As a child, I had a very limited taste in food. Not because there was no food in the house, but because the food did not look attractive, aesthetically beautiful. I didn’t try many of the products because, in my opinion, they somehow didn’t look right: sometimes they were too liquid, sometimes with lumps, sometimes they resembled mucus or mud, sometimes an incomprehensible mixed substance. Something was broken in my child's head.

I generally did not eat dishes that were in any way mixed with each other - cereals, salads, soups, stuffed dishes, sandwiches with more than one ingredient, etc. To me it all looked like some kind of mess, causing me to gag reflex when I saw it. All products had to be separate. My mother had a hard time because she had to prepare separate food for me.

In the morning I ate mostly only milk and cereal, a sandwich with cheese or sausage, scrambled eggs, and occasionally I could eat semolina porridge. Tea or cocoa. I didn’t drink coffee because it tasted like earth to me (yes, I tasted earth)).

At lunch I could eat empty chicken broth with noodles (the only soup I rated), and for the second my favorite food was pasta with sausages, washed down with compote or juice. I could also eat fish or a cutlet with potatoes (but most importantly, without onions in it! Onions and garlic generally immediately provoked an attack of nausea). In the evening I ate the same thing, tea and some pastries. In general, I ate sweets every day, I could not imagine every day without sweets.

Due to my constitution as an ectomorph, playing sports and other physical activities (bicycling, swimming, martial arts, street games like tag, hide and seek, etc.) and a rather meager set of preferred foods, throughout my childhood I was in the minds of most russian people a “dystrophic” and a “scrappy”, which is why all good Soviet people, incl. doctors and my peers, raised by these soviet people, constantly poked at me with my thinness, tried to feed me, find out why I was so thin and the like. “Thank you very much” to all of them for this, because with their ignorance and narrow-mindedness they cultivated in me a complex of “dislike” for my body, like it’s somehow different, not like the majority, doesn’t correspond to their concepts of a “normal body.” In addition to this, there was this Russian caveman fashion for the cult of biceps and strength, which is still decided in Russia. Although the issue of strength in Russia is a matter of survival for russian men throughout my life. And no, this power is not in truth (as the russian propaganda says), but in the one who is richer and more powerful, and if there is no power and wealth, then at least with muscles and a solid beard to scare away other males. I didn’t have a lot of money or power, so until I was 30, I wanted to be fatter, bigger, more muscular, but it just didn’t work out. Well, it didn’t work out .. again, compared to the rest of my peers.

So, from about 14 to 20 I began to experiment with food, adding some simple salads, various soups (except cream soups), meat and dishes made from it (mainly chicken or beef cutlets, pork chops), fast food. 

From the age of 18 to 30, stress and alcohol started to enter my life more and more often, which is why I began to eat more and precisely food of poor quality. It’s quick and tasteless, what they call “throwing it in the firebox” and running on: at the university - to study, at work - at the computer. During this period of time, I began to acquire the cherished “solidity” of a serious guy in the form of fleshiness, belly and the generally accepted “circumference” of the face. In general, I have more or less started to level out compared to my peers. At the same time, my maximum weight was 69 kg with a height of 174.

I had no taste in food, it could be anything, definitely something sweet, the main thing was to satisfy that very hunger provoked by stress, lack of confidence in myself and my body and other fails. The fashion for strength and my insecurity about the attractiveness of my body led me to the gym. I didn’t focus only on it, but continued to look for and try something new - yoga, running, snowboarding, surfing, rollerblading, swimming, martial arts. By the age of 30, this search for something new took place in all areas of my life - from food to moral and value guidelines, as the old ones began to malfunction and lead to the inconsistency of my feelings, emotions and sensations with the models of “normal” behavior accepted in the russian society.

Yoga has been already able to capture my attention for 6 years now. This is a philosophy that also affects nutrition issues. In short, you need to strive only for vegetarian food and change your attitude towards this food (understanding what you eat, cultivating a sense of taste and gratitude).

In yoga, food is divided into three classes depending on the so-called “gunas” (goodness / passion / ignorance) - views / perceptions of the material world that influence the formation of a person’s interests, behavior in society, goals, moods, preferences.

So, three classes are:

In goodness - vegetarian, fresh, cereals and grains, nuts and dried fruits, milk, cheese, honey

In passion - too spicy, bitter, sour, salty, meat, onions, garlic, chocolate,

In ignorance - not fresh (overripe fruits and vegetables), alcohol, drugs.

Having met Sasha in my life, thanks to her and my research of “that very real me,” I rebuilt my diet. Sasha, an elegant and sophisticated person in choosing fresh and healthy food, showed me how tasty, nutritious and energy-filling vegetarian food can be.

I don’t want to choose only one menu from the “guna of goodness” in order to comply with the canon of the “correct yogi”, because I like different tastes and some products from other classes, for example, garlic and onions, chocolate, wine. So according to gunas theory I could be characterized as the “neutral”, because my food comprises things from different gunas. But what is important, that I gave up eating red or white animal meat, falling into veggi life.

I believe that vegetarianism in Moscow was a developing trend in recent pre-war years, but not for the male population of the capital. In the eyes of most men, a refusal of eating meat is a deviation from the norm, a mental disorder and LGBT culture. Recently, one of the “advanced” Russian universities, RANEPA, published its textbook on russian history “Fundamentals of Russian Statehood.” In this textbook, vegetarianism is called one of the foundations of the “cult of death,” and this very “cult of death” is aimed “at the extermination of the Russian population.” The cult of death is, naturally, conducted by the collective West. For reference, the team of textbook authors is led by Sergei Perevezentsev, who teaches at the Faculty of Political Science at Moscow State University. These are the wonderful breakthrough conclusions of Russian pundits under the leadership of yet another old jerk.

Thanks to Sasha and her talent for preparing delicious dishes (by the way, I am learning this skill from her), I gradually found completely satisfying taste sensations and experienced high-quality bodily metamorphoses:

- started eating 2 times a day

- began to devote significant time to meals (from 30 to 40 minutes)

- gave up eating animal and poultry meat

- switched from animal meat to fish and seafood, which I had not noticed before

- fell in love with vegetables and fruits, their various salads and mixes,

- began to appreciate cheese, nuts and dried fruits

- I enthusiastically accepted the porridge, including it in my daily diet

- I almost stopped eating soups,

- food acquired taste and appearance of freshness

- stopped drinking strong alcohol, preferring red wine

- fell in love with the taste of coffee (I practically didn’t drink it until I was 30)

- stopped eating fast food from fast food restaurants

- reduced the consumption of sweets several times, today giving preference to fruits

- lost weight below 60 kg, almost my teenage weight (but don’t forget that in addition to nutrition, I do a lot of physical exercise, so only vegetarian food will not make you thinner, and maybe even, on the contrary, will make you fat)

- the body feels like it did at the age of 20 (and some qualities were not there even at the age of 20): joint mobility, stretching, flexibility, endurance, relaxed full breathing

- began to get sick a maximum of 2 times a year.

In general, no matter what anyone says, here are a couple of conclusions from the last few years of my changed diet:

1)   Healthy food is one of the pillars of quality of life

2) Vegetarianism will not kill you!

3) Vegetarianism can be different, depending on your needs (you shouldn’t neglect the needs of the body, but I think (call it propoganda, if you like, I do not care) it’s a must do to try to stop eating animals meat at least once in your life)

4) Vegetarian food is tasty, healthy and energy-intensive

5) “Lightness” and mobility of your body is closely linked with the nutrition and the of living