The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking eBook

Helen Stuart Campbell
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 239 pages of information about The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking.

The most perfect regimen for the intellectual life is precisely what would be advised for the growing boy:  frequent small supplies of easily-digested food, that the stomach may never be overloaded, or the brain clouded by the fumes of half-assimilated food.  If our boy trains for a foot-race, rows with the college crew, or goes in for base-ball, his power as a brain-worker at once diminishes.  Strong muscular action and development hinder continuous mental work; and the literary life, as a rule, allows no extremes, demanding only mild exercise and temperance as its foundation-stones.  But our boy can well afford to develop his muscular system so perfectly that his mild exercise would seem to the untrained man tolerably heavy work.

The rower in a college crew requires six weeks of training before his muscular power and endurance have reached their height.  Every particle of superfluous fat must be removed, for fat is not strength, but weakness.  There is a vast difference between the plumpness of good muscular development and the flabby, heavy overloading of these muscles with rolls of fat.  The chest must be enlarged, that the lungs may have full play, and be capable of long-continued, extra draughts upon them; and special diet and special exercise alone can accomplish these ends.  All fat-producing foods are struck out, sugar and all starchy foods coming under this head, as well as all puddings, pies, cakes, and sweets in general.  Our boy, after a short run, would breakfast on lean, under-done beef or mutton, dry toast, or the crust of bread, and tea without milk or sugar; would dine on meat and a little bread and claret, and sup on more meat and toast, with cresses or some acid fruit, having rowed twice over the course in the afternoon, steadily increasing the speed, and following it by a bath and rub.  At least nine hours sleep must be had; and with this diet, at the end of the training-time the muscles are hard and firm, the skin wonderfully pure and clear, and the capacity for long, steady breathing under exertion, almost unlimited.  No better laws for the reduction of excessive fat can be laid down for any one.

Under such a course, severe mental exertion is impossible; and the return to it requires to be gradual.  But light exercise with dumb-bells, &c., fresh air, walking, and good food are the conditions of all sound mental work, whether done by man or woman.

For the clerk or bookkeeper closely confined to desk or counter, much the same regimen is needed, with brisk exercise at the beginning and end of the day,—­at least always walking rather than riding to and from the office or store; while in all the trades where hard labor is necessary, heartier food must be the rule.  And for all professions or trades, the summing-up is the same:  suitable food, fresh air, sunlight, and perfect cleanliness,—­the following of these laws insuring the perfect use of every power to the very end.

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The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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