Archives for: August 2007
The summer flew by for my Strong Son. The first two months he returned to Kanakuk as a middle school camp counselor and basketball coach. Then he came home to our new home for a month. Now he is in Kentucky working on a 3-year graduate program in physical therapy.
When SS was at Texas Tech he ate in the campus cafeteria one meal a day. He knew he would get meat, vegetables and lots of salad. He fixed his own breakfast, and I suspect most days he ate as he walked to class. The third meal of the day he sometimes fixed for himself at the house, and sometimes ate out with friends.
I wanted to know how meals were working out in his new environment. He says he can get a fair meal at the hospital for a fair price. Even better is an all-you-can-eat buffet near the hospital. It is a little more expensive, but there are more vegetables. He is still buying groceries for two meals a day.
Then he began to talk about how he has adjusted what he eats at fast food restaurants because of the Blood Type Diet. "You know I eat sandwiches, Mom. I know that the wheat isn't good for me, and one of these days I'll probably stop it, but right now it doesn't bother me, and it's hard to get a fast meal without wheat." When he was in high school, he said he would get a combo meal - a burger or sandwich, large fries, and a large drink. Now he looks on the value menu and puts together his own combination. Sometimes he gets two sandwiches or a double meat sandwich. Sometimes he gets one sandwich and a salad. He says he gets more meat that way. He also saves money.
"I rarely get fries any more," he told me. "If I do, I get a small order. And I just drink water. It's better for me."
SS eats many more avoids than I eat. I could complain about that. But then I remember that he eats a much healthier diet than I did when I was 22! I'm pleased that he considers the BTD when he chooses his food, and that he is adjusting even fast food to be a bit more Type O.
Speaking of adjustments - getting used to him being so far from home is a big adjustment for me. But I'm thrilled to see him pursuing a career where he can be a blessing to so many people.
Everybody in America knows about low fat diets and low carb diets. A frightening number of people know about grapefruit diets, chocolate diets, and other fad diets. But the Blood Type Diet is misunderstood. I'm just waiting for someone to ask, "Duh, what kind of blood do you eat anyway."
The back to school teacher dinner was a perfect example. This year it was at a gourmet hamburger restaurant in an upscale new shopping center. I received a menu the week before and had to place our order. My husband immediately chose the crab burger. He knows it's Type A avoid, but he loves it. I had to choose between a 1/3 pound hamburger that came with chips, or a spinach and chicken salad. The meat in the burger was natural Angus, but if I didn't eat the bun or the chips, it would be a slim meal. The salad came with portabella mushrooms and some other veggies that sounded good. That's what I picked.
When my salad arrived I was aghast. It was tiny. To my way of thinking it was a pre-dinner salad. There wasn't even half of a chicken breast in it. I sighed and realized I'd have to eat again when I got home. I looked at the huge burgers and wished I'd ordered that instead. However the salad was delicious - very flavorful.
The wait staff began bringing baskets for all of the burger eaters. Someone at my table took a taste and said, "Oh, these are sweet potato fries. I've always wanted to try them." My mouth began to water, until I began to realize that everyone had a basket except the two of us eating salads. When a waiter walked by with an extra basket I grabbed it. Everyone looked at me in puzzlement.
What was the point in my eating a salad if I was going to eat sweet potato fries? I got questions about why I was trying to lose weight when I didn't need to. I had people remind me that the fries were loaded with carbs and fat. I tried to explain that I wasn't on a diet and that I ate lots of carbs, but I didn't eat wheat. I got the deer-in-the-headlight eyes.
I did my best to explain that a Type O diet is not low fat, neither is it low carb. Someone said, "I couldn't eat like that." I thought about saying, "You shouldn't eat like this unless you are a Type O. But I decided I'd rather enjoy my salad and fries and let the conversation turn to a more understandable topic.
I've had an off and on headache for a couple of weeks. One of the nice things about menopause has been no headaches. I rarely had headaches when I was young, but they nagged at me all during my 40s. They were never severe, just irritating. Then I turned 50 and poof they were gone - until two weeks ago.
The worst thing about this headache has been the psychosomatic aspect of it. You see, one of my best friends was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain cancer three weeks ago. I knew that concern for Lynn and horror of brain cancer made the headache worse.
I tried Advil, and popped some tiny blood vessels in my ankles again. I guess I'm through with Advil for good. I tried Tylenol and it didn't help much. I tried Aleve after someone wrote that Aleve was better for type Os. It didn't seem to work much better than the Tylenol.
Yesterday it almost went away. I was delighted. This morning it was back, and that made me mad. I've had it with this headache. So I grabbed the BTD Encyclopedia and found out that Type Os are less susceptible to headaches than other blood types. I'm not sure why but that was encouraging. The encyclopedia recommended anti stress and anti inflammatory protocols and exercise. This got my attention, because I had cut back on exercise because of the headache. I thought that getting my blood pounding would make it worse.
I started on rhodiola, bromelain, glucosamine, plus extra B vitamins and extra calcium. Just being proactive made me feel better. As I put the encyclopedia back on the shelf, I spied a headache book I bought when I was learning about my son's migraines. I began to scan it and read this about tension headaches:
"Along with the head pain, people with these headaches frequently experience sore shoulders and possibly a sore neck as well." My shoulders were sore, when I shrugged, I could feel the knots. My neck was tense as well. I read on:
"A frequent pattern for muscle contraction headache people is that they will work intensely for days at a timeâ€¦The work may be of the type where people are constantly trying to get a large amount of work done in a fixed amount of timeâ€¦Then on their first day off, they will awaken with a headacheâ€¦These headaches can last for days without relief - except while the person is asleep."
That precisely described my headache. The last 12 months have been busy, but the last 4 months have been at a breakneck speed. The headache started the day I went to my parent's house for a relaxing visit. I have had no trouble sleeping, but the headache would revisit me within a few minutes of waking up.
Knowing what was happening to me was such a relief. My neck loosened a little right away. I continued taking the protocols and I got in some exercise. I'm feeling rather normal tonight.
One other thing the book said was that the first symptom of brain cancer is almost never a headache. Lynn's first symptom was loss of muscle strength in her leg and arm. That is common, as is unexplained vomiting. If my headache returns, I won't be worried about me, but I will take it as a reminder to pray for Lynn
You may remember from previous summer blogs, that my sister and her family live in Europe and come home to visit every summer. This year my 8th grade niece has spent several days with us. We have had so much fun with her.
One day my son, daughter, and I took her to a water park called Schlitterbahn. It is advertised as the "hottest, coolest time in Texas." There are more double meanings in that advertising campaign than I want to explain in this blog, but suffice it to say that the rides are "hot" and we had a "cool" time.
One of the best things about Schiltterbahn is that they allow you to bring your own food into the park. Most amusement parks forbid outside food because they want to increase their profit by forcing you to buy their food. Rarely does an amusement park serve anything that a Type O can eat. So I'm stuck with eating avoids or trying to sneak in contraband food.
For our day at Schlitterbahn, I packed turkey sandwiches, fresh plums, and raw nuts. My "sandwiches" were turkey, mozzarella, and ghee rolled in a sushi nori paper. My niece thought the seaweed was a little weird. I made the sandwiches for the rest of the group out of pita pockets. I've used pitas a lot this summer. Though wheat is neutral for my Type As, I don't like to give them big fluffy rolls that dominate the rest of the food. Pitas are thin and cracker like. Since my Type O son wants an occasional sandwich, I feel a little better about the thin pita than two full slices of bread. In addition, I can stuff quite a few veggies in them along with the turkey. The nuts were in place of chips.
There was an interesting irony. As we explored the park, I kept getting whiffs of delicious meat cooking. It turns out they serve barbeque, which makes a Type O's mouth water. Here is an amusement park that offers two good choices - serve the customers something beside junk food, and allow them to bring their own food from home.
We have had an unusually rainy summer, and that has created some interesting challenges in at new house. The area right around the house is all dirt - rather in this rainy weather it is all mud. Behind the house is a rocky area, then some oak trees with heavy underbrush. Behind the trees is a grassy field going down into a seasonal creek.
For the most part, we want to maintain a wild hill country look. We don't want a manicured lawn. Right now we are taking out the thorny vines and the shoulder high Johnson grass. We are leaving the native grasses, wildflowers, and bushes.
The rain has led to high grass, and that has led to chiggers. After being viciously attacked we looked for a more natural solution than insect repellant. Here is my anti-chigger program.
I wear calf high boots when I work in the yard or walk in the underbrush. I dust the boots with sulfur powder. A Viet Nam Veteran at the hardware store told me about this trick, and it really works. When I'm finished with yard work for the day, I change into my swim suit, and swim laps at the pool. I figure any chiggers that brave the sulfur powder will drown in the chlorine water.
I haven't had a chigger bite since I started using this technique. As I work in the yard and swim I am getting lots of strenuous Type O exercise. I feel good in the day and I sleep good at night.
Congratulations to my dear friend and colleague Dr. Paul Mittman, who received some well-deserved recognition as the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) â€˜Physician of the Yearâ€? for 2007. Paul is just a great guy and a true asset to the profession. Without his early support The Institute for Human Individuality (IfHI) would have been impossible. Sadly, Paul also recently suffered the loss of his father.
Sometimes it's just nice to know how many people love and admire you, especially at times like these and (if you are reading this) Paul, know that Martha and I love and admire you very, very much.
Paul Mittman getting his Physician of the Year plaque at the 2007 AANP convention. I got one in 1990. Mine had a dent in it.
Speaking of IfHI, I just finished the new practitioner lookup page. If you are looking for someone who uses these types of principles in their practice this database can be a great resource. It is now searchable by name, state/province or country.
I was watching the news on TV and these two commentators were tossing the word â€˜terrorist' around. If you were to believe these guys, everyone in the Muslim world was a terrorist. However, as any decent historian will tell you, today's terrorist is often tomorrow's freedom fighter. During the American Revolution patriots often tarred and feathered neighbors who were loyal to England or who just wanted to be left alone and not have to choose sides. Many of these people were hounded out of their homes (which were often grabbed by deserving 'Sons of Liberty') and exiled.
Now these same terrorists get microbrewery beers named after them.
Calling someone a â€˜terrorist' is a lot like calling something â€˜unscientific.' It almost never adds anything to the discussion and likely tells you more about the accuser than it does about the accused.
I had my semi annual dentist appointment. I have noticed an increase in plaque since my last visit. For most of my life I have had very little plaque or tartar. The dentist tells me that increased plaque is due to dry mouth - sigh - another tissue drying out because of hormone changes.
He recommended xylitol gum. I have been buying xylitol gum, but have used it sparingly. The dentist encourages me to use it more often. He cited a fascinating study where pregnant women were recruited. The women thought they were the subjects, but in reality it was their unborn children. The scientists involved wanted to test their theory that mothers passed the bacteria that causes tooth decay to their children when they shared or taste-tested food. Since xylitol reduces mouth bacteria, the scientists expected to see reduced mouth bacteria and tooth decay in the children of the women chewing xylitol gum as opposed to women chewing another gum. Indeed that is exactly what happened. When the 2-year-old children were tested, the ones whose mothers had chewed xylitol gum had less mouth bacteria. Those mothers also had fewer cavities.
This sounds great, but I have to think of the BTD. Xylitol is unrated, so it is considered neutral unless it gives me trouble. Gums used as thickeners are avoid for type O. But I don't see a reference to chewing gum. I can't imagine it would be a problem, because you never swallow it.
So I've been chewing more xylitol gum and drinking more water, and the plaque situation is improving.
The dentist joked about making a chocolate bar sweetened with xylitol. He said current research is showing that chocolate is really good for many health problems - it's just the sugar that's so bad. He said, if there was a xylitol chocolate bar, parents would say. "Johnny, did you eat your candy bar before bedtime. Remember not to brush your teeth after you eat it."
I went on the internet, and a British company does make a xylitol sweetened chocolate bar. A company in the US makes a bar called Chocoperfection. It is sweetened with erythritol. The website says that erythritol is a sugar alcohol similar to xylitol. Erythritol inhibits bacteria in their ability to ferment lactose and reduces production of acid on the dental plaque.
My dad has been using unsweetened bakers chocolate quite successfully to combat uneven heartbeats. I'm going to order some Chocoperfection for him and sneak a taste myself.