My nephew, his wife, and their three daughters came to visit for New Years. They live a very busy, high stress, fast paced, urban life. They didn’t want to go anywhere or do any excursions. They just wanted to hang out in our living room. Walking to the mailbox a half mile away was a treat to the littlest great niece. Deer running cross the yard was the only thing that motivated everyone to jump out of their chairs. The baby bunnies, who have stayed completely hidden since I nearly ran over them with the lawn mower in November, made a cameo appearance. It was a wonderfully relaxing three days for us as well as them.
Our niece (Type A) talked about how her favorite fast dinner was roasted vegetables. I’ve eaten roasted vegetables in restaurants and they are delicious. I’ve looked into roasting vegetables at home, but it seemed complicated and time consuming.
Yesterday for lunch I put two big turkey tenders, one cup of millet, a can of MSG free chicken broth (plus enough water to make 1 ¾ cups) and 1 tsp of poultry seasoning in a covered casserole dish and put it in the oven. It was done in about an hour.
Then I asked her to fix roasted veggies her way while I watched. Oh my! It was fast. It was easy. It was delicious.
She sprayed two big cookie sheets with cooking spray. She sliced baby carrots in half, cut an acorn squash into cubes, and chopped up some broccoli. I got whole frozen green beans out of the freezer. She put the carrots and squash on the cookie sheet, sprayed the top of them with more cooking spray, and sprinkled them very lightly with salt. Into the oven they went at 400 degrees.
After 15 minutes we added the green beans and broccoli to the cookie sheet. Again she sprayed the top of the vegetables with cooking spray and sprinkled a little salt. In 15 minutes they were all done.
HH loved them. This will definitely become part of our regular menu.
I have only used cooking spray for baking, so I buy the neutral, less expensive canola. She uses EVOO cooking spray for roasted vegetables. It’s now on my grocery list.
5 days ago I was dreading the thought of another sinus infection or headache, as they had become all too common for me. I wanted to stay in bed, though that doesn't really fix either problem. I then had the following conversation with myself:
"You, know, there was a time when I went 9 years without a sinus infection or needing any antibiotics for anything... I had energy, perfect skin, no pains, and rarely had any headaches. Not to mention that I looked great."
Both voices in my head knew the answer, but it finally sank in and turned into determination. Here's what happened:
I discovered BTD in 1999, when I was in my 20s and struggling with lots of health problems, including weight. After 4 months of
considering it, I gave it a gradual try, with noticeable improvements at each step. I lost weight and felt great. After multiple health problems, I was finally free of sinus infections, low immunity, joint pain, moderate depression, and such. I went on to have 9 years without any need for antibiotics or medications of any kind except thyroid medicine, which I was able to reduce. I felt better as I neared 30 than I had at 19.
I lost 35 pounds, then had my first child. I gain a lot of weight during pregnancy, so once my first child was one, I kicked up my compliance and lost 40 pounds, getting thinner than before the pregnancy. I also did the secretor test through the mail and turned out non-secretor. Even though something had gone wrong with the test and I now know I'm a secretor, the non-secretor diet got me off gluten, so it was another great improvement. My oldest was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 2, and though it was too late for me to get all the tests, I'm sure I have it too. So I've been gluten free since then, about 2004. Then I had my second child, and the pregnancy forced me to be very compliant, as I became even more lectin sensitive during that time. From 1999 until the birth of my second child, my body enforced the rules of BTD by getting very ill if I ate avoids or any excess of certain food groups.
After 2005, my body relaxed a bit, and I no longer noticed pain or problems after eating wrong. I also discovered a burgeoning gluten free section at every grocery store with lots of yummy gluten free foods, most of which were not BTD compatible. Combine that with stress of raising two children who both were developing some health issues of their own, as well as other life stresses, and I started making bad choices with my food and started yo-yo-ing, more up than down on weight. My motivation was lacking, and I had no solid personal goals to take care of myself. My brain still understood and soaked up info on BTD, but most of the time, my choices didn't follow....for. eight. years.
Now I weigh 30 pounds more than I did either other time I started losing weight, so I need to lose 70 pounds. Even though I don't get sick right after eating avoids, I've been sick and tired.
On that day 5 days ago, my heart changed and I've been very compliant since then. I've already lost 5 pounds! I don't feel counting calories is a great way to diet, but I have been tracking what I've been eating with the myfitnesspal app. It was good the first few days because my hunger always increases at first. Now I find it is decreasing and I have to make sure I get enough calories to keep my metabolism up. Once I figure all that out, I will probably continue using it as a food diary and I can plan tomorrow's meals by entering them in today, so that works out for planning.
As I cleaned out my refrigerator, there were many times I had to ask "REALLY?" and "What was I thinking?" I honestly wonder who bought some of that stuff and where I was when it was bought, but have a vague memory of being the one who bought it and planned to eat it.
I have remained gluten free through it all. It is easy to eat wrong while eating gluten free, especially if you like to try every new gluten free product that comes on the market! There is sure a lot more to choose from than there was in 1999, when whatever you could find tasted horrible, so why bother. My health is still pretty good, better than it was before 1999. My cholesterol tests and everything have remained good, which is somewhat of a surprise, I suppose wheat had really messed things up for me.
Thanks for sticking with my blogs, and joining me on this new chapter. I'll be posting recipes, ideas, allowable shortcuts, etc. This is going to be a good year.
This is the time of year when many people “party hearty” on December 31st and then feel the need to “diet” come January.
The Jewish New Year was nearly 4 months ago, and THAT was the real time for introspection. Not that my family ignores New Year’s Eve- we like to have a few “junk” foods, stay up late, and watch the ball drop on TV. It’s harmless and fun, but it’s not really meaningful.
I bought the kids some corn-based treats that didn’t tempt me in the least. I made spiced apple cider in the crock pot- I’m not supposed to have apples juice or cider, but I did have one mug-full. The temptation came with the organic nonfat frozen yogurt we received as a gift. I normally never buy the stuff, but I do occasionally buy full-fat ice cream, which I believe is healthier than the nonfat kind. Still, this product is free of corn and carrageenan, and Jack left it out on the table staring at me, and I ended up having half a cup with some chocolate chips added. All that sugar made me even hungrier.
Today is a new day, and so far I’ve had some lemon water. I plan to eat 100% compliantly, keep the carbs way down, and emphasize beneficial and diamond foods. I also want to go for a walk later today. I want to start walking daily.
This is NOT a “New Year’s Resolution.” Yeah, I over-indulged last night and I want a fresh start, but today is no more significant than any other day. It’s a new day and as good a time as any to re-focus on my long term health goals. If I slip up again in the middle of the year, I’ll make another fresh start and not wait for some significant date before making changes.
We were going to have Cod and Quinoa for lunch. I opened the Tupperware container where I keep my rice and the measuring cup that goes with the rice cooker. There was a weevil in the cup. Oh no!
I look around in the rice and see two more of the little critters. I put the top back on the Tupperware and put it in the freezer. I washed out the cup, checked the quinoa for weevils (weevil-free thankfully) and started it cooking.
There were two more sealed bags of rice that had been bought about the same time. I pulled them off the shelf. Both were filled with healthy, active, hungry weevils. This was getting gross. Put both of those bags in the freezer - it’s the quickest way that I know of to kill the little pests. I began taking things off the shelf where the rice was stored. I saw several loose weevils, so I wiped down the shelf with an antibiotic wipe. I did not find weevils in any of the grain except the rice. Just to be safe, I put all grain and legumes in the freezer.
This all made me remember a story a missionary told me several years ago. She was working in Western Europe. They had a wonderful modern lifestyle, but their church planting work was hard. Most people were not interested in God or spiritual things. It was an affluent time, and the people were happy to enjoy life. One day some colleagues who served in Africa came to spend a few days on their vacation. My friend and her colleague went to the grocery store together. The colleague began to cry.
She said, “You have no idea how fortunate you are to have a grocery store. I go to an open air market every morning and buy food for the day. Then I spend the next few hours picking the rocks and bugs out of the rice and the beans.”
Later, they were talking about their ministries. My friend and her husband told about how easy it was to become discouraged in Europe. But the colleague and her husband’s eyes lit up when they talked about their church. The people in their African city were eager to know about God. Because of their poverty, they longed for the hope of a better world, and they responded to the message that God cared about them.
Later today I will pick through the rice in the Tupperware and pick out the weevils. I’ll rinse the rice before I cook it. The two unopened packages will be returned to the grocery store for a refund.
I find myself wondering how weevils get into and out of sealed packages? And how in the world do they get inside Tupperware containers?
Our lunch was delicious. The quinoa cooked perfectly in the rice cooker. I seasoned the Cod with one of Mrs. Dash’s salt free blends. I also ate left over black beans with collard greens. HH had Cole Slaw and grapes.
Christmas Eve is pretty quiet at our house. We’ve been celebrating in various ways all month long.
SIL - our Son-In-Love graduated from seminary 11 days ago. The graduation was fairly close to where HH’s mother lives. Rather than fight the holiday traffic and make two long trips so close together, we decided to have Christmas with his mother a little early.
Giving gifts at Christmas has its roots in two places in the Bible. First, God’s incredible gift to us when he “gave his only Son”* Second, the wise men who brought gifts to the baby Jesus ** Gift giving can easily get out of hand, with the stress of thinking of a clever idea plus the pressure to spend too much.
HH’s family has grown pretty big, and buying gifts for everyone had become complicated. Some people stopped giving last year, and I thought they had a good idea. I sent an email saying we would be giving extended family gifts to those over 90 and those under 18. We have five great nieces. Buying gifts for them was a delight. Then I found a beautiful bird house that I knew HH’s mom would enjoy outside her window. When she mentioned another item that she really needed to replace, that side of the family Christmas shopping was complete.
Because this was a December graduation ceremony, the seminary used Christmas songs with double meanings. Joy to the World - for instance. I know that SIL was full of JOY not only for the birth of Christ but for the end of finals. The graduates marched out of the ceremony to the Hallelujah Chorus - again appropriate in several ways. It was a moving ceremony - watching these young men and women who have committed their lives to proclaiming the message of Christ at home and around the world.
Our Strong Son had to work on Friday, but he joined us at his grandmother’s house on Saturday. We had a happy visit, opening family gifts, and telling stories. HH’s mom’s memory is failing, but there is a certain joy to telling and retelling and retelling a happy story. Her delight was so real each time we told it again.
There were times, both in my health food days and in my early BTD days, when I worried about eating things at holidays that were not optimum for my health. Those days are now over. HH’s mom pulled out her credit card and sent us to the cafeteria to buy Christmas dinner. I could pick anything I wanted, and I chose wisely from a BTD standpoint. But I’ll admit there was a little sadness that the old days are gone. Perhaps if you are chafing under pressure to eat something on your avoid list this year at Christmas, you can project yourself forward a few years to a time when loving hands will no longer be able to prepare traditional food. Life is short...enjoy the holiday. You can return to healthy eating on December 26.
HH and I returned home for four days, then were off again. SIL has been called to a church in Texas near the beach. They asked if we would come and help them move in. We spent three days helping to install shelf paper and unload boxes. DD’s friends at her office had given her a baby shower. What fun it was to put the little clothes in the new nursery and imagine that next year at Christmas BC will be nine months old.
DD and SIL returned to North Texas for DD to finish out her last week at work. They will be spending Christmas Day with SIL’s family.
SS is coming home tonight after the Christmas Eve service at his church. I’ll be fixing a traditional South Texas Christmas dinner with a BTD touch.
The birth of the Christ Child was a miracle. That is why we celebrate Christmas. But in its own way every baby is a miracle. DD tells me that this week BC can taste and smell. Imagine that. Still three months from birth and BC’s senses are developing. Next year BC will be outside the womb, enjoying the taste and smell Christmas dinner, seeing the lights, and hearing for the first time, the story of Jesus and his birthday.
* For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17
** After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:1, 2, 11
I’m going through a divorce. For those of you who have experienced this I don’t need to say anything more but for those of you that haven’t I’ll explain a little further. I had been living with the same person for 25 years. We were domestic partners for eight years and married for five (because it was finally legal for us to do so). I’ve been sick for over 10 years with Lyme disease, but I was only diagnosed about 3 ½ years ago. Needless to say it’s been difficult for my partner. I was no longer the vital active person she married. I had dementia for a time and I have continued to have physical limitations due to my illness. It was like suddenly living with a very old person. So even though my spouse said my illness was not the reason she wanted to divorce. I’m sure it played a major part of the decision.
Divorce is difficult no matter when or how it happens, but since I still need physical and financial help I’m finding this new challenge in my life a bit overwhelming. I am finding my way through this, but I believe it’s the most stressful thing I’ve ever experienced. I’m asking for alimony from my spouse. I know I won’t get much but I’m trying to help myself in every way I possibly can. Unfortunately my spouse says this is an attack on her and that I’ve lost her as a friend and now we are at war.
This brings me to the title of my article, “why do I want to eat fast food?” I started the Blood type diet in 1999. I have never had very much trouble “eating clean” and staying away from junk because I found I felt so much better if I did. But now every time I pass a Jack in the Box or a Taco Bell it’s all I can do not to pull in. What is it about junk food? Why do I crave it now when I really need to eat as good as I can? Would it help to make me numb? Is it just a way to punish myself? Comfort myself? I’m not sure what the answer is and I know I’m not alone in this. I am managing to stay away from it most of the time because the consequences on my health as so drastic that is incentive enough.
This experience has given me some much needed empathy for others in a similar plight. I’ve often said to people “you just don’t eat it”. But faced with these kinds of emotions I can understand why it can sometimes feel impossible. I want to thank the kind people who suggested that I try some Bach Flower Remedies to help get me through this divorce. They have been a great help to calm my emotions and get me back to my center. And keep me from turning into the drive through window on my way home from work.
Yesterday as we came out of church, a friend of my husband’s motioned us over to his car. He grows plantains, and had brought a trunk full to share with friends. Plantains look so much like bananas, that I was anticipating a beneficial treat. However, when I got home and looked at the food lists, I saw that plantains are avoid for both Type As and Type Os. They are toxic for Hunters and marginal for Gatherers (the two GenoType I find myself stuck in between). It looks like plantains are just not good for us.
Since I had them, I sautéed one in butter and olive oil. I took a bite, expecting it to taste like a banana, but it was mostly tasteless. This is an avoid I can easily do without. I’ll peel the rest of the plantains and put them in the back yard for the deer and the bunnies. As cold as it is, they will be happy to get them.
Eggplant is avoid for Type As and avoid for menopausal Type Os. However, there is an exception that lets us love one particular eggplant.
DD found a pregnancy app that gives a weekly update on how her unborn baby is developing. Today she is 26 weeks. BC is about 14 inches long and weighs about 2 pounds. His (or her) eyes are forming and will soon open. The app equates the baby’s size to a fruit or vegetable. The first time DD sent me results, BC was the size of a blueberry. How cute is that? BC has grown from a lime, to an onion, to a papaya. This week BC is the size of an eggplant.
What an active little eggplant BC is! The first time DD became aware of this was at her sonogram. The technician commented that it was hard to get certain views because the baby was moving so much.
SIL could hardly wait to feel his baby move. It wasn’t long until DD would put his hand on her belly and he could feel the kicks. Then he discovered that if he pushed, BC would push back. They began to “play” together. BC learned the sound of Daddy’s voice, and responds by kicking and punching. When SIL is preaching, BC moves a lot, responding to the sound of the voice that is already familiar in his (or her) little ears.
BC does NOT like the pressure of seatbelts or tight pants, and is quick to let DD know when she (or he) is uncomfortable. I have joked that they had better have a quick route for the hospital, because once the contractions of labor start, BC is going to be looking for the quickest way out.
This is not a blob of tissue. This is a baby who is already revealing preferences and personality traits. This may be the size of an eggplant, but this is not a fruit or a vegetable. This is a baby, who we love already and will get to hold in just 3 more months.
All babies are miracles. In this Christmas season, I find myself thinking of Mary. She would have been two weeks from delivery. What fruit or vegetable would the app have used to describe the Son of God? Was Jesus active or patient in the womb? Did she smile when she felt the kicks and punches?
Oh my! It’s the second week of December! Where has the time gone? DD is in the 25th week of her pregnancy. The trials of the first trimester are forgotten. The second trimester was a time of energy and good health. She is now at the beginning of the third trimester.
Some missionary friends are in the United States for a holiday with their family at Christmas. We have been good friends for nearly 40 years, so when they asked if we could meet for dinner, we cancelled other things on the calendar.
They selected a restaurant in San Antonio called Sea Island Shrimp House as a place about half way between our locations. I’ll admit that my face fell when they selected that restaurant. I first ate there about 30 years ago. The menu at that time was fried fish, fried shrimp, and French fries. There is little worse for a health food nut, like me, to face in a restaurant than fried, fried, and more fried.
About 10 years ago friends again asked us to meet them at Sea Island. I ate a snack before I went, anticipating all of the fried food. Surprise! Salad was added to the menu.
I entered the restaurant last night, expecting to eat a nice seafood salad. Surprise again! They now have broiled fish and several alternate vegetables including green beans and spinach. I had a lovely meal of white fish with vegetables. One of our friends is gluten free. It turns out that they had never eaten at Sea Island, they were trusting the recommendation of someone else. When I told her what the restaurant used to be, her eyes grew big. She had rainbow trout with rice pilaf and spinach.
Kudos to Sea Island for their new, healthy menu. As we looked around the restaurant, more than half of the patrons were eating fried fish and French fries. That’s ok. This is a free country! I know that when I eat there, I can get a healthy meal. I expect that we will eat there more often when we are in the San Antonio area.