Part of my journey to self -love and self- care has always been taking excellent care of my health. I have often been teased for being a “health nut.” Even in my 20’s I preferred go to bed instead of hitting the dance clubs or bars so that I could get up early for my favorite gym class. In the 80’s I was a member of Richard Simmons “Anatomy Asylum” located near Beverly Hills. Richard used to teach the 8 am class. I loved that class so much that I would literally cry if I overslept and missed the class.
One day after class, I was ecstatic when he invited me and one of my girlfriends up to his house in the Hollywood Hills. We drank orange juice in his kitchen and played with one of his several Dalmatians. That was definitely a highlight for a girl from a small town in Washington State, being invited to a minor celebrities house for orange Juice!
When I lived in Chicago in the 90’s, I continued on my holistic health path. I met a Peruvian woman named Carmen who helped me with my chronic constipation. (this might be a bit TMI, but it was a turning point in my self-care)
I persevered through a series of about twenty colonics, which sounds horrible, but was actually an amazing experience. I literally and emotionally let go of so much! Carmen taught me how to eat to heal myself and get things moving regularly, and she also told me to buy a juicer and drink beautiful fresh vegetables juices every day. I also cut out white flour and sugar. Things got better, and I continued juicing, but now, it’s a total commitment, and I feel amazing. Nothing tastes better to me than a fresh green juice. And walking into a juice bar? A religious experience.
Now, I am back in Los Angeles and on the fast track to spiritual enLITEenment. Diet has proven to be a huge part of awakening spiritually. I have interviewed many psychics, mediums and spiritual adepts for my Youtube show, Conversations With Cupid, and have found, though not all psychics and mediums are vegan or even vegetarian, for me, it is a package deal. It’s about consciousness. Part of this consciousness simply reflects my love of animals. Like many middle-class kids, I grew up on t-bone steaks—I liked mine rare—pork chops, ground beef casseroles, chicken cacciatore, and boxes of Kentucky Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy, and biscuits, especially enjoyable from TV trays on Sunday afternoons while watching Tarzan on channel eleven with the family and acquiring a mustache of 2% milk drunk from the large glass that accompanied each meal.
However, at the age of about nine, I slowly realized that something was going on which no one was in any hurry for me to know about. Directly behind our back yard was a pasture of several acres that belonged to the Salmon family—nothing to do with any kind of fish. A barbed wire fence separated our property from the Salmon’s who acquired four young steers every spring and raised them to adulthood. I loved petting the steers on the head, looking into their soulful big brown eyes softened with long eyelashes. I picked long, tender ferns from our yard, and offered them through the fence. Their heads pressed up to the barbed wire, and their long rough tongues lapped in the delicious foliage right from my hands, and they munched away.
I always became attached to the beautiful animals, sometimes naming them, only to find one day in the late fall that they had disappeared. That year I was nine, I was horrified to discover that the Salmons sold the steers for slaughter.
Over dinner one night, I said, “I don’t think that was right to murder the steers, especially Maxwell and Freddie.”
“Yeah,” Dad said, “but you sure like eating that big juicy steak on your plate, don’t you?”
Yes, I sure do, I thought, but still, something about it just wasn’t right.
Then, in my senior year of high school, I took a class called “Single Survival” that taught us how to cook, grocery shop, and other skills that we would need to know as adults living on our own. The teacher showed us a poster with a picture of a steer on it only it had no skin, so we just saw the muscles. Each section bore the name of the cut, chuck, rib, round, flank, sirloin, brisket, and more. The teacher explained that we were actually eating the muscles of the animal. I had no idea that I was eating muscles. Seeing that animal reduced to cuts of muscle was so disturbing that I went off beef then and there.
In my late twenties, I married a French chef named Bruno. We went to France and stayed at his parents’ home in the countryside. His father was also a chef, but to bring in extra money, his father also raised a few pigs, chickens, and sheep to sell for slaughter. Each evening I would carry out the scraps from our dinner to feed to the pigs. A neighbor also raised pigs yet on a larger scale. Enormous female pigs lay in cubicles in the barn with their babies. The farmer, Maurice, picked up one of the piglets and handed it to me. It was the sweetest little thing, all soft and pink with splotches of black. I kissed the piglet on its head, my heart breaking, knowing this beautiful, sentient creature would soon be killed and carved up. Similar experiences brought me to the understanding that I could not claim to love and care about animals and also eat them.
Most of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, enjoying the circus and the zoo. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. Supporters of animal rights believe that animals have an inherent worth—a value completely separate from their usefulness to humans. So this brings me to my other level of consciousness that is in harmony with a vegan lifestyle, that of oneness with other beings—which definitely heightens my spiritual experiences.
Dogs and pigs have the same capacity to feel pain and similar intelligence, but it is prejudice that allows us to think of one animal as a companion and the other as dinner. I believe that every creature is given a will to live and has rights that exclude systematic cruelty. All animals have the ability to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that humans do. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, friendship, and motherly love.
Ovo-lacto vegetarians (those who consume a diet containing milk, milk products, and eggs) may seem like an in-between option, but for me, this isn’t acceptable because the competitive factory farming system causes such cruelty and suffering of the animals, I can’t bear to even read about it. Yet, I can’t ignore it and pretend that my spirituality is separate from the agony the animals must endure to produce what goes into my mouth. More and more, we learn that each emotion that humans and animals experience have corresponding biochemistry in the body, including eggs and milk products. Even if I were ignorant of the animals’ suffering, do I need the additional chemistry of their stress in my food?
Mother earth is stressed as well. Animal activist Erin Janus who has assembled extensive research on this subject says:
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of environmental damage. There is nothing destroying the earth (and rainforests) more than raising animals for consumption. A pig farm of 5,000 pigs for example, produces as much fecal waste as a city of 50,000 people. It’s a total disgrace to the earth to eat animals at this time in history. The demand for meat and dairy (animal agriculture) is also the leading cause of water pollution, ocean dead-zones, habitat destruction, and greenhouse gas emissions. We are out of line with nature. There is more harm being done to the planet than good.
I found it fascinating to read that psychic/medical intuitive Teal Swan, must watch her diet closely so as to not spontaneously astral project or channel at inopportune times. She needs to stay extremely grounded and therefore doesn’t drink alcohol or take drugs. However, to keep her spiritual abilities in working order, she is a lifelong vegan, which doesn’t stop her from also being an avid food lover and organic cook.
She senses energy fields and auras that change with the ingestion of foods. Energetically, she says the worst things you can put in your body are substitute sugars, such as saccharine, aspartame, and sorbitol, which can sometimes cause an energetic reaction worse than a response to heroin. The second worst tier includes anything with preservatives and pesticides. Third on the list of vibrational screwer-uppers is refined sugars/carbs which includes alcohol, white flour, sugar, corn syrups, and so forth. Margarines with trans fat is next, followed by dairy. She says she’s never met a person that can handle dairy, even when they think they can.
I love this, which is from one of Teal’s YouTube videos:
When you go on a spiritual path, you will find that your physiology will resonate at a different level. That instantly means the more and more spiritual you get, certain foods will resonate or not resonate with you. This is the real reason why in a lot of spiritual circles, you will see the same kind of diets among what people would call spiritual masters. It is because they have ascended to a certain level where the only foods that are able to resonate with where they are—physically and mentally—are these certain kinds of foods. So…, if you are following the path to spirituality you will be naturally inspired to eat these types of foods.”
Here is Teal’s short video answering the question, “Is there a spiritual diet?”
I would love to hear your thoughts and what works for you on the path to enLITENment.