Author Topic: Buddhist diet?  (Read 3789 times)

mdr

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Buddhist diet?
« on: June 20, 2016, 12:00:48 AM »
At the retreat for what i recall we had two meals, i think it was vegan (no meat for sure, but honestly i don't remember about diary and eggs), more so, experienced students had only breakfast and tea and a fruit around noon, something like that (it was long time ago). Still, there was plenty of food and it was delicious.
Which way of eating is most appropriate for this way of life? No meat is logical, but other than that? Minimalist eating (like, 3 ingredients recipes) or raw foods, intermittent fasting or something else?
What do you eat? At what times? Do you cook?

Nicky

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2016, 03:32:34 AM »
The Buddha ate what was given to him & taught we eat to "only to maintain the body; to support the spiritual life".

I cook all my meals (since I spend my day at & work from home).

I eat two meals per day, at around 8:30am (when I return home from morning exercise) and at around 1:30pm. I usually eat some fruits in the evening (apples, mandarins or rock melon in winter; peaches & mango in summer).

Each meal is brown rice (1.5 cups at most) & lots of vegetables (at least 500 grams); string beans, silver-beet, cauliflower, carrots from supermarket plus eggplants, capsicum, shallots & rocket from my garden.

Breakfast includes either two eggs, tofu or beans (legumes).

Lunch includes fish (200 grams) four days per week & some meat (170 grams) three days per week. I haven't eaten meat for many years but was advised this year to eat it for my health.

I use garlic, ginger, chilli (from garden), lemon juice & occasionally spices in my cooking.

No drugs; no alcohol; no coffee. Drink mostly plain water & sometimes fruit juice. Drink tea when other people make it for me.

I don't fuss too much about food because the next day it is in the toilet. One pot of cooked brown rice (stored in the fridge) 2 days. I order online & the supermarket delivers. I have no resistance to this kind of technology.


mdr

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2016, 06:39:14 AM »
The Buddha ate what was given to him & taught we eat to "only to maintain the body; to support the spiritual life".

I cook all my meals (since I spend my day at & work from home).

I eat two meals per day, at around 8:30am (when I return home from morning exercise) and at around 1:30pm. I usually eat some fruits in the evening (apples, mandarins or rock melon in winter; peaches & mango in summer).

Each meal is brown rice (1.5 cups at most) & lots of vegetables (at least 500 grams); string beans, silver-beet, cauliflower, carrots from supermarket plus eggplants, capsicum, shallots & rocket from my garden.

Breakfast includes either two eggs, tofu or beans (legumes).

Lunch includes fish (200 grams) four days per week & some meat (170 grams) three days per week. I haven't eaten meat for many years but was advised this year to eat it for my health.

I use garlic, ginger, chilli (from garden), lemon juice & occasionally spices in my cooking.

No drugs; no alcohol; no coffee. Drink mostly plain water & sometimes fruit juice. Drink tea when other people make it for me.

I don't fuss too much about food because the next day it is in the toilet. One pot of cooked brown rice (stored in the fridge) 2 days. I order online & the supermarket delivers. I have no resistance to this kind of technology.

That's awesome, Nicky! Your way of eating sounds ideal to me! I cook every day too, but it's not as healthy and plain (in a good way) as yours  :(
I go extended periods of time without meat, then, often when away from home and in 3d countries, i give in  :( Our cuisine is most similar to Turkish, plus i make some Russian dishes like soups, porridge etc. (Good that i can't knead very well, else i'd be ruined  ;D)
Decent borsch (Russian vegetable soup) takes some three hours to prepare. Kosher or halal stuff that i am buying is quite expensive. Anyway you look at it, it's neither convenient nor i think particularly healthy. Still, i am spending too much money and wasting too much time to prepare it  :( (I cook for my parents too, they live near me.)
Basically, i want to simplify, to save time in the first place as like this i am spending hours daily getting groceries/cooking/ washing the dishes. (Not that i am particularly crazy, most people here do it that way. Like, you must "eat with a spoon" daily , soup or something + meat, of course; it's, like, a traditional way of cooking over here, except that most eat pork, whereas my family doesn't.)

I have two question for you  :)

1. How much is mango where you are? Both mango and avocado are considered exotic here and very expensive, last time i checked (maybe a week ago) single avocado (one avocado) was 3 euros  ::) Same with sweet potatoes, i find them in many recipes, but here they cost starting at 4 euros per 1 kg  :D

2. If it's ok to ask, what kind of exercise you do?

Thanks for replying  :)

Nicky

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2016, 07:22:23 AM »
I have two question for you  :)

1. How much is mango where you are? Both mango and avocado are considered exotic here and very expensive, last time i checked (maybe a week ago) single avocado (one avocado) was 3 euros  ::)

2. If it's ok to ask, what kind of exercise you do?

Sometimes mango is for free, growing on trees nearby. I am in northern Australia. Avocado or mango I buy if 1.3 euro or less (therefore, I did not buy this week).

Exercise. Just walking, swimming, some light jogging, but mainly long walking & swimming.

I have eaten the same food everyday for many years. I also trained my mother to cook this mostly vegetarian food if I visit her. It is only this year I eat some fish & meat everyday since my old Chinese (Buddhist-Taoist) doctor told me to eat more meat, less rice & lose some weight. I used to eat a lot of tofu and nuts, like almonds, cashews, etc, but substituting with fish.

Vegetables & tofu, I just put into a steamer & dip with soy or chilli sause. Fish & meat I just stir-fry with garlic, ginger, etc. I don't like doing housework, like washing a greasy pan. That is why I never cooked meat before.  :o

« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 07:29:35 AM by Nicky »

mdr

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2016, 08:28:15 AM »

Sometimes mango is for free, growing on trees nearby.

??? ??? ???

 
Quote
I am in northern Australia. Avocado or mango I buy if 1.3 euro or less (therefore, I did not buy this week).

Exercise. Just walking, swimming, some light jogging, but mainly long walking & swimming.

Lucky you!!! I envy you in a good way!!!

No swimming pool in Podgorica (where i live) , the sea is comparatively close, but it's still 1h drive through steep and poorly maintained (often closed for maintenance) mountain roads  ::)

Quote
I have eaten the same food everyday for many years. I also trained my mother to cook this mostly vegetarian food if I visit her. It is only this year I eat some fish & meat everyday since my old Chinese (Buddhist-Taoist) doctor told me to eat more meat, less rice & lose some weight. I used to eat a lot of tofu and nuts, like almonds, cashews, etc, but substituting with fish.

Chinese believe in meat, esp. pork. (I studied there, in Beijing, that's why i know.) My people believe you should eat red meat on Friday evening, that it's very good for one's health.  :)

Quote
Vegetables & tofu, I just put into a steamer & dip with soy or chilli sause. Fish & meat I just stir-fry with garlic, ginger, etc. I don't like doing housework, like washing a greasy pan. That is why I never cooked meat before.  :o

I don't mind, but lately it's just too much; beside cooking/eating my pets are both shedding and that's a story unto itself  :'(

Next life i want to be from Australia, swim close to my home and eat mango from a tree...  :angel: :angel: :angel:

p340

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2016, 09:44:06 AM »
I don't *think* that much about cooking and food. In another way. I tend not to control everything that much. I try to let go. I just eat.

Imho you eat better and better if you just raise awareness. You don't have to control it. I'm not drinking because i don't feel like it. I'm not eating meat because i don't feel like it. I'm not eating a pound of sugar cause i don't feel like it. I honestly think if i would feel like any of those, i would eat it. It's okay.

In my country it feels like a little insanity - weighting every meal, counting calories, vitamins and proteins, eating glutenfree, extragluten, lactosefree, lowcarb, having opinions on every single item in the supermarket, organic, non-organic and chia seeds, so on. Everybody is an healthy eating expert. In my opinion that is controlling and clinging. It doesn't feel right to make rules you have to obey then, and to cling to them as opinions. Especially clinging to opinions about what food is healthy is very strong at the moment...

For me the 5 precepts became more and more natural the more i meditated. I'm not able of killing anything, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, false speech, drink alcohol most of the time in my life now. When i was in retreat i stopped eating the greasy meals because i felt my body trying to cope with it so intensely. I ate less and probably much more healthy than at home where i have lessened awareness of my body.

tl;dr: My opinion = just meditate.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 09:47:29 AM by p340 »

mdr

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2016, 10:32:37 AM »
I don't *think* that much about cooking and food. In another way. I tend not to control everything that much. I try to let go. I just eat.

You are right, it's control issues methinks... The hand that rocks the cradle holds the cooking spoon rules the world  :D

Quote
Imho you eat better and better if you just raise awareness. You don't have to control it. I'm not drinking because i don't feel like it. I'm not eating meat because i don't feel like it. I'm not eating a pound of sugar cause i don't feel like it. I honestly think if i would feel like any of those, i would eat it. It's okay.

In my country it feels like a little insanity - weighting every meal, counting calories, vitamins and proteins, eating glutenfree, extragluten, lactosefree, lowcarb, having opinions on every single item in the supermarket, organic, non-organic and chia seeds, so on. Everybody is an healthy eating expert. In my opinion that is controlling and clinging. It doesn't feel right to make rules you have to obey then, and to cling to them as opinions. Especially clinging to opinions about what food is healthy is very strong at the moment...

I think at the root of every eating disorder is control issues... What you describe is orthorexia ("extreme or excessive preoccupation with eating food believed to be healthy"), i must admit i have such tendencies (and also literally everyone i know) :'(
It's with great fondness that i remember family gatherings from the times gone by... Everyone would gather around the table and eat exactly same foods, and even enjoy them! The spirit of unity at those gatherings used to be amazing... Nowadays, it's allergies, real or perceived (my niece is indeed allergic to fish, yet many guests i host that come with 'gluten intolerance' are making it up, the only genuine case i know irl is another cousin of mine AND if you have that for real, it's not fun at all!  >:( ),
religious thing, i am of religious minority and live in predominantly Christian Orthodox country, the latter fast half of the year (eat vegan), whereas we also have our own (strict) set of rules.
The worst that ever happened to me in terms of hosting is serving dinner simultaneously for
1. vegan friend 2. friend who does CO fast but eats fish 3. low -carbing friend 4. friend who insists on eating pork
Since then i gave up. I mostly tell in advance what's on the menu, it's clean anyway and mostly healthy, mostly low in carbs and cooked on healthy fats; if it doesn't suit you - do bring your own food  >:( [/quote]

For me the 5 precepts became more and more natural the more i meditated. I'm not able of killing anything, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, false speech, drink alcohol most of the time in my life now. When i was in retreat i stopped eating the greasy meals because i felt my body trying to cope with it so intensely. I ate less and probably much more healthy than at home where i have lessened awareness of my body.

A close friend of mine who converted to Buddhism long time ago and is really committed to the path makes the least trouble. He never demands anything special to be made for him, albeit i know more or less what's fine with him and make that, not a problem really, especially when someone is NOT acting entitled and overly demanding  ;)



tl;dr: My opinion = just meditate.

True too, everything tends to fall into its' own place then  ;)

sahbumnihm

Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2016, 09:43:53 AM »
My childhood was on a farm, in a Pennsylvania Dutch farming community, sorry if that is an obscure reference. Crops and animals were always raised without pesticides or fertilizers. Fields where rotated between crops and grazing to maintain nutrient rich soil. Food was fresh and unprocessed. Not to proselytize, but in my experience, getting back to that kind of diet has greatly eased my practice. On a side note, my diet was vegetarian, then vegan for a very long time, but in all honesty, modest consumption of fish and occassionally meat seems to help me better manage my physical and mental health.

mdr

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2016, 10:06:09 AM »
My childhood was on a farm, in a Pennsylvania Dutch farming community, sorry if that is an obscure reference.

I totally get it, my mother is from former Austrian-Hungary (what historically was), today's border between Hungary and Serbia, where majority was German farmers. :)

Crops and animals were always raised without pesticides or fertilizers. Fields where rotated between crops and grazing to maintain nutrient rich soil. Food was fresh and unprocessed. Not to proselytize, but in my experience, getting back to that kind of diet has greatly eased my practice.
I think that's the most natural and healthiest way of eating, the least processed and cleanest, no matter whether one is vegetarian or not.

On a side note, my diet was vegetarian, then vegan for a very long time, but in all honesty, modest consumption of fish and occassionally meat seems to help me better manage my physical and mental health.

I oscillate too :( Basically, i am not concerned about effects of meat, it's that i feel guilty i am inflicting pain on living beings :( (Of course, i comfort myself that i am eating only meat of ritually killed animals, who didn't suffer and theoretically have chosen such death so their souls can advance afterlife - that's philosophy behind halal/kosher... Still, we know that many times it's BS and that those 'ritual butchers' don't do as they should, thus making the animals suffer  :'(

stillpointdancer

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2016, 11:41:00 AM »
I used to get a lot of negative comments at the Buddhist Centre about not being a vegetarian. I don't mind being veggie for periods of time, it's just that I live with non-vegetarians, and it's easier just to eat what everyone else is eating. For me, it is better for the planet to eat low on the food chain, but as a biologist I see everything that is alive in the same way- eating plants is really no different, for me, than eating animals. We identify more with the suffering of animals than the suffering of plants, so would rather eat the plants. Part of my meditation occasionally involves, say, farmed cows. Would they rather have never lived, or are they grateful for that period of life they have had? I haven't any answers for myself yet, but if I ever came down on the 'never having been alive' side of the argument, I'll immediately stop eating them.
The problem for me is things caught in the wild such as fish. Should we have left them in the sea to lead out their fishy lives? I hate seeing them dead, lying on the slab in the supermarket, but hate the thought of them not being sold and getting thrown away, having been killed with not even the poor excuse of being eaten. Anyway, back to the people in the Buddhist Centre. For me, being veggie was their problem, not mine. They seemed to think that you couldn't make progress and eat animals. I think they were wrong to make such a song and dance about it, but I could be wrong. What do others think?
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

mdr

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2016, 06:12:24 PM »
I used to get a lot of negative comments at the Buddhist Centre about not being a vegetarian. I don't mind being veggie for periods of time, it's just that I live with non-vegetarians, and it's easier just to eat what everyone else is eating. For me, it is better for the planet to eat low on the food chain, but as a biologist I see everything that is alive in the same way- eating plants is really no different, for me, than eating animals. We identify more with the suffering of animals than the suffering of plants, so would rather eat the plants. Part of my meditation occasionally involves, say, farmed cows. Would they rather have never lived, or are they grateful for that period of life they have had? I haven't any answers for myself yet, but if I ever came down on the 'never having been alive' side of the argument, I'll immediately stop eating them.
The problem for me is things caught in the wild such as fish. Should we have left them in the sea to lead out their fishy lives? I hate seeing them dead, lying on the slab in the supermarket, but hate the thought of them not being sold and getting thrown away, having been killed with not even the poor excuse of being eaten. Anyway, back to the people in the Buddhist Centre. For me, being veggie was their problem, not mine. They seemed to think that you couldn't make progress and eat animals. I think they were wrong to make such a song and dance about it, but I could be wrong. What do others think?

I can relate to what you write, stillpointdancer. I also totally understand about finding a compromise with people one lives with. Still, don't know how it comes across to the folks who are formally Buddhist, who accepted fully the religion (or were born into it). It would be interesting to hear from an actual Buddhist what they think. That friend of mine whom i've been mentioning, who is very serious practitioner and had converted formally, he does eat meat.
In Beijing i had a Buddhist flatmate, a girl from Sri Lanka (Ceylon). She ate meat and just about anything else which one gets to eat in China.
What i think though, is that no one should intimidate you based on your way of eating and somehow it feels like those people in the Center seem overly pushy in their believes ( i bet they mean well, but i don't like such an imposing attitude  ::) .)

sahbumnihm

Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2016, 04:22:56 AM »
Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal, our local Buddhist monk grew up and regularly eats meat. Wat Punyawanaram, our local Thai temple, has a huge, food court, Sunday, all-you-can-eat buffet fund raiser. Their idea of a vegan dish, from the church ladies who cook, to the monks who encourage the local non-Buddhist guest does not preclude fish stock, in the soup, sriracha or fish sauce. It's all relative...

Edit: Did I say vegan? That's cultural bias. I should say vegetarian, vegan is still a foreign concept to many of my friends who come from Buddhist cultures.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 04:28:55 AM by sahbumnihm »

p340

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2016, 09:03:41 AM »
So. The vegetarian/vegan vs carnivores thread starts again! ;)

mdr

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2016, 09:41:31 AM »
Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal, our local Buddhist monk grew up and regularly eats meat. Wat Punyawanaram, our local Thai temple, has a huge, food court, Sunday, all-you-can-eat buffet fund raiser. Their idea of a vegan dish, from the church ladies who cook, to the monks who encourage the local non-Buddhist guest does not preclude fish stock, in the soup, sriracha or fish sauce. It's all relative...

Reminds me of "vegan" pizza i had in Budapest... 2y ago, during my last long vegan phase, i got to travel there for work. The very first night i arrived i walked to some pizzeria in the historical center of the city and after checking the menu ordered the only available vegan option. It had 4 kinds of cheese, more so  A LOT of it! :D

mdr

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2016, 09:43:05 AM »
So. The vegetarian/vegan vs carnivores thread starts again! ;)

We'll be nice, promise!  :D

sahbumnihm

Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2016, 01:04:17 PM »
As a boy on a farm, raising, slaughtering and butchering all manner of livestock and game was routine. Becoming a vegetarian at an early age, was maybe an act of rebellion. Working my way through college in restaurants, becoming a macrobiotic chef led to becoming a vegan. Becoming deathly ill at one point, meat and dairy helped me recover. Today, vegan is not an ethical choice, intimate experience with animal husbandry triggers my PTSD, with exceptions. The exception is huge, several of the young veterans who work for me have PTSD. They are starting to model my recovery and we are exploring ways to make meditation and dharma practice relevant and attractive to them on the job. As an extension of my graduate research project, introducing some of the training philosophy of Takuan Soho and Yagyu Munenori into our regular cycles of small arms training is having remarkable results. They can see and measure the results. We are even turning range day cook outs into occasions for more "mindful" eating, without imposing "Buddhist" food values on them. I spring for and share, free-range, grass fed steaks. The vegan/vegetarian ethical conversation always comes up. My position is always, eat right, take care of yourself, train hard, practice the dharma, your intention will shift. Honest intention is more real than an ethical choice based on the expectations of a dharma teacher, yoga teacher or girlfriend.

mdr

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2016, 01:51:04 PM »
As a boy on a farm, raising, slaughtering and butchering all manner of livestock and game was routine. Becoming a vegetarian at an early age, was maybe an act of rebellion. Working my way through college in restaurants, becoming a macrobiotic chef led to becoming a vegan. Becoming deathly ill at one point, meat and dairy helped me recover. Today, vegan is not an ethical choice, intimate experience with animal husbandry triggers my PTSD, with exceptions. The exception is huge, several of the young veterans who work for me have PTSD. They are starting to model my recovery and we are exploring ways to make meditation and dharma practice relevant and attractive to them on the job. As an extension of my graduate research project, introducing some of the training philosophy of Takuan Soho and Yagyu Munenori into our regular cycles of small arms training is having remarkable results. They can see and measure the results. We are even turning range day cook outs into occasions for more "mindful" eating, without imposing "Buddhist" food values on them. I spring for and share, free-range, grass fed steaks. The vegan/vegetarian ethical conversation always comes up. My position is always, eat right, take care of yourself, train hard, practice the dharma, your intention will shift. Honest intention is more real than an ethical choice based on the expectations of a dharma teacher, yoga teacher or girlfriend.

I agree.  :)

I can relate to what you write about PTSD as well, i am from former Yugoslavia, i think at least half of the population in this region has it to one extent or another due to the wars  :'(

p340

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2016, 05:38:46 PM »
As a boy on a farm, raising, slaughtering and butchering all manner of livestock and game was routine. Becoming a vegetarian at an early age, was maybe an act of rebellion. Working my way through college in restaurants, becoming a macrobiotic chef led to becoming a vegan. Becoming deathly ill at one point, meat and dairy helped me recover. Today, vegan is not an ethical choice, intimate experience with animal husbandry triggers my PTSD, with exceptions. The exception is huge, several of the young veterans who work for me have PTSD. They are starting to model my recovery and we are exploring ways to make meditation and dharma practice relevant and attractive to them on the job. As an extension of my graduate research project, introducing some of the training philosophy of Takuan Soho and Yagyu Munenori into our regular cycles of small arms training is having remarkable results. They can see and measure the results. We are even turning range day cook outs into occasions for more "mindful" eating, without imposing "Buddhist" food values on them. I spring for and share, free-range, grass fed steaks. The vegan/vegetarian ethical conversation always comes up. My position is always, eat right, take care of yourself, train hard, practice the dharma, your intention will shift. Honest intention is more real than an ethical choice based on the expectations of a dharma teacher, yoga teacher or girlfriend.
Everything in this sounds to me as if you find your own way somehow more valuable then others. Or let us put it this way. For me it sounds that people that choose to be vegan or vegetarian haven't the profound expierience you have and just fullfilling ethical presets.

That's why this discussion is so hard. Everybody, even if he tries not to, just assumes to have the right opinion and way to deal with eating meat, no meat, diary products.

Please, please. Could just we just meet beyond right doing and wrong doing?

mdr

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Re: Buddhist diet?
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2016, 09:18:55 PM »

Please, please. Could just we just meet beyond right doing and wrong doing?

NO!  >:(




kidding

Basically, my intent behind starting the topic was exactly that, to talk about what everyone feels/ thinks/ knows is the best way way of eating for them personally, that they feel is the most suitable with the practice, something like that. No right or wrong, just what everyone's experience is. For myself, i think i am spending too much time fretting over food. From the other side, i like cooking... Dunno. Hence the thread  ;)

 

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