I haven’t eaten meat, dairy products or eggs for 31 years. And not only that, I very rarely consume processed sugars, oils, or other processed foods.
That might sound like a fate worse than death for those who eat these things every day. (Which means the huge majority of our western world.)
So why don’t I feel deprived? By most people’s standards, my food choices are considered extreme: extremely limiting, extremely strict, extremely difficult, extremely boring, and extremely un-fun!
The truth is, I get extreme JOY out of eating my food! When I see the vibrant colors on my plate of food, I see beauty. When I taste the unique flavors and textures of the great variety of foods I enjoy, I’m amazed at Nature’s creativity.
The truth is, I’m in love. And when you’re in love, you don’t feel deprived — you feel amazed and grateful.
My love affair with my food is not focused solely on the taste of this delicious food. It is much broader and deeper than that.
You see, I’m in love with life. And the life force enters our planet through plants.
Did I create the garden? Perhaps the garden is creating me. I think the garden and I are co-creating something wonderful together. We are definitely part of the infinite life force together, and our lives come together with joy and beauty in the garden.
A garden is a spiritual place. Gardening is a spiritual relationship. And eating is a most sacred act.
With this perspective, how could I feel deprived?
Of course, I also eat plants that I buy at the grocery store and feel very grateful for them as well. The plants connect us with the Earth and with Life itself, no matter where they are grown.
For me, the idea of eating processed foods feels like severe deprivation. Foods that have been made in a processing plant (a factory) cannot have the energy of plants grown in a garden.
And by the way, I also grow many varieties of beautiful flowers in my garden, who also bring me tremendous joy and nourish my spirit.
I teach nutrition and cooking classes, and most people only hear me talk about how good these plant foods are for our bodies. . . How the fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals provide what we need for optimal health. . . And how to prepare these foods in ways that taste delicious while providing us with the nourishment we need to live well.
This might all sound a bit crazy to you. But I invite you to stick your toe in the water of this way of thinking for just a moment. It won’t hurt. And you just might be able to enjoy eating healthy food as much as I do!