|Oct. 1951 with Roy Hilligenn "My Story" p. 26|
"Totally opposite to Vince Gironda was 1951 Mr. America, Roy Hilligenn, who denounced the meat based diet entirely, opting for the vegetarian lifestyle. He was a rarity at that time, possessing freakish strength and claiming to have never eaten any meat at all. (my emphasis -- CW) Clarence Bass in his article "Roy Hilligenn, a Marvel - Then & Now" quoted Hilligenn:"I believe being a vegetarian all my life is a secret to [my] youthful countenance and longevity and perfect health. Roy says he has 'never' eaten turkey, fish, chicken or red meat. 'I truly believe,' says Roy, 'that fruit is the body's cleanser, vegetables are the body's healer, and meat is the body's premature aging agent.'"
In an early article by Jim Murray, Hilligenn did indicate that he used milk in his diet. However, a letter to Hoffman's Strength and Health in1946 had Roy confessing to gathering protein from more than just dairy. "Eat but 3 meals a day; plenty of milk, fruit, dried fruit, and lean meat.
Can eat like a horse. Where it goes, nobody knows."
Was a young Roy Hilligenn too socially uncomfortable to admit his vegetarian ways? Or was an older version of him just too stubborn to admit he at one time ate meat? Ironically, the same year Hilligenn
won the Mr.America crown, 1950 Mr. USA, Armand Tanny commented on vegetarianism in an article titled "Food For the Champions" for Joe Weider's August, 1951 issue of YourPhysique: "Strict vegetarianism is taboo. Especially if you are on a muscle building program. If your cult forbids the use of meats you had better forget about building your body to the fine lines of the champions."
Tanny was as primal an eater as you would find in any historical era. He also wasn't on board with the food gorging trends that had gained popularity over the previous decades. He stated, "It isn't a matter of eating a lot of food, but rather eating enough of the right kind."
Armand Tanny wasn't publicly vocal about his raw meat eating. He did recommend in his 1951 article both organ and muscle meats, along with milk, beans including soy, and vegetables. In the early 1950s, he was not recommending isolated protein powders, but did advise the readers to research for themselves the potential of vitamin and mineral supplements."
Perhaps -- and probably -- Rheo Blair knew that Roy Hilligen had been a meat eating/milk drinking non-vegetarian during the period he was building his body despite his subsequent claims. All the more reason for RHB to express skepticism about the claims made for vegetarianism, especially since it only tore him down further as a young man when he was trying to regain his health.
Thank you, Randy Roach.
Copyright © 2008 - 2013 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.