Archives for: September 2007
Some of the moderators on the bulletin boards noticed that the recipe database had been 'hacked' by internet bots intent on leaving hundreds, if not thousands, of entries offering everything from mail-order brides to the possibilities of enlarging virtually any part of your body. Part of the problem was that anyone could enter a recipe in the database, and once these roving ambassadors of malfeasance find an open site they just bombard it relentlessly.
The beat way to deal with these types of attacks is to institute some sort of challenge response test which is usually in the form of some sort of visual recognition scheme. These are usually called "Reverse Turing Tests" after the brilliant, if tortured English math genius Alan Turing and they are now part of the internet landscape:
The basic idea is to prove that you are human, which may be easier for some than others.
Although I have a million other things to do, I suppose my type A mindset kept thinking of new enhancements to the recipe database, one of the more neglected step-children of this website. So why not take a tour of the new and improved recipe area?
This is the basic entry portal. From here you can list, search and display recipes. I'm working on a printer friendly version as well.
Saddened to hear of the passing away of the great Richard Rorty from pancreatic cancer. His book "Contingency Irony and Solidarity" was a big influence on me, giving me a sort of 'permission' to live with my thoughts and ideas without the burden of always having to analyze them to death. Certainly, Rorty's work in this area stemmed from John Dewey, but I alway thought that Rorty said it better, at least to me. In either case, if you think today's 24 hour "news" is actually "News" you may want to read these guys.
Last night my Honorable Husband wanted to go down to the river for a picnic dinner. It sounded like fun to me, but my daughter had a big science test. She said she would take a quick study break and get back to the books. I got wrapped up in a computer project and suddenly HH said, "If we don't leave soon, it will be too late."
I hadn't even thought about what to pack in the picnic basket. It was easy to fix him a sandwich with beneficial ingredients. I had some cooked spinach, some leftover ground turkey, and a half a can of pumpkin. Spinach and ground turkey is a good combination. I usually add some raisins and nuts, which make it taste really good. But my lunch vegetables had been mostly green, and I wanted to be sure I got in a beneficial orange vegetable before the day was over.
The sun was going down, I dumped the pumpkin on top of the spinach, and tossed some water bottles and some fruit into the basket. Away we went, HH, myself and the dog.
As we ate, the fireflies came out. They are so pretty: like fairies skirting across the grass, or stars shooting across the ground. Fireflies are gone from the city. I'm glad they are still around in the country.
There is a 300 cliff above the river. After we ate, the three of us walked up the road to the top of the cliff. The sunset was fabulous with orange, purple and pink hues.
Maybe you're curious about my dinner. It looked terrible. Anyone expecting attractive or conventional food would be turned off. The texture was something like creamed spinach. I liked that. The tastes of spinach and pumpkin didn't exactly go together, but they weren't bad. I would never serve it or suggest it as a recipe, but I enjoyed it.
It's hard to explain. I obviously don't want to eat anything disgusting. But the immediate taste is becoming less important to me than how I feel after the meal is over. Cheese tastes delicious, but it makes me sleepy. I'll always think that donuts and chips taste wonderful, but they leave me with an upset stomach. Spinach and pumpkin are a little funky, but afterwards I felt contented and calm. Of course, the fireflies and sunset might have had a little to do with that as well.
I hope you won't think badly of me, but there is a microwave in my new house.
I had never wanted a microwave oven. I remember one Christmas when my parents, my husband's parents, and my husband's grandmother all tried to give me a microwave. I said "no." I don't think that I was scared of microwaves, though I did stay away from them when I was pregnant. Nothing scientific on my part, just superstition or over cautiousness.
I learned to cook the old fashioned way, and I'm comfortable with it. What's the point of boiling water in a microwave, when I could be chopping vegetables while water comes to a boil on the stove. Besides I would miss the whistle of the tea kettle. The only time I wished for a microwave was when I didn't plan ahead for dinner, and I thought how nice it would be to thaw something out quickly.
However I pack my husband's lunch every morning before he goes to work. He warms the food up in the microwave at the office, and he's used to it. When we were planning the new house he said, you can arrange the kitchen any way you want, but I would like to have a microwave. So, we got one.
It has an automatic defrost function on it, which I tried once. What with all of the timing and stirring and restarting, I decided it was easier to thaw ground beef or turkey on the stove the way I always have.
However, I do use it for sweet potatoes. There were uncountable times at the old house where I would be 15 minutes away from dinner a meal and realize I had lots of sweet potatoes, but no time to cook them. It's nice to wrap a sweet potato in a paper towel, push one button, set the table, and pull out a perfectly cooked vegetable.
The interesting thing is that sweet potatoes cooked in the oven and sweet potatoes cooked in the microwave don't taste the same. Oven baked sweet potatoes are sweet and gooey, almost like pudding. Sometimes they are so moist that they are messy. Oven baked sweet potatoes remind me more of the texture of a baked Irish potato. They are drier and fluffier. They do not taste quite as sweet, but they are delicious mixed with ghee.
The funny thing is that both are good, and I can't quite make up my mind which I like better. It's sort of like adding a new beneficial vegetable to the list.
I'm going to read the recipe book that came with the microwave oven. I'm sure as time goes on, I'll use it more. However I don't want to get in such a hurried mindset that I impatiently think of cooking in seconds rather than enjoying the process of minutes and quarter hours.
I mentioned a few days ago that I was listening to MP3 radio interviews with Dr. D'Adamo. In one of the shows, they had been discussing the role of diet in inflammation. Dr. D talks with the host about what a shame it is that because of marketing, when most people think of diet, all they think of is weight loss. Because of this most diets, he said, " are not about using diet in a preemptive healing mannerâ€¦Food can be a dynamic healing agent."
I relate to this, because I started the Blood Type Diet as a last resort to GERD that was not responding to either prescription or over-the-counter medications. It turns out that food was causing all of my symptoms, and changing my diet has eliminated all symptoms for more than 4 years.
However, as I read posts on the Forum, I am well aware, that many people try the Blood Type Diet to lose weight. Some are very successful, and shed unwanted pounds without starving themselves as they learn to eat foods that are beneficial for them.
Yet, there are other people who seem to be strictly following the BTD, but are not losing weight. I thought of those people when I read an article in Reader's Digest. (The article called Misdiagnosed was published in October, 2006. It got set aside while we were preparing to move)
The article is about Joyce Dixon. She weighed more than 200 pounds, and had tried for years to lose weight. Her health problems associated with obesity were increasing. Her doctors put her on low fat and low carb diets. When she did not lose weight, they accused her of cheating. This increased her frustration, because she truly was strictly following the diets. She tells of one time when she went on a low calorie liquid diet and lost 40 pounds at first, then began to gain again.
After 15 years of misdiagnosis, an endocrinologist correctly identified Joyce's problem as Cushing's syndrome, a hormonal disorder. They traced the Cushing's to a tumor on her pituitary gland. The tumor was surgically removed. "Joyce's recovery saw swift. The pounds dropped off and stayed off."
If you have come to the Blood Type Diet to lose weight, I believe you are in the right place. Not only should you gradually lose weight, but your overall health should improve, because as Dr. D. says, there is a dynamic relationship between your food and how your entire body works. However if you are faithful to the BTD, avoiding avoids and watching your portion sizes, and you continue to gain weight, go to the library and ask for the October, 2006 Reader's Digest. Don't be afraid to press your doctor for a few more tests to be sure you have not been misdiagnosed.
One of my personal never-to-be-violated Blood Type Diet rules is don't turn down avoid food in public, then sneak it in private. What is the point of turning down the cookies someone offers me at school, or taking the meat out of my hamburger at a restaurant, if I yield to a craving and eat crackers in secret at home. It would be the height of bad manners and hypocrisy!
If I'm going to eat wheat, let me enjoy a piece of pizza with friends. If I'm going to eat dairy, let it be a piece of my Mom's cheese cake at a family reunion. When I get cravings or I'm under so much stress that I must have something extra to eat, there are plenty of beneficials (walnuts, sweet potato chips) or neutrals (rice crackers, almonds, apples) that will work just fine.
I haven't violated that rule in years - until Wednesday night. I don't know why. Wednesday was a really good day. My yearbook students and I had spent 3 hours working with an art director from our publishing company. We had practically designed the whole book. After weeks of delays on landscaping , I finally had an appointment with a company that seems to think like we do. But for some reason, I got up from the table still hungry. When I went back to do the dishes a little later, someone had left an empty bowl of ice cream on the counter. I wanted some, I got some, and I hid it so that no one in the family would see what I was doing.
Why am I confessing this to you? Three reasons.
1. Some of you don't think I ever fail. Wrong!!!
2. Some of you heap guilt on yourselves when you fail. Cut it out. Learn from your mistakes and get back in the fight.
3. I learned something about my Type O self, which might be useful.
Having had an unauthorized dessert on Wednesday, the next night, I wanted one again. "No" I said firmly to myself, and got a piece of fruit. That satisfied me for about 5 minutes, and the craving was back. Before I ate anything else, I stopped and asked myself "What's really going on here?"
I had broken out of my eating pattern. I had reintroduced the flavor of avoids, and the enticement of sugar into my body and mind. I knew that I did not want to spend days inching my way back to normal, and a week dealing with the pounds I had put on. "What," I asked myself, "do I really want?" I knew the answer. Under stress or duress, a Type O wants protein.
I had sliced turkey in the refrigerator. I ate two slices, and I waited. I was prepared to eat turkey all night, if that's what it took, but in about 15 minutes the intensity of the desire for unhealthy food began to fade. Within a half hour I was physically and mentally content.
Profit from my mistake. If you crave a dessert, eat turkey, or beef, or lamb - anything but ice cream.
We are searching for a new church home. It is important to us that we have solid Bible teaching and a place to serve. It is also important that our daughter enjoy the other students in the youth group. We may have found a church where we can feel very much at home. We've been visiting there for several weeks.
On Sunday afternoon this church had a skating party for the surrounding neighborhoods. Church members were asked to bring sandwiches, cookies and fruit, so that there would be plenty of food for all of the skaters. I had gone to the store on Friday to buy grapes, bread, and sliced turkey. I also bought a box of cookies from the bakery. I did not feel guilty about buying regular bread. That is what people coming to skate would expect. They would have thrown away sandwiches made with Ezekiel bread or seaweed wraps. I did feel a little guilty about not baking homemade cookies. However, after I made the fast trip to take care of my Mom, I was really glad I didn't have to spend Saturday night baking.
My dilemma was what to do about my own meal. I would be mingling with first time guests at the church. I did not want to call attention to myself, or answer questions about what I was eating. I considered eating just fruit, but I knew I would be hungrier than that. I considered rolling lunchmeat for myself, but that was sure to attract notice.
People e-mail me quite often asking "What do you do for sandwiches?" My response is, "You will be happier on the Blood Type Diet if you think like an O. That means don't try to eat the same way you used to, just substituting neutrals for avoids. Find a new way of eating that is really beneficial for your type." Then I tell them that I don't eat sandwiches at all. I eat meat and vegetables or meat and salads. It's a shocking concept until you get used to it. Then you feel so good, that you don't want to go back to sandwiches ever again.
However, for this event, I decided to make myself a sandwich on Ezekiel bread and keep it in my purse. When I went through the food line, I would just slip my sandwich onto my plate. That's what I did. It's the first sandwich I've had in several years. It was good, and I fit in with the others at the party.
However, I realized again that I feel better when I think like an O and eat like an O. I'm made to eat meat and vegetables. That's what I'll do until the next time that a higher calling dictates that I think of others rather than myself.
I got a call at 4:00 Friday from a neighbor that my Mom had fallen on the patio and cut her head. I got a call at 5:00 from my Dad that the cut was still bleeding and they were going to go to an emergency clinic. I got a call at 9:00 from the doctor at the clinic saying that my Mom had needed stitches, but that she was going to be fine. However, they were not going to let a 91 year old woman with a head injury drive home in the dark with her 89 year old husband. I threw shorts, shirts, and socks into my suitcase and began the 3 hour drive to get them. I returned home tonight.
Why, I wondered as I drove, do well-meaning people, even medical professionals, treat someone who is hard of hearing as if they were ignorant? Part of the difficulty my mom had at the clinic was that because she can't hear, she didn't answer their questions promptly. Just because you can't hear doesn't mean you can't think.
I was 30 miles from home when I realized that I had packed so fast that I forgot a nightgown. I also forgot my eye drops, my vitamins, and my breakfast mix. Fortunately my parents eat flax seed and lots of fruit. I improvised.
My parents are fiercely independent. Most of the time that is a good thing. But why, I asked myself, didn't they listen when I suggested that they get a church friend to drive them to the clinic? I thought I had dodged a bullet by having cooperative teenagers. Was I now going to pay the price with rebellious parents? No - when I walked into the clinic they were so contrite and so sorry that I had driven 200 miles late at night. Today they were very cooperative as we planned together what we need to do for them to continue to live at home.
My Type O Dad has had problems with edema since he has been in the wheel chair. He stopped eating wheat 2 months ago and the edema is going away. His legs look so much better.
For my birthday I got an MP3 player. I didn't want to download hundreds of songs and videos like the kids want to do. I wanted to download a Bible teacher whose radio program is on at an inconvenient time where I now live. So I shopped around on the internet and found a good price on what was probably last year's model.
One day last week I was searching for something on the BTD website and I found an MP3 of a radio interview with Dr. D'Adamo. I wondered what his voice sounded like, so I saved the interview on my MP3 player.
I tossed the MP3 player in the car, and when I got tired of thinking, I listened to Bible studies from the book of 1 Samuel and the Dr. D radio interview. I thought I understood the background of the BTD pretty well, but I learned some things from the interview about lectins and secretor status that I had never understood. I'll probably quote from the interview in future blogs, but if you want to hear Dr. D explain it himself go to the home page and look on the left for Media Center.
One of my favorite recipes when I was growing up was Swiss Steak. My husband liked it too, and was always happy when my Mom fixed her own special version. Here is her recipe - not BTD compatible for either As or Os.
Cut top round steak into small pieces. Rub Worcestershire sauce into each piece. Pound flour generously into each piece. Brown lightly in oil in a skillet.
Cook 1 chopped onion, and 3-4 stalks chopped celery in cooking oil until tender. Combine 1 can of tomatoes (cut into small pieces) and 1 can of tomato sauce.
In a pressure cooker layer the meat with the onions and celery. Pour the tomato mixture over all. Cook 10 minutes in the pressure cooker.
When we went on the Blood Type Diet, I realized that the steak and tomatoes were no good for the As. The flour was not good for the Os. The recipe has been idle in my recipe box.
Yesterday at the store, I saw a package of turkey cutlets. Tonight I made some adjustments in the recipe. It's not My Mom's Swiss Steak, but it was very tasty and everyone enjoyed it.
I browned the turkey cutlets in a skillet. I layered them with cooked onions and celery in my pressure cooker. I cut the canned tomatoes into small pieces and poured them and their juice over all. I cooked it for 10 minutes in the pressure cooker.
Some of you As will recognize that I left the canned tomatoes in the recipe. I highly suspect that my husband may be a non-secretor. If that is the case, tomatoes would be neutral for him. My daughter ate the cooked celery, but picked out the tomatoes, so she was fine.
I served it with homemade spelt/rye bread and a big tossed salad.
The turkey was wonderfully tender and moist. I didn't miss the tomato sauce or Worcestershire sauce at all. I did miss the breading on the cutlets a little, but not enough to compromise my energy or my health. The family agreed with me. They want to see Swiss cutlets again soon.
The question I am asked most often - both in discussions about the Blood Type Diet and in e-mail - is "What do you eat for breakfast?" A conversation last week got me thinking about how culture has affected what I eat for breakfast.
A number of dedicated Type Os have e-mailed me that they eat meat and vegetables for breakfast and lunch. They eat a light supper - often fruit or salad. I've tried eating that way on a few isolated days, and I like the way it makes me feel. Yet I've never adopted that way of eating. I think the reason is partly cultural and partly practical.
When I was a little girl, we would go visit my grandparents who lived in a town of about 400 people. My grandfather was a grocer, banker, school superintendent and farmer. He had five farms where he raised cattle and chickens. He got up very early in the morning and ate a huge breakfast - eggs and all the trimmings. The mid day meal was always the big meal of the day - meat, and lots of vegetables. At night, my grandparents ate cereal. My mother remembers that this was the way it was when she was growing up. Even on school days, my grandfather and all of the children would come home for a hearty lunch, but the evening meal was cereal or leftovers.
I was raised differently in the city. My Dad worked several miles from home, and could not come home for lunch. Big city public schools frown when parents pull their children out for lunch. So, we had a light breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and our big meal of the day was in the evening.
My cousins, also city kids, were raised like me, and we though it very peculiar that our grandparents ate cereal for supper. At our grandparents' house, our parents would scurry around making sandwiches for us at night, while our grandparents wondered what the fuss was about.
Raising my children in the city, I followed the pattern of my own childhood: light breakfast of whole grain carbohydrates, sandwiches or leftovers for lunch, a big supper with meat, vegetables, and rolls. When I started the BTD, I began making changes. Lunch time sandwiches became meat and vegetables. I learned to make rolls with grains beneficial to the Type As and I increased the number of evening meal vegetables for me.
But breakfast was a dilemma. For my whole life breakfast had been a pastry or cereal or toast. There were no beneficial grains for a Type O, and even in those early days, I knew that I wanted to start my day with beneficials, not neutrals. So I came up with a breakfast mix that was highly beneficial, but had the texture of cereal. That's what I eat 6 days a week - sometimes 7.
I grind nuts in my blender and keep 3-4 varieties in my refrigerator. They include pumpkin seed, almonds, walnuts, pecans, and flax seed. Breakfast starts with two tablespoons of ground nuts. I mix and match them for variety. I add 1 Tablespoon of lecithin granules, 1 Tablespoon of brewers yeast, and 1 Tablespoon of rice bran. I toss in 2 or 3 fresh or frozen fruits. The combination possibilities are endless - banana/blueberry, pineapple/mango, cherry/peach. I moisten it with water or pineapple juice and eat it with a spoon. It gets my blood sugar up for the day, it tastes good, and it "feels" like breakfast.
Now we've moved out of the city. My husband is approaching retirement, and my daughter will graduate in the spring. I've begun to think radical thoughts. I may switch to my grandfather's way of eating. I may eat a hearty breakfast of leftover meat and vegetables. I may cook the main meal of the day for lunch. I may have my cereal imitation of fruit and nuts for supper. I think my body would like that. I can't make the switch now. The urban school and work schedule still has too great a hold on us. But it's something to look forward to in the future.
By way of background, one of my earliest blogs was about how I came up with the breakfast mix I use every morning. If you're interested, you can read it at this link. http://www.dadamo.com/bloggers/h/archives/00000037.htm