by Dreama Vance
Evolving our diet is a process. It goes hand in hand with our spiritual growth.
As part of your path of spiritual evolution, it is best to take the evolution of your diet slow and easy, but keep moving in the right direction in a determined fashion.
The path of dietary evolution typically begins where a majority of people are, which is eating a Standard American Diet (SAD). Even other countries are now consuming this diet because Americans have managed to export it around the globe, thanks to the fast food chains and mega food companies.
The Dietary Spectrum
So, we have the SAD diet at one end of the spectrum, which promotes large quantities of meat, dairy, and packaged products that have a long shelf life, and are loaded with sugars, salt, preservatives, dyes and artificial flavorings. At the other end is a live food or raw vegan diet, which has finally, at least, hit the mainstream news, and is about as far from SAD as one can get.
In the middle of this path are terms such as the paleo diet, vegetarian diet, vegan diet, and macrobiotic diet. This is a broad overview. These are stations that people explore, usually in search of a healthier lifestyle, and/or for ethical reasons. These are usually lifestyle changes. These are the steps we explore as we evolve.
Within this spectrum are sprinkled various “diets” that people go on, usually to lose weight, such as the South Beach Diet. These “go on a diet” choices are not intended to be lifelong, but rather short term to achieve a desired effect. These short term diets are not really the topic of this article, but I will say they only work short term, and that is because people revert back to their original eating style, rather than making a lifestyle change.
So I hope you have a pretty clear picture of the spectrum with the SAD at one end and the living food or raw food diet at the other end. You can see now how we evolve the diet. You can see that it is a process. Most people do not go from a SAD to a raw vegan lifestyle overnight. In fact, it is not even something I recommend.
Many people may never want to go as far as that goal of a raw vegan diet. It is, however, a bright star to hold in your consciousness as a goal. It serves as the anchor point for your direction. It keeps you on track and it keeps you moving, at your own pace, toward improvement and toward spiritual light.
A solid starting point
Out of the picture that I have just painted for you, I want to lift out a starting point for anyone wondering how to begin the journey and, for those of you already on the journey, I want you to realize that what I am about to say applies across the spectrum.
The number one thing you can do to start and to move forward no matter where you are on the path, is to eliminate processed food. I like to say, “Eat real food.” Real food is what you find on the outer edges of the grocery store, labeled Produce. It is what you find at the farmers’ markets. Processed food is all of the other stuff in the center of the grocery store, along with the paper products and soap powders!
It took me 30 years of study to figure this out. But, the first thing to do and the best thing you can do is this one step – eliminate processed food. Begin with the most obvious things – fast food and junk foods – and then move forward from there to the “convenience” foods. Advance as quickly as you can.
Now, for those of you who think you are already beyond this point, let me just suggest you take another look around your kitchen. You may be surprised at what you are holding onto in your life. Like I said, it flows across the spectrum; there are many processed foods in the vegetarian movement and in the vegan movement, too. When I went vegetarian back in the 1970s, there were no fake meat substitutes available. Consequently, and fortunately, I never made a switch to those products.
Like I said, the key is to “Eat real food.” You will find people now making reference to this way of eating as a whole foods diet and, when animal products are also eliminated, it may be called a whole food plant-based diet. These are relatively new terms that emphasize the importance of eating whole foods and eliminating most of the processed foods.
Out of this decision to eliminate processed food, come two results. 1) You have to prepare your own cooked food and/or 2) you have to eat live food, otherwise known as fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables as a meal help save time and also add tremendously to your health, vitality and spiritual light.
Connecting with the light
You will find that when you move into this way of living, particularly when following a plant-strong whole foods diet, you become very conscious of what you are eating. Awareness begins to penetrate your food preparation and when you begin to honor all who have brought this bounty to your table – the Mother Earth, the Sun, the people, the bees – then you begin to prepare food with such love and gratitude.
You will be filled, not just with nourishing food, but with peace and beauty and harmony. These qualities will come through your food to bless those you serve. We have, to a very large degree, lost this in our hurry-up, grab-it-and-go, eat-on-the-run world.
Next article: We will look at one of my favorite teachers and discover how healing Real Food can be for the body in Take It Slow and Easy, but Do It!
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