The Milk Diet: How to Use the Milk Diet Scientifically at Home by Bernarr Macfadden, 1923.
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CHAPTER V: HOW TO CHANGE
FROM THE MILK DIET
In changing from the milk diet back to the regular diet great care must be exercised, even though a cure has been established or great improvement secured.
Many fail to make the benefits of the milk diet lasting because they make the change to solid food too abruptly, or return to a disease-producing diet. One must remember that the more nearly normal his digestive system is, the more easily it is disturbed by wrong foods or wrong methods of eating.
Habits of wrong eating produce a condition of tolerance that is overcome by the fast and the milk diet – an excellent change toward permanent health. But one must also remember that the same factors which produced a disturbance in the first instance will, if returned to, produce the same condition, or some other abnormal change, and usually more quickly than at first.
When the time for stopping the milk diet arrives, it is almost invariably to be preferred that the milk be taken in the regular way until one or two o’clock in the afternoon; then nothing except water until five or six o’clock, when a meal consisting of vegetables, with or without vegetable soup, and whole wheat bread, and perhaps eggs may be eaten. The foods may be varied according to the desire of the patient. This plan is followed for at least from three days to one week, when the regular two or three meal plan is resumed, though there is no objection to following it for months. And, indeed, this may be done in many instances with much benefit, and I believe never with harm.
Some people have done extremely well by stopping the milk at noon, and for supper taking a very light meal consisting of a poached egg, and possible a fruit salad. The next day they continue with the milk again as usual until noon, when once more they eat a “mixed meal” – slightly more substantial than the first one. And thus, by degrees, they gradually work back into an ordinary balanced diet once more.
From time to time a full day of milk drinking may be observed. Sunday is a good day for this. Or, if the combination milk and one meal plan is followed for a considerable time, an occasional day of solid food for all meals may be observed, but care must be taken that the variety and the nature of the food at these times be unproductive of disturbance.
I might mention also that it is many times of value to have one day of fasting occasionally, or to eat nothing but fruit, berries, or melon.
Still later, after, after the “half-milk-one-meal” plan has been followed as long as desired, a quart of sweet milk, sumik, or buttermilk may be drunk for breakfast, with or without a piece of toast or a muffin, or a small amount of fruit. A light lunch and supper could make up the balance of the day’s nutriment – probably a lunch of fruit, milk and nuts, and a vegetable dinner such as mentioned above.
Many times it is of advantage to continue using a considerable amount of milk, either to help build the blood more quickly, or to give the kidneys the benefit of a large amount of fluid, at the same time giving nourishment; or to give an easily digested diet in cases of stomach and intestinal weakness, etc., without requiring one to adhere rigidly to such a confining régime as milk exclusively.
The combination milk and one meal plan is of particular value in the following diseases and disorders: anemia, alcoholism, atony of the bowels and stomach, bladder diseases, colitis, constipation of an obstinate nature, diabetes, drug habits, dysentery and enteritis, emaciation or thinness, gastric ulcer or ulcers of the rectum or elsewhere in the digestive tract, goiter, heart disease, where the milk is especially recommended, hemorrhoids, influenza (after the fever has subsided), particularly if the energy returns slowly, malaria, neurasthenia, paralysis, ptomaine poisoning, prolapsus of abdominal or pelvic organs, sexual, skin and splenic disorders, syphilis, tuberculosis, and vital depletion.
This régime will go far toward preventing a recurrence of the condition for which the milk treatment was taken in the first place, and will prove to be of genuine value as a health conservation practice. Many business men often plan to have a couple of quarts delivered to their offices or places of business, where they can take their milk in such quantities as will furnish them all the nutriment required until the next meal-time.
It might be well to mention here that, where possible, it will be good practice to let the milk stand several hours or over night in the ice-box and pour off the layer of cream which rises to the top – drinking the remainder as suggested elsewhere. And right here I might remark that milk which has been placed in the ice-box forms one-third more cream than milk which is kept at room temperature. This procedure will insure a more thorough removal of the fat content of the milk and enhance its digestibility. This should be remembered by those who, when on the full milk diet, should use skimmed milk, and the plan is especially recommended for hot weather, also for those inclined to obesity and those of the “bilious type.”
Milk should not be frozen, however, and at least the chill should be removed before the milk is consumed.
Many find that on going back to solid food there is still a great desire for considerable milk. This may be taken freely, exclusively as a meal, or at carefully balanced meals at any time desired. But the great thirst most people experience after returning to solid food from the exclusive milk diet is because of a great reduction of imbibed liquid. This thirst should be satisfied, but not with milk is the diet is a well balanced solid food diet. Water only should be used in such instances, or fruit juice may be used, between meals or at meals that have been carefully balanced in consideration of the fruit juice to be taken. If milk is desired to satisfy this thirst care must be made to allow for it in quantity and combination of other foods.
There is, obviously, no more
definite reason for lowered vitality and lack of resistance than
auto-intoxication from intestinal absorption. Auto-intoxification
is present in more than two-thirds of all patients presenting
themselves for relief from chronic conditions.
The condition is very readily diagnosed, the symptoms being headache, sleepiness, sleeplessness or disturbed sleep, dizziness, weariness, muscular weakness, nervous irritability, flatulence, foul stools, irregularities of appetite, furred tongue, bad breath, muddy complexion or skin eruption, offensive perspiration—any one of these being present in any individual case. Also invariably there are strong evidences of the results of auto-intoxification appearing in the urine (which is usually highly colored) in the form of indican.
Indican appearing in the urine is absolute proof of putrefactive fermentation in the small intestine and that there is absorption of these toxic products into the general circulation, almost certainly with the development of symptoms of toxemia.
The predisposing cause of this trouble is constipation, resulting from over-eating, or inability of the digestive organs to take care of the food intake and to convert it into nourishing elements, or inability to expel their contained waste elements regularly and in requisite amounts.
The trouble most frequently starts in the colon, extending gradually upward until the infective condition is more or less general. I can not too strongly emphasize the necessity of regular and adequate evacuation of the bowels in these and in all other conditions.
Whether this is accomplished by diet, by the enema, by exercise, by the liberal drinking of water, or by mineral oil, is more or less immaterial, but one should not rely regularly upon any such substances as intestinal lubricants or any such methods as the enema. The proper diet, proper exercise, and the drinking of water should be all that is necessary after correctly taking the milk diet. But it is very essential that the bowels be stimulated or, rather, adjusted to move regularly, and any method that is not harmful may be employed as occasion seems to demand.
In addition, however, I believe that it is possible to reduce the number of the intestinal germs by the use of lactic acid ferments, such as buttermilk, sumik, or sour milk, developed by the action of the Bulgarian bacillus, first advocated by Metchinkoff. This is the bacillus now known as the “bacillus of Massol.” Hundreds of physicians have attested the value of this bacillus in helping to create a food that will have a tendency to disinfect the colon.
There has been any amount of clinical evidence advanced as to the utility of this bacillus in preventing the propagation of harmful germs in the intestines. The use of naturally soured or “cultured” milks has been efficacious in thousands of instances in establishing or maintaining a normal eliminative action of the bowels and in preventing unnatural decomposition and fermentation in the digestive tract, thus allaying or preventing the development of toxemia.
I wish to emphasize the point, however, that any person who has a diet solely of sweet milk must necessarily develop numberless millions of the ordinary lactic acid bacilli, the immense number and the continuous action of which must have a pronounced effect upon the pathogenic or disease-producing bacteria in the intestinal tract. This proves to my mind that the sweet milk diet in itself will develop all the good effects ordinarily claimed for the use of lactic acid bacilli, no matter how expensive or difficult it may be to secure these, for it must be remembered that human nature is such that we are inclined to think of the more financially costly things as being the most beneficial or valuable.
Fresh fruits and fruit juices and fresh vegetables are excellent to keep the intestinal content of germs reduced – the fruit juices by their antiseptic action and the fresh vegetables by their tendency to keep the intestinal tract somewhat “scoured,” thus preventing development of germs in large numbers.
The Right Kind of
It would be well to bear in mind also that the building and maintaining of permanent good health is very largely a matter of correct diet. A well balanced diet with the proper amount of protein, carbohydrate and fats is most necessary. Protein, as you remember, embraces not only meat, fowl, fish, eggs, and milk, but also peas, beans, and other vegetables rich in nitrogen, and cheese, nuts, and whole wheat.
Once a day should be often enough to use meat. Every second day or twice a week would be better for most people. Then the meat should be boiled, broiled, or baked – never fried. Veal and pork should be avoided as much as possible, although if a pork chop or pork tenderloin is steamed for an hour or so, with tomato sauce or some similar appetizing dressing, it is usually quite tender and extremely digestible and may be used occasionally.
Mackerel, blue-fish, and eels should be avoided by many people, as they contain too much fat and are likely to prove indigestible.
Recalling that milk has considerable protein, you will appreciate the fact that milk should not be used with meats or other protein.
I can not too strongly condemn all demineralized foods, such as white bread and white crackers, and other white flour products. In their place should be used whole wheat bread, graham and whole wheat crackers, and other whole wheat products. Also scoured oatmeal, polished rice and tapioca, cornstarch and corn flakes should be taboo, and, in their stead, unscoured whole oatmeal, brown rice, whole corn-meal mush, and other foods containing the calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, potassium, silica, and other vital mineral salts of the entire grain should be used.
While these cereals and cereal products are to a considerable extent protein foods, they are also carbohydrate and fat foods, as they contain the various primary food elements in well balanced form when the entire grain is used. Other wholesome carbohydrate foods are sweet fruits, honey, sweet and white potatoes (which are always preferably baked) and young corn, peas and beans.
The list of satisfactory fats is very small. Cream and butter head the list in digestibility and value. Then there are peanut butter and oil, and olive oil.
Animal fats should be used sparingly unless prolonged experience has proven them to be beneficial in your case.
Fruit, especially oranges and grapefruit, should be eaten every day, not only for the mineral salts they contain, but also for the stimulating effects these fruits have upon the liver and organs of excretion. In addition to these, all other fruits, berries and melon should be used in season – taking care that combinations are correct.
Many times it is not necessary or possible to continue the use of large quantities of milk, in which cases plenty of water should be taken daily to supply the body with sufficient solvent liquid. This water should rarely be distilled, but should, on the contrary, practically always be natural, unaltered water, if the source of the water and the water itself are uncontaminated.
Care Necessary in Goitre Cases
Particular care should be exercised by goiter patients in returning to a general diet once more. For goiter largely depends for its existence upon toxic irritation of the thyroid gland. The chief source of this irritation is in the abnormal fermentation in the intestinal canal and in the absorption into the blood stream of the poisons there generated.
So, to avoid any possible recurrence of the condition, I would advise a light diet, with very little meat and a “part time” régime of milk, or an exclusive milk diet at least once or twice a year until all signs of the enlargement of the thyroid and of its toxic effects have disappeared.
This will not only prevent the goitrous condition from returning, but it will materially help the general health and assist greatly in building it up.
The combination milk diet and vegetable meal plan is especially to be recommended in these cases, and the plan may be continued indefinitely.
Many times conditions are such that it is not possible to continue the full milk diet longer than to receive a good start toward health. The proper régime adopted at the finish of the milk diet will further the improvement. This, of course, holds true in any abnormal condition.
Weight Gained from the Milk Diet
Many women are needlessly worried
when taking the milk treatment, fearing that the increase in flesh
produced thereby may prove permanent. I can assure these women that
the increase in the waist measurement, in the hips, or in the size
of the bust is only transient, if abnormal, and will rapidly
disappear after the milk diet has been discontinued for a week or
two and after they become more active again.
It is only in cases where the additional weight is necessary to bring about normality that it is permanent, and frequently here only if a weight-retaining régime is adopted and adhered to.
No condition of obesity has ever been developed while taking the milk diet. Milk does not create flabby fat. It is a corrective diet for tissues below par, and it aids these tissues and the entire body to approach normality. This means that an improvement is established in the “selective action” of the cells, by which action they are enabled to discard elements not necessary for natural growth, repair and bodily functions. Worthless, unsightly, cumbersome or burdensome fat is therefore never developed or deposited from a milk diet.
The usual rule is that where the flesh is built up solidly this flesh is healthy, normal tissue, and it is natural that it should remain. Where it is somewhat in excess of the physiological requirements it will be used up in a very short time by active exercise or it will disappear by chemical alteration and absorption.
On the contrary, the healthy stimulation from, and the natural tonic effect of the milk diet persists sometimes for many months. For something of definite health value has been built into every individual cell in the body to become part of its make-up, and contributes its quota in raising the entire body to a better and more perfect functioning power.
In order that the greatest future value as well as the immediate benefit of the milk diet may be obtained, it is therefore essential that the most rational régime be selected and followed. Your system will have become more attuned to Nature by the remedial milk diet régime, and it can be kept in this high or higher degree of efficiency by allowing the reawakened or more active vital force to manifest itself, unembarrassed and unobstructed by a willful, careless or thoughtless opposition.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. Consult with your physician before making any changes to your diet.