The Sleeping Prophet gave unique guidelines for healthy eating, and the Cayce diet is simple in concept – good advice for almost everyone. In the Western world, food has traditionally been treated as a simple matter of maintaining energy and gaining enjoyment. But, as in the Chinese and Indian traditions of “functional food,” Edgar Cayce considered food as medicine, both to cure and prevent disease, and he was very particular about it.
It would be great if we could just ask Cayce for advice about a personal, healthy diet. But since we don’t have the master himself here, it makes sense to learn the basic “rules of the road” he left us.
Here are some Cayce dietary DOs and DON’Ts. But keep in mind that we are more than just physical beings – we’re a body-mind-spirit composite. Even the sleeping Cayce pointed out the psychological benefit of breaking the food rules now and then. In other words, occasionally eating those french fries that you really enjoy can actually benefit the body if it soothes the mind and emotions!
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO
Eat fish, fowl and lamb. Cayce recommended these as much better than large amounts of beef or pork.
Eat citrus fruits to alkalize, and help prevent colds.
Eat whole grains
Eat local food. A Cayce rule for healthy eating advised that people should consume as much locally grown food as possible. It’s fascinating to remember that this principle was also laid-down 5,000 years ago in the ancient Sanskrit Vedas of India, the origin of Ayurveda.
Cayce added that not eating local food was the root cause of allergies! When I first heard that, it made perfect sense — what better way to cope with environmental factors than to eat the food grown in that environment?
In Cayce’s day, most people did eat primarily local food, even people who lived in cities. Small farmers and gardeners brought their produce and meats into towns every morning. Unfortunately for many today, at least in the United States, the majority of our food is raised in just a few states. It can be almost impossible to get local food, unless we grow the food ourselves.
Maintain the proper acid/alkaline balance in the body. This was one of the universal rules — and he went on to say that it could prevent the common cold entirely! He was describing the way foods react within the body, rather than their intrinsic properties. For example, an orange may test acid with litmus paper, but inside the body, its reaction is alkaline.
What is the right acid-alkaline balance for you? In the Cayce diet, a sedentary person (little exercise) should eat only 20 percent acid-producing foods and 80 percent alkaline-reacting. But then he gave the reverse for a physically active person — 80% acid,
and 20% alkaline.
Eat 3 vegetables grown above the ground to one grown below. (He excepted at least one diabetic, who was told to reverse the rule to restore the proper balance.)
Prepare vegetables gently, in their own juices, if possible. He recommended patapar paper, which we haven’t always found practical. But at least use as little water as possible, in a pot with a tight lid, and always eat all of that water, which contains most of the nutrients.
Many people use a steamer, but we’ve found that it leads to undercooking of vegetables and waste of the nutrients in the water. Legumes (peas and beans), in particular, can’t be digested properly unless thoroughly cooked (or sprouted), and people almost never use the water from steaming.
Eat yogurt, which he called Bulgarian buttermilk, for colon health.
Eat two almonds daily, to prevent cancer.
Eat olive oil, for heart health and colon health. He said everyone would be better for taking a tablespoon of olive oil every night to aid eliminations.
Eat gelatin on greens and vegetables, to increase coordination. We often just sprinkle it on, and stir it in.
Chew food slowly.
Eat in peaceful surroundings.
CAYCE DIET THINGS TO AVOID
All fried foods (High heat destroys most food value.) There goes most eating-out, in one fell stroke — Kentucky Fried Chicken, much of Chinese food, Long John Silver’s, most hamburger places, etc.
White flour, in its many forms.
Eating much pork, especially if you have arthritis! He did recommend extremely crisp bacon, and offal meats. (These are what most of us consider the unsavory parts — organs and intestinal products, which have traditionally been used in bologna, sausage, hot dogs, and some types of meatballs. Unfortunately, nowadays these foods often contain too much salt and harmful preservatives.)
Eating much beef, except his specially prepared beef juice.
Carbonated water. He called pop “slop,” except for a few people.
Alcohol, except red wine.
Eating when stressed, overexcited, emotionally upset, or overtired.
Certain combinations of foods, such as milk and citrus (he included tomatoes as citrus); whole grain and citrus; meat or cheese with starches; and milk or cream in coffee.
Foods that disagree with the body, even if you like them, or even if they should be healthy for you.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE THE EDGAR CAYCE DIET WORK FOR YOU?
Can you actually eat this way, and enjoy it? The fact that Vikings (and health nuts) could mix anything healthy together and not notice doesn’t really help. Cayce himself cautioned against outraging your taste preferences too violently. But that’s what cookery was invented for!
There’s no doubt that it will take changes, especially if you?re in the habit of eating the way most people do, and not spending a lot of thought on it.
That’s the main thing — you have to think about what you eat, and where you get it, and how to prepare it. At first, it can take more time to shop, and real cooking does take time, though you can save a lot of it with good planning. But just approach it gradually, and you’ll succeed.
What we’ve discussed are the general Cayce diet principles. But there is much more. If you have a specific question, you can usually find what you need in the Edgar Cayce database at the A.R.E. The knowledge you gain is especially powerful when you can find a Cayce-sympathetic doctor to help you. The Cayce diet legacy could make a big difference in your life — why not make the most of it?