The Science of Being Well

When you find that your mind is wandering, call a halt. Think for a moment of the food and of how good it tastes, of the perfect digestion and assimilation that are going to follow the meal, and begin again. Begin again and again, though you must do so 20 times in the course of a single meal. And again and again, though you must do so every meal for weeks and months. It is perfectly certain that you CAN form the Fletcher habit.* if you persevere, and when you have formed it, you will experience a healthful pleasure you have never known.

This is a vital point, and I must not leave it until I have thoroughly impressed it upon your mind. Given the right materials, perfectly prepared, the Principle of Health will positively build you a perfectly healthy body, and you cannot prepare the materials perfectly in any other way than the one I am describing. If you are to have perfect health, you MUST eat in just this way. You can, and the doing of it is only a matter of a little perseverance. What use for you to talk of mental control unless you will govern yourself in so simple a matter as ceasing to bolt your food? What use to talk of concentration unless you can keep your mind on the act of eating for so short a space as 15 or 20 minutes, especially with all the pleasures of taste to help you?

Go on, and conquer. In a few weeks, or months, as the case may be, you will find the habit of scientific eating becoming fixed, and soon you will be in so splendid a condition, mentally and physically, that nothing would induce you to return to the bad old way.

We have seen that if a person will think only thoughts of perfect health, his internal functions will be performed in a healthy manner, and we have seen that in order to think thoughts of health, a person must perform the voluntary functions in a healthy manner. The most important of the voluntary functions is that of eating, and we see, so far, no special difficulty in eating in a perfectly healthy way.

I will here summarize the instructions as to when to eat, what to eat, and how to eat, with the reasons why:

NEVER eat until you have an EARNED hunger, no matter how long you go without food. This is based on the fact that whenever food is needed in the system, if there is power to digest it, the sub-conscious mind announces the need by the sensation of hunger.

Learn to distinguish between genuine hunger and the gnawing and craving sensations caused by unnatural appetite. Hunger is never a disagreeable feeling, accompanied by weakness, faintness, or gnawing feelings at the stomach.

It is a pleasant, anticipatory desire for food. It does not come at certain hours or at stated intervals. It only comes when the body is ready to receive, digest, and assimilate food.

Eat whatever foods you want, making your selection from the full variety of the best foods found in the zone in which you live. The Supreme Intelligence has guided humanity to the selection of these foods, and they are the right ones. I am referring, of course, to the foods which are taken to satisfy hunger, not to those which have been contrived merely to gratify appetite or perverted taste. The instinct which has guided people to make use of the great staples of food to satisfy their hunger is a divine one. God has made no mistake; if you eat these foods you will not go wrong.

Eat your food with cheerful confidence in a pleasant atmosphere, and get all the pleasure that is to be had from the taste of every mouthful. Chew each morsel to a liquid, keeping your attention fixed on the enjoyment of the process. This is the only way to eat in a perfectly complete and successful manner; and when anything is done in a completely successful manner, the general result cannot be a failure.

In the attainment of health, the law is the same as in the attainment of riches: if you make each act a success in itself, the sum of all your acts must be a success. When you eat in the mental attitude I have described, and in the manner I have described, nothing can be added to the process it is done in a perfect manner, and it is successfully done. And if eating is successfully done, digestion, assimilation, and the building of a healthy body are successfully begun.

We next take up the question of the quantity of food required.


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