All about Food
Many moons ago, I put together a book of recipes- my own, Rod’s and various others- that included a guide to Cayce’s principles of food and it’s relationship to the body’s health. The following is the introduction taken from that long ago guide:
MANN’S DIET AND RECIPE GUIDE
is based on Edgar Cayce’s principles of nutrition, eating for health and enjoyment, simple living, and semi- vegetarianism. Wait…don’t go away! This is really easier than it sounds and doesn’t mean that you only get to eat things that taste like sticks. Sometimes you get to eat things that taste like pine cones!
Seriously, it requires a commitment to make the changes needed to eat according to the above principles. But the benefits are well worth the dedication: better health, easier meal preparation, lower costs…but the bottom line is, as Edgar Cayce said: “We are, physically and mentally, what we eat and what we think.”
Balance is the key feature. We don’t eat this way 100% of the time, but we do eat this way most of the time, which balances out the times we do not. Nothing is “bad”, there are only foods that should be eaten sparingly and balanced with foods that are best for your health. According to Cayce, foods that are best for your health are “alkaline-producing”, while the foods that should be eaten sparingly are “acid-producing”. Therefore, most foods fall into one of these two categories:
ALL FRUITS, Fresh and Dried, except large prunes, plums & cranberries.
ALL VEGETABLES, Fresh and Dehydrated, except legumes (peas, beans & lentils) and rhubarb.
MILK: All forms, including cheese, cottage cheese & buttermilk.
ANIMAL FATS & VEGETABLE OILS.
Large prunes, plums, cranberries, rhubarb.
ALL CEREAL GRAINS: bread, breakfast, rolled oats, white rice (brown rice is less acid forming).
ALL HIGH STARCH AND PROTEIN FOODS: white sugar, syrups made from white sugar, potatoes, corn (Potatoes & corn are not alkaline-producing vegetables, they are acid-forming starches!)
NUTS, LEGUMES & EGG WHITES.
MEATS & POULTRY.
*Cayce uses the term “producing” here because acid or alkaline does not refer to the food itself but rather to the effect it produces in the body.
(From A Diet/ Recipe Guide: Based on the Edgar Cayce Readings by Anne Read and Carol Ilstrup; 1967, A.R.E. Press, Va.Beach, Va.)
It looks complicated, I know, but let’s approach this meal-by-meal:
BREAKFAST should ALWAYS begin with fruit: bananas, peaches, applesauce, grapefruits. That’s pretty simple, but there is one rule here- citrus fruits and juices should not be eaten with cereals and milk. That’s an acid-forming combination. A quickie breakfast that is good for your digestion is yogurt and fruit (not citrus). Yogurt contains acidophilus cultures that aid your body in the “assimilation” of foods- more on that later.
LUNCH should ideally be a raw salad; if that’s not enough to hold you til dinner, a non-cream based soup can be eaten along with it. If you must have a sandwich or are eating at a fast-food place, remember this- meats and starches together are a double acid-forming combo and should be avoided whenever possible. And also, although I know I said that no food was bad, there is one that’s almost an absolute no-no: fried foods.
DINNER is the meal that can really make the difference in your acid-alkaline balance. The traditional large piece of meat with side “veggies” of corn or potatoes and rolls or bread is a heavily acid-forming meal, not to mention a bad combination for your digestive system. It is also expensive and time-consuming to prepare. Just changing the proportions of the meal will be healthier, less expensive, and less time-consuming. This means the biggest part of your meal should be from the alkaline-producing category, with small amounts of rice, beans, meat, pasta, etc., on the side. THIS IS NOT HARD TO DO!
And I’ll prove it to you, with the following recipes and advice on their preparation and suggestions for good combinations.
First, let’s talk about cooking vegetables. Most people who say they don’t like veggies have good reason for believing that- they have been served overcooked, bitter, mushy veggies. The best way we have found to cook veggies and greens is by steaming UNTIL JUST TENDER! This is a key point and requires vigilance on the cook’s part while they are cooking. The veggies will not only taste better, they will look better and will have retained most of their vitamin content. Another method that works well for us is the “sauté/steam” method in which the veggies are lightly sauteed in olive oil and then allowed to steam gently in their own juices. You will see this method being used in some of the recipes.
GREENS are the next important topic, and this diet depends heavily on them. If you have missed your lunchtime salad, greens should always be eaten with dinner. There are many varieties of greens to choose from: spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens, beet greens, brussels sprouts, green cabbage, etc. They should be bought fresh when possible (or grown), but frozen is good, too. Cook these by steaming also: wash the greens, roll them up lengthwise, slice them and place in the steamer basket. (Or just dump the bag of frozen veggies in the steamer basket.) Steam until just tender, season with lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder, olive oil or butter, and paprika (if you like). You should, however, avoid eating raw veggies and cooked veggies at the same sitting- they require two different enzymes to digest, another assimilation problem.
ASSIMILATION is an important issue. It does your body no good to eat the right things if it can’t really digest, or assimilate, them. This is why proteins and carbohydrates are a bad combination, and also why milk, although it is on the alkaline-producing list, is not good in large quantities, especially for an adult.
ACCLIMATIZATION is the Cayce belief that what you eat should be grown in the area where you live. In other words: Eat your own grass! Actually, if you can’t grow your own, it is better to buy locally, because food grown where you live helps you live where you live, see? Take advantage of what most people call “weeds”, those wild foods found growing in most yards and fields. Two rules here: Make absolutely sure you have correctly identified the plant, and never eat anything that has been sprayed with chemicals.
Whether or not your body is in an acid or an alkaline state may sound a bit scientific and besides, what’s it got to do with good health anyway? Because viruses and germs that make us sick have a very hard time survivng in an alkaline environment.