Page Started 12-20-96

The Ralston Health Club

The following is from the book Book of General Membership of the Ralston Health Club parlor edition, 1900. In later decades they would branch out into other areas with books such as Instantaneous Personal Magnetism, Thought Transference, and Life's Secrets Revealed, but at this time they were still obsessed with telling you what and how to eat.


Meat ought not to be eaten by very young persons, as it often causes nervous derangements, fits and certain indiscretions in youth. The healthiest and purest lives come from those who do not eat meat before the age of fifteen. (pg 114)

If you give a piece of meat to a kitten, using such meat as is found on the plate at the ordinary meal in any house, the results may destroy the nervous balance of the animal and send it into convulsions. The experiment as been tried many times, and, although felines are natural meat eaters, caring little for anything else, it has been necessary to limit them in youth, to save crazing them by nervous derangement. Dogs fed on meat are ferocious and dangerous, and what is called madness is not only due to, but can be incited by, too heavy a meat diet from early youth. Some parents give meat to their children in infancy, not knowing that the longer this kind of food can be withheld the healthier, gentler and more moral will be the lives of the boys and girls, especially at the crucial age of young manhood and young womanhood. Among children from two to five years of age, hundreds of deaths from convulsions have been traceable directly to meat eating, and nervous hysteria from overstrung temperaments in the young will be found due to the same cause, or else to indiscreet meat eating by mothers who nurse their children. (pg 127)


Potatoes sliced thin and fried are indigestible; and, while delicious to the taste, they not only afford no real nourishment, but injure the processes of digestion as to other food. They also cause a disarrangement of the liver. (pgs 114-115)


Cake clogs the stomach. All rich pastry is poison to the liver. Glucose, a perverted form of corn, is prevalent in beer and in other drinks, and especially in soft caramels and creams, and in syrups, jellies, and similar things. Although derived from a nutritious food, it is in a perverted shape. (pg 115)


Oatmeal should never be eaten unless it is weakened by water or cooked in milk. It is a grain that directly attacks the liver, and through that organ, injures the heart, unless fresh air and much exercise is taken daily. (pg 118)


... Rice eaters the world over are lazy and feeble, with inactive brains and sluggish bodies. (pgs 118-119)


Watermelons are poisonous to most caucasians. They contain a food that is best caught from the malarial poisons of the ground, and that furnishes nutriment for malarial germs, as well as for mosquitoes and other insects. As the liver is the object of attack in chills and fever, from which the blood is affected by a secondary process, so the pulp of watermelon seems to attack the same organ and interfere with the bile. The juice only should be taken, and then from nothing but the blood-red flesh. The white varieties are much worse. (pg 123)


Tomatoes, like some other quasi vegetables when classed by scientists, are known as fruit; but they are made to serve as a vegetable. We meet them whole and sliced; in and out of cans; in soups and other homogeneous mixtures; in catsups and dressings without limit; the one perennial, long-lived, ubiquitous tomato. To start with, its seeds are objectionable. Then its pulp is not wholesome, but the juice has neither value nor harm. In numerous cases, where the familiar malady known as liver complaint has baffled all efforts of the doctors, and the patients have not been addicted to tea or coffee, cures have been effected at once, by ascertaining that the persons were fond of tomatoes, by ceasing their use. They seem to injure the digestive functions as well. (pgs 123-124)


Eggs are a problem. We have the fixed principle that the product of a flesh eating animal should not be used, and science, experiment and the teachings of the Bible all concur in the correctness of this law. The egg is largely composed of meat eaten by the hen; she is not only fed at times upon flesh, but spent her spare moments hunting for worms and insects. Eggs so produced are undoubtedly poisonous to the blood, and it cannot be argued that they are merely albuminous, for there is within the shell the material out of which the full-fledged chick is made - flesh, bones, skin, eyes, beak, feathers, toes and all; a rearrangement of the particles being necessary to the formation of life.

Cooking eggs does not destroy the poison, for heat will not kill the pabulum on which germs feed, and it should not be planted in the blood of a human being to attract fatal bacteria. The latter ar everywhere present waiting merely for opportunity. Cancers are the most to be feared of all maladies. While they are described as bacterial life, they cannot exist unless the condition is ripe for them. The flesh or product of animals that have been fed on flesh will provide just that condition, that taint, that pabulum or food which will invite the cancer germs. Not only is this the conclusion which history places upon the use of the products of flesh-eating life, but there is overwhelming evidence that is true at this time.

Deaths from cancer have been associated with excessive egg eating. We have collected what information we could, and have been surprised at the fact that more than what should be an ordinary average of victims have indulged in raw or soft-boiled eggs, thus enlarging the chances of danger. Boiling will kill most bacteria, but not the pabulum on which they feed. The product of flesh-eating animals furnishes such pabulum, no disease germ will thrive without the pabulum necessary to its increase. Pabulum is a word used by scientists to mean food for bacterial life, and other kinds also. The germs of disease are always waiting about somewhere for such food. We should fear getting the pabulum in the system more than the germs, for without the former the latter cannot get a foothold, any more than you can stay on this planet without something to eat. (pgs 131-132)


...Strawberries confer but few blessings upon the system, and the quickest way to secure a bad case of headache or neuralgia is to use the early kinds which are ahead of the season, or the usual market varieties.

The reason for this danger is found in the fact that strawberries are very cooling to the blood, and suit the temperature from about June 10th to July 15th. The sour varieties, as well as those that are not very ripe and fully red, destroy the blood's vitality by a sort of poison generated by undeveloped fruit cells, whose tendency is to rot rather that grow. Fruit undergoes a complete revolution in value in the brief interim between the unopened cell and the mellowed flesh. If strawberries are to be eaten at all, they should be fully red, sweet and ripe, and should be perfectly agreeable to the taste without sweetening. (pg 146)


Bananas are a sort of bread fruit in their native climate, and without doubt, are of a high nutritive value, for they as food; but they lack the vitalizing for of our local fruits which are not intended for food. A banana has very little of the resisting, pugnacious cell structure which makes such fruit as the apple injurious, unless fully ripened; yet it should be both ripe and soft when eaten. Those who have tasted this fruit, both in its native climate and here, are agreed that it has none of the flavor, satisfaction or qualities here that exist there. The reason is that it must be picked green, shipped a long distance and ripened here. Again commerce overreaches itself; it sends the bananas too green. They might be ripening in the ship's hold on the voyage; but, instead, they come here dead green, are put into the damp, diseased, foul , malarious cellars of dirty dagos who are unable to distinguish between cleanliness and vermin, and there they ripe, absorbing the poisons of their most unwholesome surroundings. In former years it was the custom to land bananas, fully or nearly ripened on the voyage, and they were much more popular then than now. To eat the present article is to court sickness, and possible death; though it is fair to state that if the fruit is not shriveled and seems tender and not tough at the core, it may be eaten sparingly after a good meal. But we have abundant proofs of violent illness and sudden death due to indulgence in bananas on an empty stomach. (pgs 148- 149)


Ice water is coming to be recognized by the best physicians as a great help to the system. The only danger is in its free use, or in taking a large quantity at once. A single swallow of very cold ice water not only does no harm, but it its beneficial to the mouth, palate and throat, if either held or dropped quickly into the stomach. To drink several swallows at once will lower the vitality of the heart, and out of the excessive drinking of ice water many a life has been wantonly sacrificed. If you are tired out from physical or other effort, the vitality is already low, and this is the case when you are fatigued from excessive heat, and to drink a glass or two of ice water may so depress the heart as to stop it. There is nothing to keep it going except its own impulse and this cannot safely be interfered with. (pgs 159-160)

Back to Brian's Page of Antique Weirdness