People today eat a lot of food -- lobster, oyster, prawn, tuna, rabbit, kangaroo meat, ..., but those food are "unclean", and people have lot of illnesses, e.g. cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, ..., without knowing why.
Therefore I wrote these articles, containing GOD's teachings on what to eat, what not to eat, how to avoid infection, etc. These are very simple rules that can help us to a better health.
I wrote these originally for a Falun-gong talkgroup, and I wrote about 氣功 (Chinese "breathing method"), 太極 ("Tai Chi", slow controlled exercise of our body, moving our arms/legs slowly) because Falun-gong practitioners are interested in these, but if you are not interested, you may skip the first 3 articles, and start reading "Improper food can cause illness" instead.
Wu Siu Yan
(Please note that I am against "breathing method", because I think it is best not to temper with our natural breathing, and I explain the reasons below.)
There are two kinds of muscle in our body, those we control voluntarily (e.g. arm, leg), and those we do not control voluntarily (e.g. heart muscle, lung).
氣功 (which means "breathing method") attempts to control our involuntary muscle.
太極 ("Tai Chi") attempts to control our voluntary muscle.
I learnt these when I was young, and after so many years (I am 55 today), I conclude that it is good to practice "Tai Chi", but not "Breathing method". I explain the reasons below.
When we run, we breathe fast, without our control. Our body knows that we need more oxygen to run, so it speeds up our breathing. When we rest, our body knows that we do not need so much oxygen, so we breathe slow.
Now suppose a weak person wants to improve his physique, and attempts jogging half an hour a day. On the first day, his breathing must be very fast, because his lung capacity, his blood circulation, ..., are weak, so breathing has to be fast to transport the oxygen to sustain his running.
But if he continues jogging for some months, his breathing would be slower than what he was the first time, because by that time, his lung capacity, his circulation capacity, ..., would have improved, and his body adjusts the breathing for him. His body adjusts the best breathing rate for him.
In short, our body knows best to control our involuntary muscle, depending on our bodily conditions, and we do not have to worry about it.
"Chinese breathing method" attempts to control this involuntary movement, it manually slows down breathing to once or twice a minute! I had explained the short term benefit and long term defects of this, which you may find in my writings in the "Files" section of the group.
"Breathing method" can help you gain weight, and can cure some illnesses (the reason why it can cure some illnesses is explained below). This is the short-term benefit. However, in the long run, manual control of our breathing would throw our body into confusion, and our body's automatic control of our breathing will be impaired.
"Tai Chi" originated from martial art, it is a form of "Kung Fu". It attempts to exercise our arms, legs, ...
In "Tai Chi", we move our arms forward, backward, leftward, rightward, upward, downward, ..., we move our legs forward, backward, leftward, rightward, upward, downward, ..., we turn our body to one direction, then to another, ...., we shift our balance -- our "center of gravity", from one leg to another, ....., ALL VERY SLOWLY.
"Tai Chi" trains the control of our voluntary muscle. In my opinion, I am for it; say, if you have been doing desk work for an hour or so, then it would be advisable to exercise 5 ~ 7 minutes, whether it be "Tai Chi", or just stretching your body/arm/leg, then resume your desk work.
"Tai Chi", in contrast to some martial art, is very gentle, slow. Personally I am against those martial art (Kung Fu) that exerts tremendous force, that executes very fast movements, that puts our mind always in a combat state. Bruce Lee (李小龍) who practiced this "hard" martial art and who made the world know of "Chinese Kung Fu", died suddenly without any illness. His beloved student, a Westerner who learned from him, also died young.
Physical exercise can never make a man to be GOD. This I think all should beware. Chinese, for generations, have been practicing these exercises, but no Chinese ever dared say these exercises would make a person GOD!
One can have eternal life only by,
- acknowledging that the world, together with all the birds, fish, trees, flowers, ..., are cleverly and intelligently designed by a all powerful GOD. We human are his creations. And since GOD created us, GOD is our Father in Heaven, whom we can pray to, ask questions, seek protection, ..., just as a human child would seek his/her father/mother for answers, protection, comfort...
- that this almighty GOD, created a "duplicate" of Himself, a "clone" of Himself, and sent that "duplicate" onto earth, and he was Jesus. Jesus taught us how to conduct ourselves in this world, and his teachings are in the Bible ([Matthew Chapters 5,6,7]), and he showed us by example -- doing what is lawful and right in the sight of GOD even onto death.
In previous posts, I explained my opposition to physically control our involuntary muscle, i.e. manually controlling our breathing rate.
But there is a "mental" aspect of "breathing method" which I am for. I will try to explain it below.
People suffer illnesses due to (a) improper food, (b) insufficient rest, (c) infection, (d) improper attitudes to life.
I will focus on (d), "Improper attitudes to life", as the cause of illness in this post, and will address the other causes in later posts.
Say, if one is unforgiving, always harbour hatred and resentment in his heart, do you think he will get sick or not ?
(GOD : You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbour, lest you bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself." [Lev. 19:17-18])
Or one is jealous, always harbour curse in his heart because his neighbour is better off than him, do you think he will get sick or not ?
(Jesus : "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is single, (i.e. always wish the best of others
--single for the glory of GOD) your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is evil, (i.e. always wish the worst of others) your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! [Matthew 6:22-23]
Or one longs for great success, or great fame, or great wealth, ..., and he does not get it, do you think he will torture himself mentally or not ? Do you think he will get sick or not ?
In short, all improper attitudes of life will cause illnesses, because all our mental processes are electrical processes in our body arising from chemical processes. Wrong attitudes will generate harmful chemicals in our body, causing us to be sick eventually.
In "breathing exercise", one meditates on good attitudes, e.g. the instructor would instruct his students to meditate on, say,The student would mentally repeat these verses many, many times during the whole exercise. And if he practices these precepts in his life, no doubt, his mental vexation (torturing himself by his own wrong attitudes) would be less, and his illness/discomfort would go. This is the mental aspect of "breathing exercise" that I am for, but not the physical aspect of manually control our breathing.
"I shall be honest and true to others, I shall be honest and true to others, I shall be honest and true to others, .... " (repeat many times, say 20), then change to,
"kind and merciful to others, be benevolent; kind and merciful to others, be benevolent; kind and merciful to others, be benevolent; kind and merciful to others, be benevolent; ... " (repeated many times, say 20), then change to,
"do not get angry easily, forbear, endure patiently; do not get angry easily, forbear, endure patiently; do not get angry easily, forbear, endure patiently; do not get angry easily, forbear, endure patiently; .... " (repeat many times, say 20)
I ask you one question : "Do you think your manual control of breathing, year in and year out, would not affect your natural breathing ? And your body would still adjust the breathing rate automatically best for you according to your oxygen need and physical conditions (your lung capacity, your circulation capacity) ? Or, one day, your body will be confused and your breathing will be in chaos ?"
"Breathing exercise" instructor would at most teach you meditation on some aspects of life. But life is much more varied, and such meditation is vastly insufficient.
Not so for Christian meditation. Christian meditation meditates on the laws/commandments of GOD (how to deal justly and righteously, and how to care for our body (food/rest/avoiding infection), , ...) -- all the teachings of GOD (those verses in the Bible that begin with "Thus said the LORD"), and all the teachings of Jesus (those verses in the Bible that begin with "Jesus said").
Because such meditation covers not only moral aspects, but physical aspects -- all aspects of life, for GOD taught us much (e.g. what food to eat, how much rest we need, what are the proper attitudes of life, ... Who in the world knows how to care for our body other than the CREATOR ?), such meditation is much, much more complete, that we can use these to handle all the complexities of life.
Not only so, Christian meditation can be done at all time, e.g. while we sit, while we walk, while we are about to sleep, while we are waiting, .... YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SIT "BUDDHA LIKE", WHILE YOUR LEGS ACHE AND IN PAIN.
Summary : I am for the mental aspect of "breathing exercise", but against manually controllying our breathing. I experienced breathing chaos myself.
People in the city practice "Tai Chi", but rarely people in the country side.
If you have a piece of land,
- Would you plant flowers, flowers of all color ? Would you kneel down to care for your flowers, watering it, adding fertilizer, breeding new varieties, ... ?
- Would you plant fruit trees, fruit of all kind ? Would you climb up to the tree to pick fruits, or prune off dead branches ? Would you dig around the root to add manure ?
- Would you dig yourself a pond ? Would you put grass carp in it ? ("grass carp" is the beloved fish of Chinese peasants, because it needs no feed. They eat water plants; and if there are insufficient water plant, farmers cut grass and feed them.)
Would you harvest your fish for you table ? Netting them or catching them with hooks will exercise your limbs and sense of balance.
- Would you keep ducks on your pond ? Chinese in the rural area would always keep fish and duck. The manure from fish will breed insects in the pond that become food for the ducks.
- Would you keep chickens that give you eggs and small chicks ? Would you keep pigeons ?
- Would you keep sheep, cattle that give your milk/cheese/butter ? Would you keep horse that give you a ride ? Would you keep donkey that helps you transport ? ... Do you have to care for them, driving them to good pasture, and keeping watch and fending of wolves and caring for their illnesses?
- Would you help your neighbour next door to build shed for his sheep ?
- Would you build small wooden houses for the wild birds ? so that their singing would make you glad ?
- Would you make yourselves furniture for yourself and your family ?
I practice my own form of "Tai Chi" (not strictly according to the text books. I learn the principles but not patterning after them 100%. I simply move my arms forward, backward, leftward, rightward, upward, downward, ..., move my legs forward, backward, leftward, rightward, upward, downward, ..., turn my body to one direction, then to another, ...., shift balance -- "center of gravity", from one leg to another, ....
I do this because I live in Hong Kong, an area of only 400 square miles ( = 20 miles x 20 miles) with 6.5 million souls, and I do not have land. If I had land, and did as I wish to do, I would have had more than enough opportunity to exercise my limbs and sense of balance.
In a previous post, I discussed that wrong attitudes to life can cause depression, mental problems, ..., and eventual illness. In this post, I am going to discuss food that cause illness. There will be several posts on this.
We know that alcohol, heavy drinking, can cause our liver to fail, even liver cancer. Our liver is a chemical reservoir storing chemicals for "rainy days", but if we take in one chemical heavily, in this case, ethanol (alcohol), our liver can simply not cope, so it breaks down eventually.
This does not happen overnight. You can go on drinking heavily for years, without any obvious ill effect. But sure, one day, your liver will fail. The same is true for heavy smokers, one day, their lung will fail -- lung cancer, organ failure, lung diseases, ...
(GOD taught us when and what quantity of wine to drink, that I will explain in a later post).
This is so with all the food we eat. What we eat may not poison us overnight, or even for years, yet in the end, our body will fail. You might experience liver failure, kidney failure, intestinal problems, cancers of all sort, ...., all illnesses people experience everyday yet know not why.
GOD taught us what animal to eat, what not to eat; what sea/river food to eat, what not to eat; what bird/fowl to eat, what not to eat; what insects to eat, what not to eat in [Leviticus Chapter 11], and it is the topic of this post.
GOD taught us that sheep, cattle, deer, antelope, ..., are clean animals that may be eaten.
GOD also taught us that pig, kangaroo, rabbit, cat, dog, mouse, camel, ..., are unclean animal that may not be eaten.
Chinese love pork, and they have many problems when they age. This problem is especially so with Chinese female. When they age, they experience many illnesses in their body.
In all sea/river food, only fish is clean that may be eaten; yet not all fish, but only fish with fin and scale (tuna is unclean because it has no scale). All other sea/river food are unclean that may not be eaten.
Yet people around the world love prawn, lobster, scallop, tuna, ....
There are all sorts of cancer, and many chemicals can cause cancer. Scientists identify many cancer causing chemicals, but have they identified all ? GOD knows everything, for He is the creator. He designed and created all things.
GOD taught us that chicken, pigeon, duck, goose, small birds, ..., are clean birds that may be eaten; and ostrich, sea gull, eagle, falcon, bat, ..., are unclean birds that may not be eaten.
GOD taught us that only grass-hopper, locusts, are clean insects that may be eaten; ALL other insects are unclean that may not be eaten.
Many people eat insects that GOD taught us not to, without realizing long term effects.
We may compare our body to an aeroplane. We may take out one screw/rivet, and yet the aeroplane can fly. We may take out another screw/rivet, and still the aeroplane flies. But if we continue like this, doing small damage every day to the aeroplane, then the performance of the aeroplane will deteriorate gradually, so gradual that we cannot detect, and one day, it will not fly, or break down in mid-air.
People who listen to GOD enjoy good health, people who do not listen will not have good health.
The complete [Leviticus Chapter 11] is enclosed below for your reference.
[Leviticus Chapter 11]
And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Say to the people of Israel, These are the living things which you may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. Nevertheless among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the swine, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.
"These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. But anything in the seas or the rivers that has not fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is an abomination to you. They shall remain an abomination to you; of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall have in abomination. Everything in the waters that has not fins and scales is an abomination to you.
"And these you shall have in abomination among the birds, they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, the kite, the falcon according to its kind, every raven according to its kind, the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk according to its kind, the owl, the cormorant, the ibis, the water hen, the pelican, the carrion vulture, the stork, the heron according to its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.
"All winged insects that go upon all fours are an abomination to you. Yet among the winged insects that go on all fours you may eat those which have legs above their feet, with which to leap on the earth. Of them you may eat: the locust according to its kind, the bald locust according to its kind, the cricket according to its kind, and the grasshopper according to its kind. But all other winged insects which have four feet are an abomination to you.
"And by these you shall become unclean; whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening, and whoever carries any part of their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. Every animal which parts the hoof but is not cloven-footed or does not chew the cud is unclean to you; every one who touches them shall be unclean. And all that go on their paws, among the animals that go on all fours, are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening, and he who carries their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; they are unclean to you.
"And these are unclean to you among the swarming things that swarm upon the earth: the weasel, the mouse, the great lizard according to its kind, the gecko, the land crocodile, the lizard, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. These are unclean to you among all that swarm; whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until the evening. And anything upon which any of them falls when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is an article of wood or a garment or a skin or a sack, any vessel that is used for any purpose; it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; then it shall be clean. And if any of them falls into any earthen vessel, all that is in it shall be unclean, and you shall break it. Any food in it which may be eaten, upon which water may come, shall be unclean; and all drink which may be drunk from every such vessel shall be unclean. And everything upon which any part of their carcass falls shall be unclean; whether oven or stove, it shall be broken in pieces; they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you. Nevertheless a spring or a cistern holding water shall be clean; but whatever touches their carcass shall be unclean. And if any part of their carcass falls upon any seed for sowing that is to be sown, it is clean; but if water is put on the seed and any part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you.
"And if any animal of which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening, and he who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; he also who carries the carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening.
"Every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth is an abomination; it shall not be eaten. Whatever goes on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet, all the swarming things that swarm upon the earth, you shall not eat; for they are an abomination.
"You shall not make yourselves abominable with any swarming thing that swarms; and you shall not defile yourselves with them, lest you become unclean. For I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls upon the earth. For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; you shall therefore be holy, for I am holy."
This is the law pertaining to beast and bird and every living creature that moves through the waters and every creature that swarms upon the earth, to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean and between the living creature that may be eaten and the living creature that may not be eaten.
GOD taught us not to eat "blood, fat" in [Lev 3:17], and it is the topic of this post.
GOD : "It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood." [Lev. 3:17]
In animal, there is usually fat above the intestines, on the organs, around the tail, below the skin, ..., and we should not eat these.
GOD knows the effect of fat on our body, but we do not fully understand (we partly understand "saturated oil" and "unsaturated oil" but this understanding is limited).
People who love "cut of meat that contains much fat" usually have heart disease, their blood vessels are clogged with fat, making their hearts pump much more laboriously. Blood flows slowly, and transport of oxygen is difficult. So they cannot do heavy work that demand lot of oxygen. Some have difficulties even with walking.
Japanese fatten their cattle, and restrict their movement, so that fat is intermingled in the muscles, making the removal of fat impossible, and they love to eat these!
Chinese love pork, which contains lot of fat. Some Chinese love to eat the "fat tail" of chicken too!
If they do not change their eating habit, their life in old age is lamentable.
(Note : it is impossible to avoid all fat, and as long as we have sufficient amount of vegetable / fruit / cereal / bean / lentil / nut ... in our diet, we are O.k.; because they contain chemicals that can dissolve fat. Tea is widely drunk among Chinese, and tannin, a common chemical in tea (and in many leafs and barks), can dissolve fat and remove fat from our body.)
Many Chinese eat "blood of pig". Some English people make sausage out of "blood of pig". Masa people in Africa drink blood directly. Some Pacific Islanders kill their cattle by strangling (rope around the neck), so that blood is not drained out and blood is in all parts of the animal.
I do not know fully the effect of eating/drinking blood, and I tried to observe the Masa people of Africa. Their skin and their movement give me odd feelings (I wish to know their life-expectancy, their health-related statistics, also their athletic abilities.)
Lastly, in hunting, people should cut across the blood vessel around the neck of the animal they kill, and drain out the blood; otherwise, blood is in all parts of the body, and the animal cannot be eaten.
P.S. In my last post, I said that we should not eat "unclean" living things. But I believe that eating them very occasionally would do no harm (as long as we cook them thoroughly to kill all living, small, organisms), but habitual eating of "unclean" things should be avoided.
We should not eat (1) gallbladder (2) kidney, of animal. This is the topic of this post.
Chinese eat all parts of an animal, including organs, whereas Westerners don't. True, organs are edible, but not the above 2 organs.
In the Bible, in [Leviticus 3], GOD taught us to burn the fat covering the intestines and all the fat that is on the intestines, the gallbladder, and the 2 kidneys together with the fat on them, (for sheep, the fat tail is burnt also).
Though GOD did not explicitly say that we should not eat gallbladder, kidney, I think GOD has conveyed this sufficiently in [Leviticus 3].
Gallbladder is connected to the liver, and liver generates bile and stores the bile in the gallbladder.
When we eat, saliva is secreted from the salivary gland to do the primary breaking down of food, and when food pass into the stomach, stomach cells secrete enzyme, hydrochloric acid, ..., to help break down the food further. When food is about to enter the small intestine, in the duodenum (the tube connecting the stomach and the small intestine), bile from the gallbladder, as well as juice from the pancreas are added.
The small intestine is lined with hairy cells, which can secrete enzymes too. These cells have large area in contact with the food, and has porous membrane to absorb the food. The food is then carried by the blood to all parts of the body.
The main function of the kidney is to filter the blood, to cleanse it of metabolism wastes and other harmful things.
People think that food that does not poison us outright is good for our body. This is false. Our organs have limitations. Improper food can harm us eventually.
Here are some other teachings from GOD on food,
(1) GOD's words to the Israelites, but is useful to us too : "You shall be men consecrated to me, therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by beasts in the field; you shall cast it to the dogs." [Exodus 22:31]
(2) GOD : "Flesh that touches any unclean thing shall not be eaten, it shall be burnt with fire." [Leviticus 7:19]
(Note : "cleanliness" is a very important precept in the Bible, and "unclean thing" has special meaning. You will understand it better later on.)
(3) GOD : "And every person that eats what dies of itself or what is torn by beasts, whether he is a native or a sojourner, shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening; then he shall be clean." [Leviticus 17:15]
(Note : It is advisable to take a bath before the sun goes down. This is especially so when you are a tourist in a foreign land, and eat food that might be "unclean", or have touched "unclean things".)
(Note : This post addresses to people who eat bread everyday.)
Bread usually has yeast added (yeast is added to the dough, and the dough is there for some hours, to allow the yeast to ferment the bread, then it is baked).
If you eat this bread -- "leavened bread" -- everyday, then
FOR 7 CONSECUTIVE DAYS IN A YEAR, YOU SHOULD EAT NOTHING WITH LEAVEN. THIS SHOULD PREFERABLY BE ON FEBRUARY WHEN WINTER ENDS AND SPRING BEGINS.
For example, you may change to noodle, spaghetti, rice, potato, ... (any food that is not leavened); or you may make your own "unleavened bread".
Here I describe how to make unleavened bread.
(1) Use wholemeal flour if possible. Add oil, salt to the flour, mix it thoroughly (break down the oily lumps with the back of a spoon), and lastly, add water little by little, stirring while you add water.
Water should be added last, otherwise the dough will stick to you hand.
When you see enough water is added, then begin kneading. (Add more flour if there is too much water).
Finally roll you dough flat, either
(a) wafer thick, i.e. about 2 mm thick, or
(b) cake thick, i.e. 4 ~ 10 mm,
and then bake them, or cook them on a pan. (For wafer thick bread, before you eat it, brush it with oil, or use a spoon to spread oil over it).
Or, you may
(c) barbecue it over fire; but for such "barbecued bread" -- bread roasted on open fire, you should break the bread into pieces and pour oil on them before eating.
(2) Add salt, oil to the flour. Thoroughly mix it before adding water (little by little). Stir while you add water. Continue to stir and add water until the mixture becomes a paste, then cook this paste on a non-stick pan (or oil your pan).
To save labour, you may use an electric blender : Add water, salt, oil first, then add flour. Blend the mixture into a paste (but still watery that may be poured). Then cook it on a non-stick pan, or oil your pan.
I have covered more than 95% of the teachings of GOD about food in previous posts. This post is the last (except wine, which will be a separate post); but it is not on "improper food", rather, it is on food which is best for our body.
In the beginning, during creation when GOD created human, GOD created human to eat vegetable and fruit, and not meat. This is recorded in [Genesis 1:29], GOD said to Adam,
GOD : "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food." [Genesis 1:29]
GOD allowed human to eat meat only after the Great Flood, and this is recorded in [Genesis 9:3-4],
GOD's words to Noah and his family : "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood." [Genesis 9:3-4]
But as human ate meat from all living things, their health deteriorated, therefore in [Leviticus 11], GOD taught us how to distinguish "clean" food from "unclean" food. (see my previous post : "Improper food can cause illness (1)")
Therefore, our body is designed to eat fruit and vegetable, yet our body can eat meat as well. This may be compared to a car designed to run on petrol, but it can run on alcohol. A car that runs on fuel other than the fuel it is designed for will suffer in performance. Therefore, while you eat meat, remember to eat fruit/vegetable/cereal/bean/lentil ..... as well.
(For those who wish to experiment with wild vegetable/fruit, I enclose some information below.
The information is also useful to those who wish to make changes in their diet, for it discusses "enzymes" in the process of digestion.)
How to eat vegetable and fruit safely. How to acclimatize yourself to new food
Vegetable is not only those on sales in the markets, but every annual and biennial. Fruit is not only those on sales in the markets, but fruit from all trees.
But before you start experimenting with wild vegetable, wild fruit, do several things : (1) see with you eyes, observe carefully, (2) smell it with you nose, (3) crush the leaf/fruit with your finger/hand, smell it again, (4) if the look and smell is promising, then put a little, very little, on the tip of your tongue, to test taste it.
If after the above 4 procedures, you think you would try it, then try a little (one or two young leafs, or a small piece of fruit. You can include them in your cooking.) If you think you don't like it, then don't try it.
For all food, our body needs enzymes to decompose it, and enzymes are specific in action, i.e. enzymes that can decompose one food will NOT decompose another food.
Your body needs time to manufacture the proper enzymes for your new "food". Therefore WAIT for your body to manufacture the proper enzymes, which may be DAYS, OR WEEKS OR MONTHS.
When your body is ready with the new food, you will feel an inclination to eat that food again. Yet do not eat more than you feel inclined to.
I have written a webpage, about Bible's teachings, on wine,
GOD told the Israelites, when they eat meat (large quantity of meat, e.g. during Festivals), they should eat it with unleavened bread and wine. (You do not have to drink wine everytime you eat meat, but only when you eat large quantity of meat).
When you eat ROASTED meat, it is advisable to eat unleavened bread (or other cereal not containing yeast -- spaghetti, rice, noodle, ...) and a little bitter herb (any herb which is bitter in taste). Many Chinese, after they have eaten roasted meat, would drink "24 herbal tea", a herbal tea made from (supposedly) 24 herbs, which is very bitter in taste.
In our everyday work, we damage our body in very minute ways (e.g. you knock against the table, and blood vessels, muscle, .., may incur small damages not obvious to the eyes) and our body needs time to repair itself.
GOD taught us proper rest in the Bible.
GOD : "Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your ass may have rest, and the son of your bondmaid, and the alien, may be refreshed." [Ex. 23:12]
Not only we should rest, we should give rest to our employees, our ox, donkey, camel, horse, ...
Sabbath is also time to socialize, when people gather in "holy convocation", to remember GOD, to make new friends, to share experience, to comfort/encourage/help one another .... (Note : today's church going where the pastor does the talk, then the people dismiss, with little or no time to socialize, is not what GOD intended.)
GOD taught the Israelites to rest one week during the "Festival of Unleavened Bread", which is on the 1st month, and to rest 8 days (1 week + 1 day) during the "Festival of Booth", which is on the 7th month, lunar calendar.
It is also that during the "Festival of Unleavened Bread", the Israelites abstain themselves of yeast consecutively for 7 days.
During these 2 Festivals, the Israelites would eat more food than usual. They would kill cattle/sheep ("peace offering"), and share the meat with the poor/orphan/widow, because GOD has given them peace for half year.
Strictly speaking, it is not a rest for us, but for the trees, and for the land. Every 7th year is called "Sabbatical Year".
GOD to the Israelites : "When you come into the land which I give you, the land shall keep a sabbath to the LORD.
Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in its fruits; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. What grows of itself in your harvest you shall not reap, and the grapes of your undressed vine you shall not gather, it shall be a year of solemn rest for the land. The sabbath of the land shall provide food for you, for yourself and for your male and female slaves and for your hired servant and the sojourner who lives with you; for your cattle also and for the beasts that are in your land all its yield shall be for food." [Leviticus 25:2-7]
GOD taught us to let the land rest to regain its fertility, and not to prune trees on Sabbatical Year (people prune tree every year to get more fruit, but the tree hurts).
Sabbatical year is also a happy year for the poor, for the cattle, for the beast, because they are allowed to eat/pick whatever they like from the trees or from the fields.
In that year, people do not have to work in the field, do not have to work on the trees, though they still have to pasture their sheep/cattle, but the workload is much less than in a normal year.
GOD : "And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his family. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be to you; in it you shall neither sow, nor reap what grows of itself, nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines." [Leviticus 25:10-11]
Some explanation is needed here. Land sales is not permanent in ancient Israel. Land is sold only up to the year of Jubilee, and in Jubilee year, the land is reverted back from the buyer to the seller. Also, every person has land, because land is distributed free to all according to the size of their families (and by lot to ensure fairness).
Ancient Israelites had "slave", but it was not the American style of slave; rather, it was "contract labour" for six years. All slaves would have to be freed on Sabbatical year, and if the "slave" choose to remain with his employer, he may do so; but on Jubilee Year, he must be freed.
(I will digress from "Insufficient rest can cause illness" for the moment, and will return to it later.)
Plague is rarely seen in civilized countries today, but in the past, plagues killed many rapidly.
Even so, the recent SARS outbreak in China and in Hong Kong killed many.
We, in the more developed part of the world, are relatively free from plagues because of the urban services and running water ...
Imagine the situation when natural disaster disrupts urban services, where no one comes to collect the garbage (to incinerate them or bury them in landfills), no one sweeps the streets, no water comes to the tap.
Or, imagine yourself a tourist in a less-developed country, where running water is not in every house, where garbage is not collected everyday, where food is not prepared according to strict hygienic rules.
GOD had taught us many "cleanliness" rules in the Bible, which could keep you less prone to infectious diseases if you obey these rules.
This post discuss carcass of unclean living things.
In a previous post, we read about Bible's teachings on "unclean animal", "unclean living things in the sea/water", "unclean birds", "unclean insects".
GOD taught us not to touch their carcass,
GOD : "whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening, and whoever carries any part of their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening." [Leviticus 11:24-25]
GOD : "And all that go on their paws, among the animals that go on all fours, are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening, and he who carries their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; they are unclean to you." [Leviticus 11:27-28]
GOD : "And these are unclean to you among the swarming things that swarm upon the earth : the weasel, the mouse, the great lizard according to its kind, the gecko, the land crocodile, the lizard, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. These are unclean to you among all that swarm; whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until the evening. And anything upon which any of them falls when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is an article of wood or a garment or a skin or a sack, any vessel that is used for any purpose; it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; then it shall be clean. And if any of them falls into any earthen vessel, all that is in it shall be unclean, and you shall break it. Any food in it which may be eaten, upon which water may come, shall be unclean; and all drink which may be drunk from every such vessel shall be unclean. And everything upon which any part of their carcass falls shall be unclean; whether oven or stove, it shall be broken in pieces; they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you. Nevertheless a spring or a cistern holding water shall be clean; but whatever touches their carcass shall be unclean. And if any part of their carcass falls upon any seed for sowing that is to be sown, it is clean; but if water is put on the seed and any part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you."[Leviticus 11:29-38]
GOD : "And if any animal of which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening, and he who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; he also who carries the carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening." [Leviticus 11:39-40]
GOD : "Every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth is an abomination; it shall not be eaten. Whatever goes on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet, all the swarming things that swarm upon the earth, you shall not eat; for they are an abomination." [Leviticus 11:41-42]
This post talks about dead body of human, bones of dead body and grave.
Dead body contains germs that killed the person, therefore it is highly infectious.
If you touch one, then for 7 days, you will be unclean, and you will have to cleanse yourself on the 3rd and 7th day with "Water of Impurity" (you may use soap instead. Way to prepare "Water of Impurity" is enclosed below.)
Please read [Numbers 19:11-13] for details, the whole chapter is enclosed below.
GOD taught the Israelites to prepare this water by burning a red heifer together with cedar wood, hyssop, scarlet stuff (vegetable/fruit that are red in color). The heifer should be red in color, without any blemish, and has never pulled a yoke. The heifer is killed, and its whole body burnt (together with the blood), and cedar wood, hyssop, and vegetable/fruit which are red in color, are thrown into the fire. The ash of which, when mixed with water, is "water of impurity".
But for us city people, to prepare this is almost impossible. Therefore I think of some alternatives (my personal opinion only) : use a red hen or any small red bird (all small birds are "clean"), cedar wood, hyssop, red fruit/vegetable instead.
Or, simply wash yourself with soap on the 3rd and 7th day -- because I think, ash consists mainly of hydroxides, and soap is made from sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and animal fat. This is the way I treat myself after touching grave, bones, ...
[Numbers Chapter 19]
Now the LORD said to Moses and to Aaron, "This is the statute of the law which the LORD has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, and upon which a yoke has never come. And you shall give her to Elea'zar the priest, and she shall be taken outside the camp and slaughtered before him; and Elea'zar the priest shall take some of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of her blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. And the heifer shall be burned in his sight; her skin, her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall be burned; and the priest shall take cedarwood and hyssop and scarlet stuff, and cast them into the midst of the burning of the heifer. Then the priest shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterwards he shall come into the camp; and the priest shall be unclean until evening. He who burns the heifer shall wash his clothes in water and bathe his body in water, and shall be unclean until evening. And a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and deposit them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the congregation of the people of Israel for the water for impurity, for the removal of sin. And he who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until evening. And this shall be to the people of Israel, and to the stranger who sojourns among them, a perpetual statute.
"He who touches the dead body of any person shall be unclean seven days; he shall cleanse himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be clean; but if he does not cleanse himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not become clean. Whoever touches a dead person, the body of any man who has died, and does not cleanse himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD, and that person shall be cut off from Israel; because the water for impurity was not thrown upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him.
"This is the law when a man dies in a tent: every one who comes into the tent, and every one who is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days. And every open vessel, which has no cover fastened upon it, is unclean. Whoever in the open field touches one who is slain with a sword, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. For the unclean they shall take some ashes of the burnt sin offering, and running water shall be added in a vessel; then a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the furnishings, and upon the persons who were there, and upon him who touched the bone, or the slain, or the dead, or the grave; and the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; thus on the seventh day he shall cleanse him, and he shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and at evening he shall be clean.
"But the man who is unclean and does not cleanse himself, that person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, since he has defiled the sanctuary of the LORD; because the water for impurity has not been thrown upon him, he is unclean. And it shall be a perpetual statute for them. He who sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes; and he who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until evening. And whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and any one who touches it shall be unclean until evening."
This posts talks about garment that might be infected, and also house that might be infected.
Because of this, it is advisable to wash clothes before storing them away (e.g. summer clothes, winter clothes), and when you take them out from storage, put them under the sun for a day before wearing them (if not re-wash it a second time).
If you visit/eat/drink in such a house (perhaps as a tourist), then you should bathe yourself, wash clothes before sunset (or before going to bed).
This post talks about leprosy, skin disease.
Leprosy is rare in developed countries where sanitation is good, where house has running water and garbage is collected everyday. But it occurs in primitive countries which have dirty environment, and people do not bathe or wash clothes often.
If leprosy breaks out on the skin, then there would be white swelling, or reddish-white swelling, and the hair on it would become thin and change its color, e.g. black into white, or yellow.
Leprosy would also break out on wound arising from burn or boil, because healing wound is weak and may become infected.
Leprosy would also break out on the hairs and beard.
For details, see [Leviticus 13].
This posts talks about "discharge of man" -- fluid coming out (in very small quantity and very slowly) from the skin of the testicles.
The symptom is : fluid comes out from the skin of the testicles very slowly, and the person affected has an itch to press the skin to force the liquid out. The liquid, after it has dried out, would become a thin, transparent, paper-like skin, that may be peeled away.
A man who has "discharge" is unclean. The following is what GOD taught us --
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Say to the people of Israel, When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. And this is the law of his uncleanness for a discharge: whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is stopped from discharge, it is uncleanness in him. Every bed on which he who has the discharge lies shall be unclean; and everything on which he sits shall be unclean. And any one who touches his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. And whoever sits on anything on which he who has the discharge has sat shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. And whoever touches the body of him who has the discharge shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. And if he who has the discharge spits on one who is clean, then he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. And any saddle on which he who has the discharge rides shall be unclean. And whoever touches anything that was under him shall be unclean until the evening; and he who carries such a thing shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. Any one whom he that has the discharge touches without having rinsed his hands in water shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. And the earthen vessel which he who has the discharge touches shall be broken; and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water. [Leviticus 15:1-12]
Personally, I think such "running issue out of the flesh" (discharge) is due to the fact that the body has some toxic things, and the body is trying to get rid of those toxic things.
This posts talks about "woman after giving birth to a boy or to a girl".
GOD taught us that if a woman gives birth to a male child, then she would be unclean for 40 days, and if she bears a female child, then she would be unclean for 80 days.
The LORD said to Moses, "Say to the people of Israel, If a woman conceives, and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. Then she shall continue for thirty-three days in the blood of her purifying; she shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed. But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation; and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying for sixty-six days. [Leviticus 12:1-5]
GOD taught the Israelites to cut off the foreskin of a male child, this is to remind them that they should never make the pursue of fleshy passions as goals of life (e.g. pursue of sex, pursue of gourmet food, pursue of pleasure from drugs, from leisurely pleasures, ...) ; instead they should make the pursue of GOD's righteousness as their goal of life.
This posts talks about "woman in her period".
GOD taught us that woman in her menstrual period is unclean, and she would be unclean for 7 days.
GOD : "When a woman has a discharge of blood which is her regular discharge from her body, she shall be in her impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. And everything upon which she lies during her impurity shall be unclean; everything also upon which she sits shall be unclean. And whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. And whoever touches anything upon which she sits shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening; whether it is the bed or anything upon which she sits, when he touches it he shall be unclean until the evening. And if any man lies with her, and her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean. If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness; as in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean. Every bed on which she lies, all the days of her discharge, shall be to her as the bed of her impurity; and everything on which she sits shall be unclean, as in the uncleanness of her impurity. And whoever touches these things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. But if she is cleansed of her discharge, she shall count for herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean." [Leviticus 15:19-28]
GOD taught us about uncleanness arising from semen.
GOD : "And if a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water, and be unclean until the evening. And every garment and every skin on which the semen comes shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the evening. If a man lies with a woman and has an emission of semen, both of them shall bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the evening." [Leviticus 15:16-18]
This post is the last on infection; and I collect some remaining teachings from GOD on this.
GOD : "And whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and any one who touches it shall be unclean until evening." [Numbers 19:22]
Therefore if an "unclean" person touches a door knob, and you touch it afterward, then you become "unclean".
GOD : "Command the people of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one having a discharge, and every one that is unclean through contact with the dead; you shall put out both male and female, putting them outside the camp, that they may not defile their camp, in the midst of which I dwell." [Numbers 5:2-3]
GOD taught us that a woman would be unclean 7 days in her mentrual period, would be unclean 40 days if she gives birth to a boy, and 80 days if she gives birth to a girl.
Therefore it is my personal opinion that woman should rest 7 days during menstrual uncleanness; rest 40 days after giving birth to a boy, and 80 days after giving birth to a girl (staying at home, doing no more than the necessary housework).
However, working women today could hardly find such long holidays, especially menstrual period that comes every month. Therefore, working woman should find as much rest as possible.
I have talked about GOD's teachings on food, on rest, on avoiding infection, and on correct attitudes (that of keeping the Laws/commandments of GOD). If we are careful to observe GOD's teachings, we can avoid many illnesses.
GOD made an important promise to the Israelites in [Exodus 15:26], but the promise is true for us too,
GOD to the Israelites : "If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I put upon the Egyptians; for I am the LORD, your healer." [Exodus 15:26]
It is my hope that these simple teachings from GOD can help you and your family.
For the past 20 years, I have not taken in one single pill. Though I fell ill sometimes, I recovered in one week, or at most two weeks, without any medicine (but that was during the first few years I observed GOD's teachings. Today, I recover in much shorter time, 1 ~ 2 days).