Origins of the Brewer Diet

Nutrition Notes: Alternative Eating
The Past and Future of the Brewer Diet
Dr. Brewer realized the importance of a balanced, nutritious prenatal diet in the 1960s - a time when most people were enjoying the ease of convenience foods (and becoming addicted to them) and before we began to realize how much damage we were doing to our bodies by making them our “staples”. At the time, organic foods, herbs and holistic medicine were the stuff of hippies and beatniks living in the mountains. Today, as our knowledge and understanding of herbs, nutrition and alternative therapies increases, health food stores are making bundles of money and people are starting to get choosier about the food they eat and the types of medicines they take.

As you read Dr. Brewer’s diet, the alternative-thinker of the new millenium may say, “Hey, I’m not so sure I’d agree with what he said about that!” And we have received many emails and phone calls with such questions and even challenges to the specific elements of the diet - most frequently milk, with eggs coming in a close second.

For those who question this, and are well to do so, it seems appropriate to give a bit of history on Dr. Brewer’s prenatal nutrition program. Dr. Brewer attended medical school in the South where he witnessed the devastation of malnutrition firsthand on the toxemiaAs-defined-by-the-1997-Merriam-Webster-M... ward of the teaching hospital. His goal in developing this diet was to get these pregnant Southern women - who ate mostly salt
pork, soda pop and laundry starch - to start eating right. They were
mostly poor, and they didn’t know they could afford to eat properly - milk
and lean meats were not in their frame of thinking, but were cheap
sources of the vital protein and calories they needed to prevent toxemia
- of which they were dying right and left.

Today, while the “fringe” of alternative thinkers is growing by leaps and bounds, there is still a general lack of understanding about the finer points of nutrition in general, and most especially about prenatal nutrition. The Brewer Diet in it’s original form is still most appealing to the broadest sector of the population who need it (those whom Dr. Brewer says are suffering from “starvation in affluence”). But alternatives can most certainly be worked in - in fact, that is the subject of one of the Brewer books (soon to be available).

We live in a world that is figure-concious, but sugar-addicted (that’s why chocolate drinks are sold for weight loss!). With modern processing techniques, it is possible (and socially acceptable) to eat an entirely fat-free diet, loaded with artificial sweeteners and other unnatural ingredients.

Plenty of people are starting to realize how incredibly unhealthy that is, and those are just the sort of folks who are likely visiting this web site!! But for the majority of the population in industrialized countries (for whom the idea of
cutting out refined sugar and artificial sweeteners, and actually
*adding* fat to their diets is a b-i-g stretch) the diet is within what
they will accept as reasonable and meaningful, and it does indeed reduce
the risk of Metabolic Toxemia (MTLPMetabolic-Toxemia-of-Late-Pregnancy---th...) to zero if followed. And this disease is still killing women and babies worldwide unnecessarily, simply because no one has ever told them what to eat when they’re pregnant.

Dr. Brewer remains understandably steadfast in his approach to prenatal nutrition. After all, he eliminated the most feared and “unknown” disease of pregnancy in his own practice with it! Yet he is open to and interested in the new alternatives available in nutrition and health care, and wants nothing more than healthy moms and babies. In fact, he’s not so sure he wants to be known as a “doctor” any longer! But we respect the years of training and practice which went into that acheivement, and won’t let him drop the title completely. :)

So, for our purposes, we’ve kept his original diet intact. Embedded within the original diet are links to articles, emails and email discussions which will help the “alternative” reader understand the full scope of the diet, as well as exposing the more “traditional” reader to new ideas about nutrition and health.

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  • Copyright  1999-2013 Marci J. Abraham (formerly O'Daffer) and/or Thomas Brewer, M. D. - All Rights Reserved
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