Thursday, 12 September 2013

How to become vegan

Program of gradual reduction of animal products in the diet
I created this program to help those interested in doing something about overconsumption on our planet, hunger and misery of people and animals. It has been created from my own experience, experiments I have undertaken on myself and others (students and friends). It has no scientific base and does not in any way replace medical care. 

Stage one-duration one year
Eat meat and fish only once a week * and eat fresh raw salad with every meal. The other days we eat fruits / vegetables / grains / legumes / dairy, being careful not to increase the quantities of dairy.
* The chicken is meat.                                
* The fresh raw salad can be made of any plant, as long as it is not cooked. Try plants that you are only used to eating cooked, raw and experience new delicious tastes:  zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, sprouts - generally all vegetables can be eaten raw.

Stage two -duration six months
Stop eating meat and eat fish only once a week. Eat fresh, raw salad with every meal and be careful not to increase dairy.

Stage three- duration one year: 
Remove fish from your diet. Now the only food of animal origin is dairy. Consider dairy as a main meal-like meat. If eg one day you would have steak with potatoes, now you have a piece of cheese with potatoes and salad. NOTE: FROM THESE, ALL YOU NEED IS SALAD – what we are doing is freeing ourselves from the dependency on concentrated and complicated food. Remember to eat fresh salad with every meal!                                                                                                              

Stage four- forever:
Now you will cut the dairy. It is not necessary to replace it with plant-based milks and vegan cheese.  But It is necessary to increase the raw food. Yogic Diet suggest one raw meal per day. I (nuts soaked in water 3-8 hours, raw fruit, raw vegetables, raw grains soaked in water 8 hours, raw legumes sprouted)

At this stage you're vegan!!! Here are some practical guidelines:

1.       Be careful not to increase the quantity of cooked food in your diet. Please be aware that a piece of meat is equivalent to at least two large bowls of RAW salad. Go for a walk in the countryside and watch the cows or the goats. They are perfectly healthy living off greens (and they are mammals like us). They also eat once a day a more concentrated feed such as wheat, carob etc, but again the food is RAW. If the food is cooked, it loses much of the useful components and is almost useless for the body.
2.       Yesterday’s cooked food does not offer us anything nutritionally! It simply gives us the illusion of feeling full for a while. If you plan to eat yesterday's food do it for mental solace and combine it with fresh raw salad.
3.       At the beginning you might feel hungry all the time, and not be able to find ways of filling your stomach. This is a very normal state, one that we all have passed through. Give yourself the freedom to eat a little more cooked food but keep reminding yourself that the body does not really need it - it's just a habit.
4.       You may find that you “need” more sweets. This is only at the beginning, until the body adjusts itself to your new diet. Do not indulge in excessive amounts of sweets - set a limit and stick to it.
5.       Remember that if you do not follow any spiritual practice, you don’t need to be so hard on yourself. If one day you're invited to a house or you go to a tavern and do not want to be the "black sheep" (this is how they treat us) you can have some cheese or fish as long as this is not very often.

For those who do follow spiritual practices or for those who are sensitive to overpopulation and overconsumption here are two more stages (where I am experimenting this period):

Stage five-forever:
70% raw food in two meals, with the third meal to be 100% raw food. Fasting once a month.
 Check with yourself what meal you do not mind ... "missing” (breakfast, lunch or dinner) and:
a) if you have a lot of physical activity in the day, eat raw fruits and / or vegetables in this meal.
B) if not, have a fresh juice.
Start fasting once a month. Fasting can be only raw food, or only fruits, only juices or water for 24 hours.

In this stage we are already contributing to our health and the saving of the earth resources.

I will mention one more step for those interested to know, even theoretically.

Stage six:
 Fasting 2 times a month and one main meal every day. 
At this stage the two meals are fruits / vegetables (and nuts if the day is dynamic) and only one meal which contains cooked food (30% cooked and 70% salad or raw food). Fasting is done twice a month with water only (you can follow the “Ekadashi” - fasting 11 days after the full moon and the new moon).

CAUTION: While science does not support the one- meal-per- day-theory (research shows that the body does not react positively to this "oppression") this habit is an excellent spiritual practice as it allows the system to focus on the mind, rather than constantly digesting the food we are taking in. I remind you also that your body will get used to eating once a day in about 6-12 months and then, the negative effect of the one-meal-only, will disappear. Babaji in Haidakham Ashram allows food only once a day (not even fruit between) in the name of the three basic principles of his teachings: Truth, Simplicity, Love. Of course your one meal must contain 70% raw food and be a regular portion-no more.

Korina Kontaxaki - YogaLife

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