Archives for: October 2006
Among our friends in our Sunday School class are a missionary to Eastern Europe and his wife, who is from the country where he serves. They are in the States for a year while he gets his masters degree; then they will return to the mission field. They are a delightful couple, and they invited us to their home for lunch on Sunday. I knew as soon as we accepted the invitation, that avoids would be unavoidable. Her English is limited, and where most of the time I can briefly explain to someone why I don't eat wheat, I knew in this case I could not make her understand. I decided that it was more important for me to be a gracious friend and guest than to offend her.
She served two dishes from her native country. One was a breaded chicken with cheese. The other she called surprise salad. I must have the recipe!! It was not only delicious, but think it was mostly beneficial, though I couldn't identify all of the ingredients. I guess she was afraid that we might not like her native foods, so she also fixed lasagna and garlic bread. For dessert she served a very light cake filled with raspberries and cream.
If I had served my own plate, I would have heaped on the salad, and had small portions of the avoid foods. However, our plates were served and passed to us. As long as I was going to eat avoids, I made up my mind to enjoy food that I hadn't eaten in ages, and I did.
I feel guilty, and I go hard on myself on the rare occasions that I eat avoids at home. I give myself a reprimand if I am out and I choose an avoid when a neutral or beneficial is available. Being a gracious guest is another matter entirely. Besides - it could be years before I eat another plate of lasagna!
Quoting from my Bible study this morning: A man trying to win a woman will do anything for her. She'll call him and say, "I know it's late and you're tired, and it's raining, but could you come over and change my flat tire?" "Sure, Ill be right over," he says. And over he comes with a smile. Now fast forward. They've been married 10 yearsâ€¦She asks him to get off the couch and do something for herâ€¦He moans and groans, then she gets upset. What's happening? What was once a delight has become drudgery - because the love motivation has cooled off.
Our problem isn't really obedience, it's keeping our love for Christ strong, for love makes obedience a joy.
You can apply that to your marriage or your spiritual life any way you want to. I'm going to apply it to the BTD.
When I first started the BTD everything was so new and exciting. I believed it might be the answer to my long term struggle with indigestion. Indeed it was, and so much more. I was reading and studying and trying new recipes. Compliance wasn't a problem because I so clearly remembered how bad I had felt before and how great I felt now.
Now fast forward. It's been more than three years. Some of that early excitement has worn off. I'm in a comfortable routine. I'm used to feeling good, and some days I take the BTD for granted. I don't try as many new recipes. If I get busy I may skip a day of exercise or eat easy-to-prepare neutrals instead of beneficials.
If you are going to have a good marriage, you have to work to keep the love alive. If you are going to have a living relationship with Christ you have to periodically return to your first love for him. If compliance to the BTD is going to be a joy, you must remember what made it fun and exciting in the beginning.
Pardon me while I go look through some new recipes.
I've found a neat quiz that purports to help determine your 'world view'.
What I especially like about this quiz is that you could agree with the premise along a spectrum, so that ticking a box in the middle translates into a sort of "I don't know, I don't care" answer, which is probably why I typed as a having a 'postmodern' world view.
"You scored as Postmodernist. Postmodernism is the belief in complete open interpretation. You see the universe as a collection of information with varying ways of putting it together. There is no absolute truth for you; even the most hardened facts are open to interpretation. Meaning relies on context and even the language you use to describe things should be subject to analysis."
Interestingly, the Blood Type Diet has been described in several articles as "The first postmodern diet."
If I remember correctly, in the Meyers Briggs world I'm something like a 'rational architect' or whatever, but I think this little quiz does a better job of putting you on the horns of a dilemma than does the MBI, which seems to just really attempt to describe you as something you probably already knew you were.
Coincidentally enough, I'm reading a little book called On Certainty by Ludwig Wittgenstein, which has a lot of interesting, aphorism-type stuff in it (in addition to some daunting philosophy and math). Right off the bat, a quote (p. 49) caught my eye and probably explains why my view of the world was such a dead-heat between existentialist and postmodernist:
"Knowledge is in the end based on acknowledgement."
Try it. You'll like it.
A locally owned Italian restaurant moved, and to promote their new location distributed buy-one-get-one-free meal coupons. Honorable Husband, Darling Daughter, and I decided to give them a try after church on Sunday. The special of the day, lasagna and salad bar, was HH's choice. DD decided on spaghetti and salad bar. The spaghetti portion was so large that DD brought home enough for two school lunchbox servings.
I went over the menu looking for something Type O. There was a chicken Cesar salad. Romaine would be beneficial and chicken neutral, but there would be multiple avoids in the dressing and Parmesan cheese. Besides, I don't like Cesar salad all that much.
Then I saw a steak sandwich topped with grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, and mozzarella. That sounded really good. Beneficial steak and onions. Neutral peppers and mozzarella. The mushrooms would be the unknown since some varieties are neutral and some are avoid. I decided to go with the steak sandwich and discard the bread.
A few minutes later the server came back to the table apologizing. They were out of bread, would I pick another lunch? I laughed and told her that I didn't eat bread and that I had ordered it because the inside of the sandwich sounded good. I told her I would be happy if she brought it to me without the bread. She couldn't believe it, and offered me a free trip to the salad bar. I accepted the salad, and assured her that the bread didn't matter.
When she brought our meals, mine was served in an individual casserole dish. The chef had filled it with thin sliced steak and grilled vegetables, then covered it with marinara and mozzarella. Then he heated it until it melted all together. It was incredibly delicious. I loved every bite.
As I finished, the owner came to the table. He told me about how wonderful the bread was that they usually served with the sandwich. He spoke with pride about the fresh vegetables and the veal he used in his food. He apologized and apologized for not serving it the way it was described in the menu.
When I could finally get a word in, I said, "No apologies necessary. What I want to know is, the next time we come, can you serve me exactly what you served today. It was perfect." He beamed and said, Of course we can." We will return to this restaurant with our without a coupon.
When Lloyd-O-Secretor started his pumpkin thread on the Forum on September 21, I began to get hungry for pumpkin. He wrote of waiting for the price to go down. I was waiting for pie pumpkins.
Since my first fall on the BTD I have cooked pie pumpkins and loved them - until last year. Most of the pumpkins I bought last year were dry, stringy, and/or flavorless. I bought them out of a bin that said pie pumpkins, but I think they were mislabeled. The last pumpkin I bought at the end of the season last year came from Colorado, and it was as delicious as the pumpkin I remembered from previous years.
I found Colorado Pie Pumpkins in the store this week, and baked one last night. As soon as I post this blog, I will have delicious pumpkin leftovers for lunch.
There are lots of right ways to prepare pumpkin, as you know if you've been reading the thread on the Forum. I bake mine whole. I wash off the outside skin and set the pumpkin, stem side up, on a baking sheet. I cook it at 325 - 350 degrees until I can mash in the sides. Yesterday's pumpkin took about and hour and 15 minutes to cook.
After it cools, I cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and remove the peeling. I mash the pumpkin in a big bowl and add pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, cloves, and all spice). I can't give you measurements because pumpkins are different sizes. I stir in some ghee, and sometimes a little pineapple juice.
I put it back in the oven at 350 degrees until it is heated all the way through. This lets the flavor of the spices permeate the pumpkin. I serve it as a vegetable. It's not sweet like a dessert.
Pie pumpkins do not have good seeds. I buy plump green pumpkin seeds year round, and eat them in trail mix and in nut butter. When my Darling Daughter was in elementary school, her teacher saved the seeds from a giant jack-o-lantern. The children roasted them, and DD brought some home. They were delicious.
I have roasted seeds from pie pumpkins and they are nothing but hull. You chew and chew and chew and you might as well be eating straw. If you want delicious pumpkin, buy pie pumpkins and throw away the seeds. If you want delicious seeds, buy the green ones in the health food store or buy a giant decorative pumpkin. Do not expect to get good seeds and tasty vegetables from the same pumpkin.
Sunday our church had a pot luck lunch for a couple who has been transferred to another city. They have taught children's Sunday School for years, indeed they taught both of our children. Our church will miss them, and my husband and I will personally miss their friendship
This did not turn out to be an ordinary pot luck luncheon. The ladies who organized it put out a flyer that asked everyone to bring an entrÃ©e and another side dish. There were no breads or desserts - usually the dominant pot luck foods.
There were lots of salads, both green salads and fruit salads. The best one I tasted had mixed greens, carrots, almonds and some kind of fruity dressing. There were a fair variety of vegetables. I took basil green beans, and there was only one spoonful left when I brought the dish home. Because everyone was asked to bring an entrÃ©e, there was plenty of protein. Some people brought casseroles, but others brought chicken and chili. I had picked up a two-pack of eye of round roasts at Sams. I cooked both of them on slow heat Saturday night. One went to the pot luck, the other went into my refrigerator.
So often I leave a church dinner either still hungry or feeling guilty for eating stuff that I know isn't good for me. Not this time. I had an abundance of Type O choices, and came home well fed, physically as well as spiritually.
I woke up Wednesday morning feeling great, and ran two miles. I was busy all morning, ate lunch, and went to school. I got home from school and had a full blown urinary tract infection. Incredible! How did it happen so fast, and without warning?
The only avoids I have had in several weeks were the two pieces of cheesecake for my daughter's birthday. I don't think I got a UTI from 2 pieces of cheesecake.
I am still struggling to be more disciplined about sleep. I can believe that vulnerability to the infection was affected by lack of sleep.
What I think is most likely is that this is the result of stress. I have always been fascinated by the "Life Change Events" study that deals with the probability of disease. My score in the past six weeks has been 190. Though the things that are going on in my life are good, change is nonetheless stressful.
Fortunately, the symptoms hit right before the doctor's office closed, so I got antibiotics quickly. (Don't even talk to me about natural remedies when the water in the toilet is pink and the bladder contractions are so painful they bring tears to my eyes.) I felt fine by the next day, though I know I have to finish the full 10 days of antibiotics.
If you aren't familiar with the Life Change Events" study, or if you haven't added your score in a while, here it is.
Stress is a major catalyst in the disease process. Life events such as a wedding, divorce, death, job change, job loss, and moving are all major stressors in life. The well known study on "Life Change Events" (Holmes and Rahe, 1967) ranks stressful events on a point basis. The more of these events a person experienced in a given time, the more likely they were to become ill.
* Death of Spouse - 100 pts.
* Divorce - 73
* Marital Separation - 65
* Jail Term - 63
* Death of Close Family Member - 63
* Personal Injury or Illness - 53
* Marriage - 50
* Fired from Work - 47
* Marital Reconciliation - 45
* Retirement - 45
* Change in Family Member's Health - 44
* Pregnancy - 40
* Sex Difficulties - 39
* Addition to Family - 39
* Business Readjustment - 39
* Change in Financial Status - 38
* Death of a Close Friend - 37
* Change to a Different Line of Work - 36
* Change in the Number of Marital Arguments - 35
* Mortgage or Loan over $10,000 - 31
* Foreclosure of Mortgage or Loan - 30
* Change in Work or Responsibilities - 29
* Son or Daughter Leaving Home - 29
* Trouble with In-Laws - 29
* Outstanding Personal Achievement - 28
* Spouse Begins or Stops Work - 26
* Starting or Finishing School - 26
* Change in Living Conditions - 25
* Revision of Personal Habits - 24
* Trouble with Boss - 23
* Change in Work Hours, Conditions - 20
* Change in Residence - 20
As soon as I got my husband and daughter out the door this morning, I went for a run. The weather was foggy and cool. It seemed to me that I ran faster than usual. It was a really good feeling.
My plan was to start a load of laundry, then eat my breakfast. However, I was out of laundry detergent. How did that happen? It wasn't even on the list. So I went to the store feeling hungry and wearing my sweaty clothes.
Very quickly I realized I should have grabbed at least a bite to eat. Walking down the produce isle was torture. Packaged spinach is back on the shelves. I stood in front of the spinach for a while, deciding whether I was going to be paranoid about e-coli. I decided, no. I have really missed fresh spinach. I bought a bag.
At the deli, I bought sliced roast and sliced turkey. They had a natural roast seasoned with garlic on sale. When the lady at the deli counter opened the package, she said, "Oh this smells so good. Do you want a taste?" That wonderful woman gave me an entire slice of roast. My hunger was satisfied.
I had hoped to buy the natural Black Angus ground beef that I blogged about last summer. But it has been discontinued. I guess there was not enough demand for hormone free meat. What a disappointment.
Another disappointment waited in the canned vegetables. I had been able to buy English peas without sugar added, but these have also vanished off the shelves. They did have organic peas. I read the label. It said, "organic sugar added." I laughed out loud, causing people to stare at me. Why would you add any sugar at all to organic peas? I went to the frozen food isle where the peas are truly natural. While I was looking for peas, I saw a new product - frozen artichoke quarters. The price was reasonable, so I bought a bag. It is worth a try, since fresh artichokes are so expensive most of the year.
My daughter says I am easily amused. I guess so if I can turn a trip to the grocery store into an adventure.
My Darling Daughter's birthday was over the weekend. She and a couple of friends spent the night at our house, went shopping, and watched movies. I fed them garlic chicken, lots of fruit, and Sue H's Italian herb bread.
For a birthday cake, DD wanted cheesecake. My mother makes the best cheesecake in the world. That is not an exaggeration. I reached a point (in my pre-BTD days) that I refused to order cheesecake in a restaurant because I was always disappointed. No matter how famous the restaurant claimed it's cheesecake was, my mother's recipe was the best.
I enjoyed indulging in a couple of small pieces in honor of DD's birthday. Cheesecake may be an avoid, but it is delicious. However it occurred to me that this recipe would be beneficial and neutral for Type Bs. Oh my, how envious I am. To eat my mother's cheese cake and know that it was good for me.
So if you are Type O or A, stop reading now. But if you are Type B, here is Suzanne's Mother's cheesecake. One more thing - she always made it with regular sour cream and cream cheese. For years I have used light. It does not change the texture or the taste.
Pat in pie crust that is neutral for your Type
12 ounces cream cheese
1 Â½ cup sugar (divided)
Â½ tsp vanilla
1 pint sour cream
Pat the pie crust into a baking pan. A spring form pan works best for me.
Beat cream cheese and Â¾ cup sugar together until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Pour this into the Zweiback lined pan. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cake will rise like a soufflÃ©. Remove from the oven and let it cool about 10 minutes.
Mix the sour cream with Â¾ cup sugar. Pour this on top of the cake. Put it back in the oven for 10 minutes. Let it cool 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.
I was at the store looking for dinner ideas. I try to build our evening meal around something that the Os and the As can enjoy together. Fish, chicken, turkey and eggs are all good choices. Nothing at the fresh fish counter caught my eye, so I moved on to frozen fish. I like keeping fish in my freezer, because it's fast and easy if I get home from school late. I bought a bag of frozen flounder.
It was not a good choice.
The As did not like it. They couldn't give me a reason why they didn't like it, but neither of them ate much. On a hunch I looked up flounder, and saw that it was avoid for As. My mistake! There is quite a long list of fish that are Type A avoids, and I don't have them all memorized. It was rather interesting, however, that both my husband and daughter somehow knew they shouldn't eat it.
Flounder is neutral for me, but I didn't like it either. There were too many small bones. My rational mind tells me that these bones are probably too small and soft to hurt me, but when I bite down on one of them or it scratches the side of my cheek, I have to spit it out. Though the fish tasted good, finding and discarding all those bones made this flounder too much work to be pleasurable. Despite that, I've been eating lots of flounder. I hate to just throw it away, and I don't want to give it to the As, now that I'm aware that it is an avoid. I had finished all but the last piece.
One night my husband and I had to make a decision before dinner. We were not in agreement at first, so we had to sort through the pros and cons. Suddenly I was hungry. It was probably the stress of the decision, but I was really hungry. I got the flounder out of the refrigerator and ate it (only two bones in that piece). It served its purpose. The protein calmed me down, we reached a good decision, and then I fixed a dinner we could all enjoy.
Flounder is off my grocery list. Cod is a better choice. It beneficial for us all, and no bones!