Thursday, August 22, 2013

The "O Crap" Mechanism

Recently there was a long and somewhat humorous thread in my Facebook Meditation Support Group. Since it seems to be a topic of interest to many people I thought I would post some of it here and let it continue in the comments.

Here is how it started:  After my post Why India? Hannah posted in the FB group:
"Felice, I would love to hear more about how eating meat puts our body into survival mode. I've never heard of that before."
Several others chimed in "Me too." 
My response: "yes. the blood of the animal when it sinks into our gums hits the nerves and they respond with an O Crap mechanism. ESPECIALLY if the animal felt fear when it was killed.
When an animal is killed it releases a kind of hormone thing into it's blood that is basically toxic to us. Now, I am not forbidding anyone to eat meat, but it is worth a re-read of the word of wisdom if you are interested. The way I interpret it is that it is to be eaten in times of winter and famine. What happens in those times? Food doesn't grow. but in our day, we have grocery stores and we have access to grown food most all the time. FYI I don't think fish are the same as animals. They have a different nervous system..and Jesus ate a lot of fish. But there are concerns about fish so I don't eat them much.
Lani said: I totally think the way the animal is killed makes a difference. And how the animal was raised too. 
Where can we read more about the "O Crap mechanism"??
Me: I'm not sure. I'll ask my yogi friend with the long long beard. But aren't you a research expert? 
Lani: Ha. Do I google "O crap mechanism" then? 
Me: yeah. Go for it. See what happens. No I will get some info for you, but I'm sure you'll probably find something first
Lani Google says: No results found for "O crap mechanism".
Me: Really? Shocking.
Emily:  I have read about the O Crap mechanism. Its in the book that talks all about this meat eating thing that turned me vegetarian in the first place.....hmmm....I'll figure out the title and post
Me: Try O Sh*t mechanism. :)
Lani: ha... this thread is getting kind of hilarious
Lani: I have a theory though that our bodies are actually more suited to digesting meat when we're in a chronic state of stress/anxiety/panic (as would probably be the case in an ice age or famine). I consumed vast quantities of meat last summer because that's what I felt prompted to do. I think it helped keep me alive.
Jennifer: My last few pregnancies (#5,6,7) have been very heavy on meat, because I had trouble digesting plant proteins.
Emily:  I agree Lani and am so grateful you verbalized that aha moment for me. I was fine without meat until earlier this summer when I felt very strongly prompted that the only way I would heal was to add it back in. And it was just that (my life), a chronic state of stress/anxiety/panic. I also agree with Felice that in happy times meat really shouldn't be a staple. Mostly because I have never liked it, not since the day I landed on this planet.
Lani:  One of the big things that happens to our bodies when we're under extreme stress is the depletion of B-vitamins. I think that's one reason meat is good famine-food. It's chock full of B-vitamins and can give us a quick boost when we're depleted from stress. 
 Me:  One of the big things Kundalini yoga does is release us from this stress/survival reptilian brain mode. So we can do what we were put on this planet to do-- evolve spiritually.  so if you have to choose, add in more KY.  
Lani: The more KY I do, the less I crave meat.  (Also, the less I need to eat, in general.) 
Quincy: What a fascinating thread (on many levels, wink) but this explains something. I have almost lost my desire to eat meat, for the first time in my life. I've actually been a strong proponent for not being veg because of the missing vitamins and minerals in all plant-based diet, the deep nourishment found in bone broths, plus having access to grass raised and finished and humanely raised/processed beef (my farmer loves his cows and lovingly grows special grasses and crops for them to feast on) and we have participating in raising and processing our own chickens offering prayers at all points of raising and butchering them, grateful for the fulfilling their measure of creation. All this to say -- It was the KY! It DOES decrease a desire to eat meat and I'm totally blown away! (I just know I was being led for my own health over the years and my children who are half Samoan and have a strong need for certain proteins for their body make up. It's a journey!)
Me: Yep. KY will help your body get what it needs on so many levels. I notice after a whole day of KY at a teacher training or something I hardly need to eat much, but I am totally nourished by what I do eat.

Then there was some misunderstanding and a hilarious digression when several people didn't realize that KY stood for Kundalini Yoga. I won't post that part, but it was pretty funny.

Okay here is one highlight from that digression:

Rebekah:   Funny story - I signed up for the free Friday music at and made a folder on my computer which I named FreeKYMusic - then it looked like "Freaky music" the next time I was in the folder ... so I renamed it....

But enough about that. I think diet/food is fascinating, and of course totally part of our mind-body connection stuff. I don't usually talk too much about food in a public setting because I find that I get a LOT of negativity from people who have very strong opinions one way or another. I'm not sure why. I think maybe people don't want to feel judged, so they defend their own choices, sometimes strongly and them seem judgmental themselves.

But no matter. 
I love that this conversation was friendly and non-judgmental and I love that each person has had their own experience and learned from it and I'd love to hear more, especially from people who have been meditating or doing Kundalini Kriyas.

My own personal experience is that I have been mostly vegetarian for years for my own reasons that have evolved over the years. But I never dreamed of cutting eggs. But in just the last few months I completely stopped liking eggs. The Kundalini Yogic lifestyle, which is not required by any means (Kundalini Yoga is a technology. It's not a religion. You can pick and choose what you decide to adopt), is lacto-vegetarian meaning no eggs or meat. Other dairy is fine. (FYI, it is also a drug and alcohol free lifestyle.)

I had no idea why I stopped liking eggs, when I used to eat them by the dozens. I never associated it with the Kundalini Yoga till this thread because I thought if it was going to happen it would have happened a lot sooner--like in the middle of a 220 hour teacher training. But nevertheless, it happened, probably for some of the reasons Lani alluded to. I have gotten rid of some of the stress/famine mentality. I just stopped liking them. Felt very confused about what to eat for breakfast for a while, but now I am getting creative. And I take it as a good sign that my body is getting what it needs without them. I love my body. It's such a fabulous miraculous temple.

Feel free to share thoughts, experiences, recipes, whatever. If you haven't read the Why India? post, I suggest you read before commenting. "


  1. This was a great thread. I loved the KY aspect. ;)

  2. I'm glad for this post. I was going to post a comment on your why india post and ask about this. We stopped eating meat about a year ago and I got pregnant early this year. It was harder than the first two (appetite-wise) and I actually craved chicken and tuna, which I had been repulsed by for months. Then, during the second trimester, that craving went away. So when I read "survival mode" I realized that's what it was! (I did eventually eat some chicken and tuna, after quite a bit of prayer because it totally made me question my previous answer to prayers. In the end, I know it was just for a short time.) It was nice the comments were so positive!

  3. I've been craving more meat than I'm comfortable with over the past year or two, and I do know that my body is in survival mode. I cook everything at home, from scratch and pretty healthy, but I usually end up cooking for kids first (a whole other post), and then often can't find time to cook something for myself. So basically, I undereat. Eggs are a lifesaver right now. My body jumps on any opportunity to store fat (when we go on vacation and eat pretty healthy, but more regularly for me, I gain 5-ish lbs). Well, I love talking about food, so I have to stop myself right because I need to sleep, instead of writing a novel :) Oh, and I've been trying to get a hang of Kundalini yoga/meditation for the past couple of months, but summer has been busy and the next couple of months will be too. I'd love to be added to meditation support group, if that's possible. I do follow your FB page, but don't see much discussion happening there :)

    1. Thanks for this comment Olya. I totally have a similar problem. I think I undereat as well. Or used to. And thanks for helping me realize that I need to use my FB page more for discussion and interaction. I totally don't do that enough, and the FB group is private and for people who have taken my webinar, and so many people are missiong out on some of the good discussion and interaction. There is LOT happening there. I will start to be more active on the FB Page and encourage others to be too. Thanks! It takes me a while sometimes to figure these things out. Email me privately about joining the Fb group. :)

  4. Something must be wrong with my eyes, but I can't find a single way to email you, so I sent a FB message to you through your PP page. If it doesn't show up, it might be in the 'other' folder :)

  5. I've been dealing with a ton of stress these past six months. I have been meditating daily, hanging on by my fingertips some days, but still getting it done. Right before we moved to the other side of the country, I completely gorged on sausages and bacon, after not having eaten meat for 4+ months. It felt like the right choice at the time, I haven't eaten meat again since. I was definitely in survival mode!