The Two Meal Plan

by Ellen White

In our family we have breakfast at half past six o'clock, and dinner at half past one. We have no supper. We would change our times of eating a little, were it not for the fact that these are the most convenient hours for some of the members of the family. I eat two meals a day, and still follow the light given me 35 years ago. I use no meat. As for myself, I have settled the butter question. I do not use it. This question should easily be settled in every place where the purest article cannot be obtained. We have two good milk cows, a Jersey and Holstein. We use cream, and all are satisfied with this. 13MR 042

No eating should be allowed between our meals. I have eaten two meals each day for the last 25 years. I do not use butter myself, but some of my workers who sit at my table eat butter. They cannot take care of milk; it sours on the stomach. But they can take care of a small quantity of butter. We cannot regulate the diet question by making any rule. Some can eat beans and dried peas, but to me this diet is painful. It is like poison. Some have appetites and taste for certain things, and assimilate them well. Others have no appetite for these articles. So one rule cannot be made for everyone. 16MR 173

In regard to flesh meat, do not bring it into the [Wahroonga] sanitarium. Neither tea nor coffee should be served. Caramel cereal, made as nicely as possible, should be served in the place of these health-destroying beverages. In regard to the third meal, do not make eating but two meals compulsory. Some do best healthwise when eating three light meals, and when they are restricted to two, they feel the change severely. 1MR 289

For about two years self and family have tried the two meal per day system,[* SEE APPENDIX C.] during which time we have not used meats of any kind; neither have we used tea or coffee, nor any highly seasoned food, and but a very small quantity of fish; we have used grains, fruits, and vegetables. The results of the system are evenness of temper, clearness of mind, steadiness of nerve, increased mental power, and a better subjection of the physical to the moral power. 2BIO 137

Sugar is not good for the stomach. It causes fermentation, and this clouds the brain and brings peevishness into the disposition. And it has been proved that two meals are better than three for the health of the system. 2MCP 391

We have neither meat nor butter on our table, and we have but two meals a day. If any of my workers desire a simple meal in the evening, I do not have anything to say against it.--Letter 363, 1907, p. 5. (To D. H. Kress, Nov. 5, 1907.) 2MR 187

We want to work from the right standpoint. We want to act like men and women that are to be brought into judgement. And when we adopt the health reform we should adopt it from a sense of duty, not because somebody else has adopted it. I have not changed my course a particle since I adopted the health reform. I have not taken one step back since the light from heaven upon this subject first shone upon my pathway. I broke away from everything at once,--from meat and butter, and from three meals,--and that while engaged in exhaustive brain labour, writing from early morning till sundown. I came down to two meals a day without changing my labour. I have been a great sufferer from disease, having had five shocks of paralysis. I have been with my left arm bound to my side for months because the pain in my heart was so great. When making these changes in my diet, I refused to yield to taste and let that govern me. Shall that stand in the way of my securing greater strength, that I may therewith glorify my Lord? Shall that stand in my way for a moment? Never! I suffered keen hunger. I was a great meat eater. But when faint, I placed my arms across my stomach and said: "I will not taste a morsel. I will eat simple food, or I will not eat at all." Bread was distasteful to me. I could seldom eat a piece as large as a dollar. Some things in the reform I could get along with very well, but when I came to the bread I was especially set against it. When I made these changes I had a special battle to fight. The first two or three meals, I could not eat. I said to my stomach: "You may wait until you can eat bread." In a little while I could eat bread, and graham bread, too. This I could not eat before; but now it tastes good, and I have had no loss of appetite. 2T 371

We have only a half loaf of graham and one loaf of white, and half of one of the rusk bread. It is all moist and good. Someone helped himself to our oranges. We think our apples go well. We are well satisfied with our meals. Those around us are loaded with chicken, pickles, corned beef, jellies, and tea and coffee. None seem to feel as well as we do, who eat only twice a day of simple food. Not anything warm yet to eat or drink. We feel the blessing of the Lord attends us. Praise His dear name! We will love and serve Him. Be of good courage. Be cheerful. And don't one of you forget that in God must be your trust. Here we are at Sidney. God bless you.--Letter 11a, 1875. (To "Dear Children," May 3, 1875.) 3MR 131

There is a class who profess to believe the truth, who do not use tobacco, snuff, tea, or coffee, yet they are guilty of gratifying the appetite in a different manner. They crave highly-seasoned meats, with rich gravies, and their appetite has become so perverted that they cannot be satisfied with even meat, unless prepared in a manner most injurious. The stomach is fevered, the digestive organs are taxed, and yet the stomach labours hard to dispose of the load forced upon it. After the stomach has performed its task it becomes exhausted, which causes faintness. Here many are deceived, and think that it is the want of food which produces such feelings, and without giving the stomach time to rest, they take more food, which for the time removes the faintness. And the more the appetite is indulged, the more will be its clamours for gratification. This faintness is generally the result of meat-eating, and eating frequently, and too much. The stomach becomes weary by being kept constantly at work, disposing of food not the most healthful. Having no time for rest, the digestive organs become enfeebled, hence the sense of "goneness," and desire for frequent eating. The remedy such require is to eat less frequently and less liberally, and be satisfied with plain, simple food, eating twice, or at most, three times a day. The stomach must have its regular periods for labour and rest, hence eating irregularly between meals is a most pernicious violation of the laws of health. With regular habits, and proper food, the stomach will gradually recover. 4ASG 129

But since the Lord presented before me, in June, 1863, the subject of meat-eating in relation to health, I have left the use of meat. For a while it was rather difficult to bring my appetite to bread, for which, formerly, I have had but little relish. But by persevering, I have been able to do this. I have lived for nearly one year without meat. For about six months most of the bread upon our table has been unleavened cakes, made of unbolted wheat-meal and water, and a very little salt. 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. My former faint and dizzy feelings have left me. I have been troubled every spring with loss of appetite. The last spring I had no trouble in this respect. Our plain food, eaten twice a day, is enjoyed with a keen relish. We have no meat, cake, or any rich food upon our table. We use no lard, but in its place, milk, cream, and some butter. We have our food prepared with but little salt, and have dispensed with spices of all kinds. We breakfast at seven, and take our dinner at one. It is seldom I have a faint feeling. My appetite is satisfied. My food is eaten with a greater relish than ever before. 4ASG 153

As yet we have received only two hundred and fifty pounds from you. Special direction was given in regard to the manufacturing of health foods, but lately we have not had money to invest in peanuts for our family. We eat no meat or butter, and use very little milk in cooking. There is no fresh fruit at this season. We have a good yield of tomatoes, but our family think much of the nuts prepared in a variety of ways. . . . I cannot eat a great variety of food in the vegetable line. Sometimes I venture to go a little farther in taking dried peas, prepared as I had them prepared at the Sanitarium. But it costs me too much. Gas accumulates and crowds my heart. . . . I am so thankful that the Lord has given us enough to eat. There are poor families who do not have enough to satisfy hunger. I am thankful that I can eat my two meals, and feel in every way comfortable. Apples here are high, and of an inferior quality, but we shall soon have fresh oranges and lemons.--Letter 73, 1899, pp. 9, 10. (To J. H. Kellogg, April 17, 1899.) 7MR 325

It is right that no tea, coffee, or flesh meat be served in our sanitariums. To many, this is a great change and a severe deprivation. To enforce other changes, such as a change in the number of meals a day, is likely, in the cases of some, to do more harm than good. CD 283

But the other members of my family do not eat the same things that I do. I do not hold myself up as a criterion for them. I leave each one to follow his own ideas as to what is best for him. I bind no one else's conscience by my own. One person cannot be a criterion for another in the matter of eating. It is impossible to make one rule for all to follow. There are those in my family who are very fond of beans, while to me beans are poison. Butter is never placed on my table, but if the members of my family choose to use a little butter away from the table, they are at liberty to do so. Our table is set twice a day, but if there are those who desire something to eat in the evening, there is no rule that forbids them from getting it. No one complains or goes from our table dissatisfied. A variety of food that is simple, wholesome, and palatable, is always provided. CD 491

For more than twelve years we have taken only two meals each day, of plain, unstimulating food. During that time, we have had almost constantly the care of children, varying in age from three to thirteen years. We worked gradually and carefully to change their habit of eating three times a day to two; we also worked cautiously to change their diet from stimulating food, as meat, rich gravies, pies, cakes, butter, spices, etc., to simple, wholesome fruits, vegetables, and grains. The consequence has been that our children have not been troubled with the various maladies to which children are more or less subject. They occasionally take cold by reason of carelessness, but this seldom makes them sick. HR MAY 01,1877

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. MH 321

In regard to flesh-meat, do not bring it into the Sanitarium. Neither tea nor coffee should be served. Caramel-cereal, made as nicely as possible, should be served in the place of these health-destroying beverages. In regard to the third meal, do not make eating but two meals compulsory. Some do best healthwise when eating three light meals, and when they are restricted to two, they feel the change severely. SPM 214