Enjoy Life to the Fullest, in Moderation

balance food moderation

This technique was first made famous by Mithridates, an ancient Pontic king who gave Rome a great deal of trouble in the decades before Caesar came to power. He had made himself immune to all known poisons so that when his wife tried to poison his wine, he simply drank it down. He was then able to identify the toxin by taste and forced her to drink from his own cup, killing her.

Whether this story is true or not, the theory holds true in modern medicine. Any substance taken in too large a dose becomes a poison, and many drugs lose their potency as we develop a tolerance to them.

The same holds true for almost all vitamins and minerals. Most water soluble vitamins are fine in large quantities, but it is quite possible to overdose on the fat-soluble Vitamin D (though very hard, since most of us don’t have enough to begin with). In small quantities, sodium is necessary for survival, but get too much and you run into problems.

Even red wine is apparently good for you in moderation, but we all know the dangers of too much of any alcoholic beverage.

While I was in Europe, I had access to all sorts of delicious meals, drinks, and pastries. As long as I kept my intake to a moderate amount, I was fine. Even bread, something I normally avoid, was fine in Europe as long as I didn’t eat too much.

It was very tempting at first to overdo things though, since all the food was so excellent. Whenever I did, I immediately regretted it. I would feel lethargic and out of alignment.

Besides the importance of moderation in food, I’ve also talked a lot about the importance of moderation in exercise. Just like good food, too much exercise will put an excessive stress on the body, leading to breakdown rather than increased strength.

Why am I mentioning all this?

Last night, my mom made one of her old specialities, an Arabic dish that I can’t resist. And I ate way too much. Which kept me from sleeping, gave me indigestion, and generally left me feeling pretty miserable. I would have been much happier just eating what I wanted at the time and saving the rest to enjoy over the rest of the week.

Don’t ruin good things by over-indulging in them. And realize that bad things are sometimes only bad because we get too much of them. I don’t think any sort of food, exercise, or other habit is inherently good or bad. It is only the quantity that makes it a problem or a benefit.

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Fight on, Brave Warriors!

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