So I'm sick of hearing spirituality associated with vegetarianism. At some point, eating all those beans are going to interfere with meditation or spiritual practice. LOL.
BTW - the hubby and I had much better meditation post-Paleo then pre-Paleo!
Ironically all many ancient traditions (Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism) both major religions and minor rituals involved animal foods (meat mostly, some dairy).
At least Gary Taubes was honest when he posted his blood work! Notice how way more Paleos/Primals/Ancestral-eaters post more bloodwork then vegans and vegetarians ?!!
The other excuse I've heard is when spiritual people die early from a lifestyle-related disease - they took on the karma (the disease(s) from other poor souls they are trying to save.
Please feel free to add to this list:
1) Ken Wilbur - his wife died of breast cancer They were both vegetarian since 1972 (over 10) years when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1983. The poor woman died of breast cancer within 5 years of diagnosis (and tried conventional AND alternative treatments). p 34 in Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Wilber Ken himself looks sickly and overweight
I've read his work and he basically says when you reach a high enough level of spirituality then meat becomes unnecessary! http://www.juicefeasting.com/JuiceFeastingIntroduction/WhatistheSpectrumofDiet/tabid/348/Default.aspx
2) Dr. Deepak Chopra, MD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepak_Chopra looks overweight or at least inflamed - look at the face/chin http://www.deepakchopra.com/blog/view/496/becoming_vegetarian
3) Tony Robbins (now endorsing fish after years of veganism) having serious health issues, and looks like NOW is cutting out the grains (LOL). http://www.tonyrobbins.com/pdfs/LLPack.pdf
4) Swami Vivekananda - Hindu monk died from diabetes, asthma, insomnia, etc. at age 39 While touring outside of India he would accept the meal of any host/hostess he stayed with - even including meat and beef. For this he was severely chastised and attacked by conservative Hindus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swami_Vivekananda
asked byLady_Arwen (6244)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on August 04, 2012
at 06:11 AM
I think it was the Dalai Lama who once said in an interview that to find spirituality one should not turn to "strange" practices alien to ones culture, but find it in ones own tradition. The tenets of my liberal Christian background are quite simple: be happy, love thy fellow man, don't force your opinions on others, and try to understand instead of judge. Add to that the fact that my family has been connected to the sea for the last 500 years, and you could describe me as reflective, freedomloving, addicted to salty air and prone to long staring contests with the surf. Paleo is only one of the things that has enhanced this as it has made me more aware and more conscious of my lifestyle and the choices I make. Isn't that one of the things that spirituality is about?
Personally I think that vegan/vegetarianism isn't "more spiritual" than other quirks, it's just that they got on the bandwagon first. The bandwagon of looking critically at modern day standard living, and questioning its promised blessings. It is the same with food as it is with books and TV: the principle of garbage in, garbage out. Not spiritual, just a fact.
We are told that to accept at face value everything the food industry gives us will make us happy and better. Strangely enough with every new medical discovery on food it is always the food industry that kicks and screams and seems to be the last to accept it, or even tries to circumvent it. Vegans/vegetarians are now joined by Paleo-people in the simple realisation that the food industry is made up of companies whose primary goal is making money. Not for my or your health, no, for a healthy profit. Adding cheaper ingredients, more chemicals and additives that are cheap to produce. Nutritional value or health is just an afterthought. Nothing spiritual about that realisation.
However, being more in harmony with yourself by listening to this wonderful organism called the body, hearing its needs, and responding to its questions, is, as a principle, the foundation of almost every spiritual and religious tradition. By being attentive to what you eat, restoring balance in yourself, avoiding stress, avoid all that upsets the organism, and living a healthy life is not such a far stretch from some major philosophies as well. By prefering wild fish and grass fed meat you also give a fair amount of respect to the animal that is going to feed you. Allowing it a healthy life before ending up on your dinnerplate could be explained as common sense, or spiritual. Common sense dictates, at least to me, that feeding yourself with food that has undergone torture, disease, and a life that would get you criminally prosecuted if you did it to your children cannot be healthy. I use a broader explanation of the Golden Rule of almost every faith: "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you" to include my food.
on August 03, 2012
at 08:45 PM
When you take the focus away from calorie counting and getting your RDA of [insert nutrient here], you begin to view food as nourishing and as an extension of your body. Because of this, pre-packaged or pop-it-in-the-microwave food has absolutely no soul or spirit and I don't for a second believe that corn dogs and fried chicken are good for the soul.
If you want to tune into the spiritual energy and learn to appreciate your food, implement traditional methods of food preparation such as fermentation and sprouting. In my opinion, you can't truly appreciate the beauty food until you've made your own sauerkraut that's been fermenting for at least a week, preferably longer.
As far as food actually causing spiritual enlightenment, I assert that only certain "foods/natural substances" can do that - namely, hallucinogenic entheogens such as psilocybin or marijuana. Eating a 100% clean diet has never made me feel as Zen as psilocybin consumption. I'm quite thin and I like being lean and toned, but something about entheogens makes me feel like I literally weight 5 pounds. The weightless, mental clarity, beauty-in-everything-I-see, love-for-my-fellow-man-even-with-all-their-flaws and "smooth" feeling is not something I've ever been to accomplish even with a 90/10 or 100/0 diet. I consider psilocybin a food, much in the same way that I consider chocolate a food, but both have health benefits besides the obvious nutrient stuff.
Certain foods such as cacao/chocolate were worshiped and held an almost iconic and divine status among ancient civilizations. Chocolate still has Western and Eastern appeal and it's viewed as somewhat of a "sensual" food and the actual "spiritual energy" of the chocolate seems to be intact after all these thousands of years. We don't worship chocolate anymore, but chocolate still has a place in many people's hearts as something more than just a snack food. There's "something" about chocolate that places it in a category above pork rinds.
on August 04, 2012
at 01:10 AM
My spirits are wonderful, I'm enjoying more of them these days... I had a ton of single malt scotches that my GERD was preventing me from enjoying, but with paleo, GERD went away and I now enjoy them once a week or so. Nothing as spiritual as a good 20 year old Highland Park, or heck, even some cheap Tequilla. ;)
Seriously though, if you look at the Maya and Aztecs, they were very spiritual, and carnivorous, even right down to cannibalistic, you could say they were far more spiritual than your modern day vegan.
I think at a lot of it has to do with protein intake and the effects on serotonin and dopamine. If those two are drained, you'll feel like a zombie. Doing VLC/high fat/medium protein paleo I don't feel hyper-energetic, the energy is there, and it's a lot more than I had pre-paleo. I look at a long staircase as a mild annoyance, not in the sense that it's hard, but rather, "That's all you've got? Bring it!" and I race up it two steps at a time while most everyone else is riding the escalators. I didn't have this before.
But it's also not the hyper nervousness of too much coffee, it's more of a meditative calm - being grounded or centered, if you want to talk in mumbo-jumbo non-scientific terms. And yes, I do meditate occasionally, and know what it feels like, and it's much easier to enter this state when eating more fat/meat (or even during IFs) than it was before paleo.
Unlike James' answer, I don't feel emotionally empty - rather, I don't get as frustrated or angry as pre-paleo, and laughter and enjoyment of life seem to come at lot easier.
Mind you, I'm a huge fan of Joseph Campbell's work, but I see it as more of a window into the human psyche than anything else. Gods are archetypes about what humans do. We create gods to explain nature, and the nature of humans. They are caricatures of our own selves.
Just my two cents before the hyper religious down vote.
on August 04, 2012
at 12:50 AM
I believe my paleo diet has greatly improved my spirit. I feel more connected to other people and happier in general. I don't know if that's the kind of spiritual renewal you mean or if you just mean do you meditate more or whatever. But having and expressing greater kindness and connection with others is often mentioned in the Bible. Love thy neighbor and do unto others is a lot easier when you actually feel loved, lovable and capable of loving.
on August 04, 2012
at 12:16 AM
My emotions were extremely diminished when I was VLC. Weston price talked about the north americans who lived on an extremely high meat diet and seemed to lack emotion as well so I don't think its just a personal thing. I've also heard the same from several bloggers as well.