lentils and barley dishAre you thinking about becoming a vegetarian?

I am a closet wannabe vegetarian myself.  I have secretly wanted to be a meat-freer for many years now.

I can’t really explain why.  But something about vegetarianism intrigues me.  Consequently, I have had times in my life where I have cut out meat completely, and other times where I’ve been quite the carnivore.

There are many teachings about the spirituality of food, but I do not buy into the dogma of any particular teaching or tradition about food.

I believe whole-heartedly that what you eat is nobody’s business but YOURS.

However, I have observed certain patterns in my own eating habits.

Over the years (mostly through trial and error) I have learned what eating “right” for my body means for me, and I want to encourage you to explore the innate needs of your own body before you decided on a new eating regimen.

Before I detail what eating habits work for me, let me just say that we eat so that we can live.

And I believe that we live so that we can share our unique gifts with the world and carry out our life purpose. With that said, I eat to best nourish my body so that my BODY can do its work here on Earth.

This is why I do not follow anyone else’s system of eating.  Our bodies work best when we honor them and allow them to be the authority on what they need.

Here are 4 things you should consider before you become a vegetarian.

1. Are you eating for inspiration, creativity and openness?

I find that I am my most creative, inspired and in tune with the still small voice of God when I eat very “cleanly”, which include those “highly vibrating” food like fruits and vegetables.

In order for me to be highly creative I pretty much eat a vegan diet.  When I do this I feel light and “airy”.  I feel vibrant and alive. And I am much more able to discern God’s voice.

2. Are you eating for work?

My daily life requires me to work.  And I don’t mean desk sitting work. I mean muscle flexing, brow wiping, heavy breathing work.  In order for me to do this work, my body craves “grounded food.”

Things like whole grains, butter, eggs and high quality organic meat are what give me the sustenance to do this kind of work.

When I add these things to my diet, I feel strong and rooted.  I’m able to labor without struggle.

However, I am very careful NOT to over indulge in these grounded foods.  The typical American diet of animal protein at every meal makes me feel heavy and sluggish.

Therefore, one or two servings of meat a month and about a serving of seafood a week keeps my strength optimum but not sluggish.

3. Are you eating for energy?

So this will sound strange, but when I need energy to do simple physical and cognitive tasks, like light house work and blogging, my body actually calls for a fast.

I have learned many things about fasting in the last year and one of the things I’ve learned is that a short fast gives me energy.

I’m not sure exactly how this works but perhaps it’s because the energy my body would normally use to digest food is freed up to do other things.

I fast once a week and when I do I am very mindful to hydrate very well and to keep my obligations to a minimum.

Having to do something, or even having to keep a schedule, draws on my energy in a way that depletes me when I haven’t eaten.  So I only fast on days I have no commitments.

4. Are you eating for building?

When I was pregnant I was a true carnivore.  Yes I ate my fruits and veggies, but meat was certainly prominent in my diet.

As far as I could see, my body needed it.  Growing a baby is hard work after all.  And all of the animal protein I consumed (I assume) went into building the human animal that was maturing in my belly.

So do I still want to be a strict vegan?

Yelp!  There is still something about the vegan lifestyle that seems wholesome (maybe even holy).

Maybe that will happen when my kids are grown and out of the house and I can spend my days leisurely reading, meditating and doing yoga.

But for now, with my body as my guide, I eat the foods that are right for my body at this time.