Why Do You Eat The Things You Do?

For shits and giggles, I’m taking the Nutritional Science class at SMC to see what the California government is teaching the future of America about nutrition. Last week was my first class, and after raising a few points to the teacher I can already tell I know more than she does about plant-based nutrition. One thing that she did emphasis in her first lecture was the importance of eating plant-based foods. That made me very happy.

She is very into discussion and class participation. She asked the class “Why do you eat the things you do?”. Many answers were given: convenience, hunger, customs or religion, tradition (think Thanksgiving). I think many of the answers go back to our conditioning (see post a few days ago). We are conditioned from an early age to eat certain things, like animal foods for instance. We are told by our teachers, our parents, our government that we need meat for strong muscles and dairy for calcium and strong bones. As if! We have to break this conditioning in order to create optimal health for ourselves.

It got me thinking, why do I eat the things I do? After being vegan for 7 years I’ve devoted myself to eating things that nourish my mind, body, and spirit. I also eat things because I do not want to harm animals or the planet. I eat to share nourishment with my community, friends, and family. I eat so I can live out my true purpose in life and be the most true authentic person I can be. I eat to feel bliss (spiritual joy and extreme happiness)!

So I ask you, Why do you eat the things you do?

I had a great conversation with a friend who recently went vegetarian. He was telling me about a slip-up he had last week that left him feeling like crap physically and emotionally. I asked him why he fell off the wagon. He said he was really craving some soup and had 2 choices: this one Pho place that he used to eat at or another place down the street. I said to him, “You gave yourself 2 choices, when ultimately you had a endless number of choices that would have lead you to eating vegetarian.” Looking back, he realized that he made that choice out of convenience (i.e. laziness). He hadn’t clearly layed out the reasons for why he eats the things he does.

If we can all recondition ourselves and clearly state the reasons why we eat the things we do, we set an intention. That intention will stick with you when you are faced with important decisions about what to eat and how to nourish yourself. If your heart is committed to this intention than you are WAY more likely to stick with it and not let convenience, traditions, customs, or hunger take over.

As a side note, I’m all for parents raising their children vegetarian/vegan. The more parents we can get hip to plant-based diets the more likely we can stop the epidemic facing the future of our race. Keep an eye out for my next blog that will list my favorite resources to help you raise happy healthy veg kids!

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  1. i used to eat foods that were cheap and convenient. but i also tried to eat foods that i was told were healthy. that was, until, i got tired of feeling sick and being sick all of the time. so i made some changes now i eat foods to nourish and fuel my body. my kids are 10,14, and 15 and i admit, i conditioned them to consume meat and diary too. they’ve been good about the changes i’ve made and joining me on this journey. they are old enough i cannot force this one them but can encourage and offer them yummy new alternatives. hopefully we can all be reconditioned.

  2. I eat for optimal health. Thru my food choices, and being vegetarian I have been able to lose weight, and to heal some chronic disorders. Food can be your medicine. I have 5 children, 4 are vegetarian. The 5th one is allergic to most foods and is a body builder. So, he does consume meat for his protein. As he is allergic to soy,and most vegetables. My youngest is 7 and has been raised since birth as a vegetarian. My oldest daughter is raising my grandson vegetarian as well. They achieve above average academically and are healthy productive children. The choice to become vegan or vegetarian is a personal one, and we do receive slack where we live for our choice. I wish people would educate themselves and to understand that when a person makes the choice to not eat animals it has nothing to do with them. People for some odd reason become offended when you say “I don’t eat meat”. Why is that?

  3. I fully agree that understanding one’s reasons for eating vegan is the biggest inspiration, and easiest way to stay focused. I recently became vegan, and when I feel panicked or lazy or whatever, I remember the decision I made and why I made it. I no longer wanted to support the abuse and torcher of animals, no longer wanted to consume products that were unhealthy, and no longer wanted to support a system that was detrimental to the environment.

    When my hunger or “convenience” attempts to make animal products an option, my values win. It’s not worth it to do anything else. I know I’m not perfect, but this is my best tool to stay on track. It makes it easy. It eliminates the option to sway.

  4. Food is a source of praana or life force. High-praana foods leave me energized, alert and young. It's as simple as that. The more praana I have, the better decisions I make. Of course, I enjoy the occasional chocolate chip cookie and ice cream but overall, there is such a sense of moderation and balance that I can enjoy everything 100% without going overboard in either direction.

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