Archives for: July 2006
I have been with my parents for two days. My sister and her family are also with us. She lives in Europe, so we only get to see her for a few days each summer. There are 8 of us in the house and 7 of us want computer time. I will have to blog fast.
We had a very international lunch yesterday. My parents' church has both a contemporary and a traditional worship service. In addition they sponsor an Eritrean congregation that meets in their building on another day. Yesterday all three groups met together in one worship service. The choir from the traditional service sang with the band from the contemporary service. A soloist from the Eritrean church sang in both English and Tigrinia. It is amazing to me that I am blessed even when someone is praising God in a language I don't understand. I have experienced that before in Spanish, French, and German. It was equally true yesterday in Tigrinia. The sermon was in English. Either the Eritreans spoke enough English to understand what was said, or they had the same experience with the sermon that I had with the music.
After the service there was a pot luck lunch. "This," I thought to myself, "will be interesting." And indeed it was. There was an abundance of food, both familiar and new. I had some American brisket, green beans, and some cooked greens. The greens were delicious and well seasoned. I wish I knew what was in them. I'll have to look up Eritrean cooking on the internet!
My sister's birthday is in late July and my birthday is early August. So we celebrated both birthdays together. She gave me the most wonderful present. It is a wooden angel from Willow Tree. She gave me one called "good health". The angel is holding an armful of apples. It is not only beautiful, but it represents two of my passions: my faith and my interest in health and nutrition.
My husband and I are off on an adventure. In the 21 1/2 years since our son was born we have never taken a trip without the kids. I seem to remember leaving them with grandparents once when we went to a wedding, but that was just for a short weekend. This summer our daughter is working, and our son is in school. He has lived in apartment for two years, and she is a good cook. They are quite capable of taking care of the house and the dog. So we are going alone to visit several friends and relatives in other states.
Today I had lunch with a friend at a restaurant called Oodles. It is a growing national franchise that specializes in noodles. She suggested the restaurant, and I'll admit that I winced when she told me their specialty. I knew I could be in big Type O trouble.
What a relief when I saw a section of the menu called "Pasta Free Entrees." I chose a lettuce wrap with chicken, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, and broccoli. It was deliciously seasoned with herbs.
Type As would have a field day in this restaurant. Some of the menu items are just noodles and sauce, but most are mixed with generous amounts of fresh vegetables.
My friend and I talked about our children and our jobs. We talked about our churches and our spiritual lives. We talked about remodeling our houses and other plans for the future. We did not talk about the BTD because she does not know her blood type. I was amazed that a smart, resourceful, conscientious adult woman wouldn't know her blood type. She was amazed that blood type, which was so inconsequential to her, was so important to me.
This is a simple blog about how I juggle one family with two blood types. Before the BTD, my daughter did not like beef - except for chicken fried steak. Her Type O brother had introduced her to this food in a restaurant. While I was always pushing her to eat roast or steak, (she didn't get enough protein in my opinion) I never had to urge her to eat chicken fried steak. The week that I discovered the BTD, she stopped eating beef (and I haven't worried about her protein since). The only thing she missed was chicken fried steak.
A while back Deborah the blogger posted a recipe for turkey cutlets. I call them chicken fried turkey, and it has become a favorite recipe at our house.
If you missed the recipe:
Turkey cutlets - we like thick sliced rather than thin sliced
eggs (I don't think Deborah used eggs, but they are a tradition in Texas)
light olive oil
Lightly beat the eggs in a shallow bowl.
In a plate put a mound of rice flour, a sprinkle of salt and a sprinkle of turmeric. Sorry I can't give measurements - it really depends on your taste and how many cutlets you are making.
Dip the cutlets in the eggs then dredge them in the flour. I pound the flour into the cutlets with a meat hammer, but that isn't necessary. Quickly brown them in a skillet in the oil, then transfer them to a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.
Tuesday night I made chicken fried turkey. I served it with rice (instead of potatoes), broccoli, and watermelon. We also had carrot, celery and radish sticks. Everything was beneficial or neutral for both As and Os. There were two cutlets left over.
On Wednesday I packed the leftover turkey in lunches for my Type A husband and daughter. I cooked a roast, which I ate with my Type O son when he got home from school.
Wednesday night we all had chef salads made with romaine, spinach, carrots, celery, cheese (soy cheese for the As, mozzarella for the Os) and deli turkey.
Today I packed lentil soup for my husband and a peanut butter sandwich for my daughter. My son and I will enjoy the leftover roast.
For our evening meal, when we all eat together, I serve food that is beneficial or neutral for all. For lunches I serve food that is more oriented to individual blood types. It works for us.
My husband has been reading articles about Long Term Care Insurance - insurance that pays for nursing homes, assisted living, and home care if people can no longer care for themselves. I was not interested. I am on the blood type diet, after all. I am hoping that by living a healthy lifestyle , I will avoid some of the conditions plague the elderly. A couple of weeks ago he told me that an insurance agent was coming over to talk to us. "OK", I said. "Boring", I thought.
In that first meeting I learned two things.
1. Once you need long term care, you cannot get the insurance. If you have any major health problems you will not be approved for the insurance. If you have ever had cancer, you can't get the insurance. The rate for my husband because he is on blood pressure medication is much higher than mine. Companies write very few policies for people over 70. In other words, you have to buy it when you are still young and healthy.
2. The cost for long term care is phenomenal. I live in Texas, and the average nursing home/assisted living cost is $150 per day. That is almost $55,000 per year. That can wipe out your savings pretty quickly. If you have no savings, there are welfare programs that cover nursing homes - but not the nice ones, and certainly not the ones that offer healthy food choices. Texas, by the way, is on the low end of the scale. The cost in most states is much higher.
We have talked to three agents and looked at three companies. Tonight we will be signing a policy that suits us. Here are some of things you may want to check out.
Â· Not all policies cover home care. That is important to me, because I am much more likely to get good Type O food if I am at home than if I am in a facility.
Â· Some companies offer a basic plan and a more expensive top line plan. One agent only showed us the top line plan. We saved a lot of money by going with a basic plan.
Â· You can mix and match time and amount within a plan. Because my husband is older than me, I will probably be able to care for him. So my policy has more years of coverage than his.
Â· Costs are going up. You have to pay extra for inflation protection. We thought that feature was worth the expense.
Â· Not all policies waive the premium if you are collecting benefits (especially for home care). You could still be paying even after you are eligible for benefits.
Â· My husband, the engineer, calculates it this way. The amount we will spend on this insurance in 30 years would cover long term care for less than two years.
I'm not selling insurance. I don't recommend one company over another. I'm writing this blog, because this information was all new to me. I hope that by eating right and exercising right now, that I will not face the more common diseases of aging. But I live in a fallen world, and unless I am run over by a truck, my body will eventually wear out. I have some strong opinions about how I want to be cared for when I can no longer care for myself. It was something I needed to think about.
Some days I go through my normal routine - eating beneficial and neutral food and exercising - hardly giving a thought to the BTD. Other days I'm faced with tough BTD decisions. Yesterday was one of those days.
I attended a yearbook workshop with some students. To be honest, I'm not ready to think about school, but a certain amount of planning has to happen during the summer. Lunch was included in the workshop. I assumed it would probably be sandwiches; so yesterday morning I packed a bag of trail mix (walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds and raisins). If lunch was a sandwich, I'd eat the meat out of the bread and have the trail mix on the side. If I was lucky and they served a Type O lunch, I could have the trail mix late in the afternoon as I drove home.
When I opened my box lunch there was nothing (emphasize NO thing) that I could eat. There is a local franchise run by a Christian family. They care for their employees (they're even closed on Sunday so their employees can attend church), they keep their restaurants clean, and treat their customers well. But they use MSG in all their entrees. The box lunch was from this restaurant. I had a big white bun surrounding a chicken patty coated with bread crumbs and MSG. I also had a bag of high fat, high salt Fritos and a brownie. I ate my trail mix and drank a bottle of water.
On the way home I stopped at the grocery store. All the stores in my area carry frozen hamburger patties. All of them are high fat except one. These particular sirloin burgers have no additives and are very lean. The store was out of them and the UPC tag was gone from the freezer shelf.
I had a suspicion that they had been discontinued, and my natural inclination was to begin to get irritated. However I am trying to be more disciplined and remember that "All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28) I spoke kindly to one of the grocers.
While he was in the office checking the computer, I searched the shelf again and I found a new product. "HEB Natural Angus Beef Patties. No added hormones ever. No antibiotics ever, Always vegetarian fed, No additives or preservatives." It is the same price as the sirloin burgers! It is also available in 1 pound ground beef pouches.
The grocer came out apologizing; the sirloin was discontinued. "No problem," I said. "I have found something I like better." I showed him the package and asked how long they had carried it. It turns out to be a new product that has only been on the self a month or six weeks. Instead of being irritated, I was blessed.
I got a wonderful letter yesterday from my college roommate. She has been on the BTD since February and her cholesterol has dropped from 297 (Triglycerides were 166) to 243 (Triglycerides now 129).
Alice said I could share her story with you. She first heard about the Blood Type Diet when I mentioned my blog in a Christmas card two years ago. "I checked into it then and I said, nope, not for me! I could never do without bread, potatoes, or dairy! Later my sister was going to a whole-health chiropractor and he encouraged her to investigate the BTD."
Then last February Alice's doctor got upset because of her cholesterol readings. The doctor had cause to be concerned. Alice's father had a fatal heart attack when he was only 58.
"I had always had excellent numbers and it was within the last year or so that they had suddenly started climbing. The doctor gave me the "cholesterol diet" and said we'd retest in 3 months. I chunked that diet and decided to go with the BTD. I decided to wait a little longer to give it time and finally went Friday for tests. The one other thing besides BTD I've done differently is to add "Red Rice Yeast" which is a natural alternative to the statins with supposedly no side-effects."
"The nurse who called asked me if I've been on my cholesterol diet. If so she was going to let me continue without meds and see if it continues to come down. I didn't get into it with her, but just said yes (because I feel I am on a cholesterol diet.) If I continue to do well, I'll eventually tell my doctor, but she really is clueless on anything alternative. I figure she will be more likely to listen if I have definite results."
Alice wrote this about her level of compliance. "When I say I'm on the BTD, I haven't achieved the level of compliance that you have. What you said you were doing on the cruise is what I pretty much do daily (minus the one dessert a day.) I eat mostly beneficials, but don't usually read the labels for other ingredients. I rarely eat wheat, dairy, or corn. If we're out and everyone is eating a hamburger, I skip the fries (opt for a salad maybe) and eat the hamburger while pushing the top bun off as I eat. If we go eat Mexican foodâ€¦oopsâ€¦you can just imagine! So just think how great I'd be doing if I were greater compliance!"
I was so thrilled to get this letter! I know what the BTD has done for me. But this dramatic of an improvement in such a short time is something to shout about, and you can't argue with blood tests. If you know someone who is still bewildered about what a Type O should do for high cholesterol, read this final comment from Alice.
"Funny, I went to get a paper copy of my blood tests today and the doc has a note on them that I am on a "lowfat" diet. Ha! I eat lots of beef, nuts, fish, and eggs (I know even more than the BTD recommends, but even Dr. D' says his numbers are only recommendations). So I'm definitely not on a "lowfat" diet."
I've been Googling like crazy trying to find out how much truth there was in the Detox Seminar I took on the cruise.
The leader started by drawing a triangle and saying that in order to lose weight you had to pay attention to exercise, nutrition and detox. You will not be able to lose those last few pounds or inches without detox, she emphasized. Then she talked about all of the ways that toxins get into your body and where they are stored. The liver, kidneys and colon are three major areas. Cellulite, she said is when toxins are stored around fat cells.
She said that water alone would not flush toxins out of your body. If toxins are in your blood stream, water will flush them out of your system, but water alone will not release the toxins from the places where they are stored. The natural purifiers, she said, are algae and seaweed. There was a tendency to believe her because outside we could see our ship moving through beautiful blue water.
That was all she would say at the seminar. She wanted people to sign up for a test (using electrodes) to analyze their body composition. Then she would sell them the kind of seaweed they needed to cleanse their system. I'm not the kind of person who lets a stranger run electric currents through my body in order to convince me that I need to spend hundreds of dollars on her products. But I was curious about her theory.
When I Google seaweed and detox, I get hundreds of responses. Most of them are for seaweed plasters, creams or soaps. It does not seem logical to me that seaweed applied to the outside of my body would release toxins stored in my internal organs and fat cells. When I Google cellulite the consensus seems to be that it is hormonal and/or inherited rather than caused by toxins.
However I know seaweed and kelp are beneficial for Type Os. So I looked up Bladderwrack (a kelp) in the BTD encyclopedia and read that Dr. D. recommends it for detoxification in Type Os! Under primary action, it says "Traditional herbal medicine for weight loss."
I don't need to lose weight, but I do have some stubborn cellulite that no amount of exercise (and no amount of body brushing last summer) has had any impact on. I am increasing the amount of seaweed I eat and I'm taking Bladderwrack. I'll let you know if it changes the appearance of my legs.
Here are two pictures from the cruise. The first is me in a hurricane damaged part of Cozumel. The second is me snorkeling in Progresso.
If you can't see them, try this link
Just got done adjusting the valves on a 1973 Super Beetle. The car was a gift from Martha and the girls for my birthday, the result, no doubt, of ceaseless recitation about my drive out to Bastyr College (in Seattle) from Arizona in the late 1970's, all by my lonesome, and with a grand total of $80 in my pocket; in a virtually identical car.
Back then it seemed everyone drove a Beetle. They were inexpensive, widely available, and lent themselves to the machinations of the â€˜shade tree mechanic.' That 1974 bug stayed with me all through my naturopathic education and continued to render good service well into my first few years of practice, by which time I had moved back to New York City.
Somewhere on the Oregon Coast, 1981.
By the time I felt that I was ready to move on to a new car (a 1984 Toyota Corolla, if I remember correctly) that Bug and I were bonded on an almost Emersonian spiritual level; something that you could do with those older mechanical cars, that today's fuel injected, GPS, power-everything cars actually try their darnest to insulate you from.
Just the act of shifting a VW Bug is a sensuous joy. You can't force the stick shift; it will just repay you with grinding and bucking. Instead, you must glide it into place and wait until the car is ready for you. Then, you shift. Couple that with a delicate interplay of the clutch and you wind up with two types of classic VW Bug drivers: One who drives the car into the ground, and complains about it's fussiness; and the other, who sees the car as an extension of their nervous system.
The â€˜Bible' of the classic VW is John Muir's "How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive Forever; A Manual for the Compleat Idiotâ€?, usually just referred to on VW forums as â€˜The Idiot Book'.
Many people consider Muir's VW book the grand-daddy of all â€˜Idiot' type self help books.
Muir (who died in 1977) was my guru on all things VW. Interspersed with wonderful pen and ink drawings, The Idiot Book was a micro-encapsulation of late 1960's vernacular and perhaps more poignantly, late 1960's self sufficiency and hopefulness.
The book is full of short term fixes that will hold you until â€˜you get a bit more bread.' It could also take you through the entire process of pulling and rebuilding the engine, something I did once, by myself, entirely on Muir's guidance.
My new-old VW is in pretty good shape, with about 89K miles. There is a tremendous VW Bug community on the web, and many, many aftermarket and NOS (â€˜New-Old Stock; basically an original part that has hung on a shelf, or in a box, for the last thirty years.)
Some rust, but not too bad. The title showed only three owners, and I was pleased to see that the first owner was a woman who was in her early sixties when she bought the car new. Perhaps sadly, the next owner was the American Cancer Society. Finally, there was a third owner who apparently just let the car sit in a garage for a decade.
So here I am: A copy of Muir's Book, a pair of greasy hands and a smile from ear to ear.
While we were on our vacation, I followed the Blood Type Diet, except for the minor deviations I mentioned. I probably dropped from 97% compliant to 87%. My daughter stayed with the Blood Type Diet the whole trip. My son ate like a Type O except he ate too much wheat. Once he said, "Mom, does it bother you that I eat bread?" I told him that I got away with eating wheat for many years, but that it eventually caught up with me. "You are young and active," I said. "One of these days you'll start having trouble. At least when it happens, you will know what's wrong. It took me 10 years of experimenting before I learned what was causing the trouble."
My husband was a different matter. At home he eats like a Type A because I serve him Type A food for breakfast lunch and dinner. When we eat out, he usually asks me what would be good choices for him. But on the cruise he ignored the BTD and ate whatever he wanted. He had steak. He had shrimp, lobster, and many other avoids. He ignored the legume and vegetarian choices that would be good for him.
In the same way that I can't force someone to turn their life to God, I can't force someone, even someone I love, to eat right. In both cases, I have to wait until they sense the need for themselves.
On the last night of the cruise he had acid reflux, and was pretty uncomfortable. That did not stop him from having two hamburgers and my Mom's beef tenderloin en route home. He was, by then, quite miserable.
Our daughter lit into him. She told him he knew better than to eat the way he had. "Cows are cute," she said. "They are not for you and me to eat! Save the cows, Dad." He tried to flee to another room, but she stayed after him, fixing him peppermint tea and blasting him for his poor choices. He turned to me, but I just grinned. I didn't need to say a word.
Today he is much better. I think he has learned a lesson, but it took another Type A to teach it to him.
We left the ship, our enchanting home for five days. There were no worries. Delicious meals were prepared. Our room was cleaned twice a day. We just relaxed, listened to the water, and breathed fresh air. Relaxed doesn't mean inactive - not for a Type O. I got lots of exercise climbing stairs, working out at the gym, and swimming.
We stopped for a visit with my parents on the way home. My Dad is 88, and his skin has become fragile. Every time I see him he has a bandage some where from a cut. He bumped his leg, and what should have been a minor injury became seriously infected. Fortunately he responded quickly to antibiotics. I must see if I can find some natural supplement that would strengthen his skin.
When I first started the BTD my Dad went to the library and checked out the books. He has always eaten a lot of vegetables and a lot of beef. Now he uses soy milk instead of cow's milk and has cut back on wheat. I'd say he is 75 - 80% on the BTD.
He has a Norwalk hydraulic juicer that he is going to give me. We had way too much luggage this trip and couldn't squeeze it into the car. It is an older model 235, I believe. The only problem is that he can't find the instruction book. Another thing on my to do list - find out how to operate and clean the machine.
My Mom fixed beef tenderloin for dinner. After the first bite I said, "The chefs on the cruise ship can't hold a candle to your cooking." She laughed, but I wasn't kidding. The first meal I fixed at home included turnip greens and parsnips with ghee. I just realized I never saw cooked greens on any menu on the ship. I guess greens are too practical or down home for elegant dining.
The grass needs to be mowed, and the paperwork has stacked up. There is a mountain of laundry to do. Vacation was wonderful, but now we're back on terra firma (solid ground).
As my husband and I ate breakfast I noticed one of the food service officers standing nearby. I introduced myself as a blogger on a nutritional website, and asked him to sit with us for a few minutes. I wanted to know how they handled passengers with specific dietary needs.
Tamas Pata, assistant manager, said that when a travel agent books a Carnival Cruise, the agent is supposed to ask about special diet needs. I vaguely remember them asking me that question, and my answering no. Mr. Pata said on the first day of the cruise someone from food service contacts each passenger who indicated special needs. They bring menus for the whole cruise. You select what you want to eat and list any foods you can't have. Your food is prepared and served to you in the dining room.
As an example, Mr. Pata told of a person who was allergic to garlic who wanted fish with garlic sauce on Day 3. Their fish was served with a garlic-free sauce.
"I've seen it all," Mr. Pata said. "Wheat and dairy allergies, garlic and shellfish allergies, kosher and other religious diets. A few people choose to bring their food on board, but we can accommodate most people."
If you tell the travel agent ahead of time, they will even bring additional food on board. For instance, whole milk, lowfat milk and chocolate milk are standard items, but if I had said that my daughter needed soy milk, they would have had it on board and available for her.
Food on the buffet line is not specially prepared, so a passenger with severe reactions would have to be very careful there. But anything served in the dining room can be adjusted for a passenger's needs.
Today was a wonderfully relaxing day at sea. We did several activities together as a family, and each of us also spent time pursuing our own interests. I went to an art auction, and found it to be quite interesting. We all met at the hot tub before we got dressed for dinner.
My dinner began with mango soup. It was so good, the meal would have been a success if it had ended right there. Every night I have had the garden salad with olive oil because the specialty salad came with dressing pre-applied. If I had met with food service on that first day, I could have had the "hearts of romaine" salad served to me plain.
My entrÃ©e was Beef Wellington, another famous dish I have read about, but never eaten. It was served with ginger carrots and broccoli. In addition, my daughter gave me her asparagus and zucchini. This was the best night for veggies on the trip. Because of the abundance of vegetables, it was easy to enjoy the steak, but leave the crust of the Beef Wellington behind.
I ordered a fig cake for dessert. It was nice, but not good enough to be worth the wheat. After dinner we wandered the deck, watching people and enjoying the sea breeze. Tomorrow we leave this pampered place and return to the real world.
Our arrival in Progresso, Mexico was delayed because of fog. There wasn't any hurry for breakfast, so I stood in line for an omelet. Just watching the chef flip the eggs in mid air was worth the wait. I ordered an omelet with onions and peppers, but no cheese.
Once the fog lifted we headed for the beach. We did a lot of swimming and snorkeling. The beach was sandy. There were no big breaking waves, just the gentle kind that feel good when they splash against you. We rented a jet ski for part of the day. Neither of our kids had ever driven a jet ski, but it didn't take them long to learn. They had a marvelous time following the shoreline and jumping waves.
Once again I visited the weight machines in the gym before dinner. The range of motion in my shoulder has noticeably improved in three days.
When I eat out in a restaurant, I usually try to find something in the $6 to $8 dollar range. If it's a special occasion like an anniversary or Valentine's Day, I may order a $11 or $12 meal. But I just don't look at the side of the menu with the $20 and $25 entrees. It's not that my husband ever said I couldn't; it's my own choice. I guess that since I do the shopping and cooking, I'm just aware how much food I could buy for the cost of one fancy dinner.
However, on a cruise, the meals are already paid for. I can order anything I want with a completely clear conscience. Tonight I had something that I have often seen on the other side of the menu, but I would never have dreamed of ordering - Chateaubriand. It was served with steamed broccoli and baked zucchini, and was indescribably delicious. For dessert I had baked pineapple. I must find a recipe for this! It was wheat free, and absolutely luscious. This was a Type O meal cooked to perfection.
We went ashore on Cozumel today. There were multiple opportunities for physical activity. We took a taxi to San Francisco beach and snorkeled all morning. A little way out from shore were seaweed beds where an amazing variety of tropical fish were swimming. My favorites had bright blue and bright green bands. There was no surf, and the water was crystal clear. It was hard to tell whether I was in five feet of water or way over my head.
For lunch I had an apple from the ship and a bag of homemade trail mix. The trail mix was almonds, walnuts, pecans, raisins, and pineapple, one of my favorite combinations.
We took a glass bottom boat ride out to a coral reef where we saw even more beautifully colored fish. We did a little shopping and took a long walk along the shore. I have to say it again; the water is just incredibly beautiful.
Before dinner I went by the gym for a few minutes on the weight machines. I want to take full advantage of the opportunity to work on specific muscle groups while I have the chance.
Dinner presented a tough choice: sirloin or turkey. The sirloin came with potatoes. The turkey came with sage dressing, parsnips and yams. I was very curious what the ship's gourmet chef would do with parsnips, so I went with turkey. I had expected turkey on one side of the plate and three little mounds of the three accompaniments on the other. Instead they put the dressing in the middle of the plate, topped it with mashed parsnips, and topped that with mashed yams. Two slices of turkey covered the vegetables, and gravy was poured over all. The flavors just blended together. It was good, but not as outstandingly tasty as I had anticipated.
There was a party on deck with a Mexican food buffet after the evening show. The kids were going and I joined them. I had not planned to eat again, but the food was too good to pass up. There were salmon enchiladas, black bean tostadas, and steak tacos. All were hors d'oeuvre sized, and I tried one of each. I also had guacamole, but no chips, not even the wrapping around the enchilada and taco. Protein at midnight is one thing, but I didn't forget myself so far as to have grain just before I went to sleep.
Today was what they called a "fun day at sea." My daughter and I agreed last night to start the day in the gym. I set the alarm, and we slipped out of the room at 7:00. I did 20 minutes on an elliptical trainer and 30 - 40 minutes on the weight machines. The elliptical trainer frustrated me at first. On the fat burning setting the machine wouldn't let me go as fast as I wanted to go. I switched to the cardio setting, and the machine kept changing from fast to slow then fast again. Finally I put it on manual and ran at a steady pace that was comfortable for me. I loved the weight machines. I did a pretty aggressive leg work out. I was more cautious with my arms, but my shoulder felt fine.
My daughter spent about 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. Afterward she said, "Mom, I know you like this kind of exercise, but it isn't for me. You feel great, but I feel drained." What can I say? I am an O and she is an A.
We showered and went to the breakfast buffet. Two words describe the buffet - pork and pastry. Ham, bacon, sausage, pancakes, French toast, and Danish were in abundance. I ate half a grapefruit, a banana, and a lot of scrambled eggs.
My husband found a shady spot where he could read. The kids went to the pool. I decided to go to a free detox seminar at the spa. It was very interesting. When I get back I want to do a little research on what the lady said, then I'll blog about it.
Lunch was roast and vegetables from the buffet. They had fresh fruit tarts, so I had my dessert for the day at lunch. My son said, "Mom, you're on vacation, you should splurge a little." I laughed at him and said, "One dessert a day IS splurging."
Among the dinner choices were two of my all time favorite foods, prime rib and lobster. How could I choose? I went with the lobster because it came with vegetables and the prime rib came with a potato. My son told the waiter he would like prime rib first, but might also want a lobster. As soon as he took the last bite of prime rib, that plate was whisked away and replaced with a lobster. They really spoil you on these cruises!
When the waiter brought the dessert menu, I told him I would like to have a half a piece of prime rib instead of dessert. He looked at me very seriously and said he couldn't do that. I didn't think it was fair - he brought my son two entrees, why not me? The waiter continued, "The kitchen is not set up for half portions. I'll bring you a whole slice and you can eat what you want." So while my family ate dessert I ate prime rib. It was delicious, and I ate every bite.
We boarded the ship after lunch on Friday. After finding out stateroom, we began to explore. I can already see that a certain level of exercise is built into living on a cruise ship. Our room is on Deck 5 in the bow. We eat on Deck 8 in the stern. The pool is on Deck 10, the hot tubs are on Deck 11, the gym is on Deck 12, and the walking track is on Deck 13. Shows are in an auditorium on Deck 8, and the Purser's desk is on Deck 9. We are going to be climbing stairs and walking from one end of the ship to the other all day.
Our first dinner was quite an experience. Everyone dressed up, not necessarily in formal wear, but in nice slacks and dresses. We were served a four-course meal. My appetizer was asparagus soup, and it was delicious. The salad choices were romaine and tomato tossed with a house dressing or a mixed green salad with a choice of dressing. Because I wanted only olive oil, I chose the mixed greens. It was about half iceberg lettuce and half beneficial greens. The olive oil was excellent quality.
My entrÃ©e was lamb. It came with potatoes and root vegetables. I asked if I could substitute the green beans that came with a chicken dish for the potatoes. Our waiter seemed flustered by the request; evidently I had asked for something that would hamper the system. However he brought my dinner as I requested it. I think the lamb I cook at home is delicious. This lamb was even better. It was tender and superbly seasoned. The vegetables were wonderful.
For dessert I chose something called lavender ice. I'm not sure what was in it, but it melted in my mouth. After dinner we went out on deck. It is so relaxing to hear the swoosh of the water and look at the stars.
I have been packing for our vacation. We are going on a cruise. This is a first for me. I have traveled to many different places in many different ways, but never on a cruise.
Based on what friends have told me about food on cruises, I have spent some time planning my cruise philosophy. I'm going to avoid the big obvious avoids. No rolls at dinner, no sandwiches, no milk or cheese, no potatoes, no pasta. However, if I order something beneficial like steak, lamb, spinach, or sweet potatoes, I'm not going to worry about the ingredients in the sauce or seasonings.
I'm going to eat one dessert a day. That will certainly include some wheat and dairy products. This is vacation; I'm going to enjoy myself that much. I've heard that on cruises they serve food 24 hours a day. At home I don't eat after dinner time - I'm going to keep that rule on the cruise. I don't drink alcoholic beverages, and I have no intention of starting on this trip.
There is supposed to be a gym on board, so I hope I can work out on some weight machines. There is also supposed to be a jogging track. Two days we will go ashore to swim and snorkel. I'm going to be sure I get lots of exercise.
I'm packing calcium, magnesium, multiple vitamins, and bladderwrack. After the recent media madness about prescription drugs after a Caribbean vacation, my husband said we should only take pills in their original bottles. I take several other daily supplements, but I'm leaving them behind. The break might be good for my body anyway.
I'm packing my nut and seed breakfast mix. I'm also packing nuts and dried fruit so that we can make trail mix for our two days on the beach. There's a lot of packing left to do before we load the car. I'd better get busy.
With gas prices so high, I've been doing more errands on my bicycle this summer. I rarely drive to the post office or the bank any more. I've even taken to dropping clothes off at the dry cleaners. It's too hot and humid to run except in the early morning, but I can ride any time of the day. The wind in my face keeps me comfortably cool.
The other day I rode to the grocery store. I don't do much grocery shopping from the bicycle because I can't carry very many things home. On this particular day I had a short list. I was loading my grocery sacks into the bicycle baskets, completely oblivious to what was going around me.
A voice asked what I was doing. It was a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. We visited for several minutes catching up on each others lives and what our kids were up to. She asked again what I was doing. I said that I tried to do a different exercise every day. Sometimes I ran, and sometimes I swam. I saved up errands close to home and did them on my bicycle.
She said "I could do that!" I don't know if she has followed through, but I hope so. Bicycling is fun because I am outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Bicycling can be strenuous enough for a Type O, or relaxed enough for someone just starting to exercise. When I ride the stress melts away, and when I get home I can check several items off of my to do list.