Archives for: February 2007
I started the Blood Type Diet because nothing I had tried nutritionally or medically gave me relief from GERD. Because I've written about it so often, people sometimes write me about their GERD problems. I was in the car and heard a fabulous radio interview on the subject. Neither the host, nor the guest talked specifically about the BTD, but what they were saying was very compatible. I'll summarize what the guest had to say.
Significantly less than half of the people who seek help for acid indigestion have too much stomach acid. In reality most have low stomach acid. However, their acid level is rarely tested. Instead, they are automatically given antacids or other medication that will lower stomach acid production.
Here is the way he said your digestive system is supposed to work. Food arrives in your stomach and hydrochloric acid is released to continue the digestive process. Your stomach muscle mixes the food and acid. When the amount of stomach acid reaches a certain level the muscle at the bottom of your stomach opens, releasing the food to your duodenum. If things are working properly, the food and acid will be out of your stomach in two hours.
However if you do not produce enough stomach acid, the food in your stomach isn't released. It continues to churn. You eat dinner, and go to bed several hours later. Your stomach is still full of weak acid and food. When you lie down that mixture seeps back into your esophagus, and you wake in the middle of the night with heartburn.
I believe my problems were the result of inflammation caused by wheat and dairy avoids in my digestive system. My symptoms cleared up within days of getting the avoids out of my diet. However, if you switch to the BTD and continue to have GERD symptoms, according to the man I heard on the radio, you might investigate natural ways to raise your stomach acid.
I'm studying the book of Romans. Paul's critics said that salvation by faith would lead people to live sinful, self-absorbed lives, relying that in the end, God would save them anyway. In chapter 6, Paul uses two word pictures to show that God's plan for salvation leads to a life of holiness. It's a rich chapter! Near the end are these words: "What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life."
The word "benefit" caught my attention. Paul's use is clear. People think they benefit from sin, but it is killing them. By contrast, the benefit of following God is life.
There is a striking parallel to health and the BTD! Ask yourself "What benefit do you reap when you eat avoid foods?" They taste good for a few moments, but they are dragging down your health. The next day you are ashamed of yourself. You feel the results in your joints or digestive system. You see the results on your scale. The results are not good!
Sometimes the BTD seems like a hard lifestyle to follow. I am bound to the food lists. But as I aim for beneficial food, the benefit to me is good health and a better quality of life.
The physical and spiritual worlds parallel each other in many ways.
It is most important to follow Jesus Christ, and be assured of eternal life.
Of secondary importance, following the BTD will set you free from many of the complaints that plague your health.
The benefit is enormous!
In the world of finance, some investors use stop orders to keep them from either losing too much money or becoming too greedy. I find the concept of stop orders helpful in the BTD as well.
I let my weight bounce around in about a 5-pound range. If it drops below a certain level, I think I look gaunt and unattractive. If it goes above a certain level, my pants fit too tight. So I have "stop orders". If the scale goes too low, I indulge in a few more neutral grains and nuts. If the scale gets too high, I scale back the nuts and watch my olive oil and ghee portions more carefully.
A winter cold virus has gone through my family. My Darling Daughter usually has the mildest symptoms, but she was hit hard this time. It is probable that the late hours she has been keeping had something to do with the trouble she has had in shaking off the virus. My Honorable Husband usually has the weakest immune system, but he got over this cold without developing a sinus infection. I would like to think that a higher level of compliance to the BTD played a role in that.
I was the last to get the virus. At the first symptom, I started taking Cold-Eeze, Astragalas, and Nettle. After two days of a scratchy throat, I bypassed most of the rest of the typical cold symptoms.
While I was fighting the cold, I decided to let my body rest, so I didn't exercise. By the time the virus had run its course, the weather was cold and damp. I decided I didn't want to risk a relapse by getting out in the nasty weather. A week or more went by with no exercise (other than the frantic pace of my daily activities this year).
All of that sloth, sent me over my stop order. I got up this morning, looked at the scale, and said - I run before breakfast! The air was damp, but the temperature was mild. The first half mile, I was aware that I hadn't been exercising, but by the time I finished two miles, I felt great.
The stop order kept me out of trouble. I'm already feeling more energetic. I have no doubt that I'll be back in my comfortable weight range in a day or two.
Artichokes are beneficial for As and Os. They are also expensive.
I had only eaten artichoke once before I started the BTD. It was served as an appetizer at an expensive restaurant. The artichoke heart had been mashed and mixed with bread crumbs and seasoning. Then it was put back on the artichoke leaves in a very decorative manner. The breading would make this recipe an avoid, in spite of the beneficial artichoke.
After several experiments I decided I liked cooking artichokes in the pressure cooker. My husband and I both liked the taste. However, it was a lot of work for a small amount of vegetable, and most of the year artichokes are very expensiveâ€¦too expensive for my budget. I was not getting the full benefit of this beneficial vegetable.
Last fall I found frozen artichoke quarters in the grocery store and bought a bag. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't immediately try them. In fact they got pushed to the back of the freezer during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. However I found them a week ago, and have tried preparing them several ways.
Here is my favorite. Melt ghee in a saucepan. Add the frozen artichoke quarters and stir until they are coated with melted ghee. Cover the saucepan and let them sautÃ© slowly until they are tender. Season with a little salt. This is very tasty, very beneficial, and not very expensive - a winning combination in my opinion.
Friday night my husband's and my Bible Study group had a dessert party. Just the idea of a dessert party makes me shiver - so much sugar, so many avoids, so many temptations.
I had already over eaten last week. I stayed away from avoids, but I ate too many nuts and too much dried fruit. I had just turned the corner and was getting back into my usual routine. I didn't need an excuse to splurge on desserts.
I took fruit salad to the party. It was very pretty: pineapple, blueberries, cherries and red grapes. The colors even went along with the Valentine theme.
I was probably the only one who ate all fruit. However, ever so many people commented on what a great idea it was, and most people had a spoon of fruit on their plates alongside the cake and ice cream.
You may remember that my Dad fell a few days before Christmas. He gashed one side of his head and bruised the other side of his brain. He has been making slow but steady improvements with his physical therapist. He still relies on the wheelchair for his primary means of mobility. He cautiously walks through the house with a walker for exercise. He does not want to fall again!
I spent three days with my parents visiting and taking him for a follow up MRI. I read more of the Menopause book while I was in the waiting room. Dr. D. talks frankly about conventional hormones, bioidentical hormones, and phytoestrogens. He has a preference for phytoestrogens because since they are easily broken down and are not stored in the body, they don't pose a cancer risk.
Isoflavones come from soy beans, garbanzo beans, and other legumes.
Lignans come from flaxseed oil and legumes
Coumestrans come from alfalfa and clover.
I'm doing ok on the lignans, because I use already used flax oil and flax seed. Since legumes were not emphasized on the regular Type O diet, I'm having to remember to eat them more often. I'm glad, because they make me feel full. Alfalfa and clover are both avoids for Type O, so where do I get coumestrans?
There are things I do not understand - The book says, "Many capsules heralded as super soys can do more harm than good. Eat your soy as food; don't pop it as pills." Does this mean I have to eat soy beans, or can I use soy powder?
Dr. D. confirmed something I read in another book about natural menopause remedies. While it is true that wild yam is chemically identical to estrogen, wild yam creams are not readily absorbed. He warns that some creams marketed as natural have synthetic hormones added to boost the potency. The advertisements for the creams are tempting, but I'm going to try eating my phytestrogens first.
I drifted off the Menopause Diet at my parents' house. My Mom has adapted to the basic idea that I don't eat much wheat, but I eat lots of meat, fruit and vegetables. I just did not have the heart to tell her that many of the vegetables and fruits she fixed are now avoids. I managed to stay pretty close to a good Type O diet, however.
I haven't had much time, so I'm still at the beginning of the Menopause Health Library book. One very interesting thing I read was this paragraph about sugar:
"Insulin and estrogen have a synergistic relationship. If your insulin metabolism is out of balance, you won't be able to achieve a balance of your other hormones. A woman who is insulin resistant will not find relief from hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms with medications or other herbal remedies, but she will certainly see her symptoms diminish if she controls her sugar levels."
This explains why sugar, maple syrup, and honey are now infrequent neutrals for me. I can live with that. I had the evils of sugar pounded into my head quite thoroughly during my health nut days. I ate almost no sugar at all for years. I have indulged in a little honey and maple syrup, since they were BTD neutral. Now they will have to be rare.
I wonder if the sugar content has anything to do with why some fruits like apples and grapes changed categories. No - I looked them up on the Glycemic Index, and they are both low GI foods. This is still a mystery to me.
Tonight I had eggplant and tomatoes. Afterwards I checked the food lists. Both of them are now avoids! Yikes, I must remember to check the list before I eat instead of assuming.
I have received many interesting letters about how some of you have dealt with menopause and dryness. I apologize for not answering yet! This is going to be a very busy spring for me. I want to keep blogging - though you've probably noticed I haven't been writing as often. Things will settle down this summer, and I should be more dependable again. Almost everything that is happening is good and exciting. I'll explain it all soon.