Published by Ashley Palmer.

The following article was written by Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram.

The Fourth of July is one of the biggest barbecuing holidays of the year. When you walk outside, you can almost smell the meat and propane floating around in the air. When I first transitioned to being a raw vegan more than seven years ago, I found that America’s birthday was one of the most difficult holidays during which to socialize because of society’s fixation on grilling, meat, cooking, etc. Why don’t people eat more fruit at these holiday parties? Fruit is at its peak during the summertime, and this is when it tastes sweetly succulent. Doesn’t anyone want to the be the “fruit of the party”?!

If I have learned one thing during my years of being a raw vegan, it is that people want to be healthy—they just don’t have the courage, will power, support, or resources to accomplish this goal successfully. Everyone is scared to present healthier options at house parties, and people are insecure about ordering a fruit salad at a group brunch because they are afraid that people might criticize them.

Ironically, everyone loves fruit—they just don’t think of it as another meal option! It is juicy, sweet, and delicious! It is nature’s candy, and it is one of the healthiest and most hydrating treats to enjoy in the summer, especially on the Fourth of July. Each time that I have gone to a restaurant or party and ordered a fruit dish, almost everyone asks me if they can have a bite. I even get the comment “Oh, now that looks good!” If everyone loves fruit and everyone is super-excited to eat it, then why is it not a more popular option on the hottest holiday of the year?

I’m here to propose a challenge! “Lettuce” all be different on this day. Rather than joining a party where we eat things that do not serve our health or that make us feel resentment, let’s bring fruit to the party. Bring the most bright, colorful, and vibrant platter that you can create! Show your family and friends that raw vegan foods are colorful, delicious, and sweet. All you have to do is assemble the platter (no cooking involved!) and bring it with you wherever you may be. Allow the fruit to shine brilliantly and allure its eaters. This benefits you in three distinct ways:

  1. You are providing your family and friends with a healthier, meatless option.
  2. You are satisfying your need to eat healthier on this holiday (and keeping true to your goals of eating healthier and living vegan or raw).
  3. You are the FRUIT OF THE PARTY!

When you bring fruit to a party, you become the life of the party! Or shall I say, “the fruit of the party! Everyone gets excited about fruit, and you are giving them another reason to get excited about their Fourth of July celebration. You are bringing living foods. Therefore, you are bringing life to the party!

Getting excited about fruit takes away attention from not eating meat. In other words, by not focusing on what you are not eating, you are focusing on something much more exciting. You are not preaching or being pushy; you are merely sharing your passion with those you love. Allow this holiday to bring you happiness, joy, and well-being. Love your body, your family, and your friends by sharing with them foods that will love them back. Be the fruit of the party!

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