Archives for: January 2005
It's easier for me to stay on the BTD when I am eating at home. I like my cooking, and I trust my ingredients. However this weekend I found myself eating out a lot.
Saturday night my husband and I went to a party. The hostess asked everyone to "bring a snack." I decided to take a fruit tray. That turned out to be a good decision, because my fruit tray was the only fresh food at the party. It must have been appreciated because I brought my dish home empty. There was a lot of food at the party including many desserts, chips, and cheese dishes. There were some interesting Type A choices for my husband, particularly a relish made with beans, onions and corn. But aside from my fruit, there was only one Type O choice - deviled eggs. I was glad I had taken the precaution of having a beneficial snack before we left home.
After church on Sunday I usually let the As pick where we will eat, because there are two of them and only one of me. But yesterday I requested that they pick a restaurant where I could get a generous serving of beef. They chose Fuddruckers, a gourmet hamburger restaurant. They like it because they get turkey burgers and it reminds them of when they used to eat hamburgers. I like it because I can convert my hamburger to a low carb plate which is loaded with beneficial food.
I had requested beef for lunch because I knew I would be eating out again for dinner Sunday night. The school where I teach has guests on campus this week, and I attended the welcome dinner for them. Of the three occasions this was the most difficult to predict. At a restaurant, I have freedom to choose what I order. At a buffet, there may not be many Type O choices, but I have control over what I put on my plate. But at a banquet, a plate of food is put in front of me, and especially on an occasion like this, I am expected to be polite and eat. I took bladderwrack before I left and hoped for the best.
This time I was fortunate - instead of pasta or something smothered in cheese, we had fajitas. On my plate was grilled beef, chicken, and onions along with rice and beans. All I had to do was pass the basket of tortillas and eat my food with a fork. A lady sitting next to me was on the South Beach diet, so she also passed on the tortillas. I enjoyed my dinner, and the program that followed.
Someday when I have a garden it will be organic. If you get mad at the rest of what I say in this blog, come back and read this first sentence and consider forgiving me.
I cringe every time I get a comment or read a post from someone who is discouraged and thinking about abandoning the BTD because it is too expensive to be organic. You can follow the BTD without being organic. You can follow the BTD without ever going to a health food store.
Take your BTD food lists to any grocery store and buy beneficial meat and produce. Buy beneficial legumes and juices; get rice, rye flour, nuts, and dried fruit. If you maximize beneficials, round out your menus with neutrals, and stay away from avoids your health and weight will improve. Yes even shopping only at the grocery store - without ever worrying about terms like hormone free or certified organic.
I have read the theories about why organic is better. I understand them, and I agree with some of them. However, I have never seen an impartial double blind study that compares long term an organic lifestyle with an equally healthy non-organic life style.
The profit motives are as strong for small sellers of organic goods as they are for agribusiness. The scare tactics used by some nutritionists are as appalling as the slick advertisements run by the big food conglomerates.
I shop once a week at two health food stores, because I can get some items with fewer additives. I can get a greater variety of raw nuts. I can find more wheat free items. But if you want to know the truth I am dismayed at the amount of corn syrup, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and aspartame I find on the labels of health store brands. I have to be as careful when I shop at the health food store as I am at the grocery store.
I buy hormone free meat when it is on sale, and I buy wild caught fish when it is available. But I have frozen cod fillets in my freezer for quick meals, and I buy hamburger from the grocery store on days when time or money are at issue.
I used to buy organic carrots, but often they were woody and dry. Now I look at both, and I buy whichever appears to be fresher and juicier. Several years ago I decided to buy organic fruit. I had to throw out more than half of the apples I sliced because of bugs or rotten cores. I no longer spend my money on organic fruit.
I buy deodorant at the health food store, because I do not like the sticky residue left by grocery store antiperspirants. But I buy shampoo, soap, and laundry detergent at a discount store. I don't use lotions; I use olive and almond oil.
I know I sound like I'm on the fence about organic. As I said at the beginning when I have a garden, it will be organic. But right now my budget and other needs of my family are also realities. Organic will not make as big a difference in my health, my weight and my longevity as the basic BTD principals of beneficial/neutral/avoid.
Our son called from college. He and his roommate have been talking about the Blood Type Diet, and his roommate is very interested. He is a Type B. Our son asked if I could send a Type B food list. He knows about TYPEbase4 on the website, but said that looking up every food one at a time was taking too long for someone new.
I sat down with the Blood Type Encyclopedia and started listing common foods that college students eat. It is highly unlikely that these college guys are going to eat escarole, chub, or amaranth.
At first I was just typing beneficial, neutral or avoid for Type B. I decided to add another column for Type O. I thought it might help them to see where they are alike and where they are different. At the bottom of the list I added some basic Type B characteristics.
The roommate is already celebrating that he can drink milk, but is let down to learn that chicken is an avoid. It will be interesting to see how he responds to the whole list, and how he identifies with the characteristics.
Next year there will be four guys sharing an apartment. I'm guessing that one of them will be an A. That should keep things interesting in the kitchen.
My daughter likes raw food. She did not learn this from me. It comes from inside her; it must be part of her A-ish-ness. When she was a preschooler, just 3 or 4 years old, and we would go to a restaurant, she never wanted a kid's meal. I smile when I remember her little voice telling a server, "I want a side salad, please."
She does not like cooked vegetables. She eats cooked green beans and cooked corn, but those are not really vegetables. Green beans are legumes, and corn is a grain. She likes salad a lot. She likes carrots, radishes, cucumbers and celery dipped in peanut butter or a sauce.
However, we have had conflict over the years about broccoli. My husband and I like it steamed. Both of us like the bushy green tops. My daughter almost refuses to eat cooked broccoli. In addition, she does not like the bushy tops; she likes the stems. It further complicates the problem that she now has braces on her teeth so it is hard for her to eat the stems.
To solve the conflict, I make broccoli sticks. I take the hard stems and peel off the outer layer. Then I slice the soft inner stem into sticks similar to carrot sticks. She will eat a lot of broccoli sticks dipped in peanut butter. Both of us are happy - me, because she is eating an important vegetable beneficial to As. She, because she is eating her broccoli raw.
As I sliced broccoli sticks last night I thought about parents of young children who like finger food. Broccoli sticks are firm enough so they don't turn to mush when you pick them up. But they are softer and easier to eat than carrot sticks or radishes. Perhaps they would be a good choice if you have a little A who likes raw food.
It is important for a journalist like me to separate news facts from editorial opinion.
It is important in a Bible study to separate what scripture says from personal application. I once heard a speaker say to be careful about declaring, "I think" about the historical fact of a Bible verse, but to look for application of that verse in your life.
Today's blog is an "I think." It's just my personal application of interesting diet statistics.
When I read my first nutrition book 20+ years ago, researchers were fascinated by the fact that people in Eastern, oriental cultures have less heart disease, less high blood pressure, and less cancer than people in Western cultures. Statistically that is a fact, the question was "Why?"
One article I read on the subject said the difference was red meat. Western cultures eat red meat, Eastern cultures don't - that is the difference in health, said the writer. I didn't know a thing about the BTD, but I knew I liked red meat, so I felt guilty and worried about my future health. Another article that said the difference was soy. Oriental cultures eat lots of soy, Western cultures are suspicious of soy - that is the difference in health, said the writer. I tried to eat more soy products. Another article said the difference was fish.
The other day I was waiting in a long line at a store, and picked up a hot new nutrition book. The author was again citing Eastern vs. Western disease statistics, and he was fervently pro-soy.
I was thinking about the statistics from a Type O point of view, and I will tell you what "I think." Eastern cultures base their diets around rice. Western cultures base their diets around wheat. Rice is either neutral or beneficial for all blood types. Whole wheat is avoid for all types except AB (neutral). White wheat flour is not beneficial for any type and is avoid for many.
Could it be that Eastern cultures have less heart disease, blood pressure, and cancer because rice is their primary grain, and that when they begin to mingle with Western culture wheat foods like hamburger buns, baguettes, bagels, and sandwich bread that they begin to struggle with Western diseases?
Someday someone will do a study and write a book. In the meantime "I think" it's an interesting possibility.
When I read columns and threads on the BTD web sites, kamut and spelt seem to be the most popular flours. That is probably because they are the most like wheat in flavor and texture. I keep both kamut and spelt on hand, and use them often. Both are neutral for Os and As.
There are no beneficial flours for Os, but there are several flours beneficial for As. Because I cook for two type As, I have been trying to increase my use of flours that are beneficial for them and neutral for me.
Buckwheat flour has a very distinctive taste. Buckwheat pancakes are good. Buckwheat biscuits are very good. But I don't substitute buckwheat flour where it would overpower the other flavors in a recipe - strawberry bread or carrot cake for example.
Rice flour has a gritty texture. That's not necessarily bad, but it means that I don't use rice flour in a cake recipe where a smooth texture is important. I have a muffin recipe that uses all rice flour, and the texture is what makes it distinct. I think rice flour would be good as a breading in place of cornmeal (which I no longer use because it is O-avoid and A-neutral).
Oat flour has become one of my favorites. I bought a bag at the health food store, and thought it was a bit expensive. I liked the way it substituted in muffins and cookies. It doesn't change the flavor or texture of a recipe. However, oat flour does not rise in a yeast bread recipe. I now take ordinary whole grain rolled oats, spin them in the food processor, and make my own oat flour. I can't tell a difference in quality between my flour and the packaged flour, and mine is much less expensive.
Rye flour is also a favorite. My grocery store carries a very reasonably priced stone ground rye flour. Rye has it's own flavor, but if I mix it with kamut, spelt, or oat, the flavor is not overpowering. Of the flours beneficial for As, rye has a texture most like wheat. It also works a little better in a yeast recipe. I can make good rye rolls, but not fluffy rye sandwich bread.
A group of eagles strayed from traditional nesting sites and built a nest in an old pecan tree just outside the town of Llano in the Texas Hill Country. We took a day off from Saturday chores and drove out to see them.
It was quite remarkable. Two were visible in the nest, and one was flying up and down the Llano River. I had never seen a bald eagle in the wild. They are graceful and majestic at the same time.
We spent a couple of hours watching eagles, and then realized we were all starving. Someone recommended a restaurant called Acme Dry Goods. It is in the same building on the town square that for years housed the old dry goods store. It has now been converted into a sandwich shop.
The owners are doing a nice job with antiques and signage to create a unique atmosphere. The As found more to eat on the menu than I did. I finally settled on a bowl of chili and a salad. The salad was very good - a mixture of greens and no iceburg lettuce. I forgot to say "no cheese" on the chili, but a sprinkle of cheese doesn't usually give me trouble in a restaurant.
The chili tasted good, but there was something about the texture that made me suspicious that it had not been made with all natural ingredients the way I make my chili at home. Now, three hours later, I know there were multiple avoids in the chili. I'm burping a lot. When I ordered, I didn't consider how many ingredients detrimental to Os can be hidden in chili - ingredients like pork and corn meal.
Two years ago I would have had no clue why I felt bad. I would have taken an antacid and wrongly concluded that I was getting too old for spicy food. Today I've already taken bladderwrack and DGL licorice. I'll make sure to have an extra-beneficial dinner. Tomorrow my stomach will feel fine again.
I come away from today's adventure with two memories. One - I remember how bad I felt before the BTD when my stomach was inflamed most of the time. Two - I can close my eyes and see an eagle flying high in the sky.
I have on my shelf a book called "Confessions of a Sneaky Organic Cook". The sub title is "How to make your family healthy when they're not looking." The book is left over from my health nut days. Many of the recipes are not compatible with the BTD - too much wheat germ, coconut, and stone ground whole wheat flour. But the philosophy fits the BTD perfectly.
It's the only cookbook I have ever read cover to cover. The author intertwines her recipes with hilarious stories about her family. I borrowed one of her techniques at dinner tonight.
I have been thinking that I needed to get my husband and daughter to drink green tea. I knew they would be suspicious because neither of them likes trying new foods. I also knew that they wouldn't like their first taste - green tea is definitely an acquired taste.
So tonight I mixed half green tea and half lemonade. (Don't ask me about the lemonade. It has way too much sugar to really be healthy, but they like it and I'm not pushing them to be as compliant as I am.)
They both noticed that it didn't taste like regular lemonade. They didn't mind the green tea; they just commented that it wasn't as sweet or as tart as usual. I'll keep making it this way a couple of times a week until they are used to it. Then it will be time to sneak in something else.
On mornings that I run, I usually spray a small skillet with cooking spray. In go two eggs lightly beaten. I fill the rest of the skillet with raw spinach, and put the lid on the skillet. By the time the eggs are done, the spinach is wilted, and breakfast is ready.
This morning I was out of spinach, but I had a bag of kale. I picked the most tender kale leaves, tore them in small pieces, and put them on top of the eggs in place of the spinach. I went on preparing my husband and daughter's breakfasts and lunches. I passed by the stove, wrinkled my nose and thought, "What smells bad?" Oh yea, it was the kale. Kale does not smell at all good when it is cooking. I sighed; I had probably ruined my eggs.
Surprisingly, they tasted fine. Kale doesn't taste nearly as bad as it smells.
For Christmas, some of the parents at our school put together gift boxes for the teachers. There were some cute knick knacks, lots of sugary candy, microwave popcorn, and three tea bags of Rooibos Tea. Rooibos isn't listed in TYPEbase 4, but I remembered reading about it. I found the Ask D'Adamo column and confirmed that it is very good for Os
I put a bag in hot water to steep. It was a pretty amber color. I picked up the mug and took a sniff. Yuk! It smelled terrible! Nothing like the Green Mint Tea that I like or the spiced teas that I drink on our rare cold nights. I nearly threw it out, but because Dr. D. said it was good for me, I took a swallow. It didn't taste bad at all. In fact, I think I could learn to like it.
Most of the time things that smell bad taste bad too. But there are exceptions. If you prepare a beneficial food and the aroma isn't appetizing; be brave; take a small taste. You may be pleasantly surprised.
I don't know if it is true of all Type Os, but it is certainly true of me. When I am exercising daily I thrive on it. I am energized by it. I feel like something important is missing from my life if my schedule forces me to skip it.
However, when I get out of the exercise habit, something in me resists even the thought of a run or a swim. I fill up my 24 hours a day with other activities. I read; I work on the computer; I organize things. I don't feel like exercising. I say to myself, "I'll do it tomorrow."
While I had the respiratory virus I stopped exercising - partly because my energy level was a little down and partly because I hoped that some rest would help my body heal itself. Now that I am well, exercise inertia has set in. I ran one day, but the next day I had an excuse. I worked with weights one day, but the next day my family wanted to watch a movie, and they easily convinced me to go along.
There was a thread on the Forum a while back called something like "Am I the only O who hates exercise?" A lot of people wrote to say, "No, you're not." When I never exercised I had no desire to start. It wasn't until I forced myself to exercise on a regular basis that I began to enjoy it. Eventually I felt something like an addiction, a physical and emotional high after a workout. That feeling more than any fitness goal motivated me.
I realized last night that I'm getting used to not exercising. I'm increasingly content being a sluggish couch potato. This morning I resolved to break the pattern. Exercise is back. It will take several days until I am hooked again, but until then I will push myself. Today I climbed stairs at the parking garage. I did 60 flights in 30 minutes. Tomorrow I have an early meeting, but I will run as soon as I get home.
When I first started blogging, readers sent really great ideas to my comment box. I wrote that once a week I was going to share my favorite comments in my blog.
WHOA! That was a bad idea! I scared everyone off. I didn't get a single comment for weeks. Needless to say I abandoned that idea, and have quietly answered my mail privately.
However, some of this month's comments are just too valuable to keep to myself. I'm not going to give names or locations, so I will not violate your privacy.
After my blog about both my husband's and my cholesterol reports improving though we are eating opposite diets, a reader wrote to say she and her husband had experienced exactly the same results.
"I just wanted to comment on the cholesterol because I am a Type O and my husband is an A. I remember asking myself why is his cholesterol high and mine isn't when we eat the same things? This was before BTD. What a difference now! My husband's cholesterol dropped down to normal level, and I think he will be off the Lipotor completely."
After my blog about nut butters I got two valuable hints. I mentioned that I wanted to try walnut butter. I still think I will try, but I will certainly start with a small amount after reading this comment.
"I made walnut butter once and it was terrible. I had to throw it out. When you process the walnuts, it brings out the bitterness of the skins. It was awful."
I can't imagine the pumpkin seed butter tasting better than it did, but one reader asserts that it can.
"Next time you make it don t forget to toast the seeds a bit first, before grinding them. Also, while in the food processor, add a pinch of sea salt."
Several have requested the Peanut butter pancake recipe. I will post it today on RECIbase as Peanut Butter pancakes a.k.a. muffins.
I only know one person who is never sick. She never catches a cold. When her kids were little, she never picked up the viruses they brought home from school. She has never had the flu or strep throat. Her husband bragged about her incredible immune systemâ€¦until she was diagnosed with Lupus. Her incredible immune system began attacking her own body.
So I am puzzled at the people in the Christian community and the BTD community who make the mistake of thinking that a person should never be sick, and that if they are sick it's because they have done something wrong.
In the Christian community the focus is on faith and sin. There are lots of verses in the Bible that deal with sickness. Some of them have to do with a lack of faith and some have to do with sin. Faith Healers will say to someone who is sick, "If you just had faith you would get well," or "If you're not better, it is because there is hidden sin in your life."
There are people in the BTD community who are parallels to Faith Healers. They say things likeâ€¦if you were eating rightâ€¦if you did this cleanseâ€¦if you followed the BTD perfectlyâ€¦then you would not have gotten sick.
Don't get me wrong about sin and prayer. When I am sick I examine my life and make sure that my relationship with God is right and that I have not let anger, bitterness, or another sin creep in to rob me of my spiritual and physical health.
I pray for people who are sick. On a couple of occasions I have been one of many praying for someone who seemed hopelessly ill, and who miraculously recovered. On other occasions I have prayed for people hopelessly ill, and God chose to take them home. I do not pray to manipulate God. I pray to let Him know my concerns, and I trust Him to answer in His own will and way.
Don't get me wrong about the BTD either. I often write that the BTD has eradicated several chronic health problems. I blogged that last winter no one in my family had the flu or a serious cold. There is no doubt that I am healthier now than I was before the BTD.
But neither the Bible nor the BTD promises that you will never be sick again. Neither promises that you can live forever on this earth. In the Bible Jesus spoke of one instance where a sickness was "for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." Paul prayed three times about an illness that God chose not to heal. Last fall Dr. D'Adamo wrote about catching a virus.
So eat beneficial food. Enjoy better health. When some little germ sneaks past your immune system, pray and take advantage of all available natural remedies. If you are still sick, take advantage of modern medicine. And don't let anyone make you feel false guilt!
I was listening to the radio this week, and the host was interviewing the author of a book titled "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist." What an intriguing name. It makes me want to read the book.
I've been tossing a blog around in my head for a couple of days, and thinking about what to name it.
Knowing when to cry "Uncle"
After battling a sore throat for more than two weeks, Tuesday I had to admit that I was getting worse. When I swallowed there was pain in my right Eustachian tube. I was getting a discharge from my left eye. The sinus passages near my jaw were starting to hurt. This was not a virus; it was a secondary infection. It was time to take the antibiotics.
All out fight
I devoted last weekend to fighting the virus. I was already taking antivirus protocols. Over the weekend I alternated gargling with salt water one hour and hydrogen peroxide and water the next. I drank hot water with lemon and honey. I juiced carrots and pineapple. I threw every natural remedy I knew at the virus. I woke Monday morning with the same sore throat.
Could have been worse
I was discouraged that I could not beat this with natural remedies. My gut feeling is that as stubborn as this germ was, if I had been eating a normal American diet, I might have been much sicker. Except for the one day of fever, and the sore throat I have had plenty of energy and have kept up my daily routine (excluding strenuous exercise).
Before the BTD I would get tired at night. Maybe the wheat I ate at dinner made me sleepy. Maybe it was the peanuts and cheese. I just know that my eyes would get heavy, and I was ready to go to bed. I don't feel that kind of sleepiness any more, so I tend to stay up later. Most of the fall I was sleeping about 6 hours a night. Looking back, I see that though I didn't feel tired, I was not getting enough sleep. It's a hard habit to break, but since Christmas I've made a real effort to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
Much better, thank you
After 24 hours on the antibiotic, the sore throat was better and the Eustachian tube pain was gone. After 48 hours I feel almost normal. No question about this being a secondary infection.
All of those titles miss the point of what's really on my mind following this illness. It's the idea that if you follow the BTD you will never be sick again. I think I will call it Faith Healers and the BTD. But this blog is already too long, so it will have to wait until tomorrow.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I cook hot cereal for my Type A husband's breakfast. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I bake something interesting and exciting. It is more efficient when I plan what I'm going to bake the night before. However I am a spontaneous cook, so quite often I get up in the morning looking for inspiration.
It was that way on Tuesday. I wanted to fix something totally new and different. So I started looking through cookbooks. In "Feasting Naturally with your Friends" I found a recipe for Peanut butter muffins. It sounded very Type A. The recipe said that it took 30 - 35 minutes to prepare, and I had exactly that much time before hungry family members would invade the kitchen.
However, preparation wasn't quite as quick as the recipe claimed, probably because I made a couple of beneficial substitutions. When the batter was all prepared and ready to go into the muffin tins, there was less than 10 minutes until breakfast had to be on the table. I was not going to make it.
Close to panic, I had an idea. Plug in the grill; make pancakes. The grill heated quickly and I poured out circles of muffin batter. They didn't bubble like normal pancakes would, but they browned nicely and I flipped them to the other side. I served them with frozen blueberries and strawberries.
My daughter said, "These were supposed to be muffins weren't they?" I nodded and laughed, asking how they tasted. "They're really good!" she said. My husband said they were great. After the two of them left the house, I could have baked the rest of the batter as muffins. Instead I thinned the batter with a little more soy milk, and cooked it all as pancakes. They are in the freezer waiting for another day when I need a quick idea for breakfast.
When I started the BTD, I did not ease into it. From day one I was totally committed. I had a lot to learn, but to the degree that I understood, I began immediately eating like a Type O. That meant giving up peanut butter, one of my favorite foods.
At the time, the natural foods market nearest my house carried almond butter for about 50% more than the cost of peanut butter. Almond butter was neutral, it was delicious, and worth the price. Several months later the store discontinued that brand and brought in organic almond butter for $13.59 a jar. Yikes. I'm sure it's good, but $13 almond butter is NOT in my budget.
So I switched to sesame butter. It's about twice the price of peanut butter. It is good, though not as good as almond butter. I've been dipping carrots and other veggies in sesame butter for more than a year.
Last week on the forum, someone wrote about making their own nut butter in a food processor. I was intrigued.
The natural foods market always has nuts and seeds on sale. Almonds were regular price this week, but pumpkin seeds were on sale for $2.99 a pound. Yesterday I made pumpkin seed butter. I put three cups of pumpkin seeds in the food processor and ground them as fine as I could, then I began drizzling in light olive oil. I didn't measure; I just drizzled until the pumpkin seeds were the consistency of peanut butter. The three cups I started with more than filled a peanut butter jar.
I dipped a carrot stick in the pumpkin butter. It was outstanding! It was so good that thinking about it just now as I wrote this blog made me hungry, so I stopped and had a carrot stick and pumpkin butter snack. The cost - about the same as natural peanut butter.
I'm excited about saving money, but I'm also excited about the variety. When almonds go on sale I can make almond butter. I could try walnut or pecan butter. There are so many choices.
Our son is driving back to college today. I will be the only Type O in the house again.
Emotions run high on days like this. We will miss him enormously. Yet we're very proud of the work he is doing at college. He will miss home and old friends, yet he is excited about spring classes and eager to see college friends again.
Saturday night our daughter was babysitting, so the Os were in the majority. I warmed up lentil soup for my husband, but fixed a Type O feast for my son and me. We had chopped steak, spinach with raisins and sweet potato fries. For dessert - fresh mango.
Sunday night we all ate together so there was a mixture of Type A and Type O choices: smoked turkey, buckwheat biscuits, parsnips with maple syrup, couscous, black eyed peas, and lettuce salad
This morning I sent him off with a high protein breakfast: a cherry/grape smoothie, frozen strawberries, and sunny side up eggs.
I also sent him with food from the pantry plus the calcium and the multiple vitamins. I've got to get to the store!
My husband and I both donated blood through our local blood bank in December. This week we both received our free cholesterol lipid panel results. Without the BTD, our results would be a mystery.
My husband is a Type A. Two years ago (before we knew about the BTD) his cholesterol reports were consistently high or borderline. Our doctor was not happy and put him on Zocor.
I am Type O. Before the Blood Type Diet my cholesterol had been as high as 217 and my Triglycerides as high as 102. Our doctor said, "Better watch your diet."
I started the Blood Type diet in June of 2003 to get relief from GERD. The results were so wonderful, that I began nudging the rest of my family toward eating for their blood type. My husband willingly follows the BTD pretty well as long as I'm around to tell him what to eat. When he is out on his own... well that's another story.
Even at that level of compliance, his Cholesterol panel improved so much by June, 2004 that the doctor cut his dose of Zocor in half. Today his cholesterol panel looked so good that he is going to ask the doctor about quitting or further reducing the Zocor.
Now here's the mystery. Both of us have much better cholesterol reports since starting the BTD, but we have changed our diets in exact opposite ways.
My husband's cholesterol dropped when he stopped eating red meat. But I eat lots of red meat. In fact I have lamb or beef almost every day.
My cholesterol dropped when I stopped eating wheat. My husband eats lots of grain including wheat. He has grain at every meal, and has wheat at least once a day.
Without an understanding of Blood Types our results would seem to be contradictory. But with a knowledge of blood types they make perfect sense. Red meat is beneficial for Type Os, but will contribute to elevated cholesterol in Type As. Wheat is neutral for Type A, but will contribute to elevated cholesterol in Type Os.
How frustrating for people who diligently follow the standard cholesterol diet or their doctor's directions, but find their next cholesterol test to be even worse.
How rewarding for my husband and me to see great cholesterol tests, though our diets are quite different.
Today my husband's cholesterol panel looked like this:
Cholesterol - 164
Triglycerides - 145
HDL - 57
LDL - 78
Ratio - 2.9
Today my cholesterol panel looked like this:
Cholesterol - 193
Triglycerides - 40
HDL - 76
LDL - 109
Ratio - 2.5
I haven't made Strawberry Bread since I started the BTD. It has been a family favorite, and I wasn't sure I could get away with changing it. I reduced the sugar, and exchanged wheat flour for a blend of 3 flours good for Type As. The biggest change was that I had always added 3-4 ounces of cream cheese to the batter. This time I used one cup of cubed tofu.
Everyone liked it. No one seemed to notice that the recipe was different. My husband finished off for dessert what was left from breakfast. I have posted the recipe on RECIbase as Suzanne's Strawberry Bread.
Before the BTD one of my favorite snacks was peanuts, raisins and carob chips. I started the BTD cold turkey, so the first week I switched to walnuts, raisins & carob chips. As I got more comfortable with the Type O food lists, and began to study the ingredients more carefully, I realized that there were a lot of avoids in carob chips. I grudgingly admitted that there were probably more avoids than there was beneficial carob. I gave up the carob chips.
I have some plain carob powder that I had bought to make carob brownies. I'm the one who can't eat chocolate, but I don't eat much grain. My husband and daughter would rather have chocolate. Therefore I haven't used the carob powder in ages.
I tried mixing two teaspoons of carob powder with a little olive oil. I stirred the carob sauce into a bowl of walnuts and raisins. I ate it with a spoon and it was delicious. Ok, I'll be honest, it wasn't quite as good as carob chips, but it was an ample substitute. A snack with 3 beneficials and 1 neutral that tastes like chocolate covered nuts will be often repeated!
For 10 days now I've fought a sore throat that's come and gone. Over the weekend I was sure I had it beat, but yesterday afternoon it returned - painfully. This morning I made a doctor's appointment. I don't mind being patient with a virus, but I was starting to worry that I might have strep or some other bacterial infection.
My regular doctor's schedule was full, so I saw one of the other doctors in the clinic. I started off by saying that I had had a sore throat for more than a week and I needed to know whether I was dealing with a virus, allergies, or a bacterial infection. Then I said, "I'm not begging for antibiotics! I know people who beg for antibiotics, but really I just want to know what I have."
He asked lots of questions and did a thorough examination. He thinks it's viral. That's what I wanted to know. I've been jumping back and forth between allergy, antibacterial and antiviral protocols. Now I can focus on antiviral.
Here was the interesting part of the experience. The doctor at one point said, "I think you've been more than patient with this thing. I have people come in, and I ask how long have you had symptoms, and they say two hours." He laughed, "I can't possibly know what they have after such a short amount of time!"
Before I could register surprise, I remembered that the receptionist had asked me about my co-pay. We have medical insurance that pays a percentage of our costs after a stiff deductible. We do not get $5 doctor visits and $10 emergency room visits.
I believe that co-pay has led to people to forget that they are responsible for their own health. Because co-pay gives the illusion that medical care is only a token expense, they rush immediately to a doctor. The doctor, having to deal with an impatient patient and symptoms that are not fully developed writes a prescription for unneeded antibiotics.
This appointment will cost me $50 - $60, but that's ok. I'm glad to know what I'm dealing with. The doctor did write a prescription for antibiotics, but he smiled knowingly as he gave it to me. "Don't fill it for a few days. I really think it's just viral."
I have subscribed to Reader's Digest for a long time (since before I was married 28 years ago). They print a lot of health, diet, and exercise articles. Some of them are really helpful. The best exercises I have for hand and ankle weights were clipped from Reader's Digest articles.
It was in Reader's Digest that I first heard about "Eating by Color." I still have that chart posted on my refrigerator and follow some of the principles. For instance if I'm fixing broccoli which is a green vegetable, I probably won't serve it with Kale or Swiss chard (other green vegetables). Instead I will fix an orange vegetable like pumpkin or a purple fruit like blueberries or cherries. The color chart is subject to BTD food lists, of course, I don't fix alfalfa sprouts for me or sweet potatoes for the As no matter what color they are.
The cover story for the December issue is "The New Way to Lose Weight." When I read the first paragraph I got excited. It said, "The search for the perfect diet has never been more frenzied. Eat low-carb! No, eat low fat! But beyond the hype, and the billions spent on weight-loss products, a revolutionary idea is catching on with researchers: the notion that no two individuals lose weight the same way. Each person has a hidden key to weight loss."
My excitement faded as they profiled several people who by trial and error found a technique to help them lose weight. By the time I got to the "Best Free Websites" sidebar and saw that the Blood Type Diet site was omitted, I was truly disappointed. Once again an article clearly defined the problem - that the same diet that works great for one person doesn't work at all for another. But readers are left to randomly try parts of this diet and parts of that, hoping to come up with a combination that works.
I wrote a letter to the editors very politely telling them about the easy way to predict which diet will work - blood type. I have no idea whether they will print my letter. I noticed that on the comment part of the Reader's Digest website there are a couple of observations from followers of the BTD.
If you subscribe to Reader's Digest you might want to write your own letter or post your own comment. Or if you see a health article in your local newspaper that leaves out blood type, write a respectful response. I want to do my part to point people confused by conflicts in diet information toward the Blood Type Diet.