There was a time in my life when I only ate one meal per day.  That meal began at about 8 AM and lasted for 14 hours until 10 PM. I called it "break-fast," because that single and continuous meal ended an 8-hour fasting period consisting of sleepy dreams filled with visions of sugarplums. I would look into the mirror and see Hungry Mungry who  sat at supper, took his knife and fork, Ate a bowl of mushroom soup, ate a slice of roasted pork, Ate a bowl of stewed tomatoes, twenty-seven deviled eggs, Fifteen shrimps, nine baked potatoes, 32 fried chicken legs, A shank of lamb, a boiled ham, two bowls of grits, some black-eyed peas, Four chocolate shakes, eight angel cakes, nine custard pies with Muenster cheese, Ten pots of tea, and after he had eaten all that he was able, He poured some broth on the tablecloth and ate the kitchen table."  Excerpted from Shel Silverstein's, Hungry Mungry, Where the Sidewalk Ends, 1974)

When is the proper time to eat? How often should we eat? How many meals per day? Which should be the major meal? Dietary advice can be so confusing.

ellen white, food reformerOne hundred years ago, there lived a health reformer whose dietary
wisdom I now try to follow. Her name was Ellen G. White, and I've
gleaned ten rules about eating from her 55,000 pages of text. The more I
read and study White's work, the more her visions make sense to me.

Rule #1

"You should understand that every organ of the body is to be
treated with respect. In the matter of diet, you must reason
from cause to effect."  So day after you eat bread, mucus streaming from nose?

Day after you eat lamb or veal which suffer removal from mother, kept alive fed mechanically, and YOU ARE DEPRESSED AS GET OUT!?? (1908)

Rule #2

"It is possible to eat immoderately, even of wholesome food. It
does not follow that because one has discarded the use of hurtful
articles of diet, he can eat just as much as he pleases. Overeating,
no matter what the quality of the food, clogs the living machine,
and thus hinders it in its work."  So the whole box of TOFU WITH BLACK MUSHROOMS not doable?

Rule #3

"Masticate slowly, and allow the saliva to mingle with the
food. The more liquid there is taken into the stomach with
the meals, the more difficult it is for the food to digest;
for the liquid must first be absorbed."  Yeah but that kind of person (i.e. my grandpa) STANDS OUT. He's still at the table chewing away when everyone else is GONE.

Rule #4

"Do not have too great a variety at a meal; three or four dishes
are a plenty. At the next meal you can have a change. The cook
should tax her inventive powers to vary the dishes she prepares
for the table, and the stomach should not be compelled to take
the same kinds of food meal after meal." LIke steak and taters 3 times a day? Gets boring?

Rule #5

"Puddings, rice, potatoes, meat, custards, sweet cake, and vegetables, all served at
the same meal, will cause a disturbance in the stomach."
(1900) I get it. Today we call that FOOD COMBINING. Mebbe Google that term.

Rule #6

"Many professed health reformers are nothing less than gluttons.
They lay upon the digestive organs so great a burden that the
vitality of the system is exhausted in the effort to dispose of
it. It also has a depressing influence upon the intellect; for
the brain nerve power is called upon to assist the stomach in
its work."  Health reformers today aren't like that, that they ADMIT.

Rule #7

"My brother, your brain is benumbed. A man who disposes of the
quantity of food that you do, should be a laboring man. Exercise
is important to digestion, and to a healthy condition of body
and mind. You need physical exercise. You move and act as if
you were wooden, as though you had no elasticity. Healthy,
active exercise is what you need. This will invigorate the mind."
(1901) No wonder we all have protein plaque in our brains, Alzheimers.

Rule #8

"The influence of pure, fresh air is to cause the blood to
circulate healthfully through the system. It refreshes the body,
and tends to render it strong and healthy, while at the same
time its influence is decidedly felt upon the mind, imparting
a degree of composure and serenity. It excites the appetite, and
renders the digestion of food more perfect, and induces sound
and sweet sleep."  In our barrio we don't walk after dark.

Rule #9

"In order to secure healthy digestion, food should be eaten
slowly. Those who wish to avoid dyspepsia, and those who realize
their obligation to keep all their powers in a condition which
will enable them to render the best service to God, will do well
to remember this. If your time to eat is limited, do not bolt
your food, but eat less, and masticate slowly. The benefit
derived from food does not depend so much on the quantity eaten
as on its thorough digestion; nor the gratification of taste so
much on the amount of food swallowed as on the length of time it
remains in the mouth. Those who are excited, anxious, or in a
hurry, would do well not to eat until they have found rest or
relief; for the vital powers, already severely taxed, cannot
supply the necessary digestive fluids." So Grandpa, did you take care of that rat problem?

Rule #10

"Custom has decreed that the food should be placed upon the tables
in courses. Not knowing what is coming next, one may eat a
sufficiency of food which perhaps is not the best suited to him.
When the last course is brought on, he often ventures to overstep
the bounds, and take the tempting dessert, which, however, proves
anything but good for him. If all the food intended for a meal is
placed on the table at the beginning, one has opportunity to make
the best choice."  THIS IS DAMN CLEVER. QUITE TRUE. Though no one
in modern time does COURSES.

These rules make so much sense. Next time you serve dinner, put
the dessert on the table at the same time as the entree. Apply
rule number ten to your life for a simple change, and you shall
benefit by having better digestion.

Robert Cohen