15. Points About Diet (The Ten Point Way to Health)
Points About Diet
“The Ten Point Way to Health (Surya Namaskars)
Shrimant Balasahib Pandit Pratinidhi (B.A.) Rajah of Aundh
Edited with an introduction by Louise Morgan
First Published: 1938
The results of an examination of the opinions of modern American and European dietitians and of the facts of our won personal experience have led us to place great emphasis on the importance of diet. We do not wish, however, to dogmatize on this subject ; a few board suggestions are all we shall attempt to offer.
There should be an ample supply of fresh clean milk in one’s daily dietary. Each individual should have at least a cup of milk at each meal. All milk-products-cheese, buttermilk, butter-may be eaten with benefit.
A liberal use of fresh fruits and berries is always desirable. A small quantity of nuts should form part of one’s meals.
It is vitally important that with grains the whole natural kernel be used, with husk or bran unremoved, as in wholse brown rice (unpolished) and whole wheat. These grains will give better results if they be allowed to germinate a little before being used.
Peas, beans, kidney beans, lentils when slight
germinated and crushed in a food-chopper, seasoned to taste and mixed with grated coconut and onion, will make a very tasty and substantial food, affording a goodly supply of vitamins and mineral salts.
Fresh fruits are not always available throughout the year, except at very high prices, but whole grains, peas, and the various kinds of beans, especially if germinated, serve to a certain extent the same purpose as fruits.
All leafy vegetables should be eaten whenever possible uncooked, for cooking destroys part of their value.
Potato, carrot, and onion can be used in an infinite variety of ways-boiled, baked, steamed, or raw.
Tomato, a valuable vegetable from the nutritional point of view, is an important article of the dietary ; for the tomato yields large quantities of vitamins, and mineral salts.
Eggs or the yolks of eggs are next in importance to milk.
Refined sugar might, with advantage, be dispensed with. It may be used very sparingly when absolutely necessary. Raw sugar or honey is better.
But whatever one eats, one should regulate the amount according to the needs of the body.
A manual worker will consume larger quantities than a clerk.
Water should be drunk freely between meals. A good plan is to drink a large glass of water the first thing in the morning, and several glasses between meals. A famous doctor once said that if all his patients drank, as he did, eight glasses of water a day, none of them would ever again come back to him.
This chapter on diet must include a word of warning, especially to the young enthusiast in health culture. Do not be led away with the idea that the true test of your physical powers is your capacity to gorge large quantities of eatables. emphasis is laid on this particular form of weakness, because it is so common.
Another form of weakness is the habit of ‘bolting.’ Both these weaknesses should be avoided. They result in throwing an unwarranted burden on the digestive organs and produce conditions favourable to the inception of disease. Remember that many diseases are due to overeating or hurried eating. A good rule is to eat less. and take more time to eat it.
If you feel that your liver or stomach is no working properly, do not drug yourself, but observe a fast and take the extra load off your stomach or liver.
The question is often asked : ‘How many meals a day should be taken?’ Though the answer may depend on a number of factors, such as the capacity of the eater, the life be leads, the quality and quantity of the food he takes, we venture to say from our own experience and that of others that for a average man or woman, three meals a day with no snacks between are quite enough. Tea should be a drinking, not an eating, ceremony.
However careful we may be in selecting the proper food and in regulating the quantity, some undesirable and unnecessary edibles and liquids find their way into our stomach, owing partly to our ignorance, and partly to force of habit, and are likely to cause trouble.
To counteract this unpleasant result, fasting, as a remedial measure, is absolutely necessary.
The Golden Rule is to fast when you lose appetite. Loss of appetite is Nature’s warning that no more burden should be laid on the digestive organs. It is a good plan to set apart for fasting a certain day each week or each for night.
In many religious orders certain fast-days have been set aside, as Lent, Roza, Ekadashi, etc.
A fast may be complete or partial. In a complete fast, nothing but pure water is taken.
For a partial fast try an all-milk diet of milk diluted with water, or a honey-and-water mixture, or clear soup, or orange juice, or lemon juice, or buttermilk. With the soup, orange, lemon, or buttermilk diet, plenty of water should of course be taken as well.
A word or two on cooking food the health way will not be out of place.
The ordinary methods of cooking vegetables, cereals, and other foods in large quantities of water destroy the nutritive elements contained in them. The excess water after boiling is usually discarded and the washed-out remnants of the food are eaten.
Our cooks and housewives boil dead many vegetables, cereals, and legumes. To make sure there is no live left in them, the water is some-times changes two or three time! All the mineral salts are lost in this way-salts which are vitally necessary to health.
When the vegetables are thus readered tasteless and flavourless, sauces and spices are poured over them in the vain effort of restore to them the lost taste or flavor.
These same food, however, when properly cooked, retain all the nutritive elements and flavor, and have a richness and individuality of taste that could not be equaled or imitated by the most elaborate sauces and dressings.
There are many excellent ways of cooking foods, but the principle underlying all is exactly the same.
In brief, it is: Let steam do the work of cooking. There are many steamers on the market, at all sorts of prices. One may cook an entire meal in some of them. These waste not a single drop of the goodness in the foodstuff put into them.
One may also ‘steam’ all kinds of food by putting very little water in the pot, covering it so that it is practically air-tight, and putting over very low flame.
For example, to cook six medium potatoes, put them in any king of saucepan of a size to just hold them. Put half a tea-cup of boiling water in, and cover closely. When they are done, the water should have completely evaporated. Potatoes should always be cooked in their jackets to preserve the goodness, being skinned only after cooking.
A little shaking of the pot over the flame should make your potatoes fit for a king-perfectly dry, and full of their own goodness.
Or, if you are using the heat of the oven for baking, put the tightly covered dish with the small amount of water into the oven, and the potatoes or vegetables will cook there just as successfully.
Now that fire-proof glass is so readily obtainable, an excellent idea is to cover the cooking vessels with a fire-proof glass plate. One may then observe the progress of affairs, and tell at once when the water has boiled away, without lifting the cover.
Another word of caution! we are out for health, happiness, efficiency, and longevity, and we are not out for large, prominent muscles. Therefore, we would advise you to find out for yourself the quality and quantity of food that is good for you as well as the amount of exercise, work, recreation, and rest that you need.
One has personally to adjust the equation between work and play, sleep and wakefulness, food and fasting, exercise and rest by carful experimentation. General directions are all that can be give here.
There is a beautiful saying in Marathi which means that men’s constitutions differ as their faces, and hence each individual must find out for himself his personal needs.
Proper selection of diet from vital foods, with fasting at regular intervals, when coupled with systematic Surya Namaskars, should in a single generation produce a wonderful improvement in the health, strength, vigour, and bodily size of a people.
15. Points About Diet (The Ten Point Way to Health)
Continue to Chapter 16