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Balancing A Guilty Diet


by Robin Eagle Sage

I became a vegetarian when I was eleven years old when I finally understood that the roast on the table was actually a dead cow and that the “juice” from the cow was actually blood. I was fortunate enough to have met a Jewish girl in New York City where I grew up, and she told me that she did not eat animals because she loved them. I told her that I loved them too and she promptly asked, “Then why do you eat them?” I had no good reason other than that it was what my parents fed me. This made me think about what I was doing. I thought about it seriously and the next week (after eating a bunch of Big Macs for my last time) I told my mother that I was never going to eat meat again. And I didn't for about 25 years! I always loved the taste of meat and so I was truly a vegetarian for moral and environmental reasons.

When I was in my thirties I lived in Kyoto, Japan for three years.  I was a vegetarian and had been eating vegetable sushi, but there were only three different types without meat, so at times when I was away from home I felt quite starved as everything had fish in it. I had a little card that I carried around with me that I would take into restaurants.

In Japanese characters it said: I don't eat chicken, fish, beef and went on to mention every animal and sea creature that any human would think of eating, because if I left out one animal, they would ask if I ate it. Even after this long procedure and many looks of complete astonishment, the chef would prepare some vegetables and rice for me and inevitably sprinkle my meal with fish flakes. Because the meal was hot and the flakes were paper-thin, they would writhe about on top of my food as if they were alive and suffering from the heat of the food. This was pretty disgusting to me yet funny at the same time and I would have to return it and wait even longer for a meal without fish.

Eventually I stopped going to restaurants if I could help it and resigned to buying vegetarian sushi wrapped in plastic at the equivalent to our 7-11 store when I was traveling. This got old fast as the choices were limited to sushi with cucumber which I liked, weird tasting plum which I did not like and pickled daikon which is a type of radish which was edible but not my favorite.  Because I traveled a lot teaching at different schools I often felt hungry as I was not organized enough to bring my own food and didn't like to eat the alternative which was junk food.

            When I returned home to Berkeley, CA after being in Japan for three years, I went to a barbeque with a friend. We were sitting in the sun outside in the back yard, the air was warm and strangely the smell of fried chicken felt nostalgic and homey. I got up, walked straight to the grill and grabbed me a chicken leg and began to gnaw into it like a ravaged dog. My friends were horrified and reminded me that I was a vegetarian, as if I didn't know! With barbeque sauce on my face I said with a smile, “Not anymore!”

            For many people eating has become a complicated issue riddled with guilt. Guilt is the worst thing for you as it will damage your physical structure, emotional body, mind and blood sugar level when you eat certain foods that you deem unhealthy. Your body will react to food based on your belief system, therefore, the worst thing that you can do is to eat or drink something that YOU think is unhealthy.

            One day I went to see Dr. David Hart, my favorite chiropractor in Sedona, AZ and he gave me a treatment that blew my socks off. He works on every level, not just the physical, and he was testing me to find out why my blood sugar level was off and why I was not staying hydrated despite the gallon of water that I drink daily. He was testing me for all kinds of food imbalances but my body kept affirming that I eat really well. Then he decided to test me based on my belief system and bingo, he hit the jackpot! He found that my body likes to eat meat but that I do not feel good about it. And because I do not feel good about it I was not absorbing the nutrients from the meat or the water that I was drinking.

My belief system was disturbing my blood sugar level which is about allowing oneself to receive the “sweets of life”. I started to tell Dr. Hart about how bad I feel for the animals and that I don't think it's right to kill them. Then I started crying about how the white men came and killed all of the buffalo unnecessarily, taking their hides and leaving their meat to rot. I went on to say how disrespectfully people treat animals and how I don't want to contribute to such a society. Very sweetly Dr. Hart said, “Do you think it's possible for you to respect the animals that you eat in your own sacred way? Could you bless them and thank them from the bottom of your heart and let go of the responsibility of how everyone else has treated them since time immemorial?” I sobbed out a little, “Yes” and since then a lot has changed.

I learned to let go of the guilty burden of the world and I am able to eat meat with blessings for both myself and the beautiful animals whose lives have been taken. My blood sugar level is better, I have more energy and my body is finally staying hydrated.  The moral of the story is that your belief system must match what you are eating. You can change your diet or you can change your beliefs about the food that you eat so that they align in reverence. Either way, it's up to you to do so in order to manifest healthy eating habits.

Robin Eagle Sage





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