Ellen White Topics
There should be in our sanitarium a cook who thoroughly understands the work, one who has good judgement, who can experiment, who will not introduce into the food those things which should be avoided. It is well to leave sugar out of the crackers that are made. Some enjoy best the sweetest crackers, but these are an injury to the digestive organs. Butter should not be placed on the table, for if it is some will use it too freely, and it will obstruct digestion. But for yourself, you should occasionally use a little butter on cold bread, if this will make the food more appetising. This would do you far less harm than to confine yourself to preparations of food that are not palatable. 12MR 173

[ Overworked Stomach Weakens Mental Powers. ] -- Children are generally untaught in regard to the importance of when, how, and what they should eat. They are permitted to indulge their tastes freely, to eat at all hours, to help themselves to fruit when it tempts their eyes, and this, with the pie, cake, bread and butter, and sweetmeats eaten almost constantly, makes them gourmands and dyspeptics. The digestive organs, like a mill which is continually kept running, become enfeebled, vital force is called from the brain to aid the stomach in its overwork, and thus the mental powers are weakened. The unnatural stimulation and wear of the vital forces make them nervous, impatient of restraint, self-willed, and irritable.-- HR, May, 1877. (CD 181.) 2MCP 443

[ Borrowed Power Results in Depression. ] --Through the intemperance begun at home, the digestive organs first become weakened, and soon ordinary food does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea and coffee produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited; and in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated, the imagination more vivid. Because these stimulants produce such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them; but there is always a reaction. 2MCP 484

The second effect of tea drinking is headache, wakefulness, palpitation of the heart, indigestion, trembling of the nerves, with many other evils. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." God calls for a living sacrifice, not a dead or dying one. When we realise the requirements of God, we shall see that He requires us to be temperate in all things. The end of our creation is to glorify God in our bodies and spirits, which are His. How can we do this when we indulge the appetite to the injury of the physical and moral powers? God requires that we present our bodies a living sacrifice. Then the duty is enjoined on us to preserve that body in the very best condition of health, that we may comply with His requirements. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 2T 065

I frequently sit down to the tables of the brethren and sisters, and see that they use a great amount of milk and sugar. These clog the system, irritate the digestive organs, and affect the brain. Anything that hinders the active motion of the living machinery affects the brain very directly. And from the light given me, sugar, when largely used, is more injurious than meat. These changes should be made cautiously, and the subject should be treated in a manner not calculated to disgust and prejudice those whom we would teach and help. 2T 370

I would advise all to take something warm into the stomach every morning at least. You can do this without much labour. You can make graham gruel. If the graham flour is too coarse, sift it, and while the gruel is hot, add milk. This will make a most palatable and healthful dish for the campground. And if your bread is dry, crumb it into the gruel, and it will be enjoyed. I do not approve of eating much cold food, for the reason that the vitality must be drawn from the system to warm the food until it becomes of the same temperature as the stomach before the work of digestion can be carried on. Another very simple yet wholesome dish is beans boiled or baked. Dilute a portion of them with water, add milk or cream, and make a broth; the bread can be used as in graham gruel. 2T 603

Intemperance commences at our tables in the use of unhealthful food. After a time, through continued indulgence, the digestive organs become weakened, and the food taken does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea, coffee, and flesh meats produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited, and, in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated and the imagination to be more vivid. Because these stimulants produce for the time being such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them and continue their use. But there is always a reaction. The nervous system, having been unduly excited, borrowed power for present use from its future resources of strength. All this temporary invigoration of the system is followed by depression. In proportion as these stimulants temporarily invigorate the system will be the letting down of the power of the excited organs after the stimulus has lost its force. The appetite is educated to crave something stronger which will have a tendency to keep up and increase the agreeable excitement, until indulgence becomes habit, and there is a continual craving for stronger stimulus, as tobacco, wines, and liquors. The more the appetite is indulged, the more frequent will be its demands and the more difficult of control. The more debilitated the system becomes and the less able to do without unnatural stimulus, the more the passion for these things increases, until the will is overborne, and there seems to be no power to deny the unnatural craving for these indulgences. 3T 487

Intemperance commences at our tables in the use of unhealthful food. After a time, through continued indulgence, the digestive organs become weakened, and the food taken does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea, coffee, and flesh meats produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited, and, in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated and the imagination to be more vivid. Because these stimulants produce for the time being such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them and continue their use. But there is always a reaction. The nervous system, having been unduly excited, borrowed power for present use from its future resources of strength. All this temporary invigoration of the system is followed by depression. In proportion as these stimulants temporarily invigorate the system will be the letting down of the power of the excited organs after the stimulus has lost its force. The appetite is educated to crave something stronger which will have a tendency to keep up and increase the agreeable excitement, until indulgence becomes habit, and there is a continual craving for stronger stimulus, as tobacco, wines, and liquors. The more the appetite is indulged, the more frequent will be its demands and the more difficult of control. The more debilitated the system becomes and the less able to do without unnatural stimulus, the more the passion for these things increases, until the will is overborne, and there seems to be no power to deny the unnatural craving for these indulgences. 3T 487

There is a class who profess to believe the truth, who do not use tobacco, snuff, tea, or coffee, yet they are guilty of gratifying the appetite in a different manner. They crave highly-seasoned meats, with rich gravies, and their appetite has become so perverted that they cannot be satisfied with even meat, unless prepared in a manner most injurious. The stomach is fevered, the digestive organs are taxed, and yet the stomach labours hard to dispose of the load forced upon it. After the stomach has performed its task it becomes exhausted, which causes faintness. Here many are deceived, and think that it is the want of food which produces such feelings, and without giving the stomach time to rest, they take more food, which for the time removes the faintness. And the more the appetite is indulged, the more will be its clamours for gratification. This faintness is generally the result of meat-eating, and eating frequently, and too much. The stomach becomes weary by being kept constantly at work, disposing of food not the most healthful. Having no time for rest, the digestive organs become enfeebled, hence the sense of "goneness," and desire for frequent eating. The remedy such require is to eat less frequently and less liberally, and be satisfied with plain, simple food, eating twice, or at most, three times a day. The stomach must have its regular periods for labour and rest, hence eating irregularly between meals is a most pernicious violation of the laws of health. With regular habits, and proper food, the stomach will gradually recover. 4ASG 129

I was thoroughly convinced that many in the establishment were suffering with indigestion because of eating this kind of food. The digestive organs were enfeebled, and the blood impoverished. Their breakfast consisted of coffee and bread with the addition of prune sauce. This was not healthful. The stomach, after rest and sleep, was better able to take care of a substantial meal than when wearied with work. Then the noon meal was generally soup, sometimes meat. The stomach is small, but the appetite, unsatisfied, partakes largely of this liquid food, so it is burdened. CD 105

[ Health Reformer, May, 1877 ] 288. Children are generally untaught in regard to the importance of when, how, and what they should eat. They are permitted to indulge their tastes freely, to eat at all hours, to help themselves to fruit when it tempts their eyes, and this, with the pie, cake, bread and butter, and sweetmeats eaten almost constantly, makes them gourmands and dyspeptics. The digestive organs, like a mill which is continually kept running, become enfeebled, vital force is called from the brain to aid the stomach in its overwork, and thus the mental powers are weakened. The unnatural stimulation and wear of the vital forces make them nervous, impatient of restraint, self-willed, and irritable. CD 181

There is a real common sense in dietetic reform. The subject should be studied broadly and deeply, and no one should criticise others because their practice is not, in all things, in harmony with his own. It is impossible to make an unvarying rule to regulate every one's habits, and no one should think himself a criterion for all. Not all can eat the same things. Foods that are palatable and wholesome to one person may be distasteful, and even harmful, to another. Some cannot use milk, while others thrive on it. Some persons cannot digest peas and beans; others find them wholesome. For some the coarser grain preparations are good food, while others cannot use them. CD 198

It is impossible for those who give the reins to appetite to attain to Christian perfection. The moral sensibilities of your children cannot be easily aroused, unless you are careful in the selection of their food. Many a mother sets a table that is a snare to her family. Flesh meats, butter, cheese, rich pastry, spiced foods, and condiments are freely partaken of by both old and young. These things do their work in deranging the stomach, exciting the nerves, and enfeebling the intellect. The blood-making organs cannot convert such things into good blood. The grease cooked in the food renders it difficult of digestion. The effect of cheese is deleterious. Fine-flour bread does not impart to the system the nourishment that is to be found in unbolted-wheat bread. Its common use will not keep the system in the best condition. Spices at first irritate the tender coating of the stomach, but finally destroy the natural sensitiveness of this delicate membrane. The blood becomes fevered, the animal propensities are aroused, while the moral and intellectual powers are weakened, and become servants to the baser passions. The mother should study to set a simple yet nutritious diet before her family. [CTBH 46, 47 (1890)] CD 236

501. Hot soda biscuits are often spread with butter, and eaten as a choice diet; but the enfeebled digestive organs cannot but feel the abuse placed upon them. [ Letter 3, 1884 ] CD 319

508. It is well to leave sugar out of the crackers that are made. Some enjoy best the sweetest crackers, but these are an injury to the digestive organs. CD 321

Everything is plain yet wholesome because it is not merely thrown together in a haphazard manner. We have no sugar on our table. Our sauce which is our dependence is apples, baked or stewed into sauce, sweetened as required before being put upon the table. We use milk in small quantities. Sugar and milk used at the same time is hard for the digestive organs, clogs the machinery. CD 330 (LETTER 5, 1870)

Condiments and spices used in the preparation of food for the table aid in digestion in the same way that tea, coffee, and liquor are supposed to help the labouring man perform his tasks. After the immediate effects are gone, they drop as correspondingly below par as they were elevated above par by these stimulating substances. The system is weakened. The blood is contaminated, and inflammation is the sure result. CD 339

[ Letter 37, 1901 ] Butter should not be placed on the table; for if it is, some will use it too freely, and it will obstruct digestion. But for yourself, you should occasionally use a little butter on cold bread, if this will make the food more appetising. This would do you far less harm than to confine yourself to preparations of food that are not palatable. CD 350

Many make a mistake in drinking cold water with their meals. Taken with meals, water diminishes the flow of the salivary glands; and the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. Ice water or ice lemonade, drunk with meals, will arrest digestion until the system has imparted sufficient warmth to the stomach to enable it to take up its work again. Hot drinks are debilitating; and besides, those who indulge in their use become slaves to the habit. Food should not be washed down; no drink is needed with meals. Eat 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. Do not eat largely of salt; give up bottled pickles; keep fiery spiced food out of your stomach; eat fruit with your meals, and the irritation which calls for so much drink will cease to exist. But if anything is needed to quench thirst, pure water, drunk some little time before of after meal, is all that nature requires. Never take tea, coffee, beer, wine, or any spirituous liquors. Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues. CD 420

Because of these results, many suppose that their tea or coffee is doing them great good. But this is a mistake. Tea and coffee do not nourish the system. Their effect is produced before there has been time for digestion and assimilation, and what seems to be strength is only nervous excitement. When the influence of the stimulant is gone, the unnatural force abates, and the result is a corresponding degree of languor and debility. CD 424

The continued use of these nerve irritants is followed by headache, wakefulness, palpitation of the heart, indigestion, trembling, and many other evils, for they wear away the life forces. Tired nerves need rest and quiet instead of stimulation and overwork. Nature needs time to recuperate her exhausted energies. When her forces are goaded on by the use of stimulants, more will be accomplished for a time; but as the system becomes debilitated by their constant use, it gradually becomes more difficult to rouse the energies to the desired point. The demand for stimulants becomes more difficult to control, until the will is overborne, and there seems to be no power to deny the unnatural craving. Stronger and still stronger stimulants are called for, until exhausted nature can no longer respond. CD 424

Tea and coffee, condiments, confectionery, and pastries are all active causes of indigestion. Flesh food also is harmful. Its naturally stimulating effect should be a sufficient argument against its use; and the almost universally diseased condition of animals makes it doubly objectionable. It tends to irritate the nerves and to excite the passions, thus giving the balance of power to the lower propensities. ED 203

Parents will have much to answer for in the day of accounts because of their wicked indulgence of their children. Many gratify every unreasonable wish, because it is easier to be rid of their importunity in this way than in any other. A child should be so trained that a refusal would be received in the right spirit, and accepted as final. Children are generally untaught in regard to the importance of when, how, and what they should eat. They are permitted to indulge their tastes freely, to eat at all hours, to help themselves to fruit when it tempts their eyes, and this, with the pie, cake, bread and butter, and sweetmeats eaten almost constantly, makes them gourmands and dyspeptics. The digestive organs, like a mill which is continually kept running, become enfeebled, vital force is called from the brain to aid the stomach in its overwork, and thus the mental powers are weakened. The unnatural stimulation and wear of the vital forces make them nervous, impatient of restraint, self-willed, and irritable. They can scarcely be trusted out of their parents' sight. In many cases the moral powers seem deadened, and it is difficult to arouse them to a sense of the shame and grievous nature of sin; they slip easily into habits of prevarication, deceit, and often open lying. HR MAY 01,1877

Far too much sugar is ordinarily used in food. Cakes, sweet puddings, pastries, jellies, jams, are active causes of indigestion. Especially harmful are the custards and puddings in which milk, eggs, and sugar are the chief ingredients. The free use of milk and sugar taken together should be avoided. MH 301

It is impossible for any to enjoy the blessing of sanctification while they are selfish and gluttonous. These groan under a burden of infirmities because of wrong habits of eating and drinking, which do violence to the laws of life and health. Many are enfeebling their digestive organs by indulging perverted appetite. The power of the human constitution to resist the abuses put upon it is wonderful; but persistent wrong habits in excessive eating and drinking will enfeeble every function of the body. Let these feeble ones consider what they might have been, had they lived temperately, and promoted health instead of abusing it. In the gratification of perverted appetite and passion, even professed Christians cripple nature in her work, and lessen physical, mental, and moral power. Some who are doing this, claim to be sanctified to God; but such a claim is without foundation. RH JAN.25,1881

Many make a mistake in drinking cold water with their meals. Taken with meals water diminishes the flow of the salivary glands; and the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. Ice water or iced lemonade, drank with meals, will arrest digestion until the system has imparted sufficient warmth to the stomach to enable it to take up its work again. Hot drinks are debilitating; and besides, those who indulge in their use become slaves to the habit. Food should not be washed down; no drink is needed with meals. Eat 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. Do not eat largely of salt, give up bottled pickles, keep fiery, spiced food out of your stomach, eat fruit with your meals, and the irritation that calls for so much drink will cease to exist. But if anything is needed to quench thirst, pure water drank some little time before or after the meal is all that nature requires. Never take tea, coffee, beer, wine, or any spirituous liquors. Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues. RH JUL.29,1884

Men and women, by indulging the appetite in eating rich and highly seasoned foods, especially flesh-meats, with rich gravies, and by using stimulating drinks, as tea and coffee, create unnatural appetites. The system becomes fevered, the organs of digestion are injured, the mental faculties are beclouded, while the baser passions are excited, and predominate over the nobler faculties. The appetite becomes more unnatural, and more difficult of restraint. The circulation of the blood is not equalised, and the blood becomes impure. The whole system is deranged, and the demands of appetite become more unreasonable, craving exciting, hurtful things, until it is thoroughly depraved. RH JUN.27,1899

Hot biscuit raised with soda or baking powder should never appear upon our tables. Such compounds are unfit to enter the stomach. Hot raised bread of any kind is difficult of digestion. Graham gems which are both wholesome and palatable may be made from the unbolted flour, mixed with pure cold water and milk. But it is difficult to teach our people simplicity. When we recommend graham gems, our friends say, "Oh, yes, we know how to make them." We are much disappointed when they appear, raised with baking powder or with sour milk and soda. These give no evidence of reform. The unbolted flour, mixed with pure soft water and milk, makes the best gems we ever tasted. If the water is hard, use more sweet milk, or add an egg to the batter. Gems should be thoroughly baked in a well-heated oven, with a steady fire. RH MAY 08,1883