Open any muscle mag from the mid-20th century and chances are you’ll find a reference to Rheo H. Blair, and his famous instant protein. Blair’s protein was used by the top bodybuilders of the 1950s ranging from Gironda to Arnie. He was a firm believer in the importance of top quality protein and often got amazing results from his clients.
Today we look at Blair’s 1950s pamphlet entitled the ‘Protein Way of Life.’ There’s some important tidbits to be taken from it.
How to mix the protein drink
A man normally uses the 1/3-cup measuring scoop filled level with Blair’s Instant Protein (or the 1/4-cup scoop filled heaping) mixed with a glassful of liquid. A lady normally uses the 1/4-cup scoop filled level. Using the blender, a man mixes four of the 1/3-cup scoopfuls (same as one and one third cupfuls) to the quart; a lady uses four 1/4-cup scoopfuls, or a cupful, to the quart.
The 1/4-cup scoop filled level with protein equals approximately 18 grams of protein; mixed with a glassful of half-and-half it comes to about 26 grams. The 1/3-cup scoop filled level (or the 1/4-cup scoop filled heaping) yields about 24 grams of protein; mixed with a glassful of half-and-half it’s approximately 32 grams of protein.
The preferred liquid for mixing the protein is half-and-half, and for a good reason. Nature seems to indicate that protein and fat should be taken in even balance. Milk with 3% protein is balanced with an equal amount of fat. Likewise eggs, meat, etc.
Blair’s Instant Protein is extracted from milk and eggs without this normally occurring fat; both eggs and milk were defatted in processing. Whole milk is normally balanced by itself, so if we mix the protein with milk we throw off this natural balance. However, by mixing the protein with half whole milk and half heavy cream we restore some of the fat removed during processing and we achieve a product more normally balanced as to proportions of protein and fat.
Remember, you are not actually drinking half-and-half when you follow this suggestion. The protein with half-and-half makes a “milk” drink which is equivalent to whole milk in the balance of protein and fat. It is thick and creamy because it is concentrated.
The “half-and-half” sold by most dairies is not a true “one half” plus “one half” but it can be used. We prefer to mix our own, using one-half whole milk and one-half heavy (whipping) cream. We recommend using raw milk and raw cream if it is available.
Do not be alarmed that we suggest using cream, for cream is not necessarily fattening for all people. By eliminating from the diet the high carbohydrate foods (those high in starch and sugar) you may find the body uses fats for a superior source of energy. Fats in the diet often tend to burn off accumulated body fat.
This protein drink made with half-and-half is delicious and tasty, especially if you make sure that the milk and cream are VERY COLD!
(For other liquids to use in mixing the protein, see WEIGHT WATCHERS on page five and VARIATIONS, page six <below>)
Additions to the protein drink:
When you wish to flavor the mixture, you may add some vanilla or other favorite flavoring. Whatever flavoring you care to add, Blair’s protein always tastes like melted ice cream. Notice that we offer three good flavorings (see Blair’s order blank)
If you wish, you may add a raw egg or two to the glassful of protein drink to provide a higher biological value. A whole egg adds about six grams of protein. We recommend that you use the whole egg, both yolk and white, and fertile if possible.
When you wish to make the mixture thicker or more like an ice cream malt, try adding some ice milk cubes. Just put milk or half-and-half in the ice cube tray and freeze. Adding a few cubes to the blender mixture keeps it cold and improves both texture and taste.
For the addition of oils, see VARIATIONS on last page.
HOW TO DRINK THE PROTEIN DRINK
The way you get this protein mixture into the stomach is important. Mistakes at this point can spell disappointing results. The protein drink is never to be gulped. It is to be sipped slowly. Some persons should take at least 30 minutes to get the glassful swallowed.
The same goes for milk, which ought always to be sipped slowly, taking fifteen minutes to sip a glassful. To make it easier, use a straw and pinch the end together. This puts milk into the stomach at the same rate a baby does, and that is the best way.
Now, we don’t suggest sitting and looking at the drink for thirty minutes! Sip it slowly while you keep busy at other things like getting ready in the morning, working, studying, working out, etc.
You might do as Don Howorth does. First thing in the morning he would mix or pour the protein drink and start sipping. Then he’d shower and sip some more. After shaving, some more. After thirty minutes or so he’s ready to sip the last and start the day’s work.
This slow sipping is important. Many people I meet do not have the ability to digest foods as efficiently or to metabolize them as readily as they should. Putting foods into the stomach slowly helps to handle them more efficiently.
The way you use water and other liquids can also influence digestive efficiency. Try to get at least eight glassfuls of liquid each day (including your protein drinks). But avoid taking large amounts of water with meals as this may seriously dilute the digestive juices.
Rather, sip water between feedings, taking one or two PEPTAIN HCL tablets to help maintain the level of stomach acids. If you are trying to gain weight, try sipping milk (with Peptain) between meals instead of water.
Take Smaller Feedings
The protein drink makes a full meal; nothing else need be taken with it. It is important that we learn to take small feedings and to take them oftener. That is why we do not recommend three meals a day. Better to take protein snacks slowly all day long, in five or seven (or even ten) small feedings. This tends to encourage more efficient handling of our food. With this discipline we may possibly eat less in volume and still receive more real nourishment.
The stomach is normally the size of the two fists put together. When we are eating small meals, the stomach tends to shrink back to its normal size. For better handling of food, try never to fill the stomach more than 2/3 full. Take only the equivalent of a 6-or 8-ounce glassful in volume at a time.
You may wish to keep a pitcherful of the protein mixture in the refrigerator or carry a thermos so you can have protein available at all times. Sip it as regularly as possible while working or studying. This can take the place of several of your meals or all of them, as you wish. By the way, our 5-cup plastic shaker is very handy to keep a supply of protein ready and sealed at all times.
Those just starting the high protein diet should use smaller amounts to begin with and gradually increase the daily intake over several weeks. This gives the body a chance to increase its efficiency in digestion and assimilation so that it can handle greater amounts of this important life-giving substance.
We have found that when one increases the protein intake he may want to decrease the amount of potatoes and bread and cereals, as well as of salads and vegetables in the diet. These other foods take a secondary place to protein and they should not be allowed to displace protein in the digestive tract.
We feel that some people can handle more protein and handle it more efficiently in the proper length of time when they include an appropriate amount of the protein digestant, Peptain HCL. How much should one use? The more protein, the more digestive assistance one may require. Again, a person’s own digestive efficiency determines how much assistance he needs in order to handle protein in good amounts and in the proper length of time.
These busy days some people fall into the habit of missing meals. Some are just not hungry on rising, which could be due to eating too large an amount the evening before. In weight control, missing meals can be serious. Morning is the time the body needs protein more than any other time, after being without food for about twelve hours. It is important to provide protein of good quality early in the day. We feel that ideally never an hour should go by without some protein going into the stomach. Small amounts taken often – this is a valuable secret. But miss meals, never!!
How to swallow the capsules
The supplements should never be used without food. Do NOT take them on an empty stomach. Always use them with food of some kind.
We find that nothing is better than the protein drink as a medium for getting the supplement capsules swallowed. Whatever supplements you are using should be taken along with your protein feedings and other meals. Just slip down the appropriate supplements for that time of day as you swallow the protein drink, some milk or the like.
It helps to hold the gelatin capsules in the mouth for a full minute (two are better) in order to soften them for quicker dispersion (emptying) in the stomach. Keep them moving or they’ll stick together!
Some of us find it convenient to count out the portions of supplements ahead of time to avoid opening bottles so often. Some keep the portions in small cups or plastic bags, ready to use at the right time.
Using Other Foods
As to other foods to use, try to concentrate on proteins, and avoid or eliminate altogether the starches and sugars (carbohydrates). Most Blair students soon learn the wisdom of using no grains, flours, cakes, pastries or the like. They don’t use juices, honey or molasses because of their high sugar content. They use very little of fruits or vegetables. They avoid starch foods and sugar-bearing foods, feeling that such foods don’t belong in a health-building diet.
For an evening meal we suggest a piece of beef, lamb or poultry. Perhaps a slice of tomato or raw onion, purely for seasoning purposes. Some cheese (cottage cheese, natural swiss, cheddar) so as to include a calcium-bearing food to offset the phosphorus in the meat. Perhaps a tender heart of celery heaped high with cream cheese for something chewy. A half a devilled or hard-boiled egg. That should be plenty, unless you wish to include a sip or two of the protein drink or half a glassful of buttermilk. The meal must be small, though!
When you feel you simply must have some fruit or vegetable, the peach and the tomato have the least bulk and probably the lowest carbohydrate value and would therefore be the most innocent to use. Perhaps you could satisfy your craving with half a peeled apple.
Other foods we find compatible with the Blair program include sour cream, unflavored yogurt, buttermilk, acidophilus milk, custard, butter, margarine, mayonnaise.
Fats Slow Digestion
As to the fat intake, that is up to the individual. We have some students who use a quart of heavy cream a day. Others simply can’t because the extra fat tends to slow down the digestion so they are not handling enough protein to meet their needs. Again, some body-builders cannot make gains without a good amount of cream in the diet. By experimentation you may determine for yourself how much cream and other fats you wish to include in the diet.
A special note!
We find there are some people whose intake of protein has been only 30 to 40 grams a day. Their bodies are not geared to handle the amount of protein they should be handling every day as a result of this continued low intake. Their dietary has instead included fruits, vegetables, salads, potatoes, breads, cereals, desserts and pastries. Such foods have displaced other and better foods containing important body-building amino acids.
These people find it helpful to use the product LACTAID to assist in digesting milk and milk proteins. Also recommended is our very efficient protein digestant, PEPTAIN HCL, for those who do not have the necessary digestive juices to handle proteins well.
People who have done fasting, who have used juice therapies, or who have lived on a vegetarian-type diet are apt as a result to endure a low protein intake. In some cases it has taken years to bring up the efficiency of their protein digestion. Blair himself was at one time a faster and a vegetarian. When he became interested in a better protein intake, it took years to build up his ability to handle the amount of protein needed to do a good job of rebuilding the body.
For Weight Watchers
On a weight control regimen, you may find that protein helps keep the nutrition high. A good protein intake can avoid the deterioration of skin that often accompanies a reducing period.
Some find they enjoy mixing the protein with unsweetened grapefruit juice. Not with grape juice, which is too high in sugar. We might also suggest using orange juice or carrot juice.
For those who find that using the protein with half-and-half or with whole milk (or even with non-fat milk) tends to add unwanted weight, it is possible to mix the protein with a non-caloric (sugarless) non-cola bottled drink such as diet orange soda or Fresca. This proves to be a delightful way to take the protein and often helps control the weight problem. At the same time it provides good protein intake to prevent deterioration of skin tissue.
A raw egg and a teaspoonful of safflower oil can be added to the protein drink. Including the vegetable oils up to 20% of the total fat intake has been found helpful in some cases. Usually this amounts to about five teaspoonfuls a day. One should not use more than 20%, we feel, and one should be sure to supplement the Vitamin E intake in order to prevent the peroxidation (rancidity) that the vegetable oils tend to produce within the body.
The Blair program as we recommend it proves to be very helpful to the weight watcher, because of the high protein intake for one thing, and because of the practice of taking smaller meals and eating more often.
You need not use the protein in exactly the same way all the time. It is delightfully pleasant every way you mix it. There are many differences in biochemistry among individuals, so you may wish to experiment with various ways of mixing the protein drink to find what suits you best.
There are times when even a bodybuilder may wish to use the protein in skim milk (non-fat) in order to “lean up” for a contest. Again, there are times when one may wish to conserve more protein for tissue building and would therefore prefer using the protein in half-and-half.
At other times he may use the thinner half-and-half sold in stores or reduce the amount of cream in his home-made half-and-half mixture in order to help speed up the digestion of protein. Fats in the stomach tend to slow down the digestion.
At other times, one may use the protein in pure cream, with no milk at all! One pours cream into a bowl and stirs the protein powder into it, making a delightful pudding to be eaten with a spoon.
Also, one may vary the ways he uses the protein during the day. On going to bed, for instance, one may prefer to take. the protein with whole milk, either hot or cold. For greater energy level during the day, one may start out with a breakfast of protein with half milk and half cream.
On days off from exercise, days of less energy output, one may use the protein with whole milk or with store half-and-half. Adjust it to your needs and preferences.
Bodybuilders and others with a weight problem or a tendency toward a smooth mid-section may find it helpful to add up to five teaspoonfuls of vegetable oils per day (like safflower oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, peanut or walnut oil). But be sure to include at least 100 Intl. Units a day of Vitamin E to assure against the rancidity that develops when the body processes vegetable oils. Using the vegetable oils can cause a detrimental Vitamin E deficiency.
*Sip, don’ t gulp ! Take protein in small feedings. Eat oftener; take protein snacks all day long!
*Try to balance protein and fat intake.
*Swallow supplements always with food.
*Eliminate starches and sugars; don’t skip meals!
*YOU are made of protein, so a protein diet builds YOU better.
Thank you for this post. Did you hear of Kombucha made by Synergy? I heard it is good for digestive health.
Hi Norie. How are you? Glad to see you enjoyed it! I’m afraid I haven’t. Have you begun taking it yet? Would be interested in hearing your results with it
In reference to Norie’s comment… Synergy is just one particular brand of kombucha; they are not its originators. Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage with a long history, made using a culture of bacteria and yeast. This has become a popular drink among health-food aficionados in the US. Some people even ferment their own kombucha at home. I always look at the labels of bottled kombucha carefully, as some of the brands have a greater amount of sugar added for sweetness (much higher than what normally remains after the fermentation process).
Some people seem to view kombucha as some kind of miracle drink. But, as with a lot of natural products, there are potential benefits as well as potential safety issues. Wikipedia has some good basic info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kombucha
Brilliant thanks so much for filling in the gaps there. I am completely clueless when it comes to Kombucha, so really appreciate you taking the time out to clear things up for myself and Norie!
Have been looking out for Kombucha since Norie’s comment and have found that generally the bottled types tend to be heaped with artificial sweeteners. If you can get the good stuff as it were there’s certainly a huge amount of potential benefits. Do you use it much yourself?
Hi Connor, I only occasionally buy a bottle of kombucha to drink with a meal. It does seem to help with the digestion. As with a lot of healthy items, I would be inclined to buy it more frequently if the bottles were available at a cheaper price!
Now I’ve got a craving for a particular brand of kombucha that I got recently at a local health foods store, which was flavored with a vanilla. I’ll have to stop by there this evening.
Hi there, how’re you getting on today? Okay that’s very interesting. Do you eat it with other foods or by itself?
Having priced some good quality versions here, I share your pain on the cost! Needs must sometimes I suppose. Would you think the digestive effects similar to fermented foods such as Kimchi for example?
I usually drink kombucha along with a meal instead of just having it by itself… just force of habit, I guess, as I like to have something tasty to drink along with my food.
I do feel that the digestive effects are similar to other raw fermented foods; not a huge difference, but it does seem like I feel a little better if I include some fermented items with a meal.
Interesting. I’ve definitely noticed a difference when I take kimchi or sauerkraut with my meals. Especially the larger meals. Gironda used to recommend pineapple with protein for similar effects if I remember correctly. In any case, you’ve inspired me and theres 6 bottles of Kombucha waiting to be drunk at home now!