Archives for: January 2007
I've been dabbling around the edges of the Menopause BTD, asking lots of questions. Yesterday convinced me that I'm going to have to make a more serious commitment. Among the tissues that are drying out are my eyes.
Two weeks ago I had a sudden sharp pain in my right eye. It was very scary, because at the time my nephew was in the hospital with a critical cornea infection. I got into the doctor the next day. After looking at my eyes for a long time, he said I had several small scratches, and he thought it was the result of a virus. He gave me an antibiotic ointment and told me to come back in two days. When I went back, the doctor was very pleased. The scratches were almost healed. I continued the ointment for the rest of the week, and went back to my usual routines.
Saturday night I went to bed feeling perfectly normal. Sunday morning the alarm went off, I opened my eyes, and felt a sharp pain. Lubricating drops did not help. I started the ointment again, but it didn't help much either. This was even scarier than before. Not only did it hurt more, but I was concerned that the virus had relapsed.
After church I called the ophthalmologist's office and spoke to the doctor on call. He said, "Based on what you're telling me, I don't think it was a virus. You wouldn't have gotten over a virus that fast. I think that you have very dry eyes. Your lashes are sticking to your cornea in the night, and when you wake, you are scratching your cornea. Use the ointment every 2-4 hours if you have to keep your eye lubricated. If you don't feel better by tonight, call my cell phone, and I will meet you at the office."
Wow - It has been years since I dealt with a doctor with that attitude of service! The more I thought about it, the more I thought he was right about the dry eyes too. Everything else was drying out and hurting, why not my eyes as well. My eye was slightly better by the end of the day, and much improved by morning. I guess I will have to start using lubricating drops morning and night.
If giving up a few more foods and adding a few unfamiliar foods on the Menopause BTD will keep be from drying up, I'll do it. It hurts to read today because the ointment floats around, making the letters swim. Tomorrow, I'm going to start reading the menopause book from the beginning.
I met a friend for lunch on Monday at a coffee shop. I had a delicious sandwich, without the bread of course. It was a grilled chicken breast topped with grilled bell peppers and tomatoes and topped with melted mozzarella cheese. It would have been all neutral for a Type O. When I got home and looked at the Menopause diet, I saw that the peppers and tomatoes were avoid; and mozzarella was neutral allowed infrequently. I feel like I'm starting over. I'm having to learn the rules again.
This afternoon I came home from school famished. I ate some pumpkin seed butter with carrots and rice cakes with ghee. Then I remembered to check the book. Pumpkin seeds and carrots, fortunately, have stayed the same. But ghee and rice cakes used to be neutral. Now ghee is beneficial, and rice cakes are infrequent neutrals.
When I first started the BTD, I asked "Why?" a lot. I wished the book explained why foods were classified in certain ways. As I followed the BTD, I saw it worked, and I came to trust the food lists. I didn't ask as many questions; I just stuck by the lists.
I find myself asking "Why?" again. Why are apples and grapes infrequent neutrals. Why did 7 types of mushrooms become beneficial? Then I ask myself a more important question. If the menopause diet works, and my dry, uncomfortable, painful tissues regain some of their moisture, will it be worth it. The answer to that question is a resounding yes!
I ordered my first book from Dr. D'Adamo's Health Library and it arrived yesterday. Suddenly I'm reading the explanations behind some of the super-beneficial food designations I've seen on TYPEbase4. I had all of the Type O secretor food designations memorized, but so many foods have changed, that I'm having to look everything up on the list again.
I did not want to write about menopause. First of all, it's a rather personal topic. Second, it's of no interest to any men or to women under 40. I'm going to give a little background on why I bought the book. From then on, I hope to focus on what I'm learning from the Health Library. That information would be just as useful if you were thinking of buying the books on diabetes, fatigue or allergies.
I was almost through menopause when I started the Blood Type Diet. I was fortunate. I had coasted through with warm flashes instead of hot flashes. I was a little more impatient, but I had no depression or any of the other psychological changes that frequently accompany menopause. Every time I talked with a struggling friend, I realized that I was blessed.
Then last year the lack of estrogen made my tissues dry out. My doctor uses the word atrophy, but dry more accurately describes what I experienced. I will not bore you with how I felt or what self measures I tried. If I had recognized that my symptoms were related to menopause sooner, I would have bought the book sooner. Perhaps then things wouldn't have gotten so bad. However, when I had two bladder infections in one month, I knew it was time to see my doctor.
I started the conversation by saying I did not want to do Hormone Replacement Therapy. To my surprise and delight, he agreed. He had recently read follow up statistics to the study about HRT and cancer, and he does not prescribe it except in extreme circumstances. He mentioned hormone cream, and then proceeded to tell me that while the risk was less than with oral hormones, there was a systemic effect and that the hormones did show up in blood tests. He said, before I prescribe it, you must be aware of the risk. He had another alternative for the bladder infections, which I am currently using, but I'm hoping that the specific diet for menopause will eliminate the need for it soon.
I should have started at the front of the book and read straight through, but I turned to the food lists first. There are some significant changes! Two new categories have been added: super beneficial and neutral allowed infrequently. The book says that neutral allowed infrequently foods should be eaten rarely, if at all. I noticed that sweet potatoes are still beneficial, but yams have moved to neutral allowed infrequently. In my grocery store, the words sweet potato and yam are used interchangeably. Fortunately the explanation under yam on TYPEbase4 cleared up this mystery. If you buy it in the US, it's almost certain to be a sweet potato and not a yam.
I love sweet potatoes. When I started the Blood Type Diet, I didn't mind giving up Irish potatoes at all, but I was relieved to read that sweet potatoes are beneficial. I probably eat them 2-3 times a week. I put them in the oven on a cookie sheet and bake them at the same time I'm cooking beef or chicken.
At dinner tonight I took a mouthful of sweet potato and it felt like a mouthful of steel wool. I spit out that first mouthful, and inspected what was left of the potato. Hard, stringy fibers were under the skin all the way around. I was able to salvage about 1/3 of the potato right from the middle.
I thought - what if that was the first sweet potato I had ever eaten? I would think sweet potatoes were terrible, and I'd never try another one. Fortunately I only get a bad sweet potato once every 4-5 years.
Something similar happened a couple of months ago with parsnips. I was slicing parsnips to steam them. I noticed that one had a different color running through the center. It looked sort of like a target. I didn't think anything more about it until I bit into one of those parsnips. It was as if there was a dowel rod through the center. It was hard as a rock. I have never had a parsnip like that before or since, but what if that one had been my first parsnip?
If you are trying unfamiliar beneficial veggies, and at first you don't like them - give them a second chance. It may be that you just happened upon a dud. It may be that you need a bit more experience picking out vegetables. (I'm more likely to get a stringy sweet potato with a long thin one than with a short round one. I'm more likely to get an apple with a rotten core if it doesn't have a stem)
It may also be that you need a little time to develop a taste for a new vegetable. Turnips and seaweed were that way with me. My first impression was very negative, but I'm glad I gave them a second (and a third) chance.
We have made it through the two days of a winter ice storm without losing our electricity. The weather is supposed to moderate by midday tomorrow, but tonight is the worst weather yet. If it was just a little colder, it would snow, and that would be fun. If it was dry, the temperature wouldn't be a problem at all. But it is 31 degrees and raining - a treacherous mix for cars, trees, and electric power lines.
I blogged last February about fasting. I just reread what I wrote, and I still agree with everything I said. Fasting does remind us that we are sustained not by "bread alone," but by the Word of God, and it helps us focus our thoughts on God rather than being distracted by daily routines. Fasting does level out my hunger pangs and make me more satisfied with three meals a day.
However, after several months, fasting every week became too taxing on my body. It's hard to explain, but as I approached the day, my body recoiled against the prospect of a fast. I became headachy and irritable in the afternoon. When I started regular fasting, the spiritual benefits overshadowed the physical deprivation. Gradually the physical discomfort began to cancel out the spiritual side.
I still fast, but not on a schedule and not for health reasons. When I have a spiritual goal in mind, my body responds very positively to a fast. But regular fasting is not for me.
I blogged last summer about bringing home an old hydraulic press juicer that my parents no longer wanted. I was excited about being able to make nut butters without oil, and about the advantages of pressing rather than spinning vegetables to get juice. After 6 months, I am about to sell the hydraulic juicer on e-bay and bring my old centrifugal juicer back in from the garage.
If I was going to drink juice every day, I would probably love the Norwalk juicer, but I like to drink juice on a whim. By the time I assemble it, make the juice, wash all the parts, and clean the bags, the desire for juice has dimmed. I can make nut butters with less oil than I do in my food processor, but I still have to add oil to make them creamy - even when I use 1/3 walnuts or pecans.
If you've been saving your money for a hydraulic juicer, think about how you plan to use it. If you drink juice every morning, you'll probably love it. If you plan to make and store lots of nut butter, it will probably be a good investment. For an occasional glass of juice, you'll probably be happier with a simpler juicer.
I used to love bran muffins, back in my health nut days. The first books I read emphasized that the typical American died didn't have anywhere near enough fiber. In addition to switching to whole grains, the authors suggested adding wheat bran to recipes. I had two really great bran muffin recipes, and I baked them often.
Of course 25 years later when I read Dr. D'Adamo's books, I realized that while I did indeed need plenty of fiber - wheat bran was the wrong kind of fiber for Type O or Type A. Sigh - the bran muffin recipes gathered dust.
Friday morning I decided to make Rice Bran Muffins. I used my 2nd favorite recipe, substituting rice bran for wheat bran. The batter was a little thin, so I added some soy flour. I put them on the table for my As to taste test. My daughter, who likes fruity muffins, chewed thoughtfully. "They're good," she said, looking at her Dad. "But they don't have a lot of flavor, Dad will probably add honey."
My husband took a bite and smiled. "I like them," he said, and he proceeded to eat a dozen mini muffins. I tried them for a snack later in the day. They really were good. They have the same flavor as a bran muffin, but they're not quite as course.
Here is my 2nd favorite Bran Muffin Recipe.
1 Â½ cups rice bran
Â½ cup juice
Â½ cup sugar
1 1/8 cup flour (I used rye)
1 Â¼ tsp baking soda
Â½ tsp salt
Â¼ cup oil
1 cup soy milk
Combine the rice bran and the juice. Set it aside. Combine the dry ingredients. Add them and the oil and egg to the rice bran. Add the soy milk slowly. You may not need the full cup. Bake in muffin tins at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
I'm not the only one in my family who thought Christmas break was too short. Strong son spent most of his holiday finishing a correspondence course and filling out graduate school applications. He enjoyed some fun moments, but didn't get to totally relax the way he usually does on holidays.
For his last night at home I tried a recipe for turkey cutlets that Vickie posted on the Forum a while back. It was unanimously declared a winner - and it's not often that all four in my family reach that kind of agreement on a new recipe.
I don't do much frying, so I browned the cutlets briefly in light olive oil, then baked them in the oven. When I processed 6 rice cakes, I had way more crumbs than I would need for the coating. So instead of mixing 2 pieces of compliant toast into the meat, I mixed about 1/3 cup of the rice cake crumbs. I was out of mushrooms, and I couldn't decide between parsley and cilantro, so I used both.
I served the cutlets with sweet potatoes, green beans, broccoli, and grapefruit.
Here is the original recipe:
6 rice cakes 1 pound ground turkey
2 pieces of compliant toast 1 tsp. parsley or cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground clove 1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt Ghee for frying
10 - 12 baby portabello mushrooms
Pulverize the rice cakes in a food processor. Place in a shallow bowl.
Process the toast in food processor, and put in medium sized bowl. Stir nutmeg or clove and salt into the bread crumbs. Wash and remove stems from the portabello mushrooms. Process the mushrooms in the food processor until fine. Add mushrooms, cilantro and ground turkey to the spiced bread crumb mixture. Form patties from well mixed meat mixture.
Beat egg in shallow bowl. Dip each patty in egg, then in rice cakes powder.
Place patties in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set the coating.
Heat ghee over medium heat and fry patties about 5 minutes per side
I had my annual physical this week. When the doctor listened to my heart he said, "Your heart rate is nice and slow. Do you exercise?" I said yes, and he asked what I did. I said that I loved to run, but I only let myself run one day a week. He raised his eyebrows and asked why.
I said, "I love to run, but I've known too many people my age who have ruined their knees by running too much, so I only run one day a week." I went on to say that I do something almost every day. I swim, I bicycle, and I walk with my husband."
"Well," he said, "It's certainly working." I did not remind him that I was Type O, and strenuous exercise is beneficial for me. I've mentioned the Blood Type Diet in years past. He can't deny that I'm in good shape and obviously doing something right, but he can't admit that it has anything to do with my blood type.
I spent most of today sitting in a meeting, so I need to get some exercise tonight. My son is reading, so after I post this blog, I think I'll spend some time on his rowing machine.
In my last blog I wrote my observation that wheat makes me gain weight, and dairy irritates my stomach. While I wrote that blog, I was at my computer burping and wishing I had not indulged in a cup of eggnog two days in a row.
After I posted the blog, I took two bladderwrack and went to bed. I knew my chances of waking in the night with an upset stomach were pretty high. To my delight, I slept through the night and woke the next morning feeling great.
Bladderwrack is one of the main ingredients in Deflect for Type Os. I've never tried Deflect. I figure that if I don't eat avoids, I don't need a supplement to counter act the effects of lectins. I still think that is the philosophy that will do me the most good in the long run, but it is nice to know that 2 bladderwrack will give me relief the next time I'm trapped into eating dairy, or the next time I yield to holiday traditions.
I've learned something about being a Type O. In order to share it with you, I have to make a confession. I broke my own rule about no avoids at home, and I've had a cup of eggnog two days in a row.
Nearly 4 years ago, I had indigestion that was getting progressively worse and was not responding to any of the usual GERD medications. My doctor did an upper GI scope to make sure something serious was not going on, but all she found was inflammation. In what I believe was a providential way, I found the Blood Type Diet. In a week I was off of all medication and I was free of pain. During that first year, I gradually lost a little more than 10 pounds.
I have noticed over the years that whenever I eat wheat, my weight goes up 2-3 pounds for 3-4 days. That is good motivation for staying away from wheat! I've also noticed that if I eat peanuts, I get really sleepy. I had never tried to analyze what was the main culprit for the GERD. It was enough for me that it was gone for good.
I love eggnog. Usually my Mom has eggnog for Christmas. I drink a little glass at her house, and that satisfies me. But this year with my Dad's injury, she didn't buy eggnog. I bought some for my family and myself. Yesterday I had a cup, and today I had another cup. It was delicious. But within an hour of drinking it yesterday my stomach was churning, and within a hour of drinking it today I had the first GERD symptoms I've had in years.
So it looks like dairy avoids are what cause my stomach problems. The funny thing is that I eat feta cheese and mozzarella cheese (both neutrals) fairly often and have never had any trouble with either of them. That gives me renewed confidence in the accuracy of the food lists.
Here is the rule I've followed for years. I don't eat avoids at home. In a restaurant, I don't order avoids, but if something comes with a sprinkle of cheese or a little wheat I don't worry about it. When I am a guest in someone's home, I turn down avoids as much as possible, but I'd rather eat an avoid than ruin a friendship. My eggnog fling is quickly over, and it's back to the lifestyle that makes me look and feel the best.