Erykah Badu

Last week I was became engaged in a cyber discussion with a friend and one other about diet preferences. One of the parties is following the Paleo eating plan and the other is a nutritionist. I was talking about following a vegan diet and the young lady was giving me the details of the Paleo plan. The nutritionist chimed in and added commentary on chronic diseases and its impact on everyone. Her commentary ended with “eating all foods in moderation.”

There wasn’t enough space or time for me to fully comment. But what I did say is that I don’t want all things to be a part of my diet. And what a better place to elaborate than here on my blog J.

Let me first say that I have worked in the health area for about 12 years now – not that long for plenty for me. I have worked with people living with HIV and AIDS, cancer patients, and a host of other diseases and health challenges. My family has a longgggg history of chronic disease – many preventable. I believe – at my core – that there are some people who will do everything right and the body will still make a detour. I don’t believe that any one diet will prevent anyone from ever having to deal all and every with a chronic illnesses or health challenges. BUT I do believe that a healthy, fit body responds differently to illness – including stress! So my post here is simply about why I chose to return to a vegan diet. My concluding thought is that each person has to do what works for them and feels good to them … I am simply doing just that J.

– I have NEVER, ever been a huge meat eater. I think its okay, but it has never been a must have for me. Therefore, even eliminating things like beef and pork from my diet initially was not challenging.

– I happen to like green thinks … and red things … and purple things. I like crunchy food … food with flavor … grains. I genuinely like these things, so once again this was not that challenging for me.

– As mentioned in a previous post, I have to work very intentionally to maintain my weight. It just so happens that when I eat less meat and diary, this task is that much easier.

– I am a green girl. I recycle. I try to reuse things … cringe at squirrels crossing the street … donate articles a few times a year and try my best to eliminate my carbon footprint. In that regard, I believe that killing one less animal in some way – regardless of how small – is making a contribution to the world. I truly believe this.

– This year I took my first class in Buddhism. I’d read bits and pieces off and on for many years now, but this was my first real class. Reading for the first time so intensively about compassion for all being, including animals, really tugged at my heart. Entertaining the thought of reincarnation in various forms and thoughts of seeing me in all creatures just feels good deep inside. So why not aim to live in harmony – with other people and the earth?

–  It feels damn good to explore other food!!!!

– And finally, I believe that food is only one of the major things causes illness. I think we need to spend just as much time thinking about STRESS, our work environments, relationships and life purpose. To me and for me, these are all an equal part of the package.

So my friends, its not that I believe vegetarians or vegans are elite or innately more healthy (in many cases, its quite the opposite – unfortunately – with some loading on processed foods, including meat substitutes), I just believe that this lifestyle works for me … feels good to me and makes a small contribution to the world I want to see and be a part of.