“Urges arise, not only from what one eats, but from what one thinks and eats! Also from what one digests mentally and spiritually!”
– Edgar Cayce
Edgar Cayce was a famous American psychic who was also known as “The Sleeping Prophet” because his insights came while he was in a state of “sleep” or what is now termed as trance channeling. It is said that he could see into the past and into the future and could describe events taking place in far off places. A total of 14,000 “readings” or documented records of his telephatic clairvoyant statements were gathered between 1901 and 1944. They covered such topics as ancient civilizations (including Atlantis), dreams and their meanings, psychic experiences, reincarnation, nutrition, relationships, among others.
His medical readings particularly astounded many, especially doctors. Many of Cayce’s recommended cures have been found to be relevant to this day and have become the basis of modern medical treatments. Not surprisingly, Cayce earned the distinction of being the father of holistic medicine. He rose to fame decades before the New Age came about and had remained a major influence on its teachings.
In 1932, Edgar Cayce founded The Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc. (A.R.E.), which is based in Virginia, USA to preserve his readings. A.R.E. is a non-sectarian, non-dogmatic global network of individuals who conduct educational activities and fellowships in 25 countries. In the Philippines, there are groups affiliated with the Virginia headquarters that offer regular spiritual growth discussions and disseminate Edgar Cayce-related information.
It was in one of those discussions some years back that I met Anna Llamado, an active A.R.E. member. In that meeting she talked about the basic recommendations for health maintenance and proper food preparation that were gathered from the Cayce readings. Anna’s interest in the subject of food should not come as a surprise. “I grew up surrounded by huge pots and pans and an extended family of big eaters,” she quips. That family happens to be the Reyeses of Filipino cuisine fame. Her maternal grandmother, Doňa Engracia Reyes (or Aling Asiang), started the Aristocrat chain of restaurants.
According to Anna, Cayce’s thoughts on diet and food preparation are based on seven basic principles. She is quick to caution, however, that the dietary prescriptions are intended for normal cases and not for those with physical ailments who may have special food requirements. It may be noted that many of today’s healthy diets are grounded on these principles.
1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Cayce specified that fruits and vegetable should be freshly picked and used right away. Vitamin C in some veggies, such as lettuce, for example, is lost one hour after they are harvested. Other Vitamin C destroyers are water and contact with copper and iron. The best vegetables are those that are bright yellow and intensely green. Squeezed citrus fruits should be used immediately; otherwise, they should be kept covered in the refrigerator. Plant food should be preferred because they rebuild brain matter faster than meat or sweets can.
2. Keep the alkaline and acid balance in the body.
Cayce generally recommended a diet consisting of 80% alkaline-producing foods, such as vegetables, fruits and dairy products and 20% acid-producing foods, such as meats, starches and sugars. The more alkaline there is in the body, the stronger the immune system becomes and the lesser chances of catching colds.
3. Avoid certain food combinations.
Some food combinations require different acids to be digested; thus, one type of food would be digested while the other would ferment in the body and become toxic. Specifically, proteins and starches should not be taken in the same meal, thus, the traditional Filipino meal of rice and meat is a big violation. Starches and greens are a good combination, so are meat and vegetables, or vegetables and starches. Most fruits should be taken alone, not together with other foods. Can’t decide whether to have pie, cake, or ice cream? Take the ice cream. It will be easier to break down.
4. Keep an ideal proportion of vegetables grown above and below the ground.
He also recommended that vegetables grown above the ground, such as lettuce, squash, and tomatoes, should constitute 75% of one’s diet of vegetables; while those from below the ground, such as carrots, beets, and potatoes, should account for the remaining 25%.
5. Avoid heavy meat; use fish, fowl, and lamb.
Meat presents a digestibility problem. If you must have meat, use the lean parts for necessary body-building. Definitely no raw meat and have very little, if ever, of pork. Eat plenty of fowl and make sure to use the bone structure itself – chewing the chicken neck and the bones of the thighs is suggested. Glandular meat (tripe, liver, etc.) contain vitamins that enable the bone marrow to produce red blood cells.
6. Use whole grain cereal and similar products exclusively.
Cereals, as we have come to know today, are the system sweepers. They should not be used together with other food, especially citrus. When taken with citrus, cereals become too heavy for the system instead of acting as eliminants. However, whole wheat bread with citrus is okay.
7. Avoid fried foods.
Meat should ideally be roasted, baked, or boiled – never fried. Cayce reserved his biggest objection to anything fried. He said fried food is difficult to break down. He also cautioned against using bacon fats for frying vegetables. Stewing is permissible, but the broth should be used as well. Ideally, a closely covered utensil should be used and the meat should be simmered rather than boiled.
Outside the basics, the Cayce readings on diet revealed these interesting insights:
- Tomatoes contain the most vitamins, but they should be ripened in the vine. It is better to use canned ripe tomatoes than the green ones that were allowed to ripen later.
- Oysters should not be taken with whisky as they produce a harmful chemical reaction.
- Aluminum cookware should be avoided, especially for cooking cabbage and tomatoes.
- The 3-day Apple Diet, like other fruit fasts, cleanses the system.
- Eat plenty of lettuce; it purifies the blood.
- Adding salt during cooking draws out the juices; it’s better to add salt after cooking.
- Meat should be cooked at very low temperatures.
- Yogurt or Bulgarian buttermilk is largely responsible for natural health, vigor, and virility. One study showed that for every one million Bulgarians, 1,600 lived to be 100, as opposed to only nine Americans.
- Coffee may be taken with sugar, but preferably not with milk or cream.
- Beet and cane sugars, molasses and honey (preferably in the honeycomb) are excellent; brown sugar is not harmful, but also not good; refined sugar should be avoided because it interferes with the absorption of calcium in the body.
- Gelatin helps in making the system react more favorably to vitamins. The protein of real gelatin also has a special value in the production of hemoglobin.
- Do not bolt the food. Chew it well to allow better assimilation by the body.
Edgar Cayce had always maintained that the spiritual, mental, and physical lives are not separate but are, in fact, one. Thus, he warned people not to eat when they’re upset, angry, or extremely tired. Due to the resulting physiological changes in the system, food would remain undigested and become harmful to the body. He stated that even the most carefully chosen and nutritious food can be toxic, if eaten while a person is in a negative frame of mind.