How I turned vegetarian

How I turned a Vegetarian- My Spiritual Journey

I used to love non vegetarian food some 6 years back. As a child I had developed an allergy to it, but I refused to give up and eventually my body adjusted. Yes it was not a very severe energy. I could not have conceived the thought of giving it up. Having said that I also want to tell that I was not an everyday kind of non vegetarian, but yes eggs were an integral part of my daily menu. I would eat chicken, mutton or fish say about one or two times a week. Apart for this I also always stored processed non vegetarian stuff like Salami, Kabab, sausages in my freezer.

An outing was always about having a non – vegetarian feast. We once happened to visit Kota (Rajasthan, India). We were desperately looking for a non vegetarian restuarant and supposedly the city is primarily vegetarian and we could not find one. Eating out and eating a vegetarian meal was something we could not even imagine.

The Reason I wanted to Be a Vegetarian

If you do a google search, you would find perhaps over a hundred reasons why it makes sense to turn a vegetarian. My reasons were not influenced by any list or article or video. My reason primarily came from my spiritual practices. My experiences during yoga and meditation on days after I had a non vegetarian meal, made me desire strongly to give up. I would not find my meditation as deep and I could feel heavy undigested meal still in my tummy while doing yoga.

It is not an exaggeration to say that you are what you eat. Your thoughts and your energy goes a change when you eat more sattvic food. I had a first hand experience of this after I gave up non vegetarian, and also this navratra when I observed a fast for 10 days. Navratra (literal meaning nine nights), celebrates the feminine energy. It is a very important festival in India. Many people fast in these nine days, each day dedicated to a form of shakti (feminine energy). So you could fast by eating a meal a day, or no meal or a fruit based meal with no garlic and onion. Garlic and onion are not a part of sattvic diet as per Ayurveda. Even dropping these two items over these nine days I could feel a shift in my energy.

Most people who are non-vegetarian convert to vegetarian diets for these nine days. But since I am never driven by religion, when I was a non-vegetarian I was a non-vegetarian no matter what day it was!

So obviously you can imagine what would be the kind of energy shift one may experience by being vegeterian. At least I did! In my meditation I found myself going much deeper.

Another reason is that I am an empath and I have special love for animals. Friends and relatives used to suggest me to be a veterinary doctor when I was in college, given my love for animals. Now considering my feeling for animals, I felt like an hypocrite eating some of them. I would never dare to look at a butchers shop because I knew I could not stand the sight. I use to even hate cleaning it and would mostly try and buy the frozen one so it comes cleaner.

But I guess all these things were building up somewhere. I wanted to leave but the smell of non veg cooking would lure me. Barbeque and tandoor were my weakness. In a party again the non vegetarian snacks would be too tempting to remind me of the reasons I want to give it up for. Writing this, I feel I have come a long long way. Last month in a party I picked a non veg snack by mistake and could not even swallow it. I feel averse to non veg.

How the Change Happened

So Obviously you would want to know how the change happened.

I am a follower of Art of Living and Sri Ravi Shankar ji. I opted to do some sewa (voluntary work) during 2013 summer. I was helping a teacher with the course registrations and also in conducting the course. So even as a volunteer I was also participating in the course. And for the six days of the course one needs to give up non veg, tea, alcohol etc. And so I was on a vegeterian diet.

Something happened over that course of 6 days. I somehow extended the period a bit more and then eventually gave it up forever. I was living alone and there was hardly any socializing. So the initial period was very easy for me. But I always worried that eventually I would be in a party and the smell of a non vegetarian dish would tempt me once more and I had not be able to continue. But luckily for me once the change had been made it stayed with me. Perhaps it was because I had continued with a habit for over 40 days, now it stayed with me.

After that I have been many places where my favorite non veg dishes were served, I did not ever feel tempted. In fact lately I find myself being a bit averse with the idea of even trying it again.

So till almost 2016 I was a complete vegetarian, no eggs either. My daughter was around two and we had frequent episodes of cough and cold. She would recover from one and just in a few days catch another.

So the doctor advised that we must give her eggs as it helps with building immunity. So I decided to start eggs, for her as well as me. I am not too sure if that brought about any big change. Because the child does catch cough and cold when they are exposed to school and as they grow up their immunity builds up and thing get better. So she has been good the last winter and so far in this one too.

So now I was eating eggs for a while, till the Navratri of 2020 where I decided to fast for the 9 days. I am a spiritual person and do not engage much in religious activity. So the prime reason for my fast was good health and to exercise some control. Since I was fasting I did not take eggs for these 9 days and once it was over, I did not feel like it anymore.

My daughter does have eggs once in a while with husband, but I just do not feel upto it. I always used to find eggs smelly and frankly speaking I had been taking them all this while just for health reasons.

Now that I have stopped taking eggs, I am looking for ways and means to improve my protein content. Keeping up my protein intake was one of the prime reason I used to eat eggs. I have not come to a conclusion or anything yet, but a bit of research tells me that a vegetarian diet can be wholesome too. One of the things to create an huge impact was the documentary “game changer”. It not only talks about vegetarian but also vegan athletes. weight lifters etc. How they even saw an improvement in their performance once they gave up meat!

Also in my country and culture lot of people are vegetarian. They still maintain good health. Even as a child I do remember other children who followed a vegertarian diet compare to my non-vegetarian. They maintained good health and were as strong as me, if not more than me.

Basically to say, I havent found any evidence that being a vegetarian would be unhealthy for me.

I hope this gives you some inspiration and courage to change in case you have been meaning to. It is all about following the change for a while before you become habitual with it. Do feel free to get in touch with me if you would like to know more about how I made the change. I would be happy to help! Also do share your thoughts or experiences related to a diet change.

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