The Healthy Vegetarian

vegetarian ayurvedic dishesAll wellness experts agree that we all should eat a balanced and varied diet, and a more plant based diet is known to keep people younger longer. Transitioning to a vegetarian diet brings better health and provides more energy and vitality.

We are also told to eat whole, fresh foods and stay away from highly processed foods in packages and cans as well as frozen. We need the live enzymes from fresh foods to oxygenate our bodies. The best way to get all the minerals, vitamins and nutrients you need to be healthy is to eat a wide range of different foods.

Vegetarian Diets

There are many different diets that are all encompassed in the term “vegetarian,” and I have tried them all. Some, like the Natural Hygiene diet (virtually all raw foods – seeds, nuts, grains, fruits and vegetables only) and the Macrobiotic diet (mostly well-cooked foods, seasonal foods, no sugar or dairy and very little fruit) are designed, in my opinion, for times when one needs to heal from illness. Although I, personally, cannot maintain myself permanently on the discipline and restrictions of these diets, I know many people who would eat no other way. I frequently adopt principles, recipes, and eating styles from various systems as my needs and wants dictate. The point is that any and all of these diets work.

What do I mean by the word “work”? What I mean is that all of these systems are valid in the sense that they will keep your body healthy, energized and vitalized and your mind clean and clear. How do you choose one over the other? I think everyone has individual likes and dislikes, as well as individual body type that must be considered. Again, I do not preach faddishness or fundamentalism. Once the basic strengths and weaknesses of a particular diet are understood, then it can be adapted into a personalized system that fulfills your needs, tastes and objectives in a way that the Standard American Diet (SAD) never could.

Read about the different vegetarian diets:

Finding What Works For You

“One should not accept more than what he requires for the maintenance of the body.” Sri-Isopanisad

After personally living with and adopting many different diets and systems, one thing I am still learning is that one must take into consideration how different foods react in your own stomach and then judge if it works for you.

I would always go to the extreme and do everything I was supposed to do in each case, even if it did not settle right with my particular situation. Because I always respect my teacher at the time, I faithfully follow the diet system to the extreme. This is my nature. I always go to the max.

Usually I end up having some type of stomach problems, too much gas, bloating, whatever, until I remember each person is an individual with their own specific problems and they must adapt the system to their own innate nature.

When I went totally into the diet Deepak Chopra suggests, Ayurveda, I was having some problems with so much dairy in my diet, and he personally told me, “Well, then cut the dairy down.” I did so, and felt much better.

Read more about Ayurveda:

Most systems should be used simply as a guide, and it is vital to be in touch with your body’s reaction because it is such an individual thing. I also know that the mind plays a part as well. I have found it important to start a new system slowly and allow the changes to take place gradually. I also find that patience is my ally. Give something new sufficient time before you judge. It takes time, up to three months, for you to realize benefit from a change. So be patient with yourself.