Archives for: December 2005
When I woke up I thought I knew what I was going to blog about. However I spent all morning working on advertising invoices for the yearbook. Then the kids and I had lunch and went to see "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe." When we got home, it was time to fix dinner, and I still hadn't blogged.
I had the radio on while I was cooking (chicken legs, Cajun rice, broccoli, parsnips, stuffed celery and grapefruit). I was not paying close attention when suddenly I heard Michael Savage say, "He told me that I wasn't likely to have a heart attack because I was Type O and less like likely toâ€¦."My ears perked up - was a national talk show host really mentioning the Blood Type Diet?
He went on about a doctor, who he described as brilliant, who had explained it to him. He never called it the Blood Type Diet, but it was clear that was what he was talking about. Then he was off on another topic. If you listen to his show, you know that it is fast paced and he never stays on one issue for long.
I don't often hear the BTD seriously discussed in the national media. I was glad to hear this very positive reference today. Maybe it will get someone to thinking and asking questions.
When we got home this afternoon the report from my blood test was waiting.
I've been reading about secretors and non-secretors and trying to guess which I would be.
I do not have the health problems commonly associated with non-secretors. I've had one yeast infection and two urinary tract infections in my entire life, and those responded quickly to treatment. I had a skin based autoimmune problem that reoccurred, but it responded immediately to treatment each time. I have never had a serious problem with my weight.
One the other hand, when I look at the portion charts I eat like a non-secretor. Not just in a few areas. I eat non-secretor portions of meats, nuts, grains, and oils. The only category where I eat like a secretor is fruit.
I looked at foods I would miss. If I were a secretor I would miss avocados and pinto beans. If I were a non-secretor I would miss apricots, apples, and feta cheese. Personally I wouldn't miss soy, but it would make cooking with two As a bit more difficult. I eat tons of carrots, which are beneficial for non-secretors but neutral for secretors. I eat very little grain*, which also made me think of myself as a non-secretor.
Someone on the Forum found out she was a non-secretor and was surprised because, like me, she didn't have urinary and yeast problems. However, she said she had always had a lot of mucus. So have I; less so since I've been on the BTD, but I have more post nasal drip than most people I know.
Then last week I read the post by Peppermint Twist that she thought non-secretors liked sour things more than secretors. I like salty a lot, and I like sweet. I don't care for bitter, and I can do without sour. My husband loves lemon juice in his water, but I prefer lemon oil. I like the lemon aroma, but can do without the tang.
So I opened the envelope today with really mixed messages. I read A- B+. I'm a secretor.
* No longer grain free. click here for more info
Christmas Eve dinner was at my husband's sister's house. She broke tradition and served Mexican food buffet style. It was great for me and my daughter. She chose fajita chicken strips and made soft tacos. I made a beef taco salad. It was easy to skip pork tamales and other avoids.
Christmas dinner was at my parent's house. They served steak. It was delicious and ideal for me and my son. My daughter ate salad and peanut butter. My parents are wonderful and let her do as she pleased.
The difficult thing about Christmas is all of the sweets. We have visited three different houses and everywhere there are cookies, pies, candy, and snacks. I have successfully avoided most of the wheat, but have eaten too much sugar. I enjoy sugar while I am eating it, but it doesn't have the addictive pull that wheat does. When I eat wheat all I can think of is "I want more and I want it now!" Sugar is fun, but back at my house I don't crave it.
I had fruit cake cookies. There was probably a little wheat holding them together, but they were mostly nuts and dried fruit. I had a mix of popcorn and pecans held together by a caramel glaze. Corn is avoid, but it doesn't bother me as much as wheat. The pecan pie was delicious, and I left a lot of the crust on my plate. I've also had divinity and pralines, again both high sugar but no wheat.
My husband has not tried to eat for Type A at all. If it tastes good, he has eaten it. That's OK. When I send him back to work, I will pack lentil soup and rye crackers.
I'll share one final Christmas card: "Who would have thought of placing a king in a manger, or having wise men follow a star to a baby's side? This Christmas let us celebrate a God who still delivers gifts in the most perfect and unique ways."
One of our nephews took the family out to eat tonight. Being a single young man who does not like to shop, this is his Christmas gift to his grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. He selected an upscale Italian restaurant and ordered for all of us.
They brought three appetizers: bread with olive oil, pizza squares and stuffed mushrooms. I took one mushroom and removed the breading. Underneath was a layer of spinach, which was very tasty with the mushroom. Next came two salads. I ate a lot of salad, not knowing what else he had ordered.
I shouldn't have worried. We had spaghetti with marinara sauce, fettuccini Alfredo with broccoli, chicken Parmesan, and a grilled chicken with spinach. I passed on the spaghetti and picked several stems of broccoli out of the fettuccini. Both chicken dishes were excellent, especially the one served with spinach. At the end were two desserts, one chocolate and one apple. I chose apple.
By any culinary standards it was an excellent meal. By BTD standards, I did remarkably well. I'm not sure what kind of mushroom I ate, it might have been neutral or it might have been avoid. There was a little breading on the chicken Parmesan, and a little Alfredo sauce on the broccoli. There was wheat in the apple dessert, but I didn't eat enough to cause concern.
From one of my favorite Christmas cards: The best present of all is the presence of Jesus.
(update added in mid-February) I regret to say I am still dealing with the same shoulder injury. Clearly the things I was doing in December did not solve the problem. Something is missing. When I identify it, I will blog about it.
This has been a difficult season for shoulders. I strained my right latissimus dorsi last August moving a box a yearbooks. It healed in about 3 weeks, but before I got the strength back in the muscles I wound up in the hospital following a colonoscopy. That kept me from exercising for another three weeks. When I finally felt good again, I was in way to much of a hurry to get back to normal. One night I picked up two 5-pound weights and started doing repetitions of an exercise that would have been easy a few months earlier. I felt something pop in my right shoulder.
It wasn't my lat this time; it was probably my deltoid. I waited patiently for it to heal. It got better, but then seemed to plateau. It felt fine most of the time. But if I reached behind me I felt a sharp pain. I was scared to exercise.
About that time Victoria started a thread on her torn rotator cuff. I have found the information in that thread to be extremely helpful.
First I started stretching and exercising the muscle again. There seemed to be a theme from those contributing to the thread that after a period of healing, therapists started their patients on exercises. I had a sheet of shoulder exercises in my file from a long ago car accident. As I gently worked through them the first time, I could do all the exercises except one. I had no strength to move my shoulder in that one way, and it hurt - a lot!
However, knowing what I could and couldn't do, gave me confidence to start exercising the surrounding muscles. I could swim without pain, though my arms get tired faster than they did last summer. Yesterday I swam Â¾ mile with my fins so my legs got the brunt of the workout. I can also do pushups without hurting.
Second, I started looking for pressure points. I found two that are related to the injured muscle. If I move it in the wrong way and get a sharp pain, I massage those two pressure points. It gives immediate relief from the pain, and seems to have sped up healing.
I also noticed that my muscles seemed tight in general. I increased my magnesium to the point that it upset my stomach, then backed off a bit. The increased magnesium has noticeably relaxed the injured muscle.
When I started the Blood Type Diet nearly 3 years ago, I had been dealing with an ongoing joint problem in my shoulder. After about three months on the BTD, I realized I had no more joint pain. Though I feel sure this is a muscle strain, I asked myself if there was anything I did back then that I had stopped. Yes, I was taking bladderwrack and DGL Licorice regularly for my stomach. Neither of those supplements are commonly used for muscle/skeletal problems, but I started taking them again.
Since I started doing those four things, I have seen a major improvement. I am sleeping easier at night. The one shoulder exercise that I could not do, I can now do at about half the level I can in my uninjured arm. My arm is a little sore, but it is more of a tired, healthy sore than a hurt, damaged sore.
I thank all of the contributors to Victoria's thread. You have really helped me.
The year my husband and I married, we met another couple who were also newly weds. They have remained dear friends for all these years. Their Christmas card said, "May your Christmas be blessed in a multitude of ways by Him who is worthy of all our praise!
I had blood drawn for a Lewis test two weeks ago today. I called the doctor's office today to see why I hadn't received the results. The nurse called me back and said the lab needed more information in order to do the test. When I called the lab I found out they had thrown my blood away. Why? Because I'm a woman!
Here is the story I eventually got from the lab. The only reason traditional doctors order a Lewis Blood Type test is when a woman who wants to have a baby has repeated miscarriages. There is something about her husband's Lewis Blood Type that may cause the miscarriages. They do not test the woman, only her husband. So when they saw an order for a Lewis Type test on a woman, they assumed it was an error and threw my blood away.
My initial response was irritation. Why didn't they call me? Why did they second-guess the doctor's orders? Why do I have to get poked with another needle and wait 3 more days to get the results? However I believe Romans 8:28 which says "All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose." (Note it doesn't say all things are good. It says all things work together for good. Also note this promise isn't for everyone, but for those who love God and are serving him)
I started wondering what Lewis Type has to do with the ability to carry a baby to term. Of all the reading I've done about diet and nutrition, I don't ever recall seeing anything about that. It occurred to me that this might be very valuable news to an infertile couple. If one of you knows the details about how this works, I would encourage you to share it on the forum.
If a couple, longing for a baby, reads a piece of information in my blog that will help them hold a baby in their arms by next Christmas, I will gladly endure another needle stick!
A friend at school sent me a Christmas card with this greeting, "Jesus is our everlasting light. Like a candle burning brightly His light of hope shines in a darkened world."
We had Christmas party at our house last night for my husband's and my Bible Study group. Several members of the group will be spending the Christmas holidays on a medical mission trip to Mexico. The trip is an annual event, and they always take cookies to give away at the clinic. So last night's party was a cookie party. Everyone who came brought a small plate of cookies to eat at the party and a large tin of cookies to send on the mission trip.
I was responsible for drinks. A norther blew through yesterday bringing with it cold, damp weather. No one would want cold drinks! I fixed hot apple cider, using the simplest of recipes. Instead of the three cans of water normally recommended to reconstitute frozen apple juice, I used four. For every can of juice I put in 1 stick of cinnamon and 5 whole cloves. I left it simmering on the front burner of the stove, and served it with a soup ladle. I just love it when people say "How did you make this, it is so good," to something so easy.
I also served hot tea. Celestial Seasonings has four tea blends just for the holidays. I bought Candy Cane Lane and Gingerbread Spice at the health food market. Candy Cane Lane is peppermint and green tea with flavors and herbs. Oranges are avoid for Type O, and this tea has a bit of orange peel for flavor. I don't know if orange peel is also avoid, but even if it is the amount is so small that I'm not worrying about it. Gingerbread Spice has ginger and chicory, both Type O beneficials. Near the bottom of the ingredient list is roasted barley, a Type O avoid. Again, the amount would be negligible for a healthy person. It was fun to watch my guests try to choose between two unfamiliar teas.
Everyone had a good time talking and visiting. I did not eat cookies! It was a wheat free night for me. My daughter's piano keyboard is in living room. We gathered around the keyboard and sang Christmas carols. That may sound old fashioned to you, but it was so much fun.
One of the ladies had on a sweatshirt that I will buy if I ever see it for sale. It was dark blue with a gold silhouette of three men on camels under a star. The words said, "Wise men still seek him."
I was at a party and the conversation turned to the fishy dilemma. By "fishy dilemma" I mean that we are urged to eat more fish to get the much needed Omega-3 fatty acids, but we are also urged to eat less fish because of the danger of mercury poisoning.
One lady said that she had read that cilantro removed heavy metals from the body. She said that when she fixes tuna or other large fish associated with heavy metal toxicity, she sprinkles on cilantro. It adds a nice flavor and offers protection from mercury and other metals.
I thought it was an interesting idea, so the next time I was at the store I bought cilantro. I didn't have time to do anything with it until today. Being from Texas I associate cilantro with Tex-Mex cuisine and hot sauce. While I love many Tex-Mex dishes, I really don't care for hot sauce. I think it is the raw onions that turn me off.
I Googled cilantro, and found several sites that confirm my friend's information. I found a recipe for a cilantro pesto that has some avoids, but looks easy to adjust for Os and As. I'm going to try it when my son gets home for Christmas break.
Today I was having eggs for lunch (along with leftover broccoli, sweet potatoes and carrots). I sprinkled cilantro on the eggs, and really liked the flavor. I often put seasoned salt on canned tuna. It will be so easy to mix a little cilantro with the other seasoning. I think I need to leave the bottle out on the counter until I get into the habit of using it.
Poems like this keep me in the Christmas mood:
If we could hear like angels hear or do the things they do;
If we could see like angels see and have their point of view;
We would understand their wonder as they spoke of Jesus' birth,
For they knew that God left heaven to become a man on earth.
(By R. Lessin)
One last note: Today's blog is about one conversation and its result. It is not intended to cover the whole "fishy dilemma" subject. I've blogged about this before, and it has been a topic on the forum.
It's not that I haven't had anything to blog about the past several days. On the contrary, I must have written half a dozen blogs in my head. I just haven't had time to sit down at the computer. My Journalism class put out the final newspaper of the year. I had to finalize the layout and get it printed. I had to be at the elementary Christmas concert because my camera is the only one capable of getting yearbook quality pictures in a darkened auditorium. The yearbook cover is due at the publishers, and grades are due in the registrar's office.
I was a college girl in the early days of the feminist movement. We were told that women could have it all - a career, a husband, children, and position in society. It didn't take me long to see that the promises were a lie. Women in my office couldn't do it all. They either sacrificed their marriages, their health, their children, or their self-development. Most of them didn't see it coming until divorce papers were filed or the school called them in for a conference. I have been blessed that in the 29 years of our marriage my husband has put home ahead of so many other goals.
I love my journalism career. It is mentally stimulating and emotionally satisfying. But when I have a week where I am working 8 - 10 hours at school instead of my usual 2-3, I see what I would have to sacrifice for a full time career.
There is no time to cook. Ha. There was not even time to wash the produce I bought. We have eaten fast food twice in the past week. I know why people eat fast food. When the hour is late and everyone is hungry, it is fast. Preparing natural, healthy food is not hard, but it does take time.
There is no time for exercise. I squeezed in a run yesterday, and rode my bike to do errands on Monday. But there have been days this past week where at bed time I didn't have energy left to do sit ups, much less 30 minutes of intense physical exercise.
There is not time for rest. I get home from school late, and play catch up with the laundry, the dishes, and all of the other tasks necessary to keep a home functioning. My daughter has finals and wants me to help her review. My husband wants to talk about family business. Last night I really needed a few minutes alone to think. That time for reflection meant I didn't crawl into bed until after 1:00. Five hours of sleep is not enough to build health.
I come away from a week like this with a renewed awareness that I must fight the demands that culture tries to put on my time. This is especially true in the Christmas shopping season where advertisers spend millions of dollars to make me want a bunch of stuff I don't really need. My priorities are worshiping God, caring for my family, and maintaining my health. If I don't have those three, of what use is anything else?
One of our local department stores announced that they would be open until midnight Friday and Saturday nights. Not to be outdone, surrounding stores in the mall decided to stay open until 10 or 11. This seemed to me to be a great time to shop. Some people would be at parties, some people wouldn't want to be out so late. I left my husband and daughter at home with a movie, and drove to the mall a little after 8:00.
It was wonderful. No crowds! The sales people were restocking shelves emptied by frantic shoppers earlier in the day. It was easy to get help and easy to check out. I left the mall and went across the highway to Wal-Mart. I found a close parking place and got two more gifts off my Christmas list. This is the way for me to shop. I didn't get home until 12:45, but I accomplished so much.
What does this have to do with the BTDâ€¦lower stress. As much as I love Christmas, it can be a frantic time of the year. I don't like being jostled by crowds, and not being able to find a parking place. I don't like to feel rushed when I am trying to compare prices and features. During December there are too many impatient people in the stores, and sometimes their impatience is contagious. This, by contrast, was a fun, easy, and productive shopping trip.
OK, if you must have something more closely related to the BTD; sweet potatoes were on sale for 44 cents a pound. I bought lots. Fresh spinach, Romaine lettuce, and broccoli were also on sale. Tomorrow we will feast. But right now I'm starting to feel the effects of the late hour plus 4 Â½ hours of shopping.
On the way home from Wal-Mart, I passed a church. The sign out front read. Without Christ it wouldn't be Christmas. Too true.
I had jury duty yesterday. I was called for a DWI case, and was rejected because I do not drink alcohol. I guess the attorney felt that someone who didn't drink couldn't fairly judge someone who thought nothing of consuming alcohol and then getting behind the wheel of a car.
I went to the courthouse knowing that I wouldn't find any healthy food close by and prepared for a long day of sitting. My panel was called mid-morning for questioning. When the judge released us for lunch I declined the invitation by fellow jurors to eat at a nearby greasy spoon. The company would have been nice, but I had packed salmon, black beans and okra.
I thought I would eat on one of the benches outside, and afterward go for a walk around the courthouse to stretch my legs. However the weather had turned nasty. It was cold and misty. I found a cozy booth in the courthouse cafeteria, and I found something even more interesting - signs indicating an indoor walking path.
After lunch I followed the signs and walked a mile and a quarter at a brisk pace. Then I climbed the stairs to the top floor of the courthouse. I returned to the jury room well satisfied after a Type O lunch and some moderately strenuous exercise. Shortly afterward they released me - my duty was completed.
On the way home the radio was playing Christmas music. A line from Handel's Messiah grabbed my attention, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." The Bible follows those words with these, "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no endâ€¦to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever."
It sometimes seems that there is no justice in this world, but a time is coming when Christ will establish justice and peace for all. That is one of the wonderful messages of Christmas.
I've been putting up Christmas decorations, so I haven't been cooking creatively. When I get busy, I fall back to basic meals: beef patties, canned salmon, cooked greens, fresh spinach, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, broccoli and such.
Last night it was getting late and I hadn't started dinner. I asked my daughter what I should fix, and she said spaghetti. The last time I wrote about spaghetti, someone wrote and asked for my Type A spaghetti sauce recipe. I'll confess - it is not tomato free. My husband follows the BTD 70 - 75%. He loves tomatoes and eats them. My daughter follows the diet almost as seriously as I do. However, tomatoes are the one avoid food she eats on a consistent basis.
While not tomato free, my sauce is sugar free, thick, and simple. Perhaps it is worth sharing. Put a 14.5 oz can of whole tomatoes and a 12 oz can of tomato paste in the food processor. Add 4 - 6 ounces of water - I use the tomato paste can to measure. Add Â½ tsp garlic powder (I could use real garlic, but this is the simple version) and 1 tsp Italian seasoning. Whirl it all together for a minute in the food processor and warm it up.
I served this sauce with ground turkey over noodles for my Type As. I didn't want the noodles, so I soaked a tablespoon of seaweed flakes in water while I was cooking the turkey and sauce. I drained the seaweed and topped it with half a grilled onion, turkey and sauce.
If I hadn't been putting up Christmas decorations, I probably wouldn't have noticed that it was a red and green dinner. Very seasonally appropriate!
I'm rereading all of last years Christmas cards before the new ones start arriving. I found this note from some friends in Alabama. It is a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson. "Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the wisdom of the wise men. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be your children and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts. Forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake."
After my swim Wednesday I stopped by my local health food market. They were giving away samples of cranberry blueberry juice. It had a decidedly blueberry flavor that was delicious. I checked the label, and there were no avoids. It is bottled by Ocean Spray Organics.
That night my husband and daughter enjoyed it for dinner. Thursday night we went to an event called "Dickens Christmas" at a local shopping center. It was a chilly night and when we got home I wanted something warm to drink. I brewed a mug Â¾ full of green tea, then filled the rest of the mug with cranberry blueberry juice. Warm and wonderful!
The highlight of the Dickens Christmas was singing Christmas carols around a huge outdoor tree. Each of us held a lighted candle. I had goosebumps as we sang "Silent night, Holy night. Wondrous star lend thy light. With the angels let us sing, alleluia to our king. Christ the savior is born, Christ the savior is born."