Archives for: May 2006
I expected proofs from yearbook deadline 3 to arrive early next week. So, I planned to have final deadline pages ready to go to the publisher on Thursday. Proofs came in early. Once proofs arrive, I have 3 days to make corrections and return them, or the publisher can void my delivery date. Yesterday I arrived at school faced with a double deadline.
Not only had my scheduling plans gone awry, but I didn't plan well for the BTD. I packed a good lunch and a good snack. But by 4:00 I had finished the proofs and all of my food. I still had deadline pages to get ready for a meeting this morning. I love my job, and I don't mind working late. But working late and hungry is not fun!
I finished the pages about 12:15 a.m. I had my grocery list in the car, but it was too late to shop. When I got home it was too late for dinner. I ate some leftover parsnips and some prunes and went to sleep.
There was not much food in the house for healthy breakfasts and lunches! My husband had juice and cereal. My daughter had a smoothie and a protein bar. I had frozen cherries and canned applesauce in my nut and seed mix.
I opened a can of vegetable soup for my husband's lunch. I packed it with cornbread, celery and carrot sticks and radishes. I packed my daughter a peanut butter sandwich on Ezekiel bread and applesauce. For myself I found a sweet potato in the back of the refrigerator. Hurray for frozen beef patties and frozen spinach. I fixed myself a very beneficial lunch.
Today's approval meeting is over. I have 2-3 hours of revisions to be ready for my final meeting with the principal tomorrow. I have almonds and raisins for an afternoon snack. My plan - finish up about 4:00, stop at the grocery store on the way home, and cook a delightful Type O and A supper for tonight. I hope today's plan works out better than yesterday's.
Last week took us all out of our routine. My husband was involved in a conference all week. My daughter had finals. My students were working on their last yearbook projects. We try not to make a habit of watching TV during dinner, but my daughter was of the opinion that a good chick flick was the best way to unwind from one day's finals and get ready for the next. Who was I to disagree, especially since BTD food was part of the plan. We watched old favorites like "Romancing the Stone," and found new favorites like "Phantom of the Opera."
This week will be the start of the summer routine. My daughter starts her summer job as a nanny. My husband's commute will be shorter since the traffic is significantly less after school is out. That means we both get to sleep a little later. I have one more busy week, fine tuning the last of the yearbook pages, then I can start my summer projects.
In between those atypical two weeks was Memorial weekend. Saturday and Monday we didn't even set the alarm. What a treat to sleep until I woke up! The neighborhood pool opened, and I swam laps. My shoulder is tired and a little sore, but no hint of freezing up. I didn't cook much. The refrigerator was full of food I had cooked during finals. We ate rather well the first part of the weekend, but tonight the refrigerator is almost empty. I'll have to be creative when I pack lunches tomorrow morning, and I really must get to the store tomorrow for fresh food.
I focus most of my attention on the food and exercise aspects of the Blood Type Diet. A holiday weekend is a good reminder that rest is also important to a healthy lifestyle.
I thought this question from my comment box was a good one: "You've been living with BTD for a long time. You should by now have your standard meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) under this diet. I would like to know what are you eating in these meals."
Breakfast: Almost every day I have a mixture of fruit and ground nuts/seeds. The fruit gets my blood sugar going, the protein in the nuts keeps my blood sugar stable all morning, and the fiber keeps me from being constipated (a problem for some Type Os). I put 2 Tbsp of lecithin, 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast, and 1 Tbsp rice bran in a bowl. I add 2-3 Tbsp ground nuts or seeds (flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, pecans and walnuts are favorites). I add 1 banana and 1-2 other fruits, frozen or fresh (grapes, blueberries, cherries, peaches, mango, pineapple, strawberries - the combinations are endless). I moisten it with water or fruit juice.
I eat very little grain* at any time during the day, but I especially try to stay away from grain at breakfast. I make muffins, pancakes and waffles for my Type As that are beneficial for them and neutral for me. If I'm going to eat them, however, I save them for an afternoon snack.
Lunch: I eat beef or lamb. My Type As are at school or work, so I eat food that is beneficial for me and avoid for them. With my beef or lamb I have 2-3 vegetables. I usually have cooked greens. Both of my As prefer raw greens, so we have salad for dinner, and I enjoy cooked greens for lunch. I may bake a sweet potato. I may finish off vegetables or legumes left over from the night before. A lot of times I toss the meat and vegetables in a bowl and top them with half of a grilled onion and some olive oil.
I don't eat sandwiches - two pieces of Ezekiel bread may be neutral, but I feel better without that much grain. If I want something that reminds me of a sandwich I will make a wrap using a sushi nori paper (there's a fairly recent blog about that called "That's a Wrap).
Dinner: I eat fish, chicken or turkey. We often have a romaine or spinach salad. Sometimes we have carrot salad or kohl slaw (similar to cole slaw but made with kohlrabi). I usually fix rice and a legume for my Type As. I eat the legume, but only occasionally eat the rice. I fix broccoli, squash, okra, artichoke, asparagus, green beans, whatever beneficial or neutral vegetables are in season. Occasionally we have omelets stuffed with vegetables.
Snack: I have a snack about mid afternoon. Fruit, trail mix, an egg, Ezekiel or manna bread, carrots and nut butter are all favorite snacks.
Eating this way I never feel hungry or deprived. I do not weigh or measure portions. I do not count calories. It is not a boring way to eat. There is plenty of variety by rotating fruits, vegetables, and legumes. I am much more likely to get bored with restaurant food (chicken salad, again) than I am with the food I prepare at home.
* No longer grain free. click here for more info
Some of you wrote to say that the ginger greens recipe is not in the TYPEBase recipe listing. Here is the original recipe.
from MD (Mary)
1 lb fresh spinach, stems trimmed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 Â½ oz sliced almonds
2 oz golden raisins
1tsp fresh ginger, grated
Â¼ tsp salt
Heat olive oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add almonds, raisins, ginger and salt; sautÃ© until nuts are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer almond mixture to small bowl
SautÃ© spinach in same pan over medium heat until wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in almond mixture and pepper. Serve immediately
MD has posted a delicious sounding recipe for ginger spinach. She said that she has also used the recipe with kale. I am eager to try it.
Yesterday I swam laps. Afterwards I stopped at the health food market. When I got home I only had 30 minutes to eat lunch and change clothes before leaving for school. I had cod left over from the night before in the refrigerator. Cold fish is ok with me. I also had turnip greens. Cold turnip greens aren't as good, but there was not time to warm them up.
As I dished up the turnip greens, I kept thinking about those ginger greens. On impulse, I put a spoon of ginger juice (no time to grate ginger, but I keep juice in the fridge all the time), a spoon of olive oil (no time to melt butter and saute), and a squirt of honey (no time to wait for raisins to plump up) on the cold greens. I stirred it together and tasted it. I thought I was eating dessert. It was delicious, even cold.
I am going to make the recipe the right way and serve it warm. I think even my husband, who doesn't usually care for cooked greens, will like it.
This verse was in my Bible study. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing Psalm 34:10. When I read that verse it makes me think of God as eager to bless us with good food and health if we will seek Him and trust Him to provide what we need for the way we are made.
It's been over a month since I mentioned my shoulder. I am very happy to report that the thawing continues at a better than average rate. My range of motion is noticeably improved since April 3. I am starting to see an increase in strength. Today I cleaned the shower and I was able to work harder and longer with my right arm. I am still following the anti-inflammatory protocol - but only once a day rather than two or three times.
The main thing I'm doing is exercises specifically for frozen shoulder.
After my April blog Sante_J recommended a book called "Anybody's Sports Medicine Book" by James Garrick. I ordered a used copy from Amazon.com. It is so encouraging about full recovery from frozen shoulder, rotator cuff, and other shoulder injuries. It recommends 4 exercises, which I now do daily. I only wish I had known about this book when my son was running track.
I did a lot of reading on the internet, and found a website called frozenshoulder.com. It has a free bimonthly newsletter. The first issue just promoted their products, and I intended to unsubscribe. Then the 2nd issue came and it was so helpful. Each issue talks about ways to deal with pain, and ways to speed healing. The exercises are similar to those in the Sports Medicine book, but the newsletter included an exercise that repositions the shoulders which I now do every night.
I asked a question of each person who wrote saying they had had frozen shoulder: Do you have a lot of muscle in your upper body? Everyone said no. They are like me with little upper body strength. The sample is way to small to draw a scientific conclusion, but I suspect that strong muscles around the shoulder may protect that joint from injury. At some point this summer I hope to be able to move from flexibility exercises to strengthening exercises. I want to do everything I can to prevent ever having frozen shoulder again.
I wrote a few days ago about cutting back on salt and how I had dropped several pounds of water weight. Do you know what I am finding under that water? Muscle. My efforts to build muscle have been working. They were just covered up with a layer of water!
I miss salt the most on salads. Rather than salad dressing, I had been using seasoned salt and olive oil on my salads. I will still do that sometimes, but I have been looking for alternatives.
One day I made a salad of romaine lettuce, spinach and grated turnip. (If you read my earlier blogs about turnips, I'll give a quick update. I have developed a taste for raw grated turnip in salad. I now find it a very pleasant addition.) I added some leftover lamb. Instead of seasoned salt, I sprinkled Â¼ tsp of curry powder on the salad before I drizzled on the olive oil. It was tasty.
Last night we had tossed salad with our beef patties and turkey patties. Instead of salt I sprinkled garlic powder on my salad. Was it as good as salt? No. But it wasn't bad either. And I know that too much salt is not good for me.
Lola uncovered this interesting information from Dr. D about water and exercise:
The exercise is fine, but the water drinking is only so effective. My advice is to get more water from water-rich foods rather than large glasses of water. Water from fruits and vegetables is matrixed into the cell structure of the food, which gets the water from the intestines into the lymph. Drinking water just gets it into the stomach, which sends it to the blood, which outputs it into the kidneys.
Out son has five days at home in between finals, a trip to Colorado with friends, and a summer job in Missouri. He lived in an apartment with three friends this year. Their schedules were so different, that they bought their own food and did not try to cook together. He mostly ate meat, eggs and fruit at the apartment. He ate one meal a day in the dining hall to get vegetables. He said there wasn't much variety - that green beans and corn were about the only cooked veggies. He ate a lot from the unlimited salad bar.
After hearing that I decided no salad, no corn, and no green beans this week. One of his favorite vegetables is acorn squash. I cook it whole in the oven. When it is soft, I cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and put a little butter or ghee and a little maple syrup in the hole.
When I went to the store the only acorn squash was enormous. It could have won a prize at a county fair. Alongside the acorn squash was a similar shaped squash called gold nugget. It was a more reasonable size, so I decided to try it.
It has a stronger flavor than either acorn squash or butternut squash. My son thought it was a little bitter. I thought it tasted rather rich. It was good, but we agreed that we prefer our old favorite.
Amaong the other side dishes I've fixed this week were : steamed broccoli, Italian zucchini & tomato, spinach & raisins, black eyed peas, wild rice, and adzuki beans.
We laughed tonight that he probably won't get anything except green beans and corn until he returns home in July. He is going to be a coach and camp counselor. I can't imagine that the dining hall at camp will serve anything but the most basic vegetables.
Have there been lots of Forum posts about cravings in the past several days, or am I just noticing them more because I had to deal with one on Sunday? When I am hit with a craving, it helps if I can figure out why. Avoids, stress, hormones, and homeostasis give me cravings.
The best thing to do for a stress craving is to exercise. My son knows this intuitively. When he was in high school, if he had a bad day or made a bad grade, he would go for a 3-mile run. He pounded the stress into the pavement. When I am stressed, what I want to do is eat and chill out. If I make myself get up and get moving, the stress starts to leave and the craving goes with it.
The only thing that helps a craving caused by homeostasis is to focus on the long-term goal. Our bodies were designed to maintain balance. If I exercise more or eat less, after a few days, something inside says "It's time to take in some calories and get back to the way you were."
I have never had any success fighting off a hormone craving. I give in every time. The best I can do is steer the craving toward less harmful neutral foods.
Sunday's craving was caused by an avoid. As soon as I recognized it for what it was, I began drinking water, and resolved not to eat any snacks. Munching carrots or nuts may help a homeostasis or hormone craving, but eating anything just fuels an avoid craving. I have to get the avoid out of my system. Water seems to help flush it out.
Sunday night I was involved in a concert at church. I had to leave home at 5:30 and didn't get home until almost 10:00. I ate an early dinner before I left. I tossed leftover chopped steak, collard greens, black beans, and onions in a bowl and tossed it with a teaspoon of olive oil. It was a filling dinner, and I put myself on notice that there would be no nighttime snacking.
When we got home from church, our son had arrived home from college. I fixed a light supper for the family and a big glass of green tea for myself. It was sweetened with stevia and I stirred in Â¼ tsp. of l-glutamine powder.
I woke up this morning and I was fine. I've eaten normally all day. This craving was conquered successfully. As for the next one - I don't know when it will come. I have to keep my guard up.
For many years we lived next door to a wonderful lady. She took care of our pets when we were out of town and shared our delight when our babies were born. After her husband passed away, she moved into a retirement community. She has her own apartment with two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. She has a lot of independence, but if she ever needs full time care, that is also available.
We wanted to stay in touch, and so we have taken her out to eat several times. She called last week and said that the dining hall was beautifully decorated for spring, and invited us to come for lunch on Sunday. While eager to visit with her, I was expecting institutional food. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Sunday brunch was a buffet with lots of choices. I had roasted chicken, smoked salmon, a vegetable mix, green beans, watermelon, and fresh pineapple. It was all nicely cooked and very tasty. I had no idea this kind of fare was even possible in a retirement community.
Then our friend said, "Come look at the dessert bar." I went, just to look, of course. They had coconut cream pie. I knew I was in trouble. Coconut cream pie - my favorite before the BTD - is 100% Type O avoid. I took the smallest piece and ate it slowly.
This afternoon I am fighting the cravings that always follow eating that kind of avoid. There was a time when I didn't understand why I felt so desperate for something else to eat. Now that I know it's the wheat and sugar trying to take over, I can resist.
Perhaps the title of this blog should have been Good choices (and bad) for seniors.
If you missed the Masterpiece Theater television production of Charles Dickens's Bleak House last winter you missed an outstanding mini series. I've read lots of Dickens, but the name "Bleak House" had always scared me away. Certainly the story has its sad moments, but the plot overall is much more positive than the name would imply.
Several weeks ago I checked the book out of the library. Time for recreational reading is rare during deadline season, but I find a few minutes here and there. Two of the characters left out of the mini series are Mr. and Mrs. Bagnet, friends and advisers of Mr. George, the soldier. This is how the reader meets the Mrs. Bagnet:
"Mr. George says to himself, "She's as usual, washing greens. I never saw her, except upon a baggage-wagon, when she wasn't washing greens!" The subject of this reflection is at all events so occupied in washing greens at present, that she remains unsuspicious of Mr. George's approachâ€¦Mr. Bagnet hospitably declares that he will hear of no business until after dinner; and that his friend shall not partake of his counsel, without first partaking of boiled pork and greens."
When I read about greens it made me smile. I wonder what kind of greens they were? Turnip, collard, mustard? The book doesn't say. Can you imagine a novel today talking about greens? Oh no! You might hear soda, pizza, or chip; perhaps even lobster or caviar. But greens? Definitely not!
I was a little disappointed about pork with the greens. Evidently Charles Dickens felt the same way. A hundred pages later the Bagnets enter the story again:
"Being shown out, they repair to Mr. Bagnet's residence to dine. Boiled beef and greens constitute the day's variety on the former repast of boiled pork and greens; and Mrs. Bagnet serves out the meal in the same way, and seasons it with the best of temper.
Seasoned with the best of temper. There is excellent advice for any blood type.