Recently I have been thinking a lot more about integrating an even healthier diet. For those that know my story, the last many years I have already been avoiding certain foods in favour of more whole and natural choices. The decision to this was because I had developed such sensitivity to these foods that I could hardly eat anything without doubling over in pain. Through discipline I have found a great deal of pleasure when it comes to preparing my foods from simple ingredients. Yet, I feel I have loads of room to improve. Like most I have many cravings for sugar and other processed foods. Though I avoid them for the most part there is still a strong pull from inside that urges me to buy some junk food. Of course those times I give in to my taste buds I end up regretting it later and my stomach and bowels let me know how they feel too.



So, how can I improve my diet further without starving myself of pleasure and flavours? This leads me to something I discovered about myself last summer while in my yoga mentorship program with my dear friend Stefani. At this time I would spend many days immersed in yoga study and practice, disciplining myself to avoid excess sweets and snack foods. The result was not a cesastion of craving sweets altogehter, especially since I could go home after a few days and my old habits wold creep back in. In the end I started craving sweet foods that were foods I had never craved before. Out of seemingly nowhere I started craving beets.



That earthy, red staining root vegetable, the beet. Now the thing that is the most intriguing element of this story is that my entire life, from a young girl on, I hated the taste of beets. I recall my mother offering me some beets and me not enjoying the earthy sweet flavour. I would be given a green salad and be put off by the slivers of beet sprinkled in the sea of green. Like many other fuits and vegetables when I was younger, I have noticed my tastes have changed. Things that used to make me turn away and go 'yuck!' I am craving the taste of now. Other examples would be plums, grapefruit, sweet potato and a dish that is basically a spicy yogurt soup full of herbs and spices over rice. What I am guessing is that now that I have detoxed for the most part, cleansing myself of all those foods that were harming me, I can now listen to the REAL cues from my body that want nutrition.



Now, when I feel a sweet craving creeping in I will try a mixed root vegetable medly with beets, sweet potato and any other root vegetable on hand; I will also integrate spices like cinnemon and cardimom into my meals, especially dinner so I have that sweet taste in the evening. Plus I am reminding myself daily to drink more water and that if I am craving something sweet to try and satisfy it with natural choices as opposed to those choices wrapped in plastic or foil.



What this whole experience is teaching me is Bramacharya or nonexcess or moderation in all things. When it comes to food bramacharya teaches to control one's sensual desires of taste. With the abundance of food like substances full of sugar and other tastey chemicals, bramacharya is helping me to steer my way through the grocery store. Bramacharya teaches to find the divinity in every moment as oppose to over induldgence. As Deborah Adele says, “Bramacharya literally means 'walking with God' and invites us into an awareness of the sacredness of all of life.” As I reflect on which areas of my life that need this awareness of nonexcess, I try to make room in my kitchen and really in my own belly for the better choices of foods. When I feel like eating sweets I am trying to take time to contemplate why I want to eat that treat, what is it that I am trying to fill inside when all I need to do is take in my present as the gift that it is. I am determined to find a balance so I may continue to be a vibrant healthy light on this planet.