Archives for: April 2005
When my son graduated from high school, he went snorkeling on his senior trip. He bought some fins, and that summer told me that one of the best workouts he did for his calves was swimming with fins. I bought some fins for myself, but in a 25-meter pool, I found them cumbersome. I only kicked a few times before I reached the wall and had to turn. Turning in fins is awkward. I rarely used them.
However, yesterday I used them as they were meant to be used. The indoor pool where I swim in the winter is a 50-meter pool. From September through April there is a barrier at the halfway point, which divides the big pool into two 25-meter pools. At the end of the high school swim season, they remove the barrier. Yesterday was the first time since the barrier was removed that I remembered to take the fins.
I swam two warm up laps in my regular way, then put on the fins. There was a delightful sensation of the water rushing past me so much faster. I soon noticed that I was breathing harder than I ordinarily do when I swim. This was not only a good leg workout, but a good aerobics workout as well. Though my arms kept moving, it was clear that most of the work was being done by my legs.
I felt great when I got out of the water. My heart rate was up. My shoulders, knotted up from too many hours working on computer graphics, were loose. My legs, especially my calves, were tired, but not exhausted. Swimming with fins will be fun until our neighborhood pool opens in June.
A quote from Jack Taylor: "Until your misery factor exceeds your fear factor, you won't change." Taylor is an evangelist, and I wish I knew the original context of this quote. However, doesn't it have application for many areas of life? - - Especially food and exercise. Don't wait until you are miserable! Start today to eat more beneficials and fewer avoids. You may not be able to swim, but you can go for a brisk walk.
After a wet winter, we are having a dry spring. I had an unusually demanding morning, and I looked forward to a run at the park with the hill. The ground is starting to crack, and I kicked up lots of dust as I ran.
That reminded me of an interesting study I heard about on the radio this week. I wish I could remember the name of the author of the book who was being interviewed so I could give him credit for his work. Someone has gone back and looked at transportation in the decades prior to the mass production of the Model-T Ford. They particularly looked at big cities like New York City. They calculated the number of horses that were in the cities, and the number of tons of manure that those horses produced.
When the weather was wet all that manure ran down into the rivers and streams, polluting the water supply. When the weather was dry, the manure was pounded into dust by the horse's hoofs and the wagon wheels. Manure dust was constantly in the air, blowing into houses through open windows. People breathed it and ate it as it settled on their food. Eating, drinking, and breathing manure brought epidemic disease.
The author contends that the invention of the car brought to a halt a dangerous pollution problem in the cities. Interesting thought.
I was glad that the dust I was breathing was just plain dirt. I sure felt better after the run. You can't hear it too often; Type Os need intense physical exercise.
I took my journalism class on a field trip to a local newspaper today. They got to tour the news room, the advertising department, the press room and more. After the tour we were to eat lunch. The students talked about a lot of restaurants, but in the end they decided they wanted to go to a food court at a nearby mall.
I walked up and down the rows of food stands looking for something Type O. One place had signs bragging about their salads. But as I got closer I saw that all the salads were pre-made and all were topped with croutons and cheese. Chinese is usually a good O option, but in this environment all the food was already covered in sauce, which would be wheat or corn based.
Then I saw a place that specialized in Philly steak sandwiches. OK, I know that getting a real Philly steak sandwich in Texas is as likely as my getting real Mexican food in Pennsylvania. However, I stopped to look at the menu. Two things attracted my attention. First they had a Philly salad - Romaine lettuce, tomato, steak, onion, and cheese. Second, the grill was not hidden in the back, but was right behind the counter so you could watch the cook chopping and grilling your meal.
I ordered a Philly salad with no cheese and no dressing. As I made my way to the other end of the line, I watched the cook prepare food for the people in front of me. When he got to my order he said, "Are you sure you don't want cheese." I asked if he had real mozzarella and he said he did. So I said yes to the cheese.
The salad was very good. I'm going to see if I can copy it at home.
I planned my food and snacks pretty well for my two long deadline days, but with 12 and 16-hour days it's hard to plan for exercise. Friday I did quite a bit of walking around campus, but Saturday I sat at the computer most of the day. Sunday I went for a short walk with my husband. Today I knew I had to get some real exercise, but I seemed to be moving from one meeting to another without any time of my own.
When we got home from school, I did yard work. It was such a clear, cool spring day that weed eating was almost fun. Yet I hadn't worked hard enough to be tired. A student had given me two rolls of film from a weekend tennis tournament to process for the sports section. I jumped on my bike and went to drop off the film.
I probably rode a little more than three miles altogether. Now my heart was really pumping and my muscles were really working. I felt so much better. The sun had gone down by the time I got home. The streets were quiet except for a few nighttime walkers. It was very peaceful. The combination of being physically tired, yet in such pleasant surroundings was just what I needed.
If I could just get the last load of laundry hung up and the dishes done in time to get 7 hours of sleep, I truly would be rejuvenated.
This is my middle yearbook deadline, which is the most stressful one. I worked more than 12 hours both Friday and Saturday. A bag full of beneficial snacks kept me going, and kept the creativity flowing. I stopped often for something to eat or drink. When I reached an impasse, just walking across the room and taking a drink of green tea or dipping broccoli in some olive oil, or munching nuts and dried fruit restored me. I returned to the computer refreshed and ready to think more imaginatively. The long hours plus keeping things functioning at home have left me little time to blog. I've written several blogs in my head, but haven't had time to put them on paper.
Several weeks ago there was a thread on the Forum about the BTD and the Bible. One of the things someone brought up was whether the fact that God accepted Abel's animal sacrifice but rejected Cain's sacrifice of fruit and grain had anything to do with vegetarianism. I thought the answer was no, but I didn't have any explanation, so I kept quiet.
On the way in to school yesterday I was listening to a Q&A program with a pastor, and he was asked a question about what was wrong with Cain's sacrifice. I found his answer fascinating, and since there was a certain amount of interest on the Forum, I'll summarize what he said - plus add a few of my own thoughts.
Hebrews 11:4 makes it clear that the Cain and Able account was about faith vs works. Cain brought to God what he had produced himself seeking God's approval. It is the idea of gaining God's favor by doing good works. Sometimes you hear people say, "I know I'm going to heaven because I try to be good," or "because I'm not as bad as other people." Some religions say you will go to heaven if you do certain things - follow laws, go on pilgrimages, give money, and give up things you like. God rejected Cain's sacrifice. The pastor on the radio said he found it significant that right at the beginning of the Bible, in the 4th chapter, God made it clear that we can't gain His favor by our own works.
Able, on the other hand, brought as a sacrifice what God had provided, and it was a blood sacrifice. He came with the faith that though he didn't deserve it, God would forgive him. God accepted Able's sacrifice because it was offered with faith. It points ahead to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, which took away the sins of all who would by faith believe in Him.
There are several verses that talk against vegetarianism (Deuteronomy 12:15 & 20, Romans 14:6, and 1 Timothy 4:3), but the account of Cain and Able is not among them.
As I was driving to school this afternoon I heard a news report that the Centers for Disease Control has dropped obesity from the #2 cause of death to #7. I was curious to know more, so I Googled the story when I got home. If you're curious, you can read the details at
Both the radio and the print stories made reference to Body Mass Index. I didn't know much about BMI, so I Googled that next and found a fascinating website. It is a BMI calculator that not only calculates your body mass index, but lets you know how you are doing compared to other people your height and age.
My BMI is 21.1 - solidly in the middle of the healthy range.
If you would like to have fun with the BMI calculator, the link is
Part of the news story said, "Experts agree that a good diet and exercise are important for health, but some question whether the multibillion-dollar diet industry has misled Americans about the health hazards of being a few pounds overweightâ€¦There are strong economic, social and political drivers, including pharmaceutical companies which are pushing ways to make people thinner."
It made me proud that the Blood Type Diet is focused on building health and that attaining and maintaining a healthy weight are natural side effects to eating right. I'm also glad that while Dr. D'Adamo makes quality supplements available, none of them are required to succeed on this diet.
Because my daughter is eager to get the braces off her teeth, she has accepted without complaining the discomfort of their being tightened monthly. At some point a wire began poking her when she chewed on one side, so she began chewing on the other side. Some time later her jaw began popping, but she never grumbled. When her jaw began sticking, she mentioned it, and her orthodontist told her to stop using the rubber bands. Last weekend her jaw got stuck. She could neither open nor close her mouth. She was in a lot of pain. As the whole story came out, the orthodontist was amazed that she had suffered for so long without demanding relief. The fact that she was chewing only on one side created an imbalance in her muscles, which caused the jaw joint to slide and ultimately freeze up. The offending wire is gone. He used several natural techniques to loosen the tight muscle, and she is much better.
What, you ask, does this have to do with the BTD? Two things come to my mind.
One, I am sometimes concerned when people blame all new symptoms on detox. Certainly when you start a new eating program, your body may go through a period of adjustment. It makes sense that as stored toxins are released, they may manifest themselves in odd ways. But if unusual symptoms persist for long, don't accept them without question. Make sure that troublesome developments are not indications of serious disease.
Years ago I ate at a Pritikin restaurant. My server was way too thin. Her hair was brittle and her skin was blotchy. She looked so bad that it turned me off to Pritikin's program. Looking back I'm she was Type O, trying her best to follow a low fat, vegetarian diet. In my mind I can hear her mentors telling her that it was just detox, and that if she would stick with the plan, she would feel better.
Just as my daughter would have saved herself a lot of grief if she had spoken up earlier; get yourself checked out if you experience extended troublesome symptoms.
Second, since she had to eat soft food for a couple of days, I tried a new recipe. It is a variation on Hot Peanut Cereal from "Recipes for a Small Planet". This makes 2 or 3 servings.
2 Â½ cups water
2 Tbsp soy powder
3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 - 3 Tbsp honey
Mix the soy powder into the water with a whisk. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cook covered 5 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Adjust the thickness to your preference by adding soy milk or more oats.
My husband daughter both loved it.
I have not done the secretor test. If I had chronic health problems, I would send for the kit today. I probably should get tested anyway, but as long as I stay healthy and am doing well on the Type O diet I will probably spend the money on food rather than tests.
I basically eat a secretor diet, since statistically that's probably what I am. I've not been bothered by non-secretor avoids like strawberries or apples. However, I don't eat as much grain as a secretor is allowed.
Most of the differences between the secretor and non-secretor food lists deal with foods that are beneficial/neutral or neutral/avoid. It gets more complicated with pinto beans and avocadoes. Both are secretor avoids and non secretor beneficial. Both are traditional ingredients in the Mexican food that is so popular in my part of Texas. So when I go to a Mexican Restaurant, I become a "non-secretor for a day." (If you're old enough to remember the old TV show "Queen for a Day" you will understand my title. If not, you missed an amusing show)
Sunday was one of those days. After church we went to our favorite Mexican Restaurant. I ordered taco salad. I didn't touch the chips or the tortillas. Neither secretors nor non-secretors can have those. I remembered to tell the server "no cheese" on my salad. But I happily ate the refried beans and guacamole. They were delicious!
And if I am a non-secretor, they were very good for me.
A friend came over for dinner Saturday night. She is a diabetic Type A, who is curious about my being on the BTD, but not particularly interested in following it herself. Nonetheless, I fixed a Type A meal, since it would be me and three As. We had wild caught steelhead trout, black-eyed peas, ginger carrots, steamed broccoli, kohl slaw, and spelt/rye bread.
My friend's mom has had surgery and is in a rehab center while she has physical therapy. We are all hopeful that she will regain her strength and be able to resume her active life. One of the things she doesn't like about the rehab center is the food. Nothing tastes good to her. We had a lively discussion about why, with a staff of trained dietitians, institutional food doesn't taste better.
My friend said that one factor was that her Mom's doctor had ordered a low salt diet for her. I vividly remember years ago when my husband was put on a low salt diet for his blood pressure. I was going to a lot of work to buy low salt products, and cook without salt. One night he was picking at his food and said, "You know, your mashed potatoes just don't taste as good as the cafeteria's." I exploded. He was eating out and comparing the high salt restaurant food to the low salt meals I was preparing at home. I couldn't possibly compete. (Mashed potatoes were one of his pre-BTD favorite foods.)
Another factor for my friend's Mom is that her sense of taste isn't what it used to be. She reluctantly admitted that before her surgery, even food at home hadn't tasted as good as it used to.
My husband chimed in with his favorite theory - that things that are healthy taste terrible and things that taste good are bad for your health. I would dispute that! I thought we were eating a healthy tasty meal. However, I know what he means. If you did a taste test between spelt/rye bread and a Krispy Kreme donut, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would vote against the Krispy Kreme's on taste alone.
Eating healthy food is an acquired taste. I didn't eat 8 - 10 fruits & vegetables a day when I was loading my plate with starches. Being aware that there is a high price to pay for the flaky texture of a pastry, or the smooth sweetness of cake icing makes it easier to say no. The more I eat whole grains, the more I appreciate their rich flavor, even though I have to chew them more.
The longer I eat right, the more I appreciate the natural flavor of real food. But I wouldn't trade my job for a dietitian's!
Rachel the Blogger wanted me to try T-Tapp. She wanted it so much that she arranged for me to borrow some of the tapes. I'm glad she did!
The name T-Tapp gave me a completely erroneous mental image of what the exercises were like. I was picturing dance moves - like tap dancing, I guess. Wrong! It's nothing like that. Teresa Tapp's background includes a mother who died young, a severe back injury as a teenager, and a stint in the fashion industry. The combination made her very interested in anatomy, rehabilitation, and fitness. She adds an isometric dimension to basic exercises that strengthens core muscles around your joints and gives you a lot harder workout than you think you're getting in 15 - 45 minutes. It means that people who normally have trouble with exercise (like people with knee or back problems and people who are significantly overweight) can do these exercises and succeed.
(As an aside - in one of her tapes she endorses the Blood Type Diet, and encourages her seminar participants to investigate and follow the diet. She also deals with the specific needs of different body types. Rachel says T-Tapp is to exercise what BTD is to dieting.)
The things I identified the most with in her program were the posture and foot issues. She continuously chides people to keep their toes forward and not "walk like a duck." Her demonstration of what walking with your toes pointed out does to your hip and knee joints really made me take notice.
It's made me pay attention to my feet, and as I paid attention to my own feet, I found myself watching the way other people walk. She's right; most people walk with their toes out just like a duck. Young people walk quickly and effortlessly like ducks. But the older people get, the more they limp and hobble like ducks. I had never noticed how many people walk as if every step is painful.
When my son was two years old, I had some foot problems related to carrying him on one hip. I began wearing expensive arches in my shoes. Tapp claims that if I stick with these exercises, I can realign my back joints and feet. I can see enough improvement in the few weeks I've been trying them that I'm going to keep at it.
I doubt I ever do T-Tapp 100%. I love to run, swim and bicycle. Those types of exercise get my heart going faster, and make my muscles more tired than T-Tapp does. Plus being outside or in the water meets some other need that exercising in my den in front of the TV does not meet. However, I am going to buy my own tapes, and will continue T-Tapping 3-4 days a week.
An interesting verse from Proverbs 14:6 "A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it. But knowledge is easy to him who understands." Doesn't that make you think of people who write scathing reviews about the BTD without ever reading the books or trying it for themselves?
I don't usually like processed foods. I don't like or trust vitamin/supplement infomercials. But there are exceptions to the rules, and I've found a product I like.
I heard an infomercial for HerbaGreen Tea. They said "all natural." They said, "delicious taste." They said, "no calories." I said, "Yea, sure, right." There was no way I was calling that toll free number.
But shortly thereafter I was at my little, friendly, local health food store. There was HerbaGreen Tea on their shelf. I asked the owner about it. Greta is very picky about the products she sells and the vendors she uses. She was really enthusiastic about this tea. So I bought a bottle.
You put one eyedropper full in a glass of water. It is concentrated green tea sweetened with stevia. It contains a couple of herbs that are either neutral or not rated, and it contains licorice which is recommended for Type O stomach health.
It truly does taste delicious. I use it most often if I am rushing out the door to school without time to fix a snack. I can squeeze a dropper full into my water bottle. It is delightfully refreshing at 3:30 in the afternoon. Sometimes around 10 pm I get hungry, and I know better than to eat anything that late at night. I can quickly fix a glass of green tea, and it satisfies me.
I still make real green tea with peppermint. I suspect that freshly brewed is probably better for me than the concentrate in the bottle. But on those occasions when I need a short cut, I'm glad to have HerbaGreen.
Before I had children I used to be a more elaborate cook. I prepared more sauces and used more interesting seasonings. When my children were little, they liked simple, single ingredient foods. They were much more receptive to carrots, for example, than carrots with a ginger glaze. My son has grown to like more savory seasonings. But my daughter still likes simple food - or at least I thought she did.
Several weeks ago we had company for dinner, and I decided to fix green beans. I pulled out one of my old recipes - basil green beans - just to make the vegetable a little fancier for our guests.
Then I went back to plain green beans for the family. My daughter said, "These green beans don't taste the same as they did when our friends were over." I explained that I had used more seasoning for our guests. "Oh," she said, "Those were really good."
I should have taken the hint, but simple food is a habit. Tonight she came in to set the table and help with drinks. She peeked into the pots. When she saw green beans, she said, "Could you do those fancy green beans again?" I did, and we all enjoyed them. I thought you might enjoy them too.
Salt to taste
Â½ tsp dried basil
Begin cooking the green beans in your usual way. Sprinkle garlic powder lightly over the cooking beans. Crush the dried basil between your fingers as you add it to the beans.
It is a very easy, but very flavorful way to serve green beans. And my daughter, who usually prefers plain food, thinks they are delicious.
I find that truth rarely limits itself to just one arena. For instance, what I have learned about inborn differences in blood types has helped me be a better teacher. It is much easier now to remember to look at each of my students' imbedded strengths and weaknesses than it was before I started the BTD. I try to give them assignments that will develop their individual talents, rather than expecting them to all work in the same way.
I heard two interesting things yesterday that at face value had nothing to do with the Blood Type Diet, but both of them made an immediate connection.
The first was in Sunday School. The lesson was from Jeremiah 18, when Jeremiah went to watch a potter at work. As he watched, the jar the potter was making was ruined, but the potter squashed the clay back down and reshaped it. Our class was discussing the application that God can mold and shape our lives according to His plan. Someone spoke up saying, "That is true until the jar goes into the kiln and is baked. We can become so hardened that we can no longer be shaped." Excellent spiritual insight, and what a BTD insight as well!
I came to the BTD with nearly 10 years of problems with indigestion. But within a few weeks of eating the right food, my body had responded, and I was free of pain. Our bodies are eager to get the right food. They can forgive a great deal of abuse and wrong eating. Even if you have been eating junk for years, when you begin eating right for your type, you can "reshape" your health. However, there is a point at which your bad habits "harden" your health, and beyond which it is too late.
The bad eating habits of my childhood left me wearing glasses. By the time I began eating fruits and vegetables it was too late for my eyes. God said to the people of Israel, "Turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions." Excellent spiritual advice. Truth being truth, that is excellent health advice as well.
The second was on the radio. I was listening to a psychologist talk about how people learn to restrain themselves. The discussion dealt with manic behavior and how children observe their parents' actions and learn either self control or self indulgence. It was fascinating. As he talked about how to train teenagers to have more restraint, he suggested asking yourself this question when faced with a decision, "Will I be glad I did this tomorrow?" What a great question! Would that I remembered to ask it!
Think of the Blood Type Diet applications. We all get cravings. "Will I be glad I ate that tomorrow?" We all yearn for old favorite avoids. "Will I be glad I ate that tomorrow?"
My husband plans to do a big computer maintenance project this afternoon. So this morning I have been cleaning out all my files. As much as I like the computer, I've about had enough. I'm ready to mow the yard or go for a bike ride or do something to get out of this chair! But I'm not finished yet.
I thought I'd take a break and blog while I ate my lunch. I suspect this will be a rambling sort of blog. I have two or three ideas that I've been meaning to write about, but none of them are substantial enough to make a complete blog.
I'm having cold roast beef for lunch. That's good, not only because roast beef is beneficial, but also because this roast beef was very inexpensive. My husband usually takes our daughter to school, but his schedule was such that I took her last week. One day I stopped at the grocery store on the way home, and I learned something. The meat department manager goes through the case early in the morning and marks down everything that is going to expire two days later. I don't like buying things that are past the expiration date, but buying something that's two days away from expiration to cook or to freeze is a bargain. I bought two eye of round roasts for nearly half price; plus I got a great deal on some steaks. I can learn to shop at 7am in order to get meat for 1/3 to 1/2 off!
I did something else because of last week's wacky schedule. Two days in a row I ate switched breakfast and dinner. Several BTD contributors advocate that Type Os have a big meat and vegetable breakfast, a good lunch, and a very light dinner. Whenever I tried it just for one day it seemed that after a big breakfast and a big lunch I was still hungry for a big dinner. That was too much food for one day. What was interesting this time was that the second day worked great. I wasn't nearly so hungry in the afternoon. During school this is not going to be a practical schedule for my family. But I may see about flipping breakfast and dinner more often this summer.
I must have touched a nerve with my blog about gaining weight from looking at cake. The funniest comment was from Amy who wrote, "I gain weight on a few slices of bread and lose it on porterhouse steaks." How would one of the calorie counting gurus explain that?
You've heard the line, "I gain a pound if I just look at a piece of cake." It always gets a laugh. Ha Ha.
The "experts" agree one pound of body fat is equal to about 3500 calories. They say if you either eat 500 calories a day less or burn 500 calories a day more, you will lose a pound a week. It sounds so simple. In fact, there is an article in our local paper today about how if you trim 100 calories a day out of your diet, but keep your activity level the same, you will slowly but steadily lose pounds. If it was really that simple, there would not be an epidemic of obesity.
I used to laugh with everyone else at the "gain a pound if I just look at a piece of cake" line, but sometimes it sure seemed to be true. A piece of cake has somewhere between 200 and 500 calories, depending on the kind of cake and whether it has icing. At the worst, that would mean I would have to eat 7 pieces of cake to gain a pound. But that's not what happened. If I ate a piece of cake I would gain two, maybe three pounds.
Scientifically impossible, perhaps; but it's what my scale would report.
When my husband and I first married, it drove me crazy that he could eat mounds of pasta and multiple slices of bread and never put on a pound. I exercised and counted calories, and still struggled to keep my weight level. It wasn't fair, and it just didn't make sense.
Nutritional principles kept my weight steady during my health nut years. But it was not until the Blood Type Diet that I began to understand why the "gain a pound if I just look at a piece of cake" joke seemed to be true for me. Type Os gain pounds when we eat wheat. Some is water retention; some is fat, but nonetheless the scale does go up.
All of this came home to me again last weekend when I ate two pieces of pizza on Saturday night. My weight was up two pounds on Sunday. It took until today - four days- to lose those two pounds. Admittedly I did more than look at the pizza. But two pieces of pizza do not have 7,000 calories, and shouldn't increase my weight by two pounds over night according to the "experts." But the "experts" don't understand Blood Type principles or understand me as a Type O!
If you are Type O, and have stumbled across this website, and if you laugh at the "gain a pound if I just look at a piece of cake" line not because it's funny but because it's painfully true; I urge you to try the Blood Type Diet. If you are not Type O, there are other weight loss keys that will work for you and your Type.
I enjoy a wide variety of music from classical to rock to gospel. My daughter likes Country & Western, so that's what we listen to on the way home from school. The other day I heard a song that mad me laugh. The chorus was:
I'm in a hurry to get things done
Rushin' rushin' till life's no fun
All you really have to do is live or die
I'm in a hurry and don't know why.
"That's me," I said. "That's me during deadlines!" Since then I've been humming that song in my head. Especially today. I thought once I got past the yearbook deadline, my life would slow down, but I'm still "rushin' rushin'"
I had rushed all morning and it was almost time to leave for school. I had been starving at 10:30 and had eaten carrots and almond butter as I worked on other things. I needed a green vegetable and I needed meat. There was chicken left from last night's dinner, but no vegetables and no time to cook anything.
I had one kohlrabi, but no lemons to make kohl slaw. I grated the kohlrabi, tossed in some chopped chicken, and made a dressing of concentrated pineapple juice and olive oil. I know it sounds weird, but it was sweet and tasty and filling. It contained three beneficials and a neutral meat. And it was fast! I only wish I had taken the time to sit down and eat in a leisurely manner, as Live Right recommends for Type O.
As I rushed to the car, I was again humming that chorus in my head. I think the reason I like the song is that it makes me smile. It reminds me to slow down and enjoy life. It reminds me that I don't need to rush; my times are in God's hands.
We made our first yearbook deadline. What a relief to have 1/3 of the book at the publisher. My daughter had a service project at the school Friday night. I thought I could finish proofing pages by the time her event was over at 10. I guess I was optimistic; I didn't close the final envelope until midnight. But the pages look good. Walnuts have become essential to page proofing. Whenever I find a big error, I grab a handful of walnuts. I need an extra bit of energy and something solid to calm the sinking feeling in my stomach.
We have three huge live oak trees in our yard. If you're not familiar with live oaks, they do not drop their leaves in the fall with the other trees. They stay nice and green all winter, then as the new leaves are starting to bud, they drop all their old leaves. The leaves are small and tough. Instead of quickly decomposing, they form a layer of slime that can kill the grass. We've tried several methods of picking up the leaves. Since my husband is still in physical therapy, I lobbied for renting a bagging lawnmower. Even with the mower, it took five hours to get up all the leaves and scalp the grass. Type O intense physical workout would be an understatement. I was very tired and sore when I finished. But I felt fine this morning. Amazing - this lifestyle is paying off.
Some friends had invited us over for dinner last night. Back when we both had young children we always had pizza when we got together with them. Now it is a tradition. I had two slices of hamburger pizza and a plate of raw veggies and fruit. I took extra bladderwrack and didn't feel any irritation in my stomach at all. However wheat always makes me retain water, and sure enough my weight was up a pound this morning.
After church we had lunch with friends. They selected a seafood restaurant. I had grilled cod, steamed vegetables, and salad. I have a little bottle of olive oil that I usually put in the car when we're going to a restaurant, but I forgot it today. Our server was honest enough to admit they didn't have olive oil, so I ate my salad without dressing.
It's light enough with daylight savings time to take the dog for a walk. My daughter just finished a dish of yogurt and tells me she is ready to go. That's as good a place as any to end this weekend blog.
I am cooking collard greens for lunch, and it brought back a long forgotten memory. I grew up in the 50s and 60s when women boiled vegetables in pots full of water. One day my Dad came home and told my Mom that he had read in a scientific journal that many vitamins were water soluble, and that the more water you used when you cooked, the more vitamins were lost from your food. It was a radical new concept for both of them. My mom began to change her cooking style.
Why I remember this conversation I don't know. I didn't eat vegetables at the time, so I didn't care how they were cooked. The only thing I knew about vitamins was that they came in a pill called One-A-Day.
Years later when I read my first book on nutrition the author was adamantly against boiling vegetables. She cited all sorts of statistics about the percentages of B vitamins that were lost when you poured the cooking water down the drain.
Since then I have cooked with very little water. I use steel pans with good lids. I steam whenever possible. Never would I boil carrots, broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, or parsnips. Sometimes instead of steaming I sautÃ© in a skillet with a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of oil. That is how I cook yellow squash, zucchini, and frozen spinach.
However some vegetables have to be cooked in water. In that case my goal is to have enough water to get the cooking process started, but very little left in the pan by the time the vegetables are done. Today I started my collard greens with a cup of water. Before they were done most of the water had evaporated so I added another cup. They are almost tender now, and there is less than a half-inch of water left in the bottom of the pot.
Admittedly cooking this way means I have to pay attention. I steamed parsnips a couple of weeks ago, got distracted, and nearly ruined them. I had put about an inch and a half of water in the pan so that the parsnips were well above the water line. By the time I heard an ominous hissing sound, all of the water was gone and the bottom of the pan was scorched. I ate that batch of parsnips myself. They were not so spoiled that I would throw them away, but I wouldn't ask the family to eat them.
Fortunately I don't do that very often. I have a timer with a repeater function by my stove. I often set it for 3 or 4 minutes, just to remind me to check the progress of my vegetables.
My bottom line advice: drink lots of water, but cook with very little.