Whether for health reasons, moral and ethical reasons, or even financial reasons, it pays to pay attention to which diet and lifestyle is the best out there for you. Vegan, vegetarian, carnivore, and more!
It can get tricky to understand all the ins and outs of each diet, and what the pros and cons of each one is.
But in the end, remember, you will have to do what is best for you, based on your own personal needs, and then adjust accordingly.
When it comes to any decision, spiritual, dietary, or financial or physical, what works for you has to be okay with you.
What does all of this diet stuff have to do with witchy spiritual stuff?
Well, ultimately, all decisions are spiritual ones.
Even more though, what you put in your body will certainly affect your spirituality.
How you feel physically has an impact on how you feel spiritually, and vice versa.
So yes, your diet and your spiritual practice are closely linked.
First, let’s look at the various diets and their pros and cons.
The most important thing to understand is that diet does not mean what you probably think it means.
Your diet is merely what you eat or practice every day.
This definition is very different from people who talk about “going on a diet.”
That’s not what we’re talking about here.
Any diet you introduce into your life should have a long-term sustainability to it that allows you to feel good, be at a healthy weight, have energy, and get the calories and nutrients you need.
You have both a physical diet and a mental diet.
What are you introducing into your body, and do you feel good about it?
That’s all that matters in the end.
Witches do not go on diets!
Okay, there are some die hard vegans out there, and they are probably the most self-righteous foodies on the planet. (Sorry, Vegans. But it is true.)
I say this as someone who spent years as a self-righteous know it all (I’m looking at you, twenties), and as someone who has a few very close friends who are vegans.
Vegans lay claim to both health and moral superiority in that they point to science that shows the human body suffers from animal fats and proteins and that plants are good for us as well as to the moral dilemma of killing animals for food.
Also, going vegan is super cheap.
My girlfriend who is vegan spends a fraction of what I spend at the grocery store because she basically eats grains and leaves!
To be sure, you will likely save a ton of money at the market if you go vegan.
But in terms of the science, this comes down on both sides.
I have noticed that the studies that compare veganism to those with diets that include meat always include meat that is both not organic, not grass fed, and not ruminant. So, really, you are comparing someone with a diet of healthy plants to someone with a diet of meat packed with hormones and fillers.
It’s not a fair comparison.
Yes, there is no doubt we should all eat more plants. But to say that we should cut out meat entirely for health reasons is a stretch, and I’ll explain why.
Finally, as to the moral question, it is one you will have to come to terms with.
There are those for whom killing an animal for food is simply unacceptable, even though they may like to eat meat.
And if this is you, kudos. I get it. If you cannot get around this ethical dilemma, you will likely have to stay vegan, or at the very least vegetarian.
I will say that it bears mentioning that billions of animals are killed in the harvesting of crops for food consumption every year.
These wild animals are caught in the combines in the fields and their homes are destroyed, so you cannot really be sure you are saving lives by consuming less or no meat.
Most vegetarians follow this diet because they don’t want to eat meat for ethical reason, but they are okay with eggs and dairy products, which does not require killing an animal.
Some vegetarians are also pescatarian, which means they will eat fish.
This diet is a good one as it introduces lots of plants and still allows for animal protein.
The ethical reasoning has already been addressed above.
In terms of health, it is worth noting for vegans and vegetarians both that it is incredibly challenging to meet all of the nutrient requirements of the human body without consuming animal proteins.
In my opinion, there is a reason humans process animal protein so efficiently and struggle to do so without meat.
I have had friends suffer from jaundice, where the liver begins to fail from lack of appropriate protein.
The carnivore diet is on the opposite extreme of veganism, where people eat only ruminant animal protein.
Perhaps the biggest proponent of this diet is Mikhaila Peterson, daughter of Jordan Peterson.
Mikhaila suffered from juvenile diabetes for many years, from the young age of four. She had multiple bones replaced, including two ankles and a hip, and she was in a constant state of pain, on and off multiple prescription drugs for decades.
One day, she tried an elimination diet she had heard about, the carnivore diet, which is only ruminant meat.
Beef, goat, lamb, and salt.
But, you see, the animals have to be ruminant, meaning they are eating grass and getting other wide nutrients from the earth, naturally and organically.
This means that the animal is consuming all the nutrients you need, and then breaking them down so you do not have to worry about intolerances.
Within months, Mikhaila was fully cured.
She is off all meds and was even able to conceive and carry to term her daughter.
She is an advocate of trying this elimination diet for anyone who suffers from extreme chronic illness.
I say, hey, it’s worth a shot.
Then there is the less extreme version of the carnivore diet, which is the paleo or what was once called the Atkins diet.
The idea behind this diet is to cut out all processed foods and all wheat and grain products.
It encourages animal protein and animal fats.
It is a good short-term diet treated perhaps as an elimination diet, but I have yet to meet someone who can sustain it for a lifetime.
Potatoes are just too damn tasty.
The Mediterranean diet is the most studied diet in the world and is adhered to by most of the people in what are considered blue zones, the regions of the world where people live the longest.
This diet consists of lean meats, whole grains, plants, nuts, and very little dairy.
If you already drink wine, you can continue to have a glass a day, and you must walk a lot.
Most people who live to be 100 years old walk a lot!
Then there’s my favorite, the pegan diet.
Dr. Mark Hyman, a functional medicine doctor who has been studying medicine and diet for decades, developed this diet in response to friends arguing over whether paleo or vegan was the better diet.
When asked his opinion, he split the difference, saying, “well, I say the pegan diet is best!”
He had made up the term, combining elements of paleo and vegan, noting that, in his experience, for longevity and total wellness, the human body needed a mix of ruminant meats and animal proteins as well as plenty of plants, herbs, and spices in our diets.
He has since written a book on the subject, along with several others.
What I like about the pegan diet is that it really is sustainable in the long term, and allows for you to indulge on occasion, trusting that your healthy diet will clean out your system and detox any contaminants as needed.
In the end, what is certain about witchy diet is that we must be mindful of what we put into our bodies because it does have a huge impact on how we feel.
Eat crap and you will feel like crap, you will eventually find yourself taking drugs and relying on other interventions to sustain you, which may lead to a lifetime of chronic illness and reliance on the medical industry to keep you alive.
That is a recipe for spiritual disaster.
So, whichever diet you choose, be sure it provides you with strength, energy, and the ability to sleep and exercise well.
If you do eat meat, be mindful that the animals are treated humanely and fed a nutrient-rich diet.
If you do not eat meat, be sure to get the right combinations of protein, grains, and plants to keep you healthy all day, and all life, long.