Nutrition

Menus

For a balanced dietary we need some building food, protein; some force food, starch, sugar and fat; some of the mineral salts in organic form, best obtained from raw fruits and vegetables; and a medium in which the foods can be dissolved, water.

We need a replenishment of these food stuffs at intervals, but it is not necessary to take all of them at the same meal, or even during the same day. Those who believe that all alimentary principles must enter into every meal must necessarily injure themselves through too complex eating. In talking of these alimentary principles, reference is made to them only when they are present in appreciable quantities.

To have the subject better in hand, let us again classify the most important foods:

Flesh foods, which are rich in protein.

Nuts, which contain considerable protein and fat.

Milk and cheese, which contain much protein.

Eggs, taken principally for their protein.

Cereals, the most important contents being starches.

Tubers, containing much starch.

Legumes, rich in protein and starch.

Fresh fruits, well flavored and high in salt contents.

Sweet fruits, containing much fruit sugar.

Succulent vegetables, chiefly valuable because of salts and juices.

Fats and oils, no matter what their source, are concentrated foods which furnish heat and energy when burned in the body.

When people are free and active in the fresh air they can eat in a way that would soon ruin the digestive powers of those who lead more artificial lives. It is a well known fact that we can go hunting, fishing, tramping or picnicking and eat mixtures and quantities of foods that would ordinarily give us discomfort. The freedom and activity, the change and the better state of mind give greater digestive power.

Those who wish to live their best must pay some attention to the combination of food. It is true that very moderate people, those who take no more food than the body demands, can combine about as they please. These moderate people do not care to mix their foods much. They are satisfied with very plain fare. Much as we dislike to acknowledge the fact, nearly all of us take too much food, even those who most strongly preach moderation. By combining properly much of the harmful effect of overeating can be overcome.

Fruitarians

I class as fruitarians those who eat only cereals, fruits and nuts. This may not be a correct definition, but after reading much literature on dietetics it is the best I can do. Their combinations should present no difficulties.

They should take cereals once or twice a day; nuts once or twice a day; fruit once a day in winter and once or twice a day in summer. The winter fruit should be sweet part of the time. In summer it can be the juicy fruit and berries at all times.

The fruitarians should be careful to avoid the habitual combination of acid fruits with their cereals.

One meal a day can be made of one or two varieties of fruit and nothing else. Nuts may be added to the fruit at times.

Another meal may be made of some cereal product with nut butter or some kind of vegetable oil.

A third meal may be some form of sweet fruit, with which may be eaten either bread or nuts, or better still, combine one sweet fruit with an acid one.

Most people would consider such a diet very limited, but it is easy to thrive on it, and it is not a tiresome one. There are so many varieties of fruits, nuts and cereals that it is easy to get variety. These foods do not become monotonous when taken in proper amounts. On such a diet it does not make much difference which meal is breakfast, lunch or dinner. The rule should be to take the heartiest meal after the heavy work is done, for hearty meals do not digest well if either mind or body is hard at work.

It is not difficult to get all the food necessary in two meals, but inasmuch as the three meal a day plan is prevalent the menus here given include that number of meals.

Breakfast: Apples, baked or raw.

Lunch: Brown rice and raisins.

Dinner: Whole wheat zwieback with nut butter.

Breakfast: Oranges or grapefruit.

Lunch: Pecans and figs.

Dinner: Bread made of rye or whole wheat flour, with nut butter or olive oil.

Breakfast: Any kind of berries.

Lunch: Dates.

Dinner: Whole wheat bread, with or without oil, Brazil nuts.

These combinations are indeed simple, but these foods are very nourishing and most of them concentrated, so it is best not to mix too much. They are natural foods, which digest easily when taken in moderation, but if eaten to excess they soon produce trouble.

It is no hardship to live on simple combinations. We have so much food that we have fallen into the bad habit of partaking of too great variety at a meal. The fact is that those who combine simply enjoy their foods more than those who coax their appetite with too great variety. There is no physical hardship connected with simple eating, and as soon as the mind is made up to it, neither is there any mental hardship.

Vegetarians

It is difficult to give an acceptable definition for vegetarianism. For a working basis we shall take it for granted that those are vegetarians who reject flesh foods. Those who wish can also reject dairy products and eggs. It is largely a matter of satisfying the mind.

The chief trouble with the vegetarians is that they believe that the fact that they abstain from flesh will bring them health. So they combine all kinds of foods and take several kinds of starches and fruits at the same meal. The consequence is that they soon get an acid condition of the digestive organs and a great deal of fermentation. Among vegetarians, prolapsus of the stomach and bowels is quite common, and this is due to gas pressure displacing the organs.

Their foods are all right, but their combinations, as a rule, are bad. The various vegetarian roasts, composed of nuts, cereals, legumes and succulent vegetables are hard to digest. It would be much better for them not to make such dishes.

A few suggestions for vegetarian combining follow:

Breakfast: Berries and a glass of milk.

Lunch: Baked potatoes and lettuce with oil.

Dinner: Nuts, cooked succulent vegetables, one or two varieties, sliced tomatoes.

Breakfast: Cottage cheese and oranges.

Lunch: Nuts and raisins.

Dinner: Whole wheat bread, stewed onions, butter, salad of lettuce and celery.

Breakfast: Cantaloupe.

Lunch: Buttermilk, bread and butter.

Dinner: Nuts, stewed succulent vegetables, lettuce and sliced tomatoes, with or without oil.

Breakfast: Boiled brown rice with raisins and milk.

Lunch: Grapes.

Dinner: Cooked lentils or baked beans, lettuce and celery.

Omnivorous People

In this country, most people are omnivorous. The food is plentiful and people believe in generous living. They put upon their tables at each meal enough variety for a whole day and the custom is to eat some of each. Some breakfasts are heavy enough for dinners. Three heavy meals a day are common. Some can eat this way for years and be in condition to work most of the time, but they are never 100 per cent. efficient. They are never as able as they could be. Besides, they have their times of illness and grow old while they should be young. They generally die while they should be in their prime, leaving their friends and families to mourn them when they ought to be at their best. They are worn out by their food supply, plus other conventional bad habits.

One of the best plans that has been proposed for omnivorous people is that which has been worked out by Dr. J. H. Tilden. Its skeleton is, fruit once a day, starchy food once a day, flesh or other protein with succulent vegetables once a day. I shall make up menus for a few days based on this plan:

Breakfast: Baked apples, a glass of milk.

Lunch: Boiled rice with butter.

Dinner: Roast mutton, spinach and carrots, salad of raw vegetables.

Breakfast: Cantaloupe.

Lunch: Biscuits or toast with butter, buttermilk.

Dinner: Pecans, two stewed succulent vegetables, salad of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, dressing.

Breakfast: Peaches, cottage cheese.

Lunch: Baked potatoes, butter, lettuce.

Dinner: Fresh fish baked, liberal helping of one, two or three of the raw salad vegetables.

Breakfast: Shredded wheat or puffed wheat sprinkled with melted butter, glass of milk.

Lunch: Watermelon.

Dinner: Roast beef, boiled cabbage, stewed onions, butter dressing, sliced tomatoes with salt and oil.

The doctor allows considerable dessert. That generally goes with the dinner.

It is nonsense to write, "So and so shalt thou eat and not otherwise." The menus here given simply serve as suggestions. Where one succulent vegetable is mentioned another may be substituted. One cereal may be substituted for another. One juicy fruit for another. One sweet fruit for another. One legume for another. One food rich in protein for another.

In combining food the principal things to remember are:

Use only a few foods at a meal; use only one hearty, concentrated food in a meal, as a rule, with the exception that various fats and oils in moderation are allowable as dressings for fruits, vegetables and starches; that much fat or oil retards the digestion of the rest of the food; that the habitual combining of acid food with foods heavy in starch is a trouble-maker; that concentrated starchy foods should be taken not to exceed twice a day; that the heating, stimulating foods rich in protein, which include nearly all meats, should be taken only once a day in winter, and less in summer; that either raw fruit or raw vegetables should be a part of the daily food intake, because the salts they contain are essential to health; that fats should be used sparingly in summer, but more freely in winter; that juicy fruits are to be used liberally in summer and sparingly in winter, when the sweet fruits are to take their place a part of the time.

The dried sweet fruits are quite different from the fresh juicy ones. The former serve more the purpose of the starches than that of fruits. They are rich in sugar, which produces heat and energy. The same is true of the banana, which is about one-fifth sugar. It is not as sweet as would be expected from this fact. Some sugars are sweeter than others. This you can easily verify by tasting some milk sugar and then taking the same amount of commercial sugar made of cane or beets.

The food need in summer is surprisingly small, so small that the average person will scarcely believe it. Some writers on dietetics advise eating as much in summer as in winter. How they can do so it is difficult to understand, for reason tells us that in summertime practically no food is needed for heating purposes, and that is how most of the food is used. A little experience and experiment show that reason is right. Nature herself confirms this fact, for at the tropics she has made it easy for man to subsist on fruits, while in the polar regions she furnishes him the most heating of all foods, fats.

Because fats are so concentrated it is very easy to take too much of them. An ounce of butter contains as much nourishment as about twenty-five ounces of watermelon. Those who simplify their cooking and their combining and partake of food in moderation are repaid many times over in improved health. It is necessary to supply good building material in proper form if we would have health.

What to Eat

It is very important to eat the right kind of food, but it is even more important to be balanced and use common sense. Those who are moderate in their habits and cheerful can eat almost anything with good results. Of course, people who live almost entirely on such denatured foods as polished rice, finely bolted wheat flour products, sterilized milk and meat spoiled in the cooking, refined sugar and potatoes deprived of most of their salts through being soaked and cooked will suffer.

There are many different diet systems, and some of them are very good. If their advocates say that their way is the only way, they are wrong. Many try to force their ideas upon others. They find their happiness in making others miserable. They are afflicted with the proselyting zeal that makes fools of people. This is the wrong way to solve the food problem. Let each individual choose his own way and allow those who differ to continue in the old way.

Many have changed their dietary habits to their own great benefit. After this they become so enthused and anxious for others to do likewise that they wear themselves and others out exhorting them to share in the new discovery. This does no good, but it often does harm, for it leads the zealot to think too much of and about himself, and it annoys others.

Many are like my friend who lunched daily on zwieback and raw carrots. "I think everybody ought to eat some raw carrots every day; don't you?" she said. We can not mold everybody to our liking, and we should not try. If we conquer ourselves, we have about all we can do. If we succeed in this great work, we will evolve enough tolerance to be willing to allow others to shape their own ends. To volunteer undesired information does no good, for it creates opposition in the mind of the hearers. If the information is sought, the chances are that it may in time do good. It is well enough to indicate how and where better knowledge may be obtained. We should at all times attempt to conserve our energy and use it only when and where it is helpful. Such conduct leads to peace of mind, effectiveness, happiness and health.

The tendency to become too enthusiastic about a dietary regime that has brought personal benefit is to be avoided, for it brings unnecessary odium upon the important subject of food reform. People do not like to change old habits, even if the change would be for the better, and when an enthusiast tries to force the change his actions are resented. He makes no real converts, but as pay for his efforts he gains the reputation of being a crank.

Those who wish to be helpful in an educational way should be patient. The race has been in the making for ages. Its good habits, as well as its bad ones, have been acquired gradually. If we ever get rid of our bad habits it will be through gradual evolution, not through a hasty revolution. We need a change in dietary habits, but those who become food cranks, insisting that others be as they, retard this movement. Only a few will change physical and mental habits suddenly. If those who know are content to show the benefits more in results than in words, their influence for good will be great.

What shall we eat? How are we to know the truth among so many conflicting ideas? We can know the truth because it leads to health. Error leads to suffering, degeneration and premature death. As the homely saying goes, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

Let us look into some of the diet theories before the public and give them thoughtful consideration.

The late Dr. J. H. Salisbury advocated the use of water to drink and meat to eat, and nothing else. The water was to be taken warm and in copious quantities, but not at or near meal time. The meat, preferably beef, was to be scraped or minced, made into cakes and cooked in a very warm skillet until the cakes turned gray within. These meat cakes were to be eaten three times a day, seasoned with salt and a little pepper.

The doctor had a very successful practice, which is attested by many who were benefited when ordinary medical skill failed. His diet was not well balanced. In meats there is a lack of the cell salts and force food. Especially are the cell salts lacking when the flesh is drained of its blood. The animals of prey drink the blood and crunch many of the bones of their victims, thus getting nearly all the salts. But in spite of his giving such an unbalanced diet, the doctor had a satisfactory practice and good success. Why? Because his patients had to quit using narcotics and stimulants and they were compelled to consume such simple food that they ceased overeating. It is a well known fact that a mono-diet forces moderation, for there is no desire to overeat, as there is when living on a very varied diet.

Another fact that the Salisbury plan brings to mind is that starch and sugar are not necessary for the feeding of adults, although they are convenient and cheap foods and ordinarily consumed in large quantities. The fat in the meat takes the place of the starch and sugar. Atomically, starch, sugar and fat are almost identical, and they can be substituted one for the other. Nature makes broad provisions.

Dr. Salisbury's career also serves to remind us that a mixed diet is not necessary for the physical welfare of those who eat to live. Vegetarians dwell upon the toxicity of meat. But Dr. Salisbury fed his patients on nothing but meat and water, and the percentage of recoveries in chronic diseases was considered remarkable. Meat is very easy to digest and when prepared in the simple manner prescribed by the doctor and eaten by itself it will agree with nearly everybody. But when eaten with soup, bread, potatoes, vegetables, cooked and raw, fish, pudding, fruit, coffee, crackers and cheese, there will be overeating followed by indigestion and its consequent train of ills. However, it is not fair to blame the meat entirely, for the whole mixture goes into decomposition and poisons the body.

The cures resulting from Dr. Salisbury's plan also help to disprove the much heralded theory of Dr. Haig, that uric acid from meat eating is the cause of rheumatism. Overeating of meat is often a contributory cause. We are told that the rheumatics who followed Dr. Salisbury's plan got well. They regained physical tone. They lost their gout and rheumatism. They parted company with their pimples and blotches. All of which would indicate that the blood became clean.

The chief lesson derived from Dr. Salisbury's plan and experience is the helpfulness of simple living and moderation. An exclusive diet of meat is not well balanced. Energy produced from flesh food is too expensive. The good results came from substituting habits of simplicity and moderation for the habit of overeating of too great variety of food. The same results may be obtained by putting a patient on bread and milk.

Dr. Salisbury's patients had unsatisfied longings, doubtless for various tissue salts. The addition of fresh raw fruits or vegetables would improve his diet, for apples, peaches, pears, lettuce, celery and cabbage are rich in the salts in which meats are deficient.

Dr. Emmet Densmore recommended omitting the starches entirely, that is, to avoid such foods as cereals, tubers and legumes. He believed that it is best to live on fruits and nuts. He recommended the sweet fruits—figs, dates, raisins, prunes—instead of the starchy foods. The doctor did much good, as everyone does who gets his patients to simplify. He also had good results before discovering that starch is a harmful food, when he fed his patients bread and milk.

Starch must be converted into sugar before it can be used by the body. The sugar is what is known as dextrose, not the refined sugar of commerce. The sweet fruits contain this sugar in the form of fruit sugar, which needs but little preparation to be absorbed by the blood. Dr. Densmore reasons thus: Only birds are furnished with mills (gizzards); hence the grains are fit food for them only. Other starches should be avoided because they are difficult to digest, the doctor wrote.

Raw starches are difficult to digest, but when they are properly cooked they are digested in a reasonable time without overburdening the system, provided they are well masticated and the amount eaten is not too great and the combining is correct. Rice, which contains much starch, digests in a short time.

We can do very nicely without starch. We can also thrive on it if we do not abuse it. The two chief starch-bearing staples, rice and wheat, contain considerable protein and salts in their natural state. In fact, the natural wheat will sustain life for a long time. Man has improved on nature by polishing the rice and making finely bolted, bleached wheat flour, deprived of nearly all the salts in the wheat berry. The result is that both of them have become very poor foods. The more we eat of these refined products the worse off we are, unless we partake freely of other foods rich in mineral salts.

Not long ago a lady died in England who was a prominent advocate of a "brainy diet." Her brainy diet consisted largely of excessive quantities of meat, pork being a favorite. She died comparatively young, her friends say from overwork. Such a diet doubtless had a large part in wearing her out. To overeat of meat is dangerous.

A gentleman is now advocating a diet of nothing but cocoanuts. This is a fad, for they are not a balanced food. He has published a book on the subject. Perhaps his advocacy is influenced by his interest in the sale of cocoanuts.

The vegetarians condemn the use of meat. Some of them are called fruitarians. It is very difficult to decide who are the most representative of them. Some advocate the use of nothing but fruit and nuts. Others add cereals to this. Others use vegetables in addition. Some even allow the use of dairy products and eggs, that is, all foods except flesh.

They say that meat is an unnatural food for man and condemn its use on moral grounds. It is difficult to decide what is natural, for we find that man is very adaptable, being able to live on fruits in the tropics and almost exclusively on flesh food, largely fat, in the arctic regions. In nature the strong live on the weak and the intelligent on the dull. There is no sentiment in nature. In her domain might, physical or mental, makes right. Sentiments of right and justice are not highly developed except among human beings, and even there they are so weakly implanted that it takes but little provocation for civilized man to bare his teeth in a wolfish snarl.

With some vegetarianism is largely a matter of esthetics, ethics and morality. Morality is based on expediency, so it really is a question whether meat is an advantageous food or not.

Another vegetarian argument is that man's anatomy proves that he was not intended by nature to eat meat. Good arguments have been used on both sides, but they are not very convincing nor are they conclusive. It is hard to draw any lines fairly.

Another objection to meat is that it is unclean and full of poisons, that these poisons produce various diseases, such as cancer. We are also informed that refined sugar causes cancer, and the belief in tomatoes as a causative factor is not dead. Cancer is without doubt caused principally by dietary indiscretions but it is impossible to single out any one food.

No matter what foods we eat, we are compelled to be careful or they will be unclean. Those who wish clean meat can obtain it. The amount of poison or waste in a proper portion of meat is so small that we need give it no thought. Those who eat in moderation can take meat once a day during cold weather and enjoy splendid health. During warm weather it should be eaten more seldom.

On the other hand, meat is not necessary. We need a certain amount of protein, which we can obtain from nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, peanuts, peas, beans, lentils, cereals and from other food in smaller amounts. The amount of protein needed is small—about one-fifth of what the physiologists used to recommend.

Those who think meat eating is wrong should not partake of it. They can get along very well without it. We are consuming entirely too much meat in America. The organism can stand it if the life is active in the fresh air, but it will not do for people who are housed. Much meat eating causes physical degeneration. The body loses tone. Experiments have shown that vegetarians have more resistance and endurance than the meat eaters, but the meat eaters get so much stimulation from their food that they can speed up in spurts. The excretions of meat eaters are more poisonous than those of vegetarians.

Eggs produced by hens fed largely on meat scraps do not keep as well as those laid by hens feeding more on grains. In short, meat eating leads to instability or degeneration, if carried to excess. Young children should have none of it and it would be a very easy matter for the rising generation to develop without using meat, and I believe this would be better than our present plan of eating. However, let us give flesh food the credit due it. When meat eaters are debilitated no other food seems to act as kindly as meat, given with fruits or vegetables. When properly prepared and taken in moderation meat digests easily and is quite completely assimilated.

Many make the mistake of living too exclusively on starch and taking it in excess. The result is fermentation and an acid state of the alimentary tract. Dr. Daniel S. Sager says that, "About all that we have to fear in eating is excessive use of proteids." Experience and observation do not bear out this statement, for it is as easy to find people injured by starch as by protein. One form of poisoning is as bad as the other. The doctor also warns against nearly all the succulent vegetables, saying that on account of the indigestible fibre, most of them are unfit for human consumption.

Dr. E. H. Dewey condemned the apple as a disease-producer, and inferentially, other fruits.

Dr. Charles E. Page objects to the use of milk by adults, on the ground that it is fit food only for the calves for whom nature intended it. Many writers have repeated this opinion.

Most of the regular physicians have a very vague idea of dietetics and proper feeding. When asked what to eat they commonly say, "Eat plenty nourishing food of the kinds that agree with you." They do not point out the fundamentals to their patients. Sometimes they advise avoiding combinations of milk and fruits. Sometimes they say that all starches should be avoided and in the next breath prescribe toast, one of the starchiest of foods. At times they proscribe pork and pickles but they are seldom able to give a good diet prescription. What people need is a fair knowledge of what to do and the don'ts will take care of themselves.

All foods have been condemned as unfit for human consumption by people who should know. However, those who look at these matters with open eyes and open minds will come to the conclusion that man is a very adaptable animal; that if necessary he can get along without almost all foods, being able to subsist on a very small variety; that he can live for a long period on animal food entirely; that he can live all his life without tasting flesh; that he can live on a mixed diet; that he can adopt a great many plans of eating and live in health and comfort on nearly all of them, provided he does not deprive himself of the natural salts and gets some protein; and finally and most important, that moderation is the chief factor in keeping well, for the best foods produce disease in time if taken in excess.

Those who object to flesh, dairy products, cereals, tubers, legumes, refined sugars, fruits or vegetables, should do without the class which they find objectionable, for it is easy to substitute from other classes. Eggs, milk or legumes may be taken in place of flesh foods. The salts contained in fruits may be obtained from vegetables. The starch, which is the chief ingredient of cereals, is easily obtained from tubers and legumes; fats and sugars will take its place. Commercial sugar is not a necessity. The force and heat derived from it can be obtained from starches and fats.

Outside of milk in infancy, there is not a single indispensable food. Some people have peculiarities which prevent them from eating certain foods, such as pork, eggs, milk and strawberries, but with these exceptions a healthy person can eat any food he pleases, provided he is moderate. We eat too much flesh, sugar and starch and we suffer for it. This does not prove that these foods are harmful, but that overeating is.

Sometimes the food question becomes a very trying one in the home. One individual has learned the fact that good results are obtained by using good sense and judgment in combining and consuming food, and he tries to force others to do as he does. This is unfortunate, for most people object to such actions, and though the intention is good, it accomplishes nothing, but prejudices others against sensible living. The best way is to do right yourself and let others sin against themselves and suffer until they are weary. Then, seeing how you got out of your trouble, perhaps they will come to you and accept what you have to offer.

The attempt to force people to be good or to be healthy is merely wasted effort.

The chapter devoted to Menus gives definite information regarding the proper manner in which to combine foods and arrange meals. Such information is also given in treating of the different classes of food.

Daily Food Intake

It is generally believed that the more we eat the better. Physicians say that it is necessary to eat heartily when well to retain health and strength. When ill it is necessary to consume much food to regain lost health and strength. "Eat all you can of nourishing food," is a common free prescription, and it sounds very reasonable. The physicians of today are not to blame for this belief in overeating, for they were taught thus at college, and very few men in any line do original thinking. It has been a racial belief for centuries and no one now living is responsible. When a physician advocates what he honestly believes he is doing his best, "and angels can do no more."

When a child loses its appetite, the parents worry, for they think that it is very harmful for young people to go without food for a few meals. A lost appetite is nature's signal to quit eating, and it should always be heeded. If it is, it will prevent much disease and suffering and will save many lives.

The present-day mode of preparing food leads to overeating. The sense of taste is ruined by the stimulants put into the food. Dishes are so numerous and so temptingly made that more is eaten than can be digested and assimilated. Refined sugar, salt, the various spices, pickles, sauces and preserves all lead to overeating because of stimulation. The same is true of alcohol taken immediately before meals. If we only give nature a chance, and are perfectly frank and honest with ourselves, she will guard us against the overconsumption of food. Those who eat but few varieties of plain food at a meal are not sorely tempted to overeat. But when one savory dish is served after another it takes much will power to be moderate.

People generally have had more than sufficient before the last course is served. However, the various dishes have different flavors and for this reason the palate is overwhelmed and accepts more food than is good for us.

Men who like to call their work scientific, figure on the amount of food we need to furnish a certain number of heat units—calories. Heat, of course, is a form of energy. Basing the body's food requirements on heat units expended does not solve the problem. The more food that is ingested, the more heat units must be manufactured, and often so much food is taken that the body is compelled to go into the heating business. Then we have fevers.

A large part of the heat is given off by the skin. Those who overeat are compelled to do a great deal of radiating. This excessive amount of fuel taken into the system in the form of food, wears out the body. As figured by the experts, it gives a result of food need that is at least twice as great as necessary. Experience is the only correct guide to food requirements, and each individual has to settle the matter for himself. The human body is not exactly a chemical laboratory, nor is it an engine which can be fed so much fuel with the resultant production of such and such an amount of heat and energy. Some bodies are more efficient than others. It is among human beings as among the lower animals, some require more food than others.

We need enough food to repair the waste, to perform our work and to furnish heat. Every muscle contraction uses up a little energy. Every breath deprives us of heat and carries away carbon dioxide, the latter being formed by oxidation of tissues in the body. Every minute we lose heat by radiation from the skin. Every thought requires a small amount of food. If we worry, the leak of nervous energy is tremendous, but at the same time we put ourselves in position where we are unable to replenish our stock, for worry ruins digestion. All this expenditure of energy and loss of heat must be made up for by the food intake. Only a small amount of surplus food can be stored in the body. Some fat can be stored as fat. Some starch and sugar can be put aside as either glycogen—animal sugar—or be changed into fat. This storing of excess food is very limited, except in cases of obesity, which is a disease.

Overeating invariably causes disease. It may take two or three years, yes even twenty or thirty years, before the overeating results in serious illness, but the results are certain, and in the meanwhile the individual is never up to par. He can use neither body nor mind to the best advantage.

To emphasize and illustrate these remarks, I shall copy a few diet lists, which their authors consider reasonable and correct for the average person for one day, and I shall give my comments. The first is taken from Kirke's Physiology, which has been used extensively as a text-book in medical colleges:

  340 grams lean uncooked meat,
  600 " bread,
   90 " butter,
   28 " cheese,
  225 " potatoes,
  225 " carrots.

An ounce contains 28.3 grams; a pound, 453 grams. It is easy to figure these quantities of food in ounces or pounds, which give a better idea to the average person.

It is self-evident that this is too much food. Over twelve ounces of lean, uncooked meat, over twenty-one ounces of bread, almost one-half of a pound each of potatoes and carrots, about an ounce of cheese and over three ounces of butter make enough food for two days, even for a big eater. He who tries to live up to a diet of this kind is sure to suffer disease and early death.

The average loaf of bread weighs about fourteen ounces. Here we are told to devour one-half of a pound of carrots (for which other vegetables such as turnips, parsnips, beets or cabbage may be substituted), one-half of a pound of potatoes, three-fourths of a pound of lean raw meat, which loses some weight in cooking, a loaf and one-half of bread, besides butter and cheese. The vast majority of people can not eat more than one-third of this amount and retain efficiency and health, but many eat even more.

The next table is taken from Dr. I. Burney Yeo's book on diet, and is given as the food required daily by a "well nourished worker":

   151.3 grams meat,
    48.1 " white of egg,
   450.0 " bread,
   500.0 " milk,
  1065.9 " beer,
    60.2 " suet,
    30.0 " butter,
    70.0 " starch,
    17.0 " sugar,
     4.9 " salt.

This worker is too well fed. Often those who are so well fed are poorly nourished, for the excessive amount of food ruins the nutrition, after which the food is poorly digested and assimilated. This worker eats so much that he will be compelled to do manual labor all his days, for such feeding prevents effective thinking.

The following daily average diet is taken from the book, "Diet and Dietetics," by A. Gauthier, a well known authority on the subject of the nutritive needs of the body. Mr. Gauthier averaged the daily food intake of the inhabitants of Paris for the ten years from 1890 to 1899, inclusive. He takes it for granted that this is the average daily food requirement for a person:

  420.0 grams bread and cakes,
  216.0 " boned meat,
   24.1 " eggs (weighed with shell),
    8.1 " cheese (dry or cream),
   28.0 " butter, oil, etc.,
   70.0 " fresh fruit,
  250.0 " green vegetables,
   40.0 " dried vegetables,
  100.0 " potatoes, rice,
   40.0 " sugar,
   20.0 " salt,
  213.0 C. C. milk,
  557.0 C. C. of various alcoholics, containing
    9.5 C. C. of pure alcohol.

So long as the Parisians consume such quantities of food they will continue to suffer and die before they reach one-half of the age that should be theirs. The French eat no more than do other people, in fact, they seem moderate in their food intake as compared with some of the Germans, English and Americans, but they eat too much for their physical and mental good.

The lists given above are from sources that command the respect of the medical profession. They are the orthodox and popular opinions. It would be an easy matter to give many more tables, but they agree so closely that it would be a waste of time and space.

Quantitative tables from vegetarian sources are not so common. The vegetarians say that meat eating is wrong, being contrary to nature. Whether they are right or wrong, they make the same mistakes that the orthodox prescribers do, that is, they advocate overeating. Medical textbooks prescribe a too abundant supply of starch and meat in particular. The vegetarians prescribe a superabundance of starch. Read the magazines advocating vegetarianism and note their menus, giving numerous cereals, tubers, peas, beans, lentils, as well as other vegetables, for the same meal. It is as easy to overeat of nuts and protein in leguminous vegetables as it is to overeat of meat.

Starch poisoning is as bad as meat poisoning and the results are equally fatal.

The following are suggestions offered by a fruitarian. They give the food intake for two days:

   120 grams shelled peanuts, raw,
  1000 " apples,
   500 " unfermented whole wheat bread.

120 grams shelled filberts, 450 " raisins, 800 " bananas.

In the first day's menu it will be noted that over two pounds of apples and over one pound of whole wheat bread are recommended, also over four ounces of raw peanuts. The writer says that this food should preferably be taken in two meals. There are very few people with enough digestive and assimilative power to care for more than one-half of a pound of whole wheat bread twice a day, especially when taken with raw peanuts, which are rather hard to digest. The trouble is made worse by the addition of more than one pound of apples to each meal, for when apples in large quantities are eaten with liberal amounts of starch, the tendency for the food to ferment is so strong that only a very few escape. Gas is produced in great quantities, which is both unnatural and unpleasant. Neither stomach nor bowels manufacture any perceptible amount of gas if they are in good condition and a moderate amount of food is taken.

Whole wheat bread digests easily enough when eaten in moderation, but it is very difficult to digest when as much as eight ounces are taken at a meal. One can accustom the body to accept this amount of food, but it is never required under ordinary conditions and the results in the long run are bad.

The food prescribed for the second day is more easily digested, but it is too much. Raisins are a splendid force food, but no ordinary individual needs a pound of raisins in one day, in addition to about one and three-fourths pounds of bananas, which are also a force food and are about as nourishing as the same amount of Irish potatoes.

In all my reading it has not been my good fortune to find a diet table for healthy people, giving moderate quantities of food. Diet lists seem scientific, so they appeal to the mind that has not learned to think of the subject from the correct point of view. Quantitative diet tables are worthless, for one person may need more than another. Some are short and some are tall. Some are naturally slender and others of stocky build. There is as much difference in people's food needs as there is in their appearance. To try to fit the same quantity and even kind of food to all is as senseless as it would be to dress all in garments of identical size and cut.

If we eat in moderation it does not make much difference what we eat, provided our diet contains either raw fruits or raw vegetables enough to furnish the various mineral salts and the food is fairly well prepared. There are combinations that are not ideal, but they do very little harm if there is no overeating. People who are moderate in their eating generally relish simple foods. Unfortunately, there is but little moderation in eating. From childhood on the suggestion that it is necessary to eat liberally is ever before us. Medical men, grandparents, parents and neighbors think and talk alike. If the parents believe in moderation, the neighbors kindly give lunches to the children. It is really difficult to raise children right, especially in towns and cities.

After such training we learn to believe in overeating and we pass the belief on to the next generation, as it has in the past been handed down from generation to generation. Finally we die, many of us martyrs to overconsumption of food. Ask any healer of intelligence who has thrown off the blinders put on at college and who has allowed himself to think without fear, and he will tell you that at least nine-tenths of our ills come from improper eating habits. It is not difficult to make up menus of compatible foods. No one knows how much another should eat, and he who prepares quantitative diet tables for the multitude must fail.

However, every individual of ordinary intelligence can quickly learn his own food requirements and the key thereto is given by nature. It is not well to think of one's self much or often. It is not well to be introspective, but everyone should get acquainted with himself, learning to know himself well enough to treat himself with due consideration. We are taught kindness to others. We need to be taught kindness to ourselves. The average person ought to be able to learn his normal food requirements within three or four months, and a shorter time will often suffice.

The following observations will prove helpful to the careful reader:

Food should have a pleasant taste while it is being eaten, but should not taste afterwards. If it does it is a sign of indigestion following overeating, or else it indicates improper combinations or very poor cooking. Perhaps food was taken when there was no desire for it, which is always a mistake. Perhaps too many foods were combined in the meal. Or it may be that there was not enough mouth preparation. It is generally due to overeating. Cabbage, onions, cucumbers and various other foods which often repeat, will not do so when properly prepared and eaten in moderation, if other conditions are right.

Eructation of gas and gas in the bowels are indications of overeating. More food is taken than can be digested. A part of it ferments and gas is a product of fermentation. A very small amount of gas in the alimentary tract is natural, but when there is belching or rumbling of gas in the intestines it is a sign of indigestion, which may be so mild that the individual is not aware of it, or it may be so bad that he can think of little else. When there is formation of much gas it is always necessary to reduce the food intake, and to give special attention to the mastication of all starch-containing aliments. Also, if starches and sour fruits have been combined habitually, this combination should be given up. Starch digests in an alkaline medium, and if it is taken with much acid by those whose digestive powers are weak, the result is fermentation instead of digestion.

People should never eat enough to experience a feeling of languor. They should quit eating before they feel full. If there is a desire to sleep after meals, too much food has been ingested. When drowsiness possesses us after meals we have eaten so much that the digestive organs require so much blood that there is not enough left for the brain. This is a hint that if we have work or study that requires exceptional clearness of mind, we should eat very moderately or not at all immediately before. The digestive organs appropriate the needed amount of blood and the brain refuses to do its best when deprived of its normal supply of oxygen and nourishment.

Serpents, some beasts of prey and savages devour such large quantities of food at times that they go into a stupor. There is no excuse for our patterning after them now that a supply of food is easily obtained at all times.

A bad taste in the mouth is usually a sign of overeating. It comes from the decomposition following a too liberal food intake. If water has a bad taste in the morning or at any other time, it indicates overeating. It may be due to a filthy mouth or the use of alcohol.

Heartburn is also due to overeating, and so is hiccough; both come from fermentation of food in the alimentary tract.

A heavily coated tongue in the morning indicates excessive food intake. If the tongue is what is known as a dirty gray color it shows that the owner has been overeating for years. The normal mucous membrane is clean and pink. The mucous membrane of the mouth, stomach and the first part of the bowels should not be compelled to act as an organ of excretion, for the normal function is secretory and absorptive. However, when so much food is eaten that the skin, lungs, kidneys and lower bowel can not throw off all the waste and excess, the mucous membrane in the upper part of the alimentary tract must assist. The result is a coated tongue, but the tongue is in no worse condition than the mucous membrane of the stomach. A coated tongue indicates overcrowded nutrition and is nature's request to reduce the food intake. How much? Enough to clean the tongue. If the coating is chronic it may take several months before the tongue becomes clean.

A muddy skin, perhaps pimply, is another sign of overeating. It shows that the food intake is so great that the body tries to eliminate too many of the solids through the skin, which becomes irritated from this cause and the too acid state of the system and then there is inflammation. Many forms of eczema and a great many other skin diseases are caused by stomach disorders and an overcrowded nutrition. There is a limit to the skin's excretory ability, and when this is exceeded skin diseases ensue. Some of the so-called incurable skin diseases get well in a short time on a proper diet without any local treatment.

Dull eyes and a greenish tinge of the whites of the eyes point toward digestive disturbances due to an oversupply of food. The green color comes from bile thrown into the blood when the liver is overworked. The liver is never overtaxed unless the consumption of food is excessive.

Another very common sign of too generous feeding is catarrh, and it does not matter where the catarrh is located. It is true that there are other causes of catarrh, in fact, anything that irritates the mucous membrane any length of time will cause it, but an overcrowded nutrition causes the ordinary cases. It is the same old story: The mucous membrane is forced to take on the function of eliminating superfluous matter, which has been taken into the system in the form of food. Many people dedicate their lives to the act of turning a superabundance of food into waste, and as a result they overwork their bodies so that they are never well physically and seldom efficient mentally.

Many people, especially women, say that if they miss a meal or get it later than usual, they suffer from headache. This indicates that the feeding is wrong, generally too generous and often too stimulating. A normal person can miss a dozen meals without a sign of a headache.

To repeat: No one can tell how much another should eat, but everyone can learn for himself what the proper amount of food is. Enough is given above to help solve the problem. The interpretations presented are not the popular ones, but they are true for they give good results when acted upon.

If bad results follow a meal there has been overeating, either at the last meal or previously. Undermasticating usually accompanies overeating and causes further trouble. Those who masticate thoroughly are generally quite moderate in their food intake.

Many say that they eat so much because they enjoy their food so. He who eats too rapidly or in excess does not know what true enjoyment of food is. Excessive eating causes food poisoning, and food poisoning blunts all the special senses. To have normal smell, taste, hearing and vision one must be clean through and through, and those who are surfeited with food are not clean internally.

The average individual does not know the natural taste of most foods. He seasons them so highly that the normal taste is hidden or destroyed. Those who wish to know the exquisite flavor of such common foods as onions, carrots, cabbage, apples and oranges must eat them without seasoning or dressing for a while. To get real enjoyment from food it is necessary to eat slowly and in moderation.

I know both from personal experience and from the experience of others that seasoning is not necessary. Instead of giving the foods better flavor, they taste inferior. A little salt will harm no one, but the constant use of much seasoning leads to irritation of the digestive organs and to overeating. Salt taken in excess also helps to bring on premature aging. It is splendid for pickling and preserving, but health and life in abundance are the only preservatives needed for the body. Refined sugar should be classed among the condiments. People who live normally lose the desire for it. Grapefruit, for instance, tastes better when eaten plain than when sugar is added.

People who sleep seven or eight hours and wake up feeling unrefreshed are suffering from the ingestion of too much food. A food poisoned individual can not be properly rested. To get sweet sleep and feel restored it is necessary to have clean blood and a sweet alimentary tract.

Much has been said about overeating. Once in a while a person will habitually undereat, but such cases are exceedingly rare. To undereat is foolish. At all times we must use good sense. It is a subject upon which no fixed rules can be promulgated. Be guided by the feelings, for perfect health is impossible to those who lack balance.

Those who think they need scientific direction may take one of the orthodox diet tables. If it contains alcoholics, remove them from the list. Then partake of about one-third of the starch recommended, and about one-third of the protein. Use more fresh fruit and fresh vegetables than listed. Instead of eating bread made from white flour, use whole wheat bread. Do not try to eat everything given on the scientific diet list each day. For instance, rice, potatoes and bread are given in many of these tables. Select one of these starches one day, another the next day, etc. If one-third of the amount recommended is too much, and it sometimes is, reduce still further.

Please bear in mind that the orthodox way, the so-called scientific way, has been tried over a long period of time and it has given very poor results. Moderation has always given good results and always will.