Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Thoughts: Thoughts: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”
In 1825, the French philosopher and gourmand Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote this.
The number of flavors is infinite, for every soluble body has a peculiar flavor, like none other.
Those persons who suffer from indigestion, or who become drunk, are utterly ignorant of the true principles of eating and drinking.
Taste seems to have two chief uses:
1. It invites us by pleasure to repair the losses which result from the use of life.
2. It assists us to select from among the substances offered by nature, those which are alimentary.
In this choice taste is powerfully aided by the sense of smell, as we will see hereafter; as a general principle, it may be laid down that nutritious substances are repulsive neither to the taste nor to the smell.
Close the nose, and the taste is paralyzed; a thing proved by three experiments any one can make:
1. When the nasal membrane is irritated by a violent coryza (cold in the head) the taste is entirely obliterated. There is no taste in anything we swallow, yet the tongue is in its normal state.
2. If we close the nose when we eat, we are amazed to see how obscure and imperfect the sense of touch is. The most disgusting medicines thus are swallowed almost without taste.
3. The same effect is observed if, as soon as we have swallowed, instead of restoring the tongue to its usual place, it be kept detached from the palate. Thus the circulation of the air is intercepted, the organs of smell are not touched, and there is no taste.
Those who eat quickly and without attention, do not discern impressions of the second degree. They belong only to a certain number of the elect, and by the means of these second sensations only can be classed the different substances submitted to their examination.
Let us now look philosophically at the pleasure and pain occasioned by taste.
The first thing we become convinced of is that man is organized so as to be far more sensible of pain than of pleasure.
Of all the senses though with which we have been endowed by nature, the taste is the one, which all things considered, procures us the most enjoyments.
1. Because the pleasure of eating is the only one, when moderately enjoyed, not followed, by fatigue.
2. It belongs to all aeras, ages and ranks.
3. Because it necessarily returns once a day, and may without inconvenience be twice or thrice repeated in the same day.
4. It mingles with all other pleasures, and even consoles us for their absence.
5. Because the impressions it receives are durable and dependant on, our will.
6. Because when we eat we receive a certain indefinable and peculiar impression of happiness originating in instinctive conscience. When we eat too, we repair our losses and prolong our lives.
Appetite declares itself by languor in the stomach, and a slight sensation of fatigue.
The whole nutritive apparatus is moved. The stomach becomes sensible, the gastric juices are moved and displace themselves with noise, the mouth becomes moist, and all the digestive powers are under arms, like soldiers awaiting the word of command. After a few moments there will be spasmodic motion, pain and hunger.
Appetite, hunger, and thirst, warn us that the hody needs restoration; pain, that universal monitor, never ceases to torment us if we do not obey it.
Then comes eating and drinking which are ingestion, an operation which begins as soon as the food is in the mouth, and enters the oesophagus.
During its passage, through a space of a few inches much takes place.
The teeth divide solid food, the glands which line the inside of the mouth moisten it, the tongue mingles the food, presses it against the palate so as to force out the juice, and then collects the elements in the centre of the mouth, after which, resting on the lower jaw, it lifts up the central portion forming a kind of inclined plane to the lower portion of the mouth where they are received by the pharynx, which itself contracting, forces them into the oesophagus.
One mouthful having thus been treated, a second is managed in the same way, and deglutition continues until appetite informs us that it is time to stop. It is rarely, though, that it stops here, for as it is one of the attributes of man to drink without thirst, cooks have taught him to eat without hunger.
To ensure every particle of food reaching the stomach, two dangers must be avoided.
It must not pass into the passage behind the nose, which luckily is covered by a veil.
The second is that it must not enter the trachea. This is a serious danger, for any particle passing into the trachea, would cause a convulsive cough, which would last until it was expelled.
HOW PEOPLE USED TO FAST.
The practice of fasting, I am sorry to say, has become very rare; and whether for the education of the wicked, or for their conversion, I am glad to tell how we fast now in the XVIII. century.
Ordinarily we breakfast before nine o’clock, on bread, cheese, fruit and cold meats.
Between one and two P. M., we take soup or pot au feu according to our positions.
About four, there is a little lunch kept up for the benefit of those people who belong to other ages, and for children.
About eight there was a regular supper, with entrees roti entremets dessert: all shared in it, and then went to bed.
God has subjected man to six great necessities: birth, action, eating, sleep, reproduction and death.
Death is the absolute interruption of the sensual relations, and the absolute annihilation of the vital powers, which abandons the body to the laws of decomposition.
“Are you there, nephew?” said she in an almost inaudible voice. “Yes, aunt! I think you would be better if you would take a little old wine.” “Give it to me, liquids always run down.” I hastened to lift her up and gave her half a glass of my best and oldest wine. She revived for a moment and said, “I thank you. If you live as long as I have lived, you will find that death like sleep is a necessity.”
These were her last words, and in half an hour she had sank to sleep forever.
Challenges: I have been utterly ignorant of the true principles of eating and drinking for the majority of my life. It's only been since The Earth Diet that I have started appreciating food and actually tasting it instead of just gulping it down!
Triumphs: Less indigestion!
What I ate today:
Breakfast: A beet, carrot, celery, ginger juice. Strawberries. 1 nectarine.
Lunch: 4 nectarines. Raw cauliflower. 4 chocolate balls.
Dinner: Avocado with walnuts. Brazil nuts.
Dessert: A nectarine.
Snacks: Peanut butter (crushed peanuts)
Recipe: Recipe for chocolate balls is in blog Day 115
Exercise: A walk around Amityville :)
198 days to go!!!