Da Vinci Rules (14 Tips for a Healthy Life)


Centuries later, Leonardo da Vinci’s advice for living a healthy life still has relevance and has been confirmed by researchers. Take from the following 14 pearls of wisdom what applies to you—only YOU know what you must modify in order to give your body and mind the ultimate support as you go through each day. These notes were from Richter’s version of the Notebooks of Leonardo—italics represent my own commentary.

What changes will YOU make based on the da Vinci 14? Comment below and share your thoughts!

According to Leonardo, good health comes from the following practice*

  1. Eat only when you want (want meaning hungry) and sup light.
  2. Chew well, and let what you take be well cooked and simple (He was way ahead of his time in knowing certain foods need to be cooked well, and are more easily digestible when cooked).
  3. He who takes medicine is ill advised (although sometimes necessary much can probably be avoided with good preventative self-care).
  4. Beware of anger and avoid grievous moods (Nota Bene: when you change what you say to yourself you can change your mood).
  5. Keep standing when you rise from table (we need to stay active and not go from the table to an after-meal malaise in front of the TV).
  6. Do not sleep at midday (Some believe in naps; others feel lousy after taking one. There is also a possibility that napping during the day may keep you from sleeping well and through the night).
  7. Let your wine be mixed (with water), take little at a time, not between meals

and not on an empty stomach (Good wine should always be sipped slowly with

          a good meal—drunkenness cancels its health benefits.).

  1. Go regularly to stool (self-explanatory—but regularity is key to good health!).
  2. If you take exercise, let it be light (moderation in all things).
  3. Do not be with the belly upwards, or the head lowered (good posture builds confidence, gives a strong mentality, and helps the body work better);
  4. Be covered well at night (the body rests best when at a comfortable temperature).
  5. Rest your head and keep your mind cheerful (don’t dwell on disturbing thoughts. Focus on all that is good!).
  6. Shun wantonness ( find ways to be productive and avoid boredom)
  7. Pay attention to diet (Leonardo always comes back to the importance of what we eat. Centuries later we know this to be the critical cornerstone of good health).

*Richter, Irma A. (2008-04-17). Notebooks (Oxford Worlds Classics) (p. 263). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.


Copyright 2016 Raeleen D’Agostino Mautner, Ph.D, author of “Living la Dolce Vita”; “Lemons into Limoncello”, and a weekly Q & A column in The Italian Tribune. Stream into my show THE ITALIAN ART OF LIVING WELL Monday mornings at 7AM EST for great interviews, recipes, music, and tips for living well: http://www.wnhu.net  or 88.7FM


9 thoughts on “Da Vinci Rules (14 Tips for a Healthy Life)

  1. Raeleen, I found myself rereading this encouraging and enlightening post. As it has been said many times, Leonardo was way ahead of his time. All good and sensible advice. Sure wish I could have met him!

  2. Reblogged this on Timeless Italy and commented:
    Dear Readers, I am so impressed by my friend Raeleen’s article about Leonardo Di Vinci’s idea of a healthy lifestyle that I had to reblog this article for you to read. Leonardo obviously knew a thing or two about living well! Enjoy…

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