Ancient Wisdom teaches us that our first step to health is through our food choices. Our personal choices in terms of what we eat provide the foundation for feeling better, feeling worse, or feeling the same (whatever that may be).
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates
Traditional New Thought provides guidance in terms of making these choices but doesn’t have rigid rules like some religions. While it can seem to be an enormous challenge to change what we are eating, the essence of New Thought is change and a growing number of New Thought folks are experimenting with plant based diets and feeling better for it.
Studies show that those adventuring into new choices in terms of eating are usually between 16 and 36. For some reason kids generally and grandparents stick with what they are used to. In the case of older people, they might stick with old eating habits even if they are making them sick.
Neuropsychologists and nutritionists say that making new choices in ones’ diet is a sign of a strong evolving mind. Thus when a person is making such choices it indicates evolving maturity, or a new manifestation of vigor.
“There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.”
These days, we are hearing a lot about “fake news” being generated by large corporations and authoritarian governments.
In traditional New Thought we use the “scientific method” to examine the relationship of cause and effect in our lives. Does meditation yield positive results? While we hear that it does, and neuroscience affirms this, New Thought folks test it out on themselves to see if this is true.
While Grandpa might feel more married to his T-Bone steak than to Grandma who might feel that the company of a Pork Chop is more appealing than listening to Grandpa’s rants about fictitious communists taking over his Faux News channels, younger folks are less likely to wed and less likely to find solace in Pork Chops or T-Bones.
benefits and challenges
When my boyfriend started testing the waters of a plant based diet, we drove from Dallas down to Austin to visit one of my best friends who had flown in for Thanksgiving with her family. The Thanksgiving dinner included a Turkey, but her mom was a vegetarian.
“Why did you cook a Turkey, if you are a vegetarian?” I asked.
She smiled, reaching out to touch my cheek. “For you dear, you always loved Turkey, and besides there are others coming too.”
“Me and my boyfriend have gone plant based.”
“Welcome to the club, it is really healthy, but you have to remember to take Vitamin B-12 and eat a balanced diet.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well dear, don’t start eating fries, cheap salads, chocolate and sweets because they are not meat. You should get a good vegetarian book, or go online and download some recipes, but the most important thing is fiber and of course Vitamin B-12.”
“Vitamin B deficiency can lead to feeling tired and not thinking clearly. Ultimately to nerve damage.”
“Oh my God, does this mean I should eat meat?”
“No, it simply means to be sure and take vitamin B-12.”
When I had a chance, I looked up “why is vitamin B-12 important?” on the web. Naturally I got a whole list of stuff, one article went into a list of 22 facts about vitamin B-12 deficiency. It was really great. Now we have some vitamin B-12 in the fridge and take it every day.
“It is very significant that some of the most thoughtful and cultured people are partisans of a pure vegetable diet.”
Dietary fiber, the other thing she mentioned, is an important part of any diet. My solution was found through another writer Avalon, (the New Thought librarian) who told me about the “Instant Pot.”
Instant Pots have become the rage among people who want a better way to cook up delicious dishes fast and easy. Avalon has a great recipe for brown rice which is moist, tasty and healthy. Take two cups of brown rice, stir in a liberal amount of Turmeric and some garlic powder. Dice a medium sized onion, mix it in with the dry rice. Put two tablespoons of white miso in with four cups of water, heat in the microwave, then stir it up so that it is a broth, toss it in with the dried rice. Add four tablespoons of olive or walnut oil. Set the Instant pot on the rice / risotto setting, cook for 25 minutes. Transfer the cooked ingredients to a glass Pyrex or Corning ware dish. Use this as a base for various dishes. The rice will be moist and delicious.
Another great grain is quinoa. It can also be cooked in the Instant Pot, but usually it cooks faster than brown rice.
Dietary fiber is important because it helps us feel full and supports the blood sugar level to stay even. Apples are also a great food to help stabilize blood sugar and keep us feeling full.
Some folks find that instead of going all in on vegetarianism, supplementing the diet with a bit of fish and seafood is helpful. While I have friends who are full on Vegan, I still eat cheese and eggs. My boyfriend follows the rule of eating a bit of meat once per month, usually when we are invited over to a friend for dinner. This is a way to maintain the stomach enzymes necessary for the digestion of meat.
In traditional New Thought and New Thought today we embrace science and medicine. We don’t reject vaccines or avoid doctors. We don’t simply declare our “reality” and avoid reality. There are plenty of religions which do that. New Thought is not one of them.
It is important that anyone who embarks upon a new diet consult with his or her health professional. If you are diabetic it is a real medical condition that must be dealt with appropriately. I read a story once about a minister who had acquired mail order credentials, called himself a “Peace Minister” and fancied himself a shaman. One of his board members was very ill with diabetes. He did his personal shamanistic practices to effect a cure and his client ignored the advice of his doctors. The client died. In traditional New Thought we don’t resort to shamanism while ignoring medical science. Always consult with your medical professional. It is a New Thought tradition.