A week or so ago, I had a very powerful craving for eggs. In the last eight years of my journey from meat eater, to vegetarian, to vegan, I can honestly say I have not had any powerful cravings for those foods I’ve decided to stop eating. So, I definitely took notice when I started thinking about eating eggs, and couldn’t stop thinking about eating eggs! The craving was so strong, that I decided I needed to honor it, so I went to the store, bought the “cleanest” eggs I could find…..you know, organically fed, no hormones or antibiotics, small farm free-range, and so on. I brought the eggs home, and I immediately cooked two of them and ate them for dinner. The next morning, I had two more for breakfast. And the third day, I ate two more for breakfast. And that was it. I no longer wanted any eggs, and nearly two weeks later, I still don’t want any eggs.
I’m sharing this “confession” for a couple of reasons. One, I think it’s very important that we listen to the wisdom of our bodies. I think the trick here is discerning what is actually the wisdom of my body, and what is psychological and physical needs based on habits and established patterns, cultural norms, etc. For example, in Will Tuttle’s, The World Peace Diet, he reports that according to Neal Barnard, M.D., “one of the most surprising discoveries in the science of appetite is that tastes require maintenance.” He goes on to say that since our taste cells turn over about every three weeks, he points out that ‘two or three weeks is all it takes’ for our taste cells to forget the taste of animal foods, and that this will eliminate most of our craving for them, because the new taste cells will be accustomed only to the tastes of plant-based foods. The craving we have for animal foods is conditioned and maintained by repetition, and our typical diet – high in animal fat, animal protein, and cholesterol – is fundamentally toxic to our physiology.
Tuttle goes on to write that, “As Neal Barnard discusses in Breaking the Food Seduction, a growing body of research is demonstrating that meat and especially cheese are physically addicting. When digested, cheese releases opiates called casomorphins as well as an amphetamine-like chemical called phenylethylamine, also found in sausage……. Besides whatever physical addiction there may be, a lot of the craving for animal foods seems to be mental and emotional; the smell of the pot roast cooking conjures up Mom, and security, and self-image. The highly-successful Got Milk? campaign shows beautiful celebrities sporting milk mustaches, linking fame, fortune, and beauty with drinking milk.
Before we give in to our food cravings – whether they be for animal products, sugar, salt, carbs, or whatever….. let us learn to discern just what voice is speaking to us. Let’s try and separate our body’s actual need for a particular food from our emotional and psychological needs to consume that food. This makes for healthy and JOYFUL EATING!
Despite all of the social pressures, media influences, developed habits and patterns, plant-based eating is gaining in popularity and acceptance as the healthiest way to eat. Grant Butler, a writer for the Oregonian newspaper’s Food Day section, recently published an article entitled Going Vegan: Betty Crocker gets a plant-based makeover. He writes, ‘the creators of the popular Meet the Shannons blog unveil a cookbook inspired by the American cooking icon Betty Crocker, featuring recipes inspired by her style of home cooking, but made without any animal products….’ Click the article link for the full story.
When love is born in our hearts, we want only the best for others, for we directly see them as ourselves. The imprisoning illusion of a fundamentally separate self, struggling against other selves for its own rewards, is transcended, and our life becomes dedicated to bringing peace, joy, and fulfillment to others. This brings us our greatest joy, and is the flowering of the highest form of love, which is compassion.
We must, if this process is actually happening in us, be drawn toward veganism, and it is in no way a limitation on us, but the harmonious fulfillment of our own inner seeing.
If you’re serious about improving your health, and making a big impact on the health of the planet, lean in to plant-based eating with curiosity and an open mind. Have courage to question those thoughts and habits that would have you believe that you must eat animal products to be healthy. Quite the opposite may just be true for you as well as humankind in general.
Let us dare to imagine a world where there is enough food for everyone, and where diet-related illness is a thing of the past. Let us be daring enough to imagine a world where human beings live in harmony with the earth and all of her inhabitants!
Blessings and JOYFUL EATING!
- vegan cruising first impressions… (revampologist.com)
- If I Eat Fish, Can I Still Be a Vegetarian? (weightloss.answers.com)
- Vegan Defined: Principles of Vegan Living (vegetarian.answers.com)
- Will Plant-Based Eggs Replace Chicken Eggs? (psfk.com)