How to Transition to a Plant-Based​ Diet

Namaskar Today I’d like to talk about making the transition to a plant-based diet. Most of us are aware now of the quadruple benefits of the plant-based diet; for our physical health, the research shows that those that take vegetarian diet have lower incidence of cancer heart disease high blood pressure, they live longer. For our mental health, the vegetarian diet is part of the sentient food category. In the yogic classifications of food, it means that food which is good for body and good for mind. And for our spiritual health, we feel better eating lower on the food chain; Eating plants instead of animals, out of a respect for all life that principle of Ahimsa. A respect for all life. And forth; the health of our planet. As many of us are aware now, that it takes the same for the same amount of energy, water, electricity, land; we produce one kilo of meat, we can get 6 to 10 kilograms of plant-based protein. So for the health of our planet, the vegetarian diet is very very important. The fact is though, that that we may like to make that shift, but our culture doesn’t support a plant-based diet. Whether we are from North America or South America, Europe, Russia, Africa, Australia; practically the whole world except maybe for Asia, the plant-based diet is not part of the culture. Even there are some theories, that say you must eat according to your blood type. But then how do you explain that, for thousands of years people in India and also in Asia, have eaten vegetarian diet mainly, and they don’t have any problems for their health. I wanted to share with you a little bit of my experience, when I first began to be a vegetarian. I remember I was on campus and campus food, vegetarian meant lettuce leaf, cabbage leaf, carrot and tomato. So I had to take my brewers yeast supplement, and with a spoonful of that powder, mix it in my milk, hold my nose and drink it down. That was a tough time to be a
vegetarian. Thankfully now there are many many more alternatives to the plant-based diet. so for me I think there are two important things that make it difficult for most people to shift from the meat diet to the plant-based diet and that is taste and nutrition. So I’d like to address these two points in this video. About taste, I remember a story of one of the earlier disciples. When he met our Master, he said, “I cannot give up meat, I love it so much. How can I do that?” And then the Master said continue to eat meat. Don’t worry and continue to meditate. And before you sit down and have that meal close your eyes and say, “One day I will give this up also.” And lo and behold after six months, the desire to eat meat left him completely. So that is the transformational power of the spiritual meditation. And other practices also help that meditation. Because the body and the mind they change, to become subtle. So the body wants, mind wants something more subtle in the diet as well There was another story of Oprah
Winfrey, when she went on her 21-day body cleanse, she gave up meat, alcohol, tobacco, she thought, “What’s left to eat?” And after 21 days she realised, how many delicious foods which are meatless. So her apprehension turned into a comprehension. So the other things about the taste of the vegetarian food; Nowadays, as I mentioned, there are so many alternatives; looks like me tastes like meat, but not meat. And whether it’s hotdog, imitation hot dogs, imitation chicken imitation duck, soya burgers, tofu; there are so many varieties available. So, we have much more choice than in the previous times. Then about the foretaste as well the Greek salad, it is very well known all over the world and there practically you can add anything which you like as a taste and make a beautiful, healthy Greek salad. When it comes to nutrition, many people are afraid that they won’t get the protein or the nutrition on a plant-based diet. But actually, all the experts say that there is enough nutrition in a well-balanced diet. That’s the important word; well-balanced vegetarian diet. It means a good combination of grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, dairy; whether be cow or plant-based milk. This gives the balanced diet that we
need. Sometimes, in the beginning you might feel a little bit of weakness; that’s because the body is adjusting to the new protein source, so in that regard, it’s better to make a slow transition from red meat to white meat, from white meat to seafood, from seafood to the vegetarian diet. This is a more sensible way to approach it. Another thing, it’s important to learn recipes. Although, you know that meat, on its own, have you ever tasted raw meat? it’s very unpalatable. What makes meat tasty, is the spices. So we have to learn how to use spices, maybe a few to start. And for that, maybe take a vegetarian cooking course, Or visit your Asian friends, learn a few recipes from them. Or go to the Asian supermarket; there’s so many different foods, even tofu. Tofu is known to have a much higher
quality or availability of protein than many meat based products. And I was in Taiwan for 18 months and in Taiwan there’s hundreds of varieties of tofu. So in Asian supermarkets you can find many many plant-based products there. And that way you can also experiment, you can have fun, you can learn some new products, new recipes. And this way you can make that gradual change from the meat based diet to the plant-based diet. So in summary I’d like to say how to do it, be patient with yourself. you’re making a big change in your life. Secondly, continue with meditation. That transformational power of meditation and other lifestyle practices that we mentioned in this series, in this channel. And have fun experiments! You will surely grow into loving and enjoying the vegetarian diet, which is so good for your health and the health of our planet. Thank you. Namaskar

Daniel Yohans

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