If your aging friend or relative is in a home for the elderly,
you may be able to persuade him or her to choose a diet that is
wiser than the average diet people eat there. This can help a lot.
Just stopping drinking the coffee, decaf, iced tea and carbonated
beverages that are served, and switching to the recipes in this
book could get them off some of their medicines.
The beverages to encourage are sterilized milk and hot water—
delicious with whipping cream, honey and cinnamon. This
gets them away from solvents, oxalic acid and caffeine.
Old age is not a time when you “no longer need milk.” Calcium
losses increase in old age. Milk has the organic form of
calcium, chelated with lactic acid, and it has the cream to promote
absorption. For this reason, milk should never be reduced
in fat content (not less than 2%). The cream is necessary to improve
In old age it is downright dangerous to be taking many calcium
tablets. The stomach does not have the acid necessary to
dissolve them. They pass into the intestine, disturbing its function
and acid levels. With tablets, too, one must be careful with
dosages, while food is self limiting. No elderly person would be
able to drink more than one cup of milk at a time. This contains
250 mg. of calcium.
Milk, however, requires stomach acid to curdle it as the first
step in digestion. If there is not sufficient acid, it will pass undigested
into the intestine, causing new problems. We must listen to
the elderly when they say milk gives them gas or other troubles.
Having the milk warm to hot helps in getting digestion started
in the stomach. Milk served hot with cinnamon accomplishes two
purposes: it will stimulate acid secretion and the cinnamon is an
insulin aid. Milk served hot with honey adds the nutritive value
of honey, displacing the need for other unnatural sweets. The
meal should always include something sour to curdle the milk. It
does not have to be added to the milk; it can simply be included
with the meal somewhere.
Lemon juice or vinegar can be put in certain foods but the
most reliable way to get it into the diet is to put 1 tablespoon into
the water glass along with a teaspoon of honey. This gives the
water a “sweet and sour” flavor, enough to make it interesting
throughout the meal. The fresh lemon juice or white dis
tilled vinegar and a honey dispenser that is easy to use should
always be on the table. Bring these two items to your loved one
at the “home” if it cannot be provided regularly and reliably. Pop
in at mealtime to check up on it. Powdered vitamin C (¼ tsp.) is
another useful acid if the first two are not effective enough.
The lemon and honey habit, alone, can add years (healthier
years) to an elderly person. The extra acid taken with lunch and
supper (the stomach has its own best supply of acid in the
morning, for breakfast) improves overall digestion and helps
dissolve the calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, and
other minerals in the food so they can be absorbed.
The habit of using vinegar and honey in water as a beverage
was made famous by Dr. Jarvis in his book Folk Medicine, circa
1960. He recommended apple cider vinegar for its extra potassium.
In those days, vinegar was made of good apples. Now, all
the regular vinegars have mold in them. The toxin, patulin, in
moldy apples has been carefully studied by scientists. It taints the
vinegar as well as apple juice and concentrate made from them. I
have not tested patulin to see if it can be detoxified by vitamin C.
We must use only white distilled vinegar, even though it lacks
potassium, aroma and popularity. Using a variety of honeys can
make up for the need to vary the flavor. Get orange blossom,
linden blossom, buckwheat, wildflower, and sage honey, besides
But honey is not perfect food. It usually has ergot mold, a
very serious toxin. To detoxify the ergot, you simply add vitamin
C to the honey as soon as it arrives from the supermarket. This
gives it plenty of time to react with the ergot before you eat it.
Bring your “fixed” honeys to the home.
If your elderly loved one has not tolerated milk in years, start
with the vinegar and honey beverage, or lemon and honey, and be
patient until that is accepted. Then add only ¼ cup milk to the
day's diet, (in the morning, on homemade cereal). Go up
very gradually and only when digestion allows it. Of course, the
milk must be sterile.
If it is not sterile, the final warming will only increase the
bacterial count. You must be sure of its sterility. Boil the milk
yourself. Near-boiling is not hot enough. It must be heated until it
bubbles up and almost goes over the container for ten seconds.
Use a non-metal pot that holds one to two quarts. You may throw
away the skin. Then cool and refrigerate. Supply it to the home,
Milk that is marketed in paper containers that need no refrigeration
has been sterilized; it is safe.
Once the body, even an aged body, finds a nutritious food that
does not cause troubles of its own, it asks for more. Your loved
one will accept it and drink it without forceful coaxing, if there is
no problem with it. As long as your loved one tries to avoid
drinking it, your challenge is to find the problem and solve it. It
is not a matter of taste or habit. It is a matter of digestibility and
lack of toxicity. When your loved one is drinking three cups of
milk (or buttermilk or whey) a day and three cups of water, there
will be no room (nor request) for the usual coffee and tea and
other bad beverages.
We all must die of something. But it needn't be a stroke, or
heart failure, or cancer. Choose what seems to be the most
pressing problem to work on. Common problems that plague the
aged are brain problems, incontinence, bad digestion, diabetes,
tremor, weakness, feeling cold, sensitivity to noise, losing the
sense of taste and smell, hearing loss, insomnia, kidney and heart