I’ve been practicing it wherever I can and it becomes so much easier really quickly. I’ve found that people are happy to give you exactly what you want as long as you flash them with a brilliant smile. Think of it as a learning experience and grow from it, bigger and better next time, and flash that confident smile, Lisa. xx

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  4. It can be really hard to be confident and clear in making public food demands. I have dealt with this issue too. Now I have no problem in asking for exactly what I want and being assertive if they make a mistake (such as giving me an oil drenched salad when I asked for it on the side. But it wasn’t always this way and I still do sometimes feel insecure about making a fuss especially if it’s in larger group social situations. I think we need to remember that the choice to be healthy and comfortable ethically with our dining choices is our right! I love that you have been able to reflect on this and learn 🙂
    I LOVE dressing with oil on my salad but not the stuff you get when eating out. Plus I never understand why they always feel the need to drench the poor lettuce in it.
    I wish more places knew how to make a decent vegan salad! Here’s to that in the future x

  5. Wow I totally know what you mean there! I am pretty good at speaking up but my dad gets mad at me for it and says I just need to eat like a normal human so it’s hard to ask in front of him.

    • Hey,
      Thanks for understanding.
      I hope you dont see yourself as “not normal” for asking what you want.
      I get shy to ask but I’m learning that it’s more than okay to ak for what you want (in a polite way of course).
      I also hope the other beautiful comments blew help you see this too 🙂

  6. I have the same issue you were having with being worried that my friends who know about my history with ED will think I am ordering “lighter” foods because of ED. When in fact, I truly want them! It’s all a part of our paranoia about what others think about us. This ends up contributing to the disorder.
    I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes. Am I REALLY paying attention to what they order and judging them based on what they get? No. Am I thinking THAT much about them? No! So why would they be thinking that much about me?
    You should never have to apologize for doing what you truly want. Being vegan is important to you and you can always do what is important to you. Be who you are – amazing you!

  7. Inês

    Hello! Nice post! I know exactly how you feel: you don’t want to be the strange one…but I guess if you smile, people are happy to give you what you want…and it is good to be strange…normal is boring!

  8. Caitlin

    Hello love. I know exactly how you feel, having struggled with my own ed, and while I hope that you can find it within yourself to speak up about what you need, regardless of what others may think, you showed an amazing amount of courage by just sucking it up and eating the salad, dressing and all. Sounds like some wonderful progress on your road to recovery 🙂 I hope you can see that, too.

  9. Kathryn

    Lisa, since I’ve gone vegan, I’ve found whenever I dine out with my husband’s family that they always roll their eyes at my ‘fussiness’. I’ve learnt to ignore them and make a joke of it with the waiting staff. On his birthday I got the eye roll when I ordered a Warm Chicken Salad without the chicken and dressing on the side. Funnily enough though, the waitress was a vegetarian and told me she was going to have the same for lunch since mine looked so good!

    I’ve struggled with eating issues too and the guilt of not speaking up and eating something that makes you feel bad is awful. Like you said – lesson learned and next time you will pull apart the menu to suit you!

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  11. I always ask for dressing on the side and in the US, it is a common thing to do in restaurants (besides 5 stars ones) anyway. I never like my salad swimming in oil and even salted. I learned to speak up after I ‘learned’ my lesson.

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