Diet and Nutrition
by Paul Anderson
by Paul Anderson
I have experimented with high protein foods throughout the years, and developed several varieties that I use along with others that are documented here. I have received some fine results from various protein foods mixed with citrus acid and other ingredients, which seem to work quite well.
When I left the hospital at the age of five and a half, my doctors instructed my parents concerning my diet. This was a very rigid schedule on which I was to convalesce. Since the disease that put me under the doctors’ care had to do with a kidney ailment, this diet was quite strict but lacked a great deal of protein. Because my disease had been almost unto death – and I firmly believe only prayers saved my life – my parents were very zealous to see that I followed the doctors’ instructions.
Weeks and even months went by without any real improvements in my weakened condition. Fruit juices, starches, and other foods greatly lacking in high quality proteins, although they have a place in our diet, were just not getting the job done.
Very few mothers can long endure their children’s plea for food, especially when no progress is being made with the near starvation diet in which I was participating. Soon she gave in to my pleas and started preparing me foods rich in protein such as poultry, eggs, fish, and some high protein grain cereals. Almost immediately I could feel these foods taking hold of my weakened body, and filling it with much-needed strength. Unlike the predictions of the doctors concerning such a diet, my body started getting stronger and stronger and my vital organs also began to pick up the endurance and strength that they needed to carry on my body function.
Throughout my elementary school years and even in junior high, I was a little behind some of the other boys in size and strength, due to my near-fatal illness. All of this time I was gaining on basically high protein foods. I ate many raw eggs, which gave me much strength, and I personally feel that eggs are quite good for this, in spite of the cholesterol jag we seem to be on.
As my high school days rolled around, I became very interested in athletics, and by that time I was actually larger than most my age, and quite a bit stronger. I was certainly destined to be a good athlete, and I feel this was because of my high protein diet, which saved me from being the proverbial ninety-seven pound weakling.
On many occasions I can remember, instead of taking my extra spending money and buying sweets, I would buy various types of canned fish that my body seemed to constantly crave. Most of my attention in high school turned toward eating meat (beef and lamb) that was cooked quite rare. Heretofore I had always preferred meat that was well done, even to the point of almost being charred. This is actually the way my family had always prepared meat dishes, and my taste naturally developed in this way. I found that not only did the meat taste better rare, but it seemed to digest faster and give me more strength.
In college, I first started lifting weights and I even put more emphasis on my diet after I began to do this weight training. As weeks passed I took my weight training more seriously, and certainly my diet. It seems that even though the college dining table offered a variety of good foods, these foods were a little dead as far as nutrition was concerned. Certainly the meat and vegetables were cooked too thoroughly for the body to break down the digestible protein and vitamin content. I felt if I was going to really be a competitive weightlifter I must choose my own diet and have a proper gym to train in, so I gave up weightlifting for a career in weight training.
On returning to my home with the reluctant consent of my parents to allow me to postpone my college career for a while, I was able to study nutrition and develop my eating habits along even more productive lines. I knew basically that I needed a great quantity of protein to build and repair the muscle tissue I was tearing down with the heavy lifting. It made sense to me that the more protein my body could assimilate, the greater progress I could make in my quest for weightlifting championships.
Although throughout my high school and college years I was a very large and active athlete, I never had a tremendous appetite. This was somewhat of a handicap, since I needed to eat more digestible protein to enable my heavy training program to be successful. As I examined the situation, I came to the conclusion that even though I could not eat a great deal of solid foods, I always consumed large quantities of liquids. Much of my diet had been made up of milk, from which I received much good digestible protein. Throughout my junior high and high school years, I had sometimes consumed three to four quarts of milk per day. Now part of the task before me was to figure out a way to put protein in drinkable form.
My first pursuit of a higher protein diet, in a liquid form, was to go back on the raw eggs and sweet milk. By beating them up in a blender, I could drink about a dozen eggs at a time, which would give me much extra protein along with the milk. I found that this once again enhanced my ability to gain weight and to build strong healthy muscle tissue, after it had been torn down earlier in my workouts.
It doesn’t take very long for anyone to get a little fed up on just one diet. Naturally the same routine day after day of raw eggs, even though it was taken along with an otherwise well-balanced diet, made me grow to the point where I grossly disliked milk with raw eggs.
Now I had gone as far as my heretofore education of diet had allowed me, so I had to learn other protein foods that I could mix in liquid form. At this time the various soybean supplements had not been presented on most markets, and even those who were quite experienced in nutrition and so-called proper diets were just now beginning to realize that the strength athlete needed something more than just a diet made up of regular high protein foods. I read somewhere that soybean powder was very good for protein deficiency, and it was being shipped overseas for starving people in various parts of the world. I thought surely if this was good for someone with a gross lack of protein, it would be extra nourishing for a person that needed more protein because of his strenuous exercise. Finally I was able to buy some soybean meal. This product was quite course in comparison with the finely crushed powder we know in protein supplements today. Although it was in this crude form, I was able to grind it a bit finer by beating it in a milk solution for along period of time with the aid of a blender. I could immediately tell the difference in my diet and thought actually that two protein supplements I had tried thus far, both being good, should be combined in some way, which would give me the better quantities of both. I started varying my diet, making ice cream and milk shakes with the soybean meal, raw eggs, milk, and varying the type of flavor used. Even better results were obtained from this particular procedure.
My search went on for more protein foods that could be used in a concentrated form and taken in liquids. One day I was reading the label on a plain gelatin product, and saw that they advertised it to be very high in protein. I thought this would be something to try, so I started putting it into orange juice, stirring it up briskly and drinking it. I used this along with the diet of milk, raw eggs, and soybeans. Now there was a greater vitality in my life, and certainly a marked difference in my training. I varied the gelatin products, many being on the market, and started buying it in a bulk form. Now I started to learn that both animal and vegetable proteins were better when they were used together.
The value of using animal and vegetable protein in a blend proved itself more as time went by. I kept up my search for new types of protein supplement, and one day, being in a small
town, went by a peanut mill. I asked them what they did with the byproduct of the peanut oil for which they were famous. They said it was turned into cattle feed and was much sought after because of its high protein quality. I’d always been a lover of peanuts prepared in various ways, and was sure that if I could find some of this byproduct in an edible form it would be profitable in my training. This was accomplished and with the help of my Dad, we set up a tiny electrical mill to pulverize the caked dry mass that was left after the peanut oil was extracted. I mixed this with my soybean meal, and used it as a permanent part of my diet. Georgia
There is no doubt in my mind that the secret to success in any sport is diet along with rest and exercise, and of course the proper mental attitude. As I grew in size and my lifting progressed to world record breaking performances, I knew that one secret to my success was the ability to train more than anyone else. I could actually train on the same lift every day by furnishing the body with enough digestible protein to allow the muscle tissue to rebuild quite rapidly. The more I learned of nutrition the faster my strength increased, and the more I was able to train. I also learned that my body needed all types of protein, but it could develop better on the animal variety. Not that I had any desire to omit the valuable protein coming from vegetables, but I felt that I should pursue other forms of animal protein.
I remember that during the time I started really making progress in my convalescence, from the illness as a small boy, my mother not only gave me meat, milk, fish and eggs prepared in various ways, but she also prepared various strength-building soups for me. This soup was usually made of some canned variety in which she added a liquid that she squeezed with a hand press from ground beef. She would put the beef on the stove in a large pan and add some water. As this started to get hot she would allow it to simmer for about a minute, actually just long enough for it to get hot, and then pour it through a lemon-squeezing press, that would extract all of the fluid. She would pour this fluid into the soup and serve it to me in that manner. Thinking of this, I decided I would add this type of strength-builder to my then fortified protein diet, and every morning for breakfast this is what I would have to start my strenuous day. With these great quantities of protein, I found that my body was growing a little stale, and even though I ate many green vegetables and salads, and tried to have what I would call a well-balanced diet of various vegetables both cooked and raw. Occasionally I would drink soft drinks during my training and noticed when I did this I could perform much better, and my digestive cycle would work much faster. This proved to me that I needed a great deal more sugar. It seemed that the more protein I took, the more sugar I needed to help digest the protein, and also give me quick energy. I turned to the greatest sugar supply I could find, which was honey. I soon found that much of the honey that could be bought in grocery stores did not do me as much good as honey direct from the beehive, bought from a farmer. It was my personal belief that much of the honey that was on the market had been heated in a pasteurizing process and had lost some of its quick digesting qualities.
Some days I would consume even a half pint of honey, when I was working out strenuously and carrying on my tremendous traveling schedule.
Now having learned of my body’s need for extra sugar, to go along with the great amounts of protein I was taking in, I even did better with my training and actual performances.
Naturally, my performances of breaking world records, winning championships, and even the Olympic games proved that my ideas on protein food are successful along with my training, rest, and mental attitudes.
I think, basically, the main thing that an athlete needs to become great is the will. Naturally, everyone has different potentials, but the person who will endure almost any discomfort to achieve his ultimate potential is the one who is going to achieve championship caliber. I know this previous statement is an obvious one that will be sanctioned by all those who read it. But I especially want to speak at this time of diet. Many of the foods I eventually included in my diet, foods that have proven their valuable qualities, are quite distasteful to the average person. I’ve had people look at some of the things that I was eating, especially after I told them the contents, who would turn up their noses and say, “I would not eat anything like that!” My answer has always been, “It depends on how much you want to progress!”
I guess the first distasteful food I started to use was the extract from raw beef. I have always been very careful about the beef I chose for such a dish, since I was eating it without any type of cooking. The procedure here is to take good ground beef, of the lean variety and put it in one of the better centrifugal force extractors. This will extract most of the liquid, which looks mostly like blood. I usually add a little salt to this liquid, and drink it. Considering all the liquid supplements I have used, this is one of the greatest. This meat extract can be disguised by drinking it in tomato juice, or adding some type of meat sauce to it to change the flavor. I expanded this through the years, and not only used beef but all types raw seafood. With a diet of all the protein supplements that I have mentioned, and also using the raw beef extracts and raw seafood, whether liquefied of used in a solid form, I found that I could put in some eighteen hours a day in my traveling and speaking engagements, plus carry on a workout routine.
I have experimented with many other typed of extra protein foods. Some I can half-heartedly recommend. Some I condemn completely. I tried one time to drink pure beef blood. This food that many of the old-time strongmen used is quite hard to secure, but I found one meatpacking house that would furnish it for me. Especially in this procedure, one has to have a person that he can trust to secure the blood, and of course to secure it in a sanitary manner, and then be quite discreet in what type animal the blood is taken from. To keep the blood from coagulating I found that a little citric acid mixed with water, previously placed in the container would do the trick.
Concerning this diet of beef blood, I never found it as rewarding, in a strength-building sense, as the beef extracts. I believe that from the extracts not only blood is obtained, but also other fluids and meat tissue that are also valuable.
Along with all of these foods that I recommend, I have always used a vitamin-mineral supplement, and on most occasions taken large quantities of cold-pressed wheat germ oil.
Naturally each individual has to feel out his own personal needs, which are basically the same in all of us. All of the protein supplements that I have spoken about here should not be taken all at one time, but should be alternated, first using one and then the other. Some of them may not wholly agree with all people, but as I have said, we are all basically the same and have the same needs. I cannot say exactly that all I have done to gain my strength, through diet, will be good for everyone, but I am telling you what has been the key to my personal success.
Many of the foods that I nave named will come as no revelation to many, but I believe that most will agree my pioneering in the world of diet has suggested many thoughts and ideas concerning body-building foods.
I have purposely not dealt in technical terms in presenting these foods to you. I feel my readers will be of many different origins and various educational backgrounds, so I have written these things in plain layman’s language.
Diet cannot do it alone. There are many qualities that make up the champion, or just the person who wants to live a full and vibrant life and get the most use out of what God has given him. Certainly all will agree, the type of fuel we put into the wonderful machines we call bodies is what determines the efficiency of their operation.