Archives for: November 2004
Without question, the best thing about the Thanksgiving holiday was being with our son. He told interesting stories about his classes and hilarious stories about his friends. He also told stories about what he eats.
He doesn't know his roommate's blood type, but says, "He eats like an O." They fix lots of meat in their apartment, especially ground beef. He asked how to cook a roast, and I gave him easy instructions.
He eats one meal a day in the dorm cafeterias. That is where he gets his vegetables. The dorm cafeterias are all-you-can-eat, so he loads up with vegetables and salad. He and his roommate are hesitant to buy and cook vegetables. It's true, that vegetables would mean more preparation and clean up time. But it would be easy to fix sweet potatoes in the microwave.
On mornings when he has 8:00 classes, breakfast is a quick protein shake in the blender. On mornings when he has late classes, he and his roommate fix eggs.
He isn't trying to be BTD compliant. He broadly aims for lots of meat and vegetables and he limits sodas and desserts. He eats way too much wheat for an O, and he still drinks milk. He keeps a variety of microwave dinners in their freezer for fast meals.
However he is eating infinitely healthier than I was at his age! And I'm pleased with his initiative and independence. One night he decided to fix spaghetti. "I fixed way to much," he said. "So we called a couple of friends to come over and join us for dinner."
I wish I could spontaneously do that. But I would feel like I needed to straighten the house and set the table. Plus I would have to check my husband's calendar and my daughter's schedule. By the time I had everything all ready the opportunity would have passed.
I thought the Forum post by suzedgar was honest and very appropriate for this time of year. No matter how hard we try, there is no way to be both a gracious guest and faithful to the BTD in most social settings. And the next 5 weeks will be filled with parties and dinners.
As we drove home from my husband's mom's house, we were listening to a financial tape in the car. The author said that everyone who succeeds financially will have failures along the way. If your failures make you fearful, they prevent you from attaining your goals. Successful people, he said, find ways to turn their failures into advantages.
Can the same logic apply to the Blood Type Diet? Can I turn eating avoids at a party into principles that will help me be healthier? Here are a few ways that I try to think about unavoidable avoids.
First: While I may be in a situation where I have to eat avoids, I do not have to be a glutton. There are almost always beneficial or neutral foods available. I try to eat more of the advantageous foods and only polite tastes of the avoids. At Thanksgiving dinner, I had three slices of turkey but only two bites of dressing.
Second: I find it discouraging to think of never, ever eating old favorite foods. Knowing that sooner or later I will be at a dinner or a party where I will get a taste of once-loved food makes it easier to totally avoid those foods at home. The breaded zucchini strips I ate at my nephew's house have satisfied my desire for onion rings and fried okra and immunized me from ordering them in a restaurant.
Third: I keep fresh in my memory the way I feel after too many avoids. Those memories are perhaps my biggest asset when I am looking at a buffet of holiday food. They give me the strength to say NO when I am tempted to grab comfort food.
By remembering those three principals, it's been a long time since I overindulged on avoids to the extent that I felt really horrible. If you feel sluggish and bloated after Thanksgiving, I have this advice. For a couple of days eat only meat and beneficial vegetables. Sweet potatoes, salad with olive oil, cooked greens, parsnips, black-eyed peas and adzuki beans are all very filling. Raw carrots dipped in nut butter are also satisfying. Stay completely away from anything with grain or sugar until your equilibrium is restored.
Though I was fairly compliant on our holiday trip, when we got home last night I ran for two miles - good for dissipating stress and for loosening muscles tired of sitting in the car. For dinner I fixed baked cod, kale, black-eyed peas, and onions - all highly beneficial. I feel healthy and energetic today. My weight is up a little more than a pound, but I'm confident that it is mostly water and will disappear shortly.
We had two Thanksgiving dinners. Wednesday night we drove out to one nephew's house to see their new baby daughter. Another nephew arranged for an incredible Italian dinner to be catered at the house. We ate on paper plates, watched basketball on TV, and admired the baby. She is just two weeks old. I am a great-aunt again! What a thrill to hold her and have her fall asleep in my arms.
When I think Italian, I think pasta, and certainly there was plenty of that. But there were other choices as well. Salad with beneficial greens was plentiful. Plus there was steamed broccoli and chicken roasted with Italian herbs. My one avoid for the evening was a zucchini dish that I didn't realize contained wheat until I tasted it. It was too delicious, and therefore too late to stop.
Today's traditional turkey feast was sadly small in numbers. My husband's father passed away last spring and was sorely missed. Two family members had the flu and went back to bed after putting in brief appearances. Another nephew had to work.
The turkey was delicious, and neutral for all. I had two bites of cornbread dressing in honor of the day. Other than that I filled my plate with vegetables and fruits.
Come, ye thankful people come.
Raise the song of harvest home.
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin.
God, our maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied.
Come to God's on temple come.
Raise the song of harvest home.
Spent yesterday's austere training session working on something called a 'jump spin back kick,' a strange gyration that involves spinning in the air as you jump, ultimately kicking into a direction that you cannot actually see.
Interesting how easy something like this appears to a twelve year old, versus, say, a forty-eight year old. A kid just jumps, much like a cat, knowing that he is springy enough to get up and around, and flexible enough to not be troubled by the thought of a posterior landing. By the time you get to my age, you start to ponder the osseous consequences of this sort an action, which is why you hesitate and fail.
Napoleon once said that it was amazing what you could get an eighteen year old to do for a piece of ribbon.
The immortality thing.
The forty-eight year old is more likely to say 'Uh, no thanks. I have enough ribbon right now.'
Last night my sister in law Rita, an nurse with an extensive background in research, sent me an abstract from the Journal of Clinical Oncology, titled 'Herbal Remedies in the United States: Potential Adverse Interactions With Anticancer Agents' (J Clin Oncol 2004;22 2489-2503). The crux of the article being the potential threat to chemotherapy drug effectiveness posed by such botanicals as garlic and echinacea, which may influence the body's ability to metabolize chemotherapy drugs, and compromise their effectiveness. She asked me what I thought about the article.
When I finally got a full version, two things stuck out immediately. One, this was a review article, meaning that there was no proof of any such activity being presented, but rather a tenuous connection between the known, but rather modest, effects of certain herbs on the cytochrome p450 system (drug detoxification) and the p-glycoprotein levels (drug delivery).
More accurately an editorial, it provided absolutely no evidence to back up any of its assertions. C'mon guys, talking about garlic interfering with p-glycoprotein and blocking a drug like taxol is like saying that a paper bag containing your lunch has the 'hidden potential' to derail an Amtrak train. Hey, if garlic or herbal antioxidants and p-450 modulators were all that effective at blocking cell damage (chemically programmed or not), there wouldn't be any need for oncologists and oncology journals in the first place.
Amazingly, the article then goes on to advise physicians to look into herbal use in non-responding cancer patients as a rationale for treatment failure, a rather cruel balm to the fact that greater than 99% of those non-responders are simply not going to be cured by chemotherapy, herbal medicine or no herbal medicine.
An article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Archive Int Med; 1998;20: 2187-2191) may help explain why medical academics spend their time worrying about garlic blocking chemotherapy. It looked at conventional attitudes toward supplementation. Their conclusions: Throughout 20th century American academic medicine has resisted the concept that supplementation with micronutrients might have health benefits.
According to the authors, this resistance is evident in several ways:
(1) by the uncritical acceptance of news of toxicity, such as the belief that vitamin C supplements cause kidney stones;
(2) by the angry, scornful tone used in discussions of micronutrient supplementation in the leading textbooks of medicine; and
(3) by ignoring evidence for possible efficacy of a micronutrient supplement, such as the use of vitamin E for intermittent claudication.
Part of the resistance stems from the fact that the potential benefits of micronutrients were advanced by outsiders, who took their message directly to the public, and part from the fact that the concept of a deficiency disease did not fit in well with prevailing biomedical paradigms, particularly the germ theory. Similar factors might be expected to color the response of academic medicine to any alternative treatment.
I boldfaced the line about 'outsiders' as I can relate to that one personally, since I am a naturopathic physician (strike one!) posit a diet theory that does not fit in well with the prevailing paradigm (strike two!) and wrote a book on the subject for the public (yer out!)
Instead of wasting time looking for herbal inactivators of chemotherapy these folks should look at ABO polymorphism to help explain cancer treatment variation. Type A individuals may have as much as seven fold higher levels of p-glycoprotein, 30% higher levels of von Willebrand Factor and significantly higher levels of e-selectin and ICAM --all know modifiers of metastasis, drug delivery or resistance.
There is a certain lack of candor in a medical community that rebukes supplements as weak and ineffective medicines, yet warns that these same supplements are dangerously blocking chemotherapy drugs.
Reminds me of the joke about the two oldtimers at the early bird special:
The first one turns to the other and says 'The food here is terrible.'
The second oldtimer turns to the first and says 'Yeah, and the portions are small, too.'
We are spending Thanksgiving with my husband's mom. She is from the Deep South and is an excellent cook. She fixes lots of vegetables; she also fixes lots of comfort food. Food and affection are hopelessly intermingled in the Southern culture, so refusing food must be done very cautiously.
It does not help that I have no nutritional credibility with her. When I married my husband almost 28 years ago, I ate like a typical American. Everyone got along fine.
When we had been married about a year, I found an Adelle Davis book on his aunt's bookshelf. I read about vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, and fats in a meaningful way for the first time.* I was young and starry eyed about nutrition. I thought everyone else would be fascinated with what I had learned. My husband's mother was not. We clashed about white bread and desserts. We clashed about breakfast. I said way too much about whole grains and sugar.
We reached a standoff. I ate lots of, and complimented enthusiastically, the foods I perceived as healthy. I politely declined or ate small amounts of foods I perceived as unhealthy.
Now my family and I come to her house on a diet even more radical. Her son and granddaughter are eating one way; her grandson and I are eating a totally different way. I am avoiding the very whole grains I used to push. If she is confused, I can't blame her.
I wish I could take back some of the things I said way back then, partly because it turns out I didn't know as much as I thought I did. Partly because if I had more credibility I might get an opening to explain the BTD and its benefits to this part of my family.
I came out better at our first meal than my husband. We had asparagus, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pork chops, and salad.
*So much of what Adelle Davis wrote was true and I still use it today - unprocessed food is better than processed, vitamin & mineral deficiencies lead to health problems, too much sugar is dangerous. However she had a shotgun approach to nutrition. Everyone should drink milk, everyone should eat whole wheat, everyone should get protein from meat, etc. It caused her and me and probably every single one of her followers eventual health problems. But I wouldn't know that until I read "Eat Right 4 your Type" 26 years later.
While we were talking on the phone with our son last night, he mentioned a friend who runs with him. The friend is very interested in nutrition, but does not know his blood type. He recently tried increasing the amount of vegetables he ate, and decreasing all other foods. He experienced a noticeable improvement in muscle mass.
My son wanted to know if this meant his friend is probably an A. The question sent me back to "Live Right". Certainly an A would notice improvements in physique by increasing his percentage of vegetables. However, if he is an O and he replaced grains with vegetables, he would also see a benefit. Without knowing his blood type, he would not know what kind of protein he needed.
While I was reading, I stumbled across the answer to a nagging question about my daughter.
Her brother was a track star at our school, so when she was in 6th grade everyone assumed she would run track. She pushed herself through the long workouts, wondering why she didn't love it the way he did. At track meets a scary thing began to happen. When her race was over she would be very light headed. Once she fainted, stumbling and falling at the finish line. I was concerned and took her to the doctor. The doctor was puzzled. He found nothing wrong with her heart. He could have sent us for expensive tests, but his instinct was that she was a healthy girl. The dizziness at the end of races continued, not only in track but in swimming as well.
She eventually gave up track and swimming. She is now focused on twirling, a sport that involves coordination, stretching, and music. She loves it, her muscle tone is even better than when she was running, and it never makes her dizzy.
Today in "Live Right 4 Your Type," I found this paragraph, "While it is fine for Type As to participate in more intense physical activity when you're healthy and in good condition, be aware that these forms of exercise do not act as safety valves for stress in your blood type...The warning signs that you're overdoing it include: chronically cold hands, excessive fatigue two hours after exercise, or lightheadedness upon standing."
I'm glad to know why. I'm also glad her instincts led her to a sport that is well suited to Type A.
I don't eat sandwiches anymore, but my Type A husband does. Mustard isn't good for As, neither is mayonnaise because vinegar is in both products. I had been making his sandwiches with an all natural canola mayo, but was keeping my eyes open for a better alternative.
A couple of weeks ago as I was reaching for the mayonnaise my eyes fell on the tub of miso. On impulse I put mayonnaise on one slice of bread and a thin layer of miso on the other. When he came home from work I asked, "How was the sandwich?" "Fine," he answered as he looked through the mail. Most days I send leftover vegetables in his lunch, so it was several days before the next sandwich. This time I left off the mayonnaise and put a thick layer of miso. I wasn't ready to call attention to the change, and he made no comment. I gave him another sandwich late this week: turkey, soy cheese, and lettuce on Ezekiel bread with miso.
Today I asked about the sandwiches. He likes them, so miso it is on Type A sandwiches.
My daughter marched in a parade this afternoon. It was a pre-Christmas parade with lots of cheerful Christmas music and Santa riding on the last float. I got my exercise for the day by dropping my husband and daughter off at the staging area, then driving to the end of the parade route two miles away. The parade went downhill, so I had a brisk uphill walk to get back to the start. Then because I wanted pictures of my daughter, I walked the entire route again during the parade.
Here is a great verse from Acts 14:17. He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.
When I read my first BTD book, one of the things that rang true with me was that though I'm not particularly strong or coordinated and I'm terrible at all team sports, I really do like intense physical exercise. Yesterday's blog left off with my husband and me giving up running and walking every night pushing a baby stroller.
Our son loved the water, so the summer he was two we joined the local swimming pool. My husband decided that we should swim laps. He had it all planned. I would play with the baby while he swam, then he would entertain the baby while I swam. That was ok, but he wouldn't have long to entertain because I could barely swim.
I had a lot of ear infections as a child (too much milk, I'm sure) and my parents were afraid for me to get water in my ears. I didn't learn to swim at all until I was in 6th grade. By then I was more interested in sunning and watching boys than perfecting the strokes I learned in swim lessons. I nearly drowned at the beach in high school. I decided that sitting by the pool chatting with friends would be enough swimming for me.
The first night I tried to swim laps, I started in the shallow end, ran out of steam before I swam one length of the pool, and had to pull myself to the side using the lane ropes. My husband did not think I should give up. So I would start in the deep end. Then when I got tired I could at least walk to the side without embarrassing myself.
I didn't progress very fast as a swimmer. I think I was still dealing with a lot of old fears. Eventually I could swim the length of the pool. My first victory! To swim a lap, I had to swim into the deep water and back out again. A victory over fear! My husband's goal for me was 10 laps. It took three summers before I reached that goal.
I counted laps in groups of 4, so 12 was my next goal. A half-mile was 16 laps. That seemed impossible, but I made it. The same thing was happening with swimming that had happened with running. Though I was tired when I got out of the water, I felt energized at the same time. Several years passed, and I was getting close to swimming a mile.
One night I swam 15/16ths of a mile. I could have swum those last two laps, but the pool closed. The next morning I was in a car accident, and injured my shoulder. I didn't swim at all the rest of that year. The next summer I had to start all over, trying just to swim a lap.
Because we didn't run any more, swimming was the most strenuous exercise I got. I think my Type O desire for the high that comes with vigorous exercise was all that kept me from giving up on swimming. Though I didn't know about the BTD back then, the built in characteristics of my Blood Type were at work.
I swim a lot in the summer and 1 day a week year round. I normally swim Â¾ mile in about 40 minutes. That's not particularly fast - but I have never claimed to be an athlete.
I write a lot about exercise, but if you think I'm an athlete you couldn't be more wrong. I was never any good at team sports as a child. You think I'm exaggerating? When we chose up sides for games at recess Paulette and I were always the last two chosen. PE was my least favorite subject in junior high. I loved music and reading. It was a wonderful day when I found out I could get PE credit for marching band in high school.
I would have been very happy never to exercise, but I married my husband. His family was friends with aerobics guru Dr. Ken Cooper. My husband jogged several times a week and was convinced that his new bride should jog too. When I told him I had never run a quarter of a mile he didn't believe me. He marked off a 1 mile course near our little house, and was shocked when I could not make it to the Â¼ mile point.
But being newlyweds, I wanted to please him, so I tried to run. Eventually I made it Â¼ mile, then Â½ mile, and finally a full mile without stopping. A funny thing happened at a mile. I began to like running. About the time I thought I was too tired to take another step there was a rush. There was also a wonderful sense of accomplishment.
We began to run together at a track. He was in better condition and has much longer legs, so he could always run faster than me. But it turned out he didn't really enjoy running, he just did it because he thought he should (remember he is Type A all the way). So he would run a mile and stop. I would run a mile, plus an extra quarter or two.
One day we went on a picnic with a big group of friends. Our picnic site was by a trail that made a three-mile loop through a beautiful park. Jogging was very popular in the late 70s so a group of us started off on the trail. I wasn't very fast, so I quickly fell to the back of the pack. But I kept going, and I began to pass the other women as they were walking. I began to pass the men. I passed my husband. I ran the whole three miles. In fact I was the only one in our group who ran the whole course without stopping to walk. I cannot tell you how good I felt, physically and emotionally.
My husband and I continued to run together until the year that I was pregnant with our first child. He hurt his back that year and had surgery. Running was over for him. After the baby was born we began to walk together in the evenings. It looked like running was over for me too. Then I started the Blood Type Diet and decided to see if I could run again at 50 years old. I've already blogged that story.
This blog is too long - tomorrow I will tell you how a non-athlete learns to swim.
I had been in the mood for Kohl Slaw (my name for a Paul Buckless recipe that somewhat resembles Cole Slaw). So last night I grated two kohlrabi, then realized I was out of lemons. We had huge thunderstorms in the area, so a quick trip to the grocery was out of the question. I tried to think of something tart that I could substitute. Vinegar came to mind, but that is avoid for my husband and daughter. In the freezer I had a container of frozen pineapple juice concentrate. I mixed undiluted pineapple juice with olive oil and tossed it with the grated kohlrabi. It was really good (maybe better than the original) and highly beneficial for both As and Os.
Elaine knows how I love parsnips. She sent me a scrumptious sounding recipe for parsnip fries. My only hesitation was that they are deep-fried. I read so many studies warning about dangers from deep-frying, that I gave up deep-fried foods years ago. (ok I gave them up except for fried okra, which I continued to eat until the BTD made me give up breaded food). But Elaine's parsnip fries sounded so good. I sliced some parsnips and tried making them as oven fries. They were ok, but not outstanding. The thick slices were chewy not crisp. I went back to the recipe and saw that it recommended very thin slices. Last night I put a thin blade on the food processor, sliced two parsnips and cooked them in the oven with a little grapeseed oil. They were crisp and delicious.
Vicky sent me this idea, "A cool, pasta substitute for us O's, - instant wakame seaweed flakes. I soak 7grams (about a quarter of a package) in a cup of cool water for 5 to 10 minutes and drain off the water as the wakame is extremely saltyâ€¦You will be amazed at how those tiny flakes plump up into large spinach-pasta-like strips. This yields something like a cup of "pasta"."
I would never have dreamed of eating seaweed before the BTD, but it is on the beneficial list. I bought some wakame flakes and tried them two nights ago as a side dish, the way I would have eaten a side dish of noodles in pre-BTD days. They were ok, but a little strong. Yesterday for lunch I was tossing leftovers into a bowl and I in went the wakame. Mixed with tuna and several vegetables they tasted really good. It looked sort of like a green pasta salad. It was more filling than the fish and veggies would have been alone. Wakame just became a part of my diet.
My daughter has me hooked on a satellite TV show called "What not to wear." They select a woman for a complete hair, makeup and wardrobe makeover. She is rarely someone with a perfect figure or face. She usually has an outdated sense of fashion. It's fun to watch as fashion experts Stacy and Clinton transform an ordinary woman into a stylish one.
Our weather has finally turned cool, so this weekend it was time to put away summer shorts and get out long pants and sweaters.
A year ago when I went through this process, I had been on the Blood Type Diet for almost 6 months. I had lost 7-8 pounds and my old clothes were loose. I was scared to buy a new wardrobe. I didn't know for sure whether this diet would work long term. What if I put the weight back on? I needed someone from the TV show to get in my face and say, "What are you afraid of?" It seemed impossible that size 8s fit me - who had been a size 12 for so long. So all last winter I wore baggy clothes. I looked pretty frumpy.
But now as I approach my year and a half anniversary on the BTD I have the confidence that I am never going back to my old way of eating. I am not going to regain the weight that I have lost.
I announced to my daughter, "We're playing â€˜What not to wear' and you get to be Stacy and Clinton. I began pulling clothes out of storage. Most of the pants and lots of the tops went in a pile for the Salvation Army. Whenever I had trouble parting with an old favorite, my daughter would laugh and say, "Mom, it has to go."
Then I hit the pre-Thanksgiving sales. When I got home I modeled my purchases for my husband and daughter, just like on the show. As I type this blog I can still see the approval in my husband's eyes, and hear my daughter saying, "Oh Mom, that is so cute." This is fun; this is better than TV. This is reality!
The Bible has a lot to say about food and health, but does it ever refer to the BTD? Not directly of course, because the science of typing blood was not available to the Biblical writers. But there is one passage, which has application, and since it was part of my personal Bible study this morning, I thought I would write about it.
The Bible is the living Word of God, and because of that a verse can have several levels of meaning. Some of the Old Testament prophecies had their first fulfillment in the nation of Israel, but were also prophecies of the Messiah. I can read something that Jesus said to his disciples and find application for my life. The primary message of the story of Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10 and 11 is the acceptance of gentiles into the Christian church. But there is a sub level application to the Blood Type Diet.
God gave the Jews a lot of dietary laws. In the Old Testament you will find lists of clean and unclean foods. You will also find positive references to milk & milk products and wheat.
At the moment in history described in Acts 10, the Christian church was made up of converted Jews. They followed all the Jewish laws, but had also accepted Jesus as Messiah. Jewish law forbad them to have contact with gentiles. God's plan was that salvation through Jesus Christ be for all people: Jews and gentiles. So God had to shake things up, and He did so by giving the Apostle Peter a vision. Peter saw a sheet containing all kinds of unclean food, and heard God say to get up and eat. Peter, being a good Jew refused, saying that he had never eaten anything unclean. God responded, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." Almost immediately a gentile named Cornelius sent for Peter. Realizing that the vision meant that God was showing him that he should not "call any man impure or unclean," Peter told Cornelius about Jesus, and Cornelius became the first gentile Christian.
On the surface this has nothing to do with the Blood Type Diet, but here is the application. Dr. D'Adamo has written that most Jews were Type B. The Old Testament Dietary laws seem remarkably close to the Type B food lists. So the Jews, if they followed the law, lived healthy lives.
However at this moment in history, the Christian faith was about to become a worldwide religion. What if the early Christians had taught their new gentile converts, who were Type A and Type O, that they had to follow the Jewish dietary laws? The teaching that was giving new life to their souls, would have made them physically unhealthy.
Christian teachers have for years referred to this passage as proof that Christians are free from the Old Testament dietary laws. Not only do I agree, but I see God's grace in that as he was extending salvation to the whole world, he was also removing a part of the law that had protected the Jews but would have harmed other races.
Today there are at least three books proclaiming themselves to be "Bible Diets." I tried to follow one of them several years before I found the Blood Type Diet. It pushes dairy products, whole grains, and legumes. It made me put on weight and sapped my energy. Small wonder - it is basically a Type B diet.
God, in Acts 10 and 11 frees all blood types from the Old Testament Law. Though scientists would not discover Blood Types for 100s of years, God knew how he had made us. He protected Type Os, As, and ABs from legalistically trying to follow a Type B diet.
One last word - the #1 Jewish ban is pork. It is also forbidden in Muslim law. And it is an avoid for every blood type.
I'll start with a quote for the day. I fixed pancakes this morning for my husband and daughter. I altered a recipe so that it had four (yes, 4) Type A beneficials. After telling me how good they were and asking for more, my husband said, "Don't tell me what's in them â€˜cause then I wouldn't like them."
If you read my biography or my earlier blogs, you know that I have studied nutrition as a hobby since I was 24 years old. I was frustrated by conflicting studies. Studies said high protein; other studies said complex carbohydrates. Studies said low fat; other studies said eat margarine not butter; other studies said oil not margarine. Studies said juicing is great; other studies said don't juice, you need the fiber.
As a journalist I understand that the good side of Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Speech is that I can form my opinion and express it. The bad side is that a lot of what is out there in books, on the Internet, and in scientific studies is junkâ€¦bad infoâ€¦lies.
When I first read about the BTD, truth just rushed at me. I understood why the studies conflicted. There are four blood types and each has different nutritional needs. I could follow the food lists and keep it simple. I loved it and it worked!
People on the Forum quote a lot of studies. Some of them are really interesting. But I began to feel the conflict again. The defining moment was the thread on eggs. One study said don't scramble your eggs. Another study said don't cook your eggs. Someone else thought raw eggs were dangerous. I left the Forum that day more confused and conflicted than I had been since I started the BTD.
It's taken a few days to work through, but I'm going back to basics. I don't want to be anxious about making all the scientific studies agree. Most of those studies are funded by special interest groups that are trying to influence my purchasing behavior in some way. I want to go back to the freedom of my first months on the BTD. Eggs are neutral for Os. I'm going to eat themâ€”and eat them any way I want to.
Last week I wrote that I had been to a luncheon where Pecan Muffins were served. The original recipe didn't have much flour, relying instead on finely chopped pecans as the main ingredient. Last night I reduced the sugar and substituted kamut flour. I think I could have used rice or oat flour with equally good results. When the first pan of muffins was about half-baked, my husband and daughter suddenly appeared in the kitchen asking, "what smells good?" The muffins were intended for this morning's breakfast, but they could not wait. They ate a few last night and came to breakfast with eager anticipation this morning.
I've submitted the recipe to TYPEbase4. (I got a message that said it might take a day or two for it to be posted. Be patient.) This would be a wonderful addition to a holiday menu. It fills the house with the aroma of pecan pie. I baked them for breakfast, but they could be used as a dessert or an appetizer.
I have neglected baking bread for my Type As lately. Yesterday before I left for school I put a leg of lamb in the oven for me and ingredients for bread in the bread machine for the As. I used an old favorite bread recipe and substituted rye and kamut flours. As I was walking out the door, I peeked in the bread machine and saw A MESS. Instead of a soft ball of dough, there was a crusty blob that the machine could not knead. I guess one of the flours absorbed more moisture than wheat flour. I added a little water. The bread machine began splashing it out of the pan. I pulled the plug and put the mutilated dough in the refrigerator.
When we got home from school, I rescued the dough. I worked in the additional water by hand, put it back in the bread machine, and let it go through the first rise. Then I pulled it out and baked it as dinner rolls. My family loved them. It's probably the most enthusiastic they've been about bread since I started the BTD.
Unfortunately I have no idea how much water I used. I'll make them again, measuring as I go, before I post the recipe.
I wrote last week that I wanted to take exercise to a higher level. I succeeded in doing that. I made sure I exercised for 30 - 40 minutes every day, plus I did the Canadian Air Force 12-minute conditioning exercises every day. By Friday my legs were a little sore, and by Saturday they were noticeably sore.
Every article I've read by physical trainers emphasizes taking off one day a week during training. My son's high school coaches all taught that to continue building muscle strength you need to give your muscles a day to rest. The track coach often forbad the athletes to do any training the day before a meet. I find that emotionally hard to do. I feel like I'm cheating or slacking if I miss a day of exercise.
A day of rest is a good Biblical principle that I follow in other areas of my life. I don't do routine housework on Sundays. With few exceptions, I don't shop on Sundays. I think that's part of the reason that I like Mondays. After a day of rest, I'm eager to get back to my work and activities
Today I did not exercise. I let my muscles rest. Tomorrow I will pick up where I left off and continue pushing to the next level.
My daughter is back from her school retreat. They spent 4 days in the country building unity with their classmates and seeking a closer relationship with God. It was great to hear stories of all her adventures when I picked her up yesterday afternoon. Some of the stories, of course, were about food.
My daughter follows the BTD about 85%. By that I mean that 85% of her diet is Type A beneficial or neutral. About 15% is Type A avoid. She does this voluntarily on her own, which I think is outstanding for a teenager.
At home she has a soy shake every morning for breakfast. For the retreat she took individual cartons of soy milk, her soy protein powder, a large glass, and a small electric blender. She made her shake in the cabin every morning. "I had to explain it so many times," she said. "I don't eat beef, but I need protein to start the day. It so went over their heads."
She said they had a great salad bar in the dining hall, and that was her choice for lunch and dinner. Lunch one day was hot dogs and another day chicken nuggets. "I didn't even think about getting either." One night she planned to get the spaghetti, but someone told her it tasted gross, so she went straight to the salad bar. Another night they served chicken, "but it was swimming in grease, Mom, so I didn't even bother."
For snacks they had cupcakes and cookies. "I took oatmeal cookies," said my daughter, "I thought they would be healthiest. The cupcakes were tempting; but I didn't eat any." The snack bar sold sodas and candy. "I didn't have a soda the whole trip," she said.
At night when the girls were sitting around the cabin eating Pringles and candy, she pulled a jar of peanut butter out of her suitcase and ate it with a spoon. "My friends told me I ate way too healthy," she said.
The ladies in my Sunday School class have a luncheon once a month. We pray for the needs in our church and then visit while we eat.
I took a salad today - a mixture of greens, shredded carrots, and tomatoes. I took one bottle of traditional salad dressing that others in my family like. I also took Herbamare, Trocomare, and olive oil. I said that my favorite salad dressing was seasoned salt and olive oil. Those who tried it were surprised that they liked it.
Last month our hostess fixed brownies for dessert. I had to explain that I'm very allergic to chocolate. She apologized and offered to substitute cookies and ice cream. So I had to explain that I didn't eat wheat or dairy either. She remembered! When she called this month she said she was planning to fix chicken corn chowder and wanted to know if I could eat it if she fixed it with soy milk. Corn is an avoid, of course, but I just didn't have the heart, after she had gone to so much effort, to say "no corn either." She made it with lots of herbs and not a whole lot of corn. It was delicious.
For dessert she had baked apples along with pecan muffins. I had passed on the French bread that was served with the chowder, so I decided to taste one of the muffins. It was heavenly. I asked for the recipe, thinking it would make a great breakfast for my husband and daughter. This recipe is a lot like the walnut torte that I like so much. There is a little flour, but the largest ingredient is pecan meal. If I cut the sugar back and substitute kamut or rice flour, I will have a muffin that would be tasty, good for Os and As and ideal for the holidays.
My daughter is away on a school retreat this week. I plan to make the muffins for breakfast when she gets back on Monday. I'll post the altered recipe if it is a success.
I read through the Canadian Air Force XBX program and did level 1 yesterday. Except for the pushups I finished level one easily without effort.
The program is 10 exercises that you are to do in 12 minutes. The exercises work on flexibility, mobility, strength, endurance, and muscle tone. You stay at a level until you can do the exercises without strain or fatigue. The number and difficulty of the exercises increase as you move up in levels, but the 12-minute time frame stays the same. There are 48 levels in all.
Everything was fine until I got to the part of the instructions about setting goals. Naturally the goals for teenagers are the most ambitious. But women my age are told to aim for level 11.
Just level 11 out of 48 levels?!? And worse, they recommend that I stay on each level for 8 days before moving on to the next level. I feel discriminated against. Why such low goals for 50 year old women? My expectations for myself are much higher.
For the sake of the push-ups, I'll stay on level 1 for 2-3 more days. But I'm moving on before day 8!! And I'm aiming for the top of the chart.
I promised myself last summer that I would not blog about American politics, and I have no intention of changing my mind. However in watching election returns last night I could not help notice how many news commentators were struggling with GERD. In the middle of sentences they were burping and gulping for air. I know they were stressed, and they probably hadn't taken time for a decent meal all day. I suspect that every time the camera turned off they were popping antacids. I wanted to e-mail them the BTD web address or mail them a copy of "Live Right for your Type."
It hasn't bothered me that my weight loss stopped. In my first year on the BTD my weight dropped below any ideal weight I had ever dreamed of.
It does bother me that the muscle building that was once so noticeable seems to have stopped also. It's pretty obvious why. My body has become accustomed to the amount of exercise that it found extremely challenging 16 months ago. I hardly notice 1 and 3 pound weights any more. I can do more than 25 repetitions with 5 pound weights without feeling a burn in my muscles, though the 5 pound weights do still increase my heart rate.
There are parts of my arms and legs that are still not as firm as I'd like. To start building muscle again, I'm going to have to up the ante on exercise. I really wanted to join a gym, but after pricing the ones reasonably near my house, I've decided that none are within my family's budget. I'm going to have to do this on my own.
Today I ran at the park with the hill. Instead of climbing over the top, I ran all the way up the path. I could feel it in my legs as I ran. If I can feel it in my muscles tomorrow morning, I'll know I'm on the right track.
I've just downloaded the Royal Canadian Air Force XBX program for women (http://www.statesa.com/gettingfit/5bx.php). Heidi has recommended it to several people in her columns. It is designed to improve muscle tone, not to build muscle mass. That is what I want.
I came across an interesting statement on the website where I downloaded the Canadian Air Force program. "When you do some exercise your body doesn't start burning fat before at least 20 minutes. That's because it burns first the glycogen from liver and muscles and then carries on with the deposits of fat." I don't know if that statement is true, but I usually exercise 30 - 40 minutes. That would mean that I'm only getting 10 to 20 minutes of actual fat burning. I guess I'll need to up the ante on time as well.