Eating Is a Spiritual Journey: How to Listen to Your Body & Find the Best Diet for You by Debra Mitchell
When I first became involved with Transcendental Meditation in the 70s, we asked our teachers, "What is the best diet for aspiring yogis?" We never did get a straight answer, and when I think back to the question now, I have to laugh. After years of experimentation with different diets, I have concluded there is no one diet that is right for everyone!
Today there can be a lot of pressure to eat one way or another. We need to listen to our bodies and do what works best for us. I have had pressure from both sides of the spectrum; my meat-eating friends say I am missing essential nutrients only red meat can supply, while my vegan friends lecture on the cruelty of using any animal products. They mean well, but I have found my ideal diet lies somewhere in the middle.
I lean towards my vegetarian roots, but do eat fish and occasionally chicken. I am gluten- and mostly dairy-free, and sugar is an ingredient I need to limit. I think the most important aspect of eating healthy is to be conscious of what we eat, pay attention to food sources and how food is handled and raised. Eating local and organic makes a difference as well. “Baby steps” is my motto! What can you do this week to eat 10 percent healthier? A couple simple ideas:
- Instead of buying chocolate bars, buy an organic trail mix and add dark chocolate chips.
- Buy a healthy cookbook and try a new recipe.
Eating is as much a spiritual journey as it is a physical and emotional one. Listen to your body. Start dialoguing with it. Yes! Talk to your body! The body speaks through sensation/pain, color/texture, energy levels. It will tell you how what you are doing influences its cells positively or negatively. Most importantly, the journey to healthy eating needs to be full of fun, joy, curiosity and self-discovery.
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