My body is fairly healthy, which is a miracle when I consider that for much of my adolescence, I lived on Tab (remember that horrible diet drink!) and frozen pizzas (not to mention the cigarettes and alcohol that went hand-in-hand with that time of my life). Truth be told, I have had spells of “eating healthy” but I don’t think my diet is particularly note-worthy. I drink coffee every morning, love chocolate, crave ice cream at least once a week, still have take-out pizza with extra cheese and cheeseburgers occasionally. I also like fresh salads, fruits, and lean meat, but if I was being graded, my diet would get a B- …I think. In the past, I’ve held out the fact that my diet was not perfect, as one of the reasons for not progressing further in my spiritual search. Felt that if I could get on the right diet, I could fast-track the spiritual path as well.
So, I tried, for a very short periods of time, diets which included vegetarian and even veganism. I’ve gone totally off sugar, wheat, grains, dairy, took very expensive whole-food supplements, fasted for days, drank wheat-grass juice, aloe vera juice, cleansed with the hideous combination of lemon, cayenne pepper and raw garlic, all in an effort to purify (i.e. perfect) myself. Jesus, who lived in an era where dietary rules were extensive and cumbersome said, “It is not what goes into a person that defiles, but what comes out (of their mouth/thoughts)” When I am appreciating life, the choices I make, regarding my diet and everything else, are of a higher quality as well. When I am not feeling great emotionally, my food choices seem to match that.
I heard a spiritual teacher say once that if you really wanted to reach that inner place of God, you must give up caffeine. There is a belief system out there that says really spiritual people must eat a certain way, which can easily be extended to, dress a certain way, talk a certain way, pray a certain way, …the list is endless and can keep us perpetually feeling that we don’t measure up. The “Spiritual Path” would be pretty petty and extremely complicated, if it depended upon our outer life; human rules and regulations (especially when these rules are established by experts and authorities who tend to change their minds according to what research they are doing/quoting, or what religious tradition they are a member of) to progress.
I also suspect that many more head and stomach aches are caused from negative, fearful thinking than lunch (whether those fearful thoughts are actually about the food we are eating or the state of the world, it matters not. Negative thoughts adversely affect our cells) .
There is one way to live; Love everything (including yourself, your food, your body, your job…) as much as possible, and eventually the things that don’t match love, will fall away.
“The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men“. George Eliot