Archives for: January 2006
I was in my little local health food store buying two of the Food, Beverage and Supplement lists to send to a friend. I struck up a conversation with a lady who said that she had bought "Eat Right 4 Your Type" but did not follow the Blood Type Diet because of some concerns she had as a Christian. Our conversation lasted 15 - 20 minutes, but I will give you the highlights.
One objection was the emphasis that the books place on evolution. I said that in my mind I had no trouble separating scientific research from opinion. The scientific research can be brilliant, but if someone has a secular worldview, their conclusions can be faulty. I look to Dr. D'Adamo as a pioneer in understanding why a diet that works for some people, makes other people sick. People in the future will look back to him as the single most important force who abrogated the one-size-fits-all diet. His research has improved my health in countless ways. But that does not mean I agree with him about origins. I skip those parts of the books.
Her other objection was that she had been taught that when you sat down to a meal and blessed the food in Jesus' name, that there was nothing wrong with eating it. In one sense that is true. When God gave Peter the vision of the clean and unclean food (Acts 10) he said, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." I don't believe that eating any food is sin. However, just because it is not sin, does not mean it is all equally healthy. If you live a holy life and eat only junk food, it will be a shorter holy life.
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is full of examples of people who voluntarily restricted their diets. Daniel abstained from rich food. The Nazarites had strict dietary restrictions. Paul approved of both Christians who ate meat and Christians who ate only vegetables. It was certainly beneficial that the Jews (historically Type Bs) followed Jewish dietary laws, which are remarkably like the Type B diet. I believe it is consistent with Biblical teaching that God can guide us to restrict our diets for a short term fast or a long term lifestyle.
As we ended our conversation, she had a thoughtful look on her face, and said she would take another look at ER4YT.
My husband is notorious for finding a food that he likes and overeating it to the point that he detests it. So I try to keep his recipes rotating so that he doesn't get tired of food, especially beneficials. He likes rice a lot, and because it is Type A beneficial, I've been serving it in a lot of different ways. But one night I decided it was time to fix something entirely different.
I dug around in the pantry and found a box of buckwheat groats. When I bought them I had fixed them the easy way, boiling them in water. They were a little sticky for a side dish, more like oatmeal than rice. My husband and daughter gave them a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1 -10.
The back of the box had a recipe for kasha. It looked complicated. While I am an innovative cook, I don't like things that have a lot of steps or take all afternoon to prepare. After a brief debate with myself, I decided to try the kasha.
I'm so glad I did. It turned out light and fluffy, very much like rice. My daughter liked it. My husband loved it and said it was almost better than rice. Here is the recipe. The preparation is like the back of the box. The celery and onion are mine.
2 cups water (or broth)
Â½ tsp salt
1 cup buckwheat groats
2 Tbsp ghee or oil
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 skillet and 2 pots
In one pot place the oil and the diced vegetables. SautÃ© them until they are soft. In the other pot start boiling the water and salt.
Lightly beat the egg with a fork. Add the buckwheat and stir to coat the kernels. Cook the egg-coated buckwheat on high heat for 2-3 minutes until the egg has dried and the kernels are separate. Stir constantly!
Pour the buckwheat and the sautÃ©ed vegetables into the boiling water. Cover tightly and simmer 7-10 minutes.
This Type A-beneficial, Type O-neutral dish will be a regular in our household.
There is a barbeque restaurant near my house that I just love. Their brisket is delicious. If I've been out running errands and don't have an idea for lunch, I often drive through and buy just the beef. I can eat it with leftover vegetables, or wrap it in sushi nori papers.
My husband has discovered that they also serve turkey, so this restaurant has become one of his favorite places to eat after church on Sunday. Side dishes are a problem for Type O at most barbeque restaurants: pinto beans, fried potatoes, and Cole slaw are the standards. Two are avoids for me. I don't really like coleslaw, and the dressing almost certainly contains avoids. This restaurant also serves green beans and rice, so I select those as my sides.
However, I keep noticing that if we eat there on Sunday, my weight is up for 3-4 days. That usually means wheat, but I'm not eating any wheat - unless it's in the barbeque sauce. My suspicions centered on the sauce, because when I get brisket to go, I don't get sauce, and I don't have any trouble.
Last week we were there again, and I asked them to leave off the sauce. When my plate arrived, I saw a problem. They cook their green beans in the same sauce. I know that sounds awful, but the sauce is tasty, and it goes surprisingly well with beans. The rice is Spanish rice. It could be my imagination, but it seemed to taste like barbeque sauce as well.
The scale the next morning told the truth. The barbeque sauce contains avoids. I did notice that they have added side salads to their menu. I guess, from now on, I will order plain brisket and a side salad. That will be good, and it will be beneficial. It is just frustrating that this restaurant has 6 "vegetable side dishes" and a Type O can't eat any of them.
It was not too long ago that a political figure got himself in lots of trouble for responding to a question at a deposition, "That depends on what your definition of "is" is." I've come to the conclusion this week that I need to define what I mean by "lots." I've often written that as a Type O I eat lots of meat and lots of vegetables.
My context when I write that is that of a former health food loyalist who tried several times to be a vegetarian. Every time I tried, I got sick, so I gave up the idea of being a vegetarian. However, the things I read convinced me to try to eat meat just once a day. That was a bad idea for a Type O - I gained weight and my indigestion got worse. When I started the Blood Type Diet, and began to eat meat twice a day, every day, that seemed like lots to me.
However, not everyone's experience is like mine. I was at a party recently with someone from one of the former Soviet republics. He said that he was astounded that people in America ate meat three times a day. "Three times a day?" I said. He said that Americans he had met had bacon or sausage for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and meat again for dinner. By his standard, I don't eat "lots" of meat.
I had lunch recently with a Type O friend. She said that until recently a can of salmon was one serving for her. A 15 oz can on salmon is three meals (5 oz each) for me. I said that if I ordered an 8 oz steak in a restaurant, I brought half of it home. She said that she ate the whole steak. By her standard, I don't eat "lots" of meat.
Live Right 4 Your Type recommends that Type O secretors have 6 - 9 servings of meat per week plus 3 - 5 servings of fish. That's 14 servings combined, or 2 per day. That's what I eat. The targeted portion size is 2-5 ounces. Two or three ounces does not satisfy me, but I consider 4 ounces a normal serving. I often eat 5 ounces of meat, and occasionally 6.
Is that "lots?" Depending on their perspective, some would say "yes" and some would say, "no not at all."
I've written before that I aim for 10 different fruits and vegetables a day (today I had 12). That seems like "lots" to me in light of the ad campaign urging people to eat "five a day for better health." But then a few weeks ago, I heard an interview that said to fully take advantage of the cancer prevention qualities of fruit and vegetables, we should eat 15 per day. My goal of 10 does not seem like "lots" compared to that.
If my use of the word "lots" has confused anyone, I apologize. In the future, I will try to more clearly define what I mean.
I stayed late at school this afternoon because we have a basketball game against our arch rivals tonight. My daughter and I decided this morning that rather than go home and come back, we would just stay at school and work on picture files. I also planned to post a recipe that my Type A husband absolutely loved. But the recipe is not where I thought it was in my briefcase. It's probably at home, so I will write about my experience with kasha another day.
I was at the health food market two days ago, and they had Swiss chard. It was beautiful, with healthy big leaves. Swiss chard is my second favorite green, but it was puny all fall. The leaves were wilted and moldy, and it was covered with sand. I haven't bought any in months. If it is possible to be excited about a vegetable - I was excited when I picked up a bunch of this gorgeous chard.
After I wash the chard, I tear the leaves off the biggest part of the stem. Those red stems I cut up like celery. My daughter, who prefers her vegetables raw, thinks they are great. My husband, who eats cooked greens only reluctantly, also enjoys what we call "red celery".
The leaves and the smaller stems I tear into pieces. I put Â¼ cup water and 2 Tbsp ghee in the bottom of a big pot. Then I pile in the chard and cook it until it is wilted. I had a bowl before I came to school and it was outstanding.
The clock on the computer tells me it is game time. I'm off to cheer for our team.
The lab where I had my Lewis type test charges $52 to uninsured patients. They charge insured patients $72, however the insurance company discounts it to $10.02. Because I am over my deductible, the insurance company pays 80%. I received a bill today for my Lewis test for $2.
I was warned by both the doctor and the lab that the insurance company might not pay. So if you decide to get your secretor status this way, you must be mentally prepared to pay the full amount. My doctor's assistant said, "We have to submit a diagnosis, what should we put?" I said, "Tell them it is an experimental treatment for GERD."
If you have not read these threads on the Forum, I recommend them:
They are about Type O and vegetables. Speaking of vegetablesâ€¦
Butternut squash was on sale for 89 cents a pound, and artichokes were on sale for $1.50 each. The butternut squash is baking in the oven (350 degrees, uncut, skin still on) and I will cook the artichoke in the pressure cooker (steaming would work as well, it would just take longer). Now to find a meat to go with the vegetables.
I had never eaten turnips before the Blood Type Diet. The first time I cooked them, I didn't like them at all. I abandoned the idea of eating turnips, even though they were beneficial. However, I did like turnip greens, and I grew to like frozen turnip greens with little turnip cubes mixed in. Last fall I resolved to give turnips another try, and one November blog was about my effort to find a tasty way to eat them.
Taswolf wrote and suggested I try grating turnips and adding them to salad. I usually prefer cooked vegetables over raw. I had tried a bite-sized piece of turnip and was not overly impressed. So I didn't rush to follow his suggestion. But eventually I had to try.
The first time, I added some grated turnip to a bowl of leftover vegetables. They blended in well with the other flavors. Since they were grated I didn't get a whole lot in any one bite. I've gradually gotten bolder, and tonight I grated carrots and turnips together and added them to a tossed salad. My husband seemed to like them a lot. My daughter ate them grated, but would rather have them in bigger pieces.
As for me, I have to admit I'm actually liking grated turnip. The more I eat them the more I appreciate the peppery flavor. And I surprise myself in that (except for turnips with turnip greens) I like them better raw than cooked.
Taswolf specifically suggested adding grated turnips to Kohl Slaw. I haven't tried that yet. Is it because it's been difficult to find decent kohlrabi in the winter months or because I've been scared? Perhaps a bit of both!
I reread this and asked myself, why would I type, "scared"? I had a negative image of turnips based on hearsay. That negative impression was reinforced the first time I ate turnips because of the way I cooked them. The more recent successes have not yet overridden the bad memories. It will take a while for the realization that "turnips are great" to settle in my subconscious. Just like it took a while for the realization that "wheat is bad for me" to take root and become reality.
I've had several comments about Monday's blog. Two of them lead me to write this clarification. One wrote, "I get very sick when I eat most avoids. I get a migraine which means that someone else must help me take care of my sonâ€¦I'd rather stick to my health than to eat to appease someone." Another wrote, "Last night at dinner with friends I had apple, cheese and vinegar in my salad, a small oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, and a clementineâ€¦I had low level heartburn most of the night."
I do NOT think you should eat something that will make you sick just to please someone else. I break out in hives very rapidly if I eat chocolate. I do not eat chocolate at all, no matter what the occasion. If some bakes a chocolate cake in my honor, I say "no thank you." The last time I ate chocolate (1974) I got frighteningly close to a trip to the emergency room. I will not take that chance. My son gets migraines if he eats MSG. I have been known to dig through the trash at someone's house to read the ingredient label. Good manners do not doom him to 24 hours of pain and nausea.
Most healthy people can eat a few avoids without noticeable side effects. My point was that we value relationships and not use rigid rules to hurt someone who is trying to be gracious.
Let me paint you a word picture. Some of this has really happened to me, some is fantasy.
I am at a friend's house and she says, "I thought we'd have sandwiches for lunch."
I say, "I'm Type O and I don't eat wheat."
Friend: Oh, I have some rye bread.
Me: Commercial rye bread is mostly wheat, so I can't eat it.
Friend: What do you usually eat for lunch?
Me: Usually meat and vegetables
Friend: Oh, I have some potatoes; I'll pop one in the microwave.
Me: Well, potatoes are one of the vegetables I don't eat.
Friend: OK, I'll open a can of ranch beans, every one else will enjoy them too.
Me: If they are black beans, that's good, but I don't eat pinto beans.
Friend: You eat fruit don't you, I'll slice some oranges.
Me: I eat most fruits, but have you read what oranges do to you intestinal tract? Yuk.
Friend: I'll just cut up some extra lettuce and you can have a salad. Look in the refrigerator for some dressing, I have 3-4 kinds.
Me: Did you know that iceburg lettuce has no nutritional value at all, and that bottled salad dressing contains artificial ingredients? Do you have any olive oil? Extra virgin cold pressed would be best.
Friend: What kind of meat do you want? I have ham and smoked turkey.
Me: Ham is avoid for all blood types, and smoked turkey contains nitrites.
At some point in this imaginary conversation, I would lose a friend. You will have to decide for yourself. What avoids do you really have to avoid, or you will pay the consequences tomorrow? Politely say no to those avoids.
However, if you know that you can eat an avoid without noticing much difference, why offend someone? In particular, don't say no to an avoid at a friend's house, and later sneak the same avoid when you are alone.
That brings us back again to Romans: "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,â€¦Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food."
I keep coming back in my mind to Sante J's blog about "Think like a B". I totally agree. The Blood Type Diet became easy and natural when I stopped looking for substitutions and grieving for avoids and ate like an O. Once I was willing to give it up, I found it remarkably easy to "think like an O." When I plan meal, I decide on the meat, then I decide on 2-3 vegetables that would go with it. The little grain I eat is an afternoon snack, not part of a meal. Truly, I don't miss it.
Here is my problem. I am cooking for two As, and I don't know how to "think like an A." Back when Taswolf was blogging, he helped me get inside my husband's Type A head. Now I flounder. Does a Type A decide on a legume, and plan a meal around it? When I was trying to be a vegetarian, I was told to find complementary proteins and build meals around them. Is that how an A thinks? My husband and daughter seem to be different types of As. She can make an entire meal off of salad. He would rather have bread or pasta.
How did we come to have so many culturally acceptable foods that aren't good for any Type? Sandwiches, pizza, lasagnaâ€¦if our ancestors were thinking like their Type, how did things get so mixed up? This question I think I can answer. Almost every couple we know is a mixed blood Type marriage - usually one A and one O. They prepare traditional foods because they are trying to get along and fix food that they both like.
I can picture it in my mind. An ancient type O wife is happily eating a chunk of meat and offers some to her Type A husband. He puts a little meat between two pieces of bread. He is not completely happy, but he's happier than he was with just the meat. She doesn't see why he spoiled his meat with bread, but it does keep her hands cleaner, and it is easier if they are eating the same thing. So they both eat what is not ideal for either - sandwiches.
Or Type A wife prepares a nice pasta or rice bowl with a sauce. Type O husband comes in looks at the dish and knows it won't work for him. He suggests adding meat. She doesn't really want to ruin her lovely dish with nasty meat, but if it makes him happy, ok. So they both eat casseroles. Add cheese to an A/0 casserole, and the Bs have a little something to look forward to.
To truly think like your type, you will first have to see most popular foods as compromises that didn't come into being because they built health, but because they made life easier. Not because they really satisfied anyone, but because they kept everyone from being completely unsatisfied.
I'm pretty good at thinking like an O. If my husband is going to have better health, and my daughter is going to learn to be a good cook, I'm going to have to figure out how to think like an A as well.
Last week I read a chapter in Romans that took on new meaning for me in light of the Blood Type Diet. I know that when Paul wrote this letter, blood types hadn't been discovered. He didn't know about ABO types or transfusions, much less eating right for your type, so clearly he was not directly dealing with the diet. However, there are principles here about food and getting long with people that relate to the BTD.
"One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him." Romans 14:2 When I read that I get so many mental pictures. I think about Rachel's vegetarian friends who viciously turned on her when she began to eat meat. I think of my daughter's classmates who think she is a kook because she does not eat hamburgers or bacon.
Though Paul doesn't know about Blood Types, he anticipates that different people will eat different things, and warns against judging people who don't eat the same way.
A little later in the same chapter Paul writes, "I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died."
There are very few natural foods that are avoid for everyone. Certain highly processed foods and chemical substitutes for food are good for nothing and no one. But food as God created it, is good. Dairy may not be good for a Type O, but it is beneficial for Bs. The beef that is so beneficial for me, is bad for Type As. It's not that the food is good or bad, but whether it is good or bad for my Type. How did Paul anticipate that so many hundreds of years before science proved it?
Yet today, people are still doing the same things that they did in Bible times. Bookstore shelves are full of books written by people who found that one food was really, really good or really, really bad for them. They create a whole program based on what worked for them and condemn anyone who dares to disagree.
My favorite part of the chapter is verses 17 -19: "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,â€¦Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.
I want to encourage people not tear them down. If I can share information about the Blood Type Diet and help someone have better health that is great! If I tell someone about the BTD and they reject the information, I let it go.
If I am a guest in someone's home, I don't overindulge in avoids, but neither do I ask them to change their menu just for me. When someone prepares a special meal, to reject their food (even if it is avoid) is to reject them. My relationship with people is more important than what I eat.
I did not blog much about exercise over the holidays, but that does not mean I neglected it. When I first read that Type Os thrive on "intense physical exercise" it explained so many things about me. (I've blogged about that adventure on previous occasions.) Weight control, muscle tone, cardio vascular health - those are all good reasons to exercise, but I exercise because it makes me feel better. I have more energy and less stress; more enthusiasm and fewer moods when I exercise like a Type O.
There were two weeks right at the end of the semester that were so busy I just ran out of time. However once school was out, I got in 30 - 40 minutes of Type O exercise 6 days a week. Especially when we were traveling, I made sure I ran or climbed stairs or walked briskly. I felt like exercise was especially important because my ratio of beneficials, neutrals, and avoids was not as ideal as it is at home.
Today I swam at the local high school pool. The pool is reserved for students early in the morning and after school. But in the middle of the day anyone can swim for as long as they want to for $3.00. For those committed to exercise (as we Type Os ought to be) they have a $40 card that is good for 20 swims.
I don't have to count repetitions when I swim, like I do when I work with weights. It's just all-out back and forth for 30 - 40 minutes. So it is a good time to think. I make lots of lessons plans and solve lots of problems as I swim back and forth.
Today there was a bonus. My favorite health food market is between my house and the pool. I stopped to pick up a few favorites to send with my son when he goes back to college and saw a sign that all supplements were 25% off. This is good! I stocked up on calcium, magnesium, bladderwrack, soy protein, egg white protein, brewer's yeast, and other items we use frequently.
I've been catching up on my mail this evening. Someone wrote this to me: I read in your blog that the BTD helped with your heartburn. I am battling with digestive problems and heartburn. The thing that is difficult for me now is the healing of the tissue in my esophagus after the acid has leaked in. What do you do for immediate relief and healing?
This was my answer:
I've been faithful to the BTD for 2 Â½ years now, and I rarely have stomach symptoms any more. When I do, I have four remedies.
1. Peppermint. Sometimes I brew peppermint tea. Sometimes I eat a piece of peppermint candy.
2. Ginger. I juice ginger root (available in any grocery store). If the discomfort is mild, I mix a teaspoon of ginger juice in water and drink it like tea. I find it very refreshing. If the discomfort is more severe, I take a teaspoon of ginger juice straight. It is hot, and makes me gasp, but it heals the inflammation.
3. Licorice I buy DGL licorice at the health food store and take the chewable tablets with me when I travel. It is great for when I eat unexpected wheat.
4. Olive oil. If I need quick relief I take a teaspoon of olive oil. It seems to coat the inflammation and make the pain go away until I can get my diet back where it ought to be.
My husband and I are an A/O couple. He is Type A and I am Type O. Interestingly our New Year's Eve guests are also A/O couples. When we talk about the Blood Type Diet, each of them acknowledges that it has worked great for me. They have no other explanation for how I got rid of my indigestion without medication. They can see for themselves that I wear clothes that are two sizes smaller, and that I have more energy. But they have issues that keep them from trying the BTD for themselves.
One A has had a serious wheat allergy for more than 20 years. The smallest amount of wheat gives her both physical and emotional symptoms. Even eating food that has touched wheat can cause her to react. By trial and error she came up with a way of eating that prevents the allergic reaction. Unfortunately rather than beneficial Type A foods like legumes, she turned to meat and candy. She is reluctant to try a new way of eating, when what she is eating now keeps the allergy away.
One O was trained as a scientist. She has struggles with her weight and has scientifically investigated all of the popular weight loss diets. She believes the answer is a low fat diet. She even tried to keep her children on low fat diets when they were little. She does not believe I can possibly be healthy when I eat so much meat and oil.
The A husband is an MD. He enjoys good tasting food. He is content in the knowledge that if he develops health problems, he can take medication. The idea of taking a drug every day for the rest of his life is not as repugnant to him as it is to me.
The O husband is married to the A with the wheat allergy. This has benefited him because they don't keep wheat in their house. He loves meat and eats a lot of it. He does not like vegetables, and teases me for eating so many of them
Please understand, I'm not making fun of my friends. When I ask myself honestly if I would have radically changed to the Blood Type Diet if I hadn't had chronic indigestion I have to say, "No, I wouldn't have." It takes some kind of unresolved problem to motivate people to change.
I have another Type A friend who is frustrated by a health issue. She said to me last week, "I have tried everything! I smiled and said, "Those were my exact words the day before I went on the Blood Type Diet."
Both our kids had plans for New Year's Eve. Our son was going to a fireworks display with friends from high school. Our daughter was spending the night with a friend from church. Rather spontaneously, my husband and I decided to have a small party. We invited three couples who have been friends for many years, and two of them could come.
This was going to be a very informal party, so I decided to serve finger food. One of our friends was bringing their 17-year-old son who was recently diagnosed as a diabetic. His mom was concerned that he not be tempted with too much starch and sugar. I assured her that I didn't want to eat starch or sugar myself, but for different reasons.
I served shrimp and deviled eggs. I had a big vegetable tray. I also fixed mini eggrolls and mini pizzas for my husband. One of our friends brought a tray of chicken wings and homemade salsa with chips. The other brought two desserts. I served both apple cider and soda. There were lots of choices - healthy and unhealthy.
Chicken wings have become a popular appetizer and party food, but I had never eaten them. These were not breaded, and there were no other obvious avoids, so I tried them. The seasoning was delicious, but they were more skin than meat. My opinion - wings have too much of the wrong kind of fat and not enough valuable nutrients.
I had thought that we would watch football and play cards, but there was too much to talk about. We never turned on the TV or got out the cards. In fact we lost track of time, and didn't even notice when the clock passed midnight.
We talked briefly about the Blood Type Diet. More about that tomorrow. But tonight, I wish each of you a blessed 2006.