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Title: Fletcherism - What it is, or how I became Young at Sixty
Author: Fletcher, Horace
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Fletcherism - What it is, or how I became Young at Sixty" ***

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 THE A.B.-Z. OF OUR OWN NUTRITION. Thirty-fourth thousand. 462 pp.

 thousand. 310 pp.

 thousand. 344 pp.

 thousand. 251 pp.

 THAT LAST WAIF; OR, SOCIAL QUARANTINE. Sixth thousand. 270 pp.


[Illustration: THE AUTHOR]







    _Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science_


    COPYRIGHT, 1913, BY

   _September, 1913_



  CHAPTER                              PAGE

  INTRODUCTION                            ix

  PREFACE                                 xi


  II SCIENTIFIC TESTS                     15

  FLETCHERISM                             32

  IV RULES OF FLETCHERISM                 51


  VI WHAT IS HEAD DIGESTION?              73

  CHEWING                                 84

  RESPONSIBILITY                          91

  PROSCRIPTION                           104


  FLETCHERITES                           126

  EXPEDIENT                              138

  MENUS                                  158



  APPENDIX                               197

  INDEX                                  221


  The Author      _Frontispiece_


  The Author Testing His Endurance by Means
  of the Kellog Mercurial Dynamometer             16

  The Author Undergoing a Test at Yale When
  He Made a World's Record on the Irving
  Fisher Endurance Testing Machine                28

  The Author Feeling Himself to Be the Most
  Fortunate Person Alive                          70

  Horace Fletcher in His Master of Arts Robes     98

  The Author, on his Sixtieth Birthday, Performing
  Feats of Agility and Strength which
  Would Be Remarkable Even in a Young
  Athlete                                        100


Fletcherism has become a fact.

A dozen years ago it was laughed at as the "chew-chew" cult; to-day
the most famous men of Science endorse it and teach its principles.
Scientific leaders at the world's foremost Universities--Cambridge,
England; Turin, Italy; Berne, Switzerland; La Sorbonne, France; Berlin,
Prussia; Brussels, Belgium; St. Petersburg, Russia; as well as Harvard,
Yale and Johns Hopkins in America--have shown themselves in complete
accord with Mr. Fletcher's teachings.

The intention of the present volume is that it shall stand as a compact
statement of the Gospel of Fletcherism, whereas his other volumes treat
the subject more at length and are devoted to different phases of Mr.
Fletcher's philosophy. The author here relates briefly the story of
his regeneration, of how he rescued himself from the prospect of an
early grave, and brought himself to his present splendid physical and
mental condition. He tells of the discovery of his principles, which
have helped millions of people to live better, happier, and healthier

Mr. Fletcher writes with all his well-known literary charm and
vivacity, which have won for his works such a wide-spread popular

It is safe to say that no intelligent reader will peruse this work
without becoming convinced that Mr. Fletcher's principles as to
eating and living are the sanest that have ever been propounded; that
Fletcherism demands no heroic sacrifices of the enjoyments that go to
make life worth living, but, to the contrary, that the path to Dietetic
Righteousness, which Mr. Fletcher would have us tread, must be the
pleasantest of all life's pleasant ways.



 "_What is good for the richest man in the world, must be also good for
 the poorest, and all in between._" _Daily Express, London, May 15th,

This quotation was apropos of an announcement in the _Evening Mail_, of
New York, telling that the Twentieth Century Croesus and financial
philosopher, John D. Rockefeller, had uttered a Confession of his Faith
in the fundamental principles of Dietetic Righteousness and General
Efficiency as follows:

"Don't gobble your food. Fletcherize, or chew very slowly while you
eat. Talk on pleasant topics. Don't be in a hurry. Take time to
masticate and cultivate a cheerful appetite while you eat. So will
the demon indigestion be encompassed round about and his slaughter

       *       *       *       *       *

At the time this compendium of physiological and psychological wisdom
concerning the source of health, comfort, and happiness came to my
notice I was engaged in furnishing my publishers with a "compact
statement of the Gospel of Fletcherism," as they call it, and hence the
able assistance of Mr. Rockefeller was welcomed most cordially. Here it
was in a nutshell, crystallized, compact, refined, monopolized as to
brevity of description, masterly, and practically leaving little more
to be said.

The Grand Old Man of Democracy in England, William Ewart Gladstone, had
had his say on the same subject some years before, and will be known
to the future of physiological fitness more permanently on account
of his glorification of Head Digestion of food than for his Liberal

In like manner, Mr. Rockefeller will deserve more gratitude from
posterity for having prescribed the secret of highest mental and
physical efficiency in thirty-three words, than for the multiple
millions he is dedicating to Science and Sociological Betterment.

It will be interesting, however, to seekers after supermanish health
and strength to know how the author took the "straight tip" of Mr.
Gladstone, and "worked it for all it was worth" until Mr. Rockefeller
referred to the process of common-sense involved as "Fletcherizing."

I assure you it is an interesting story. It has taken nearly fifteen
years to bring the development to the point where Mr. Rockefeller,
who is carefulness personified when it comes to committing himself
for publication, is willing to express his opinion on the subject. It
has cost the author unremitting, completely-absorbing, and prayerful
concentration of attention, and nearly twenty thousand pounds sterling
($100,000), spent in fostering investigations and securing publicity of
the results of the inquiries, with some of the best people in Science,
Medicine, and Business helping him with generous assistance, to
accomplish this triumph of natural sanity.

In addition to other co-operation, and the most effective, perhaps, it
is appropriate to say that there is scarcely a periodical published in
all the world, either technical, news-bearing, or otherwise, on the
staff of which there has not been some member who has not received
some personal benefit from the suggestions carried by the economic
system now embodied in the latest dictionaries of many nations as

The first rule of "Fletcherism" is to feel gratitude and to express
appreciation for and of all the blessings which Nature, intelligence,
civilization, and imagination bring to mankind; and this utterance
will be endorsed, I am sure, by the millions of persons who have
found economy, health, and general happiness through attention to the
requirements of dietetic righteousness. It will be especially approved
by those who, like Mr. Rockefeller, gained new leases of life after
having burned the candle of prudence at both ends and in the middle, to
the point of nearly going out, in the struggle for money.

Yet the secret of preserving natural efficiency is even more valuable
than cure or repair of damages due to carelessness and over-strain.
In this respect the simple rules of Fletcherizing, embodying the
requirements of Nature in co-operative nutrition, are made effective by
formulating exercises whereby habit-of-conformity is formed, and takes
command of the situation so efficiently, that no more thought need be
given to the matter than is necessary in regard to breathing, quenching
thirst, or observing "the rule of the road" in avoiding collisions in
crowded public thoroughfares.

Mr. Rockefeller's thirty-three words not only comprise the practical
gist of Fletcherism, but also state the most important fact, that by
these means the real dietetic devil, the devil of devils, is kept at a
safe distance.

The mechanical act of mastication is easy to manage; but this is
not all there is to head digestion. Bad habits of inattention and
indifference have to be conquered before good habits of deliberation
and appreciation are formed. These requirements of healthy nutrition
have been studied extensively and analyzed thoroughly, to the end that
we know that they may be acquired with ease if sought with serious
interest and respect.

I began the preface by quoting the statement that "What is good for the
_richest man in the world_ must be also good for the poorest, and all
in between." I will close by asserting that

 "_Doing the right thing in securing right nutrition is easier than not
 if you only know how._"





 My Turning Point--How I had Ignored My Responsibility--What Happens
 during Mastication--The Four Principles of Fletcherism

Over twenty years ago, at the age of forty years, my hair was white; I
weighed two hundred and seventeen pounds (about fifty pounds more than
I should for my height of five feet six inches); every six months or so
I had a bad attack of "influenza"; I was harrowed by indigestion; I was
afflicted with "that tired feeling." I was an old man at forty, on the
way to a rapid decline.

It was at about this time that I applied for a life-insurance policy,
and was "turned down" by the examiners as a "poor risk." This was
the final straw. I was not afraid to die; I had long ago learned to
look upon death with equanimity. At the same time I had a keen desire
to live, and then and there made a determination that I would find
out what was the matter, and, if I could do so, save myself from my
threatened demise.

I realised that the first thing to do was, if possible, to close up my
business arrangements so that I could devote myself to the study of how
to keep on the face of the earth for a few more years. This I found it
possible to do, and I retired from active money-making.

The desire of my life was to live in Japan, where I had resided for
several years, and to which country I was passionately devoted. My
tastes were in the direction of the fine arts. Japan had been for years
my Mecca--my household goods were already there, waiting until I
should take up my permanent residence; and it required no small amount
of will-power to turn away from the cherished hope of a lifetime, to
continue travelling over the world, and concentrate upon finding a way
to keep alive.

I turned my back on Japan, and began my quest for health. For a time, I
tried some of the most famous "cures" in the world. Here and there were
moments of hope, but in the end I was met with disappointment.


It was partly accidental and partly otherwise that I finally found a
clue to the solution of my health disabilities. A faint suggestion
of possibilities of arrest of decline had dawned upon me in the city
of Galveston, Texas, some years before, and had been strengthened by
a visit to an Epicurean philosopher who had a snipe estate among the
marshlands of Southern Louisiana and a truffle preserve near Pau,
in France. He was a disciple of Gladstone, and faithfully followed
the rules relative to thorough chewing of food which the Grand Old
Man of England had formulated for the guidance of his children. My
friend in Louisiana attributed his robustness of health as much to
this protection against overeating as to the exercise incident to his
favourite sports. But these impressions had not been strong enough to
have a lasting effect.

One day, however, I was called to Chicago to attend to some unfinished
business affairs. They were difficult of settlement, and I was
compelled to "mark time" in the Western city with nothing especially
to do. It was at this time, in 1898, that I began to think seriously
of eating and its effect upon health. I read a great many books, only
to find that no two authors agreed; and I argued from this fact that
no one had found the truth, or else there would be some consensus of
agreement. So I stopped reading, and determined to consult Mother
Nature herself for direction.


I began by trying to find out why Nature required us to eat, and how
and when. The key to my search was a firm belief in the good intentions
of Nature in the interest of our health and happiness, and a belief
also that anything less than good health and high efficiency was due to
transgressions against certain good and beneficent laws. Hence, it was
merely a question of search to find out the nature of the transgression.

The fault was one of nutrition, evidently.

I argued that if Nature had given us personal responsibility it was not
hidden away in the dark folds and coils of the alimentary canal where
we could not control it. The fault or faults must be committed before
the food was swallowed. I felt instinctively that here was the key to
the whole situation. The point, then, was to study the cavity of the
mouth; and the first thought was: "What happens there?" and "What is
present there?" The answer was: Taste, Smell (closely akin to taste
and hardly to be distinguished from it), Feeling, Saliva, Mastication,
Appetite, Tongue, Teeth, etc.

I first took up the careful study of Taste, necessitating keeping food
in the mouth as long as possible, to learn its course and development;
and, as I tried it myself, wonders of new and pleasant sensations were
revealed. New delights of taste were discovered. Appetite assumed new
leanings. Then came the vital discovery, which is this: I found that
each of us has what I call a food-filter: a discriminating muscular
gate located at the back of the mouth where the throat is shut off from
the mouth during the process of mastication. Just where the tongue
drops over backward toward its so-called roots there are usually five
(sometimes seven, we are told) little teat-like projections placed
in the shape of a horseshoe, each of them having a trough around it,
and in these troughs, or depressions, terminate a great number of
taste-buds, or ends of gustatory nerves. Just at this point the roof of
the mouth, or the "hard palate," ends; and the "soft palate," with the
uvula at the end of it, drops down behind the heavy part of the tongue.

During the natural act of chewing the lips are closed, and there is
also a complete closure at the back part of the mouth by the pressing
of the tongue against the roof of the mouth. During mastication, then,
the mouth is an airtight pouch.

After which brief description, please note, the next time you take food,


Hold the face down, so that the tongue hangs perpendicularly in the
mouth. This is for two reasons: one, because it will show how food,
when properly mixed with saliva, will be lifted up in the hollow part
in the middle of the tongue, against the direct force of gravity, and
will collect at the place where the mouth is shut off at the back, the

It is a real gate; and while the food is being masticated, so that it
may be mixed with saliva and chemically transformed from its crude
condition into the chemical form that makes it possible of digestion
and absorption, this gate will remain tightly shut, and the throat will
be entirely cut off from the mouth.

But as the food becomes creamy, so to speak, through being mixed with
saliva, or emulsified, or alkalised, or neutralised, or dextrinised, or
modified in whatever form Nature requires, the creamy substance will
be drawn up the central conduit of the tongue until it reaches the

If it is found by the taste-buds there located around the
"circumvalate papillæ" (the teat-like projections on the tongue
which I mentioned above) to be properly prepared for acceptance
and further digestion, the food-gate will open, and the food thus
ready for acceptance into the body will be sucked back and swallowed
unconsciously--that is, without conscious effort.

I now started to experiment on myself. I chewed my food carefully until
I extracted all taste from it there was in it, and until it slipped
unconsciously down my throat. When the appetite ceased, and I was
thereby told that I had had enough, I stopped; and I had no desire to
eat any more until a real appetite commanded me again. Then I again
chewed carefully--eating always whatever the appetite craved.


I have now found out five things; all that there is to my discovery
relative to optimum nutrition; and to the fundamental requisite of
what is called Fletcherism.

_First_: Wait for a true, earned appetite.

_Second_: Select from the food available that which appeals most to
appetite, and in the order called for by appetite.

_Third_: Get all the good taste there is in food out of it in the
mouth, and swallow only when it practically "swallows itself."

_Fourth_: Enjoy the good taste for all it is worth, and do not allow
any depressing or diverting thought to intrude upon the ceremony.

_Fifth_: Wait; take and _enjoy as much as possible_ what appetite
approves; Nature will do the rest.

For five months I went on patiently observing, and I found out
positively in that time that I had worked out my own salvation. I had
lost upwards of sixty pounds of fat: I was feeling better in all ways
than I had for twenty years. My head was clear, my body felt springy,
I enjoyed walking, I had not had a single cold for five months, "that
tired feeling" was gone! But my skin had not yet shrunk back to fit my
reduced proportions, and when I told friends whom I met that I felt
well and a new man, their retort was that I certainly "did not look

 [A] NOTE:--Some of these same friends, fifteen years later, when I
 was sixty-four years of age, as positively declared: "You never
 looked so well: Fletcherizing has _certainly_ done well for

The more I tried to convince others, the more fully I realised from
talking to friends how futile and well-nigh hopeless was the attempt to
get credence and sympathy for my beliefs, scientifically well founded
as I felt they were. For years it proved so; and I faced the fact that
to pursue the campaign for recognition meant spending much money,
putting aside opportunities to make profit in other and more agreeable
directions, and no end of ridicule. Sometimes, during the daytime,
when I was "sizing up" the situation in my mind, treating it with calm
business judgment, it seemed nothing less than insane to waste any more
time or money in trying to prove my contentions.

Fully three years passed before I received encouragement from any
source of recognised authority. I went first to Professor Atwater,[B]
who received me most politely, but when I told him my story he threw
cold water on my enthusiasm. In our correspondence afterwards he was
most cordial but in no way encouraging.

 [B] Professor W. A. Atwater, of Connecticut, U.S.A., was, in his time,
 a respected authority in the field of human nutrition, and, as such,
 was selected by the editors of the _Encyclopædia Britannica_ to write
 the chapters on Nutrition for the _Encyclopædia_.

The frost became more and more repellent and benumbing.

Still I persisted. At last I got hold of my first convert: a medical
man, ill and discouraged; a member of a family long distinguished in
the medical profession. He was Doctor Van Someren, of Venice, Italy,
where I had made my home and where I lived for some years. I induced
him to organise an experiment with me. We enlisted a squad of men and
induced them to take food according to my ideas. We also were fortunate
enough to secure the co-operation of Professor Leonardi, of Venice.

In less than three weeks the sick physician found himself relieved of
his acute ailments, and it would have taken several teams of horses
to hold him back from preaching his discovery.[C] A little later, we
transferred the field of experiment to the Austrian Tyrol, and tested
our endurance qualities, only to find a capacity for work that was not
before considered possible. Then Doctor Van Someren wrote his paper
for the British Medical Association, which excited the interest of
Professor Sir Michael Foster, of the University of Cambridge, England,
and the first wave of scientific attention was set in motion.

 [C] Dr. Van Someren's testimony is given as an Appendix to this
 volume; taken from The _A.B.--Z. of Our Own Nutrition_.



 First Critical Examination at Cambridge University, England--My
 Endurance Test at Yale University in America

One result of this powerful interest was a test of our theories made
at Cambridge University, England, organised by Sir Michael Foster, who
was then Professor of Physiology at the University, and conducted by
Professor Francis Gowland Hopkins. The test was successful, proving our
most optimistic claims, and the report of it was published.

The scientific world now began to turn its attention to my discoveries.
Doctor Henry Pickering Bowditch, of Harvard Medical School, the dean of
American physiologists, put the full weight of his respected influence
into the work to secure for America the honour of completing the
investigation; but it was not until the experiments at Yale University,
in New Haven, that the first wide publicity was accorded. The story of
this and subsequent experiments and their results is this: Professor
Russell H. Chittenden was at the time President of the American
Physiological Association, Director of the Sheffield Scientific School
of Yale University, and the recognised leading physiological chemist
of America. He invited me to the annual meeting of the Physiological
Association at Washington, where I described the results in economy
and efficiency, and especially in getting rid of fatigue of brain and
muscle, obtained up to that time. But evidently to little purpose, as
Professor Chittenden revealed to me at the close of the meeting. He
said, in effect:


"Fletcher, all the men you have met at our meeting like you immensely,
personally; but no one takes much stock in your claims, even with
the endorsement of the Cambridge men; the test there was insufficient
to be conclusive. If, however, you will come to New Haven and let us
put you through an examination, our report will be accepted here. You
will be either justified or disillusioned; and--I want to be frank with
you--I think you will be disillusioned."


by Dr. Chittenden showed a daily average of 44.9 grams of proteid, 38.0
grams of fat, and 253 grams of carbohydrates, with a total average
calorie value of 1,606 (_compare this with the Voit Diet Standard, page
109_), and careful and thorough tests made at the Yale Gymnasium proved
that, in spite of this relatively low ration, I was in prime physical

Previously, as before stated, in the autumn of 1901, Dr. Van Someren
had accompanied me to Cambridge for the purpose of having our claims
closely investigated, with the assistance of physiological experts. The
Cambridge and the Venice findings were fully confirmed at New Haven,
and striking physical evidence was added by Doctor William Gilbert
Anderson's examinations of me in the Yale Gymnasium. This latter test,
described on page 24, was more practically important as an eye-opener
to both doctors and laymen than were the laboratory reports. I
personally showed endurance and strength in special tests superior to
the foremost among the College athletes. This was without training and
with comparatively small muscle; the superiority of the muscle lying in
the quality and not in the amount of it.

Professor Chittenden then became intensely interested in the matter,
as did also Professor Mendel; and the former suggested organising an
experiment on a sufficiently large scale to prove universality of
application or the reverse. He volunteered his services and the use of
his laboratory facilities.

At this time, too, I became acquainted with General Leonard Wood[D] and
Surgeon-General O'Reilly, of the United States Army. I found both open
to my evidence; and, in the case of General Wood, I learned that it was
confirmed by his own experience while chasing Indians in the Western
wilds. Through them President Roosevelt and Secretary Root became
interested, and _carte blanche_ was given General O'Reilly to use the
War Department facilities, including the soldiers of the Hospital
Corps, for assistance in the proposed experiment.[E]

 [D] Now Chief of Staff.

 [E] The full report of this famous experiment may be found in
 Professor Chittenden's book _Physiological Economy in Nutrition_;
 but such small mention of indebtedness to Fletcherism was made, that
 Professor Irving Fisher, in the interest of practical Political
 Economy, organised a supplemental experiment, more normal than the
 first, to test the economic effects of Fletcherism, pure and simple.

 A brief account of this investigation is given on page 98.

 Professor Chittenden made amends, later on, by composing a
 physiological prose poem on the benefits and delights resulting from
 careful chewing and tasting of nutriment, which I quote in full in
 Chapter VII.

One of the revelations of our experiments worthy of mention here
was that occasional long abstinence from food, say two or three
weeks, with water freely available, is comparatively harmless, if
"Fletcherizing" is carefully practised when food is again given to
the body. Nature prescribes accurately what is to be eaten (often the
most unexpected sort of food); and if the food selected by appetite is
carefully masticated, sipped, or whatever other treatment is necessary
to get the good taste out of it, and the mental state at the same time
is clear of fear-thought or worry of any kind, the just amount that
the body can use at the moment is prescribed by appetite, and the
restoration to normal weight is accomplished with epicurean delight,
well worth a spell of deprivation.


The tests of endurance, which were conducted by Professor Irving
Fisher, of Yale, now President of the Committee of One Hundred on
National Health of the American Association for the Advancement of
Science, and with the co-operation of the famous athletic coach, Alonzo
B. Stagg, formerly of Yale, but now of the University of Chicago--on
College athletes, students of sedentary habits, and on members of the
staff of the Battle Creek Sanatorium--are of prodigious importance in
their relation to the possibilities of human endurance through simple

The reports include a test in what is termed "deep-knee bending," or
squatting on the heels and then lifting the body to full height as many
times as possible. John H. Granger, of the Battle Creek Sanatorium
staff, did this feat 5,002 times consecutively in two hours and
nineteen minutes and could have continued. He then ran down a flight of
steps to the swimming-pool, plunged in and had a swim, slept sweetly
and soundly for the usual time, and showed no signs of soreness or
other disability afterwards.

Doctor Wagner gave his strenuous contribution to our knowledge of
possibilities of endurance by holding his arms out horizontally for
200 minutes without rest--three hours and twenty minutes. At the end
of that time he showed no signs of fatigue, and stopped only because
of the weariness shown by those who were watching and counting the
minutes. These statements seem like exaggerations, but they are not.

Both of these tests can be tried by any one in the privacy of his or
her own bedroom.

Doctor Anderson, Director of the Yale Gymnasium, taking advantage of
the cue offered by the Yale experiments, which he superintended,
practised Fletcherizing in all its branches. At the end of six years
he put the muscles thus purified to the test, with the result that
he added fifteen pounds of pure muscle to a frame that never carried
more than 135 pounds before in the half century of its existence, and
demonstrated that the same progressive recuperation that I have enjoyed
is open and available to others who have passed middle life.

Mr. Stapleton, one of Professor Chittenden's volunteers, grasped
the same valuable cue while serving as one of the heavy-weight
test-subjects in the Yale experiments. He reduced his waist measurement
to thirty inches and a half, increased his chest measurement to
forty-four inches; and has refined his physique until his ribs show
clearly through his flesh, while his muscles mount tall and strong
where muscle is needed in the economy of efficiency. In the meantime,
without training other than that connected with his teaching, he
increased the total of his strength and endurance more than one hundred
per cent.; and reduced his amount of food by nearly, if not quite,
half--as have also Doctor Anderson and myself.


These are merely typical cases of distinguished and measured

How the movement went on from step to step others have told, and I need
not follow it further here.

Two years after I began my experiments my strength and endurance had
increased beyond my wildest expectation. On my fiftieth birthday I rode
nearly two hundred miles on my bicycle over French roads, and came home
feeling fine. Was I stiff the next day? Not at all, and I rode fifty
miles the next morning before breakfast in order to test the effect of
my severe stunt.[F]

 [F] Detailed account of this test is given in _The New Glutton or
 Epicure_, New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company.

When I was fifty-eight years of age, at the Yale University Gymnasium,
under the observation of Dr. Anderson, I lifted three hundred pounds
dead weight three hundred and fifty times with the muscles of my right
leg below the knee. The record of the best athlete then was one hundred
and seventy-five lifts, so I doubled the world's record of that style
of tests of endurance.

The story of this test at Yale, when I doubled the "record" about which
so much has been written, is this: Professor Irving Fisher, of Yale,
had devised a new form of endurance-testing machine intended to be used
upon the muscles most commonly in use by all persons. Obviously these
are the muscles used in walking. Quite a large number of tests had been
measured by the Fisher machine, but it was still being studied with a
view to possible simplification.

I was asked to try it and to suggest any changes that might improve
it. I did so, and handled the weight with such seeming ease that
Dr. Anderson asked me whether I would not make a thorough test of my
endurance. This I was glad to do.

The Professor Irving Fisher Endurance Testing Machine is weighted to 75
per cent. of the lifting capacity of the subject, ascertained by means
of the Kellog Mercurial Dynamometer. The lifting is timed to the beats
of a metronome.

When I began, Dr. Anderson cautioned me against attempting too much.
I asked him what he considered "too much," and he replied: "For a man
of your age, not in training, I should not recommend trying more than
fifty lifts." So I began the test, lifting the weight to the beat of
the metronome at the rate of about one in two seconds, and had soon
reached the fifty mark. "Be careful," repeated Dr. Anderson, "you may
not feel that you are overdoing now, but afterwards you may regret it."

But I felt no strain and went on.

When seventy-five had been exceeded, Dr. Anderson called Dr. Born
from his desk to take charge of the counting and watching to see that
the lifts were fully completed, and ran out into the gymnasium to
call the masters of boxing, wrestling, fencing, etc., to witness the
test. When they had gathered about the machine, Dr. Anderson said to
them, "It looks as if we were going to see a record-breaking." I then
asked, "What are the records?" Dr. Anderson replied, "One hundred
and seventy-five lifts is the record; only two men have exceeded
one hundred; the lowest was thirty-three, and the average so far is

In the meantime I had reached one hundred and fifty lifts, and the
interest was centered on the question as to whether I should reach the
high record, one hundred and seventy-five.

When one hundred and seventy-five had been reached, Dr. Anderson
stepped forward to catch me in case the leg in use in the test should
not be able to support me when I stopped and attempted to stand up. But
I did not stop lifting the three-hundred-pound weight. I kept right
on, and as I progressed to two hundred, two hundred and fifty, three
hundred, and finally to double the record, three hundred and fifty
lifts, the interest increased progressively.

After adding a few to the three hundred and fifty I stopped, not
because I was suffering from fatigue, but because the pounding of
the iron collar on the muscles above my knee had made the place so
pummelled very sore, as if hit a great number of times with a heavy
sledge-hammer. I had doubled the record, and that seemed sufficient for
a starter in the competition.


As I stood up, Dr. Anderson reached up his arms to support me. But I
needed no support. The leg that had been in use felt a trifle lighter,
but in no sense weak or tired.

Then I was examined for heart-action, steadiness of nerve, muscle,
etc., and was found to be all right, with no evidence of strain. A
glass brimming full of water was placed first in one hand and then in
the other, and was held out at arm's length without spilling any of the

Next morning I was examined for evidence of soreness, but none was
present. There was the normal elasticity and tone of muscle.

Later in that same year, at the International Young Men's Christian
Association Training School at Springfield, Massachusetts, I lifted
seven hundred and seventy pounds with the muscles of the back and
legs--a feat that weight-lifting athletes find hard to perform. And I
did these stunts eating two meals a day, one at noon and the other at
six o'clock, at an average cost of eleven cents a day.

Still another examination at the University of Pennsylvania resulted in
my breaking the College record of lifting power with the back muscles.
I do not cite these instances as feats of extraordinary prowess, but
just to show the difference in my condition then and twenty years
before. All this I have done simply by keeping my body free of excess
of food and the poisons that come from the putrefaction of the food
that the organism does not want and cannot take care of.

As to myself, I am now past sixty-four. I weigh one hundred and seventy
pounds, which is a good weight for my height. During the many years
of experiment I have ranged between two hundred and seventeen and one
hundred and thirty pounds, but have "settled down" to my present quite
convenient figure. I feel perfectly well; I can do as much work as can
a man of forty--more than can the average man of forty, I believe. I
rarely have a cold, and although I am always careless in this regard,
my work is never delayed. I do not know what it is to have "that tired
feeling," except as expressed by sleepiness. When I get into bed I
scarce ever remember my head striking the pillow, and after four and
one-half hours I awake from a dreamless slumber with a happy waking
thought in process of formation.

I usually find it agreeable to court supplemental naps, to be followed
by more pleasant waking thoughts: but these are pure luxury. I can do
with five hours sleep if need be.



 Let Nature Choose the Meals--How Many Meals a
 Day?--Housewives--Fletcherism--The Financial Economy of
 Fletcherism--Business People and Fletcherism--The True Epicure

_What do I eat?_

_When do I eat?_

_How much do I eat?_

My answer to all these questions is very simple. I eat anything that my
appetite calls for; I eat it only when it _does_ call for it; and I eat
until my appetite is satisfied and cries "Enough!"

With my New England food preferences, my range of selection circulates
among a very simple and inexpensive variety, namely, potatoes,
corn-bread, beans, occasionally eggs, milk, cream, toast-and-butter,
etc.; and combinations of these, such as hashed-browned potatoes,
potatoes in cream, potatoes _au gratin_, baked potatoes, potato pats,
fish-balls--mainly composed of potato; occasionally tomato stewed with
plenty of powdered sugar; oyster stew with the flavour of celery;
escalloped oysters, etc. The taste for fruits is always suitable to the
season, and is intermittent, strong leanings towards some particular
fruit persisting for a time and then waning to give place to some other

But with all my fifteen or twenty years of unremitting study of the
subject, I cannot now tell what my body is going to want to-morrow. But
Nature knows, and she alone knows.


Once in Venice a group of experimenters, of which I was one, subsisted
on milk alone. During seventeen days nothing but milk, always from the
same cow, and fresh from the milking, passed my lips in the way of food
or drink. I sipped the milk, and tasted it for all the taste there
was in it, and I learned to be so fond of it that it was with some
difficulty that I went back to a varied diet when the experiment called
for a change. Good, fresh milk is an exception to Nature's dislike for
monotony in food. Milk is the one perfectly-balanced food material; and
while it may not be always the best food for grown persons, it is the
most acceptable as a monotonous diet, and always is good, sufficient
and safe nutriment, if sipped, tasted, and naturally swallowed.

I have forgotten just what the exact quantity was that I consumed daily
during those seventeen days--I believe it was about two quarts. I get
away as far as possible from quantitative amounts, which may influence
other persons. The appetite is the only true guide to bodily need;
and if milk is tasted and swallowed only by involuntary compulsion as
required by right feeding, the appetite will gauge the bodily need
exactly, and cut off short when enough for the moment has been taken.

So I say to all who ask me these questions as applied to themselves:
I cannot advise you appropriately what to eat, when to eat, nor how
much to eat; neither can anybody else. Trust to Nature absolutely, and
accept her guidance.

If she calls for pie, eat pie. If she calls for it at midnight eat
it then, but eat it right. Understand the food filter at the back of
the mouth as I have described it in a previous article, and use it in
connection with the pie. If it is used properly, and all the taste is
extracted from the pie, and it is swallowed only in response to the
natural opening of the gate, and if the ingredients of the pie that are
not swallowed naturally are removed from the mouth, nothing will happen
to disturb profound sleep.

Few persons will crave mince pie or Welsh rarebit late at night. The
worker on a morning paper may do so, and often does. He has earned
his appetite, and sometimes it is so robust as to call for mince pie
or Welsh rarebit; but if these are eaten properly they will then be
utilised by the body, eagerly and easily.

I dwell purposely upon this extravagance of eating. It is to accentuate
the fact that we want to get as far away as possible, when cultivating
vital economies, from the idea of extraneous advice in the matter of

The ordinary person will probably find his appetite leaning towards
the simplest of foods, and away from frequency of indulgence. If the
breakfast is postponed until a real, earned appetite has been secured,
the mid-day or later breakfast (remember always that breakfast means
the first meal of the day, no matter when taken) will be so enjoyable a
meal, and the appetite will be so entirely satisfied that there will
be no more demand for food until evening, and possibly not even then.


I am often asked if it is true that I eat only two meals a day; that I
never eat breakfast, and why I have dropped that meal.

I have two meals a day more habitually than any other number, but not
with any prescribed regularity, for the reason that my activities are
most irregular at times, and my appetite accommodates itself to my

When I am doing work under the most favourable of conditions, one meal
a day is the rhythm best appreciated by my body. But the question
of "How many meals a day?" is tantamount to the inquiry as to the
amount of sleep needed: it is a matter of satisfaction of the natural
requirements. The harder one works, the faster one runs, etc., the
more air he needs. The same applies to the need for food according to
the amount of heat eliminated, and the repair material consumed. The
really hardest work that anybody does is done within the body. Muscular
effort in normal conditions is not so waste-provoking and exacting as
getting rid of excess of food and the counteraction of worry or anger.
Likewise, idleness begets uneasiness, uneasiness begets desire for
something (nobody knows just what), and groping around for "Don't know
what" causes the temptation to eat and drink something which the body
does not need; and then the really hard work of the body begins in the
attempt of Nature to get rid of the excess. Excess of water can be
thrown off in perspiration with comparative ease, but with excess of
food it is different. The kidneys, bacteria and fuel furnaces of the
body are all over-worked to get rid of it.

When I am so busy that I have only time to replenish the real exhausted
need of the body, say half an hour at most, I find one meal a day all
that my appetite demands of me. This is taken after I have done my
day's work of, say, eight hours of writing, or twelve or thirteen hours
of bicycle riding or mountain climbing, and then I do not have appetite
for more until the next day, after the work is done.

When I mention two meals as being the more habitual, it is because I
am not fully, constructively active all the time now, although I am
usually "snowed under" with things that I _might_ do to advantage; and
hence I conform to the social custom and sit down to table some time in
the evening to be social.

The reason I have dropped the habit-hunger morning meal is because I
find that it is unnatural in my case. My experience showed me that
omission of the early morning meal led to desire for a lighter but
more satisfactory mid-day meal, and took away the craving for the
evening supper. I first came to this realisation during excessive hot
weather and monotonously trying environment. The only time I could
write comfortably was before sun-up in the morning. Absorbed in my
writing I did not realise the growing heat of the day until I actually
began to rain perspiration, by which time it was nearly noon. Then
came the mid-day meal of breakfast selection with salad and fruit
preponderating. The best of feelings followed, the waist-line shrank,
and one meal satisfied.

In order to try the urgency of any habit appetite--the early morning
meal, for instance--take a drink of water instead, and note if that
does not suffice as well as food to allay the craving for "something."
A cup of hot water, with sugar and milk to suit the taste, is amply
sufficient. Water will not satisfy a real, earned appetite; but it
often will effectually allay a purely habit-hunger such as that for
early breakfast.


A great many women ask: "But how is it possible to follow such a
haphazard way of eating in a home without upsetting the whole routine
of the household, disturbing the work of the servants? You can't just
have your family eating whenever they like."

My answer is this: The possible disturbance to domestic regularity
and convenience, because of the difficulty of supplying different
members of the family only when appetite in each case is "just good
and ready," is purely imaginary. Persons of regular occupations will
accommodate themselves to the ordinary rhythm of meal schedule easily
and naturally, with the difference that they may occasionally skip a
meal or two when the ordinary activity has been lessened.

The general experience has been, that concentration on one particular
meal, either at noon or in the evening, will suit everybody, and other
feedings will be "snoopings" from the larder, or taken at a restaurant
in those instances where one's occupation is remote from home. The
"Fletcherite" at business frequently follows the method of having nuts
or plain biscuits in his desk in case he feels like taking them; and
the business woman would do well to profit by his example.

The adoption of Fletcheristic simplicity leads to the solving of the
eternal household problem, and under its influence it is possible for
woman's work to be done sooner, giving physical relief and more time
for healthful recreation.

Diminution of the demand for meat-foods has much to do with both the
ease of house-work, and the modification of cost. But this is not the
most important saving. The saving of liability to intestinal toxication
(poisoning) is the great economy of the method.


It has been stated by writers who have correctly reported results that
more than two hundred thousand families in America live according
to Fletcherism and save as much as a dollar a day on their living
expenses. This has led many to ask: "How are one's living expenses
reduced by your principles?"

The estimate, arrived at a few years ago, that some two hundred
thousand families in America were saving an average of a dollar a
day through Fletcherizing, was made, I believe, by Doctor Kellog, of
Battle Creek, Michigan. Through the thousands of patients who pass
under his observation, and through a comprehensive touch with the sale
of different kinds of food throughout the country, Doctor Kellog has
his finger on the pulse of the nation in relation to its dietetic
circulation. Fletcherism first affected families of sumptuous tastes,
and the economy of it easily effected a saving of an average of a
dollar a day, largely in the diminution of meat requirements and
complex dishes.

The spread of the movement has now begun to encompass families of
lesser luxury of habits; and here it is found that an average saving
of ten cents a day for each person is easily accomplished. In the
Christian Endeavour Society alone, the leaders of the movement, as the
result of their own practical experience, hoped to effect a saving
of hundreds of thousands of dollars a day through the spread of this
economic nutritive teaching. This was likewise the aspiration of the
Roman Catholic benevolent organisations. A circular letter signed by
the Reverend Father Higgins, of Germantown, Pennsylvania, which was
distributed widely, declared that, in addition to the food economy
sought to be obtained, a condition which makes for poverty--that is,
intemperance--was overcome by Fletcherism.

Father Higgins declared that "_No Fletcherite can be intemperate in the
use of alcoholic stimulants_," and he was right in his assertion.


What would be the best way for business people to adopt Fletcherism? is
often asked. The case is frequently cited to me of a young man or woman
who isn't hungry for breakfast at seven o'clock, does not eat at that
time because the appetite doesn't demand it; and then gets ravenously
hungry at eleven o'clock. It may be impossible to get any food until
one-thirty--by which time the feeling comes that one has "waited too
long," and a headache and no desire for food are the results. Or, the
case of working-girls who live in boarding-houses, eat no breakfast,
and at noon cannot afford the wholesome and hearty food Nature would
then crave. Later, at dinner, they have to eat what is put before
them, whether they want it or not, or else go without. Will a hearty
luncheon, rightly eaten, interfere with a good afternoon's work? I am
reminded also that leisure, money, and easily-accessible cafés are not
always available for business women.

My answer to such questions is:--Any change of habit is apt to excite
a protest on behalf of the body, especially when the body is not
properly nourished, and is in a state of more or less disease. When the
habit-hunger comes on a few sips of water will quiet the discomfort for
the time being and, very likely, until it is convenient to take food
comfortably and with the calm and relish necessary to good digestion.
Headache, faintness, "all-goneness" and like discomforts, are symptoms,
not of hunger, but of the reverse--that is, fermentation of undigested
excess of food which the body cannot use.

A person, thus troubled, should brave discomfort for a week, and even
go without food entirely for a few meals, in order to give the body
a chance to "clean house": then the real sensation of hunger will be
expressed by "watering of the mouth" and a keen desire for some simple
food such as bread and butter, or dry bread alone. But this healthy
appetite will "keep" and accumulate until it is convenient to take food.


I am, personally, a hearty man in full activity, both mental and
physical. I can work six hours and then satisfy the keenest of
appetites on a meal of wheat griddle-cakes with maple syrup and a glass
or two of milk. A young working woman should be able to do the same.
If I eat such a meal with "gusto," deliberation (so as to enjoy the
maximum of taste), taking not more than fifteen minutes over it, I
can then go to work, or play, or to mountain climbing, or to riding a
bicycle, and keep it up until I am sleepy, with no sense of repletion
or discomfort.

"Money, leisure and easily-accessible cafés" are the menace of right
nutrition, unless one is proof against temptation to kill time in this
dangerous manner.

_Steady work to earn a true appetite, small means to spend on food, the
necessity of going to seek it, with the appreciation which comes from
rarity, are the very best safeguards to right nutrition._

I am an epicure. Yet I have never seen a boarding-house, nor a
restaurant, nor a camp where I could not find something to satisfy
a true (earned) appetite. During more than a year in the Far
East--Ceylon, Java, the Philippines, China, Burma, India, Kashmir--and
at many steamer and railway lunch tables, I always found something
good to satisfy a keen appetite. If you are all right inside, and will
only conquer your habit-hungers, I believe you can live sumptuously,
anywhere, on less than two shillings a day. I can, and often do; and do
it, too, at one hundred and seventy pounds weight and "awfully busy"
all the time. It may be difficult, and perhaps painful, at first, to
get the best of bad habit-cravings, but it is worth while. A week
should accomplish the reformation.

A number of men ask me: "Do you honestly believe that in your theories
lies the secret of long life?" I do, and I may give one example of a
"lived model" of longevity as the result of Fletcherism in all its
ramifications of temperance of eating, careful mastication, radiant
optimism, practical altruism, superabundant activity, etc. The
Honourable Albert Gallatin Dow, of Randolph, New York, passed away in
May, 1908, lacking less than three months of a hundred years of age.
Up to the last moment of his century of life there was no encroachment
of senility, and he fell, ripe fruit, into the lap of Mother Nature,
without a blemish of decay. Shortly before he passed away, Mr. Dow
invited me to see him, and told me that he had received a shock of
warning early in life as I had done late in life, and had made the same
discovery that had reformed me. He believed that he owed his health
and vigour to following the simple requirements of Nature, as I was
teaching; but he had his career to make at the time, and had not had
the leisure and means to preach dietetic righteousness as I was doing.
He wished me Godspeed on my mission. All inquiry in all directions,
wherever longevity has been accomplished, reveals the same simplicity
of habits of living, which are the natural points of Fletcherizing.



 Never Eat until Hungry--Mouth-Treatment of Solid and Liquid Food--When
 to Stop Eating--Instructions to the Medical Department of the U. S.

To make my ideas a little clearer, I will elaborate them a little more.
Remember that the rules are exceedingly simple. That, to my mind, is
the worst obstruction to the general adoption of my system: it is so
simple that many find it difficult to comprehend. But take these rules
and you have the idea.


Don't take any food until you are "good and hungry."

Some people will reply: "I am always hungry." Others will aver that
they "never know what it is to be hungry." We may assume that both
replies are incorrect, because hunger must be intermittent, and must
sometimes be present, or life would be intolerable through lack of
satisfaction and something to satisfy.

The question, "What is hunger?" is a natural and legitimate one, for
the reason that there are true appetites and false cravings. True
hunger for food is indicated by "watering of the mouth"--not that
watering of the mouth, or profuse flow of saliva, through artificial
excitement by some pungent stimulant, such as sweets, or acids or
spiced things; but that which is excited on thought of some of the
simplest of foods, such as bread and butter, or dry bread alone.

"All-goneness" in the region of the stomach, "faintness," or any of
the discomforts that are felt below the guillotine line, are not signs
of true hunger, but symptoms of indigestion, or some other form of
disease. True hunger is never a discomfort unless a growing desire
may be classed as a discomfort. Accumulating appetite (true hunger) is
like the multiplication of uncut and uncashed coupons on a railway bond
or on a Government bond. The feeling of possession is a joy of itself;
and the ability to collect the proceeds when needed and at leisure
is comfortable rather than uncomfortable. Under circumstances of
intelligent nutrition, if we pass one meal-time we wait patiently for
the next, with the knowledge that we are accumulating appetite coupons.


Have you yet learned what true hunger is?

Don't go on unless you have done so. Take a little more time; skip a
meal or two, and give Nature a chance to show you what real appetite
(true watering of the mouth) is. Having learned to recognise healthy
hunger and appetite, and to know what it is to have both of them
begging you for satisfaction, proceed with the second rule.

From the food available at the time take that first which appeals most
strongly to the appetite. It may be a sip of soup, or a bite of bread
and butter, or a nibble of cheese, or, perhaps a lump of sugar. It may
be a piece of meat, though I doubt that a true appetite will call for
such at the beginning of a meal. Never mind what it may be, give it a
trial. If it be something that should be masticated in order to give
the saliva a chance to mix with it and chemically transform it, chew it
"for all that it is worth."

"For all that it is worth" means for the extraction and enjoyment of
all the good taste there is in it.

If the food selected by the appetite happens to be soup, or milk, or
some mushy substance, get all the good taste out of it, doing all
you can to accomplish this; for to get the taste out of food is an
assurance of digesting it, and the pleasure it gives in the process
of Nature's way of getting you to do the right thing in helping her
to nourish yourself properly. Sip, taste, bite, press with the tongue
against the roof of the mouth, the food in the mouth, not because of
any suggestion of mine, but in response to the natural instinct to move
it about and get out of it all the taste there is in it.


The moment appetite begins to slack up a bit, the moment saliva does
not flow so freely as at first, the moment there is any degree of
satisfaction of the appetite, stop eating!

You will have a return of appetite; you will have another chance to
eat; appetite is beginning to have "that tired feeling" herself; be
kind to her as she has been kind to you. Give her a rest! Give her
a rest! Give yourself a rest! Rest is the antidote of "that tired
feeling"! Therefore rest the appetite before it gets tired. Stop
eating before you are overloaded.

Now, having learned how to do the right thing in eating so as never
more to have "that tired feeling," don't begin to overdo. Don't bend
backward too far. Don't ever overdo a good thing.

Be temperate; be deliberate. Be thoughtful; be forethoughtful; be
forethoughtful without being fearthoughtful. Don't overdo chewing, for
then you take away much of the pleasure; smother the psychic enjoyment
of eating, and raise the very mischief again.

Just be natural, and know that being natural is being deliberate in
enjoying the thing you are doing, for that is Nature's way.

       *       *       *       *       *

To the above simple rules I will append a few recommendations which
occurred to me and which I wrote while in a respiration calorimeter,
an experience which I will relate in a subsequent chapter. This list
of recommendations has since been included in the Instructions to the
Medical Department of the United States Army, under the heading:

 _Method of attaining Economic Assimilation of Nutriment and Immunity
 from Disease, Muscular Soreness and Fatigue_.

(1) Feed only when a distinct appetite has been earned.

(2) Masticate all solid food until it is completely liquefied and
excites in an irresistible manner the swallowing reflex or swallowing

(3) Attention to the act and appreciation of the taste are necessary,
meantime, to excite the flow of gastric juice into the stomach to meet
the food--as demonstrated by Pawlow.

(4) Strict attention to these two particulars will fulfil the
requirements of Nature relative to the preparation of the food for
digestion and assimilation; and this being faithfully done, the
automatic processes of digestion and assimilation will proceed most
profitably, and will result in discarding very little digestion-ash
(fæces) to encumber the intestines, or to compel excessive draft upon
the body energy for excretion.

(5) The assurance of healthy economy is observed in the small amount
of excreta and its peculiar inoffensive character, showing escape
from putrid bacterial decomposition such as brings indol and skatol
offensively into evidence.

(6) When digestion and assimilation has been normally economic, the
digestion-ash (fæces) may be formed into little balls ranging in size
from a pea to a so-called Queen Olive, according to the food taken, and
should be quite dry, having only the odour of moist clay or of a hot
biscuit. This inoffensive character remains indefinitely until the ash
completely dries, or disintegrates like rotten stone or wood.

(7) The weight of the digestive-ash may range (moist) from 10 grams
to not more than 40-50 grams a day, according to the food; the latter
estimate being based on a vegetarian diet, and may not call for
excretion for several days; smallness indicating best condition. Foods
differ so materially that the amount and character of the excreta
cannot be accurately specified. Some foods and conditions demand two
evacuations daily. Thorough and faithful Fletcherizing settles the
question satisfactorily.

(8) Fruits may hasten peristalsis[G]; but not if they are treated in
the mouth as sapid liquids rather than as solids, and are insalivated,
sipped, tasted, into absorption in the same way wine-tasters test and
take wine, and tea-tasters test tea. The latter spit out the tea after
tasting, as, otherwise, it vitiates their taste, and ruins them for
their discriminating profession.

 [G] Forwarding muscular movement which advances food along the whole
 extent of the alimentary canal.

(9) Milk, soups, wines, beer, and all sapid liquids or semi-solids
should be treated in this manner for the best assimilation and
digestion as well as for the best gustatory results.

(10) This would seem to entail a great deal of care and bother, and
lead to a waste of time.

(11) Such, however, is not the case. To give attention in the beginning
does require strict attention and persistent care to overcome life-long
habits of nervous haste; but if the attack is earnest, habits of
careful mouth treatment and appetite discrimination soon become fixed,
and cause deliberation in taking food unconsciously to the feeder.

(12) Food of a proteid value of 5-7 grams of nitrogen and 1,500-2,500
calories of fuel value,[H] paying strict attention to the appetite for
selection and carefully treated in the mouth, has been found to be the
quantity best suited to economy and efficiency of both mind and body
in sedentary pursuits and ordinary business activity; and, also, such
habit of economy has given practical immunity from the common diseases
for a period extending over more than fifteen years, whereas the same
subject was formerly subject to periodical illness. Similar economy and
immunity have shown themselves consistently in the cases of many test
subjects covering periods of ten years, and applies equally to both
sexes, all ages, and other idiosyncratic conditions.

 [H] The organic materials of human diet are usually classified into
 three divisions:--

 (1) The Proteids, or Albuminates--the characterising element occurring
 being nitrogen. The nitrogenous foods are: flesh (without the fat),
 eggs, milk, cheese, legumes (peas, beans, lentils, etc.).

 (2) The Fats, or Hydro-carbons. All animal and vegetable fats and oil.
 Emulsions of mineral oils have been shown to pass through the system
 unchanged, and therefore cannot be regarded as food.

 (3) The Carbohydrates (sugars and starches): bread, potatoes, and
 grain generally.

 Protein is the tissue builder; heat and energy are derived largely
 from the non-nitrogenous foods.

 A Calorie (large) is the unit of heat required to raise one kilogram
 of water to 1° C. The full value of a food is ascertained by means
 of the calorimeter, or apparatus used to determine the specific heat
 of substances, or the amounts of heat evolved or absorbed in various
 physical and chemical changes. Calorimeters take very diverse forms,
 varying from quite simple vessels to highly complex apparatus,
 according to the particular kind of determination to be carried out in

(13) The time necessary for satisfying complete body needs and appetite
daily, when the habit of attention, appreciation and deliberation have
been installed, is less than half an hour, no matter how divided as to
number of rations. This necessitates industry of mastication, to be
sure, and will not admit of waste of much time between mouthfuls.

(14) Ten or fifteen minutes will completely satisfy a ravenous appetite
if all conditions of ingestion and preparation are favourable.

(15) Both quantitive and qualitive supply of saliva are important
factors; but attention to these fundamental requirements of right
eating soon regulates the supply of all of the digestive juices, and
in connection with the care recommended above, ensures economy of
nutrition and, probably, immunity from disease.



 Not Excessive Chewing--Gladstone's Advice--Salival Action on Starch

Notwithstanding the fact that Fletcherizing stands for tasting as
the important thing to accomplish before food is swallowed, and that
biting, chewing, or masticating is merely a means to secure the end of
thorough tasting, nine-tenths of all who know anything about the claims
for Fletcherizing insist on thinking that it merely means "excessive
mastication." The National Food Reform Association of England, in a
bulletin giving advice concerning the feeding of school children,
intended to be posted in school-rooms and private dining rooms, speak
of Fletcherizing in its ideal practice as "Excessive Mastication."

This is just what Fletcherizing is not. The very essence of the method
of performing the personal responsibility is avoiding excess of
anything, excessive or laboured chewing among the rest.

There is little if any harm in keeping food in the mouth as long as
possible, and I believe that it is impossible to have too much saliva
mixed with it when it is swallowed, because when it is properly tasted
and insalivated it is almost impossible to hold it back from the food
gate at the back of the mouth. There is always suction there ready to
draw welcome nourishment in when it is ready, and readiness touches a
button, electrically relieving the muscular springs that close the gate
tightly during tasting, and, literally a "team of horses could not hold

What the mystics of the stomach-diseases profession called _bradefagy_,
or, in plain English, excessive chewing, can only be performed with
painful tediousness. It makes work--hard work--of the act, and that is
just as much opposed to Fletcherizing as it is to common sense, horse
sense, and all of the natural senses.

Now just for one moment please pay attention to one who is telling you
something Mother Nature wants you to know more than anything else in
the whole category of intelligence. Fletcherizing is


or tedious chewing, or long chewing. The things that require to be
chewed long are not good food, and by that sign you may find out their
unprofitableness better than in any other way. Good taste from good
food is not long lasting. When the mouth is "watering" for the food
in sight, or even in thought of it, the coupons of taste they carry
with them are short, but represent large figures of satisfaction and


Now listen to some figures regarding the number of bites or chews
that some foods require under varying circumstances. Mr. Gladstone's
advice to his children which has become classic, viz.: "Chew your
food thirty-two times at least, so as to give each of your thirty-two
teeth a chance at it," was a general recommendation. Mr. Gladstone
was observed once when he was a guest at "high table" at Trinity
College, Cambridge, and the average number of his "bites" (masticatory
movements) as far as they could be counted, was about seventy-five.
That did not speak very well for Trinity fare, unless Mr. Gladstone
happened to choose food that required that amount of chewing.

Even if Mr. Gladstone did devote seventy-five masticatory movements to
each morsel, as an average, such thoroughness would not have involved
an unusual length of time for a hearty meal. If you will try the
experiment when you are "good and hungry," having a "working-man's
appetite," and disposing of good bread and butter the while, which
should have nearly, or quite, seventy bites to the ordinary mouthful,
you will find that thirty mouthfuls will pretty nearly, or completely,
satisfy your working-man's appetite. Mixed foods take much less time,
usually about half, and still the seventy-five-rhythm act will consume
only about twenty minutes to perform with physiologic thoroughness.


Here are some statements easy to prove or disprove by anyone, with
real compensation in the way of new revelations relative to the
possibilities of gustatory enjoyment.

Starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes, etc., require from thirty to
seventy masticatory movements to assist saliva to turn the starch
into "grape sugar," which is the form in which it can be used as

 [I] Although I have been a close student of the subject for more
 than fifteen years in the best physiological-chemical laboratories
 for long periods of time--and always emulating the man from Missouri
 in demanding of the wise ones in the science of the laboratories to
 "Show me!"--I make the statements relative to what happens below
 the guillotine line in Mother Nature's exclusive territory of
 responsibility on the authority of the laboratory territory experts;
 but only, mind you, when my personal observations and business logic
 approve the conclusion. Therefore, when I tell you that starch turned
 into dextrose, or "grape sugar," is assimilable as nourishment,
 and that starch which is not thus chemically transformed by saliva
 is not capable of becoming nourishment, I am not "speaking by
 the book," which Mother Nature has opened for me to read--unless
 biological-chemists can be considered to be extra-enlightened forms of

You will at once think, no doubt, that a range of numbers extending
from thirty to seventy is pretty wide. So it is; but conditions
regarding the qualities of not only breads, but potatoes, and also
conditions relative to the strength or supply of saliva, differ
greatly. When the appetite is keen, the mouth watering, as they are
at the beginning of a meal, bread or potatoes may be negotiated into
nutriment ready for the stomach in much less time than later on.
Appetite "peters," as miners say, gradually, and does not stop with a
bang and shut off like an electric light when connection is broken. It
checks up, slows down, and tapers off gradually, and that is where the
canny intelligence of a faithful Fletcherizer stands himself in good
usefulness. When Appetite gently says: "Now, really, you are still
rather good to my assistant Taste, and he would not object to a few
bites more; but if you stop now and change off to something else which
I have in mind, and for which I have a use in our organism, I will not
object." In plain words: "I have enough for the present; switch off on


The difference between putting on fat in the case of the person who
is disposed or permitted to put on more fat than is comfortable, and
losing some of the surplus carried on the abdomen or elsewhere, is
the discrimination exercised in regard to the final satisfaction of
appetite. Those last two, three, or a few mouthfuls after Appetite
has said gently "Enough," and before the same Appetite says, loudly,
"Stop!" are the difference between obesity and decency of form.

I really believe, from the results of my experiences for the past
fifteen years in getting tips from Mother Nature, and trying to induce
mankind in general and my friends in particular to accept them as
"straight" from Mother Nature, that persons who have enough respect for
themselves to be interested in physical culture must come to the rescue
of the pseudo-scientists who are dulled by their own dope, and who are
suffering from the malaria which collects in the dark ruts they are
following in the tortuous complications of the alimentary canal. The
physical culturists must build models of normality for the scientists
to study.

When giving information as to what happens in the mouth, and as to
what happens as a result of proper head digestion, I feel as if I am
sitting on the upper lip of Mother Nature herself, and entrusting her
messages to the current of her own sweet breath for distribution among
her human children.



 My Study of the Subject--The Mouth as a Digestive Organ--Dr. Cannon's
 Researches--Pawlow's Proofs

In the latest comprehensive treatise on human nutrition, under the
title of "Food and the Principles of Dietetics," by Dr. Robert
Hutchinson, of London, more than six hundred pages are devoted to the
subject. Of these, just fifty lines are given to "Mouth Digestion."
In a footnote of sixty-four words Dr. Hutchinson has stated the case
of the importance of careful eating, with admission of a fact that
would mean emancipation from most of the human disabilities if it were
repeated in nurseries and primary schools as religiously as are the
ordinary rules of "polite conduct," and held by Society to be the basis
of respectability, which it really is.

When I first took up the study of dietetics in academic circles, nearly
fifteen years ago, physiologists did not concede that there was any
mouth digestion at all. Putting food in the mouth was for the purpose
of mixing it with saliva so that it could be formed into a "bolus" for
convenient swallowing. Now it is recognised that there is some mouth
digestion. In the meantime Pawlow[J] has demonstrated that the psychic
influence has much to do with digestion. Cannon, also, has shown by the
evidence of the Röntgen rays that mental states retard and even stop
entirely the digestive processes that are going on in the stomach, and
has asserted, as has also Pawlow, that the stomach digestive juices
flow in response to the reports and stimulation of taste, pouring out
into the cavity of the stomach juices appropriate for the digestion of
the particular food being tasted, in advance of its arrival in the

 [J] Dr. Prof. J. P. Pawlow, Director of the Department of Experimental
 Physiology in the Russian Imperial Military School of Medicine, &c.

This evidence, confirming my own secured by concentrated and
unremitting study of the effect of head digestion on health and
recuperative reconstruction, is proof enough that there is an important
department of nutrition that can be properly called head digestion.


began with the tip from Mother Logic--that the full extent of the
personal responsibility in nutrition is located in the head before the
food is swallowed. That is what led me to concentrate on the mouth as
the field of our responsibility which had been neglected by Science.
Even the Dental Profession as a whole had not at that time "tumbled"
to the fact that they were occupied professionally and constantly in a
field of "Preventive Medicine" as important as now they find it.

Everybody had supposed that the digestion of food was effected only in
the stomach and small intestines. This may be true, in a narrow sense,
but it can be arrested and completely stopped by the head. Furthermore,
digestion can be as much assisted by favourable head influence as it
can be obstructed by unfavourable head treatment.

This being so, as everybody knows, or can easily learn, what follows as
a logical sequence?

Here is a physiological eye-opener, as it dawns upon the business
physiologist. The obvious inference is that if the head can make
digestion easy or stop it altogether, the stomach being a subservient,
mechanical, and chemical servant of the head in the matter, we may
properly declare that the master-key of digestion is held by the head,
and we may safely say that there is Head Digestion.


The logical continuation of the search for the location of
responsibility for good or poor digestion leads us to consider
the question of "Division of Labour" as apportioned by the Laws of
Normality. All the laboratory evidence I have seen confirms my own
observations of the past fifteen years that Nature assures good results
if we are thoroughly faithful to our head responsibility during the
treatment of food up to the point of swallowing. From that time
digestion has been rendered so easy by thorough mouth preparation that
it may proceed smoothly even if the mental states are not pleasant.
Here, too, we discover that easy digestion reacts favourably on the
mentality and exerts a calming influence.

Some observers declare that idiots digest their food quite easily. The
less mental clarity they possess the better for their metabolism. This
does not argue in favour of the absence of mental influence, for the
idiot is a sensualist, and in the relief from mental excitement finds
enjoyment of taste and the satisfaction of appetite as agreeable as do
the animals under similar favourable conditions.

Quite recently, when I was personally under observation by Dr.
Professor Zuntz in Berlin, to test the ease of my digestion of food as
compared with others who paid less attention to mouth treatment of it,
the good professor instructed me to "be as nearly like a little animal
as possible, thinking nothing of anything." This isn't as easy for a
"live-wire thinking outfit" as for an idiot, or as for an ingenuous
little animal having no thought for the morrow, but the business
physiologist does not scorn to go anywhere for light on Nature's
requirements. One thing is sure, the person who has been faithful
to his personal responsibility by starting the process of digestion
as Nature demands can relax and enjoy metabolic and mental calm in
delightful harmony more easily than one who has gluttony on his
conscience and the wages of sinning on his stomach. These wages look
big to the swollen greed of cultivated gluttony, but they are as bad as
they are big, and the best way to be convinced of this fundamentally
important fact is to realise the potency of head digestion for well or
ill, and give it a practical trial.

The key to good digestion is in the head, and the sooner mankind comes
to realise this important truth the quicker will come the millennium of
nutrition normality.


I have just been reading Professor Walter B. Cannon's book in the
Arnold Medical Monograph Series, entitled "The Mechanical Factors of
Digestion." I have learned many valuable lessons from the intestinal
observations of Dr. Cannon, and have seen the shadows he describes on
his fluorescent screen under his practised guidance, and, with his
generous permission, quoted him extensively in my book, _The A. B.--Z.
of Our Own Nutrition_.

It seems that we began our quest for light on the mechanics and
mentality of digestion by objective observation about the same year,
1898. He took a hop, skip and jump over the three inches of the
alimentary canal that is our personal responsibility and, with the aid
of bismuth blackened food and a Röntgen-ray apparatus, began to study
the movements incident to digestion by the shadows cast on the screen.
For this purpose he principally used female cats, because they were
more amenable than male cats to the torture of being tied flat to a
cloth with the possible fear that they were condemned to death as well
as to inactivity. Even the use of pink or blue ribbons as bands of
bondage under the circumstances does not lure their cat-ladyships into
the quietude demanded for normal movements of digestion, and male cats
will not "stand for it" at all.

For ten years or more Professor Cannon and his assistants were devoted
to these Dark Chamber X-ray observations, and in the meantime wading
through hundreds of volumes of _Physiological Archives_ for reports
of other intestinal investigations. The fruit of this thoroughness of
research is more than 400 references to reported data and conclusions
extending back to the dawn of Physiology. To one who has followed the
accounts of the "Diddings" in the "Old Man Greenlaw's Liquor Saloon in
Arkansas City," as given weekly in the New York _Sunday Sun_, these
researches seem to be governed by the strict rules of "Draw Poker."
Eventually all of the cards (or evidence) go into the "discard,"
confirming Sir Michael Foster's dictum, to the effect that "the more we
learn of Physiology the more we know how little we really know."

I recommend everybody to get Dr. Cannon's book and turn at once to
page 74, and read about the importance of mastication in securing easy
digestion free from fermentation. Then turn to page 217 and read his
conclusions relative to the influence of the emotions on digestion.
Put these two statements together, and then judge for yourself if it
is claiming too much to say that there is really Head Digestion, and
that it is in the field of personal responsibility, in the mouth and
in the brain, that good or bad digestion--right or mal-nutrition--are

You will find the literary quality of Dr. Cannon's book so fascinating,
no matter whether you know the meaning of the terms used or not, that
you will enjoy it like a novel. It has the charm of the diction of Sir
Michael Foster and Sherlock Holmes combined, with enough of the solving
of the secrets of the alimentary canal to satisfy the most exacting

If a taste for the inner mysteries has been acquired by the reading
of Professor Cannon's book, further desires in that direction may
be satisfied by reading the physiological prose poem by Professor
Chittenden, in praise of head digestion as the acme of sensual
pleasure. It is a gem, and is quoted in Chapter VII following, in
support of the contention of this chapter. This poem appears in the
book _The Nutrition of Man_ (as studied mainly in starving dogs), and
one wonders why such a pearl of practical, every-day, Kindergarten,
domestic usefulness should be "thrown to the dogs," so to speak.



A Physiological Prose Poem

It is difficult to imagine a more pleasurable Epicurean felicity than
that described by Professor Russell H. Chittenden, of the Sheffield
Scientific School, of Yale University, in America, as the result of
careful masticating and thorough tasting of the commonest of foods.

Professor Henry Pickering Bowditch, of Harvard University Medical
School, like Sir Michael Foster and all the most eminent physiologists,
were quick to appreciate the revelations of the Cambridge investigation
of Fletcherizing as indicating the discovery of the missing link in the
chain of processes necessary for securing good digestion and healthy
nutrition, but they looked on it as a question of profitable economy
rather than material for poetic enthusiasm.

It was given to Professor Chittenden to discover the rarest merit
of decent eating; the politeness of it, as well as the poetry; that
element of respectability which will eventually recommend it to the
socially-refined as one of the civilised fine arts; that expression of
appreciation which is due to Mother Nature for her many beneficences.


By Russell H. Chittenden

"With the mind in a state of pleasurable anticipation, with freedom
from care and worry, which are liable to act as deterrents to free
secretion, and with the food in a form which appeals to the eye as
well as to the olfactories, its thorough mastication calls forth and
prolongs vigorous salivary secretion, with which the food becomes
intimately intermingled. Salivary digestion is thus at once incited,
and the starch very quickly commences to undergo the characteristic
change in soluble products. As mouthful follows mouthful, deglutition
alternates with mastication, and the mixture passes into the stomach,
where salivary digestion can continue for a limited time only,
until the secretion of gastric juice eventually establishes in the
stomach-contents a distinct acid reaction, when salivary digestion
ceases through destruction of the starch-converting enzyme. Need we
comment, in view of the natural brevity of this process, upon the
desirability for purely physiological reasons of prolonging within
reasonable limits the interval of time the food and saliva are
commingled in the mouth cavity? It seems obvious, in view of the
relatively large bulk of starch-containing foods consumed daily, that
habits of thorough mastication should be fostered, with the purpose
of increasing greatly the digestion of starch in the very gateway of
the alimentary tract. It is true that in the small intestines there
comes later another opportunity for the digestion of starch; but it
is unphysiological, as it is undesirable, for various reasons, not to
take full advantage of the first opportunity which Nature gives for
the preparation of this important foodstuff for further utilisation.
Further, thorough mastication, by a fine comminution of the food
particles, is a material aid in the digestion which is to take place
in the stomach and intestines. Under normal conditions, therefore, and
with proper observance of physiological good sense, a large portion of
the ingested starchy foods can be made ready for speedy absorption and
consequent utilisation through the agency of salivary digestion.

"Nowhere in the body do we find a more forcible illustration of
economical method in physiological processes than in the mechanics of
gastric secretion. Years ago it was thought that the flow of gastric
juice was due mainly to mechanical stimulation of the gastric glands
by contact of the food material with the lining membrane of the
stomach. This, however, is not the case, as Pawlow has clearly shown,
and it is now understood that the flow of gastric juice is started
by impulses which have their origin in the mouth and nostrils; the
sensations of eating, the smell, sight and taste of food serving
as physical stimuli, which call forth a secretion from the stomach
glands, just as the same stimuli may induce an outpouring of saliva.
These sensations, as Pawlow has ascertained, affect secretory centres
in the brain, and impulses are thus started which travel downward to
the stomach through the vagus nerves, and as a result gastric juice
begins to flow. This process, however, is supplemented by other forms
of secretion, likewise reflex, which are incited by substances, ready
formed in the food, and by substances--products of digestion--which
are manufactured from the food in the stomach. Soups, meat juice, and
the extractives of meat, likewise dextrin and kindred products, when
present in the stomach, are especially active in provoking secretion.
When the latter foods have been in the stomach for a time, however, and
the proteid material has undergone partial digestion, then absorption
of the products so formed calls forth energetic secretion of gastric
juice. It is thus seen that there are three ways--all reflex--by
which gastric juice is caused to flow into the stomach as a prelude
to gastric digestion. Further, it has been shown by Pawlow that there
is a relationship between the volume and character of the gastric
juice secreted and the amount and composition of the food ingested,
thus suggesting a certain adjustment in the direction of physiological
economy well worthy of note. A diet of bread, for example, leads to the
secretion of a smaller volume of gastric juice than a corresponding
weight of meat produces, but the juice secreted under the influence of
bread is richer in pepsin and acid, _i.e._, it has a greater digestive
action than the juice produced by meat. The suggestion is that gastric
juice assumes different degrees of concentration, with different
proportions of acid and pepsin, to meet the varying requirements of a
changing dietary."



 The Effect of Prejudice--Professor Fisher's Experiment

While Professor Cannon was groping about in Nature's alimentary
preserves in comparative darkness, I concentrated my attention upon
the first three inches of the canal which comprise the field of our
personal responsibility, and which has been neglected by most of the
students of the subject.

While the area considered was right out in front, and open to visual
inspection all the time, the opportunity to study its most important
features having to do with nutrition was not continuous. Mr. Edison
may rivet his attention on an electrical problem and stick to it for
forty-eight hours on a stretch, but Taste is only occasionally on
exhibition for observation and cannot be pressed into long service
at any one time. For test of normal Taste only the time required for
the most economic nutrition is available. A real body-need with keen
appetite is the first healthy excuse for calling on Taste to perform.
Normal appetite, too, being satisfied with appetising foods, is of
brief duration. One may linger over a meal as long as desired, enjoying
the intimate memory of the gustatory gratification in leisurely
process, but in case of a first-class labouring man's hunger and
the exigency of a railway station dinner in the midst of a desert,
industrious application of faithful Fletcherizing for fifteen minutes
will usually supply the real needs of the moment for eight hours at
least. This estimate involves a healthy condition of the nutrition
department, including an abundance of powerful saliva for the hastening
of the mouth treatment, but such a beatific facility can be secured
in a very short time by the faithful and intelligent employment of all
departments of head digestion.

A person who specialises on the mouth end of the alimentary canal has
plenty of time to rest between inspections. He will naturally watch for
any feeling of results that may happen while Mother Nature is doing her
twenty-five feet of digestion and absorption, but if his part has been
performed properly, there will be no news of the process until there
is something to excrete from the material ingested. When this occurs,
if a microscope is handy for minute inspection, it will be found that
most of the excreta is composed of what I think of as the dandruff of
the alimentary canal. It is composed of shapeless particles of skin
which have been discarded by the mucous surface of the canal in the
same manner that dead skin is being continually detached from the head
and all parts of the external surface of the body. Depending on the
nature of the food, there may be small particles also of indigestible
cellulose from vegetable foods and the condensed solids of the
digestive juices when they have been used and worn out.


I have noticed that the early prejudices in favour of or against
foods are likely to prevail throughout life. I have observed this in
trying to secure local appreciation for my own favourite New England
dishes in foreign countries. Tinning, or canning, science has made it
possible to serve Boston baked beans and brown bread or even an entire
Thanksgiving Dinner in Japan or Borneo, but it is impossible to excite
native appreciation for them commensurate with the cost and trouble of
the transportation. In Scandinavia, where they file the appetite to the
keenest of edges with the piquancy of the "Smoer Broed," or "Smoer
Goes,"[K] the American taste for very sweet things is not appreciated.
Chocolates for that market are more bitter than sweet, and so it goes
throughout the world where head digestion is important in determining
the prescription of foods.

 [K] Literally "Butter-goose"; a table set apart, with bread and butter
 and a variety of snacks.

At one time, during a year and a half of travel in unusual countries
where the French, English or American _menu_ is not easily available,
I never missed an opportunity to study the effect of head prejudice on
digestion. If the fortunate opportunity occurs to sample the sumptuous
"ris tavel" of Java, there will be the best of chances to confirm my
observation in this regard. This dish is varied in sumptuousness,
or variety, but the humblest offering of it consists of a large and
deep soup plate piled high in the middle with snowy rice with each
individual grain unbroken. This, to begin with, is a triumph of
oriental culinary art. Surrounding this rice mountain are dabs of
every sort of a "relish" any one ever imagined. You select these from
tiers of plates borne in each hand by as many as a dozen servants,
following each other in procession, and presenting opportunities of
choice amounting to twenty or more, perhaps even thirty or more in
extraordinary cases. Hence it is the privilege of the guest to take
much or little of any, or all, of the condiments according to the state
of his appetite or greed. All the colours and nearly the whole food
kingdom are represented, and the temptation is increased by the art of
rearrangement. There is no way of judging what each sort of relish is:
It may be fish, fowl, vegetable, tuber, side-meat, or a combination of
nuts or fruits, as far as the intelligence of the uninitiated goes.

There were several members of the party of foreigners of different
degrees of prejudice against anything strange in appearance. To one,
all of the comestibles were "utterly impossible," and remained so to
the end; while to others curiosity got the better of suspicion, and
finally the appetites looked forward to dinner-time with especial
cordiality, for the rice-mountain relish-cordon and the complicated
combination were digested with ease.

The standard dish, however, of the Javan dinner is boiled potatoes
and beefsteak swimming in a pint of good butter gravy, so that even
the conscientious dietist with vegetarian preferences may revel in
something that smacks of home and mother, with such an abundance of
luscious fruits that nothing but gustatory delight happens as a usual
thing. Still, it is the same in Java or Japan, in London, Paris,
Berlin, Vienna, Rome or New York, the digestion of food is under the
control of the head and therefore may be called head digestion.


The most important large experiment for the testing of head digestion
under conditions of strict scientific control was that inaugurated and
conducted by Professor Irving Fisher, of Yale University, in America.

Professor Fisher occupies the Chair of Political Economy at Yale, has
made extensive researches into the factors that influence the economies
or extravagances of living, and is President of the Committee of One
Hundred of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on

Professor Fisher's interest in my revelations and tests relative to
the potency of head digestion came primarily from a personal test
which worked wonders for him in establishing a foundation for good
health. He was not satisfied with the later Chittenden experiments,
because they substituted academic prescription for natural selection in
formulating the rules of the inquiry. Like myself, in conducting the
original researches, Professor Fisher realised that the practical value
of my discoveries was that no one needed a biological chemist to order
his meals for him or tell his appetite what his body needed in the way
of food elements.


The Fisher experiment worked with nine healthy undergraduates who were
ambitious to take high scholastic honours, and who had little time for
athletics or any form of physical exercise, they being types of the
average University undergraduate.

A generous table was supplied them with meat and every variety of food
that usually composed college fare. The only instructions were that
thorough mastication and especial attention to the enjoyment of the
food as recommended by me in my books should be faithfully performed.
This course was pursued for half a year, and for the rest of the year,
in addition to the careful head treatment and enjoyment, preference
was to be given to foods known to be low in nitrogen content; but not
to the extent of suppressing any distinct call of appetite for them.

In the first half of the experiment the men held their own on about
40 per cent. less food, computed by cost, and increased their
strength-endurance ability by something more than 100 per cent., with
the added felicity of feeling unusually fit all of the time, entirely
escaping the slack or sick spells they had been accustomed to, and
improving greatly in their general studentability, that is: power of
concentration, memory, mental comfort, profundity of sleep, etc.

During the second half of the experiment still more improvement was
secured owing to the readiness of the body to accommodate itself to the
wish by favouring the economies.

I have not a copy of the report at hand. It is included in the
publications of Yale University about 1905.



While all of the abundance of confirmatory evidence which has
accumulated since 1898 is valuable and gratifying, the verdict of the
unremitting observation since then is that the problem of nutrition is
always a personal one. After fifteen years of devotion to the study
of the head-end question, with due attention to the tell-tale excreta
and the product expressed in terms of energy and general comfort, I am
unable to predict what my body is going to want to-morrow in the way
of nutrition supply. I can say with some confidence that if I go on
doing as I have been accustomed to doing daily, and no shock of grief
or surprise intervenes to upset all calculations, I am likely to find
nutritive satisfaction as expressed by appetite among the foods that
are commonly agreeable to me.

If I am compelled or impelled to do a great stunt of walking or other
unusual exertion, or receive crushing news, all my present predictions
may be useless. The body itself, from the hair on the head to each
finger or toe-nail will know what it wants and will have given to the
caterer Appetite its requisition covering the need. In the meantime
each brain cell and all of the bones have not been neglectful of
their sustenance requirements, nor have they been backward in letting
Appetite know.

It is fortunate that the common needs of digestion may be supplied from
a limited range of food varieties. Milk is all-sufficient always for
general supply of the nutritive requisites. In the plebeian potato,
which has attained to royal rank as the result of the extensive
experiments of Dr. Hindhede, of Denmark, in co-operation with Madsen
the Faithful, has been found full nourishment for ten months, at
least, when supplemented by butter or margarine to furnish the fuel
supply. Even in this surprising revelation no academic prescription was
infallible. Potatoes differ in nutritive value as much as 50 per cent.
Fresh-cooked and well-cooked ones alone fill the bill of sufficiency,
and full head-work in assuring easy digestion was made the first rule
of the test. For four months I served as a check test-subject and speak
from experience.

Nothing is ever accomplished except by a division of labour and on the
just division of responsibility depends the success of effort. Nature
has given to us the head-end of responsibility.



The Protein Enthusiast--Doubting Thomases

The only completely accurate prescriber of nutrition for living
creatures is Mother Nature herself, and if she does not _pre_scribe
anything by the undoubted approval of appetite she _pro_scribes it.

One of the rules which have governed my quest for optimum human
nutrition in the midst of the twentieth century food supply and other
conditions, has always been to go to Nature for final advice in the

When I say "_Question_ Prescription and Proscription" I mean that the
most positive prescribers of food have something in the food line
or advice to sell, and they proscribe as positively anything that
competes with their commercial product.

My eyes were opened to this possible snare and delusion by a great
doctor of medicine,[L] who is also one of the most ardent economists
I have ever met--not a miser in any sense, but a religiously
philosophical economist. He is almost as righteously indignant
against any who use the trust which is placed in them by clients or
patients for the selling of high-priced foods as he is at the makers,
advertisers, retailers and prescribers of alcohol as a beverage. In
his just opinion it is as wicked, or almost as wicked, to advise
unprofitable extravagance of any sort as it is to prescribe poison.

 [L] Dr. M. Hindhede: Copenhagen, Denmark.

To this discriminating philosopher food is the basis of health-wealth,
and sacred to its divine usefulness.

The great harm that was done to the world by the academic prescription
of excessive protein rations[M] was that it started a vicious circle
of extravagances which led as surely to untimely death as murder. The
perpetrators of this pernicious prescription were innocent of intention
to do harm; in fact, they were full of the most generous of motives
in issuing their poisonous advice, and one of the most prominent, at
least, paid the penalty by dying miserably of his own fatal ignorance.

 [M] Voit, Atwater, etc.

I may also say that it is "presumption," advisably, for almost all
prescriptions of food which do not have their basis on the natural body
calls are presumptuous. Nature knows! If given a chance to show her
knowledge Nature prescribes rightly and delivers her message in the
form of appetite and the other instincts. She will do this in the midst
of the most complicated of artificial food mixtures, as I have reason
to know from personal experience, confirmed by many others over and
over again.

Therefore I may say more surely than ever, that whatever NATURE


that Honesty approves is the Optimum Economic Nutrition; and my great
preceptor, Dr. Hindhede, the ideally honest scientist and doctor,
ventures to prescribe only the plainest of foods that are delicious to
a true, keen appetite, and cost the least through being in season and
so common and easy to grow as to be cheapest.

This good and superlatively honest doctor does not _Pro_scribe anything
that Nature permits as food and he does not even _Pro_scribe the
transportation of grapes from Madeira to the North Cape of Norway for
the enjoyment of those who can afford to pay for them.

Would the _Pro_scribers of flesh food have denied Amundsen and his
companions the flesh of their faithful dogs as a last resort in
securing nourishment for the completion of their journey to the South
Pole? It was their truly last resort in gaining the victory over
the Ice God; and would to God that brave Captain Scott and his band
of faithful ones had had such a last but saving resort to help them
accomplish the eleven miles between them and rescue! But then, the
world would have missed a model of altruism that is worth a million
lives, and one of which million everybody would like to be, if their
lives are worth the living.


While writing this chapter I have been forwarded material for
indignation and a text for condemnation in the form of a book so full
of food prescription that it is positively poisonous, as read with
the intelligence of my own and current knowledge of the subject, that
it ought to be pilloried as a "Horrible Example" of presumptuous
prescription and proscription. It is an advertisement pure and simple,
but so prejudicial to the natural facts in the case that it again
raises the question of the advisability of a Supreme Court of the
Physiology of Nutrition, to try such nutrition perverters for high
treason to Mother Nature.

I will not name the book or the author, to further the advertisement.
I once stopped a controversy with the doctor-father of the author by
offering to wager him one hundred pounds that I could beat him out on
a ten mile go-as-you-please tramp, which he had mentioned as one of
his stunts to prove his contentions. Our ages were nearly equal, and
the difference of training consisted of his prescribing for himself
over 100 grams of proteid daily (less by 20 per cent. than the vicious
Voit[N] or Koenig Standards, and less by 30 per cent. than the
Standard that killed poor Professor Atwater), while I had subsisted
for years on less than half his prescription. He warned me that I was
courting death, but that he was providing for himself longevity by the
mile. He got mad with me, and nearly fumed at the mouth, because I
assumed to insist that only Mother Nature was a competent prescriber,
intimating that he was not. I could not out-talk him, and so I sent
him a challenge. He made the excuse that he was leaving for the
Continent for a rest, but would talk further with me when he returned.
His reputed forty-thousand-pound office practice of prescribing his
favourite dietaries had worn him out and he was going for a rest.
Later I heard of him in a sanatorium--surely disgraceful to a doctor to
be compelled to go to such a place for "treatment."

 [N] Carl Voit, of Munich, prescribed as Standard daily diet for a
 man doing moderate work: 118 grams of Protein, 56 grs. Fat, 500 grs.
 Carbohydrates, with a total fuel value of 3,055 large calories;
 increasing the same to 145 grams Protein, 160 grs. Fat, 450 grs.
 Carbohydrates, with a total fuel value of 3,370 large calories.
 This is the celebrated Voit Diet Standard. Professor Atwater, of
 Connecticut, went further, prescribing as Daily Diet Standard no less
 than 125 grams of Proteins, with sufficient fat and carbohydrates to
 equal a total fuel value of 3,500 large calories for a man doing a
 moderate amount of labour; increasing the amount of Protein to 150
 grams, with fats and carbohydrates to a total fuel value of 4,500
 large calories per diem.

The race, or contest, never took place, but since then I personally
have several times broken records established by men one-half, and even
one-third, of my age with progressive ease up to three years ago when
last put to a test, and I have noted no letting-up of the progress of
recuperation as judged by "feelings" or endurance when doing unusual

In this direction I now feel that I have done enough, and that it
is not for age to tempt Providence by competing with the Prime of
Muscularity in feats of strength and endurance. John L. Sullivan and
Jeffries and many more went once too often into the ring, and Mother
Nature, not Corbett or Jack Johnson, knocked them out for good and
all. Fletcherizing does not include either imprudence or bluff. It
merely trusts good Mother Nature for directions to accompany her
nutriment-medicine. Whenever at any time I feel the impulse to turn
somersaults from the lead platform of a man-of-war into good, clean
salt-water--as I did a few years ago or so in the Philippines, as a
demonstration to impress the natives--I will "up and do it, or die in
the attempt." What I am doing now more than ever is keeping my ear to
the mouth of Mother Nature, my finger on her pulse of command, and
doing her biddings as well as I can interpret them. If a thing is not
agreeable to do, I take it as a warning _not_ to do it. There are so
many useful things to do that are pleasant, what is the use of going
out of the way to do disagreeable things. There are some things that
are natural and agreeable that we should do, and which we have got
out of the habit of doing, physical exercise, for instance. We are
dealing with cultivated abnormalities always in a cramped and complex
civilisation. "We are constantly doing the things that we should not
do, and leaving undone those things that we ought to do," as the Prayer
Book tells us, including carelessness of eating, and shirking physical

To return to the callow book of the canny doctor-son of my antagonist
of a dozen years ago. It isn't so callow as it is canny, and since
the persons in the case are of the canniest of peoples, those who
are so shrewd that Jewish merchants do not thrive among them, and
the prescription results in thousands of pounds a year revenue, the
game may be set down to ordinary commercial cupidity and popular
gullibility. It is safe to always warn against Prescription for
Revenue. Like patriotism or religion for revenue, it is questionable,
if not surely selfishly prejudiced.

On the other hand, Mother Nature charges no fee for her advice. She
pays good coin as a premium for her patients in the same way that I
bribed my first test subjects into eating right by paying them for
eating in addition to furnishing the food.


who are too lazy, or incredulous, or careless, to take a month to try
the Mother Nature Prescription as interpreted by me, are liable to say:
"Appetite is abnormal. Taste is perverted, and the demands of the body
are wholly unnatural."

True! But abnormality of that sort can be corrected in a very short
time. A "poor chap" who is lucky enough to have to go without food long
enough to "whinney like a horse" at the smell of fresh-baked bread and
the thought of good Danish butter on it, is not going to "turn up his
nose" at even a crisp baked potato; neither is he likely to require
sweetbreads to coax himself to eat. Correcting perverted appetite is
like purifying a stream which is being polluted at its source and
runs muddy all the way to the sea. Stop the pollution, and the stream
will purify itself as fast as ever it can by hurrying along with its
impurities to the great ocean sewerage.



 Fletcherism and Longevity--W. E. Gladstone, Fletcherite--Fletcherizing
 Liquids--Getting the Best out of Everything--The Study of Mother-Nature

Since the term "Fletcherite" is incorporated in some of the latest
dictionaries, it is proper that the person whose name has been used for
the designation should define what constitutes a Fletcherite.

Any person who eats in a healthy manner is a Fletcherite.

Any person who eats in a polite manner is a Fletcherite.

Any person who is faithful to his end of responsibility in securing
healthy nutrition for himself is a respectable eater and a good


The above definitions are fully comprehensive, but sometimes it is more
effective to describe a thing by telling what it is not, and leaving
the remainder as an inferential description.

Following this suggestion, it is safe to say, that:

Any one who eats when he is not hungry or what his appetite does not
approve, is not a Fletcherite.

All this presupposes the ordinary opportunity for selection in
civilized communities where this book is liable to be read and where
its revelations and recommendations are most needed.

Any one who does not give his appetite a chance to guide him to healthy
nutrition is not a Fletcherite.

Any one who does not extract all of the taste from his food, while it
is in the region where taste is developed, is not a Fletcherite.

Any one who succumbs to greed of "getting the worth of his money,"
because he has paid for food, or can get food free of cost, or takes it
on the insistence of Aggressive Hospitality, or to kill time, or for
any purpose other than for the satisfaction of a real appetite, is not
a Fletcherite.


Returning to positive definition of a Fletcherite: it is a good safe
betting proposition that all persons who have passed the seventy
year-mark in the life race are Fletcherites in the fundamental
requirement of healthy eating. If they reach beyond the eighty
year-mark it is certain that they have been fairly decent eaters
for many years, even if they abused themselves earlier in life. For
example: _vide_ the autobiography of Luigi Cornaro, which was concluded
only when he was nearly one hundred years old. _Vide_ also, occasional
newspaper statements attributed to centenarians or near centenarians
who claim to have been Fletcherites before Fletcher was born. Some of
them have had the "constitution" necessary to attain the respectable
longevity and have used tobacco and alcohol at the same time, but there
is no evidence that either tobacco or alcohol lengthened their lives.
In the same category of questionably-profitable indulgences may be put
any of the stimulants or narcotics which do not actually nourish the


The Epicureans, who were true to the principles of Epicurus, were
Fletcherites, before the name of Fletcher had evolved the occupation of
arrow making and archery. Mr. Gladstone was a philosophical Fletcherite
before Fletcher discovered that he had a mouth that was worth while
studying and using, but the name did not get into the dictionary as
describing his most statesman-like inspiration.

A Fletcherite does not confine his Fletcherizing to food. He is
encouraged, by the beneficial results of careful eating, to try the
same method of co-operating with Opportunity on anything that has good
and bad possibilities in it.


For example: careful tasting of food reveals felicities of taste which
lead to seeking similar rewards wherever taste is to be found. Take
liquids: The only liquid that does not invite Fletcherizing with some
deliberation, but seems eager to get into the blood to quench thirst
is Water. If it is not pure water, soft, cool as if from a spring, and
delicious in its purity, it has an inclination to stop a little in the
mouth and give taste a chance to investigate or to get something worth
while out of it. Do not think that inanimate things have no sense of
propriety! Everything natural is as full of propriety as an "egg is
full of meat." Nature is Propriety!

Mineral waters, lemonade, beer, wine, and even milk have delicate
senses of propriety. They do not rush to be sucked up for the mere
relief of thirst, like pure water, but they linger a bit in the domain
of taste and inferentially say: "I am tasty; don't you want to taste
me: When I am swallowed my gustatory charm is dead and gone forever;
please let me leave my taste with you, good Mr. Taste."

Do not think this is a fanciful personification of the liquids which
have taste. Don't take my word for it. I am only telling you what Taste
has told me, and also told me to tell it to you. The next time you are
thirsty and have a chance to get good pure water, note if it doesn't
rush to swallow itself in about one-ounce swallows until the thirst
is satisfied. If it is too cold it will want to wait a minute to get
to the temperature of the body in the hot room of the mouth, before
rushing in to chill the stomach, and if it is too warm it will not give
the full satisfaction that spring-cool water gives, showing that Taste
has a wider usefulness than mere glorifying of sapid substances. Or: is
it Feeling that assists Taste in expressing approval or disapproval of
liquid as well as solid nutriment?


From Fletcherizing things which pass through the laboratory of the
mouth, it is most natural to call on Mother Nature in her stately
propriety to assist in getting the best and most out of everything from
a kernel of corn to the World at Large.

In the personal equipment, muscular exercise, mental discipline, and
habits of effectiveness come in at once for analysis and separation.

Outside the personality, companionship is of most vital concern, and
the wonder will be how soon the Natural Appetite for profitable
companionship will choose some dogs in preference to some human beings,
for the qualities of sympathy, approval and faithfulness that every
social being craves.

Of course, there are some companionable combinations among men that
are more satisfactory and profitable than any dumb animal can possibly
supply, but it is for the purpose of finding such combinations that the
Fletcherizing of friends is useful. There is much good in every one,
as there is in everything that Nature offers as nourishment for the
body, but everything has its Appropriate place and time, its harmonious
supplements and compliments, and this is true regarding companionships.
"What is one man's food, is another man's poison," is a truism
applicable alike to companionship and friendship. It is equally true
regarding honesty and dishonesty; truth and deceit.


The foregoing constitutes a pretty stiff proposition for the
measurement of ideal Fletcherism, but when you come to consider
that the aim is nothing less than getting as close to Mother Nature
as possible and listening to her orders relative to good team-work
between us, the contract does not seem so impossible. It was close
study of Mother Nature and her laws of gravity and resistance that led
Lilienthal, the German, to try to glide on the "wings of the wind"
with imitations of the wings of birds, and it was following Chanute's
lead that led the Wright Brothers to develop the flying-machine. It
was because of tutelage in the honest school of Mother Nature that the
Wright Brothers prefaced their first account of their "invention" by
giving the French aviator credit for the initial suggestion.

In similar manner, it was the close, objective study of the psychology
of digestion under the honest direction of Mother Nature in a somewhat
drastic form that led Pawlow, the Russian physiologist, to preface his
account of his great achievement by calling up the memory of the French
physiologist Blondlot, and telling that he had described the true
process of digestion from logical deduction fifty years before.

In like manner, Professor Cannon, of Harvard University Medical School,
insisted that dear Dr. Bowditch, his preceptor in Physiology, had laid
out for him the line of X-ray studies of the "Mechanism of Digestion,"
which has given him distinguished research fame. Getting close to
Mother Nature opens up infinite possibilities of enlightenment, and
among them cultivation of the honesty and unselfishness which she
herself typifies.



 Dietetic Righteousness--The Disgrace of Sickness--The Optimism of the

In order that there shall be no misunderstanding let us agree upon the
dictionary definition of "Decent." It is "Having propriety of conduct."

Let us also take the dictionary definition of Fletcherite, as an agreed
meaning. It is: "One who practises Fletcherism."

Fletcherism, in turn, is defined as "A method of thorough mastication
recommended by Horace Fletcher."

No self-respecting person wishes to be indecent about anything, and
especially about things that are sacred.

I use the term "Indecent" because it has an ugly look and sound. It
is more than thoughtless or careless. It is positively indecent and
nothing less. So is ugly and irreverential eating more culpable than
mere heedlessness when we come to consider what it means in the way of
consequences. It spells Indecency from the beginning to the end of the
process involved in the act.

You may have a very poor opinion of the namesake in the case, but you
must be glad that he discovered for himself that decent eating means
recuperation of health if it has been shaken: preservation of health if
it is a fortunate possession: and epicurean enjoyment that cannot be
realized in full without it.

I repeat that the term Fletcherite is not a personal monopoly but a
popular and dictionary creation. I am selfish enough to be glad that
Gladstone escaped the distinction of having his great name used as a
designation of decent eating.


When I was called upon to deliver an address before the New York
Academy of Medicine on "Possibilities of Recuperation after Fifty,"
I used a phrase of my own coining, "Dietetic Righteousness," and was
later called to account for having been irreverent in using sacred
terms in connection with food and eating. "By George!" I replied, in
righteous indignation, "Is there anything more sacred than serving
faithfully at the altar of our Holy Efficiency?" "Is there any
righteousness more respectable than that which furnishes fuel for
healthy efficiency and moral stability?" And the question may now be
repeated, "Is there?"

As for indecency: Is there any conduct having less propriety than
regarding our wonderful mouth, with its prodigious potency for
protection and pleasure, as a mere food and drink hopper for good
material, which becomes really swill in the alimentary canal if it
is not properly treated in the mouth? Can any one think of anything
more indecent than offensive odours which are the inevitable tell-tale
of indecent eating, and which are eliminated from possibility of
development if eating has been decently performed? The penance, or
even pleasure, of frequent bathing, in order that the tell-tales of
indecency may not become public, does not atone for the sinning in the
beginning. The real damage has been done in the, and to the, delicate
alimentary canal, with consequences to be realized later on in terms of
odious disease or premature death. These are the inside facts in the
case made bare by frank presentation.


I believe it was the great American philosopher, Emerson, who said that
it is "A greater disgrace to be sick than to be in the penitentiary.
When you are arrested it is because you have broken a man-made
statute, but when you are ill, it is because you have disobeyed
one of God's laws." As elsewhere remarked, it is almost impossible
in civilized surroundings not to disobey some of the natural laws:
body-ventilation, first of all; but no sinning is so dreadfully
punished as indecent eating persistently practised.

Some of the ancients believed that the mysterious Something that they
called the Soul was located in the stomach and not in the heart or
brain. There was reason for thus placing the location, because the
bad effect of unhappy thought or anything that "touches the heart" is
first felt in the stomach if it has any troubles of its own at the
moment to worry about, due to indecent haste or carelessness in eating.
To the habitual Fletcherite such double disaster does not come. Easy
digestion has been assured by beginning it in the manner required by
Mother Nature, and to arrest it by unfavourable psychic influence for
a little time does not result in the production of those poisons which
wear out the body faster than any other cause. The worst of news may
be sprung on one as a terrible surprise, and cloud the happiness for
a time without causing damage to the delicate vital organs. Thus the
misfortune, or its opposite in disguise, as the case may be, does not
set up a vicious circle of accumulating fad effects. The thorough
Fletcherite is a philosopher, with a solid foundation for his or her
faith in the Good that may be lodged in even seeming misfortune, and
the recovery from the shock of disappointment, in order to discover
the Good at next hand, is as speedy as desired. The faithful one is
ever ready to go before the bar of Death's Tribunal for the approving
judgment his dietetic righteousness is sure to secure. Good circles of
healthy cause and effect have been swirling about in the organism as
the result of faithful decent eating, and Nature or Nature's God never
fail to perpetuate the evolution of the Good.


Fairness or politeness to the part of the wonderful alimentary canal
which Mother Nature has assigned to herself to manage is nothing more
than common decency; and no privacy of privilege can ever excuse any
indecent eating. Just think of all the latitude Mother Nature has given
her favourite child man in the way of easy convenience in doing the
right thing in eating. He is not compelled to eat every few minutes to
keep himself alive, as he is compelled to do in breathing: or every
few days, as in hydrating his internal economy with moisture. Never is
he caught with his bunkers empty of food for fuel or repair material.
Be he as thin as a hatpin, comparatively, he has stored under his skin
enough nourishment to last him comfortably for a month. Neither is he
terrorised by the conventional gnawing of hunger. He is _per force_
wise as to the physiology of nourishment and his stored resources
within, and turns any impatience for his habitual rhythm of feeding
into a savings bank fund for use when convenient. He is not frightened
to death, as indecent thinkers or eaters are, by the prospect of a
fast lasting a few hours or days. He knows that he has on him and in
him enough reserve supply of nourishment in the form of visible or
interstitial fat, and other necessary supply, to last for a long time,
forty or fifty days, at least, and there is plenty of time for expected
or unexpected relief to happen. He comes to know the value of his
mechanism, and the mental and soul essence it produces and supports.
His knowledge of his own resourcefulness is sufficient to enable him
to conserve all vital strength until hoped for relief comes. Or, being
in tune with the good intentions of the Universal Life of which he is
a part, he never dreads the promotion we call death. It is merely a
station on the road of evolution, and just as sure as we are of death
and taxes, so is a faithful Fletcherite certain that he is travelling
the road of natural evolution. He has not only eaten decently in the
way of fulfilling the natural mechanical and chemical requirements in
the mouth, but he has abstained from eating when the mental state was
not favourable, and has refrained from worry when the prospect of a
meal was deferred for a little while or indefinitely. He may have been
whinnying like a healthy horse in anticipation of revelling in the
delights of delicious taste, and yet is not filled with disappointment
at the postponement of the expected pleasure if the dinner appointment
is upset or delayed.

This quite Utopian possibility of stable equanimity is the assured
result of consistent decent eating, and thinking relative to
nutrition. It is the constitution and bye-laws of Fletcherism.

As a natural presumption, when decency in one direction leads to such
delightful fruition, the opposite of it, indecency, must swing its
pendulum to the extent of its full scope in the contrary direction,
and it does, for compensation is one of the laws of Nature that must
be fulfilled. It is true that Nature is always trying to accommodate
herself to any abuse. She may permit being so much accustomed to it
that the punishment of it at the moment is not noticed. She even
encourages the acceleration of the vicious circle that leads to
momentary bankruptcy of resistance, penitence, and reform, as in the
case of "bilious attacks." The man who takes his daily or hourly
prescription of alcoholic stimulant is permitted to believe that if
a little seems good, more should be better until he is landed under
the table. He becomes more and more efficient in "standing" the
abuse until "under the table" means "under the sod." The abuses have,
however, been just as disagreeable to Normality all the way along as
the first drop of alcohol was distasteful to the infant in arms. So,
too, with tobacco, in a less violent form.

Faithful practice of decent eating reverses the order of progress.
Normality of taste is the new direction taken. Appetite is given a
chance to discriminate, and it chooses simple food, having the chemical
constituents required by the body at the moment. It accommodates itself
to the daily activity, and can be trusted as the only completely-wise
prescriber of what food to take, and how much of it the body can
utilize just then.

Herein lies the value of decent respect for Appetite in securing
optimum digestion and nutrition. It does not treat all persons
alike because no two persons can be alike. Infinite variety is the
fundamental law of Nature. Some persons are born to carry more fat
than others. To try to keep them thin is a sin against the natural
intention. To allow them to become too fat is also a sin. Strictly
decent eating settles this question in conjunction with the sort and
amount of activity that the particular person is intended by his or her
"Hereditary Tendency" to exert.



 Tramp Reform--A Remarkable Man--How to Enjoy Wine--Fletcherism
 as a Cure for Morbid Cravings--A Trial of Fletcherism and its
 Results--Fletcherism as First Aid

Now we come to a phase of the merits of Fletcherism which has already
furnished an abundance of evidence to its credit. In my first
experiment, not yet under academic supervision, with no laboratory
measurements wherewith to describe the results in chemical terms, I
was dealing with a company of ordinary tramps picked up in the streets
of Chicago. They simply ate what they chose to order from the bill of
fare of a cheap restaurant, but were told to chew everything for all
it was worth, which they made no objection to doing. Time was of no
value to them, and they really discovered new delights of gustatory
pleasure which they had not known before. Tramps are generally
persons of resourcefulness and have a cultivated appreciation. Their
resourcefulness consists chiefly of being able to live without working,
and their appreciation is made keen by the lottery of chance in seeking
to get something for which they give nothing.

My tramps were beery and bleery as tramps generally are, but not so
dirty; for I paid for baths, washing, and in some instances furnished
clothing. Besides supplying these luxuries, I gave them occasionally a
big silver dollar which they called a "cart wheel."

It was surprising to see these degenerates freshen up in appearance and
lose their blotchiness and greasiness of facial appearance. I knew how
to talk to them to get their confidence, and they looked on me as just
another "freak" like themselves, but with some kind of a money "pull."

There were fat and thin among them, and it was a matter of surprise
that after a little some of the thin got stouter and the fat fell off
in weight at the same time. One of them was a belligerent socialist and
the author of a well-known book which had quite a vogue in the earlier
history of present-day socialism.

Up to the time I began my own experiment, I had been a social drinker
of alcohol in all forms to the full extent of "gentlemanly decency,"
with occasional slips when near the outer edge that made me ashamed of
myself after I got sober again. I am now more ashamed than ever when
I am reminded of my early foolishness, but since my experiences are
being turned to good account I forgive myself. Not only were social
occasions an excuse, but I often ordered the social occasions to serve
as an excuse. I had never resorted to snake-bites to give legitimate
excuses, but I so crowded my resources in this direction that at one
time I held the "record," for the community in which I lived, for what
was called "hollowness of legs and steadiness of head," and so much was
this "strength of character" valued in that community in America, that
one was supposed to take pride in holding the record.

The result of my own pursuit of thorough tasting of my food had been
that my own ponderosity of front weight fell off, and at the same time
I had no desire for wine or beer. It was all a surprise to me, but it
was not an amazing surprise until one day one of my tramp guests came
to me and said: "Boss, this eatin' game is great; think of me with a
dollar in my pocket and not wantin' beer."

In a short time I forgot that I had ever liked wine or beer. It never
occurred to me to order it except for a guest, and then I took it with
him, or, rather them, for there were usually several or many at my
eating parties, but in the Fletcherian manner which is so eminently
Epicurean that a few sips went as far as a half-bottle used to do.
Here is an important point in profitable economics that any one can
demonstrate for himself at once and not rely on my sayso, or that of
any one else. Later on I will tell how to do it. The secret is worth
its weight in gold as an Epicurean prize as well as a money-saver. I
have to tell, a little further on, of a very large experiment which
came as a surprise also. It was in a section of country, and among a
class of people, where to escape from the toils of the drink demon is
nothing short of a miracle.


But before I relate this climaxic experience I will once more refer
to one of the most remarkable men I have had the pleasure of meeting.
His case covers more sides of healthy variety than that of almost any
one, but he has even a better showing in some respects than any. He
is an M.D.; a Ph.D.; an Sc.D.; an A.M.; and a P.H.D.; which last is
the "stiffest exam." of them all. He is a champion athlete; the father
of an all-round college champion; and as graceful a gymnast as any
one ever saw do the "Giant Swing" on the horizontal bar. He is also a
grandfather and now past fifty.

This was his experience in 1902 or 1903, in connection with my being
called to New Haven to submit to examination under the supervision
of Professor Chittenden. It is Dr. Anderson to whom I refer, and he
permits my stating his experience as often as I like for the good it
will do. My expression of appreciation of his academic and athletic
accomplishments is all my own and not authorized.

When I was turned over to Dr. Anderson for physical examination in the
Yale gymnasium, my fitness was surprising to him as he has stated in
his reports. He was also ripe for the reasonableness of my revelations.
He seemed to me to be in the "pink of condition" himself, and he was
so, as "pink" was judged at the time, for a man of his age.

Dr. Anderson tried more careful mastication than usual, and paid more
attention to the thorough enjoyment of his food with the same pleasant
results that come to everybody when making the trial, no matter how
moderate and temperate they have been before. It is equivalent to
putting a little keener edge on appetite than usual. Children and even
fine ladies will perk up a little when they are conscious of being
noticed, and the human senses are human in more ways than one.

Dr. Anderson was pleased with the revelation as a pleasure promoter,
but did not notice that he was forgetting to take his daily
prescription of stimulant. He was a medical man, past forty, beginning
to slack up a little in his elasticity and strength. He was reaching
that age when even the most temperate and careful begin to be a little
lenient with themselves. His doctor friends were in the habit of
prescribing a little stimulant to counter-balance this expected decline
in energy and he took their advice. It was the medical fad of the

At first, Dr. Anderson ordered for himself one small drink of good
medicinal whisky a day, and the effect was as expected. By and bye,
however, a little more was needed, and this increasing demand continued
its insistence until three drinks were no more efficacious than one had
been at first. When I was introduced to him he had begun on his fourth
drink daily, and yet burned it up in his exercise without feeling it

A couple of weeks after he began to check up my test by personal
experience, which is the only scientific way, he all at once
remembered, one day, that he had forgotten to take his whisky, and yet
he was fitter than usual. I had not mentioned my own experience in this
regard to him, I believe, as when we were together he kept me busy with
the exercises of the 'Varsity crew, and I had little chance to give
him accounts of my full experience. Besides, it did not occur to me
that it would interest him who seemed to be moderation and temperance
personified. And so he was, according to the scientific estimate of
the time, but Nature has another standard of temperance, and under her
strict guidance very little but good spring water is needed or desired.


To illustrate this and also suggest a way of letting Mother Nature
prove that I represent her correctly in this important matter, I will
give an account of an actual happening.

I was lecturing in Buffalo, New York, in America, and was invited to
address the members of the sumptuous Buffalo Club. I dwelt especially
on Fletcherizing as a means of getting the good and the best out of
food and drink, and yet for little cost, and at the close of the
lecture a dozen or more of the audience asked me to demonstrate my
point as above. I was happy to do this, and called for a pint of the
choicest still wine, with cordial glasses. The request caused a smile
among some of my hosts who were proud of being "one bottle" consumers.

When the wine came I poured out half a cordial glass as the portion
I selected for myself and recommended the same prescription for the
others, as a "starter." Then I breathed and sipped my delicious
grape-juice, as I had learned to do from the professional wine-tasters
on the Rhine, in Germany, and in the Burgundy region, in France. The
others did the same, and seemed to get unusual satisfaction from both
the _bouquet_ and the taste.

What happens is this: You sense the wine by means of the olfactories
as you would breathe in the odour of a delicately perfumed flower.
Taste is excited and becomes jealous of Smell. You give Taste a taste.
Something more subtle than taste; a sort of aroma, so to speak, spreads
over the head. You feel the taste of the delicacy up around the
temples, and the sensation is delightful in the extreme, fading slowly
away but leaving a lovely memory impression.

Then you take another sip, and the sensation is about the same, and
so on for a sip or two more, when the supremest delicacy of the wine
ceases to express itself. Two or three sips more, and the wine no
longer tastes good. Carried further, in this appetite-respecting
manner, there will be a desire to spit out the sips, and there is no
temptation to drink them.

Professional wine-tasters are supposed never to _drink_ wine. After
tasting it they spit out the remnant from which the taste has been
exhausted. Tea tasters and beer tasters and special food tasters do the
same in order to preserve their keen taste discrimination.

There is just as definite Swallowing Sense and Expectorating Sense
as there is Taste Sense. There is just as strong Appetite Sense for
proteid, when the body is short of it, as there is thirst-demand for
water for the rehydration of the body. The Senses have sense!

Returning to the Buffalo Club experiment in demonstrating Epicurean
Temperance: The half-bottle of wine gave more satisfaction to the dozen
or more members of the Club who participated in the experiment than any
of them knew was possible.


It is not necessary to supply expensive wine for the complete
satisfaction of the most delicate epicureanism if Fletcherizing is
employed as an habitual cream-separating means. The cream of common
wheat bread, and of anything that the normalized appetite favours, is
as satisfying when the body is in need of what it contains as are drops
of the most costly Johannisberger of the rarest vintages, and nothing
but water thoroughly quenches real thirst.

The "testimonials" of one sort and another, including letters and
verbal account, attesting to the effect of natural eating on abnormal
desires or cravings, number thousands. The reform has not been the
result of suggestion, although in some cases suggestion has assisted
the cure of intemperate yearnings. Not alone has craving for alcoholic
stimulant been abated, but in other ways morbidity has been corrected,
and I as well as some medical men I know, have received grateful
acknowledgment of the happiness secured by the natural sloughing off of
weaknesses or passions which had been a source of self-hatred. Think
what immunity from such baneful possibilities means to youth of both


The very large test of Fletcherism as a temperance expedient
hereinbefore referred to was entirely accidental. It occurred in a
community of students of a missionary college in Tennessee.

The institution is conducted under religious auspices, the sect
supporting it being that called "Seventh-Day Adventists." The buildings
are on a large farm, and most of the students earn their board and
tuition by doing farm work. Many subsist by what is called "boarding
themselves," that is: purchasing raw food and doing their own cooking.
To assist in this independence there is a commissary where everything
needed is bartered or sold.

One of the prominent persons in the Adventist denomination is Dr.
Kellog, Superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanatorium, who from the
beginning has been one of the most ardent advocates and teachers
of Fletcherism, and to whom is largely due the permanency of its
designation as "Fletcherism."

During a visit to the Tennessee institution, Dr. Kellog so successfully
preached the merits of natural eating, that all the students were
induced to give it a trial as a health and economic measure.

The trial was conducted under observation for six months, when an
accounting was made. During the six months the drafts on the commissary
had been a trifle less than half what they formerly had been, and at
the same time the community had been free from the usual "seasonable"
and bilious complaints or illnesses. No one had been cured of a craving
for alcohol, for the reason that all were teetotalers on principle,
but the sheer economy and healthfulness of the results obtained
were of prodigious importance to young persons "working their way
through college." The amount of the benefit can be imagined when it
is considered that they needed to work less on the farm to earn their
food because the food-bill was much reduced. The time saved from work
was available for study, and the increase of energy and immunity from
sickness added enormously to the average student ability.

One day there was brought to the institution on a stretcher a poor chap
of the neighbourhood, crazy with delirium tremens. In the infirmary of
the college emergency patients were received, as part of the missionary
training is medical.

The sorry dipsomaniac was sobered-up in the usual way and instructed
in the process of Fletcherizing. He took kindly to it, as all do who
have been dietetic sinners, and the result was the same as with the
beery and bleery tramp mentioned in the early part of this chapter. He
lost his "taste" for "booze" and continued the incident by becoming a
worker on the place and a sound temperance example.

Here is a revelation worth while to the missionary workers. Their
field of service was the mountain districts of their State and the
neighbouring State of North Carolina, which are famous for their
moonshine whisky stills. The whisky distilled in the mountains does
not pay any Internal Revenue tax if it can be avoided, and hence the
stills are hidden in deep forests and operated by the light of the
moon. The inhabitants of these lawless regions are the poorest of the
poor and call down the contempt of the negroes. They are called "poor
white trash," and moonshine whisky that will kill at fifty yards is
responsible for much of the poverty and trashiness. They are as good
marks for missionary sympathy as any "heathen" the world can produce
anywhere. I have been among them all and I assure you, these listless
and luckless inebriates of the poor white trash regions are the most


As soon as the incident of the victim of delirium tremens had been
measured at its full significance, it dawned upon the missionaries
that Fletcherism was to be their most potent assistant in curing
the mountaineers of their vices and preparing them for religious
instruction. They were won over to the ideal of Dietetic Corpoculture
as "First Aid to the Injured" in establishing Temperance on a sound

Thus it was that the graduated missionaries introduced themselves
to their charges by building simple ovens of road-side stones in
rail-fence corners, as field surveyors might do, and invited those who
came along to feed with them.

There is never any trouble in securing guests at a feed anywhere,
and it is extremely easy among the poor to whom free food means less
work and more leisure. It is easy, too, to get the ears and attention
of guests at meals who would like to be invited again. It is also
easy to teach Fletcherizing to youthful dinner-guests, as Madame La
Marquise de Chamberay and I found out in connection with our East Side
investigation in New York.[O]

 [O] This reference is to an unique experiment in New York, account
 of which will sometime be published under the title of "Parties of
 Politeness," a name suggested by the little guests themselves.

The result of this strategy on the part of the Tennessee missionaries
was reported to a meeting at the Battle Creek Sanatorium, and the
summary of the good attained up to that time was as follows: More than
a thousand persons were saving an average of $3.00 a month on the cost
of their sustenance, and were temperance converts through the sloughing
off of all desire for their moonshine product. Think of a saving from
sheer waste of $3,000 a month ($36,000 a year) to a community where
$1,000 is considered to be a princely fortune, and a saving of a
thousand human units from the scrap-heap of worse than death!



 Gluttony and Avoirdupois--Contentment--Fletcherism and Political

While it is true that "Variety is the spice of life," and that an
appetising variety of plain food is more tempting than a monotony of
the most highly-spiced dishes, every tendency of modern menus is a
menace to health, and the only way to counteract the menace is to be
especially careful in observing the rules of Epicurean Economy.

If the soup is particularly good, there is a temptation to go on and
completely satisfy the appetite on it. It requires the restraint of
civilized suppression to keep from following the example of Oliver
Twist, calling for more and more till the supply or appetite is

Then comes the fish: Who can resist accepting a generous helping
of this course, served in any one of the dozens of styles that are
familiar to the patrons of French restaurants? And how hard it is to
refrain from cleaning up the plate in a hurry so that none of it will
be whisked away by the waiter to make room for course number three.

Nothing has been said of the Hors d'oeuvres of the French menu, or
the Ris Tavel of the Dutch East Indian gorge, or the Smoer Gose of a
Scandinavian "Spread." A fairly ravenous person, given time enough, and
with no one looking, can be counted on to make a "square meal" on these
"appetizers" alone before the soup is announced.

Mention of the "_Roast_," the "_Entrées_," the "_Légumes_," the
"_Dessert_," and a bewildering variety of cheeses to be followed by
fruit, nuts and raisins, with several different wines, cordials,
coffee, and cigars or cigarettes on the side. Even mention of them is
likely to cause psychic indigestion.

If one goes to a restaurant with a quarto, gilt-top appetite, and scans
one of the monster, modern, mixed menus for a suggestion of what he
shall order, he will, undoubtedly, see five or six items that will
appeal to his imagination as "just the thing"; and if the cost is no
special reason for restraint, he will put down on his order list twice
or three times as much as he can possibly eat in order to be as many
kinds of a _fam dool_ as he can be at the moment.

This is not an unreasonable or fantastic illustration of the menace of
a multiple menu and a colossal appetite in convenient conjunction. It
is said that an amorous lover has neither conscience nor discretion.
This may sometimes be the case; but it is always a sure betting
proposition that an opulent, ravenously-hungry person will measure off
with his eager eyes much more than his tummy can possibly hold.

Then follows the inclination of the average human being to "get his
money's worth," even if he "must die for it." This is not alone a human
characteristic exaggerated in sumptuously-civilized communities, but it
is an animal trait as well. If a racehorse is turned out in a field of
clover that stands as high as his neck, he will very likely eat himself
to death. Likewise, if a little child, with the animal characteristics
uppermost, is given a bag of sweets, he will be sure to want to put
himself securely outside of the whole bag-full in the shortest time
possible, so that he will make certain that no one will take it away
from him.


The menace of the munificent menu also leads to the uncomfortable
acquisition of surplus avoirdupois. On some persons it has quite the
opposite effect, however. The writer remembers that it was a tradition
in his college that the thinnest man of a class was always the biggest
glutton. Each year, a prize of a combination knife, fork, and spoon,
was given to the grossest eater of the junior class. Within my memory
the recipient was always a very thin and cadaverous fellow.

As a matter of fact, the hardest work done by the body is performed
within the body. It is the work of digestion, general metabolism, and
the constant and never-ceasing pumping of the blood through hundreds of
miles of veins and arteries. If this work is measured in terms of heat
units thrown off (calories) the internal activity of the body is as two
to three parts of the whole heat energy released into the surrounding

It is quite possible to increase this heat expense by 20 to 50 per
cent. by merely overloading the stomach a little, and crowding the
mechanism of metabolism to its utmost. Sometimes the crowding is
carried so far that the organism cannot stand it; sometimes bursts;
and, there you are--dead.


The supremest felicity is not wanting anything. If one cannot think of
a single thing in the wide, wide world, not even oblivion, that they
would have in addition to what they are enjoying at the moment, their
cup of contentment is full.

In regard to eating, to have Fletcherized a few morsels of the finest
food that anyone's mother ever made, until there is no desire for more,
and yet the contentment is of that calm sort that indicates that there
is no overloading of the stomach, is gastronomic Heaven, and it carries
with it a blanket of general contentment that covers the universe.

On the other hand, to have eaten unwisely, as the result of animal
voracity, over-estimate of capacity, and greed of getting outside of
all that must be paid for, or, in slavish deference to aggressive
hospitality, is Hell from the finish of the meal until the finish of
the "spell of sickness" that may follow the gorge. It were almost
possible to sink into the depths of such gluttony on any one, two or
three of the best dishes possible to imagine; only a modern multiple
mixed menu is liable to bring this degradation, and hence the menace of

Suppose, again, you are framing up a business deal, and have a customer
"on the string." The best way to get at his heart and pocket-book is
through the sociability accompanying a sumptuous meal.

You seek a Princess' Restaurant, a Ritz-Carlton or a Waldorf, and make
a spread of your Epicurean generosity, your bank account, and your
business web or net. If you insist on filling your guests full of
everything, you must set the example. Results: Similar in all cases.

Science is not even secure against the temptation of the monumental
menu. The writer has known the citadel of scientific conservatism
to be captured by five-dollar still-wine and fifty-cent cigars, as
accompaniments of six-course dinner-dreams. This, too, in the interest
of an Epicurean Economy that put all of the academic teachings in the
back-number list, and favored fifty-cent banquets with nary a cigar to
top off the feast.


It may be argued that the waste attendant on sumptuous living is the
most prolific means of keeping money in circulation: of putting bread
into the mouth of the servant class: and that Spartan simplicity would
throw the world back two thousand years in the civilized progress it
has made.

That might be true of some forms of sumptuousness, but not as to the
wanton waste of food through the temptations of magnificent menus.
Food is the realest of all forms of wealth. Scarce ever a grain of
wheat or kernel of corn is wasted. The story of the Englishman who
visited Kansas, and from there took home to London a colossal joke
at the expense of corn and Kansas, illustrates the permanence and
indestructibility of food wealth.

Riding through the State, with a native Kansan, an English
globe-trotter wondered at the endless fields of yellow "maize." He
called it maize, but the Kansan called it "corn."

"What in the world do you do with all this maize?" said the mobilized
Cockney. "Oh, that is easy," replied the native: "We eat what we can
and we _can_ what we can't."

In due season this strange answer was interpreted to the visitor and he
determined to can the joke for serving up at his club in London.

Arriving in England, the joker made deliberate preparations to open his
can of Kansas corn to the best effect. He invited a set of chappies to
dine with him and the _pièce de résistance_ was Kansas canned corn.

Having engineered the matter to the right point of curiosity, the host
told the story of his visit to Kansas and finally exploded his _finale_
in this wise: "Do you know, these Americans out in the West are a jolly
lot. They have a dry sort of wit, too. I was travelling in company with
one of them through the State of Kansas, which is the great maize State
of the country. They don't call it maize, however, they call it corn,
and what we call corn they call wheat. Well, I was amazed at the miles
and miles of maize--no pun intended and no apology needed--and asked my
companion whatever in the world they did with it all. And what do you
think he said: He said, 'We eat what we can and the rest we put up in

It took the perpetrator of the joke another week to find out why no
one laughed, and spoiled everything by still waiting for the point
after the real explosion took place: and no international incident is
recorded in the history of that day.

Yes, the really most vital wealth is stored in the food treasuries.
Profusion of it carries down the prices and this raises wages by
comparison. There is always a spot-cash market for food at some price,
which is not the case with many other forms of property.

But the waste of the food material itself is insignificant compared to
the waste of energy that must take place to get rid of it, the moment
it is swallowed and beyond personal responsibility. The transportation
of a carload of wheat by rail from Saskatchewan to the Atlantic
seaboard by rail and across the ocean by steamer is small as compared
with the expense of getting a mouthful of bolted bread through an
alimentary canal that is congested with indigestion.



 The Value of Occasional Fasting--The Power of Freedom from
 Indigestion--Muscles have Memories

Almost everybody eats with sufficient care most of the time; otherwise,
all would be on the sick-list _all_ the time and the death-rate would
be increased enormously.

Whatever sickness, depression, weakness and other illnesses there are
now are the result of occasional carelessness only.

The remedy for lapses from carefulness is knowledge of what the natural
requirements are, and training the muscles and functions employed in
nutrition to work always with careful deliberation and never allow
themselves to be hurried with their work.

It should also be made a habit


without a keen appetite. This involves knowing how to recognise a
true appetite and also how to detect a false craving. Waiting for a
healthful call for food, for any length of time, can do no harm, and
should not cause any discomfort or inconvenience; but exciting a false
desire and taking food before the body is "good and ready" for it,
starts trouble brewing at once.

If the worst results of premature or hurried eating were immediately
felt, no one would get in the habit of sinning in this manner. Like
auto-intoxication from excess of alcohol, poisoning from unnecessary or
unwelcome food--either an excess of it or when taken untimely--is an
aftermath of unhealthy stimulation or exhilaration.

The crux, then, of dietetic righteousness, or, Fletcherism, is
habituating the body to practise that Eternal Vigilance, which is


It should be much easier to instal a habit of carefulness than it is
to permit habits of carelessness. It is possible so to sensitize the
muscles which control swallowing that they will refuse to act and will
cause choking if an attempt to swallow prematurely is made. Systematic
attention to this detail of care for a week will secure it as a
permanent habit without need of any further attention to it.

The statement that it is easier to do the right thing than it is to do
the wrong thing: and that it is easier to fix firmly good habits than
it is to acquire bad habits, will probably be questioned or disputed by
many; but practice of the principles which underlie Fletcherism will
cure such pessimism relative to the attitude of Mother Nature towards
her most perfect product in general, Man.

Man is given more liberty and more license than any other natural
expression and, with the endowment which we call "intelligence," he is
raised to a position of partnership in assisting natural evolution and

From inklings of experience it is reasonably inferred that Man is more
susceptible to evolutionary influence than any of the animal kind;
that he can ever progressively train himself towards higher and higher
supermanhood; that he is able to perform marvels in taming and training
other animals and in perfecting plant life to prodigious proportions.
He is even "gifted" to the extent of overcoming, harnessing, and
using at will the "forces of Nature," and dispelling the mysteries.
He can only do this, however, by co-operating with Nature in the most
intelligent and faithful manner.

To ascertain Nature's requirements of preferences it is necessary to
begin with the first essentials of care, the nutrition of the body
and the management of the mind. These basic essentials are the first
concern of Fletcherism and really the crux of the Scientific Management
of the Highest Efficiency.

One of the most important discoveries in the development of Fletcherism
is the fact that


The usefulness of this discovery rests in the knowledge that it is
possible to make the muscles connected with nutrition commit to
memory the sequences of procedure in the processes of nutrition which
accomplish the most profitable results, and then pass on to other
details of responsibility care-free and thought-free, fully confident
that everything will go on as Nature would have it go.

Without beginning this discipline of the muscular equipment at
the right point and in the right manner, no solid structure of
Efficiency-Building can be secured. Any amount of indigestion, or
unnecessary strain put upon metabolism, interferes with the smooth
working of the organism in the same way that an infinitesimal weight
put at the tip end of the long arm of a lever multiplies the burden of
resistance at the short end many, many fold.

Therefore, the Crux of Fletcherism is found in first training the
muscular and mental apparatus to proceed with thorough deliberation
relative to every thing taken into the body; for from this intake, and
especially from the manner of the handling of this material along the
line of the alimentary canal, come efficiency or inefficiency.

It is first necessary to know what you want the muscles to habituate
themselves to doing in connection with nutrition. They must learn
to know what constitutes a true appetite, in contradistinction to
indefiniteness of want or desire. The muscles will soon learn to know
that real hunger (body need) is not expressed by any uncomfortable
feelings below the guillotine line. Only in the head, where the
senses are all bunched together for the most important team-work, is
honest hunger sensed. We may rightly add to the list of the senses,
Appetite, and trust it with confidence to tell us what the body can use
to advantage of the foods available at the time. That the foods are
appetizing is the only recommendation necessary to a set of muscles
trained to treat them as Nature requires when they enter the laboratory
of the mouth.

Connected with the training of the mouth-muscle outfit, there is the
one standing order. Challenge everything applying for entrance, whether
by special invitation or in the way of surprise, by testing it for
taste-acceptability at the tip of the tongue. Then keep on tasting and
testing, with reverential appreciation of the gustatory delight there
is in it, in the full knowledge that both digestion and assimilation,
which are the prime necessities of nutrition, are healthfully
stimulated by accentuated enjoyment.

It is not necessary to dwell intensively on sensual enjoyment of
the material being automatically handled by the methodical muscles.
The pleasant sense sensations surrounding taste may serve as an
accompaniment to agreeable conversation, to the delight of beauty in
any form, to flowers, to music, to graceful and vivacious femininity,
or to any sort of charm, with added strength given to the effect on
wholesome nutrition.

So much for the usefulness of the mouth-muscles, including that most
wonderful of muscles, the tongue, in assisting in the healthful
stimulation of nutrition. Their most important office is to stand
guard against the contingencies that are liable to happen which are
prejudicial to digestion. If there is worry in the atmosphere: "Don't
let anything into the mouth on pain of court-martial and suffering!"
Those are the "orders of the day" for the sentinel muscles of the
mouth, serving at the outer entrance of the alimentary canal.

In the category of "worry" are included anger, argument, blues, or any
other of the depressant passions, and no food or drink, other than
water, should be admitted to the canal while any form of depressants
are being suffered.

We must agree in the first place that it can do no harm to wait for
a clearance of the mental atmosphere. Real hunger is not a painful
craving for something or anything, but is a most accommodating waiter
for final collection of all the taste dividends there are due in
a big lump sum to compensate for not getting them by instalments.
Consequently, if the mental atmospheric conditions are not favourable
to the best nutrition, the best way to clear them is to wait. Nothing
is so forceful in making one modify or forget passing clouds of pain
or disappointment as growing healthy Hunger.

The mouth-muscles soon learn to know this beautiful provision of
Mother Nature, whereby deferred collections by appetite are paid with
compound interest sometimes sure, if by the waiting process the mental
atmosphere is cleared of the elements of digestive lightning and

How delightful it is to be assured that the best way to secure the best
nutrition is the easiest way and that it can be quickly installed as a
habit, so that attention to the mechanics of the care is not necessary,
leaving the whole battery of appreciation to employ itself with the
gustatory festival.



 The Danger of Excess of Protein--The Use of Meat and Uric Acid--To Sum
 Up--Profitable Economy

In the warfare against the "Demons of Dietetic Disturbances" most of
the volunteer recruits go into the camp of the _Mealers_, that is,
they become vegetarians, _quasi_-vegetarians, or partial vegetarians,
and array themselves against human carnivorous habits and practices.
They are comparatively few in numbers, but make up in enthusiasm what
they lack in numerical strength. Some of them base their objection
to meat-eating on physiological grounds, others on sentimental
susceptibility, and yet others are influenced by reasons of economy.

With world-wide and centuries-old evidence before me in forming an
opinion, I say without hesitation that the weight of argument is in
favour of a meatless diet most, if not all, of the time, and that all
who subsist on the first-hand fruits of the soil and do not resort to
cannibalism, except in cases of emergency, are on the safer side.


To mention the greatest danger from using meat for nutrition first,
we find it almost impossible to eat most meats without taking into
the organism more protein (nitrogen) than is required for repair of
the broken-down tissues; and we now know that any excess of protein
or nitrogen imposed upon the body is not good for it. Large excess is
positively deadly in its final effects, and many, if not all of the
so-called uric-acid troubles or diseases are traced to such abuse.

Not only are the kidneys worn out long before their time, but high
blood-pressure is one of the baleful results that lead to untimely
demise. To be sure, persons are reported to have lived to near or
quite an hundred years of age as habitual _meat_ers, but their
occupations or activities have been favourable to burning up the dregs
of metabolism, and the belief is reasonable that if they had not been
thus self-abusing during the first century of their life they might
have gone quite a piece into the second century with their matured
experience, example, and wisdom, serving the world to good advantage.


That meat is an emergency expedient in the natural nutrition of man is
pretty certain. Strictly speaking, we are all of us subsisting on meat
all of the time, but it is only _one degree removed from the vegetable
kingdom_, when we ingest only the first fruits of the soil, as
vegetarians do, and make meat of it within us. The vegetable nutriment
is transformed into our own flesh and blood in the form of fat
chiefly, and then is used to furnish whatever heat and repair material
we happen to need. When second-hand, already dead and decomposing meat
is eaten and thus used for life-giving purposes, it is really not
only second-hand supply but third-hand material. For instance, we may
subsist exclusively on vegetable or farinaceous material and get our
repair or fuel supply from such sources only. The result is, in part,
the forming of the walls of our own stomach. These walls are meat.
Should we turn into cannibals, devouring each other as the Pacific (?)
Islanders used to treat missionaries and enemies, the stomach walls
become tripe and are easily digestible. While they were live walls,
holding in place glands secreting powerful gastric juice, they resisted
the digestive aggression of their own juice, but the moment they were
separated from their own living combination, quite similar gastric
juice digested them as quickly as it does the white meat of a pet
chicken. It is physiologically possible to cut out a part or the whole
of our own stomach, and then devour and digest it as tripe in the small

Hence it is that we are all _meat_ers, perforce, but not all of us are
third-degree-removed cannibals. What we call "pure vegetarians" are
only second-hand _meat_ers.

I am indebted to the distinguished champion tennis-player,
diet-reformer, and restaurator Eustace Miles, for the name "Meaters"
to designate those who eat meat; and I have coined the term "Mealers"
to stand for those who take only first-hand earth-fruit products for
their nutrition, disregarding the fact that all are _meal_ers who
take _meals_ of victuals. To offset this addition to the vocabulary,
it would do no harm to drop off the use of "Meals" and "Victuals,"
leaving "Meal" to mean only one thing; viz., ground cereals or

 [P] It is not outside the province of Fletcherism to Fletcherize our
 vocabulary and make it as single-meaning as possible in the interest
 of simplicity. The term "Fletcherize" is already commonly used to
 suggest analysis and digestion of crude raw material other than food,
 and has come into use in literary circles with especial usefulness.
 Young reporters on newspapers are often told by editors to take their
 "copy" in hand and "Fletcherize" it before handing it in for printing.
 Even such a judicial person as Mayor Gaynor, of New York, had recourse
 recently to such advice relative to evidence, but he called it by a
 name of his own not yet in common use.

One of the details of carefulness in Fletcherism is expressed in the
statement that we should not _pro_scribe as food anything that Nature
permits to be utilized as food; but the same carefulness prescribes
that we do not _pre_scribe it as food for everybody all of the time.
Everything in its proper time and place is one of the common-sense
rules of the system.

Captain Amundsen and his comrades, as I have already observed, were
quite justified in devouring their faithful and friendly sledge dogs
when necessary to preserve their own lives. I have the acquaintance
of a collie dog whom I love devotedly; and I say "whom" appropriately
because he is as intelligent as I am, and far more consistent in his
habits of orderliness and naturalness. He is a real gentleman at all
times and as good a Fletcherite when the food substance and occasion
demand as I am. He has learned to eat and enjoy apples and no one could
give more careful mouth-treatment to some sorts of food than Bruce. I
am sure that he would want me to eat him if I needed him to preserve my
life, just as unselfishly as the Japanese soldiers, and more recently
the Balkanese soldiers, gave their lives for their causes. Whether I
would eat him or not I cannot say, and I do not know if he would have
similar consideration or otherwise for me.

I merely use this illustration as an aside in consideration of the
question of flesh eating on emergency or sentimental grounds. Nature
permits Bruce and me to eat each other, and if we managed it skilfully
we could attack each other's extremities at the same time, as long as
we did not encroach on our vital machinery, and really eat each other
up, as young lovers would like to do.

Thus much for sentiment. We are subsisting on ourselves all of the
time; we can nourish ourselves at the expense of each other if we will.

We can eat human flesh as nourishingly as we can a Spring chicken,
and if we do not know what we are eating, Nature will say us never
"No," but there are other considerations more practical for every-day
consideration. These are: physiological and economic expediency.


In the thorough investigation that Dr. Hindhede, of Copenhagen, has
conducted for the past few years, and in which I have assisted, I
have followed the quest with eagerness because of the thoroughness of
it. It has been proven that very little protein or nitrogen is needed
for the human body even under strain of hardest physical or mental
activity. On the other hand, it has been found that any appreciable
excess of protein or nitrogen results in both uric acid secretion and
increased blood-pressure, meaning, in all probability, finally fatal
strain on the organism. It has also been demonstrated that it is almost
impossible to take the leaner meats without getting more protein or
nitrogen than the body needs.

It is quite easy to get excessive protein and nitrogen from vegetable,
farinaceous, and hen-fruit material, and cheeses are richer than
anything in these "strong" food ingredients; but these are not such
subtle foolers of the appetite as meats done up in spicy gravies and
accompanied by appetising fats.

I purposely avoid giving any figures relative to the food values under
mention because the first rule of Fletcherism in connection with the
selection and intake of food is to leave that entirely to appetite,
working intelligently and normally in relation to the food that is
available at the moment.

To my thinking, the most important consideration is economy, not alone
of the money cost of food, but economy of energy-consumption within
the body. There may be times when economy of money-cost means much
to persons struggling to lay aside an independent competency for the
purchase of leisure in old age, or for insurance against becoming a
burden upon others; and this is sure to happen to all who are not
cursed by the handicap of money inheritance. But it is the internal
economy of the body that counts for most in estimating values. There
is no doubt but what flesh food is a stimulant of the same or similar
character of alcohol. Both of these subtle agents of intemperance
invite the starting and accumulation of vicious cycles or circles
(swirls) of over-stimulation that have one bad effect, at least, on the
comfort and efficiency of the muscular tissues. They facilitate fatigue
and "that tired feeling," and also may result in contingent "soreness"
of muscle after unusual exercise.

Faithful Fletcherizing has resulted in regulating these matters in a
way that is nothing less than marvellous until the reasons are revealed.

Not only does observance of the habit and practice which Mr.
Rockefeller has condensed into thirty-three words, including several
repetitions for emphasis, result in settling the questions of
appropriateness, economy, emergencies, and comfort in general between
the _Meat_ers and the _Meal_ers; between the mixed _Meat_ers and
_Meal_ers; and between the Physiology and Psychology of normality;
and which Mr. Rockefeller calls "Fletcherizing," but a whole lot of
beneficent cycles or circles (rhythms) of profitable felicities are set
in motion.


The _Meal_ers have the advantage of the argument in that they are
always on the safer side of prudence, and there is no real deprivation
involved in the experiment.

At the present moment I am, personally, still in the experimental field
as regards everything that Nature permits as food or drink. There is
one point that vegetarianism has not satisfactorily answered as yet.
The great majority of conscientious vegetarians have not the pink
complexion that is usually reckoned as a sign of beauty or robustness,
but I have known one, Frederick Madsen (Madsen the Faithful), an
assistant of Dr. Hindhede in Copenhagen, to subsist on potatoes and
butter, or margarine, alone, for three hundred days consecutively,
stopping only because the potatoes to be had in the market were
not as good as desired, and he lost none of his pinky-pinkness of
complexion of the richest Scandinavian brilliancy. I have done the
same for four months with similar results of retention of pinkness of
complexion. Another question is: Does pinkness indicate health? It
is not the necessity of health among Latins and bronzed Orientals,
but it underlies the bronze exterior in even African Negroes, if they
are healthy. Sallow is the reverse of healthy in proportion to the
sallowness, as a usual thing.

Just here is where the efficacy of careful eating, which has been
formulated as Fletcherism, comes into service most agreeably to make
life really worth living and actually one continuous festival of
usefulness and pleasure. It is only once formed into a habit and set to
working automatically under the direction of Appetite, Taste, Feeling,
Instinct, and the other attributes of sub-conscious Intelligence.

It will be noted that Mr. Rockefeller, in his recent pithy, gisty
utterance relative to the merits of Fletcherizing, makes no mention
of the kind of food to be recommended. Happily, as far as I know, he
is not in the food business, has no connection with any special food
supply, and cannot recommend any of the products of petroleum as food
or drink. He should be absolutely unprejudiced in his judgment, and
seven or eight years of recuperative experience, similar to mine of a
longer period, is material for judgment and recommendation.

Some years ago there was born in me the ambition to formulate the
rules of economic procedure in securing optimum nutrition in a space
of not more than ten pages of coarse print that mothers, teachers,
and children of primary school age could understand as easy as the
noses on their faces. Mr. Rockefeller has "beat me out" in brevity by
several lengths. He has made the revelation with the lucky number of
thirty-three words, and left room for a final remark full of scriptural
tone, as is his wont.


There is one argument in favour of a meatless diet that appeals to
everybody, and that is the economy and cleanliness of it. In Professor
Irving Fisher's classic investigation to test the merits of Fletcherism
it was proven that careful attention to the mastication, insalivation,
and enjoyment of food while in the mouth, and swallowing only in
response to a strong invitation to swallow, and removing from the mouth
whatever remainder that did not practically _swallow itself_, a net
gain of approximately 40 per cent. was achieved without any attempt at
economy. The saving was in the money cost alone, and it came from more
and more inclination towards farinaceous and vegetable foods and away
from more expensive meat.

This form of saving is very telling. Dr. Francis E. Clark, founder
and permanent president of the great International Christian Endeavour
organization, noticed a reduction of one-third in the food expenses
of his family. The health officer of a suburb of Hamburg accomplished
a saving of two thousand marks a year in his family of three without
other assistance than careful eating and an inclination towards
non-flesh food material. The "Poor White Trash" community in America,
before mentioned, saved an average of three dollars a month each, three
thousand dollars a month among a thousand members of the community, and
the missionary workers who taught them to Fletcherize save half of the
cost of their sustenance. Accompanying all of this wonderful economy
was an immunity from the ordinary illnesses that was worth more than
the money saving.

In the Rockefeller family any decrease in the cost of food is a
negligible quantity in comparison with the total expenses, but seven
years of immunity from indigestion and replacing the demon with good
golf-health form have been worth more than millions of money.




_Mr. President and Gentlemen_:

Being a general practitioner, it is with some trepidation and an
apology that I present myself before this section. The reasons for my
doing so are: First, that I believe that a hitherto unsuspected reflex
in deglutition has come to light which has an important bearing on
health, the prevention of disease and on metabolism. Second, that any
theory whatever, based on a possible physiological function, claiming
to diminish, as this does, the amount of sickness and suffering now
existent, should have serious investigation. Third, that I desire to
enlist your skilled help in the consideration of the theories I have
doubtless crudely erected on my premise.

According to the "Encyclopædia Britannica," "Luigi Cornaro (1467-1566)
was a Venetian nobleman, famous for his treatises on a temperate life.
From some dishonesty on the part of his relatives, he was deprived
of his rank and induced to retire to Padua, where he acquired the
experience in regard to food and regimen which he has detailed in his
work. In his youth he lived freely, but after a severe illness at
the age of forty, he began under medical advice gradually to reduce
his diet. For some time he restricted himself to a daily allowance
of 12 ozs. of solid food and 14 ozs. of wine. Later in life he still
farther reduced his bill of fare, and he found that he could support
his life and strength with no more solid meat than an egg a day. So
much habituated did he become to this simple diet that when he was
about seventy years of age the addition, by way of experiment, of 2
ozs. a day had nearly proved fatal. At the age of eighty-three he
wrote his treatise on the 'Sure and Certain Method of Attaining a
Long and Healthful Life.' And this work was followed by three others
on the same subject, composed at the ages of eighty-six, ninety-one,
and ninety-five, respectively. 'They are written,' says Addison
('Spectator,' No. 195), 'with such a spirit of cheerfulness, religion,
and good sense, as are the natural concomitants of temperance, and
sobriety.' He died at the age of ninety-eight." Some say of 103!

Now, was Luigi Cornaro right? Did he make use of a physiological
process unknown to us of the value of which he was not cognisant? To
live to an advanced age, must we be as temperate as he, reducing the
quantity of our food to a minimum required by Nature?

That we all eat more than we can assimilate is unquestionable. How can
we determine the right quantity? Instinct _should_ guide us, but an
abnormal appetite often leads us astray. Nature's plans are perfect
if her laws are obeyed. Disease follows disobedience. Wherein do we

We live _not_ upon what we eat, but upon what we digest; then why
should undigested food, recognisable as such, be deemed a normal
constituent of our solid egesta?

Something like the following must be a common experience to general
practitioners, especially to those practising on the Continent. The
patient comes to see us and volunteers the information that he or she
has the "gout," "rheumatic gout," or "dyspepsia." Symptoms are asked
for. The case is gone into carefully for causation. An appropriate diet
and an appropriate bottle of medicine prescribed. As the patient leaves
the room, we may, or may not, call attention to the fact that both
teeth and saliva are meant to be used. The patient returns, better, _in
statu quo_, or worse. If better, he remains so while under treatment,
and relapses when he returns to ordinary habits. If unaffected, or
worse, we try again and again, until we despair, then take or send him
to a consultant. Temporary benefit, possibly owing to renewed hope,
results; but finally the unfortunate gets used to his sufferings, and,
if he can afford it, is sent to join the innumerable hosts that wander
from one Bad to another, all Europe over, trying, praising, and damning
each in turn. Their manner of living is, of course, at fault. Nature
never intended that man should be perpetually on a special diet and
hugging a bottle of medicine, nor did she ordain that he should go
wandering over the map of Europe drinking purgative and other waters.

Though early yet to speak with certain voice, it would seem that we
are provided with a Guard, reliance on which protects us from the
results of mal-nutrition. There seems to be placed in the fauces and
the back of the mouth a Monitor to warn us what we ought to swallow and
when we ought to swallow it. The good offices of this Monitor we have
suppressed by habits of too rapid eating, acquired in infancy or youth.

Last November my attention was called by Mr. Horace Fletcher, an
American author living in Venice, to the discovery in himself of a
curious inability to swallow, and a closing of the throat against food,
unless it had been completely masticated. My informant stated that he
noticed this peculiarity after he had begun to excessively insalivate
his food, both liquid and solid, until all its original taste had been
removed from it. Any tasteless residue in the mouth, being refused by
the fauces, required a _forced_ muscular effort to swallow. He further
told me that since adopting this method of eating he had been cured of
two maladies, adjudged chronic, the suffering from which rendered him
ineligible for Life Insurance. His weight now became reduced from 205
lbs. to 165 lbs. He had practised no abstemiousness, had indulged his
appetite, both as to selection and to quantity, without restraint, and
for the last three years had enjoyed perfect health.

After his cure, he was accepted without difficulty for insurance, the
last examination finding him an unusually healthy subject for his age.
Having leisure, he had spent three years in investigating the cause of
his cure, had pursued experiments upon others, and had extended his
inquiries, both in America and Europe, until our meeting in Venice.
He had also published a statement and inquiry in book form, entitled
"Glutton or Epicure," which had been reviewed by the "Lancet."

For nearly a year I also had been experimenting on myself and others
with various diets, and was ready to believe that in the manner of
taking food and not altogether in its varying _matter_ lay perhaps its
protean effects on our system. I at once adopted the same method of
eating. At the end of six weeks, I noticed that not only did the fauces
refuse to allow of the passage of imperfectly prepared food, but that
such food was returned from the back to the front of the mouth by an
involuntary, though eventually controllable, muscular effort taking
place in the reverse direction to that occurring at the inception of

What actually happens is this: Food, as it is masticated, slowly passes
to the back of the mouth, and collects in the glosso-epiglottidean
folds, where it remains in contact with the mucous membrane containing
the sensory end-organs of taste. If it be properly reduced by the
saliva it is allowed to pass the fauces,--a truly involuntary act of
deglutition occurring. Let the food, however, be too rapidly passed
back to these folds, _i. e._, before complete reduction takes place,
and the reflex muscular movement above referred to occurs. The process
of this reflex is as follows: The tip of the tongue is involuntarily
fixed at the backs and bases of the lower central incisor teeth by the
anterior fibres of the geniohyoglossi muscles. With this fixed point
as fulcrum, the lower and middle fibres of these muscles, aided by
those of the stylohyoid and styloglossi muscles raise the hyoid bone,
straighten out the glosso-epiglottidean folds, passing their contents
forward, by the fauces, the opening of which is closed by approximation
of its pillars and contraction of the superior constrictor. The
tongue, arched postero-anteriorly by the geniohyoglossi, palato, and
styloglossi muscles, laterally, by its own intrinsic muscles, is
approximated to the fauces, soft and hard palates in turn, and thus,
the late contents of the glosso-epiglottidean folds are returned to the
front of the mouth for further reduction by the saliva preparatory to

The word reduction is used for the reason that all foods tested,
without exception, give an acid reaction to litmus, when served at
table. The reflex muscular movement occurs in the writer's case from
five to ten times during the mastication of each mouthful of food,
according to its quantity and its degree of sapidity. As often as it
recurs, the returned food continues to give an acid reaction, while
food allowed to pass the fauces is alkaline.

Saliva, flowing in response to the stimulation of taste, seems
more alkaline than that secreted in answer to mechanical tasteless
stimulation. It is found that the removal of original taste from any
given bolus of food coincides with cessation of salivary flow and
complete alkaline reduction. The fibre of meat, gristle, connective
tissue, the husk of coarse bread and cellulose of vegetables are
carefully separated by the tongue and buccal muscles and rejected by
the fauces. To swallow any of these necessitates a _forced_ muscular
effort, which is abnormal.

Adult man was not originally intended to take his nourishment in a
liquid form, consequently all liquids having taste, such as soup, milk,
tea, coffee, cocoa, and the various forms of alcohol, must be treated
as sapid solids and insalivated by holding them in the mouth, moving
the tongue gently, with straight up and down masticatory movements,
until their taste be removed. Water, not having taste, needs no
insalivation and is readily accepted by the fauces.

In explanation of the phenomenon described, the following theory is
advanced: The fauces back of the tongue, epiglottis, in short, those
mucous surfaces in which are placed the sensory end-organs of taste
and "taste buds" (the distribution of which, by the way, has yet to
be explained), that these surfaces, readily becoming accustomed to an
alkaline contact by excessive insalivation and consequent complete
alkaline reduction of the food, afterwards resent an acid contact and
express their resentment by throwing off the cause of offence by the
muscles underlying them.

This phenomenon must not be confused with the cases of rumination and
regurgitation, which from time to time are recorded. The food in this
case is not swallowed, nor does it pass any point from which it can
be regurgitated. Eighty-one individuals of different nationalities
and from several classes of society whom we have studied are now in
conscious possession of their reflexes. These seem readily educated
back to normal functions by all who seriously and patiently adopt the
habit of what seems only at first to be excessive insalivation.

The dictum "bite your food well" that we so often use, has no
meaning to those suffering from the results of mal-assimilation and
mal-nutrition, especially should they have few or no teeth of their
own. I make so bold as to state that dyspepsia _et morbi hujus generis
omnis_ will cease to exist if patients be persuaded to bite their
food until its original taste disappears, and it is carried away by
involuntary deglutition.

The important point of the whole question seems to be this alkaline
reduction of of acid food before it passes on to meet subsequent
digestive processes elsewhere, which then become alternately acid and

In the first few months of infant life, when saliva is not secreted,
Nature ordains that mammary secretion be alkaline. With the eruption
of teeth come an abundant flow of saliva and a synchronous infantile
capacity for managing other foods. This flow of saliva depends on a
thorough demand and use to maintain its generous supply. It is just
at this time that children learn to bolt their food,--the demand
fails, with a consequent detriment to the salivary glands, digestive
processes, and the system generally.

A, B, C, and D were placed on an absolute milk diet. A drank his milk
in the ordinary way, and at the end of three days begged to discontinue
the experiment owing to disgust at the monotony of the diet. B, C, and
D continued the experiment for seventeen days, insalivating the milk,
but to a varying extent, B the least and D the most. Though D took most
milk, he excreted least solid egesta, C excreting less than B. Can one
infer that increased insalivation of a non-starchy food insured its
better digestion and assimilation? Each subject took as much milk only
as his appetite demanded, D taking the most, which never exceeded two
litres daily. The weights of the subjects after the usual sudden drop
of the first three days remained remarkably even until the end of the
experiment. B, C, and D all relished the diet, and it satisfied the
requirements of their appetites, but they experienced an increasing

As long ago as the seventeenth century, before the transformation of
matter into energy by the animal organism, known as Metabolism, was
understood, the fact was recognised that by the lungs, kidneys, skin,
and intestines, substances no longer useful to the organism were
eliminated, the retention of which proved harmful. The nature of these
substances was unknown, but it was noted that however much the food was
increased the weight of the body remained the same. In other words, a
state of complete nutritive equilibrium was maintained.

The following table contains the _résumé_ of two experiments in which a
state of complete nutritive equilibrium was maintained by individuals
of about the same weight, on widely different quantities of food
similar in quality. The subjects of the experiments were a laboratory
assistant of Dr. Snyder, of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, and
the writer. The experiment of the former was made primarily to show the
relative digestibility of the several articles of diet, potatoes, eggs,
milk, and cream:

                              |  Dr. Snyder's   |
                              |   Experiment.   | Writer's Experiment.
                              |  Published in   |
                              |   Bulletin 43   |
  Age of subject              |   22 years      |    30 years
  Duration of experiment      |    4 1/3 days   |     5 days
  Number of meals             |   13            |    10
  Weight at beginning         |   62.5  kilos   |    57.3 kilos
  Weight at end               |   62.6  kilos   |    57.5 kilos
  Potatoes (daily average)    | 1587.6 grammes  |   159.4 grammes
  Eggs (daily average)        |  411.08 grammes |   124.7 grammes
  Milk (daily average)        |  710 c.c.       |   710 c.c.
  Cream (daily average)       |  237 c.c.       |   237 c.c.
  Daily urine                 | 1108 grammes    |  1098   grammes
  Daily fæces                 |  204 grammes    |    18.9 grammes

The daily diet of Dr. Snyder's subject consisted of three and one-half
pounds of potatoes, eight eggs, a pint and a half of milk, and half a
pint of cream. The writer's diet of twelve ounces of solid food (like
Luigi Cornaro) consisted of three eggs, the remainder of the twelve
ounces in potatoes, and an equal quantity of similar liquid food to
that taken by Dr. Snyder's subject. The exercise of the laboratory
assistant comprised his daily routine of laboratory work, while that of
the writer consisted of six sets of tennis, or an hour and a half on
horseback, with an hour to an hour and a half's walk or climb daily, in
addition to much reading and writing.

In each case complete nutritive equilibrium was maintained, although
the author subsisted on three-seventeenths of the solid food taken by
the other subject.

Again, cannot one infer that better assimilation and less waste
resulted from the better preparation of the smaller quantity of food
by insalivation? Surely, too, there must be less daily strain on the
intestinal canal, and body generally, in getting rid of 18.9 grammes
of inoffensive dry waste, than in getting rid of 204 grammes of humid,
decomposing, and offensive matter.

"Considerable importance has been attached to the normal action of the
bacteria in the intestines; and it has even been supposed that the
presence of bacteria is essential to life. Such a view has recently
been shown to be erroneous by an elaborate and painstaking research
carried out by Nuttall and Thierfelder, who obtained ripe foetal
guinea-pigs by means of Cæsarean section carried out under strict
antiseptic precautions. They introduced the animals immediately into an
asceptic chamber through which a current of filtered air was aspirated,
and fed them hourly on sterilised milk day and night for over eight

"The animals lived, and throve, and increased as much in weight as
healthy normal animals subjected to a similar diet for the purpose of
controlling the results. Microscopic examination at the end of the
experiment showed that the alimentary canal contained no bacteria of
any kind, nor could cultures of any kind be obtained from it.

"The same authors, in a subsequent paper, described the extension of
their research to vegetable food. This was also digested in the absence
of bacteria. Under such conditions cellulose was not attacked. Hence
they consider that the chief function of this material is to give bulk
and proper consistency to the food so as to suit the conditions of
herbivorous digestion." (Schäfer's "Text-Book of Physiology," vol. i.,
p. 465.)

Now, inasmuch as bacterial digestion has no place in the animal
economy, surely it can only occur at the expense of the organism?

Can micro-organic action take place in the intestines without the
production of toxins and the consequent absorption of these toxins into
the blood?

We know that the metabolism of a cell is determined by the general
physical environment of the whole organism, by supplies of oxygen and
water, on nervous impulses, and, what chiefly concerns this argument,
on the nature and amount of the pabulum supplied to it. This pabulum is
derived from the alimentary canal.

Are not even those of us who may be enjoying seemingly the best of
health supplying to our tissues pabulum containing mild toxins, thus
causing an increased katabolic action to occur in each individual cell
of our bodies?

Are not the blood elements, floating in a plasma containing such
toxins, rendered resistant, weaker, less capable of fulfilling their
functions as carriers and combatants of disease?

Are not their and our lives, in consequence, more painful and shorter
than they need be?

Would not the elimination of these toxins render us less liable
to disease? And is not their presence an important element in
predisposition to disease?

When this reflex is restored micro-organisms get no further than the
stomach. They are destroyed there by the acid gastric juices, then
only stimulated to their full and normal secretion by the presence
of a sufficiency of alkaline substance. Undigested matter having
been eliminated, micro-organisms, still existing in the intestines,
deprived of their means of subsistence, decrease, and, in time, may
cease to exist. The body no longer absorbs the toxins these produced.
To this fact may be ascribed the increase of mental energy, the
general physical betterment, the cessation of morbid cravings for
food and drink and of those of a sexual nature, which are noticed and

What has just been stated is based not entirely on experimental
evidence but somewhat upon inference. The inference seems justified
because the excreta, more especially of the intestines, but also of the
kidneys and skin, become almost odourless and entirely inoffensive.
The solid egesta are voided thickly covered with mucus, leaving the
end of the bowel dry and clean. The sense of cleanliness can only then
be appreciated to the full, for it is internal as well as external.
_Flatus_ is no longer produced. The urine is inoffensive and seems to
be materially changed in quality, as shown by chemical analysis. Uric
acid, the chlorides, and, more markedly, aromatic sulphates are reduced
in quantity.

Owing to deliberation in eating, necessitated by this new habit,
satiety occurs on the ingestion of considerably less food. By carefully
studying one's self I believe it possible to cultivate an instinct
which will regulate not only the quantity but the quality of food that
the body may need, and that in the _normal health_ of a full-grown
body, no more food either in quantity or quality should be supplied
than suffices to supply diurnal waste. Any excess must result in
pathological processes.

Although there results enhanced pleasure in the taking of all foods,
rich and simple, and especially in the appreciation of good wines, the
quantities of these foods and beverages that suffice to fully satisfy
the appetite are much smaller than before, while there is a marked
preference for the simpler kinds of food. The writer now can imagine no
more pleasurable meal than one consisting of good brown bread, eggs,
butter, cheese, and cream. These, with fresh vegetables and a very
little fruit, form his staple diet. This tendency and preference for
simple foods is the general experience among those who have recovered
their reflexes of deglutition.

Following on the ingestion of a lessened quantity of food and on its
better assimilation, there is less waste, the egesta are voided less
frequently, sometimes only once in five to eight days.

The lower bowel is not the reservoir it formerly was. So hæmorrhoids
cease from troubling and constipation cannot exist. For this same
reason the body, at the beginning of the practice, commences to
approximate to its normal weight, increasing or decreasing as the
individual's environment demands.

A few more words only need be said. It has been easy to state the
results of experiments and observations: but the acquiring of this
new reflex, while pursuing daily occupations, is not easy, and needs
more than a little patience and much serious thought. The habits of
a lifetime cannot be changed in a few days or weeks. The shortest
time in which the reflex has been re-established is four weeks, and
this only by avoiding conversation at meal-time and concentrating the
attention on keeping the food in the mouth until complete alkaline
reduction has taken place and sapidity has disappeared.

In closing I wish to maintain as a fact, gentlemen, of the truth of
which you will only be convinced by actual experience, that by the
restoration of this reflex and in complete dependence on its use,
there lies true health, the establishment of a condition of stable
nutrition and the possible abrogation of two great predisposing factors
of disease, mal-assimilation and mal-nutrition. Unless there be among
you, as in the "Cities of the Plain," a parlous minority who possess
this reflex and take your food as you ought, none of you are in the
enjoyment of such health as you might have. A like punishment will be
meted out to you as was visited on those cities, for you will all be
consumed long before your day by the unnecessary combustion in your
bodies caused by the circulation in them of toxins, the product of
undigested and decomposing food.

The writer, bearing in mind the warning suggested by the Frenchman
whose donkey died as soon as he had reduced his food to a single wisp
of straw, finds that he is taking less and less food. While his mind is
open as to his arriving at the final diet of Luigi Cornaro, yet it is
easily conceivable that living a similar life of retirement in a placid
environment, it would be quite possible to do as he did. Hence the
title of this paper and the queries at the commencement.

The objects in publishing and distributing this paper are twofold: to
make the subject as widely known as possible, and to solicit the aid of
colleagues in investigating it more fully.

There is ready at the service of the general practitioner an important
and potential therapeutic agent in the saliva of his patients and in
the use _ad finem_ of their salivary digestions.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Editor's notes._ (1) Confirmatory evidence of the correctness of
the deductions made in this paper has begun to come in from many
professional sources and notably from a famous child specialist who
avers that children would follow the natural requirements in eating
were it not for artificial food, bad example, and bad teaching.

(2) In a report of a paper read before the _Société de Biologie_,
Paris, France, March 15th, 1902, by M. Max Marckwald, of Kreuznach, "ON
appears: "Hence these experiments confirm those of Horace Fletcher
and Ernest H. Van Someren on the importance of prolonged mastication"
(_translation_). Referring, as the latter statement does, to
mastication (insalivation) of liquid, it gives an important suggestion
relative to some probable causes of uncertain or defective digestion in
human nutrition.



  Abstinence, long abstinence from food harmless, 20, 133

  Aggressive hospitality, 118

  Alcohol, the abuse of, 135, 140

  Alcoholic stimulant, 145

  Amundsen, Captain, 185

  Anderson, Doctor W. G., 18;
    begins Fletcherizing, 23;
    at Yale test, 24, _et seq._, 143

  Appetite, 6;
    wait for a true, 10;
    selects simplest foods, 36, 136;
    is true hunger, 52;
    resting the, 56

  Atwater, Professor, 12;
    his diet standard, 110


  Bacterial Decomposition, 58

  Battle Creek Sanatorium, experiments on members, 21

  Beer, how to take, 60, 121

  Bowditch, Doctor H. P., 15, 125

  Bradefagy, 65

  Business men and Fletcherism, 41, 43


  Calorie, the heat unit, 61

  Calorimeter, 6l

  Cannon, Doctor, 81, 125

  Carbohydrates in human diet, 61

  Chanute, 124

  Chewing, and Fletcherism, 66;
    Mr. Gladstone on, 67

  Chittenden, Professor, visited by Mr. Fletcher, 16;
    volunteers to experiment, 18;
    on careful chewing, 85 _et seq._;
    on head digestion, 83

  Christian Endeavour Society, 44

  Circumvalate papillæ, 9

  Cornaro, Luigi, 118


  Decency and Fletcherism, 126

  Delirium tremens, a cure, 153

  Diet, prejudice against unaccustomed, 94

  Diet standard, the best suited to economy and efficiency, 60;
    Voit's, 109

  Dietetic righteousness, the Gospel of, 50, 128, _et seq._

  Digestion-ash, the, 58, 59, 93

  Dow, Hon. A. G., 49


  Economy of Fletcherism, 41

  Emerson, 129

  Endurance tests: Irving Fisher's, 21;
    Granger's and Wagner's, 21-22;
    Mr. Fletcher's at Yale, 24 _et seq._

  Epicure, the true, 47

  Excess of food, difficulty of getting rid of, 38;
    fermentation of, 47

  Experiments: Someren, 13;
    Yale University, 16;
    Chittenden, 18;
    U. S. Army, 19;
    Irving Fisher's, 98;
    Seventh-Day Adventists, 151


  Fasting, the value of, 170

  Fat, putting on, 70;
    Doctor Anderson on, 137

  Fats in human diet, 61

  Fermentation of undigested food, 47

  Fisher, Professor Irving, endurance tests, 21;
    his endurance-testing-machine, 26;
    experiments with students, 98

  Fletcher, Horace, refused by insurance company as poor risk, 2;
    at Galveston, Texas, 3;
    discovery of the mouth food-filter, 6;
    in the Philippines, 112;
    delivers address before New York Academy of Medicine, 128;
    at the Buffalo Club, 147

  Fletcherism, its five principles, 10;
    and housewives, 41;
    economy of, 43;
    and long life, 49, 118;
    and muscularity, 111;
    and companionship, 123;
    as first aid, 155

  Fletcherite, the dictionary definition, 116

  Food-filter, our, what it is, 6;
    using it properly, 35, 66

  Foster, Sir Michael, interested in Fletcherism, 13;
    organises tests at Cambridge University, 13

  Fruit, how to eat, 59


  Gladstone, his theory of mastication, 4, 67;
    as Fletcherite, 7

  Gluttony and avoirdupois, 161

  Granger, J. H., 21

  Grape-sugar, 69


  Head digestion, 73 _et seq._

  Higgins, Father, on alcoholic stimulants, 44

  Hindhede, Doctor, 102, 187, 191

  Hopkins, Professor F. G., conducts tests at Cambridge University, 15

  Hospitality, aggressive, 118

  Housewives and Fletcherism, 41

  Human diet, the organic materials of, 60

  Hunger, what is, 51

  Hunger-habit, 40

  Hutchinson, Doctor, 73


  Intemperance, overcome by Fletcherism, 45, 141, 153

  Intestinal toxication, 42


  Japan, 2, 94

  Java, diet in, 95


  Kellog, Doctor, 45;
    test at Tennessee Institute, 151

  König, Professor, 110


  Leonardi, Professor, in co-operation with Doctor Van Someren, 13

  Liquids, Fletcherising, 120


  Mastication, what happens during, 7;
    Fletcherism not excessive, 64

  Meals, choosing, 32;
    how many a day, 37;
    chosen by appetite, 54

  Meat and Uric Acid, 187

  Mendel, Professor, 18

  Milk, as food material, 32, 102;
    how to take, 60, 121

  Mineral waters, 121

  Morbid cravings, 150

  Mouth digestion, 73, 76

  Mouth during mastication, 7

  Muscularity and Fletcherism, 111


  National Food Reform Association, 64

  Nitrogen, 61

  Nutrition, the best safeguard to right, 48


  Optimum economic nutrition, 63, 107

  Organic materials of human diet, the, 60


  Pawlow, Professor, 57, 74, 125

  Peristalsis and fruit, 59

  Potato, the, nutritive value of, 103

  Proteids, the, 60

  Protein enthusiast, the, 108;
    the danger of excess of, 181


  Responsibility in nutrition, our personal, 5, 80, 96

  Rockefeller, J. D., xi, 190, 193 _et seq._

  Roosevelt, President, 19

  Root, Secretary, 19


  Saliva, chemical transformation of food by, 8;
    wait for profuse flow, 52, 62;
    action on starch foods, 68

  Scott, Captain, 108

  Seventh-Day Adventists, 151

  Someren, Doctor Van, first experiments with, 13

  Soup, how to take, 60

  Stagg, Alonzo B., 21

  Starch foods, action of saliva, 68

  Stomach, digestive processes in, 74

  Swallowing impulse, 9, 57

  Swallowing sense, 140


  Taste, getting the best out of food, 10;
    the test of, 91;
    and liquids, 121

  Taste-buds, the, 7

  Tea, how to take it, 59

  Temperance and Fletcherism, 138, 149

  Tests. _See_ Experiments and Endurance tests.

  Tramps and Fletcherism, 138


  Uric Acid and Meat, 187

  U. S. Army, instructions to, 57


  Vegetarianism and Fletcherism, 180

  Voit, Carl, his diet standard, 109


  Wagner, Doctor, 22

  Wine, how to take, 60

  Wine-tasters, professional, 147

  Wood, General, 19

  Wright Brothers, the, 124


  Yale University, experiments at, 15

  Y. M. C. A. Training School, Springfield, test at, 29


  Zuntz, Doctor Professor, 78

       *       *       *       *       *

  Transcriber's Notes

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected but inconsistencies
  of spelling and punctuation are as in the original

  Inconsistencies of hyphenation have been standardised.

  The author consistently refers to Doctor Kellogg as Kellog, this has
  been retained.

  Italics are represented thus _italic_.

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