Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/384

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

dietary to his means and to his special requirements. Pope says, "The proper study of mankind is man," and, undoubtedly, if long life and comfort are to be attained, many would do well to lay his aphorism to heart. In the case of a man of ordinary size doing ordinary physical or mental work, this would represent an ordinary day's food for hot weather, as far as quantity and constituents are concerned:

Breakfast, 8.30 to 9 a.m.—Two cups of tea or coffee, sweetened with saccharine, one or two teaspoonfuls of cream in each; 1 oz. of dry toast, thinly buttered; 4 ozs. of grilled or boiled fish, such as plaice, sole, whiting, haddock, cod, or trout, or 4 ozs. of cold chicken, cold tongue, or of grilled steak or chop.

Lunch, 1.30 p. m.—Two or three ounces of cold mutton, beef, or lamb; 3 or 4 ozs. of green vegetables, plainly boiled, plenty of green salad, made with vinegar, but without oil; 4 or 5 ozs. of stewed fruit; water, or 2 or 3 glasses of pure dry Moselles or other Rhine wines.

Afternoon Tea, 4.30, if desired.—Two cups of tea as at breakfast; nothing to eat.

Dinner, 7 to 8.—Julienne, or clear vegetable soup; 3 or 4 ozs. of fish; 3 or 4 ozs. of any red meat, or of chicken, rabbit, game, or venison; 6 ozs. of any green vegetable, with gravy from the meat only; 4 ozs. of stewed fruit or of raw fruit; a little stale or pulled bread, and a small piece of cheese.

This diet may be varied as to hour; but three meals only should be taken daily, and only sufficient at each meal to satisfy appetite. Fruit may be taken at other times, and any quantity of fluid, so long as it does not contain sugar; any number of pleasant alcoholic and other beverages suitable for the hot weather, and particularly suitable for those who should not take quantities of sugar, will be found in a book I wrote two or three years ago.[1]

Fruit is only beneficial in moderate quantity. If taken in excess, and out of proportion to other food, it is apt to derange the bowels and cause diarrhœa; more particularly is this the case if it is eaten underripe or overripe—in the former case, from its undue acidity; and in the latter, from its strong tendency to ferment and decompose in the digestive tract. Fruit diminishes the acidity of the secretion of the kidneys, and by virtue of this is advantageous in gout.

It goes without saying that more fluid is necessary in hot weather than in cold. Indeed, so long as it is a harmless fluid, I question whether too much can be taken. Fluid in this way is to the kidneys what fresh air is to the lungs, and the waste of meat not used in the system is carried off by its aid.

A meat diet is healthy and life-prolonging if supplemented with plenty of fluid to carry off its waste. That fluid should be taken in large quantities in the summer is a wise provision of Nature, as the skin carries off a large amount of waste from the

  1. Foods for the Fat: the Scientific Cure of Corpulency.