Archives for: November 2007
My Dad, at 89 years of age, deals with achy joints and uncooperative knees. Long before the injury that left him in a wheelchair, he wanted to stay physically active, so he researched natural remedies. He was impressed by the claims made for glucosamine/chondroitin and tried it. It worked, and he has taken it for years. Until his head injury a year ago, he walked a mile or two once or twice a day.
When I started the Blood Type Diet, I read this in Dr. D'Adamo's column. "Chondroitin sulphate is actually comprised of long linked chains of the sugar acetylated galactosamine. You might remember that galactosamine is also the blood type A antigen. Thus, upon hydrolysis (acid breakdown) in the stomach, chondroitin becomes free A-antigen. This would not be to much of a problem in type A or AB, who recognize A antigen as "self," but could be a major problem in types O and B, who recognize A antigen as "non-self." In essence, taking chondroitin sulphate if you are either O or B is the chemical equivalent of giving yourself a bad blood transfusion."
My Dad brushed off this information, because glucosamine/chondroitin had helped his knees so much.
My Dad also deals with itchy skin. It is especially bad at night and when he gets over heated. He has tried various topical creams and oral antihistamines, none of which were particularly successful.
A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, someone on the Forum quoted the "bad blood transfusion" sound bite, and I began to wonder if the itching might be related to the chondroitin. I bought glucosamine sulfate with MSM and gave it to my Dad. He took it instead of his usual glucosamine/chondroitin on Thursday. Friday at breakfast he said that for the first time in years, he had not itched in the night. He was totally amazed that the results were that fast. I left the glucosamine/MSM with him and brought the glucosamine/chondroitin home to give to my Type A husband.
I got an e-mail from Dad last night. No itching since he stopped the chondroitin.
Listen to Dr. D. Don't argue with him about avoids.
I may take issue with some neutrals. Apples, for instance, really seem to have a good effect on my digestive system. But I don't argue with him about avoids. Other research can tout the praises of oranges, avocado, and cauliflower. I know they are not for me.
Ask yourself this question. If giving up a favorite avoid would improve your quality of life, would it be worth it? My Dad knows the answer. No matter what popular opinion says about chondroitin, he likes sleeping peacefully through the night,
My Mom has not fully recovered from a fall last September. She decided that rather than go through the stress of preparing Thanksgiving dinner, she would order our dinner from a local cafeteria. I would have been happy to have cooked dinner for the family, but we were at her house, and this is what she wanted to do. I'll admit it was sort of nice to relax and visit all morning.
Tonight I've been catching up on BTD mail, and one comment got me to thinking about how Thanksgiving is for Type Os. Overall, it's a good holiday for us. There aren't a lot of beneficials, but then there aren't a lot of avoids either. It's certainly easier to stay compliant at a Thanksgiving dinner than at a fast food restaurant or a football game.
First of all there is a platter of meat, and I can get all I want. Turkey may be neutral, but animal protein energizes Type Os. There are always vegetables at Thanksgiving dinner. Usually we have green beans. Today we had broccoli. There is almost always a veggie tray. Cranberries are another neutral, but if you make them with pineapple juice, they become quite beneficial.
On the negative side is the dressing. It's traditional. It's delicious. If I make it and it's wheat free, I eat a serving. If someone else makes it, I enjoy a spoonful in honor of the day. Gravy I skip. I didn't particularly like turkey gravy even before the BTD.
If Type Os are going to eat a sugary dessert, traditional Thanksgiving pies are a much better choice than ice cream or cake. Pumpkin pie has beneficials. Pecan pie, fruit pies, and mince meat at least have something of nutritional value.
Thanksgiving isn't really about the food or the dinner. It is a day to thank God. To thank Him for the care and protection he showed the original settlers of this country. To thank him for the blessings he has brought into our lives in the past year. A thankful heart is beneficial for all types.
My sister e-mailed last week that she had made chicken curry for a luncheon at her daughter's school. I thought, that must be some chicken curry recipe if a group of Middle Schoolers liked it. So I asked for the recipe. My friend Beth was driving up so see the new house and enjoy a morning of girl talk. I decided to try the chicken curry recipe on her.
Beth is one of the many people I know who are happy that the Blood Type Diet works for me, but not the slightest bit interested in it for themselves. She will listen with polite interest if I want to talk, but is ready to change the subject pretty quickly. She does not know her blood type.
Here is my sister's recipe as she sent it to me:
1 chicken (or 6 chicken breasts) - Cut up and cook in salted water. Save cooking water)
Chop 2 onions and cook in margarine. Sprinkle 3-4 tsp. curry powder over onions.
Add: chicken pieces, garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, chicken bouillon (3 cups), 1 can tomato paste, salt and pepper.
Simmer all ingredients together. Thicken the juice with cornstarch if necessary. The flavor is best if cooked the day before the meal. Chicken curry can be frozen.
Serve the chicken curry over rice. At the table, each person tops his "mountain" with his personal choice of condiments: pineapple chunks, bananas, peanuts, chopped tomatoes chopped bell pepper orange slices raisins chopped cucumber grated carrots coconut (last ingredient for the "snow" on the mountain top)
This is mostly a Type O friendly recipe. I cooked my onions in ghee. I used 1 Â½ teaspoons of ginger juice. I didn't want to have to add cornstarch for thickening, so I didn't add the full three cups of liquid at first. I added a little at a time as it cooked. I changed the condiment list a little to match what was good for me and what I had on hand in the pantry.
Beth loved it and asked for the recipe. She admitted she was a little suspicious about topping meat and rice with pineapple and walnuts, but agreed in the end that the flavors worked well together. I think the fun of adding toppings is probably what makes the Middle Schoolers like the recipe so much.
I served the left-overs to my family. I added things to the condiments that are beneficial for Type As. The tomato paste is Type A avoid, but I just haven't found a substitute that they like. Dr. D. once said in a column "Generally 70-80% total compliance works well in most people (out of 10 food choices, 7-9 being neutral or beneficial choices)". Even with the tomato paste, Chicken Curry is within the compliant range.
I have a first place ribbon hanging on my refrigerator door tonight. I won first place at our church chili cook off! Well technically HH (my Honorable Husband) won the ribbon, but he couldn't have done it without me.
Last year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the church had a turkey dinner. This year the ladies decided to have a chili cook off. The men were to each fix a pot of chili, and the women were to bring corn bread or cake. Now HH does a lot of things well, but cooking is not one of them. So I agreed to make the chili, and let him get the credit - or the blame.
When our children were younger, we used to go camping with three other families. John would make a huge batch of chili and freeze it in milk cartons. The frozen chili kept his ice chest cold during the first part of the trip, and then one night we would heat the chili up over a camp fire and enjoy. I made John's camp chili.
I'll give you John's original recipe, then give a few hints for making it BTD friendly.
2 pounds of ground meat
1 regular can of Ranch Style Beans
1 can of Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cans ( 6 oz) of tomato sauce
salt and pepper
For the cook off, I used ground turkey. DD (my Darling Daughter) knew that all the other chili would be made with beef. She wanted something she could eat with a clean conscience. I don't buy tomato sauce any more because of the corn syrup. I substituted tomato paste, and liked the way it made the chili just a tad thicker.
The tomatoes and green chilies were avoids for Type As, as was the green pepper. If I had been making the chili at home, I could have left out the green pepper, but chili just isn't chili without a tomato base. Ranch beans are pinto beans, which are avoid for me. If I had been making chili at home, I could have used black beans or some other neutral bean.
Everybody liked the chili, and we didn't have any leftovers. DD and I laughed when HH was announced as the winner. He let me have the ribbon when we got home.
'What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.'
-Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
Huxley wins in overtime.
I started the Blood Type Diet because of heartburn and GERD. When I found out that peppermint was beneficial, I started buying sugar free mints. I quickly learned to love them, and I keep them in my purse all the time. If I am out running errands on a hot day, a mint and a bottle of water keep me refreshed. A mint after a meal tastes like dessert to me.
I originally started buying mints in bulk at the health food store because they were sweetened with Splenda. But the store discontinued the original brand and replaced it with a brand that lists hydrogenated starch as the first ingredient. The new mints also contain artificial colors. That didn't sound too good.
I looked at the grocery store. All of their sugar free mints are sweetened with NutraSweet (Aspartame) That is avoid! The other hard mints at the grocery store are sweetened with corn syrup. That is also avoid!
However the soft peppermints at the grocery store are just sugar, peppermint, and cream of tartar. This seemed like the most natural of the choices, and I've been using them for more than a month.
However, I'm haunted by all of the reading I did during my Health Nut years about the evils of sugar. I feel just a little guilty every time I pop one of the soft peppermints in my mouth. I wonder if I'm better off with a sugar free mint with artificial ingredients or a natural mint with sugar.
Have any of you tried the Spry or Robeir xylitol mints? Do you have a recommendation for a healthy sugar free mint?
My Darling Daughter has wanted to lose a little weight and reshape her body. It is easy for teenage girls to become compulsive about their weight, and I think DD might have fallen into that trap had it not been for the BTD. When she starts drifting in an obsessive direction, we go back to the BTD books and look at beneficial foods, portion sizes, and exercise. Because we have kept our eyes on scientific fact rather than feelings, it has kept her from crossing the line into unhealthy practices, and it has kept me from worrying.
We stopped at the grocery store on the way home from school yesterday and agreed on salmon, pumpkin, and raw veggies for dinner.
I was pleased to find that wild caught salmon was within my budget, and I selected a fillet. When the butcher punched the code into his computer it came up farm raised. I stopped him, and he corrected the code. Just to be sure, I said, "You are selling me wild caught, right?" He was a talkative butcher, and he launched into a long explanation
He says that wild caught fish are not truly wild. Fishermen go out into the ocean and screen off an area so that the salmon cannot escape. They give them additional food and monitor their growth. The salmon are harvested when they reach a certain size, which explains why all of the fish often look identical. Farm raised fish live in man made ponds. Wild caught fish live in man controlled parts of the sea. But neither is truly swimming wild or climbing salmon ladders to get back to inland breeding grounds.
If this is true, it makes me reevaluate my thinking about salmon, especially considering the price difference between farm raised and wild caught. My reason for preferring wild caught was my belief that they ate a more natural diet, lived in less crowded conditions, and were exposed to less impurity in their water. But if the studies compare truly wild fish with farm raised, they are not comparing what is really available in my local market.
When I fix canned pumpkin for myself I use the 100% pure pumpkin rather than the pumpkin pie mix. I warm it with some butter or ghee and a little cinnamon. Because DD is eating pumpkin with me now, I wanted to add less fat. So I mixed in a generous sprinkle of cinnamon and then, instead of the butter I added 1 Â½ teaspoons of ginger juice. The flavor was delightful, and it was beneficial for us both. We just finished eating up the left over pumpkin for lunch.
My husband loves casseroles. His idea of a great dinner is a little meat and a few vegetables mixed with rice or noodles and a savory sauce.
My daughter will not eat casseroles. She doesn't like her food all mixed together. She eats more vegetables than starch, and she prefers her vegetables raw. She wants to dip vegetables in peanut butter or salad dressing. She doesn't want them coated in sauce.
I like the way casseroles taste, but they don't satisfy my Type O needs. There is too much starch and not enough protein. The sauces my husband likes best are wheat based.
The way I have been serving meals is just right for my daughter and me, but lately I can hear my husband sigh when he goes into the kitchen to serve his plate. I know what he's thinking - "Chicken again?" "Fish again?" "Turkey again?" When we eat out he always orders pasta something.
Yesterday I went into the Recipe part of the Website - I love the new format, by the way. Someone has done a lot of work to make it much easier to use - I printed out a couple of recipes that I want to try in the next few days.
I can't promise my husband casseroles. But I do think I have a responsibility not to let his meals become boring.
I wanted to plant bluebonnets in front of the house. They are native, beautiful, drought resistant, and hardy - once they are established. I bought bluebonnet seed and learned that they should be planted between September 1 and December 1.
A large stand of oak trees divides the front of our property. My plan was to plant the bluebonnets on either side of the oaks. The construction workers and torn up the grass in those areas driving their equipment in and out. I just needed to clear out the rocks.
I worked hard to get one side of the yard cleared. I planted half of my seeds. Everything was going well, except my knees were achy. I got out one of my favorite books, "Anybody's Sports Medicine" and read this under overuse injuries in knees. "Squats can be the most harmful exercise of all. At the least a squat subjects the back of your kneecap to about seven and a half times your body weight - about 1,000 pounds per square inch." No wonder my knees hurt. I had been squatting and picking up rocks.
The book recommends rest and exercises to strengthen the muscles around the kneecap. I started those. I also started bromelain, ginger, and glucosamine (without condroitin because I'm Type O) as recommended in the BTD Encyclopedia. I improved slowly. It took about 10 days, but my knees returned to normal.
Yesterday I went out to water the bluebonnets, and they had sprouted! My excitement turned to dismay when I saw that a rain shower had washed some of the seed into an area where the bluebonnets could not survive. I went into high gear, moving the tiny sprouts and building a rock barricade to protect from further erosion. I over did it. My knees are achy again this morning.
I'm back to bromelain, glucosamine, andginger. I'm going to have to sit or kneel rather than squat when I do yard work.