One of the Nation of Islam’s distinguishing factors is the way we eat. Just about everyone knows that we don’t eat pork (like all Muslims); however, there was also a dietary law given to us by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad from God Himself. In fact, there are 2 books on it – How to Eat to Live books 1 and 2.
Below, I’ve listed some great stand-out points from the two books mentioned above:
1. One Meal A Day
Muslims in the Nation of Islam, as long as their health and age allow them to, eat one meal a day. That means, we eat once every 24 hours, nothing in between – straight up one meal a day. How is that possible, you ask? Simple – you just do it.
Eating one meal a day allows your stomach to gain strength. It takes about 24 hours for your food to fully digest. If you eat 3 meals a day, and snack in between those meals, your stomach is constantly digesting food. It never stops working. This wears down the stomach, and you run into health issues early on in life.
Your stomach works a lot less when you feed it one meal a day, and if you’re also eating right, you are able to absorb the nutrients from food with higher efficiency.
Pro tip: If you’re eating 3 meals a day, don’t just drop that and start eating one meal a day. The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad suggests that you begin by cutting out one of your meals (maybe breakfast) and work your way from there.
Read these words from the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad for better understanding: https://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/Health_amp_Fitness_11/article_7995.shtml
2. National Fast
The first weekend of every month is the National Fast in the Nation of Islam. We eat our last meal on Thursday, fast on Friday and Saturday, then eat again on Sunday. That constitutes a three-day fast.
Fasting is prescribed for us in the Holy Quran and is a method of cleansing. When you fast, you’re allowing your body to get rid of toxins on many levels, especially if you complement your fast with prayer and spiritual exercises. You allow your body to restore itself, and you rejuvenate your mind, spirit and soul.
In How To Eat To Live, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that fasting for three days will knock out any illness you have. It’s something that’s definitely worth a try and that also takes practice.
Pro tip: If you’re not accustomed to fasting, try one day at a time. Days before you fast, constantly tell yourself that you will not eat on the day you plan to fast. This helps you to prepare your mind. It truly is mind over matter. Also, during your fast, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said it’s ok to have coffee, tea and/or water.
3. Kale is a no-no
We are in the day and age of kale salad, avocado toast and zucchini noodles. I’m sorry to burst your vegan bubble, but kale is an absolute no-no. Contrary to popular belief, kale isn’t healthy for the human stomach. It wasn’t even made for us to eat. The same thing goes for peanuts, lima beans, collard greens, etc. These foods may be healthy for some animals, but not for the human stomach. It’s too harsh for us to digest, making our stomachs work twice as hard and lose strength.
Pro tip: Many of the foods that some doctors say are healthy really aren’t. Do some research by reading the How to Eat to Live books to find the truth concerning some of these foods.
4. Navy beans? Everyday.
Navy beans aren’t extremely popular. When I mention them, people usually ask what they are. Navy beans are small beans that are packed with nutrients. In fact, it’s the only bean that Allah told us to eat. With the navy bean alone, there are several things you can make, such as hummus, smoothies, salad dressing…the list goes on. Our staples, however, include navy bean soup and bean pie. The bean soup is packed with protein, iron and many vitamins and minerals that are extremely beneficial for the body. Navy bean pie contains many of those same benefits and also satisfies the sweet tooth.
Pro tip: Eat your bean pie a little warm, then add vanilla ice cream. It’s soooo good.