This section is from the book "The Natural Food Of Man", by Emmet Densmore. Also available from Amazon: How Nature Cures Comprising a New System of Hygiene.
Further on, Mrs. Stuart says:
"I was desperately ill when I began the strict Salisbury treatment; I wish I could describe how ill, and with what complications, in which most severe gout and rheumatism, contracted muscles and rigid joints, acute neuralgia all over me, dyspepsia and insomnia, each in an aggravated form, played its evil part; but I have gone right ahead ever since, gradually but steadily on the mend, with no disheartening relapses. I see no doctors, take no medicines or stimulants, only stick to hot water and the minced beef diet."
Some months since I excited a veritable hornet's-nest about my head by asking in the Vegetarian the question, "Why is it that an exclusive diet of flesh is often attended with remarkable and sometimes with permanent gain in health ? "My own answer to this enquiry is, that cereals and starchy vegetables are a natural food for cattle, but not for man; that, when used continuously as human food, they sooner or later undermine the vital force, prostrate the nervous system, and prepare the way for the appalling scourge of universal illness and premature decrepitude that afflicts all civilised peoples. I will risk ostracism on the part of my brethren in food reform, by calling special attention to the following quotation from page 103 of Mrs. Stuart's book:
"And in this place, with all possible earnestness, I entreat and solemnly warn you, especially if you are ill or any way ailing, never to allow yourself to be ensnared by that calamitous blunder, that gigantic fallacy, Vegetarianism. Of all the gratuitous modes of flinging away precious health and inducing illness, this is about the foremost for rashness and folly. I speak from experience, for, regarding it as the ideal humane and perfect diet (I still consider it all that, only, unfortunately, there is lacking to us the ideal stomach necessary for its digestion and assimilation), I anxiously desired to follow it always, and, to my life-long repentance, tried hard to do so six separate times, beginning more than eleven years ago. I carefully studied all its literature on which I could lay hands; I corresponded with and implicitly obeyed the guidance of some of its leaders, with this result - that twice I brought myself so near death's door that I heard the hinges creak, and, still undaunted by that dire experience, tried it yet four times more, causing myself very serious illness. And but that I had, to begin with, an iron constitution, nay an adamantine one, this wretched diet - unnourishing, because fermentative, flatulent, impossible of digestion and assimilation - would have had me long ago under, instead of on, the green earth. I never yet knew a Vegetarian, and I have known many, possessed of much real stamina. He may keep well by dint of hard labour, or brisk exercise and careful living all round, for a while - even for a long while, I admit - but when illness does overtake him, having no reserve of strength, down he runs like a clock with a broken mainspring, and his resisting and rallying force, thanks to his inadequate nutrition, is lamentably weak. It may be 'economical,' as some count economy, penny-wise and pound-foolish; but the bill is high in the end that we pay, with doctors' fees and lost health. A 'navvy' or a coal-porter may stow away and be able to digest and work off the regulation amount of peas, beans, lentils, oatmeal, etc.; but for us, more or less sedentary beings,. there are many far cheerfuller and more seducing ways of upsetting our stomachs, if we must do so, than Vegetarianism; and few - I speak feelingly - are more dangerous, chimerical, or so idiotic."
I will venture but one more quotation from this remarkable book; but I am free to confess that I esteem it a rare treat of wit and wisdom from beginning to end; and if I were permitted, wherever Mrs. Stuart recommends beef and hot water, to substitute nuts and fruits, and, in the absence of the right varieties of nuts and fruits, to substitute for beef and hot water milk and eggs (and fasting) and hot water, I would recommend it as par excellence the best guide to health with which I am acquainted. I quote, beginning on page 154:
"I now come to a point which, though I have before alluded to it, I beg your leave to urge once more upon you strongly. Indeed, there are two points, and from experience and observation I hold them both to be of great importance. First, I advise any one suffering from sleeplessness, neuralgia, gout, rheumatism, indigestion of all kinds, including sleep-walking, cramp, nightmare, sensations of falling, and so on, and from delicate health generally - even if such persons persist in rejecting the strict diet - while taking their hot water daily, as often as they can manage it, to make their last meal at night a meat meal entirely, preferably of beef broiled, roasted, or minced, according to their illness, and their powers of mastication and digestion. And even those in comparatively fair health (especially those of us not growing younger) would be very wise to make the lean meat, roast or broiled (which includes fish, poultry, and game) their chief food of an evening; because the digestive powers, in nearly all cases, are weaker at night than at mid-day, and the lean meats digest very quickly and readily, and do not produce distention and flatulence, as other foods are apt to do. The evening meal, while hearty, should be the lightest of the three. It is, further, very bad for 'the wind,' by which I mean the respiration, to go to bed either on a full stomach, or on one containing an undue amount of fermentable food, such as bread, puddings, etc. A great deal of so-called asthma, even in young people, owes its origin to this latter pernicious practice. Let any one try this meat supper conscientiously for a week or two consecutively, and he will experience a wonderful benefit. The gouty, and rheumaticky-gouty, will find, as a result of a moderate entirely meat meal at night (not forgetting their hot water, of course), that they are able, among other good things, helpfully and less and less painfully to use their poor weak hands in the morning, and several advantages will accrue in the other cases also; and even yet more abundantly will the gain be felt (almost at once too) by the sleepless. I am now morally certain of this, that very many severe illnesses, in both the young and the elderly, owe their origin solely and entirely to a superfluity of fermentable food and drinks at late dinner - too much bread, vegetables, sweets, fruit, etc., probably all together, in undue proportion. Then almost imperceptibly begin wakeful, restless nights.