Millions of people around the world have tolerance issues with dairy products so this is a common problem. But the underlying -- and perhaps more relevant -- question is: what could Rheo do for them? Did they consume dairy on his program and do just fine or did he devise unique non-dairy regimens for them that still had the Blair magic when it came to restoring health and building muscles? I do have some information on milk issues which I touch on below; I don't have anything specific on how he may have helped people become tolerant to eggs but I will share one thought on this at the end of the post. If any of you reading this worked with him and have any specific information on these matters please email me. Short of that, I can offer a few insights.
Rheo was wholly focused on the health building and bodybuilding values of milk and eggs, so much so that some would suggest he was rigid in his thinking. But he based his views upon the results he got in his experimentation over the years.
So while he used soy and beef protein early in his career he found as time went on that he got better results with milk and eggs. He eventually turned against soy entirely suggesting it was an incomplete and indigestible protein; in addition he saw it was a danger to the thyroid gland. As to beef and other meats, while he also used them early on in bodybuilding and indeed he enjoyed the pure pleasure of eating them throughout his life he nonetheless came to the conclusion that it is not possible to build muscle with these proteins. Not only that but high levels of red meat consumption would disrupt the all important calcium--phosphorous balance of the body. Beef, for example, contains large amounts of phosphorous; if one eats a lot of beef and therefore gets a lot of phosphorous it becomes necessary to supplement with calcium to maintain the balance which is critical to good health. I can personally tell you that I saw him take considerable amounts of calcium anytime he ate a steak. Milk and eggs don't have this problem and his milk and egg protein was balanced in this regard. My whole point here is that if someone came to him wanting to avoid milk and egg proteins they were likely to get a sermon on the superiority of these over all others. If they persisted, I have no doubt he would have gladly sold them all the vitamin supplements they wanted telling them the wonders of each (and being entirely sincere) without giving his blessing to the use of non-milk and egg protein -- except perhaps that any high protein diet would be vastly superior to, say, a high carbohydrate vegetarian diet.
To those milk intolerant folk he had some suggestions on how one might develop tolerance to it. He published his ideas at one point on this issue which does show he did have students with milk issues and that he did help them; I quote here his words:
"Since I believe so strongly that it is not possible to attain and maintain good health unless milk is included in the daily diet, I would like to devote my efforts here to those people who do not or cannot drink milk. I am well aware that many people are unable to tolerate milk and as a result cannot take advantage of its many beneficial qualities. In fact, surprisingly enough, I was once among this group (emphasis added). My reaction to milk was so serious that for a period of years I found it impossible to drink in any quantity.
It was when I learned that an intolerance to milk is not the fault of the milk, but the fault of the individual, that I began to search for ways that would allow me to use milk. With the help of some experts I was able to come up with some very useful suggestions that not only enabled me to use milk profitably once again but have helped many of my students as well."
He goes on to detail his suggestions however those are beyond the scope of this post. But one general point needs to be made in conjunction with his work: he used raw unpasteurized grass fed milk exclusively (unless for some reason he couldn't get it). He also used raw eggs (cage free, fertile only) in protein shakes -- and, on their own, though in this latter case he used the yolks only, swallowing them whole like goldfish; more on that, here. The relevance here to the post is that raw foods can often be tolerated when their cooked equivalents cannot be. Those with milk intolerance's can sometimes tolerate raw milk better than pasteurized milk, depending on their body chemistry. So his first reply to anyone coming to him with dairy sensitivities might be to suggest they begin going raw and un-denatured in their dairy choices; he would further suggest high levels of Hcl and other digestants and nutrients to improve tolerance, digestibility and assimilation. One of his favorite phrases was "it's not what you eat; it is what you assimilate".
All this being said it is important to realize that, for one reason or another, not all of his students were successful or as successful as he and they would have liked. In many cases this was simply because of compliance issues; this or that student being unable to follow the demanding Blair regimen. It was a 24/7 effort beyond the personal discipline level of many. In other cases the regimen was adhered to but the results still disappointed in some way. And I think this may simply be because not everyone thrives on the same foods. I thrive on heavy proteins; my father thrives on a (healthy and complex) carbohydrate centered diet. My wife needs a balance between the two. Obviously, someone needing high amounts of complex carbohydrates would not thrive on the Blair regimen of several hundred grams of protein per day. This is an important issue for everyone to consider. I was extremely fortunate that what Rheo offered was exactly what I happened to need. If you want to learn more about what foods YOU need, take the Metabolic Typing test to find out. You wouldn't put the wrong kind of gas in your car; why would you haphazardly put foods in your body, even "healthy" ones? The best eggs in the world may not be what YOU need. But you won't know until you find out. Metabolic Typing is a relatively recent technology unavailable during Rheo's days. I do believe he would have enthusiastically embraced it as he did the concept of biochemical individuality. After all, Metabolic Typing is the ultimate expression of Biochemical Individuality.
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Copyright © 2008 Charles Welling
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Information found on Rheo H. Blair: The Book is meant for educational and informational purposes only, and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. It should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment.