I don’t know about you but food has been and still is, a big issue for me. What to eat, how much to eat, when to eat has always occupied a big portion of my headspace. During the last couple of years I have also noticed that even people who don’t have a problematic relationship with food have a lot of hidden or unconscious thoughts, patterns and beliefs about food. One example of this is individuals who have taken the path of yoga in the road to enlightenment, become very rigid about eating only vegetarian which is fine if it works and comes without a lot of stress surrounding the issue. If there is a lot of craving for meat and you constantly have to suppress that craving then it will not be healthy for you or your body.
My experience so far has taken me to the simple fact that I HAVE to LISTEN to the signals of my body. When I was in India with the warm and humid weather and doing several hours of yoga and sadhana every day, it worked very well to eat raw and vegetarian but when i came back to Sweden with cold, dark and dry weather it was impossible to keep the same eating habits. As the topic of eating meat had also become a moral and compassionate one for me, I did everything in my power to resist the urge for meat. So much so that I ended up with a serious anemia (iron deficiency) and had to go for regular iron infusions. But not even the infusions where really working until I changed my diet to a ketogenic one with meat and animal fat, that my body responded to the iron and the levels elevated.
As my experience (and a lot of other people I know of) shows, the well being of our body and health, is affected by so many factors. Just trying to fit in a moral stand or a community is not going to contribute to greater health. There are evolutionary factors that are the base and bring the commonality for human as a species but each of us are also different and unique which brings the individuality. That is why two people can react in totally different ways to the same diet. As much as we want to, there is not a complete ‘one size fits all’ solution for this topic.
The way I, now, try to approach my way of eating is first and foremost to LISTEN to my body. When you are used to doing things automatically, then this is a long process and you need a lot of help and practise to get to the point where you know HOW to listen. You have to educate yourself about the body, the mind and the spirit. You need to know how these factors are not separate and that one interacts and interferes with the other. Only by getting to know yourself and listening to YOU, you will be able to become healthy and stay healthy.
In general, a practical way to start approaching your way of eating, is to cut the sugar, carbs and alcohol. These are the common factors that help most people and illnesses. When your body has adapted, you can try fasting and by adding food one by one and observing how your body reacts, you can notice a lot of facts about what you should/should not eat, what gives you energy and what brings lethargy. If you put effort in this process and take charge of your own health you will become sovereign and don’t have to constantly try different diets with failure.