Horse chow & food for thought

by Christina on March 29, 2010

“Here are some factors for health and a long life which we have put into practice: positive, optimistic thinking; a good conscience; outdoor exercise and deep breathing; no smoking; no alcohol or drugs, including coffee and tea; a simple diet – vegetarian, sugar-free, salt-free, low in calories and fat and 55% raw. These will vitalize the life span. Avoid medicines, doctors, hospitals.”

~The Nearings, from Loving and Leaving the Good Life

In honor of our book club meeting today, we tried out the Nearing’s horse chow (which they ate every morning). Simply mix together:

  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 juice of a lemon
  • 1 cup raisins
  • dash of sea salt
  • olive oil to moisten
Horse chow. It grows on you 🙂

Some more food for thought from this book…  

Have less, be more philosophy:
“It’s what you are, not what you have on that is important in life… I regard being and doing as the essential ingredients of life; merely living and having can be an obstruction and burden. It’s not what we have but what we do with what we have that constitutes the real value of life.”  

Television:
“One of the horrors of civilization. Direct experience is what we need; that’s what we’re here to get: experiential education, not through television, where we’re physically separated from doing. It separates the individual from reality; encourages passivity; implants deleterious images directly into the unconscious; dulls awareness; gives the illusion of experience; has a hypnotic addictive quality which is totally dangerous and obnoxious.”  

Fasting:
“One day a week, usually Sunday, we gave our digestive system (and whoever cooked) a rest, by eliminating our already light breakfast and lunch and fasting during the day. Having no scheduled activity except perhaps a walk or a swim, or putting up a bit of stone wall, we took the day easy. These fasting days were ended in the evening by the fire with a supper of popcorn, carrot juice or cider.”

Scott’s reaction to a doctor who told him to take vitamin B12 and get routine medical tests:
“If I did this I would be trying to prolong my life under medical supervision for the rest of my life. Thank you, but I would rather die much earlier than follow such a course… My formula is to stay well and live as long as I can, in moderate health and vigor. If I cannot stay well by a normal diet and temperate living, the sooner I did, the better for me and the society of which I am a member.”

Why be vegetarian:
“For every possible reason, but primarily ethical. George Bernard Shaw always answered the same question by another: ‘How can you justify the disgusting habit of consuming animal carcasses?’ We know of no valid reason for eating flesh. The rotting carcasses are full of diseases and poisons. Raw fruits and vegetables and nuts are vital and clean if organically grown. A vegetarian diet is simpler, more economical, and kinder.”

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

roberto March 29, 2010 at 11:58 am

Yay Christina. Way to keep the Nearings alive in our hearts. Yes, the horse chow definitely grows on you after that first interesting bite. Good job on the chow. I'll bring Living the Good Life to practice tomorrow. Have a great full moon day!

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Chris March 29, 2010 at 11:46 pm

The following is brilliant in my view:

“Here are some factors for health and a long life which we have put into practice: positive, optimistic thinking; a good conscience; outdoor exercise and deep breathing; no smoking; no alcohol or drugs, including coffee and tea; a simple diet – vegetarian, sugar-free, salt-free, low in calories and fat and 55% raw. These will vitalize the life span. Avoid medicines, doctors, hospitals.”

~The Nearings, from Loving and Leaving the Good Life

ESPECIALLY the last sentence!

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Josh March 30, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I liked the horse chow, I might even make some myself– which, given my laziness in that department, actually means something.

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adam March 30, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Love the Nearings. Avoid…hmmm. Avoid is different then not participate. I avoid barking dogs, cheese on my hamburgers, brain eating zombies(Josh). Occasionally I pet a barking dog, eat cheese on meat and spend time with Josh(I wear a metal helmet to keep my brain safe). I am friends with many healthcare professionals doctors etc, their knowledge of medicine and how the body works has been a real help to my health. Without modern medicine I would have been dead a few times over.

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Frank March 30, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Yes–however, not participating and avoiding are not mutually exclusive. I do not participate in barking dogs or cheese on hamburgers. I also avoid the smell of both of them more than just about anything. Having never seen nor fallen prey to one, I would say that I neither participate in nor avoid brain-eating zombies.

Having not read the book, I do not want to take the quote out of context, but I find it difficult to identify with this resistance to doctors and modern medicine. Having had scarlet fever at age 2 and melanoma at age 20, I do not understand the concept of abstaining from primary care, not having health insurance, or the like. Maybe a change in diet growing up would have helped, but until someone proves it a solution, I'll hold on to Medicine.

Maybe I'm just hanging around with a lot of yoga people/blogs lately, but I feel like I'm hearing a lot about people who claim that their diet, their yoga, their exercise, their whatever have rendered doctors and medicine obselete. I will not contradict them, as only they can speak for their experience. However, I will say that those who are lucky enough to make these sorts of claims, or write a book about them, are a biased sample. They are the ones who survived; those with the same regimens who are not as lucky do not trumpet these benefits or publish their stories. The evidence I hear lately seems to be waxing anecdotal and waning clinical–too many people drawing conclusions when they are really just part of an experiment.

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Christina March 30, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I completely agree with you, Frank – thank you for saying all of that. Primary care, health insurance, access to medical care, etc… these are incredibly important.

I like how you point out that it is only those people who lucky enough to have survived without it – people who have not faced a terrifying illness or accident – who can make any other other claim.

While I may not completely agree with the Nearing's opinions and way of life, they certainly offer an interesting perspective!

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Lizzie March 30, 2010 at 9:34 pm

While I cannot agree with no coffee or tea, I do love the idea of horsechow. It looks like granola. Was it good, Tina??

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Christina March 30, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Lizzie you would have loved it!

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amanda July 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm

made the horse chow in the middle of the night when i couldnt sleep. i really liked it. totally becoming my go to breakfast.

xo
amanda

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