Eating plays a huge role in our culture. What we eat and how we eat is so habituated that trying to change is hard. But if you’re getting sick, getting fat, getting tired, etc. the first place to look is your diet.
Ever since reading John Tilden’s books on food and toxemia, I’ve been even more conscious of what I put into my mouth.
Before, I had fallen into a rut. I’d eat everyday at 11 a.m. I worked a desk job. I’d have a large lunch. Sometimes I’d eat a burger, fries, and baked potato soup. Then I’d sit at my desk and eat while reading the news.
I pulled that burger routine about once per week. What was I thinking?
Things have changed since reading Tilden. Now I watch my food combinations and I try to eat when I’m actually hungry.
Distinguishing Appetite From Hunger
I was eating on auto-pilot before. At 11 a.m., I’d start eating my food. I’d programmed myself to eat at a particular time, irrespective of actual hunger.
Something was wrong. I was digesting my food, but I wasn’t assimilating all of it. I was forcing my body to work extra hard because I’d rush food into my stomach, not pay attention to the eating (I was reading the news), and at the end of the meal I’d feel stuffed and sometimes be gassy.
I was forcing more food into my body than it could use. I was eating fast and not chewing thoroughly. I wasn’t enjoying my food—I was devouring it!
My body then had to process and eliminate that food. It was wasteful and it took a toll on my health.
Applying Tilden’s Rules
Tilden has four rules of eating. I’ve been doing my best to follow them. It’s not easy.
- John Tilden Eating Rule #1
- Never eat unless comfortable in mind and body from the previous meal or meal time.
- John Tilden Eating Rule #2
- Never eat without desire and keen relish for the plainest, simple food; and not even then if to do so would break the first rule.
- John Tilden Eating Rule #3
- Avoid overeating. The best way to do this is by following the fourth rule.
- John Tilden Eating Rule #4
- Thoroughly masticate and insalivate, especially starchy foods.
I’ve known for a while that digestion takes energy, but Tilden made it so abundantly clear that I decided to do something about it. Eat less and assimilate more—make honest use of the power of digestion.
I had only been sick once last year until November. Then I got sick three times, basically back-to-back-to-back.
What changed? Was it the weather? Was I exercising too hard? I think it was the combination of oatmeal, peanut butter, and banana that I had been eating. I’d been eating that combination 3-5 times per week for breakfast.
Tilden says you should eat fewer food combinations. Meat with vegetables. Fruit by itself or with dairy. Bread by itself. Simple.
Try to follow Tilden’s rules of eating. Try to distinguish hunger from appetite. Remember, if you’re getting sick, you’re doing something wrong. If you do get sick, try to figure out where you transgressed. There’s no point in being sick if you can avoid it.