Tuesday, March 13, 2012


http://mexico.cnn.com/salud - Food brings people together. A great deal of bonding can happen over a pot of soup, but when one person wants chicken noodle while the other wants vegetable, it can turn into a food fight. Couples expect the normal relationship woes - sex, money, respect - but with the growing prevalence of dietary restrictions and interfaith marriages, the kitchen is increasingly turning into an all out turf war.  “How we feed ourselves and each other says a great deal about how we feel about ourselves and our loved ones,” says psychotherapist Karen Koenig, who has written four books on eating and weight. Dean Thompson, 41, of Austin, Texas, and his girlfriend, Amanda Abbott, 39, know the anything-but-simple nature of food all too well. Thompson is a vegan; Abbott is not. At the end, their culinary contingencies could be fortunately settled. While neither says they will change from omnivore to vegan or vice versa for the other, Abbott says she does find herself cooking more vegetables and eating more healthily.

Relationships, like gravy, aren’t always smooth, and couples must learn how to whisk through the bumps, says Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor of psychology. Here a few of her tips: Respect: Regardless the reason for the choice - religion, ethical conviction, medical - it is critical that one person not mock or otherwise ridicule or put down the choices of another partner. That runs both ways:  If one person is a committed vegan, he or she may need to get off his/her high horse and not make it a moral indictment of the partner who does not choose to eat that way, because that is a choice that may not be amenable to that partner. Find ways to voice preferences that are not disrespectful. Communicate: Such different choices only work if there is clear communication about grocery shopping or meal planning. Compromise: If the person with more restrictions also does the bulk of the cooking, then there may need to be a way to meet halfway so one doesn’t feel there is no choice but vegetarian, etc.

Due to many dietary restrictions, ethical convictions and interfaith marriages, who prepares the meal and “what is there to eat today?” have become difficult challenges to overcome for most of the couples.  This shouldn't be a surprise, food is an “anything-but-simple subject,” says psychotherapist Karen Koenig.  But the solution is simple: if we just eat vegetarian food, its vibration assists us in our spiritual upliftment, while if we eat meat our consciousness assimilates fear, suffering and aggression.

Pure and wholesome vegetarian foods are what is needed for our own refinement, health, strength, and happiness; while other kinds of food cause pain, suffering and disease.  Furthermore, we can see that the process of preparing and eating food is also a part of the Vedic system for making spiritual advancement. As the Vedic literature explains, what we eat is an important factor in the process of purifying ourselves and remaining free from accumulating bad karma. It actually is not so difficult to be vegetarian, and it gives one a much higher taste in eating and in one’s spiritual realizations. The level of our consciousness is also determined not only by what we think and do, but also by the vibrational level of what we put into our bodies as food. The more natural and peaceful the food, the more healthy and peaceful will be our consciousness.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Vegetarianism: Recommended in Vedic Scripture”

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