Here’s a set of ten habits (precepts, lessons, guidelines) for health from Japanese literature which also adorn tea mugs and posters [aretan_健康十訓]. The translation is provided first and followed by the original text. If only I would learn them 🙂
Updates – Added the line “Eat less, taste more” and a story on Mar 13, 2022.
Ten Habits for Health
Even if there is nothing delightful, beautiful or wonderful, health is nonetheless health.*
- Less meat, more vegetables (Meat in moderation, vegetables in plenty, then health improves)
- Less salt and more vinegar (Excess salt intake is a source of high blood pressure, vinegar is a source of health)
- Less sweets, more fruits (Sweet things are from fruit, sugar is a direct ticket to obesity)
- Less eating and more chewing (Eat to 8/10 fullness and chew well, then fortune, which is also chewed, stays with you)
- Less clothes, more bathing (People, who dress lightly and like baths, tend to be healthy)
- Less talking, more doing (In place of chattering, start performing)
- Less greediness, more sharing (Instead of running for one’s own desires, run for those of others)
- Less grief, more sleep (In the same way one may worry, let’s end it by quickly sleeping*)
- Less driving, more walking (Vehicles are certainly fast. However, walking is a shortcut to health)
- Less resenting, more smiling (Even when offended, one readily forgets if one smiles)
Incidentally, a sibling mentioned another line that could fit nicely with Habit #4:
- “Less eating, more taste” or “Eat less, taste more” (少食多味)
- This apparently arose from the experience of sharing dishes on a Lazy Susan at a Chinese restaurant where a dish comes around to a person and there’s hardly anything left. When that person complains, somebody might joke with this line saying “Don’t worry. When you eat less, food tastes better.”
- I can see the corollary: “Eat more, taste less” (多食少味).
- I notice that the first bite of a dish can be incredibly flavorful, tasty and satisfying and that each subsequent bite has a diminished taste.
- In fact, when full and over-eating, I think I can hardly taste the food.
* Not sure of this translation.
一、少肉多菜（お肉ほどほど 野菜たっぷり 健康もりもり）