Conflicts Arising between Religious Beliefs, Diet, Practices and Outcomes… Sounds like a dissertation title :o).

Posted: 20 J0000003UTC 2011 in Nutrition, Religion
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Screen shot 2013-03-26 at 1.13.14 PM???

Love this phrase, all too often someone says he or she will do something, and behind the scenes another person comes to find the inaccuracies between what one is saying and what one is doing.

I now try to avoid people who cannot or do not live a generous life face-to-face AND when no one’s watching.

Let’s face it, someone or something is always watching. No I’m not going to preach religious or spiritual beliefs, all I’m saying is, don’t you count? Aren’t you watching yourself, holding (or not) yourself responsible for actions, words, etc.?

I’m not going to tell you I abide by a vegan diet, be really picky at any restaurant we go to, and then go home at night and devour a pepperoni pizza. It’s just not going to happen. I try to live an honest life. I specifically said prior to beginning a vegan diet, I would likely have an exception, and that exception would be frozen yogurt.

Friends continually asked me well, “what about ice cream”? “You can have that can’t you, because it’s close.” Sure, I suppose I could. Will I? Nope. I have tended to hold myself to my words most of my life. I can’t imagine saying one thing and doing another. Yes, I come across unbelievably blunt at times, or emotional, or flustered. Ok, I accept that. That’s me.

So how has this vegan diet been? Hah, I feel like I’m having a one-sided conversation with you readers. Thank you by the way, as always, for taking time out of your day/night to peruse this. I appreciate it! It was an interesting decision to become vegan days before Passover.

For those who aren’t familiar with this Jewish holiday, Passover has a lot of food restrictions, particularly if one is of Ashkenazim descent.

The vegan diet: no animal products or byproducts. The Ashkenazim Passover diet (taken from relatively accurate:

“Passover Kitniot

In the Ashkenazi tradition there are additional foods that are usually forbidden during Passover. These foods are called “kitniot” (pronounced kit-neeh-oat) and include: rice, millet, corn and legumes like beans and lentils. These foods are off limits because the rabbis determined they violated the principle of ma’arit ayin. This principle means that Jews should avoid even the appearance of impropriety. In the case of Passover, kitniot can be ground up and cooked with like flour, so they should be avoided.

In Sephardic communities kitniot are eaten during Passover. It is also not uncommon for vegetarians who identify as Ashkenazi Jews to follow the Sephardic tradition during Passover – it’s tough to be a vegetarian during Passover if chametz and kitniot are off the table!”

I didn’t want to delay this diet and constantly make excuses for why I hadn’t transferred to a vegan diet after saying I would the day after returning from Alternative Spring Break and so I didn’t. I also find it interesting that in this description of diet to follow for Passover, it mentions that vegetarians can esssentially change it up. I don’t believe that makes sense. My personal belief about being vegan or vegetarian is just that, personal. No one forced me to do it. My religion which is my culture and arguably engrained in my DNA won’t change even if I convert… my roots, my biological basis as a human is rooted in Ashkenazim Jewish heritage.

So what can I eat? What have I consumed thus far? Unfortunately, my choices are limited but hey, if I think about choice thousands of years ago when my ancestors were effectively wandering in the desert, I am relieved to have as much of a selection as I do. I am grateful.

Thus far, I’ve had whole wheat matzah, fruit, vitamin water (I’m ok with consuming foods or beverages that have no ingredients needing “kosherization”), Jordan Almonds, fruit pieces. Yep, that about sums it up. I do have a plethera of further choices for the upcoming week such as seaweed, kale chips, pistachios, and some products which would require baking (less than 18 minutes of course).

I told my therapist (K) on Sunday that I switched from a vegetarian diet to a vegan diet and the first question she asked, not in a rude way, was “why?” Initially I mentioned the health benefits a vegan diet provides and the evidence showing the benefits of a plant-based diet. Towards the end of the session I told her that it made it a lot easier to merely say I’m vegan than try to explain to people that I’m restricting my intake. I guess that sort of tipped the seesaw for her. She strongly encouraged me to begin attending an evening IOP (intensive outpatient program) to facilitate ways of better dealing with my emotions and those surrounding my weight.

Admittedly, I have lost quite a bit of weight over the past two weeks. I’m not going to put numbers up because I’m not actually trying to compete with anyone (actually reading this). I added the parentheses because I realized that in fact I think I am trying to compete with someone at a subconscious level. First, it was let’s get below my brother’s weight: He’s a mere 160 and 6 feet tall (attribute this to his illness). Then, I’m trying to surpass Barbara’s (I’m her progeny) weight. She nearly 60 years old, 5’6” and 125 pounds. She intends to keep it that way. From what I’ve noticed on Facebook pictures though, she’s likely a lot less (I suppose this is an illness too…. of a different sort).

I’m well-versed in this area. I know what I need to eat, I know how losing weight fast in an instant gratification sort of effort doesn’t pay off in the long run. I know a lot regarding physical well-being. Ironically, I continue to gravitate towards unhealthy coping mechanisms.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s