This proves to be a very serious matter to many strong and healthy young men and women. I have known many of them with more or less ruined digestive organs before they were twenty years of age. Many young people in offices, factories, show-rooms and warehouses eat snacks and drink tea more or less at all times of the day. Where they do not it is because the strict rules of the establishment prevent them from doing so.


To all who take even but a casual interest in animals it must be apparent that they very seldom appear to be other than well, while it is quite otherwise with human beings. Surely this should not be so, with those claiming to possess the higher intelligence. It is undoubtedly true none the less. There are, however, exceptions both as regards animals and their human associates. The health of each is governed by the same laws; the more they depart from nature, and the more they transgress natures laws, the more they get lost on the road to health.

Animals, if not too domesticated, know what to do if unwell. Take the dog and the cat for examples. If any of them through the unwisdom of their masters, have eaten too well and are left alone, they curl up in a dark place, as far out of sight as possible, and eat nothing for a day or two. They are soon about again, well and fit.

I once knew a Veterinary Surgeon who possessed a high reputation for restoring health to carriage horses belonging to the gentry of Edgbaston, Birmingham. His rule was never to attend such horses other than in his own stables. Years after I learned the secret of his success. They were taken into his stables and given plenty of water, and but very little else. A few days or weeks on such diet was all that was necessary. The reports invariably were “I have not know my horse so well and fit for years”, “as fit as a fiddle”, “as fresh as a lark, with a ravenous appetite”.

In walking between office and home I often meet an old lady having a dog on a lead. The lady would be much fitter and better if she weighed five stones less. And what of her dog? The two walk at about one mile per hour but the pace is too much for the dog. My sympathy always goes out to the dog.

Cows are often kept under conditions about as far from the natural as it is possible. They are kept in stalls, fed on artificial foods, and turned into milking machines, and we wonder why 60 per cent. of such cattle are tubercular. Most humans, without giving it a thought, prefer to eat vegetarian animals to carnivorous ones. They prefer pork from pigs fed on barely meal to those kept at the back of a slaughter-house.

It might tend to promote an A1 race by breeding horses for human food and cows only for milk, both being vegetarians, and cleaner than the omnivorous pig. But even this statement is scarcely fair to the pig, who is not naturally a dirty animal. It is the unnaturally filthy conditions under which civilized beings keep them, that are at fault.

But I set out to write about “The Toos to Health”. What of these? Well, there are too many such obstacles on the road to health and fitness. To mention a few only: many of us.



If none of us transgressed in any of these respects the majority of us would be rewarded with the health and fitness that money can never buy. To take each in their order.


The majority of people have pre-conceived and erroneous ideas on this matter. The writer has not eaten breakfast for about forty years. He thus gives his digestive organs a rest. Another, a giant of a man, will assure one that he would faint before one oclock if he went without breakfast. Recently the writer was not satisfied with the manner all the organs of his body were working – or not working.

He accordingly left off eating entirely for a fortnight. It may be asked “how much did you lose in weight?” The reply is “for the first ten days I lost nothing, I then did a stiff cycle ride and lost three pounds in a day, and at the same weight I remained till the end of the fourteen days. The three pounds were regained within two days following the fast.

I remember, as a boy, my grandfather never thought there was any necessity of leaving off eating at a meal until he had unbuttoned all the lower buttons of his waistcoat. Most of us have learnt better than that now. Forty years ago there were “commercial” travellers who considered it to be quite useless to expect an order without first taking one to the Grand Hotel.

Since then the majority of business men have learnt that if they wish to be at their best in the office or elsewhere after lunch time, and still wish to indulge in a “good square meal”, they must leave it until they get home at night, or business will suffer. They have yet to learn that both business and fitness will suffer in the long run by over-indulgence at any time of the day. For us Russell Lowell puts it:

“You have to get up early

If you want to take in God”.

But who of us has not tried to thus get what might be thought to be “the best of both worlds”? There is always, however, even in this world a “morning after” to be settled with. It may be said “To be quite candid about the matter, I must admit that I am fond of eating and it is very difficult not to eat too much, or to know how much one may eat with impunity.” This brings us to our second “too”. The difficulty mentioned is largely brought about by our.


A cow fed on grass, or a horse on hay, is not likely to eat too much, but a pig fed on 101 different things is liable to eat so much that he has to go to sleep to get over it. I once, as a matter of convenience, lunched daily for some months on apples, “Place-o-bred” biscuits and brazil kernels. I soon found to my surprise that on this simple diet I was satisfied, and had been for some weeks, with just about the same weight daily of each, and I had no relish for more, while with an ordinary dinner of two or more courses, I was liable to eat as much, in weight, at each course.

There is no doubt that no business man would ever expect any machine but his own stomach to stand the strain he imposes on it, by partaking of a seven course dinner washed down with a preservative such as alcohol. Of the scores of different things such a meal provides, if he chooses to take the trouble to enquire, he will find that some take from one to five hours to digest, while others, such as salt, will not digest at all. By reducing the number of different things one eats at a meal, better results will be obtained by this means than any other, to get control of ones appetite and to make it easy not to eat too much.


This proves to be a very serious matter to many strong and healthy young men and women. I have known many of them with more or less ruined digestive organs before they were twenty years of age. Many young people in offices, factories, show-rooms and warehouses eat snacks and drink tea more or less at all times of the day. Where they do not it is because the strict rules of the establishment prevent them from doing so.

This, with an early breakfast and a late supper, means that their digestive organs never get a rest form January 1st to December 31st, unless they break down under the strain. I do not think it is possible to retain perfect health and fitness for any length of time on more than two or three meals per day, with nothing eaten between.

Some of those who read these line may say, “But I have done otherwise for years.” That may be, owing to the fact that you have been blessed, or cursed, with good digestive organs, but this will not continue for ever. The day of reckoning will surely come, sooner or later. Had the doctor been correct I should have been dead and buried nearly forty years ago, but I have attended the funerals of my younger friends who were considered to possess the constitutions of giants, and who acted accordingly. My last point is the majority.


and I am not sure that this is not the most important TOO of all. I believe apart from accidents that perhaps 90 per cent. of all the ill health proceeds from the stomach. By this I do not mean only constipation, dyspepsia, catarrh, acidity and 101 other forms of trouble known to be closely associated with the stomach, but also headaches, neuralgia, rheumatism, lumbago, etc., etc., etc.

These and other aches and pains are all the outward and visible signs of an inward and insistent attempt of the system trying to rid itself of the accumulated impurities brought about by unwise eating and drinking. I believe that most of these troubles could be more or less cured within a month by taking only half the food with double the chewing. Laziness brings about untold trouble in this world.

We all, more or less, endeavour to circumvent the command “by the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread all the days of thy life.” The majority start straight out of bed by eating breakfast, the first thing in the morning, without having done any work to earn it. We further swallow starchy food without it being half sufficiently chewed to properly mix the salivary juices with it, to ensure a proper start to the digestive process.

Then one gets acidity of the stomach or some other trouble and we wonder why and say, “I am always very careful what I eat.” The true wonder is that we are alive to tell the tale. Instead of going to the doctor about it, try the prescription given above, reduce your intake by one half, and take twice the time in chewing into and so earn the food you eat and the fitness you deserve.

Your digestive organs will have much less than half the work to do, and they will most likely derive twice the amount of nourishment in the digesting. Within a month you should be much nearer your normal weight, for most likely you have been wearing out your digestive organs in the vain endeavour to force them to do the impossible.

To sum matters up, on account of having eaten too much, too many different foods, too often or too fast, the food has not been allowed to remain in the stomach a sufficient length of time to digest, with the result that the food ferments, acidity is set up, a lot of extra work is thrown on the kidneys and other organs of the body and all kinds of bodily ailments and diseases result. These are wrongs that no doctors, or their medicine, can put right. The cause is what has to be considered. The remedy is in the hands of the sufferers.

Jas. Hy. Cook