Archives for: October 2005
One morning last week when I was looking for something new for breakfast, I opened my old "New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook." I remember buying it as a young journalist when I was new to the world of health food. I thought how cool it was that a prestigious newspaper like the New York Times would be interested in natural foods. Now 25 years later I have little respect left for the NYT, and health food has been replaced with the BTD. The cookbook, however, still has tasty recipes, that with a little adjusting are good for Type As and Os.
I was attracted to a buckwheat pancake recipe, but I was out of buckwheat flour. Then I saw a recipe on the adjacent page for Raised Wheat Pancakes, made with yeast. Here is my Blood Type Diet version.
2 Tbsp dry active yeast
1 Â½ cups warm soy milk
2 Tbsp light olive oil
1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses (I let the spoon overflow, so was probably closer to 2 Tbsp
Â½ cup rye flour
Â½ cup kamut flout
Â½ cup ground flax seed
1/3 cup soy powder
1 tsp sea salt.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm soy milk. Add the molasses, eggs and corn oil. Let them sit until they start to bubble (5-10 minutes). Combine the dry ingredients. Quickly stir in the wet ingredients. Cook on a hot griddle.
My daughter came into the kitchen asking what kind of pancakes I was making. I told her it was a new recipe, and that they should be extra fluffy. As she was eating she said, "They're good Mom. They're full of fluff."
I feel better if I don't start my day with grain, so I had my usual breakfast. I put some ghee spread between two of the leftover pancakes and took them to school for a snack. They were delicious, and still fluffy, even though they were cold.
This morning I was reviewing my daughter for a biology quiz. Her textbook tries to make science palatable to mass media oriented kids, by using sidebars that relate to real things in their lives. This quiz was on enzymes.
I was packing lunch boxes, and my daughter began to read one of the sidebars, "Enzymes that make soft drinks sweet." That would interest today's teens, I thought.
She kept reading, "Enzymes are used commercially in the making of soft drinks. Glucose, the most widely available sugar, is not sweet enough to satisfy human taste buds. Fructose, a different arrangement of the same atoms found in glucose, tastes twice as sweet as glucose. Until scientists found ways to obtain enzymes from bacteria, there was no economical way to make large quantities of fructose from glucose. Today enzymes are used to break down inexpensive cornstarch into glucose and to change glucose to fructose."
My daughter continued reading but my mind jumped to the Blood Type Diet. This explains something that has puzzled me for ages. People usually define fructose as fruit sugar. If it comes from fruit it would seem to be good. Yet it is avoid for Type Os. I could never understand why most fruits are either beneficial or neutral, but the sugar in the fruit is avoid.
Now I get it. Fruit sugar from fruit is expensive to produce. But food processors can use enzymes to change cornstarch into fructose quite cheaply. What we buy in the store as white crystallized fructose never came from fruit, it came from corn. When we read fructose in the ingredients on a package of food, it never came from fruit, it came from corn.
The last sentence in the sidebar reads, "Each year the United States soft drink industry saves over $1 billion by using sweeteners made from domestic corn rather than importing other forms of sugar."
Good for the economy; bad for your health.
I think I'll keep mixing pure pineapple and cherry juice with plain club soda. It's tasty, it's beneficial, and it is real fruit.
Last spring there was constant construction at the park where I run. Last week there was a new trail map posted in the parking lot. The city has added a new loop, nearly doubling the available trails. I decided to run the old loop, then the new loop today.
The new trail led downhill to a dry creek bed. As I rounded the curve and started back uphill, I saw a deer on the path. She was not expecting me; I guess she is not yet used to the increased traffic through her territory. She gave a cute little hop which took her off the trail. Then I saw four more deer as they all turned and disappeared into the brush.
My exercise is about back to where I want it. I've been pushing myself to do more weight work, though I don't enjoy it nearly as much as I enjoy running. The muscles in my legs are a little sore tonight, but that's a good thing. It means I reached a Type O level of strenuous exercise. I don't feel tired at all - just stronger and more full of life.
Here is verse 2 from 3 John. "Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." The Blood Type Diet will improve your health, but wellness is not possible until your soul is right with God.
It was a busy weekend. My daughter had a friend over to spend the night, and I stayed up late with the girls watching a chick flick. My husband and I are shopping for a car. There was lots of fall yard work to do.
In spite of the busy-ness, I stayed with the BTD all weekend. But I didn't really cook. I just tossed stuff together. Because our family is mixed - and because my daughter does not like casseroles or stews - I cook mainly single ingredient foods. When I'm in a hurry, I put meat and vegetables in a bowl and toss them with olive oil.
As I was thinking about blogging this morning, I felt sorry for my Type O readers. The only recipes I ever post are for Type A breakfasts (I have another good one for tomorrow) and neutral breads. Then I read an e-mail from Hilda. She eats almost exactly the same way I do. Here are some of her ideas.
Breakfast is my favorite meal. I sautÃ© any left over veggies in gee and then pour 2 scrambled eggs over that and put the lid on and flip it over when the top is set. I use left over sweet potatoes cut into small pieces, chopped cooked kale, chopped cooked broccoli, spinach, and grated zucchini.
I scramble hamburger adding anything to that I like and put it on a bed of romaine over which I have poured some olive oil garlic powder and sea salt.
I like to scramble hamburger and add canned black beans, rice, tomato, etc. I also like to add sautÃ©ed zucchini, tomato, and onion to cooked scrambled hamburger and then pour that over spinach spaghetti or brown rice pasta. As you can tell I eat a lot of hamburger.
Thank you Hilda for some great ideas. I have never tried sweet potatoes and eggs, but I will!
My most adventurous meal for the weekend was Sunday night - I tossed turnip greens, black beans, green beans, canned salmon, and sliced turkey in a bowl. I added olive oil and a spicy New Orleans salt. It's not a recipe - but it is a good Type O way to eat.
I am not a connoisseur of cole slaw. But I do know that there are several varieties - creamy and crisp, tart and sweet. My husband always liked the tart vinegary cole slaw. I preferred the creamy sweet.
I took coleslaw out of our menus when we started the Blood Type Diet. Cabbage and vinegar are both Type A avoids. Cabbage is neutral for Os, so I could have fixed it for myself. But my husband is the one who really loved cole slaw, and I thought to make it and not let him have any would be unfair.
Then Paul (aka taswolf) wrote about grating kohlrabi and tossing it with olive oil and lemon juice. The whole family liked it. And it looked and tasted enough like cole slaw that we started calling it Kohl slaw.
Since my husband liked the tart vinegary cole slaw, he was happy with the tart lemony Kohl slaw. I began experimenting to find a creamy sweet variety.
I've tried lots of combinations. The one I like best sounds very weird, but tastes delicious. It is also 100% Type O beneficial.
I grate Kohlrabi and drizzle on the olive oil. Then I add a generous spoon of fig preserves. Both my health food store and my grocery store carry an all fruit/no sugar variety. I stir the three together and chill them in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
It is creamy, and sweet, and somehow the flavors go well together. I had some for lunch today, and my only regret is that there are no leftovers for tomorrow.
Sometimes I am encouraged that Blood Type Diet principles are gaining ground. There seem to be more articles promoting the idea of finding the right diet for yourself than there used to be. The low fat fad followed so quickly by the low carb fad seems to have people questioning why the evidence about diet can be so contradictory. Sometimes I talk to people about the BTD and the light goes on in their eyes, and I think they are so close to understanding.
Then there are days like today when I realize that the complexities of the Blood Type Diet may keep it from ever gaining widespread acceptance.
I was in the office and a friend offered me a piece of pumpkin bread. I said no thank you, but I could see that I had hurt her feelings. So I added, "I don't eat wheat." She said, "This isn't wheat, it's pumpkin." I tried hard not to laugh and said, "Well, it's pumpkin bread, and the bread part is wheat." She looked surprised and said, "I never thought of that, I just thought it was pumpkin."
Now this was not a ditzy high school student - this was a middle-aged mother. Not only that, her profession involves food service.
Part of me is still chuckling at the memory of the conversation. But part of me sees the daunting task of explaining a complex diet in a simplistic, fast food world.
Very rarely is the right way to do things the easy or simple way. To get the best education students choose honors or advanced classes over regular classes. To win athletes push their bodies to the limits in long hours of practice. To earn financial rewards people throw themselves into their careers rather than showing up to do a minimum wage job. Even of salvation, Jesus said, "wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14
The Blood Type Diet is not easy. Not everyone will have the gumption to follow it. But the reward of ever improving health is there for those who do.
When I started the Blood Type Diet in June of 2003 lots of good things happened. My GERD went away. I lost weight. I had more energy. I could make a long list. However there was one negative effect that developed over time - my fingernails.
I developed vertical ridges on my nails, and sometimes the nails would break or split along those ridges. My nails took on a chalky texture. I could scrape little white particles off of them. I started having lots of hangnails. I remember having hangnails as a child, but they had disappeared during my health nut years. Now they returned. It was almost like the ridges at the edges of my nails would break off to become hangnails.
Not only did my nails look bad, but I had a nagging doubt that if my nails that I could see were flaking, were my bones that I could not see weakening.
After a visit last summer with my mother-in-law, and seeing the pain and disability osteoporosis is causing her, I increased my calcium supplements. I also added silica supplements. I take calcium citrate 1000 - 1400 mg per day. For silica I've taken both horsetail capsules and Cellfood brand silica drops.
On Wednesday I was busy typing and noticed that one of my nails was so long that it was interfering with the keyboard. I was absorbed in what I was writing, so instead of getting a pair of clippers, I thought I would break the nail off and file it later. I could not break it!
I stopped typing and inspected my nails. The chalky look is entirely gone. The ridges are almost entirely gone from my fingers. There are still ridges on my thumbs, but they are much less noticeable than they were. And my nails are very, very strong.
I'm drawing this conclusion. Since almost all dairy is avoid, Type Os must supplement with calcium. I eat lots of greens and lots of almonds, both natural sources of calcium. It is not enough. I suppose my Type O ancestors got their calcium by gnawing on bones around a campfire. That is not a workable option for me. But I am more serious than ever about calcium supplements.
I ran this morning for the first time since my unexpected hospital stay. I ran a little more than a mile at a slow jog. As I neared the end, I passed two older men with enormous dogs who had stopped to visit beside the trail. One of them called out "Pick up the Pace." I smiled. He said, "Or is this the pace?" I called over my left shoulder, "This is the post-illness pace. I'll be back on pace in two weeks."
This has been a difficult two months for exercise. I injured my shoulder in mid-August which didn't keep me from exercising, but did limit the variety of exercise. Three weeks later I blogged that my shoulder was healed and I was rebuilding my muscle strength.
I knew the colonoscopy was on the calendar, but I was thinking two, maybe three, days without exercise. I never dreamed that it would mean nearly two weeks without any exercise and three weeks before I could resume strenuous exercise.
But God has designed our bodies to heal themselves if they have the right material. My digestive system is back to normal. I finished the last of the antibiotics last week, and immediately started taking probiotics. I wish I had some Type O probiotics, but I don't. I took the information from the books about which beneficial bacteria are most helpful to Type Os to the store, and bought the closest that I could find.
Now to start (again) to rebuild my muscles. I know I can do it. Remembering how good I felt at the end of this morning's run is my best motivation. The next time I pass those men and their dogs, I'll be kicking up my heels.
I'm always behind on reading magazines. I just finished a summer Reader's Digest that had an article called "19 Diet Tips." It was mostly about lifestyle strategies to help people eat less. (i.e. start your meal with soup and you will eat less during the meal). However there were two points that drove home Blood Type Diet truths.
"Think quality, not quantity"
The article said, "The French snub processed diet foods not found in nature, opting instead for high quality meats, fish, produce, dairy, even desserts. When food is fresh and flavorful, you can be satisfied with smaller portions. This is the opposite of the American approach, which is to fill up on bland diet foods, then gorge on sweets later."
My daughter laughs at her friends who have a diet soda and a bag of chips for lunch and think they are cutting back. I am horrified when I look at faddish low carb foods that are way overpriced and filled with artificial ingredients. Once our son caught a ride back to college with a girl whose mother loaded a case of a popular weight loss liquid meal in her car.
One of the things I love about the Blood Type Diet is that it is built around normal fresh food: meats and fish, fruits and vegetables, whole grains. Good food simply prepared without additives is satisfying in a multitude of ways.
"Go for color"
The article said, "Not only does color make food more attractive, but consciously seeking out colorful foods is a great way to bulk up your meals without a lot of calories. A Cornell University study of 6,500 adults in rural China found that while the Chinese ate about 30 % more than the average American male, they weighed about 25 % less, largely because they ate a lot of plant based foods. The Japanese aim for five colors at each meal: red, blue-green, yellow, white and black, including things like red peppers, squash, broccoli, onions, black beans or black olives."
For every one of the blood types the largest portions per day are in vegetables. I eat a lot of food - sometimes I'm embarrassed by how high I pile my plate. But almost all of it is vegetable, fruit, and meat. I am satisfied at the end of a meal and my weight is stable. The vegetables are not only filling, but they give me enough variety to keep me from becoming bored with my diet.
I aim for 10 fruits or vegetables a day. I try for at least 2 green, two orange and 1 white vegetables. The Japanese goal of 5 colors at every meal is setting the bar even higher.
My husband easily gets bored with food because he does not have either a good sense of taste or smell. He will try a new food and like it. Then after a couple of months he will be tired of it and never want to eat it again. It is a challenge to keep his diet rotating enough that he doesn't reject Type A beneficial foods.
This morning I wanted to fix something new for breakfast. I grabbed "Recipes for a Small Planet" because it has lots of high protein recipes that are usually beneficial for Type As. I found a peanut butter waffle recipe and made a few BTD adjustments.
The reaction was above and beyond my expectations. My daughter said, "These are really good." Then she said, "Can you pack two in my lunch box for an after school snack?" Hmmm. Cold waffles for an after school snack. They really must have been good. Then my husband came into the kitchen with his empty plate asking if there were any more.
Here is my adapted version.:
1 cup rye flour
Â¼ cup soy powder
Â½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup honey
Â½ cup peanut butter
1 Â¼ cup soy milk.
Combine the dry ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir enough to moisten. Cook according to your waffle iron instructions.
I didn't eat them because of the peanuts - but this recipe is a Type A keeper.
Last weekend was Family Weekend at Texas Tech University. The three of us went to see our son, and had a wonderful time. We got to meet his friends, see a good football game, and eat lots of Type O food.
My son shares a four-bedroom apartment with three other guys. My son says they all like meat, so that is mostly what they cook. One is Type B, but I don't know the blood types of the other two. I'm sure he eats more grain than a Type O should. But he knows the basics of the Blood Type Diet, and I think as he moves into adulthood he will follow more closely.
The club he is member of had a tailgate party before the football game. He had warned us that there might only be hotdogs. However it turned out to be a real feast. There were hotdogs, but there were also chicken wings and some of the best fajitas I have ever eaten.
After the game the four roommates had a reservation at a local Mexican restaurant. There were six college students plus parents and siblings. We were a large and loud group. I really liked the parents of his friends. I ordered a fajita salad without sour cream or cheese. It was served on a bed of dark greens (not iceberg lettuce). They were generous with the steak and the grilled onions.
I had packed canned meat and small cans of vegetables for the trip there and back. I didn't want to have to search for healthy food on the road. My meals were spinach and salmon; chicken and asparagus; and sardines and carrots. All were coated generously with olive oil.
It was hard to say goodbye, but he will be coming home for Thanksgiving, and we are so pleased with both his academic work and his social choices.
Two days of exercise and I feel so much better.
Thursday I walked a mile and a half with my husband. A little norther had blown through during the day. It wasn't strong enough to change the daytime temperature very much, but it made the evening quite pleasant. It was disappointing to be tired after walking such a short distance; but I will get stronger.
Friday I did a lot of stretching and isometric exercises. My abdomen is still tender, so I didn't do very well with sit ups, but the other exercises went well. Today I will walk again.
I wrote a blog a few months ago about how exercise was statistically almost as good as prescription medication for alleviating depression. I don't know if was primarily the antibiotics of the lack of exercise, but I have been snappy and impatient. I know I'm not myself when I use a sharp tone with my students.
After two days of moderate exercise, I feel more like myself. I'm eager to get back to Type O strenuous exercise, but I know I will be wiser if I phase it in as my strength increases.