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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/479

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PHYSICAL EDUCATION.

boiled milk, and bread-pudding.—Vegetable soups, baked beans, potatoes (baked or mashed), butter, biscuits, and apple-dumplings.

General Rules. Avoid stimulants; alcoholic and narcotic drinks, tobacco, and all pungent spices; be sparing in the use of animal food, especially in summer-time; in midsummer eat fruit with every meal; let unprepared food (fresh milk, fruits, etc.) form a part of your daily fare; of unprepared aliments as well as of all unspiced viands, the most palatable are the most wholesome; eat slowly and masticate your food; never eat if you have no appetite; and finish your last meal three hours before bedtime.

As a dessert I will add a few of my favorite dietetic aphorisms: An hour of exercise to every pound of food.—We are not nourished by what we eat, but by what we digest.—Every hour you steal from digestion will be reclaimed by indigestion.—Beware of the wrath of a patient stomach!—He who controls his appetite in regard to the quality of his food may safely indulge it in regard to quantity.—The oftener you eat, the oftener you will repent it.—Dyspepsia is a poor pedestrian; walk at the rate of four miles an hour, and you will soon leave her behind.—The road to the rum-cellar leads through the coffee-house—. Abstinence from all stimulants, only, is easier than temperance.—There are worthier objects of charity than famine-stricken nations that send their breadstuffs to the distillery.—An egg, is worth a pound of meat; a milch-cow, seven stall-fed oxen.—Sleep is sweeter after a fast-day than after a feast-day.—For every meal you lose you gain a better.

How often should we eat is still a mooted question. For men in a state of nature the answer would be simple enough; but, considering our present artificial modes of life, I must say that the choice of fixed hours is less important than the observation of the following rule: Never eat till you have leisure to digest. For digestion requires leisure; we can not assimilate our food while the functional energy of our system is engrossed by other occupations. After a hearty feed, animals retire to a quiet hiding-place; and the "after-dinner laziness," the plea of our system for rest, should admonish us to imitate their example. The idea that exercise after dinner promotes digestion is a mischievous fallacy; Jules Virey settled that question by a cruel but conclusive experiment. He selected two curs of the same size, age and general physique, made them keep a fast-day and treated them the next morning to a square meal of potato-chips and cubes of fat mutton, but, as soon as one of them had eaten his fill, he made the other stop too, to make sure that they had both consumed the same quantity. Dog No. 1 was then confined in a comfortable kennel, while No. 2 had to run after the doctor's coach, not at a breathless rate of speed, but at a fair, brisk trot, for two hours and a half. As soon as they got home, the coach-dog and his comrade were slain and dissected: the kennel-dog had completely digested his meal, while the