St James medical checks

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
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ems
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Location: Surrey

Postby ems » Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:45 am

Yes, the St J/SES diet. I remember the spread on the table. A selection of cheeses including cottage cheese, celery, brown bread, butter, apples, pears, butter, honey and if we were really lucky, the yoghurt, which has been mentioned before.... 'was there anything to it other than it's skin?' I think were the words of a former pupil.
No hot food. Was it evil to have hot food? I did have hot food at home though.
SES food - open sandwiches of egg and cress and sometimes sultanas ?!?@ but they did have chocolate biscuits - but I heard that after a while it only lasted Part 1 to entice the newcomers then that privilage ceased. I'm sure it would take more than a chocolate biscuit to entice somebody to Part 2 though.
Vegetarian diet, of course, as to harm a living animal meant you'd suffer 10 fold. I remember asking once if this included ants you inadvertadly trod on without even knowing about it. Can't remember the response.
Needless to say I'm a very happy carnivor now.
I think you had to prepare food lovingly too, otherwise you were filling the food with your own poison.... something like that.
Frozen food is dead food.
Food dropped on the floor is devils food.
SES were right about junk food though - you are what you eat (just as that TV programme is entitled, run by that skinny little female Dr who loves to analyse people's poo. shudder)
Milk or water were the options at St J, but not soya, thank goodness.
Cor, memories...........

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bella
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Postby bella » Sun Apr 09, 2006 12:26 pm

Yeah, the 4 or 5 foods thing just sounds silly. Fair enough, savour your flavours, but an edict prescribing 4 or 5 on one plate would have been fine, not 4 or 5 in a meal. It was in a meal, wasn't it?

Anyway, there are no such prescriptions here on what you can or can't take in a meal. You can take what you want, although I notice in Melbourne that "it is the custom to take the first course in silence". So everyone's whispering to their neighbour to pass them the bread, or slide the butter. Or chuck over a plum.

Brisbane meals are much more enjoyable, and just as sattvica. :)

Alban
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Postby Alban » Sun Apr 09, 2006 4:28 pm

bella wrote:...Anyway, there are no such prescriptions here on what you can or can't take in a meal. You can take what you want, although I notice in Melbourne that "it is the custom to take the first course in silence". So everyone's whispering to their neighbour to pass them the bread, or slide the butter. Or chuck over a plum.


We were never allowed to ask, had to wait to be offered, and masters had to be served first of course.

The yoghurt was rank, but it could be improved by slipping a couple of spoons of honey into the cup (yes, we had to eat it out of cups - dunno why) - if you got caught it was deemed a pretty serious offence and ther were more than a few boys that got caned for it. Didn't see any incidents of that listed in Debenhams punishment book...maybe he just forgot to write them down!

Alban

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bella
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Postby bella » Sun Apr 09, 2006 4:39 pm

Yeah, the idea is that you wait to be offered, but it's kind of hard when you're supposed to take the first course in silence, and quite a few people haven't been served by the time JJ starts the meal. I don't know...if I want something and nobody's offering after a decent interval, I'll ask them for it. Especially if I'm on the end of a table with one other person beside me who's wrapped up in perma-conversation with the person on the other side.

Caned for having honey with your yoghurt? I hope they're reading this.

Planet
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Postby Planet » Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:46 pm

Talking about this diet melarky I do remember getting hold of a toaster a Stanhill court and the smell of lovely toast permeating down the corridor in Stanhill court while the adults were on what the SES called 'Measure' which involved no breakfast. As young kids we were allowed breakfast.

This was too much for some and I remember we had a brisk trade in toast and marmite or marmalade at the window to some of the less fortunate souls who popped by and needed feeding.


The school diet was a bit strange to say the least. All those milky products can't really be too good. Unpasteurized stuff. People would have a fit about that today.

CeliaR
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Postby CeliaR » Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:33 am

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Free Thinker
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Postby Free Thinker » Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:11 am

Lucky for me, the NY school was not this stringent in my experience.

Generally, we had a wide variety of fresh fruit, nuts, dairy products, veggies, fresh bread (which was REALLY good), honey, and sometimes we'd cook special things. Most food was raw. There were no dictates about how much of what you could eat or how many items on a plate although I remember all the Trinidadians only eating items separately.

I'm a vegan, so I have no problems with the vegetarianism other than the hypocrisy of it being preached and adhered to so stringently at residentials while most people ate meat at home. I have always remembered the meals quite fondly (fresh baked bread with homemade mozarella cheese, farm tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar - ummmm!!!!)

The adults didn't have any breakfast either but us kids always did and as I became an adult, I still went into the kitchen and had breakfast every morning. Just let anyone try to tell me that I can't eat breakfast!!!

Whoever was "in charge" would say a blessing, and then we'd all serve each other and wait to eat until everyone had some food on his/her plate. Not a bad method, IMO. No one ever sat for more than a few minutes before getting food and once we were eating, you certainly asked for what you wanted.

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Ben W
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Bringing it all back

Postby Ben W » Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:33 am

This is bringing it all back...

Another one I heard was "vegetables are food for animals, not humans"

ems wrote:I think you had to prepare food lovingly too, otherwise you were filling the food with your own poison.... something like that.


More deprogramming for me... I heard this from my mother as something to do when mixing a cake. I thought (until 5 minutes ago) this was a piece of family lore passed down from great grandma to mother to son. Didn't realise it was part of the doctrine! How disappointing.

And the comments on breakfast. I had forgotten that - but now I come to think of it I have no recollection of breakfast at SES, even as a child. This explains something else to me. I have read for many years that if you want to lose weight you should eat throughout the day, starting with a good breakfast. I resisted this for years and years, but 2 years ago decided to give breakfast a proper go. Combined with exercise I lost and kept off 8 kilos.

I can feel a new diet book coming on - "Deprogramme yourself slim."
Child member of SES from around 1967 to around 1977; Strongly involved in Sunday Schools ; Five brothers and sisters went to ST V and St J in the worst years

leon
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Postby leon » Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:09 am

bella wrote:Caned for having honey with your yoghurt? I hope they're reading this.


.....and for making sandwiches. It was forbidden to to put the lettuce or heaven forbid slice the cheese and attempt to make plain bread more appealing. The eventual beating would be for gross disobedience etc.
I remember one child used to leave his crusts to the annoyance of our teacher. As a punishment We had to cut all our crusts off and pile them on his plate, he ate nothing else for the next few days.

What a happy wisdom filled place Maclaren oversaw and created!

ses-surviver
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Location: London

Postby ses-surviver » Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:19 am

AntonR wrote:I don?t know what the current School diet is, but the one we were introduced to and rigorously adhered to was this :

Milk (Unpasteurized)
Bread (Homemade) with Butter
Cheese
Honey
Fruit (Only what was in season)
Nuts (No peanuts, only nuts produced above the ground)
Yoghourt (Homemade with unpasteurized milk)

Your could have only four different types per meal, with no mixing, eg., honey had to be had on a spoon separately.

No breakfast(Tea only). Only lunch and dinner. No picking or nibbling in between meals. Coffee forbidden. Mid-morning tea and mid-afternoon tea with nothing to eat.
Group night tea only.

No Alcohol. This is only permitted if you are fully realised, which excluded us.

That's pretty much what I remember being introduced to as part of 'measure' with the addition of a 'fast day', with, of course, not much let up in the way of phyisical work. Of course most people suddenly found themselves taking honey with their tea, as a means of getting through the day. When we finally ate the following day (usually a tad early at 11:30), the food tasted blissful - yeah even the bread and cheese stuff.

I don't remember having to adhere to the '4 foods/flavours' for more than a couple of years in middle school, before the edicts started to be flouted and I'm sure that on some residentials there wasn't even a 'fast day'.

It wasn't all bad, but some nutrional guidance could have been given, as I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced some sort of digestive problems as a result of a mix of nutrional ignorance and the 'school diet'.

Coffee used to be available in the afternoons/evenings (useful, if you wanted to stay awake during the 'meeting' in the evening), wine was usually available at the evening meal on residentials and I even remember baked potatoes being served on occasions .. though I was under the impression that they were vegetables that grew underground ;) In the later years there were visits to the 'Good Life' Chinese restraunt in Knightsbridge which sure beat the food on offer on group nights.

After leaving School, we were later told that this diet is not suitable for householders, may be alright for ascetics.

But, modern health tells us, it is a sure killer for cardiovascular disease.

Whatever, I can't beleive that the instructions were properly followed. What is suitable for someone living on the sub-continent, isn't necessarilly suitable for wet and windy Britain. Cooked root vegetables seem most suitable in such circumstances.

Free
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Postby Free » Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:13 pm

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bella
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Postby bella » Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:32 pm

Why is it hypocritical to eat whatever's offered on residential, and eat something else when you're at home? Or do you mean that the people determining what's on offer at residential eat otherwise at home? Not being facetious, Free - just a bit confused.

Free
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Postby Free » Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:37 pm

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Free Thinker
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Re: Hypocrisy

Postby Free Thinker » Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:47 pm

Free wrote:Sort of a classic, isn't it?
Preach one thing, in fact force it on others, then practise another privately.
"The diet" wasn't supposed to be just for retreats, it was a necessary part of the conscious lifestyle.


This is what I meant. I don't have an issue with them offering a different food on residentials. In fact, I think it would make perfect sense to have light and easy to digest foods on such a spiritual retreat. Don't want to get all Tamasic after a big rib BBQ lunch! Seriously!

What bothers me is the fact that HH makes it pretty darn clear that we should be vegetarians and why, and that not only is it for health, it's the ethical thing to do if we are trying to be one with everything. And yet this is completely disregarded except on retreats, where everyone can see what everyone else is eating.

Sure, there were a few veggies when I was there, but most people were not.

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bonsai
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Re: Food folly

Postby bonsai » Tue Apr 11, 2006 4:38 pm

Free wrote:Most senior SES students ate omnivorously whenever out of SES sight ? such hypocrisy!


This is one thing that I have never understood about the SES. It has never been clear to anyone about whether the practices and so called measure put in place during residentials is something that people are expected to follow as a lifestyle or something to follow only on whilst on the retreat.

Certainly things like the instruction to "get up when you wake up" and "to meditate twice a day preferably at sunrise and sunset" were instructions that were intended to be followed at all times whether you were on a school activity or not.

The diet is something that remains unclear as to whether it was something to follow at all times but I imagine that it was given that the same diet was imposed at all times in the Day schools at lunch time. That said however I know very few people who could really stomach it and would choose to follow that diet outside school or SES. Here in lies the hypocrasy.

Is the SES prescribing a lifestyle to follow or not?

One thing for sure, my experience of residentials is that there was no way sufficient rest or sleep and the diet was entirely inadequate. Judging also by what people smuggled in and escaped offsite to eat together with the difficulties most people had rising in the morning I would suggest that this would be a fairly broad concensus.

Maybe some of the current members could enlighten us as to whether any of this has changed?

Bonsai


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