Archives for: April 2006
For the sake of new readers, I need to review a little of my history with the Blood Type Diet. I started the BTD because of indigestion. I was not unhappy with my weight at the time. However over the course of the first year, I lost more than 10 pounds. I was delighted and realized that I looked much better. My weight held steady at the new level for a long time, then rather suddenly I gained several pounds. It didn't effect the way my clothes fit, so I didn't worry. Some days I thought I had converted fat into muscle. Some days I blamed it on hormones. I've blogged about it several times.
Over this past winter I added another pound. As I thought about shopping for summer clothes I thought, "This is ridiculous. These pounds have got to go. I began to take an inventory of what I was eating. My diet is consistently beneficials and neutrals. Avoids I eat at home are limited to a few additives at the bottom of ingredient lists. Avoids away from home are as rare as I can make them.
I'm not completely in line with the proportions Dr. D. recommends. I'm frequently over the target on nuts. Most days I eat more than a tablespoon of olive oil. I am faithful to get intense physical exercise 5-6 days a week.
Nothing there would fully explain the phantom pounds. I began to think about other nutritional guidelines I have read about over the years. When I came to salt, I stopped.
In my first nutrition book, I learned about the dangers of the highly salty modern diet. My husband was battling high blood pressure, so I put us on a low salt diet. When I first started the BTD, I continued to minimize salt. I often read Heidi recommend "a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt." When the new Forum started, I would read posts that said the lemon water and salt would aid in weight loss.
I thought if a pinch of salt in water is good for me, I'll just drink the water plain and add a pinch of salt to my vegetables. The upside of that was that it helped me learn to like kale and collard greens. The downside is that I became dependent on salt. I began to add more than a pinch to vegetables like broccoli that really didn't need it.
About 10 days ago I cut back on salt. Already I have lost half of the extra pounds. No food changes, no exercise changes; just lower salt.
I looked to see if Dr. D. had ever weighed in on the lemon water and salt idea. When I couldn't find anything, I asked Lola (who is a whiz at digging out forgotten facts). She sent me several Dr. D. references to lemon water, but none to lemon water and salt.
Lemon water and salt must work for some people, because it frequently gets recommended on the Forum. But I don't need the extra salt. I can't say whether that has to do with being Type O or some other factor. I'm not going to go on a stringent low salt diet. But I am going to wean myself away from a dependence on salt. I am going to stop adding that pinch of salt to food that tastes perfectly good without it.
Ginger is a beneficial herb for Type Os and Type As. It is specifically mentioned in the Encyclopedia as being helpful for stomach problems and for inflammation. I have blogged several times about juicing ginger root. I find that 1 teaspoon of ginger juice in a glass of water is a very refreshing drink.
I'm trying to learn other ways to use more ginger. Ginger and pineapple juice concentrate in seltzer water has become a favorite. I call it pineapple ginger ale. This week I mixed a teaspoon of ginger juice into a glass of grape juice. That was a surprisingly tasty combination.
This morning I put a teaspoon of ginger juice in my breakfast mix with bananas and grapes. The first bite was unusual, but the more I ate, the more I liked it.
I'm going to be experimenting more in the area of cooking with herbs. Why, in my next blog.
I wish I could tell you that this bread was planned, but it was just an accident. It had been a while since I had baked Strawberry Bread (my recipe is posted on ReciBase). My daughter strongly encouraged me to make it soon. I thought I had a bag of frozen strawberries in the freezer, so last night I got out all the ingredients. However when I went to the freezer, there were no strawberries, just raspberries.
Ok, I thought, they will just have Raspberry Bread. With one exception I used the same recipe. The original Strawberry Bread had called for 2 cups of sugar. That was too sweet for me, so I have always used 1 cup. Because raspberries are not as sweet as strawberries, I increased the sugar to 1Â½ cups.
While it was in the oven, my daughter walked through the kitchen and said, "What are you baking it smells amazing." This morning when she took her first bite she sighed and said, "This really is amazing."
If you are B or AB, try adding 4 oz. of cream cheese to the batter. That's the way I made this bread in my pre-BTD days. It is delicious, but I no longer include this A and O avoid.
Live oak trees are an aberration. They keep their green leaves all winter, then drop them at the first sign of spring and immediately leaf out with new growth. Live oak leaves are small and tough. They do not rake easily. They also don't deteriorate, so if you don't get them up they form a slime layer that kills the grass roots.
We have three big live oak trees, and every spring we rent a bagging lawn mower. I scalp the grass and pick up the oak leaves at the same time. It's essentially like mowing the yard three times. I make one pass to cut the grass, a second pass stirs up the leaves, and the final pass picks up the last of the leaves. Strangely, I like doing this job. I like being out in the spring weather, I like the smell of freshly cut grass, and I like the strenuous exercise.
I rented the bagging mower on Friday afternoon, and did the front yard Friday night. Saturday morning I did the back yard. As I was mowing Saturday, I started planning my lunch. I was surprised to realize that I wasn't all that hungry. In fact, I hadn't been particularly hungry when I came in from mowing on Friday night. This surprised me, so I started thinking about when I'm hungry and when I'm not.
I'm not exceptionally hungry after a swim, or a run. I'm not ravenous after a day hiking in the mountains. Often after strenuous exercise, I'm very thirsty, but I am completely satisfied with an ordinary meal.
A morning working on the computer, however, leaves me ready for a big lunch at 11:30. Sitting in a car on a long trip makes me hungry. I am always hungry when we get out of church, and I'm extremely hungry when I get home from school in the afternoon.
This is a new insight into my Type O self. I know that Type Os need intense physical exercise, and I always feel great after that type of exercise. I know that certain avoid foods, like wheat, make me crave even more avoids. But even when I am eating beneficials and neutrals, I am more likely to be hungry and overeat if I've been sitting and inactive.
I remember reading an article that said you could loose weight if you did 5 minutes of exercise before every meal. At the time I thought that was pretty goofy advice. Now I'm wondering if it was written by a Type O.
I think that Luby's Cafeteria makes the best carrot salad in the world. Several years ago (pre-BTD) I was helping collect donations from local businesses for an elementary school silent auction. Luby's donated 3 cookbooks. All day I haunted the silent auction table, determined to get one of those cookbooks just for the carrot salad recipe.
(Non-BTD, Cafeteria Recipe)
2 pounds carrots peeled and trimmed
1 cup raisins
1 cup cream
Â½ cup powdered sugar
Soak the raisins in water for several hours. Drain well. Shred the carrots and add to the raisins. In a small bowl, mix cream and powdered sugar. Pour over the carrot mixture and toss lightly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
After I started the BTD, I knew I had to make some changes. I substituted a 95% neutral canola mayonnaise for the cream and I tried cutting back on the sugar. Ho hum, it tasted like plain old carrot salad.
One night this week I decided to think more creatively. Remembering that occasionally Luby's would add canned pineapple to their carrot salad. I substituted frozen pineapple juice concentrate for the powdered sugar. It was good - really good.
The mayonnaise contains vinegar, which is not only avoid, but gives the carrot salad a tang that I don't like. I began to wonder what I could substitute that would be more like cream. I don't think soy milk would work - but then I thought of rice milk. Now, I haven't tried it yet, but I am thinking that vanilla rice milk may be what my carrot salad needs to take it from ordinary to award winning.
I ran this morning at the park with the hill. As I came around a curve, I scared a rabbit off the path. It was so cute. A little further on I saw another rabbit in the middle of the trail. It was not afraid of me at all. In fact I began to wonder if I would have to run around it. At the last moment, it looked at me and loped into the grass.
I love to run almost any time. But running in the springtime when the wild flowers are blooming and the animals are friendly is a real delight.
Leftover lamb for lunch with seaweed flakes and a little garlic. Side dishes were collard greens and pumpkin.
Easter weekend I compared the "I want to do it my way" attitude that characterizes sin with the "I miss my favorite avoids" attitude that periodically hits all of us on the BTD. Afterwards my mind wandered off in another direction - chasing Easter bunnies I suppose. This blog may stand on its on, but if it seems to be missing something, go to the archives and read "Is Wheat a sin?"
You might think that Christians would be the first in line to seek good health and good nutrition. If you think that, you have never been to a church pot luck supper. Oh my, the delicious dishes - all of them high fat, high sugar, highly processed and laden with avoids. I don't find Christians, as a whole, eating simple foods - fresh vegetables, fruits, raw nuts, lean meats. Rather than looking for food as God made it, they indulge their senses with artificial food.
In my health food days, I had multiple Christians say to me, "I have given up this behavior or that to follow Christ. Don't tell me I have to give up good food for dry and tasteless whole grains." Or as my own husband frequently moans, "Why is everything that tastes good, bad for me?"
There is a truth here that is true in the spiritual realm as well as in the physical realm. The long term rewards of good and godly actions are greater than the immediate gratification of self indulgence or sin.
People who make their money by devoting themselves to a fulfilling career, are much better off than the robber who takes what he wants. The pleasure and satisfaction of a long and faithful marriage (my parents will celebrate their 55th anniversary this year) far outweigh the temporary benefits of an illicit relationship.
It does take more effort to prepare a meal from natural ingredients. It does take a while to appreciate the flavors of real food if you have been addicted to fast food. However, my overall health (my energy level, the clarity of my thinking, medical test results and my sense of well being) now that I am eating right for my Type is much better than when I ate a standard American diet.
The difficulty is keeping that long term reward in my mind when faced with the brief delight of a tasty avoid slipping over my tongue.
My husband and I ask the kids in the pre-baptism class, "What is sin?" They say, "Sin is when you do something bad." "Sin is when you steal something or lie." Sin is when someone hits someone else." All of those are examples of sin, we agree. But Sin is really the thing inside all of us that says "I want what I want and I want it now! I want my way!"
Behind a thief & murderer is someone who says "I want money, I want it now, and I'll kill you for your wallet." Behind anyone in an immoral relationship, is someone who says "It feels good, why wait, I want it now." Even when we stop ourselves from the worst behaviors, we all have the same core attitude.
It's clear that sin is serious business with God. He loved us and did not want us to perish because of our sin. That's why Jesus died on Good Friday nearly 2000 years ago. It is why we celebrate Easter with such joy.
As I'm thinking about these serious issues this weekend, I find myself smiling, because that same "my way" attitude gets us in trouble on the Blood Type Diet.
We go along for weeks eating right and feeling good. Then something happens and we want one of the great tasting things that everyone around us is eating. Call it a craving, call it lack of discipline, we ignore everything we know about our Type and go for the stuff we miss and we want.
So does that make wheat a sin?
No, not in a mortal sense. It is not a sin against God. In fact this is why I don't worry about eating an avoid that has been prepared by a friend and served with love. To reject hospitality would go right back to the attitude of putting myself and my wants first.
However there is that verse in the Bible that says "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit...You are not your own...Therefore glorify God in your body."
God does expect me to take care of my body and not abuse it with stuff that I know to be bad for me. If my eating habits cause me to get sick, I can't serve Him. In that sense, ignoring what I know about my Type and choosing wheat (or other avoids) might be sin.
It is a matter of the heart. When I eat am I seeking to put God first, or am I wanting my way?
This started out to be a light-hearted blog, but it took an unexpected serious turn. I'll save my more humorous comments for next time.
I have often said that I could go anywhere except the concession stand at a sports arena and find something for a Type O to eat. Today I was proved wrong - at a popular nationally franchised Italian restaurant.
I took my journalism students on a field trip today. Our first stop was a photo shoot for one of our yearbook advertisers. Then we ate lunch before touring a local television station. I let them vote and they chose this particular Italian restaurant.
I find Italian to be one of the most difficult types of restaurants for Type Os because of the emphasis on bread and pasta, but I have always been able to find something to eat.
I often choose salad. Today there was only one salad entrÃ©e on the menu - and it was Caesar salad loaded with cheese. I often get a grilled chicken breast with vegetables and leave the pasta behind. On this menu the only chicken breast was breaded. There was grilled chicken, but it was cubed and tossed with pasta and creamy sauces. The only vegetables were with entrÃ©es priced over $10. I chafe at the thought of paying that much for a lunch laced with avoids. Even the soups had kidney beans, pasta or both.
There was nothing beneficial. There was nothing neutral. I had to look for the least offensive avoid. I ordered eggplant Parmesan. Avoids were wheat in the breading and Parmesan cheese. At this restaurant they bring big bowls of salad for the table to share. More avoids for me in the dressing and cheese, which were already mixed in.
On the bright side, I didn't let the lunch avoids get me off track for the rest of the day. When I got home I ate a bowl of homemade trail mix. I had a normal dinner of lamb and three vegetables. Hours later, I still can't think of a better choice than the one I made. I hope I am never pressured into going back to that restaurant chain!
A long time ago, when Rachel blogged about using sushi nori papers for wrap sandwiches, I tried them. I liked them, and I began to blog about them too. Someone wrote and asked if I had any recipes. I had a hard time thinking in terms of a recipe. I just rolled whatever was convenient.
Tonight, however I chanced upon a combination that is worthy of the word recipe. I took two sushi nori papers and poured about Â¼ tsp of olive oil on each one. Using the back of a spoon, I spread the oil over the paper. On top of the oiled sushi nori, I put a slice of 98% compliant deli roast beef. On top of the roast beef I crumbled some feta cheese. I rolled up the sushi nori and moistened the edge with tap water. This makes it stick to itself to seal the wrap. I put them in the oven on 200 degrees while I fixed turkey sandwiches for the Type As.
When I took them out of the oven, they were soft. Sometimes sushi nori can be tough and hard to bite, but this was perfect. The combination of flavors was very pleasing. I ate them with steamed broccoli and raw carrots & almond butter. It was a wonderfully easy and wonderful tasting wrap dinner.
Long ago I read about a lady from Panama who said that her mother cooked the best meat in the world. Her mother would lay papaya skins on top of the meat and roast it slowly. This was back when cooking with papaya enzymes was popular among health food nuts. I bought papaya enzymes and used them for a while. They actually worked pretty well, but soon another fad replaced them.
Last week my grocery store had papayas on sale, and I bought one. As I was peeling it, I remembered that Panamanian woman. I had chicken out to fix for dinner. I covered the chicken breasts with papaya skin. I put them in the oven, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then covered them and reduced the heat to 325. Total cooking time was an hour.
The chicken breasts were moist and tender and delicious. We ate them that night with vegetables. The next day for my husband and daughter's lunches I spread refried black beans on tortillas. I topped them with leftover chicken and lettuce.
Though papaya itself is avoid for Type As, I did not feel bad serving this chicken to them for several reasons. First, I did not serve them the fruit (I ate that myself for breakfast). Second, the enzymes from the skins soaked into the chicken to make it tender, but did not give it a fruity or tropical flavor. I saw no evidence that papaya juice infiltrated the chicken.
Third, papaya is a tier two avoid, so, it is not a major problem maker for Type As if they did consume a few drops of papaya juice. I think I will treat this like the phenomenon that Type As can have beef broth - they just can't eat beef.
I am reading a book called "The Imitation of Christ" by a 14th century monk. I did not expect to find anything about the Blood Type Diet in this book, but here is a quote that came pretty close. "It is vanity to desire to live long and not to care to live well." I immediately thought of people who abuse their bodies for 50 years, then survive for the rest of their lives with aches, pains, and prescription drugs. I want to take care of my body so that I can live well.
Here is another, "It is a great folly to neglect the things that are profitableâ€¦and to choose to dwell upon that which is curious and hurtful." How many blogs and how many threads on the Forum deal with neglecting beneficial foods and dwelling on hurtful avoids? Truth is truth, no matter where you find it. Even more awesome is what he says about living the Christian life!
I missed my regular run at the park with the hill last week because of a schedule change involving my daughter and the car. I also got so wrapped up in yearbook pages, that I missed exercise altogether several other days. I could really tell a difference in my mood. I was impatient and had less energy. I recognized the problem Monday night and got up early to run on Tuesday in our neighborhood. I felt better immediately.
However, I don't let myself run on my 52-year-old knees more than once a week. So today when I went to the hill, I had to do something different. I decided to see how many different ways I could climb the hill in 30 minutes. Picture in your mind a hill with a jogging path around the bottom. Lots of little trails lead from the jogging path to the top of the hill.
I would take one path to the top of the hill, take a different path down, then jog to the next path up. I made five trips up and down the hill, with short jogs in between. I was breathing hard at the end. It worked a different set of muscles.
When I ran at the hill two weeks ago everything was still a winter brown. Today everything is green. Spring has arrived! There were butterflies, wildflowers, and several species of birds. Strenuous exercise lifts the spirits of a Type O. To get Type O exercise in the fresh beauty of spring is a truly delightful and uplifting experience.
I wrote several months ago about what I was doing to relieve pain in my right shoulder. All I can say is that nothing I have tried so far has made the pain go away.
Neither exercising nor letting it rest has made a clear difference. Massaging pressure points gives temporary relief if I get a sharp pain, but has had no long term effect. None of the supplements I have tried stops the pain; neither does Advil.
I am indebted to Don for writing about frozen shoulder. I did some reading about that syndrome on the internet, and the description matches my symptoms exactly. I seem to be at the beginning of the thawing stage. Most internet sites are brutally honest - there is nothing you can do to change the course of a frozen shoulder once it gets started. The good news is that it will eventually return to normal.
One of the things I tried that didn't work was the anti-inflammation protocol from the encyclopedia. I could not find Joshua Tree, but I have taken the other supplements for a month - glucosamine, ginger, cayenne, and bromelain.
While I was disappointed that they didn't cure my shoulder, I got an unexpected benefit. I had started to get stiffness and popping in my jaw. I asked my dentist about it, and he said that it was related to my Temporomandibular joint (TMJ). He said he wouldn't do anything medically unless it got a lot worse than it was.
After a week on the anti-inflammation protocol, my jaw was better. After two weeks, my jaw was almost normal. So, the anti-inflammation protocol in the Encyclopedia worked beautifully on the inflammation in my TMJ.
I will continue to do shoulder exercises and take the anti-inflammation protocol. The duration of the syndrome can be from 11 months to 3 Â½ years. Since I am at the beginning of stage 3 after 6 months, it appears that the action I am taking, while not making the symptoms go away, is keeping me toward the low end of the time frame.