Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2)


Appendix C

Two Meals a Day

As Ellen White related in the late summer of 1864 her experience in adopting health reform, she stated: 2BIO 496.1

We use fruits and vegetables liberally. I have lived for eight months upon two meals a day. I have applied myself to writing the most of the time for above a year. For eight months have been confined closely to writing. My brain has been constantly taxed, and I have had but little exercise. Yet my health has never been better than for the past six months.—Spiritual Gifts, 4a:153, 154. 2BIO 496.2

In succeeding years she often referred to her experience in subsisting on two meals, and she advised others to adopt the practice in such statements as the following: 2BIO 496.3

Some eat three meals a day, when two would be more conducive to physical and spiritual health.—Testimonies for the Church, 4:416, 417. 2BIO 496.4

The practice of eating but two meals a day is generally found a benefit to health; yet under some circumstances persons may require a third meal. This should, however, if taken at all, be very light, and of food most easily digested. “Crackers”—the english biscuit—or zwieback, and fruit, or cereal coffee, are the foods best suited for the evening meal.—The Ministry of Healing, 321. 2BIO 496.5

In most cases two meals a day are preferable to three. Supper, when taken at an early hour, interferes with the digestion of the previous meal. When taken later, it is not itself digested before bedtime. Thus the stomach fails of securing proper rest. The sleep is disturbed, the brain and nerves are wearied, the appetite for breakfast is impaired, the whole system is unrefreshed, and is unready for the day's duties.—Education, 205. 2BIO 496.6

When the students combine physical and mental taxation, so largely as they do at this school (avondale), the objection to the third meal is to a great extent removed. Then no one needs to feel abused. Those who conscientiously eat only two meals need not change in this at all.... 2BIO 497.1

If those who only eat two meals have the idea that they must eat enough at the second meal to answer for the third meal also, they will injure their digestive organs. Let the students have the third meal, prepared without vegetables, but with simple, wholesome food, such as fruit and bread.—Letter 141, 1899 (See also CDF, p. 178). 2BIO 497.2

I eat only two meals a day. But I do not think that the number of meals should be made a test. If there are those who are better in health when eating three meals, it is their privilege to have three. I choose two meals. For thirty-five years I have practiced the two-meal system.—Letter 30, 1903 (See also CDF, p. 178). 2BIO 497.3