A correct diet is particularly important for those with a health problem, especially for those who suffer from digestive disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis or other rheumatic diseases, anemia, nervous disorders, bronchial and asthmatic conditions.
However, prevention, which is the job of everyone, dictates that all, the sick and the healthy alike, follow these rules:
We must never eat unless really hungry. This rule is important. Our body is its own finest barometer as to when food or drink is needed. We rarely go wrong when we follow our natural instincts with regard to the taking of food or liquid.
This may exclude the taking of three regular meals a day. You may not be hungry when you get up in the morning. When this is the case, you may omit breakfast altogether.
Again, you may feel the need for a substantial breakfast, and may not be hungry for lunch. Do not force yourself to eat just because it is mealtime. If you are not hungry at noon, skip your meal completely or take only a glass of juice or a piece of fruit.
The majority of people think that unless they eat three regular meals a day they are not well fed. In reality this is not the case. If you force yourself to eat when you are not hungry, you do yourself untold harm.
2. Make it a practice to eat slowly, and chew your food thoroughly. Many people gulp their food down and often do not even take time to sit down for their meals. What an abuse to the stomach and to the digestion! Food should be eaten slowly and chewed thoroughly to break it up into small particles and mix it with the saliva. This is the first step for good digestion. It lightens the work of the stomach and provides maximum nourishment.
3. Never overeat. We have pointed out that we should eat or drink only when actually hungry or thirsty. In addition, we must also bear in mind that it is just as important to take only enough food or liquid to satisfy hunger or thirst. An excess of either food or drink overburdens the organs and is not conducive to good health.
4. Do not eat when under emotional stress or when extremely fatigued. When we are emotionally upset or when we are overtired, food cannot be properly digested. At such times, it is advisable that we first rest or relax before we take our meal.
5. Always select simple dishes and make sure that your meals are prepared in as natural a way as possible. Rich and complicated dishes overtax digestion, while refined and processed foods fail to provide adequate nourishment.
6. The fewer the combinations at a meal the better. A raw vegetable salad with either a baked potato, brown rice, buckwheat groats, one of the soft, mild cheeses, or any other easily digestible protein, and a steamed vegetable make a complete and highly satisfying meal, without overtaxing the digestion.
7. Meals can be made appetising and enjoyable even when you omit complicated or unwholesome dishes. The flavor of our simple, wholesome dishes can be enhanced and made most inviting by the addition of a dash of lemon juice, lime juice, or tomato juice, or augmented by the skillful use of onion, garlic, leek, or scallions. The flavorful herbs such as dill, basil, sage, marjoram, caraway seeds, or chopped chives or parsley often do wonders even with the simplest dishes. Just use your imagination, and you will be proud of your accomplishments.
8. Arrange vegetables attractively especially with regard to color and taste. The many salad recipes in this volume offer a wealth of variety for zestful and inviting meals.
9. It is good policy not to take liquids with meals. Liquids taken at mealtime often induce overeating. Food should be thoroughly chewed, not be washed down. When you take fruit juice, tomato juice, vegetable soup, or milk, take it as a food, not as a liquid. Take it with a spoon, or sip it slowly.
10. Do not feel sorry for yourself when giving up foods not conducive to good health. You are doing it for healths sake! Be proud that you have the good sense to do it. Be a leader, not a follower!
11. Bear in mind the good that you derive from following a well-balanced diet. Dont feel discouraged if, in a moment of weakness, you fall off the bandwagon. Old habits sometimes get the better of even the best of us. You simply have to try again. The encouragement and guidance of a good nutritionist or doctor who recognises the importance of rational living principles, and who is conversant with your problem could be of considerable help to you at such times.
12. When planning a diet for weight reduction, make sure that the food you eat does not merely take weight off, but also rebuilds and maintains good health. Just counting calories is not enough.
13. Potatoes are a wonderful food and need not be shunned even by those who are trying to lose weight. It is how much we eat that counts. Those who are calorie conscious will be interested to know that one medium-sized potato contains 100 calories. A raw vegetable salad, one medium-sized potato, and one steamed leafy vegetable make a perfect meal and do not add weight. Potatoes should be baked, boiled, or steamed in the jacket. Salt should be omitted, for it increases the weight.
14. Beginners may be helped by keeping a daily chart of the food they eat. They can then compare their daily food intake and notice where they have slipped up.
15. Make your dinner—any meal for that matter—an enjoyable occasion. Be relaxed and enjoy every morsel of food you eat.
16. Eat a raw vegetable salad at least once a day, and always eat the salad first. Make it the most important course of the meal. It is filling and supplies the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes essential for good health. If you are unable to digest raw vegetables, consult a doctor who is conversant with your problem and has a thorough understanding of the subject of nutrition.
17. This brings us to the question of health care. When in need of such care, always choose a doctor who, in addition to his skill as a physician, is also versed in the subject of sound nutrition, so that he can guide you in the selection and preparation of the foods suitable in your case.
18. An occasional fast day or a day on fruit juices or vegetable broth can do wonders for your health. It gives your body a chance to catch up with its work and rests