The Aztec Way to Healthy Eating

Front Cover
Paragon House, 1992 - Social Science - 173 pages
Before the onset of ailments brought by Spanish conquistadors, the Aztecs were a healthy, athletic, and vital people who enjoyed a close bond to their natural world. From earlier civilizations they inherited a great religious and scientific legacy, including a knowledge of astronomy and herbalism that far surpassed their European contemporaries. They also ate wonderfully and, with their indigenous supplies of fresh fruit, beans, fish, fowl, and selected meats and vegetables, flourished on a balanced, high-fiber, low-fat regimen that is exactly what today's doctor ordered.
Based on her study of sixteenth-century Spanish diaries and other documents, Sonja Atkinson shows how the Aztecs created a dietary system that was spiritually linked to their twenty-day monthly calendar, devoting each day's meals to the nutritional enhancement of a specific quality like endurance, vitality, or healing. The resulting balanced rotation of healthy foods parallels what nutritionists and physicians tell us about health issues today. Now you and your family can use these centuries-old nutrition secrets to increase your general fitness, live longer, and maintain your optimal weight without dieting.
Following her colorful descriptions of the Aztecs' culture, cooking techniques, and the nutritive value of their native foods (which is quite different and far healthier than the fried foods most Americans call "Mexican"), Atkinson demonstrates how to adapt their food program to our modern kitchen and busy lifestyle. She then provides detailed menus of easy-to-prepare meals for each day of the Aztec calendar, from the light fare of Day Monkey to the sumptuous feast of Day Jaguar.
Complete with fascinating bits of Aztec lore and modern nutritional information outlining each meal's benefits, these menus are cross-referenced with over fifty mouth-watering recipes. The dishes, using readily available ingredients, are simple, elegant, and unique. Where else would you find recipes for Aztec Muffins, Feathered Serpent Beans, Painted Squash Stew, Soaring Wings, Olla Lamb, Turkey Mole, and Sweet Tamale Pie?
More than a healthful food system, here is an exotic, sun-drenched journey through Aztec splendor: the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of daily life; the meaningful rhythms and rigorous standards of food preparation; the mystical beliefs and sound empirical knowledge of an ancient and wise civilization.

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Contents

Their heritage and culture Medicine men Their calendar
16
How the Aztecs characterized food and how we do Benefits
37
Detailed menus for each of the twenty days of the Aztec month
127
Copyright

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Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information