But you say: “Won’t you allow for difference of tastes?”
And the answer to that is: “Of course we can like some foods more than others, but there is a radical difference between unprejudiced preferences and prejudiced dislikes.”
Our stomachs are all right if we will but fulfill their most simple conditions and then leave them alone. If we treat them right they will tell us what is good for them and what is not good for them, and if we will only pay attention, obey them as a matter of course without comment and then forget them, there need be no more fuss about food and very much less nervous irritability.
Take Care of Your Stomach
WE all know that we have a great deal to do. Some of us have to work all day to earn our bread and butter and then work a good part of the night to make our clothes. Some of us have to stand all day behind a counter. Some of us have to sit all day and sew for others, and all night to sew for ourselves and our children. Most of us have to do work that is necessary or work that is self-imposed. Many of us feel busy without really being busy at all. But how many of us realize that while we are doing work outside, our bodies themselves have good, steady work to do inside.
Our lungs have to take oxygen from the air and give it to our blood; our blood has to carry it all through our bodies and take away the waste by means of the steady pumping of our hearts. Our stomachs must digest the food put into them, give the nourishment in it to the blood, and see that the waste is cast off.
All this work is wholesome and good, and goes on steadily, giving us health and strength and new power; but if we, through mismanagement, make heart or lungs or stomach work harder than they should, then they must rob us of power to accomplish what we give them to do, and we blame them, instead of blaming ourselves for being hard and unjust taskmasters.
The strain in a stomach necessary to the digesting of too much food, or the wrong kind of food, makes itself felt in strain all through the whole system.
I knew a woman whose conscience was troubling her very greatly. She was sure she had done many very selfish things for which there was no excuse, and that she herself was greatly to blame for other people’s troubles. This was a very acute attack of conscience, accompanied by a very severe stomach ache. The doctor was called in and gave her an emetic. She threw a large amount of undigested food from her stomach, and after that relief the weight on her conscience was lifted entirely and she had nothing more to blame herself with than any ordinary, wholesome woman must have to look out for every day of her life.
This is a true story and should be practically useful to readers who need it. This woman’s stomach had been given too much to do. It worked hard to do its work well, and had to rob the brain and nervous system in the effort. This effort brought strain to the whole brain, which was made evident in the region of the conscience. It might have come out in some other form. It might have appeared in irritability. It might even have shown itself in downright ugliness.