Archives for: July 2005
We spent the day in Ouray, Colorado, nicknamed the Switzerland of America. Now I've been to Switzerland, and to tell the truth the southern Colorado Rockies are not the Alps. However, I understand what they mean by the nickname. Ouray is in a steep sided valley with a river running through it. There is hardly any flat land. The little village surrounded by high mountains does have a Swiss look.
My son and I asked the manager of our motel to recommend a trail. He said he thought we would like Silvershield. He said it was a little more than four miles and that he often ran it.
It was a steep climb, but oh the views were spectacular. As we climbed to the top of a ridge there was one beautiful view after another of the valley below. It was as if we were in looking down on the town from an airplane.
The trails criss cross each other, and the manager had said every time we came to a fork to take a left. We followed his directions, but wound up on the wrong trail going down. It was nearly vertical and the gravel was loose. I could hardly walk the trail, and I knew there was no way anyone could run it. After nearly taking a couple of falls, I decided it was safer on the worst parts to just sit down and slide.
The trip down was not fun while we were in the midst of it. But at the bottom, my son and I both felt a sense of accomplishment. And we had taken Type O strenuous exercise to an entirely new level.
I wanted to bring trail mix on our vacation, but our needs and likes are all different. The As can have peanuts, but the Os cannot. Figs are beneficial for all, but I'm the only one who likes them. So I bought a variety of dried fruit and nuts, but did not mix them. They were all their own containers in a plastic grocery bag called "the trail mix bag". Every morning, each family member would get a zip lock bag and pack their own trail mix for the day.
We had almonds, walnuts, pecans, pineapple, papaya, cranberries, prunes, raisins and more. The combinations were endless. My mix was a little different each day. I was certainly glad I had a snack in my camera bag for the Silvershield trail.
We rode the train from Durango to Silverton. It is a coal fired narrow gage train from the mining days of the late 1800's that runs through spectacular mountain scenery. My husband and I had ridden the train before, but it was a first for our children. The train stops in Silverton for lunch before returning to Durango. On our previous trip, we spent the entire lunch break waiting in a long line for mediocre fast food.
This time we wanted to explore the town, so I packed a picnic. My husband had turkey and soy cheese on oat bread, while my son had double meat-turkey on rye. My daughter had peanut butter and jelly. I mixed a can of tuna and a small can of lima beans in a bowl. We all had fresh fruit.
The conductor said there was a great view from a grove of trees above the town. We climbed a steep trail and found ourselves at the Christ of the Miners monument. From there we looked down in the valley and could imagine Silverton in its heyday when people from across the country were coming here hoping to get rich. We looked up and saw snow-covered mountains in the distance. I felt sorry for our fellow passengers, sitting inside at tiny tables eating French fries.
On vacation we usually picnic breakfast and one other meal. Then we eat one meal in a restaurant. The restaurants in downtown Durango were a little pricey for our budget. A family of four can't eat $15 - $20 meals. But the Ore House Restaurant advertised a "Senior Light and Healthy menu." My husband asked how old you had to be to order, and was told that it wasn't just for seniors, it was for anyone wanting to eat healthy.
The prices were reasonable and every meal came with a trip to the salad bar and a vegetable. I had ground sirloin (natural black angus beef) and steamed vegetables. My son had the same. My husband had grilled trout and rice. My daughter just made two trips to the salad bar.
By the way - their idea of a light portion was 8 ounces. The regular ground sirloin was 12 ounces. Light and healthy works for me!
We're on vacation, leaving behind hot, humid Texas and heading for the mountains.
Because of gas prices we are taking our smaller sedan rather than the van. It gets significantly better gas mileage, however it also gives us significantly less leg room. Because my daughter is only 5'2" tall and does not have a full drivers license yet, she is permanently in the back seat. Because my husband had back and knee problems, he will always ride in the front. My son and I will have to take turns in the crowded back seat.
When I am riding, I read or sleep. When I am driving I do isometric exercises. I isolate a muscle group in my lower body and tense then relax it for five minutes. Then I let my lower body rest and work a muscle group in my upper body. My family says I must look silly to people in other cars, especially when I am doing things like shoulder shrugs as I drive. I don't care if I look silly, because the exercises make me feel good. They work out the kinks that I feel when I am squashed in the back seat. I suspect they improve my circulation, protecting me from problems like airline passengers on long trips are prone to.
We checked into a motel in Amarillo and went to eat at the Country Barn. There was grilled chicken salad for the As; my son got a barbeque plate; but I got the best meal of all. On the salad menu was "Prime Rib Salad". It was a big bowl of romaine, lettuce, spinach, red cabbage and carrots. On top were thin slices of perfectly cooked prime rib. I had my own bottle of extra virgin olive oil to use as a dressing. It was incredibly delicious.
Yesterday I cleaned an old brass plaque that says:
Peter J. D'Adamo, ND
It was severely tarnished, and it took a long time to shine it up, but after a while it really came to life.
The plaque once hung on the door of my first office in Connecticut, at 54 Lafayette Place in Greenwich. After I moved from that location there never seemed to be an appropriate place to hang it, so, as sort of a joke, I hung it on the door to my home office.
Then the other day I thought, "I'd like to hang that plaque on the outside of the new clinic."
So I pulled it down, shined it up, and went over to the worksite to tell the carpenter where I wanted it hung.
Interestingly, the last time it hung on a office:
1. I was just starting in private practice.
2. The practice was in a house.
3. I was spiritually invested.
Perhaps that old plaque will bring some of the old energy with it.
On another note, I reformatted and cleaned up the Clinic Website. There are some neat things over there, such as downloadable pamphlets, etc. Give it a look.
Before the Blood Type Diet, I ate wheat germ, wheat bran and yogurt every morning for breakfast. My stomach hurt most of the time. I was putting some of the worst Type O avoids into my body first thing every morning.
However I liked the texture of that breakfast, and I liked the variety of fruit I could add to it. I went on the BTD cold turkey, so the first morning I had to come up with a new breakfast. It took a few weeks, but I eventually came up with a combination that I liked and that was highly beneficial.
I start with :
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp granular lecithin
1 Tbsp rice bran
2 - 3 Tbsp ground nuts or seeds (Some of my favorites are almonds, flax seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and pecans)
I moisten this with enough water of fruit juice to give it a pudding-like consistency.
Then I add the fun stuff.
This week I have had two radically different breakfasts following this pattern.
One day I used a combination of ground flax seed and ground almonds. I added a large banana and a heaping tablespoon of unsweetened carob powder. It was delicious - like eating dessert for breakfast.
Another day I used ground pumpkin seeds. I added a banana and a third cup of fresh blueberries. Equally delicious, but completely different.
I needed brown sugar for some muffins. I was at the health food market, and stopped by the bulk bins to buy some. The label on the brown sugar said "refined sugar, syrup added." I knew that from my health nut days - but I hadn't thought of it in ages. However now when I see "syrup" I wonder what kind? Probably not something good like blackstrap molasses. Possibly something avoid like corn syrup.
I looked around at the other bins and saw an old friend - turbinado sugar. I used to buy turbinado sugar back when I was trying to be a health food purist. I eventually stopped using it because of the cost. Here it was in the bulk bins for only a few cents more per pound than brown sugar.
If you are not familiar with turbinado, here is a quick explanation from the internet.
"Raw, Natural, & Turbinado: In recent years, sugar refiners have realized that there is a market for less refined forms of cane sugar in the U.S. and have begun to sell this kind of sugar under various names
and packagings. None of it is really raw sugar since it is illegal to sell it in the U.S. due to the high impurities level in the truly raw product. All of it has been processed in some form or fashion to clean
it, but it has not been subjected to the full refining and whitening processes of ordinary white table sugar. This leaves some of the natural color and a mild flavor in the sweetener. All of these less refined
sugars may be stored and handled like brown sugar."
I came home with a bag for baking. For most purposes it will substitute perfectly for brown sugar. For a few recipes where a stronger flavor is required, I'll add a little blackstrap or maple syrup.
A few days ago I wrote about how I had not been following the Live Right for your Type sleep guidelines and how I suspected that lack of sleep was affecting my weight. I mentioned a second area where I don't follow the program. Here it is:
Under Lifestyle strategies, keys for type O, I read this: Eat all meals, even snacks, seated at a table. Chew slowly, and put your fork down between bites of food.
Breakfast I almost always eat at the kitchen table while I do my morning Bible study. Dinner we almost always have together as a family. I would estimate that 75% of the time we eat around the table talking to each other. Probably 25% of the time we eat in the den watching a movie
Lunch is another matter. I always say I'm going to sit down at lunch and read a magazine or book. But I usually plan more things for the morning than I have time to do. And I wind up eating my lunch standing up as I finish a project.
Another area I need to work onâ€¦when I'm not too busyâ€¦does that sound Type O or what?
I was in the kitchen preparing breakfasts and listening to the radio. As the announcer went to a break, he said that next he would be talking to the writer of an article about foods that prevent sports injuries.
It caught my interest because I exercise a lot, and while I haven't been prone to injury, if there's something I could do to avoid a strain or a tear in muscles or tendons, I would do it. I was also curious to see if there was conflict with the Blood Type Diet.
I had intended to put up a link to the article, but I must have written the name of the Magazine down wrong, because it's not where I thought it would be. I will share with you the notes I scribbled down as I listened. The writer recommended five foods and supplements.
1. Water. He said muscles were 75% water (I didn't know that). If your muscles are dehydrated, they are more likely to get hurt.
2. Omega 3 fatty acids. He said that omega 3s prevent muscle inflammation. He recommended walnuts and salmon as sources.
3. Greens. He said all greens boost blood alkaline levels and help injuries to heal faster. He was especially complimentary of spinach, but gave high marks to all greens.
4. Vitamin C and Calcium. Both supplements he said would cut your risk of muscle injury. He said that most people get 25 - 40% less calcium than they need (from my experience, I believe that).
5. Caffeine. He said that caffeine prevents muscle soreness and helps with performance.
The five recommendations would work for all four blood types. Many high caffeine foods are avoids for Type Os (coffee, tea, Cokes), though Green Tea would be a beneficial source. Because caffeine gives me ear noise, I think I will stay with my decaffeinated green tea. But the other four recommendations are practical, and I'll keep them in mind. I'll mention this article to my husband and son the next time they shun unfamiliar cooked greens.
My daughter has been working at a children's music camp. Every day they provide lunch for the campers and staff. After she saw a list of the menus, she asked if I would pack her a lunch every day.
There was nothing that was beneficial for a Type A: no salad choices at all. Basically it was fast food. The four days this first week that I remember were hamburgers, pizza, tacos, and chicken nuggets.
The first day, one of the guys on staff also brought his lunch. They ate together, and she was glad that she wasn't the only one teased about her "healthy lunch."
Do children and their parents demand a constant diet of junk food? Or, is it easier for the people in charge of schools and camps to bring in junk food than to hire a real cook?
My food choices when I was a child were horrific, but the adults in my life made sure I knew that. I was very much aware that I ought to be eating vegetables and more fruit. I cringe for the health problems of the next generation. Some of them seem to know nothing except fast, artificial food.
I have observed before that a little meat goes a long way with my two type As. For years I was embarrassed that I took bigger helpings of meat than my husband. I was still hungry if I ate the amount that he ate. My daughter eats what I would consider a child's portion of meat, though she is in high school.
Recently I've been noticing that among meats, some fill me up faster than others. I am satisfied with a normal serving of beef and lamb. Four or five ounces is fine. It takes a little more chicken or turkey to get the same feeling of well being. I eat nearly twice what is considered a normal serving of fish.
A six ounce can of tuna, for instance, is supposed to contain two servings. My daughter thinks half a can of tuna is just right. I need a whole can. If all I have is a half a can, I add another protein source - like nuts or a neutral cheese)
I'm thinking about this tonight because I fixed cod for dinner. In the midst of the preparation process we had a crisis. (OK if you must know a cell phone was dropped in the swimming pool) I was still pretty wired when we served dinner. I got one piece of cod, and knew it wasn't going to be enough. I ate a piece and a half and felt much better.
I follow the Blood Type Diet food lists and exercise recommendations faithfully. But there are two areas where I haven't had the self-discipline to follow the program.
Both the Encyclopedia and Live Right talk about the importance of sleep and circadian rhythm. This seems to be especially important for Type As. Neither my daughter no my husband get enough sleep during the week. Then they try to make it up on the weekend. I'm encouraging both of them to get to bed earlier in the evening.
A recent experience indicates that Type Os shouldn't ignore getting a good night's sleep either. Disclaimer: What follows is one person's experience. I can't back it up with a scientific study. It falls under the category of anecdotal evidence. However, for me it sure seems to be true. A lack of sleep leads to weight gain and a few days with 8 hours of sleep leads to weight loss.
Last fall I wrote that I had mysteriously gained a few pounds.
They mysteriously vanished over the Christmas holidays.
They returned during yearbook deadlines.
They vanished when school was out.
During the summer I get more sleep than I do during the school year. I start out in September determined to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, but by October that goal is abandoned. My weight was 128 in the summer, but climbed to 130 late in the fall. It disappeared when I got more sleep over the Christmas holidays. During yearbook deadlines I was often up late at night, and back came those two pesky pounds. They went away when school was out and my schedule relaxed.
Here is what made me take notice. I have been absorbed with an Internet research project. Several nights last week I stayed on-line until 2 or 3 or 4 in the morning. I still got up on time to send my husband off with a good breakfast and lunch. My weight popped up to 130. Over the weekend I made an effort to get 8 hours of sleep. My weight is back at 128.
I was reading in the BTD Encyclopedia about the effect of circadian rhythm on bone growth, skin rejuvenation and immunity - all of which are areas of concern for me. I must be more disciplined about getting to sleep on time at night!
The second area where I fail - - I'll blog about that soon!
Just my opinion, but addiction is a word that is overused today. In addition to saying someone is addicted to drugs or cigarettes, you hear about people addicted to gambling, sugar, sex, food, pornography, etc.
Unless there is a physical basis, I prefer the Biblical concept of mastery over the word addiction. Human beings, especially Americans, like to think of ourselves as independent, self sufficient, and in control of our own lives. The Bible teaches that we shouldn't kid ourselves - we will serve (or be slaves to) something, and it behooves us to choose wisely what will be our master.
For instance Jesus said, "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the otherâ€¦You cannot serve both God and Money." Luke 6:13
Paul wrote, "For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. Romans 6:14
And when Solomon's son was king, the nation rebelled against God. Egypt, where they had been in slavery many years before, invaded their land and conquered part of it. God's prophet went to the king and said, "They will, however, become subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands." 2 Chronicles 12:8
In other words you can serve God, or you can serve someone else, but someone or something will be your master. This principal holds true in the area of diet and exercise.
If you have no plan and you think you can eat what you want, you will find yourself trapped by commercialism the pleasure of your taste buds. One day you realize you are enslaved to junk food. On the opposite extreme you can follow a diet that is faddish and restrictive (pork rinds and wheat bran come to mind). You have allowed a charlatan to be your master.
If you have no plan to exercise, you will become a couch potato. You are enslaved to a weak body. Or you can follow an exercise guru who has you on a strict regimen that you grow to hate even while you stick to it with devotion.
I find the Blood Type Diet to be a benevolent and gentle master. I have a large list of tasty food to choose from. I'm asked to stay away from highly processed fake food. There are also avoid foods for my type, but ironically many of those were foods I naturally didn't like. If I follow the food lists, I have lots of energy and nagging health problems often disappear.
I'm told to find an exercise that is right for me and to pursue it. As a type O, I can choose from a variety of physical, aerobic type exercises. While I love running, my daughter found it to be a "cruel master." However the calming stretching exercises that she loves, would be burdensome to me. We exercise according to our types, and we are both in good shape.
The next time you hear someone say "I'm addicted to food," you can respond, "Of course you are! The question is not whether food will be your master, but whether you will follow a benevolent or an oppressive plan for eating.
If I were playing Similes back in the days of Charles Dickens, I would know that the title of this blog should be "racing like the wind." But Dickens wasn't trying to exercise on a hot day in an air-conditioned building. So I will leave the title as is.
My daughter is going to teach in Vacation Bible School, and her group had a planning meeting today. I arrived 30 minutes early to pick her up so that I could climb stairs in the delightfully cool church building.
Climbing stairs is wonderful Type O exercise. It works my leg muscles, challenges me aerobically, and is very intense. In the past when I have climbed stairs, I have been aware of an uncomfortable feeling in my right knee. It's not so much pain as a sensation that my right knee is weaker than my left knee. That same sensation doesn't keep me from running, but it does make me limit myself to running only once a week.
I blogged several months ago that I had borrowed some T-Tapp tapes. That program stresses over and over that walking like a duck (with your toes pointed out) will cause knee and hip damage. It also stress the advantage of what they call KLT (pushing your Knee toward your Little Toe).
As I started climbing this afternoon, I felt my weak knee reminding me that it was there. At the same time, I realized that my toes were out. Some instinct for balance had me climbing like a duck. I pointed my toes straight forward, and for good measure pushed my knees out over my little toes. This was not particularly graceful. I looked like a cowboy after a long day on a horse. But as soon as I started, the weak feeling in my knee went away.
I climbed 60 flights of stairs feeling discomfort only when my toes would sneak back out or my knees would go in.
There were lots of people working at the church today. A few took the stairs, but most opted for the elevator. I began to race the elevator, and found that I could easily beat it every time.
Before I close this blog, there was a thread on the Forum - I think it was the one about massaging fat - where someone asked if there was a way to get rid of fat knees. Teresa Tapp calls that "knee knocker fat." She says that walking like a duck builds it up, and that KLT will gradually make it go away. I never got around to posting that on the thread, but perhaps whoever wrote it will read it here.
We had a wonderful and busy 4th of July holiday. Monday morning I could smell that one of the neighbors was starting to barbeque outside. I asked myself, how close could I come to a traditional, yet BTD friendly, 4th of July meal?
I grilled beef and turkey burgers outside. They were delicious. I fixed sweet potato fries for the Os and opened a package of baked corn chips for the As. I fixed spicy pinto beans for the As and grilled onions for the Os.
I was happy eating my burger, onions, and lettuce with a fork, but the family wanted buns. I sent my daughter to the grocery store. She came back saying, "They didn't have anything but wheat buns, but look this package says no trans-fats." (I'll have to write another day about the new labeling laws, but at that moment I was pleased that my kids know what trans-fats are and know it is best to avoid them.)
In the evening we went to a concert and fire works display at a local park. We spread our blanket on the grass and ate a picnic dinner while we waited for the fireworks. Type As are so easy to take on picnics. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Ezekiel bread is both portable and beneficial.
For myself on picnics I usually roll meat up in sushi nori seaweed papers. When I have done this in the past they have been good, but tough. Yesterday I took two sushi nori papers and spread them with buttery spread (ghee and olive oil). I rolled them up with lots of sliced turkey and put them in a plastic bag in my daughter's backpack. The day was warm. The buttery spread melted and soaked into the seaweed. By the time I ate them they were soft and full of flavor. A little messy, but nothing a napkin couldn't handle.
I leave you with a Bible verse so appropriate for the 4th of July:
Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 1 Peter 2:16
My husband hurt his knee last year, and after he did, swimming aggravated it. There he was swimming laps for his health, but it was making his knee worse. After physical therapy his knee is much better, close to normal in fact. But he is scared to swim laps. I can't say I blame him. Taking a summer off to make sure the knee is completely well is probably a good idea.
My daughter swims laps with me one day a week. When she was on the swim team, she swam five or six days a week. This year she is focused on flexibility exercises that she needs for twirling. So one day of swimming is all she wants.
My son is the pool manager this summer. He is at the pool all the time, but he is working when I am swimming. All of that is to say that the years that the whole family went to the pool every evening and swam together are past.
I have been swimming three days a week. I ride my bike the half-mile to the pool, swim for 30 - 45 minutes, and ride home. My bike is the one my parents gave me when I was perhaps 9 or 10 years old. It is an AMF Roadmaster - probably an antique.
People sometimes do a double take when they see me. Is it because my bike is so old? Or is it because women my age don't usually ride bicycles in their swimsuits? Perhaps they are wondering how I stay in shape. If they asked, I would shout "Blood Type Diet" as I rode by!
On May 22 I started an experiment. I began body brushing only on the right side of my body. I wanted to see if body brushing really made a difference in cellulite. I pledged to brush twice a day. Most days I made it, but I'll admit I missed a few times.
After almost 6 weeks I can't say that I see a bit of difference in the cellulite on my legs. Zip, Zero, Nada.
I'm going to continue the experiment for another month. While I can't see any difference in the cellulite, there is a hint of a difference in regards to another leg issue. I will report back on August 1.
If anyone else joined me in my experiment I would like to hear your results. It's not to late to start. Brush only one side for the next month. See if you see any improvements in the side you are brushing.