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Healthy Living – Diet, Sunshine, and Exercise

by Paramhansa Yogananda
Fall 2005 2 Comments

Disease warns us that nature’s physical laws are being broken. The origin of almost all diseases can be found in over-eating, improper eating, lack of exercise, and misuse of sexual energy.

Eat sparingly and watch your health improve
There is a Syrian proverb: “The enemy of man is his stomach.” The chief abuse of the body lies in overloading it with unnecessary food.

Use your will power to resist the temptation of eating three meals every day, by which the whole system, including the cells, heart, nerves, and stomach have to work continuously. Eat sparingly and notice the great change in your health for the better.

Many are being led to their graves because they eat at the sound of the dinner bell. Ignore its ominous call if you are not hungry. It is good to eat at a regular time, for it creates a psychological expectancy that helps the secretion of digestive juices.

But never eat unless you are hungry. If you are hungry eat moderately. Omit meals if you are only slightly hungry and this will sharpen your hunger for the next meal.

Elements of a healthy diet
A supply of raw fruit, vegetables, and nuts should be included in the regular diet.  Raw food is nature-and-sun-cooked.  Use it abundantly.

If you eat cooked vegetables, let them be steamed or baked, not boiled. Eat very lightly of starches and cereals.

Make it a point to include the following items in your daily diet. Distribute the items over breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but do not omit any of them. You may, of course, eat other foods, but following this diet will insure that the body receives the sixteen elements it requires for sustenance.

l. A carrot (unscraped but thoroughly washed). Chew it well. Nature made it hard to strengthen your teeth by chewing.

2. A lemon (an antiseptic for the body—use in the morning).

3. An orange.

4. An apple.

5. A glass of almond milk or any nut milk (Grind two tablespoonfuls of nuts thoroughly and mix with water).

6. Chopped fresh green-leafed vegetables—spinach or lettuce are good.

7. Unsulphured dates and raisins—one handful daily.

8. Whole wheat bread, fresh cheese, a glass of milk, or one or two boiled eggs are beneficial if you do hard manual labor.

Avoid fanaticism
Remember to follow the God-made laws that govern your health and physical body, but don’t be too fastidious about diet or over-emphasize the body’s importance. There are food “cranks” who talk of nothing but “lettuce and nuts” until you wonder how they can be so blind to other, more interesting aspects of life.

I am not underestimating the value of a proper diet; simply don’t become fanatical about it. Since you have to eat, eat the right kind of food. Choose a balanced diet, stick to it, and then forget the body.

Include sunshine in your menu
Without frequent baths in God’s sea of sunlight, you cannot be healthy. Sunlight and ultra violet rays fill the tissues and pores of the body with life-giving energy. They redden the hemoglobin of the blood, making it richer and healthier.

An ordinary bath washes away bacteria and dirt from the human body. So also, the ultra violet rays in sunlight not only cleanse the body of bacteria but also destroy them. They penetrate the homes of enemy bacteria hiding in the fingernails and pores.

If you don’t have time for a walk, open your windows and let sunlight bathe you all over. Everyone should have at least a half hour sunbath twice a week, preferably every day.

Banish disease through exercise
If you are quickly out of breath or feel a pain in the chest when you run or go upstairs—take care. You have a lazy heart, and are suffering from lack of proper exercise. To keep your heart in good condition, walk briskly for a mile each day, or go for a run in the park.

Whenever you take a walk, practice the following breathing exercise twenty-four times: inhale, counting one to twelve. Hold the breath twelve counts, then exhale while counting one to twelve.

Oxygen from exercise and breathing, sunshine from regular sunbaths, and the sixteen essential elements from food are important for the health and rejuvenation of the body. Other rules for happy, healthy living include heartfelt smiles, creative ability, concentration, good character, conservation of sex energy, and good company.

From articles and lessons, 1926-1935.

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2 Comments »

  • Tub Chair · says:

    A healthy diet would always give you a longer and more quality life so stick to a healthy diet always!

  • Justin Thelen says:

    This is great practical advice. Master has such wisdom. I have just been reading about some of these factors in a book about making a good brain great. Mixing this with yoga meditation is a powerful combination. Thanks

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