Diabesity and Sacred Dining!

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My accountant invited me to an amazing event at a Buddhist Temple on Sunday. He and his wife had been planting an A-shaped (don’t ask me why) garden there for months, just in time for it to be in full bloom for the temple’s 10th anniversary celebrations. Dignitaries were there by the dozen, our local Member of Parliament delivering the keynote address, and the Police were there both to keep an eye on the hundreds of attendees and to enjoy the festivities.

After the prayer parade and the speeches, we were treated to a scrumptious—and balanced—boxed lunch, tastefully presented: no pun intended. Vegetarian, as you might expect. On the box was a label: “Vegetarian For Your Health” (Sic). I looked around at the garden shrine where you plucked a numbered fortune ball out of the urn: devout Buddhists were on their knees, paying homage to the Goddess of Mercy—not one overweight person among them.

Then, in the giant courtyard for the speeches, I and looked around. Not one overweight person in sight—oh except some of the policemen, several of the local dignitaries, and an American Buddhist clad in bright yellow regalia. In-ter-es-ting!

There was a warm fruit drink to go with lunch; it had the faintest hint of natural sweetness, but wasn’t like anything like the corn-syrup-laced stuff you’d get out of a juice box. The servers, about 50 all told, were inexorably slim. I doubt diabesity would have dared rear its pudgy head in that assembly. The message was beginning to scream at me.

All the Buddhist nuns and monks were slim. And it’s not as if they didn’t believe in good food. The fare was scrumptious. After you had done justice to your generous lunch box (Vegetarian for Your Health) the hosts ushered you to the 2 soup kitchens for the most amazing, gourmet noodle and mushroom soup. Nothing to fuel diabesity there!

A brocade-clad girls’ chamber orchestra performed the most exquisite Chinese music. Their svelte elegance was equaled only by their musical precision. Following that, a young men’s choir regaled the throngs with musical interludes to die for, then a vivacious mixed choir of adults and teens, all of whom were slim. No diabesity there!

Now, thought I, there has to be something to having food that was clearly alkaline. On the brilliantly sunny day, I imagine most people who weren’t at the temple were barbecuing highly acidic foods and weighing themselves down with stodgy desserts. Nothing like the feather-light pineapple desserts we found in our healthy lunch boxes. Now, I’m not a vegetarian, but I would gladly have inhaled that meal any day of the week. (Only I wouldn’t have known how to make it).

Could there have been a hint there for the rest of us? A little whisper in our ears as to what the body really likes? Might “Vegetarian for Your Health” be a good way to go once or twice a week? You be the judge. Call me if you want to know what my fortune was.

To your health!


Jacquelyn Johnston M.Ed.
Professional Health Coach and Educator,
Solutions and Support for Optimal Health
Richmond, B.C. Canada