After 13 years of following a vegetarian diet I began to eat fish again a few years ago. I’d fallen ill and found myself so depleted that my body could not get the necessary nutrients from vegetable proteins. A small amount of fish immediately boosted my system. I wrote about it, to encourage people not to be rigid and fundamentalist in their views and habits. Some people condemned and judged my choice. I even ended up on a the ex-vegan sellout list! A bizarre list created to shame people about their dietary choices.
Over the years, my diet has naturally evolved. I love animals and a natural practice of non-violence (ahimsa) has inspired me to respect animals and make choices in line with that. Most wisdom traditions prescribe different eating practices. Some say to forego pork; others say to cut out all meat and fish. Specific teachers create other rules like “no onions” or eat only raw foods.
Moving into a more spiritual life naturally invites reflection on diets. I eliminated coffee and cut down on processed sugar and carbs. I’ve experimented with many diets including vegan, where I cut out dairy – which I found beneficial, and an all raw diet which really upset my stomach from too much uncooked food.
The essential is to remain practical, grounded and to make healthy and wise choices. Maintaining a healthy body creates a solid basis for sound spiritual practice. If the body isn’t healthy, vibrant and sound, doing spiritual practices will be much more challenging. If you feel called to change your diet pay attention to your physical body and be practical about its needs. My body feels happiest when I implement gentle, slow change as opposed to rapid jumps and starts. What’s yours saying?
Copyright Debra Moffitt, 2011. No portion of this blog may be copied, reused, or reprinted without prior written consent.
Bio: Debra Moffitt is the award winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life and “Garden of Bliss: Cultivating the Inner Landscape for Self-Discovery” (Llewellyn Worldwide, May 2013). A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices, writing and creativity in the U.S. and Europe. More at http://www.awakeintheworld.com and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/DebraMoffittAwakeintheWorld