There is a lot of mystery surrounding the private life of one of the world’s most famous inventors. This modern-day magician has transformed the world we live in; his alternating current powers our cities and lights our homes; he revolutionized the way we use motors, radio waves, hydroelectricity, remote controls, X-rays, neon and fluorescent lights; and that is just a small part of the hundreds of patents he produced during his lifetime, some of which are yet to be discovered. The worldwide wireless transmission system he envisaged has become a reality changing the way we communicate forever. Nikola Tesla has electrified our world, but what is the secret of his boundless energy? How did he manage to stay active and creative well into his eighties? How did Nikola Tesla recharge his own batteries?
In his youth while studying in Grac, he was prone to vices; he smoked cigars and gambled away his scholarship. He always had a habit of spending long hours of the night reading books instead of sleeping, which made him one of the best-educated people of our time. By the time he reached America, he was a well-known gourmet frequently dining in many elegant hotels and restaurants. Some of his favourite dishes were prepared especially for him, including fresh scallops with prawn chips and lemon sauce, clear duck soup served with jello made from cherry liqueur, asparagus in hollandaise sauce sprinkled with parmesan, even a “Tesla” sherbet are just some of the meals that can still be found on the menu in the Nikola Tesla museum. He was a man of very particular tastes, and he took fine dining very seriously. Always immaculately dressed for the occasion, sometimes in the company of illustrious guests, here was a man who had realized the significance of good nutrition for a properly functioning organism.
He said: "The most important element of my life scheme is my diet. You can't expect the machine to work well if you don't provide it with the right fuel. ”
He approached his diet with the same meticulous planning he used to create his inventions;
"If we do not give the machine the best type of fuel, it will not work properly. That is why I take care of and maintain this machine according to the scientific principles and laws of the planet on which we live. Just as we have day and night, human life has two periods: one in which we work, and the other in which we rest. Therefore, the former should be used to produce energy, and the latter to supply the body with material that will strengthen it during sleep. "
He began to apply the same kind of discipline in all aspects of his life. He realized the fundamental principles of a healthy diet long before many nutritionists.
"First of all, we eat too much, which you've probably heard often before. We eat the wrong types of food and drink the wrong types of fluids. Most of the damage is caused by overeating and insufficient exercise, which contributes to toxic conditions in the body and prevents the removal of accumulated toxins. “ Tesla also exercised portion control and made sure to chew his food properly, which is advice you can hear from many doctors nowadays.
For breakfast he usually had some warm milk and eggs, especially egg whites. He was very fond of fruit and boiled vegetables (particularly onion and celery soup made with butter) as well as cauliflower, spinach and potatoes which he valued for their mineral content. Later in life he drank vegetable juices, just like the smoothies we consume today.
"I eat meat very rarely, once or twice a year. It is rich in protein, but fish is almost equally rich in protein and fat, and it is much easier to digest. The phosphorus it contains is great for the nervous system. But phosphorus, while nourishing the brain, causes acidity in the body. Both meat and fish give us fast energy. These foods are necessary for people of certain professions, although they shorten our lives due to their composition. However, while we are alive, they give us a lot of energy. ”
Tesla was a pioneer in many areas of his life. He recognized the effects of acidity in the body long before it was accepted by scientists. He also understood the link between meat consumption and high blood pressure, which is common knowledge nowadays, but was not so in his time. He believed that vegetarianism is the future, and that cruelty to animals is not only morally wrong but also detrimental to our health.
“That we can subsist on plant food and perform our work even to our advantage is not a theory, but a well-demonstrated fact. There is no doubt that plant food, such as oatmeal, is more economical than meat, and superior to it in regard to both mechanical and mental performance. Such food, moreover, taxes our digestive organs decidedly less, and, in making us more contented and sociable, produces an amount of good that is difficult to estimate.”
He was also well-known as a great humanitarian, and believed that plant-based foods could help end famine in the developing world. “How to provide good and plentiful food is, therefore, the most important question of the day.” he said.
“It will simply no longer be fashionable to poison the system with harmful ingredients. Bernarr Macfadden has shown how it is possible to provide palatable food based upon natural products such as milk, honey, and wheat. I believe that the food which is served today in his penny restaurants will be the basis of epicurean meals in the smartest banquet halls of the twenty-first century.”
Tesla also gradually reduced his consumption of coffee and other stimulants, but he never gave up a glass of whiskey a day. “It is not a stimulant but a veritable elixir of life!” he used to say...
He believed that every person should take care of their body as if it were a great work of art; he even considered sleeping an art form, focusing on his breathing and taking long walks for daily exercise.
Nikola Tesla is a man who changed the world with his inventions, but he also changed the way we live and experience good food; not just as a meal, but as nourishment for the soul...
By Jelena Markovic