Transitioning to Vegetarian
Transitioning to a Vegetarian Diet
“Vegetarians don’t eat anything that had a mother.”
If you are considering transitioning to a yogic vegetarian diet, there are many ways to do so. Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean just leaving the meat off the plate. Gradually you will develop a taste and appreciation for the flavors of well-spiced grains and vegetables, fresh fruits, and the many creative combinations a good vegetarian cook can offer; as well as an appreciation for the healing qualities of the yogic diet.
One way to make the transition is to slowly and gradually begin to substitute vegetarian main dishes in your meals, and increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. Or, try going vegetarian one or two days a week and gradually increasing the number of days.
Another option is to start by removing all processed food from your diet and then begin decreasing the amount of meat you eat. And there’s always ‘cold turkey.’ The transition diet Yogi Bhajan gave to his students in 1969 consisted of eating only fruits, nuts, and vegetables for thirty days. After thirty days, grains and dairy are added back in (see Diet Number One).
We all have individual dietary needs. Each of us needs to find the right balance of foods that best serves our metabolism and bodily needs. Meals should look appetizing and taste good!
About Eating Meat
“The lion is a great meat-eater, and he is called the king of the jungle. But no animal can match the elephant, a complete vegetarian, for pure strength.”
There are many moral reasons for not eating meat. Yogi Bhajan playfully said, “Vegetarians don’t eat anything that had a mother.” There are plenty of health reasons to become vegetarian::
- Meat is a concentrated animal protein. When an animal dies, its proteins coagulate within a few hours, releasing various toxins. These toxins can initially be absorbed by the liver, but eventually even the liver can’t handle them, and the body becomes polluted. Vegetable proteins, by comparison, do not undergo auto-putrefaction. Their main residue is cellulose, which is inert.
- Meat is among the most acid-producing foods. It leaves a residue of uric acid in the bloodstream. Acidic blood is an ideal environment for the development of cancer. Uric acid is a toxin that makes it harder to reach the higher, clearer meditative states because it is an irritant in the bloodstream.
- Meat is also among the greatest sources of cholesterol, which contributes to heart disease, hardening of the arteries, and senility.
- Most animals which are raised for their meat today are fed a variety of chemicals and hormones to make them grow faster and bigger.
- Meat takes three days to pass through the human system. For optimum health, men need to digest food within 24 hours; women 18 hours.