I am really unhappy with the way I look, feel and behave because of my bad eating habits. I have gained a lot of weight, have joint pain, constipation and breakouts.
At one time I ate only fatty fish, fruits, veggies (raw/steamed) and lots and lots of water. Now, I've been through a bad relationship and have tried to comfort myself by eating like crazy. Please help!
I need to begin my cleansing by eating raw organic foods (no meats) and start from within. I have started to pray/meditate. Now I need to replenish my body. Do you have any advice on how to re-start a vegetarian diet? - A. P.
Dear A. P.,
I do have advice about starting a vegetarian diet, partly on the SV site, and partly in my reports. I recommend a balanced, easy, gradual approach to the vegetarian transition. Apart from that, I have a few thoughts to add about your situation.
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but from your letter, I have the impression that your diet is closely tied to your emotional state, and that it tends to swing from one extreme to another along with your emotions. When you're unhappy, you comfort yourself with food, overeat and eat the wrong things. It's really punishment of a sort.
To correct the situation, you overbalance in the other direction, for example with an extreme fasting and cleansing regime, also punishment of a sort. Both extremes are hard on your body.
You would definitely be healthier and happier if you learned how to stop emotional eating. You could balance your diet and balance your emotions at the same time, using food as a gift from nature for your body's optimal functioning, and as a simple pleasure, one of the rewards of being human.
In our culture, this can be challenging to accept and to practice, as you've already experienced. It's definitely a long term, even a lifetime goal. I think you're right to start from within. All outward transformation and evolution is based on subtle, powerful, inner change. I believe that's a basic human need, and I'm glad you have that in your life.
I feel that you would also benefit from counselling, to help you learn how to stop emotional eating. You need help to process and balance your emotions at this difficult time in your life. You may also need a dietitian or other qualified professional, to help you tailor your diet to your physical and emotional needs.
As a place to start with your diet, you have the SV reports: 10 Tips For Beginning Vegetarians, and Vegetarian Nutrition. I also recommend a book, 'The New Becoming Vegetarian' by Vesanto Melino and Brenda Davis, compassionate and experienced experts on vegetarian nutrition.
Thanks for writing! I would love to see you both happy and healthy, whether vegetarian or not.
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian