My first introduction to healthy eating was in 1998, during a weekend visit to the Kripalu Yoga center in Massachusetts.
I woke up bright and early for a 6 am yoga class then eagerly made my way to the dining room for breakfast. When I walked up and down the length of the buffet table on both sides, I was horrified! Where were the eggs, bacon, toast, and butter? There was nothing but oat meal and oat bran, raisin sauce, fresh fruit, dried fruit, yogurt, nuts, seeds, sprouted bread (whatever that was), almond butter, and unsalted clarified butter… YUK!!! I was not a happy camper. But what choice did I have? I couldn’t leave the grounds without personal transportation, so going into town for “real” food was out of the question.
I reluctantly scooped oat meal with raisin sauce into a bowl, sprinkled some nuts over it and hoped for the best. I must admit, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Lunch and dinner was more of the same healthy fare. No meat, lots of veggies, brown rice, sweet potatoes and fruit for dessert! Since I knew what to expect this go around, I decided I would open my mind and try to enjoy it. As I walked passed rows of tables on my way to find a seat, I noticed people around me ate differently than I did. There was a reverence, it seemed for eating. They concentrated, took their time chewing, and savored their food. I was like a fish out of water, but I did my best to mimic my neighbors.
When the weekend was over, I did spend time reflecting on my experience specifically with food. How good it felt to be free of that bloated, gassy, acidic and lethargic feeling that came with my regular meals. Though I tried, I couldn’t bring myself to eat fast foods anymore, so I cut those out immediately. Other small shifts in my diet came over time, including the incorporation of… oat meal, raisin sauce, and nuts of all things!