Archives for: August 2005
I'm not craving sugar any more. I don't even crave wheat very often. Occasionally I crave something salty and crunchy, but I can usually find something beneficial to satisfy that need.
What I'm really craving these days is ghee. (When I say ghee, I mean the buttery spread I make that is half ghee and half light olive oil.) I catch myself putting an extra amount on my vegetables. One of my favorite snacks is a rice cake with buttery spread and salt. Part of me thinks that if I'm craving it, my body must need it at some level. Another part of me is uneasy about so much fat, even if it is good fat.
I make my own ghee, and I've never had any trouble. But ever since Melissa blogged about starting a batch of ghee, getting involved with her son, and coming back to find it burned; I've been careful. I have a timer that if I don't turn it off after it rings will reset itself for the same amount of time again. I set the timer for 5 minutes. Every time it goes off, I go check on the ghee.
As long as the ghee is making noise it is still cooking. It pops, hisses, and bubbles while it is cooking. Then suddenly it goes silent. That is when it is perfectly done. It is clear and golden in color. (There may still be bubbles on top, but underneath the ghee is golden and clear)
When I made ghee yesterday afternoon, I listened for the sound of the timer, then I listened for sounds from the ghee. Now the only sound I hear is the crunching of the rice crackers.
Here is a good verse for today. "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
Nehemiah said this after the walls of Jerusalem had been repaired in Nehemiah 8:10. They were celebrating the rebuilding of their city after it had been destroyed. If you are from Louisiana or Mississippi, better days will come. If you are safe and dry today, rejoice in the Lord as you enjoy beneficial food.
Normally we serve dinner buffet style, Tonight my husband and daughter were watching a TV show that I wasn't interested in, so I said that I would serve their plates. I gave my husband turkey sausage, spicy pinto beans, spinach cooked with raisins, and a plum - a nice Type A dinner.
He looked at the spinach and said, "Do I eat that?" In fact, he will not eat collard, kale, or turnip greens. He does grudgingly, however, eat spinach. I said, "Yes, you do, that's just spinach." He looked at the spinach sadly, and said, "Do I eat that much?"
"You should," I said. "Remember you gave me that article about greens preventing Alzheimer's. Remember." (ok, I'll admit, the last remember was said with ironic emphasis.)
You might enjoy the article as well. It was from USA Today, and the headline reads, "Folate shows promise in preventing Alzheimer's." A study from the University of California-Irvine did a study on people over 60 who showed no signs of Alzheimer's. They kept track of the food and supplements they ate during a typical week. During the 10 years of the study 57 of the 579 participants developed Alzheimer's.
The study showed that people who reported getting at or above 400 micrograms of folate a day had a 55% lower risk of Alzheimer's. Foods especially rich in folate: greens, broccoli, bananas, and strawberries.
So, remember to eat your greens - or you might be wishing you could remember a lot of other things.
My neck and shoulder injury is slowly improving. However, the injury makes getting Type O intense exercise a little difficult. I swam yesterday, and felt good while I was in the water, but I was a little stiff this morning. The stiffness worked itself out during the day, but it made me aware that the injury has a way to go before it is healed.
Tonight after church I decided to climb stairs. That would give be a good lower body aerobic workout inside where it is air-conditioned. If you are in the path of a hurricane, or if your weather is already starting to turn toward fall, you may not think that is a big deal. Our temperatures have been at or near 100 degrees for several days. It is oppressive just to walk outside the house.
The custodians at our church are friendly and helpful. But they have no idea why I climb stairs. They must go up and down the stairs all day in order to do their jobs, and it is beyond their comprehension why I would want to spend 30 minutes just going back and forth. I didn't try to explain the BTD, I just smiled and kept going.
It all started when I found out that my uncle had the family Bible. Of the nine children in his family, my grandfather inherited the family Bible. He had five children and nine grandchildren. Only one would get the Bible, and it was decided a long time ago that it would be my cousin Bob, the oldest grandson to carry on the name.
That decision was fine with me, but I wanted to see that old family Bible and make copies of the records handwritten in it. My uncle dropped off not only the Bible, but also a box filled with documents about our family's history that he had collected. It was like opening a treasure chest.
I decided to scan all the documents and burn them on CDs for my sister and my other cousins. By the time that project was complete, I had become curious about one of my mother's grandmothers. All we knew about her was her name. She had died just a few days after giving birth to my grandmother. I got on the internet and by looking up census records was able to trace her life.
I wanted to know more. I found out that some of my ancestors were Huguenots, who fled to America because of religious persecution. Others were Scotch Irish who came to America during the Potato Famine. Tonight I found research that someone has done tracing my great great great grandmother's family back to Norwegian and Swedish royalty. One line goes back to the Vandals, and if I'm remembering my world history correctly, they were not nice people!
I got off the computer and went for a bike ride. As I rode, I wondered about these long ago ancestors of mine. Where did they live? How did they cook - especially in the Dark Ages? What did they eat? Were they Type Os like myself? My daughter has been studying Hippocrates and the Doctrine of Humors in biology. I suppose their medicine was based on that tradition.
I keep reassuring my husband that I do not plan to make genealogy a permanent hobby. However, it has made history come alive to me in a new way. And it makes me want to pass to my own children a good heritage both in values and in health.
I came home from the bike ride and fixed an interesting drink that I would almost guarantee none of my ancestors could have imagined. I mixed concentrated pomegranate juice and concentrated pineapple juice in ice cold mineral water. Delicious
Wheat germ was the darling of the health food movement in the 1970s. I recall reading articles where it was described as the perfect food. I ate it every morning with my cereal for breakfast. Then I found out that it was giving me indigestion. Wheat germ is an avoid food for Type Os. In fact it is avoid for everyone except Type AB secretors.
I have a several favorite recipes that call for wheat germ. When I first went on the Blood Type Diet, I just left the wheat germ out. However, that meant that the recipe was lower in both protein and fiber. It also changed the texture of the food just slightly.
One day I was making pancakes that called for wheat germ. I had just ground some flax seed for my own breakfast, and on impulse I substituted Â¼ cup ground flax seed for Â¼ cup wheat germ. It worked perfectly.
Like wheat germ, flax seed absorbs a lot of liquid, so the texture of the pancakes was normal. Like wheat germ flax seed has a nutty flavor. But unlike wheat germ, flaxseed is beneficial for Os and As.
Since that morning I have substituted equal amounts of ground flax seed every time a recipe called for wheat germ. I have never been disappointed. This morning I made gingerbread. My son will be going back to college this week, and gingerbread was one of his favorites when he was a boy. I not only substituted flax seed for the wheat germ, but I also substituted black strap for the molasses.
Both kids had gingerbread for breakfast. And they both had more gingerbread this afternoon for a snack.
The Bible study group that my husband and I attend had a dinner last night. The hosts grilled hamburgers, and the rest of us brought fixings. There was lettuce and tomato, and chips of course. But there were also two veggie trays and a fruit tray. I took a hamburger patty and filled the rest of my plate with veggies and fruit.
My husband and I sat down at a table. Someone looked at my plate and said, "Are you on a low carb diet?" I grinned at my husband and said, "He was hoping you wouldn't ask, because he doesn't want to hear the story again." I quickly told how I had reached the end of medical help for indigestion, and found the Blood Type Diet. One of the ladies asked, "Did it work?" I said yes, that in two weeks I was off of all the medication. "How long ago was this?" she asked, and I answered more than two years.
She and her husband are both Bs. Statistically, two Bs married to each other has to be pretty rare. I said, "Bs are the only blood type that really do well on milk." They looked at each other and laughed. "We both love milk," they said. "We drink gallons of it." Suddenly the lady got serious. Several years ago she had complications during a simple surgery. Since then she has had trouble with irritable bowel syndrome. "Would the blood type diet help that?" she wondered.
I didn't know, but this morning before we went to church I found several references to irritable bowel syndrome, and copied them along with the BTD website for her. Perhaps the Lord may use this diet to bring healing to her life as he did to mine.
The morning of my birthday I ran two miles and felt great. I worked around the house in the morning and taught my journalism class in the afternoon. Sometime after I got home from school, I noticed a catch down around my right shoulder blade. It felt either like a pinched nerve or like I needed to pop a joint.
I ignored it, but it was back the next day. I can go for hours without noticing it. For instance I mowed the yard and felt nothing at all. Then I twist in a certain way and zing - a pain goes from the base of my neck to the bottom of my shoulder blade.
Today I decided that several days of ignoring the problem had not helped. I will have to be more proactive. I increased supplements that I hope will help and started stretching the muscles that seem to be associated. If it persists, I have an appointment for my annual physical later this month and I will see what the doctor thinks.
The thing that puzzles me is that I don't know what caused itâ€¦unless it was moving around the heavy boxes of yearbooks. The thing that frustrates me is that it happened on my birthday. It made me suddenly feel that I really was older.
I was happy when I first read the Type O food lists and saw that figs were beneficial.
My parents had a huge fig tree in their back yard when I was growing up. During the summer it bore buckets of figs. My parents and sister gobbled them up in place of dessert. I wouldn't touch them. I didn't eat many fruits and vegetables anyway, and I couldn't get past the fact that when you pick a fresh fig a white milky liquid drips out of the stem.
How I sigh to think of all the figs that I missed.
During my freshman year of college I started forcing myself to eat fruit and vegetables. I discovered that I really liked many of them. That summer I tried a fig. It was cold and sweet and absolutely delicious.
I have tried to convince my husband to plant a fig tree, but he does not think they are attractive, and he doesn't like figs, so he has planted oaks instead. One of our neighbors has a fig tree, and when they are on vacation I pick their figs. Other than that, I rarely get fresh figs.
Dried figs are good. I include them in my breakfast nut mix lots of mornings. They are great to take along as a snack if I'm going to be out. I often take them to school when I am working on deadlines - they give my blood sugar just the right boost when I am stressed.
Today I was in the grocery store and saw fresh figs. The price was outrageous. But this week is my birthday, and what better time to give myself a treat. I bought 8 figs. I ate two tonight. Heavenly! That gives me two figs a day for 3 more days. I will savor every bite.
My son came in from the gym all excited. He had met a friend and they worked out together. The friend said that people spend most of their time working their biceps. My son admitted that he had been doing two bicep sets for every one triceps set. The friend said that triceps are actually larger muscles than biceps, and that it is better to reverse and do two triceps sets for every one bicep.
OK, I am not a 20-year-old guy, and I don't want to bulk up. So what does this have to do with me? Women over 50 (that's me) are prone to losing muscle mass. In fact we have to work really hard to keep our muscles. I have quoted a study before that said, said "women lose muscle mass at a rate of roughly one-third to one-half a pound each year after age 35."
If you look at middle aged women, where are they the flabbiest - the backs of their arms (ie triceps). I know several good exercises for shoulders and biceps, but I only regularly do one exercise that isolates my triceps. If my son's friend is right, I need to add more triceps exercises to my repertoire.
I was cooking rice last night to go with grilled chicken. I wanted something different, so I added Â½ teaspoon of curry powder to the boiling water before I put the rice in. Such a simple little thing to do, but it was very tasty.
From my Bible study this morning:
I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. Job 23:12
We have lots of cute movies of our children when they were little. I hear all the time about how video tape deteriorates, and I've been especially worried about my son's baby pictures that are now more than 20 years old.
Some friends bought equipment to transfer video tape to DVDs, and they offered to let me borrow it. So all weekend I have been reliving my children's baby and toddler years. I've laughed, I've cried, and I've been amazed at how quickly they have grown up.
There are lots of pictures of me on the tapes. I didn't realize until I started watching how much I have changed on the Blood Type Diet. These pictures were taken when I was in my early and mid 30s. Except for my hair color I look older then than I do now.
I had always thought I looked pretty good as a 5'6" size 12. I didn't look bad, but my muscle tone is better now, my posture is better, and my legs and hips are trimmer. I have not worked hard for these changes; I've just lived life on the BTD. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about my weight, I just think about eating beneficial food and avoiding avoid foods.
We now have DVDs that not only record how our children have gotten bigger, but how their mom has gotten smaller.
My body brushing trial ended on August 1. After two months, I cannot see any difference in the leg that I diligently brushed and the leg that I ignored. At the end of the first month I was noticing a change in the size of the visible veins in my legs. I was not sure whether that was related to the body brushing or to two supplements I had started taking (stoneroot drops and horsetail capsules)
In the second month, I continued to notice slow subtle improvements in my veins, but the improvements seemed to be equal in both legs. I will continue taking stoneroot and horsetail. I may body brush for fun and relaxation, but I see no evidence that it helps cellulite.
Tonight was orientation for secondary students. Tomorrow night is orientation for elementary students. Orientation is exciting because we hand out yearbooks. Naturally I worry, after all the hard work we put into the yearbook, whether people will like it. That was especially true this year because the cover is very unique. What a relief! The book is a hit. We are getting lots of compliments, and are quickly selling the few extra copies that Taylor Publishing sent us.
Orientation also means that Teacher In Service is over. That is good. I always learn a lot, but I sit way too much. When I'm at home, I move constantly unless I'm reading or on the computer. When I'm teaching, I'm in constant motion. But at In Service I sit and sit and sit.
As we pulled into the driveway tonight, I said, "I'm going to change clothes and run!" Two miles later I returned home tired but happy. It is hard to explain to someone who doesn't run (like my Type As) that while my muscles may be tired after a run, the rest of me is energized.
My daughter took this picture of me in Bryce National Park. It has taken several days to figure out how to get it into my blog. I tried to make the procedure way too complicated. Now that I know how easy it is, I'll try to post an occasional picture.
As much as I like journalism, as much as I enjoy my students, and as much of a thrill I get when I hold the latest edition of the newspaper or yearbook; I am glad that I don't teach full time.
My number one job is being a mom. During the school year I teach my class every afternoon. My mornings are spent doing the innumerable things it takes to keep a family going. I remember how blessed I am during teacher in-service every fall. I also get a taste of how incredibly stressed moms who work outside the home full time must be.
I don't like leaving for work while my children are still asleep. I don't like doing laundry at 11:00 at night. And I really don't like throwing food together without time to think about giving everyone a balanced Blood Type Diet meal. These three days have been frantic. I'm glad in service is coming to an end.
Tonight I was printing out files I need for tomorrow's in service, when my husband asked what time dinner would be. Dinner!?! I hadn't even thought about it. I had bought ground turkey yesterday, so I quickly made turkey fettuccini. I had cut up a watermelon on Monday, that would have to do for a salad. This is not how I like to serve meals.
One good idea came out of this frantic dinner. I didn't want to eat the noodles or the sauce. I grilled an onion - that would be beneficial for me. I soaked some Wakame seaweed flakes in water. I tossed the seaweed, onion, and some meat in a bowl. It was very satisfying.
I have written before that seaweed flakes have a texture that reminds me of noodles. However, they don't taste like noodles at all. They have a strong, somewhat fishy flavor. Tonight, the onion masked the seaweed flavor. The meat gave me the protein I needed after a hectic day. It was a good combination - one I will make again on another busy night.
The August 1 edition of the Wall Street Journal has a front page story on Mercury and Tuna. I have been somewhat nonchalant about mercury and fish - not because I don't care, but because the issue is confusing. One article says eat more fish, the next article says don't eat farm raised fish, and the next article says wild fish contains mercury. It would seem that nothing I could do would be right.
But when a nutritional issue makes the front page of the Wall Street Journal, I'm forced to take notice.
The article starts with the story of a 10-year old boy who got mercury poisoning from Albacore tuna. (If you buy the more expensive Albacore tuna - STOP! Light tuna has considerably less mercury contamination.) Fortunately a neurologist figured out what was causing the problem, and the boy has recovered.
The real point of the article is that the government is having a hard time setting a standard for how much mercury is ok. There is a conflict between FDA and EPA scientists. Food processors are lobbying both agencies because "canned tuna is one of the top grossing supermarket items." The American Medical Association wants mandatory warning labels wherever fish is sold. The US Tuna Foundation is concerned that a mercury scare would result in "significant segments of the population turning away from the proven health benefits of fish consumption."
In trying to set a standard, they urge pregnant women and children to avoid the four highest high mercury fish, which are swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish. A compromise was reached, placing light tuna in the low-mercury group. Supporters of the compromise say that a 140-pound woman could eat 12 ounces of tuna a week and stay below the EPA's reference dose. (12 ounces is just two cans - there are weeks when I have eaten more than that and I weigh less than 140 pounds!) Opponents say that the risk of the higher mercury albacore tuna has not been adequately spelled out.
It is a long article and the politics will make you angry.
For me - I buy only light tuna and will continue to do so.
Only 1 can of tuna per week per person from now on.
We will eat more sardines and canned wild salmon when we need quick meat for a salad.
We had a wonderful trip, but it was also good to get home. The afternoon we got in I went to the grocery store for basic food. For me basic means vegetables. I came home and fixed broccoli and sweet potatoes for dinner that first night. They were delicious - especially after so many days where lettuce was the only fresh vegetable in sight. I also fixed cod, rice and spicy pinto beans (for the As).
The grass did not take a vacation. I got a good physical workout Saturday morning mowing and weed eating.
Sunday was a day of rest - church in the morning; reading and catching up on correspondence and paperwork in the afternoon.
Today - school starts. At least for me it does. Teacher in service begins this morning. It was great to be back home, but I am NOT ready for school to start.
If you have sent me e-mail or comments, I will answer soon. I tried to keep up with blogging while I was away, but have not even looked at my mail yet! Forgive me and be patient.
For most of my life, I have heard people of faith speak of "praying for traveling mercies." I have joined in many of those prayers, especially in recent years when I have a son who travels between home and college. When we are on vacation, our family often starts the day praying for traveling mercies. We also often joke that the person driving should not close his eyes during the prayer!
I had never thought about the biblical basis for that prayer, but my Bible study happened to have me in the book of Ezra on this vacation. As I read in chapter 8 how Ezra led the people in prayer and fasting before they returned to Jerusalem after 70 years of captivity in Babylon.
God has indeed been merciful to us as we traveled. We have not had any car trouble. We passed many traffic accidents, but we were always safe. For the most part that mercy has even extended to finding healthy BTD food along the way. We did, however have one difficult day.
It was a travel day, and we didn't want to stop for a meal. We planned to pick food up and eat in the car (eating on the fly, we call it.) We were out in the country, and there were not many choices. We stopped at an Arbys. I have eaten at Arbys many times, and I know that their roast beef is more processed than I would prefer, but I had never had any trouble. I ordered a large roast been sandwich that came with lettuce and tomato. I did not eat the bun, but I did eat the barbeque sauce that they automatically put on the sandwich.
I was in the back seat reading when I started to get a headache. I put my magazine down and took a nap. When I woke, my head was pounding. I rarely had headaches before the BTD, and I hadn't had one like this in the two plus years I've been on this diet. I thought about natural remedies, but this headache meant business. I took two Advil.
It's possible that the sandwich had nothing to do with the headache. It could have been that I was reading on a winding road, or it could have been that I was dehydrated since I don't drink as much water on travel days. I just know I was pretty miserable until the Advil kicked in.
My daughter almost never drinks soda. She knows it is bad for Type As in general, and she knows that it is bad for her skin. She carefully ordered a grilled chicken sandwich for lunch, avoiding roast beef. But she couldn't resist the Cherry Coke, which used to be one of her favorites. She paid a price for the brief pleasure. He stomach felt terrible for the rest of the day.
After a week of vacation, I have caught up on my sleep. I wake after 7 Â½ hours ready for the day. Last night we arrived at the Grand Canyon after dark. We set the alarm for 7:15, but I was wide awake at 6:30. I hadn't run since we left home, so I decided to slip out of the room and go for a run along the rim.
I ran for about 10 minutes along a path through the woods, then suddenly I could see the Grand Canyon. The sun was already up, but the colors still had the soft muted look of dawn. It was breath taking! I may never have a run like that again in my life. The image is etched in my memory.
I ran along the rim for 15 minutes, then headed back. The rest of the family was still asleep. I took a quick shower, then woke them for breakfast.
We spent the morning riding the national park shuttle to Grand Canyon viewpoints. I was looking forward to lunch. There was a cafeteria at one of the lodges. Except for salad, the only place I had eaten a fresh vegetable on this vacation was in Durango. I was thinking of broccoli for sure and squash, perhaps even sweet potato or fresh greens, if I was lucky.
What a disappointment. Their "cafeteria" was a food court. There wasn't even a salad bar - mostly hot sandwiches, cold sandwiches, pizza, and pasta. One counter had a plate lunch with potatoes and a vegetable of the day. Hopefully I asked about the vegetable. It was green beans cooked with cauliflower. Not for Type Os. At the Mexican booth I could get taco salad made to order. That looked like the best Type O choice available. I chose black beans and shredded beef. It was tasty, but not as good as the abundant cafeteria vegetables I had imagined.
What a contrast there is between the delicate formations of Bryce and the enormous, majestic formations of Zion National Park. It is not surprising that the early pioneers who entered this canyon gave the formations Biblical names: the Great White Throne, the Patriarchs, the Pulpit, and the Alter of Sacrifice. Zion is more awesome than beautiful.
Automobile traffic is banned from the main canyon in Zion. Shuttle busses take visitors to the overlooks and trailheads. This worked out well for my husband whose knee is still tender. The kids and I took a couple of easy walks: one up to a viewpoint of the Court of the Patriarchs, the other Riverside Walk, a one mile trail from the end of the road back into the narrowest, steepest part of the canyon.
This is my third vacation since starting the Blood Type Diet. In 2003 I had been on the Type O diet for less than two months when we left for a trip to the Midwest. It was hard to think of picnic food besides sandwiches. I remember eating sliced turkey on rice crackers a lot. My family rolled their eyes when I bought a small can of spinach and mixed it with tuna.
In 2004 I decided canned vegetables and tuna were the best choices for me on vacation picnics. I found several vegetable choices, but I did get a little tired of tuna.
This year I have found a better assortment of compliant foods. Before leaving home I bought canned tuna, canned salmon, and sardines. I found small cans of spinach, asparagus, peas & carrots, and lima beans. In addition I always had sliced turkey in the ice chest. I bought sliced roast beef as well, when I could find a brand without nitrites. There are many combinations I can make with those ingredients. I have food that is satisfying to my body, as well as enough variety to keep my taste buds interested.
It was a wonderful moment one night when my son saw me open a can of asparagus and asked if he could have some too. I served it in a bowl with a little olive oil and he enjoyed every bite.
Bryce National Park has always been fairyland for me. When I first came here as a girl I was fascinated by the brightly colored, unusually shaped rock formations clinging to the sides of the cliff. Beautiful, yes; but more than that, something about Bryce stimulates my imagination.
When we arrived late in the afternoon, we walked about a half mile on the rim trail from one viewpoint to the next. The trail was wide and well maintained. It was not steep, but it did have ups and downs. That little bit of incline was enough to cause some discomfort in my husband's knee. He is not in pain, but it was a disappointing setback. From then on he had to be satisfied with looking at the sights from overlooks.
The kids and I went over the rim and among the formations. We took a trail called Queen's Garden. It wound in an out among the rocks. Dark clouds had been threatening when we started our hike, but they moved off in another direction. So from Queen's Garden we connected to another trail and walked a little further.
Hiking down into a canyon can be misleading. The first part is easy because you are going down hill. You have to save enough energy to climb back out. We turned and started back. Around a curve was a deer nibbling the little bit of grass growing between the rocks. She was beautiful against the bright orange cliffs.
We had lunch at the Bryce Canyon Pines Restaurant. The menu had a variety of sandwiches and chips. A note said "upgrade to fries 75 cents." I ordered first. I chose a hamburger and asked "Can I upgrade to a salad and skip both the fries and the chips?" Our server looked puzzled. She didn't get this request often. She said I could upgrade, but it would cost an extra dollar. I said that would be fine.
My son ordered next. "Do you want fries?" the server asked brightly, still following her script. "I guess I'll have salad, too," he said. My daughter ordered a chicken salad. My husband got a sandwich with fries. The look in his eyes told me not to challenge him. I think he wanted comfort food because he was feeling sorry for himself and his knee.
The best part of the meal came when another family was seated in the booth behind us. The mom ordered first. When the server asked about upgrading to fries, the Mom said, "Can I substitute for the veggie of the day?" Her whole family followed her example.
What a day for the server! Two families in a row rejecting her fries! What did she think when she cleared our plates and realized I had eaten only the meat from my hamburger and left the bun behind?
I glanced at the other family on our way out, wondering if they followed the Blood Type Diet.