What is temperance? The simple meaning is that we need to be sensible and careful in all facets of life.
Temperance covers areas of diet, sleeping habits, choice and fitting of our clothing, our daily activities, our exercise and all other aspects of our life.
Firstly in food - It is important that each day we eat a well balanced diet. This means eating the right amounts of food from the different food groups, at the right times of the day. We should never feel bloated and over-full after a meal. We should always feel we could eat a little more when we leave the meal table. Due to body make-up and workload, the needs differ for each person, but the body knows and will give signals of satisfaction before getting over-full. The body does not handle food nearly as well when it is gulped down as it does when it is chewed well. It takes a little time for the stomach to give the full signal and one can easily overeat developing into a bad habit, over-weight, gas and other problems. Chew the food well, let the saliva work on the contents. Remember our stomachs do not have teeth -digestion starts in the mouth.
It is unwise to mix vegetables with fruits at any one meal. Lemons and oranges will not have so bad an effect being acid fruits, but sweet fruits such as bananas, dates, raisins, etc. are a bad combination with vegetables. Temperance covers the old adage, "You can have too much of a good thing." If we continually overeat, the body becomes continually overloaded, the stomach becomes weary and the risk of disease increases.
Some illnesses will not necessarily surface immediately, but they can accumulate internally and break out once internal damage is irreversible.
Temperance in drinking is also important. Teas, coffee, canned drinks and alcohol should be out of the diet. Most contain caffeine and although it may give energy for a short term, after the boost has had its peak, the body becomes tired and the mind can become depressed. Often the low that comes after the caffeine wears off is worse than the tiredness before taking that cup of coffee. If you are tired, the body is calling for sleep, not a charge of high-octane fuel. The human machinery can only last so long and starts breaking down after continual abuse.
Clean fresh water taken up to 20-30 minutes before a meal and two hours after a meal, adding up to 6-8 glasses a day, is the best beverage we can possibly have.
Clothing should fit our bodies well. It should not be tight around any part of the body to restrict blood flow or digestion functions. However, all parts of our body, including our arms, legs and head, should be well covered in colder climates, to keep the whole body warm, close fitting for safety, but not too tight. It is important to be covered neatly as well as modestly. What we wear on the outside, often gives a pretty good indication of what we are like on the inside.
Sleeping is also included in temperance. One hour before midnight is better than two hours after. Developing a habit of going to bed about 8.30-9.00pm and rising about 5.00-6.00am will help bring health to body and mind.