Archives for: October 2007
My Type A husband walks for exercise. Because he is easily stressed, I have from time to time thought about nudging him towards a yoga class. My type A daughter twirls. That is good exercise for her now, but I've thought about yoga as an option for her when she graduates from high school. After what I have learned in the past two weeks, I am very glad that I have not pursued yoga for either of them.
I don't disagree with Dr. D'Adamo about many things, but I would strongly urge not only my family members, but any Christian, to stay away from yoga.
I have been listening to a series of interviews with Dave Hunt who wrote a book called "Yoga and the body of Christ; what position should Christians hold?" The double entendre in the title made me smile, but my smile quickly faded.
Yoga is a Hindu religious practice the goal of which is to "yoke" the practitioner to the god of the Hindus through an altered state of consciousness. It has come to the United States as an exercise program, but Hunt makes a convincing case that dabbling in this religion is dangerous.
The statement that first grabbed my attention was this: After a lecture a woman approached Hunt and said that her son used to be involved with illegal drugs, but when he started yoga, he stopped using drugs. She was thankful for yoga. Hunt said he told her that the son was in more danger now than he was before. Drugs chemically induce an altered state of consciousness, which is bad enough. But through yoga and its meditation techniques, you not only experience relaxation, but you open your mind to demonic forces. I find that to be an alarming statement!
The religious aspects of yoga are not promoted in beginner classes. But as a person advances, the mystical side becomes more and more important including repeating mantras (which are really the names of Hindu gods) and seeking spirit guides (which are demonic).
Hunt warns Christians that the word meditation is used quite differently in the Bible and in yoga. Judeo/Christian meditation is thinking and contemplating. When I meditate on the Bible, I actively use my mind to study. Meditation to Hindus is emptying the mind and allowing outside forces to come in and influence it.
Hinduism and Christianity are completely incompatible. The goal of Hinduism is self-realization or becoming a god. That is the very sin that Judeo/Christianity warns against. It is the sin of Adam and Eve -the desire to be in control, to be a god.
If you are a Hindu - I recognize your freedom to worship as you choose. However, if you are a Christian, think prayerfully before you dabble in pagan religious practices. If you have no religious faith, I urge you to fully investigate and compare the hopelessness and escapism of Eastern and New Age religions with the hope, peace and joy of Christianity.
"Say no to harmful, say yes to beneficial." I've been listening to an MP3 from Living on the Edge about developing discipline in my Christian life. When I heard those words I marveled again at how the principals that govern issues of faith also govern issues of health. Here is some of what Chip Ingram had to say about spiritual discipline, and some of my thoughts about how it applies to the Blood Type Diet.
"The really important things," he said, "always get procrastinated because we can't delay gratification. We can't say no to food going in our mouths. We can't say no, so we immediately gratify our senses."
I thought it was interesting that he used food to illustrate what he was trying to say about discipline in prayer and holy living. I immediately identified with the example. The difficulty following the BTD is the urge to put off what I know is the best and yield to the immediate desire to indulge in one of my old favorite foods.
He said that it's part of our culture to think short term. But short term thinking produces stress, rationalization, lying to ourselves, vulnerability to do things we wish we hadn't done and feelings of guilt. If I hadn't told you that those words came from a recording about spiritual discipline, you would have thought that I quoted them from the Forum. Short term thinking about the food we eat creates exactly the same results.
Just Wednesday night I was with a group and snacks were served. There were fruits, carrots, and sour cream coffee cake. I remember my Mom making sour cream coffee cake. It's delicious. I began to rationalize - "I don't want to hurt the feelings of the lady who baked the cake." I lied to myself, "A little wheat/dairy combo won't really hurt." I was becoming vulnerable to what I knew I shouldn't do."
"I need to change. I need to know how to keep priorities," the MP3 continued. "Discipline is never developed as you go. It is always cultivated in advance." Ingram calls this "advanced decision making" "Say no to a quick fix that will feel good right now. Say yes to a hard road that will produce long term benefit."
Is that not the essence of the Blood Type Diet? Say no to avoid foods that I crave so that I can enjoy long term good health and energy.
"Say no to impulses, say yes to lifelong habits."
Fortunately on Wednesday the lifelong habits kicked in and I passed the plate of sour cream coffee cake. Partly I knew that I my stomach would remind me all night that I had done something harmful to my body. Partly I knew that if I ever tried to talk with these people about the Blood Type Diet, they would remember me stuffing my face with cake.
Whether you are new to the BTD or you're an old hand, do some serious advanced decision making. What will you do in a social situation? What will you do in a restaurant? Do not go with the flow or follow your impulses. Set your priorities. Decide now that the long term benefits are more valuable than the immediate gratification.
If you want to know more about how this impacts your spiritual life, Ingram took the principal from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
I picked my Darling Daughter up from a 3-day school retreat Friday night. We had to go by the grocery store on the way home to drop yearbook film at the photo lab. I had a short grocery list as well. "What do you want for dinner?" I asked. "I want beneficials," said DD without hesitation.
This year, she explained, the food was even less acceptable for Type As than ever. She had taken a bag of soy protein bars and trail mix in her suitcase. That kept her going for three days. The only thing she ate from the camp cafeteria was salad.
I thought she might be exaggerating just a little, but when she described the menus, I had to agree that she was right. They served breaded & fried chicken strips, macaroni and cheese, green beans with bacon, hot dogs (served with relish or chili), spaghetti & meatballs, greasy garlic bread, canned fruit, and ham & cheese on white bread. Breakfasts were banana nut muffins one day and powdered eggs, biscuits & gravy the next.
We had lots of vegetables and fruit for dinner along with barbequed chicken. The chicken wasn't beneficial, but after 3 days with only soy and nuts for protein, she felt she needed some meat.
I know it's got to be hard to plan food for a group of picky teenagers. But when I look over the menus, there wasn't much that would build health for any Type.
We are beginning to meet people in our neighborhood and in our church. One of our new friends invited us to go to a rally for a local political candidate. The flyer said there would be food. All of the political rallies I've been to have had a buffet. I worked in the yard until late, so I didn't fix dinner. I thought we'd just all munch at the buffet.
As we made our way to the room, my Darling Daughter heard that they were serving box suppers. Oh no! That almost certainly meant a sandwich, chips, and a cookie. "Ten to one they are ham and cheese sandwiches," said DD.
Sure enough as we approached the table we say big deli rolls filled with ham and cheese. This made my husband happy. He loves ham and cheese, but I stopped buying ham even before I knew it was avoid for both As and Os - too much salt and too many chemicals.
Then I heard someone say something about wraps. I made my way down the table and found two kinds of wrap sandwiches. One was made of thin wheat bread. The other was made of spinach. It wasn't made of 100% spinach. There was obviously some wheat to give it shape. But it was a lot less wheat than any of the other choices. The spinach wraps were stuffed with turkey breast.
Surprisingly there were no chips, and my husband was delighted to get both my cookie and DD's. The political speeches were good, and the candidate himself seems to be an honest man with a servant's heart. In a year when most of the politicians don't share my core beliefs, it is a relief to find someone I might actually like voting for.
I fought the lawn and theâ€¦well - it's too early to tell who is going to win.
When the builder finished our house, he graded it in such a way as to divert water around the house and toward a seasonal creek that is behind our lot. He warned us that we needed to get landscaping quickly in place that would prevent erosion from undoing what he had done. Then it rained for two months and we saw a lot of the dirt beside the driveway wash down the hill.
At last we found a landscaper who was oriented toward xeriscaping and using native plants. He brought in rock to create a dry creek bed where the natural drainage was occurring. Then he put in a bridge and stepping stones for access to our front door from the driveway. He hauled in more dirt to put along the driveway. He spread two kinds of grass seed (one is a winter grass, the other is a drought resistant native summer grass), and covered them with erosion preventing netting. I'm to water for 10 minutes every day, and in 14 days I'm supposed to see sprouting grass.
For my part, I am picking up rocks and gravel. I used leftover bricks from the house to line a path from the back door to the driveway. I'm hauling the small gravel to that path, so it won't be muddy in rainy weather. The large rocks I'm hauling to the side of the house, to extend the dry creek bed on down the side of the hill.
As I lift the buckets of rocks, I think about the fact that weight bearing exercise is supposed to increase bone strength. As I wipe sweat from my face, I remember that intense physical exercise is the best kind of exercise for Type Os.
When I get the rocks removed, I want to plant wild flowers. I know this will be a long and hard project. It won't be finished in a year - or even two. I know that in the spring I will have to attack the grass that will certainly want to take over my dry creek bed. I've got weeks of hauling rocks yet to go. I'm taking on the lawn - and I intend to win.
Barbeque is a very popular food in my part of the country. That is a really good thing for Type Os. I had my two favorite barbeque restaurants where I used to live. I could pick up a pound of brisket or turkey on the way home if I was running late for dinner. After we moved I was watching for a good barbeque place close by.
Of the two towns that are near us, the town in the direction of the main highway is bigger and has a lot of restaurants. We found a great barbeque restaurant there, but it is 7 miles away. With gas prices what they are, I hoped to find something closer.
I drive by one barbeque place every day on the way home from work. A few weeks ago when I made a quick trip to look in on my parents, I decided to stop there. I had vegetables in my refrigerator that I could eat with my fingers as I drove. I needed some meat. I ordered a third of a pound of brisket sliced extra lean. If you don't eat brisket, that means that you're asking them to trim off the fat that is on the bottom. Sometimes they charge a little more per pound, but it's worth it.
I got in the car, started on my way, and opened the package. They had not trimmed the fat. It was really messy to eat, especially while I was driving. Not only that, in my 1/3 pound, they had included an end piece of brisket. That is the hard piece that is sliced off first before you start getting good slices. Lots of restaurants shred the end pieces and mix them in with their chopped beef, but there is no way that they would have served me that if I had ordered sliced beef to eat in the restaurant.
Penny wise, pound foolish, I thought as I wiped my hands with a 5th Kleenex. I might have stopped there a couple of times a month. They saved a little money by ripping me off this time, but they lost me forever as a customer.
The town in the other direction is where I go to drop off my recycling. It is smaller, and is very short on restaurants that serve real food. There are a couple of sandwich shops, and a pancake house, but the choices for Type Os are not good. However, on the way to recycle, I noticed a barbeque place that was less than two miles from the house. Hurrah, I thought. I stopped and ordered a pound of brisket, extra lean. I'd have lunch for three days.
When I got home, it was tasty and very lean. However, the next day, I found another end piece hidden at the bottom of the slices. Another restaurant has lost a loyal customer. If they will save a few cents by including a worthless piece of meat in a take out order, where else are they cutting corners in their restaurant? What fillers might be in the side orders to stretch them a little further? Penny wise, pound foolish. I'd never trust them again.