What the Weight Trainer Should Eat [Part 2] – Richard Alan (1956)

Today, we continue our look into 1950s iron game nutrition with an additional excerpt from the third chapter of the now-obscure 1956 booklet “Nutrition and Recipes for Progressive Resistance Exercise,” by physique athlete Richard Alan Poel, aka Richard Alan.


A photo of Richard Alan from the publishing info page in his booklet. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab).

Recently, we presented the initial part of this chapter along with a somewhat conjectural biographical sketch pieced together from the scant information publicly available on Poel. In our previous excerpt from this booklet, Alan advocated dietary intake of a large variety of whole, natural foods. In the text below, he continued by describing specific categories of food, explaining both their nutritional value and what he felt were the most beneficial methods of preparation and consumption.

Today, we present the first five of the ten food categories outlined by Richard Alan; the rest will be included in future posts here at FOUNDATIONS OF IRON. Also, a recipe for whole multi-grain bread and a recipe for baked beans from later in Alan’s booklet are included at the end of this post.

Booklet excerpt:

There are ten food groups from which we should eat every day. If we choose some foods from each group and eat them every day we can be reasonably sure that we are getting everything we need.

1. Grain and grain products. Grain and grain products make up the bulk of the food supply for most of the people in the world. Grains are a good source of protein, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, and energy. There are many different grains that we can eat and it is wise to eat as many different kinds as possible. Recipes that include more than one grain are especially valuable because one grain supplements the value of the other. Hank’s Bread (recipe given in the recipe section) is made from three different whole grain flours plus many other natural ingredients and I feel it is about the best whole grain food available to the bodybuilder [FOI web editor’s note: the recipe for ‘Hank’s Bread’ is included at the bottom of this post.]. Any such recipe is very good as long as it utilizes natural foods. All in all, grains and grain products are a very good buy for the money.

2. Potatoes and sweet potatoes. Potatoes, when prepared right, are good sources of vitamin C, iron, riboflavin, protein, carbohydrate, and energy. Sweet potatoes are a bit higher in vitamin content than are white potatoes. The best way to prepare potatoes is to bake them and then eat them with their skins on. Although I recommend eating some potatoes every day I feel it should be a small amount, maybe a half of a medium sized potato.

3. Dry mature legumes–peas, beans, and nuts. In the dry state this group is about twice as high in protein as are the cereal grains. The protein efficiency of this group rates with that of meat, eggs, and milk, which are three of the best protein foods. The soybean is the best of the legume group and the peanut is next. Most of the protein supplements on the market use soybean flour as the major constituent. The protein value of these supplements is very good but one should not rely entirely on supplements to make gains. Actually, if you have a good diet you shouldn’t need supplements of any kind. But it is not easy for all of us to have such a diet so supplements have their place and are of high value to the bodybuilder. This group of foods is especially good for the weight trainer and I recommend eating a lot of this group.

According to nutrition experts the combination of baked beans and brown bread is nutritionally very good and it may be wise for you to try this combination [FOI web editor’s note: a recipe for baked beans from later in Alan’s booklet is included at the bottom of this post.]. The only poor feature of this combination is the lack of vitamins A and C. This can be remedied by adding carrots and tomatoes to the meal.

4. Tomatoes and citrus fruits. This group is especially high in vitamin C. Citrus fruits are very high in vitamin C and tomatoes, although lower in vitamin C, have considerable amounts of Vitamin A and riboflavin. Combinations of the various fruits are very delicious and may be eaten often. Fruit juices, either canned, frozen, or fresh, are also very good but watch the labels to see that nothing was added and that the juice is pure. Use honey for any sweetening you might want. In general eat lots of fresh fruits, separately or in combination with other fruits.

5. Green and yellow vegetables and other fruits and vegetables. Green and yellow vegetables are especially rich in vitamins A and C and the mineral calcium. Salad greens, mixed, as in a tossed salad, are very beneficial, for not only do they contain considerable amounts of vitamins and minerals but they also aid in digestion, providing roughage. Most any fruit and vegetable you can name is beneficial, especially if eaten raw.

[FOI web editor’s note: As referenced in the excerpt above, below is the recipe for ‘Hank’s Bread’ from Chapter 15, the recipes section of Alan’s booklet. This recipe was contributed by a certain Hank Miller, who seems to have been a lesser-known physique athlete and model of the day.]

1 cup of rye flour

1 cup of corn meal

1 cup of whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/2 cup molasses

2 cups of sour milk (buttermilk)

1 cup of raisins

Mix the various flours, salt, and soda together. Mix the milk with the molasses, then add to the dry ingredients. Beat well. Then add the raisins. Dates and nuts can be added if desired.

Bake 1 1/4 hours at 325 degrees.

[FOI web editor’s note: Since Alan recommended a combination of brown bread and baked beans, below is a recipe for baked beans from Alan’s mother, also provided in Chapter 15 of Alan’s booklet.]

1 lb. whole navy beans, soaked overnight

cook until done in boiling salted water. Drain.

add the following:

1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon molasses

1 teaspoon mustard

1 tablespoon vinegar

top with thin slices of side pork or bacon. Bake slow at 325 degrees for 2 hours.

3 thoughts on “What the Weight Trainer Should Eat [Part 2] – Richard Alan (1956)

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