Ellen White Topics
Much injury is done to health by the variety of the food which is seen on so many tables. Take the different dishes that are placed on the table at one meal, and put them all together in one vessel--stir them up together. Does it make the stomach turn to look at it? Leave it for a few hours and it will ferment. Yet thousands compel their stomachs to receive just such a mass as this every day--half masticated meat, condiments, spices, pies, and sweet puddings are washed down with tea and coffee. The abused stomach is obliged to take them and do the best it can with them. 10MR 286

If in the spring of the year we felt languor (really the result of consuming so much fat and flesh meats during the winter), we resorted to sharp pickles, horseradish, mustard, pepper, and the like, to "sharpen the appetite" and tone up the system. We naturally expected a "poor spell" in the spring before we could get newly grown vegetables.-- , December, 1899 2BIO 298

The Lord in wisdom designed to bring His people into a position where they would be separate from the world in spirit and practice, that their children might not so readily be led into idolatry and become tainted with the prevailing corruptions of this age. It is God's design that believing parents and their children should stand forth as living representatives of Christ, candidates for everlasting life. All who are partakers of the divine nature will escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection. You cannot arouse the moral sensibilities of your children while you are not careful in the selection of their food. The tables that parents usually prepare for their children are a snare to them. Their diet is not simple, and is not prepared in a healthful manner. The food is frequently rich and fever-producing, having a tendency to irritate and excite the tender coats of the stomach. The animal propensities are strengthened and bear sway, while the moral and intellectual powers are weakened and become servants to the baser passions. You should study to prepare a simple yet nutritious diet. Flesh meats, and rich cakes and pies prepared with spices of any kind, are not the most healthful and nourishing diet. Eggs should not be placed upon your table. They are an injury to your children. Fruits and grains, prepared in the most simple form, are the most healthful, and will impart the greatest amount of nourishment to the body, and, at the same time, not impair the intellect. 2T 399

One family in particular have needed all the benefits they could receive from the reform in diet, yet these very ones have been completely backslidden. Meat and butter have been used by them quite freely, and spices have not been entirely discarded. This family could have received great benefit from a nourishing, well-regulated diet. The head of the family needed plain, nutritious food. His habits were sedentary, and his blood moved sluggishly through the system. He could not, like others, have the benefit of healthful exercise; therefore his food should have been of the right quality and quantity. There has not been in this family the right management in regard to diet; there has been irregularity. There should have been a specified time for each meal, and the food should have been prepared in a simple form and free from grease; but pains should have been taken to have it nutritious, healthful, and inviting. In this family, as also in many others, a special parade has been made for visitors, many dishes prepared and frequently made too rich, so that those seated at the table would be tempted to eat to excess. Then in the absence of company there was a great reaction, a falling off in the preparations brought on the table. The diet was spare and lacked nourishment. It was considered not so much matter "just for ourselves." The meals were frequently picked up, and the regular time for eating not regarded. Every member of the family was injured by such management. It is a sin for any of our sisters to make such great preparations for visitors, and wrong their own families by a spare diet which will fail to nourish the system. 2T 485

Above all things, we should not with our pens advocate positions that we do not put to a practical test in our own families, upon our own tables. This is dissimulation, a species of hypocrisy. In Michigan we can get along better without salt, sugar, and milk than can many who are situated in the Far West or in the far East, where there is a scarcity of fruit. But there are very few families in Battle Creek who do not use these articles upon their tables. We know that a free use of these things is positively injurious to health, and, in many cases, we think that if they were not used at all, a much better state of health would be enjoyed. But at present our burden is not upon these things. The people are so far behind that we see it is all they can bear to have us draw the line upon their injurious indulgences and stimulating narcotics. We bear positive testimony against tobacco, spirituous liquors, snuff, tea, coffee, flesh meats, butter, spices, rich cakes, mince pies, a large amount of salt, and all exciting substances used as articles of food. 3T 021

But since the Lord presented before me, in June, 1863, the subject of meat-eating in relation to health, I have left the use of meat. For a while it was rather difficult to bring my appetite to bread, for which, formerly, I have had but little relish. But by persevering, I have been able to do this. I have lived for nearly one year without meat. For about six months most of the bread upon our table has been unleavened cakes, made of unbolted wheat-meal and water, and a very little salt. We use fruits and vegetables liberally. I have lived for eight months upon two meals a day. I have applied myself to writing the most of the time for above a year. For eight months have been confined closely to writing. My brain has been constantly taxed, and I have had but little exercise. Yet my health has never been better than for the past six months. My former faint and dizzy feelings have left me. I have been troubled every spring with loss of appetite. The last spring I had no trouble in this respect. Our plain food, eaten twice a day, is enjoyed with a keen relish. We have no meat, cake, or any rich food upon our table. We use no lard, but in its place, milk, cream, and some butter. We have our food prepared with but little salt, and have dispensed with spices of all kinds. We breakfast at seven, and take our dinner at one. It is seldom I have a faint feeling. My appetite is satisfied. My food is eaten with a greater relish than ever before. 4ASG 153

"Then one of the most solemn addresses was given upon temperance. The subject was taken up from the table. 'Here,' said the speaker, 'is the appetite created for love of strong liquor. Appetite and passion are the ruling sins of the age. Appetite, the way it is indulged, influences the stomach and excites the animal propensities. The moral powers are depressed and become the slave to appetite. The use of flesh meats stimulates and inflames; the flesh of dead animals produces disease of almost every type and the afflicted think and talk as though God's providence had something to do with it when the cause of their sufferings was what they placed upon their own tables in butter, in spices, in cheese, in flesh meats and a variety of dishes that are not liquor, which tempt constantly to eat too much.'" --Ms 7, 1874, p. 3. 7MR 347

God has furnished man with abundant means for the gratification of an unperverted appetite. He has spread before him the products of the earth,--a bountiful variety of food that is palatable to the taste and nutritious to the system. Of these our benevolent heavenly Father says we may freely eat. Fruits, grains, and vegetables, prepared in a simple way, free from spice and grease of all kinds, make, with milk or cream, the most healthful diet. They impart nourishment to the body, and give a power of endurance and a vigour of intellect that are not produced by a stimulating diet. [ [C.T.B.H. 47] (1890) ] CD 092

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

It is important that the food should be prepared with care, that the appetite, when not perverted, can relish it. Because we from principle discard the use of meat, butter, mince pies, spices, lard, and that which irritates the stomach and destroys health, the idea should never be given that it is of but little consequence what we eat. [ (1905) M.H. 300 ] CD 259

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

In this fast age, the less exciting the food, the better. Condiments are injurious in their nature. Mustard, pepper, spices, pickles, and other things of a like character, irritate the stomach and make the blood feverish and impure. The inflamed condition of the drunkard's stomach is often pictured as illustrating the effect of alcoholic liquors. A similarly inflamed condition is produced by the use of irritating condiments. Soon ordinary food does not satisfy the appetite. The system feels a want, a craving, for something more stimulating. [ (1896) E. from U.T. 6 ] CD 339

For thirty years the light on health reform has been coming to the people of God, but many have made it a subject of jest. They have continued to use tea, coffee, spices, and flesh meat. Their bodies are full of disease. How can we, I ask, present such ones to the Lord for healing? [ (Written 1884) E. from U.T. 2 ] CD 400

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

God has furnished man with abundant means for the gratification of an unperverted appetite. He has spread before him the products of the earth, -- a bountiful variety of food that is palatable to the taste and nutritious to the system. Of these our benevolent heavenly Father says we may freely eat. Fruits, grains, and vegetables, prepared in a simple way, free from spice and grease of all kinds, make, with milk or cream, the most healthful diet. They impart nourishment to the body, and give a power of endurance and a vigour of intellect that are not produced by a stimulating diet. CTBH 047

Flesh meats, butter, cheese, rich pastry, spiced foods, and condiments are freely partaken of by both old and young. . . . The blood making organs cannot convert such things into good blood.-- . HL 180

This might be correct if the appetite had never been perverted. There is a natural, and a depraved, appetite. Parents who have taught their children to eat unhealthful, stimulating food, all their lives, until the taste is perverted, and they crave clay, slate pencils, burned coffee, tea grounds, cinnamon, cloves, and spices, cannot claim that the appetite demands what the system requires. The appetite has been falsely educated, until it is depraved. The fine organs of the stomach have been stimulated and burned, until they have lost their delicate sensitiveness. Simple, healthful food, seems to them insipid. The abused stomach will not perform the work given it, unless urged to it by the most stimulating substances. If these children had been trained from their infancy to take only healthful food, prepared in the most simple manner, preserving its natural properties as much as possible, and avoiding flesh meats, grease, and all spices, the taste and appetite would be unimpaired. In its natural state, it might indicate, in a great degree, the food best adapted to the wants of the system. HR DEC.01,1870

For more than twelve years we have taken only two meals each day, of plain, unstimulating food. During that time, we have had almost constantly the care of children, varying in age from three to thirteen years. We worked gradually and carefully to change their habit of eating three times a day to two; we also worked cautiously to change their diet from stimulating food, as meat, rich gravies, pies, cakes, butter, spices, etc., to simple, wholesome fruits, vegetables, and grains. The consequence has been that our children have not been troubled with the various maladies to which children are more or less subject. They occasionally take cold by reason of carelessness, but this seldom makes them sick. HR MAY 01,1877

A nutritious diet does not consist in the eating of flesh-meats, butter, spice, and grease. The fruits, vegetables, and grains, God has caused to grow for the benefit of man. These are indeed the fat of the land; and if these articles of food are prepared in a manner to preserve their natural taste as much as possible, they are all that our wants require. A perverted appetite will not be satisfied with these, but will crave flesh-meats highly seasoned, pastry, and spices. Indigestible condiments cannot be eaten without injuring the tender coats of the stomach. PH123 044

To become acquainted with our wonderful organism, the stomach, liver, bowels, heart, bones, muscles, and pores of the skin, and to understand the dependence of one organ upon another, for the healthful action of all, is a study that most mothers have no interest in. The influence of the body upon the mind, and the mind upon the body, she knows nothing of. The mind, which allies finite to the infinite, she does not seem to understand. Every organ of the body was made to be servant to the mind. The mind is the capital of the body. Children are allowed flesh-meats, spices, butter, cheese, pork, rich pastry, and condiments generally. They are allowed to eat irregularly, and to eat between meals, of unhealthful food, which do their work of deranging the stomach, and exciting the nerves to unnatural action, and enfeeble the intellect. Parents do not realise that they are sowing the seeds which will bring forth disease and death. RH JUL.14,1885

I recommended them to take something warm upon the stomach every morning, at least. They could do this without much labour, they could make graham gruel. If the graham was too coarse they could sift it. While the gruel is hot they could add milk to suit themselves,this will make a most palatable and healthful dish for the camp-ground, and if your bread is dry you can crumb it into your 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 and baked, and a portion of them may be diluted with water, add more cream and make a broth, the bread can be used the same as in the graham gruel. Dried corn can be easily prepared, left to soak over night, scald it up in the morning, add milk, which is easily obtained, and you have warm, healthful food, free from spice and grease. RH JUL.19,1870

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

Children should be educated to habits of temperance, even while in their mother's arms. Our tables should bear only the most wholesome food, free from every irritating substance. The appetite for liquor is encouraged by the preparation of food with condiments and spices. These cause a feverish state of the system, and drink is demanded to allay the irritation. On my frequent journeys across the continent, I do not patronise restaurants, dining-cars, or hotels, for the simple reason that I cannot eat the food there provided. The dishes are highly seasoned with salt and pepper, creating an almost intolerable thirst. During my last trip, the conductor of the sleeping-car kindly brought me a plate of rich vegetable soup. I tasted the apparently inviting dish, but found it so highly seasoned that I dared not eat it. The salt and pepper made my mouth smart, and I well knew that they would irritate and inflame the delicate coating of the stomach. I passed the tempting dish to another; for I dared not place such an abuse upon my digestive organs. RH NOV.06,1883

I have had five shocks of paralysis, and God, in his mercy, has raised me up, to take my place in the work he has given me to do, and to try to benefit others by my experience. Light was given me, and I saw the reason for my feeble health. I was astonished that I had so long remained in ignorance in regard to the laws of life. My habits were out of harmony with the conditions that are necessary to health. My food had not been of a proper kind to give vitality and strength to the system. It was highly seasoned, and stimulating rather than nutritious. The physicians said that I might die at any time, and I resolved that if I died, I would die in attempting to correct my injurious habits of life. I resolved to place myself on a platform of strictest temperance. I did not use tea or coffee or any kind of intoxicating wine or liquor, so I did not have these habits to overcome; but I had used flesh and spices, eating hearty meals three times a day. I had to educate myself to enjoy the simple, healthful grains and fruits that God has provided for the wants of man. But I found that all the sacrifice I had to make was doubly repaid in renewed health of body and mind. I had used pepper and mustard in my diet; but these should not be put into the human stomach. The delicate membrane becomes inflamed, the healthy tone of the stomach is lowered, and the appetite is perverted, the taste loses its discernment, and the delicious flavours of grains, vegetables, and fruits become insipid and unpalatable. ST FEB.17,1888