A.R.E.’s executive director and CEO, Kevin J. Todeschi, and I are pleased with the huge success of the A.R.E. headquarters’ chapter of our partner Weight Watchers® International. Along with the proprietary weight-loss tools from Weight Watchers, Kevin and I also appreciate the information found in Choose My Plate, a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion program to help people make better dietary choices.  

Choose My Plate, available free to everyone at ChooseMyPlate.gov is a great resource to increase awareness of healthy foods and drinks, and to help us improve our own health. The website offers lots of information, a BMI calculator, recipes, and other dietary planning tools. It replaces various USDA food pyramids that you may remember from the past. 

For those of us familiar with the dietary recommendations found in the Cayce readings, it comes as no surprise that the main principles contained in both resources align. Though the Cayce health readings specified many detailed food choices appropriate for the particular symptoms discussed in that particular reading, most of the general recommendations jibe neatly with the Choose My Plate program’s advice. Both emphasize eating a variety of fresh, locally grown foods, with a focus on plant-based foods: vegetables, fruits, and grains. Sufficient amount of lean protein, from either plant or animal sources, rounds out the plates described in the government program and the Cayce readings. 

Though Choose My Plate does not categorize foods as alkaline-producing or acid-producing like the Cayce materials do, the 2018 Choose My Plate recommendations echo the readings’ advice against including processed meats, fried foods, preservatives, carbonated soft drinks, too much sugar, too much starchy food, and over-consumption of caffeinated drinks and alcohol in one’s diet. The historical Cayce material and the modern USDA both encourage multiple daily servings of fresh raw vegetables, especially leafy greens. Both recommend adequate fiber consumption from vegetables, fruits, and from whole (not processed) grains like wheat, buckwheat, oats, and brown rice. Small portions of nuts are mentioned for their nutrient and healthy fat content. Olive oil is described in both sources as an excellent choice for cooking and dressing salads.  

The USDA and the Cayce materials agree on food preparation methods as well as food choices. They both advise strongly against frying foods. Both nutrition guides instead emphasize quick steaming as the best way to prepare cooked vegetables. The readings mentioned the most popular brand of parchment paper in Cayce’s day, Patapar Paper (Paterson’s Vegetable Parchment) as a good way to steam food to retain the most nutrients. Baar Products, the company licensed to produce the Cayce remedies, has reproduced Patapar Paper and sells it on their website (Baar.com). There are other brands of parchment paper available as well, and microwave ovens now offer an additional way to steam vegetables quickly to maintain as much of the vitamin and mineral content as possible. Fortunately, many research studies have debunked microwaves’ purported negative radiation effects on consumers. If a glass—not plastic—container is used, the microwave is a great, safe, tool for steaming vegetables, though I personally am not a fan of the texture microwave cooking creates in other carbohydrates and in meats. 

The bottom line for all dietary recommendations is that your health is in your own hands! Whether it’s the Cayce diet or Choose My Plate, there is support and guidance to help you make the best choices for your body. You CAN choose to eat a healthy diet, one that is satisfying, and one that includes foods you enjoy. Yes, organic and healthy foods can sometimes cost more, but the small upcharge is certainly less than more co-pays at the doctor’s office. Emotions, family traditions, and even boredom can undermine our intentions to improve our diets. Try following the guidance in the Cayce readings at EdgarCayce.org/diet or at ChooseMyPlate.gov for two months, and I predict that you will feel better and want to continue your healthier choices.