Archives for: July 2008
We have tried a new food, and our reaction had interesting BTD implications.
While I was at my parent’s house, my Darling Daughter bought groceries and cooked BTD meals for herself and her father. The day before I got home, she cleaned the house from top to bottom, and when I arrived, she had a delicious dinner waiting. See why I call her DD?
She and I talked on the phone every day about lots of things, including food. She was really interested in trying stir fried snow peas. As she was looking for them at the store, she discovered a bag of edamame in the freezer section. Knowing that soy was one of her superbeneficial foods, she bought it.
The instructions on the bag were pretty clear – boil them or microwave them. They look a whole lot like snow peas. So yesterday she and I cooked edamame with carrots and celery. DD took some in her lunch to work, and I took some in my lunch to school. I took one bite and spit them out. It was like eating hay. The pods were disgusting.
I left a message on her cell phone, apologizing for the inedible lunch. I told her to pick the beans out of the pods and just eat those with the other veggies.
When she got home, she said, “What were you talking about? The edamame was good.” She had eaten it pods and all. She liked it so much, she wanted more today.
I looked at the bag. There was nothing in the directions about eating or not eating the pods. I went on the Internet. Of all the sites I checked, the vast majority say don’t eat the pods. They recommend eating edamame as finger food, squeezing the little green beans out of the pods and throwing the pods away. But there are a few sites that say eating pods is fine, as long as they are cooked. A few people write that they actually like to eat pods and all.
All I can say is that those people have to be Type As! Unless you had some internal sense that you were eating something very beneficial, you wouldn’t eat soybean pods and like them! I’ll give edamame another try, but I’ll be eating it like they do in Japan, with a bowl nearby for discarding the pods.
Pardon me if this is a bit of a solemn blog. You don’t spend nearly two weeks nursing someone you love back from the brink of disaster without a lot of introspection.
It is hard to see a once vigorous man – one who used to effortlessly toss me in the air and catch me – one who loved to climb mountains and ride horses – unable to sit up in bed or stand in a walker.
It forces me to face the reality that we live in a fallen world (Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight. Genesis 6:11) and we are all heading toward death (For the wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23).
Our culture glorifies life and youth. We fill magazines with pictures of healthy, happy youngsters. We watch movies of people living immoral lives and practicing all kinds of unhealthy habits without any consequence. It’s a lie.
We are all aging. The earth is decaying. Everything in this world is moving toward death. The Bible predicts it, and when you spend a while in a sick room, the truth slaps you in the face.
One day a friend was going pretty hard on my Dad and other elderly people who stop taking medication. “Wait a minute,” I said. “I follow a pretty weird and restrictive diet so that I don’t have to take medication every day. When the BTD worked, I didn’t talk to my doctor. I stopped the medication that was no longer needed.”
Later, as I thought back over my own words, I asked myself, “Why do I stay with the BTD?” It’s certainly not an easy diet, though it’s also not as hard as it seems for the first month. I don’t do the BTD, thinking that I will live forever. That won’t happen, and I know it. I’m not even sure I would want to live to some extreme old age. It would get pretty lonely when all my family and friends were gone.
I stay with the BTD because I want to be active, productive, and independent for as many years as God gives me. I don’t want to slowly decline to a point where I can’t move and I can’t think. I don’t want to be on prescription drugs, if there is a way I can have the same results naturally. I believe that the BTD gives me the best chance to stay healthy and energetic.
I quoted the first half of Romans 6:23. It sounds pretty bleak. It is the 2nd half of the verse that brings hope: but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. My Dad and Mom are declining because this is a fallen world. But because of their faith in Jesus Christ they have hope. They will have new resurrected bodies where there will be no more disease or sorrow. (There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4). Best of all, I know I will see them again. Until then, I count out vitamins for their daily pill boxes, and I eat right for my type. We want to live for God as long as he leaves us on this earth. But as recent days have reminded me; this is just a temporary home.
I got another stir fry lesson from my sister the other night. She said that her favorite vegetable to stir fry was broccoli because of the beautiful color. She washed the broccoli and cut it into medium size flowerets. She began to stir fry in plain olive oil. “Watch what happens,” she said. When the broccoli was done it was a bright, almost fluorescent green. “It happens every time,” she said. “It’s how I know when it’s done.”
I was at the store one day picking up a few things for dinner. I was really hungry, but I didn’t want to succumb to snack food. I looked around in the produce section and found a case of juices and smoothies. They all had lots of healthy ingredients – but most of them were also high calorie and laden with sugar. I looked at the label on a pom green tea. All of the ingredients were natural. There was no added sugar, it was sweetened only with pomegranate juice. It was pricey, but I bought it, and it was delicious. It took the edge off my hunger without spoiling my appetite for the meal.
My dad is slowly improving. He is getting along with the home health care worker we have hired. I should be able to go home soon.
When family gets together, there are always new recipe opportunities. Even when the occasion is a sad one – like this illness of my Dad’s – people have to eat.
My sister, who has lived in Europe for more than 20 years, had planned a visit to my parents for this week long ago. It was wonderful to have her here helping make decisions. She and I tend to see situations from different angles, and we really worked well together.
We both agreed to give my Mom a vacation from the kitchen. Both of us cooked some of our favorite dinners. She stir fries a lot, and I learned several techniques from watching her. One night she stir fried carrots and snow peas.
She sliced the carrots in thin rounds and cut the snow peas in half. She heated the olive oil and started cooking the carrots in a skillet. When they were about half done, she added the snow peas. Once she starts cooking, she stays right by the pan and stirs constantly. She never covered the pan – as I sometimes do – so her vegetables were very crisp. It was so easy and so delicious.
My dad is a little better every day. He thinks a little clearer, and he helps us move him a little more. He will have occupation therapy and physical therapy for several weeks. I really enjoyed watching the OT and PT do their evaluations. They did some of the same tests that my son had practiced on us while we were with him in Kentucky. Both the OT and PT are very optimistic about Dad’s potential for a full recovery.
We had barely gotten home from our vacation when I got a call from my Mom at 8 am. She can't hear a thing over the phone; she just said to me, "Dad has fallen, please come." That's not an easy thing to do, on the spur of the moment. They are a 3 1/2 hour drive away. I called a friend from their church to go by and give me a first hand report. Then I packed my bags.
It turns out that my Dad (90 years old) had symptoms of a urinary tract infection, but ignored them. Then he started running a low grade fever. He decided that the medications he takes every day might be related to the fever, so he stopped taking everything - prescriptions and vitamins. He got weaker and weaker. Right before I left on vacation he admitted the UTI symptoms, and got antibiotics. He took them just long enough to get relief, then stopped, then started again. He continued to get weaker, until one night he was in the bathroom with his walker and his legs collapsed and he sat down on the floor. Fortunately it wasn't really a fall. He just slumped and couldn't get up.
By the time I got there, friends had carried him to bed. He wasn't making much sense, and he was seeing illusions. I called his doctor. Some of the medication he was on must not be stopped suddenly. If it is, it causes -- muscle weakness. The sporadically treated UTI had come roaring back - causing confusion and weakness. The doctor prescribed antibiotics and said get him back on his meds.
For several days I thought he would not recover. Fortunately today he is talking sense again. He is still too weak to stand by himself - even with the walker. He has lost a great deal of the independence that is so important to him. We have a home health care worker taking care of him 9-5 every day. My Mom (at 92) can't get him in a sitting position to eat and she can't roll him over to change his sheets.
I once read a book on natural home remedies. It had a vitamin or herb therapy for almost everything imaginable. I looked up strep throat, and the author wrote this: (I'm paraphrasing) If you have symptoms of strep throat, go to the doctor and get antibiotics. This is serious. It is not the time to take vitamin C.
I feel the same advice is true for any number of bacterial infections. There is a time for preventive care. There is a time for home remedies. There is a time for beneficial food on the best diet in the world. But, there is a time for modern medicine.
I'll say the same thing to you that I'm saying to my Dad, now that he can talk coherently again. If you have symptoms of an infection, don't ignore them. Call the doctor. If you want to cut back on your meds, tell your doctor and find out the safe way to do it. Don't stop cold turkey. You can get very sick, very quickly if you ignore an infection and suddenly stop your meds.
We had one more BTD adventure before we returned from our trip to Kentucky. We made a side trip to Nashville, and while we were there we toured the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's home.
On the way we stopped at a restaurant called O'Charley's for lunch. What I will always remember is the very generous vegetable portions. HH and DD ordered salmon. I needed a beef fix after several days of canned turkey and tuna. I ordered a hamburger patty, substituting broccoli for the fries. Between the three of us we had all the vegetables we could possibly eat. It was a delicious and very compliant meal. I found out later that O'Charley's is an Eastern chain restaurant. I would welcome them in Texas.
When you tour the Hermitage, you get headphones so you can listen to recorded messages about the many features on the grounds. They used a lot of quotes from people who had stayed at the Hermitage during Andrew Jackson's time. One visitor wrote, "There was an abundance of meat: beef, mutton, turkey, geese, several kinds of ducks and fowls. The guests loved it." Doesn't that sound like a Type O household!
The kitchen was a separate building away from the house. It was safer, because there was always a danger of fire. It also kept the heat and smell of cooking away from the house. We peaked in the smokehouse where we learned that pork was the "primary meat for the household."
That took a little of the shine off of the Type O household idea. However, I suspect that would have been a true statement for most rural households for most of this country's history. My Dad has often reminisced that on the ranch where he grew up they raised cattle to sell to folk in the cities. However his family rarely ate beef. They mostly ate the less expensive pork and chicken.
We stopped for lunch in Elizabethtown at a restaurant called Texas Outlaw BBQ. When we walked in we said, "We're from Texas, will we feel like home?" The hostess laughed.
I ordered brisket, DD and HH ordered turkey. In Texas, most barbeque restaurants serve pinto beans, potato salad, cole slaw, and fries. This restaurant had lots of vegetables including green beans and broccoli, which I ordered. They even had sweet potato for an extra charge. My meal was delicious. My husband ordered beans with his turkey. They weren't pinto beans. They were some kind of small bean in a sweet sauce. This Kentucky restaurant would have Texas barbeque beat - - except for the northern beans!
After a day of driving and museums, DD and I were ready for a hike. We stopped at a visitor center and inquired about local trails. The lady suggested a 5-mile path around Freeman Lake. It was perfect. The lake was lovely. We saw flocks of Canadian geese and we even came around a curve and surprised a deer. Part of the trail was through lush trees; part was through lakeside meadows filled with wildflowers.
My husband didn't make the hike. His leg is bothering him. Ever since back surgery 23 years ago, he has a sensitive spot on one of his nerves. We have been so careful not to let him load suitcases in the car. I hope it is just the result of a lot of driving today.
Which is more important, strict compliance to the BTD, or the ability once in a while on a special occasion to relax the standards and have a little fun? Some of you will agree with me, and some will agree with DD.
When my Honorable Husband thinks of Kentucky, he thinks of horses. When my Strong Son thinks of Kentucky, he thinks of school. But when my Darling Daughter told her boyfriend we were going to Kentucky, his immediate response was Kentucky Fried Chicken. We googled it, and learned that Colonel Sander's original restaurant was in Corbin, Kentucky. It is still open, and there is a little museum inside the restaurant.
We were planning to stay in Corbin while we visited Cumberland Gap and Cumberland Falls. We decided we would eat at the original KFC for Sunday lunch before saying goodbye to SS and sending him back to school.
DD wanted to go for the historical value, and to buy a souvenir for her boyfriend, but she immediately made up her mind not to eat there. In fact, she was at the car, making a peanut butter on spelt sandwich, when another guest to the restaurant walked by. He gasped and said, "You are in the parking lot of one of the greatest restaurants in America, and you are eating peanut butter?!?"
HH and SS had no qualms at all. They charged up to the counter and ordered dinners.
I intended to find the most BTD compliant meal that I could. I thought surely in this day and time that KFC would have a grilled chicken breast for health conscious customers. But no, everything was deep fried. It was almost a tough decision, until I saw chicken livers on the menu. I love fried chicken livers. I said, "This is a famous restaurant, and I'm going to enjoy it and have fun."
DD looked disappointed. She said, "You get two sides, but green beans are the only good choice for you. You should get double green beans." I looked at the menu. She was right. But they had corn on the cob. I like corn on the cob even more than I like chicken livers. I haven't had it in years. I ordered chicken livers with green beans and corn on the cob.
KFC was a fun place to eat and I have no regrets that I splurged a little. Two avoids on a vacation neither harm my health or indicate a pattern of noncompliance. Today I have been back on track eating right for my type. DD also thinks she made the right choice. If breaded fried food is bad, then she wants nothing to do with it. What would you have done?
The first white man to find Cumberland Falls was Zechariah Green. He and his men were floating down the Cumberland River when they heard ominous noises ahead. They quickly abandoned their boat and swam for shore. From there they watched the boat go over the falls.
We were not nearly so much danger as we walked beside the river, climbing up and down so that we got to see the falls from both the top and the bottom.
Tonight we enjoyed Chinese food at a restaurant where our Strong Son enjoys getting take-out food. The menu gave us the choice of a dinner, which included entrée, rice, egg roll and soup, or “a la carte” which was just the entrée and rice. My husband, DD, and I all ordered a la carte, and had more than enough food. SS ordered the dinner and loved every bite.
I ordered Imperial Beef. It included, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, and water chestnuts. The vegetables were fresh and cooked perfectly. DD had Green Bean Chicken. I tasted one of her green beans and they were so good they inspire me to try cooking fresh green beans when we get home.
SS devoted most of the evening to studying. I asked him to explain something that he was learning that he had never known before. He said that he hadn’t known there are three systems to get energy to cells: Creative Phosphate, Glycolytic, and Aeorbic. CP provides a quick boost of energy and is rapidly depleted. Glycolytic can last longer than the CP, but glycogen breakdown is incomplete, so lactic acid is formed as a by product. Both of those systems are anaerobic.
The aerobic system uses oxygen and burns glucose. It can take up to 5 minutes to get this system functioning, but once it’s going it can continue as long as there are stored fats and carbohydrates available.
I’ve heard about aerobic exercise for years, and for the first time I understand why it is important. The first systems are only good for a sprint or for picking up a heavy object. They do not burn stored body fat. For weight loss, you don’t want a quick short burst of activity. Aerobic exercise is what allows you to sustain your activity and actually start to use up stored fat. This is why Dr. D recommends 30 – 35 minutes of exercise at least 3 times a week for Type As. For Type Os he recommends 45 – 60 minutes at least 3 times a week.
I find myself thinking of Green and his party again. As they paddled downstream, they were getting sustained aerobic exercise. But when they jumped overboard and swam for shore, they had to have switched to their Creative Phosphate and Glycolytic systems.
On the 4th of July we celebrate America’s birthday. It was an appropriate day to visit the Cumberland Gap and admire the bravery of the pioneers, who pushed through to the west.
In 1775 – one year before the colonists signed the Declaration of Independence – Daniel Boone led the first group of families through the Appalachians to their new homes in Kentucky. Today our family walked along the Wilderness Trail through the gap. We climbed to the top of Tri State Peak, where you can be in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia all at the same time.
Of all possible vacation activities, hiking in the mountains is my favorite. Don’t ask me whether I like the strenuous exercise from the steep inclines, the fresh air and trees, or the view from the top the best. They all combine to make a mountain hike a refreshing experience.
When we got down, we had a tailgate picnic at the car. Turkey sandwiches for HH and SS and a peanut butter sandwich for DD. I had salmon mixed with peas and carrots in a bowl. I sliced nectarines and apples for all.
We drove to the Pinnacle for another short hike to where we could look down on the Cumberland Gap. When you see the solid wall of mountains – 600 miles long – and realize there is only one place in the south where it’s possible to get through, you realize the significance of the gap to the history of the country.
SS has exams next week, and needed to have some study time. After dinner (food to go from Applebees) he practiced on the family. He tested our muscles for strength, and measured our joints for range of motion. He confirmed what I already knew, that my legs are much stronger than my arms. He noted that I can turn my head farther to the right than I can to the left. I never knew that! My husband, who had back surgery more than 20 years ago, worries that one of his legs is not as strong as the other. According to SS, the strength level is about the same in both legs.
In a small way we on the blood type diet are pioneers. We are showing people around us a revolutionary way of eating and living. Be brave when people ridicule the way you eat. Persevere when you can’t find anything beneficial to eat in a restaurant. It’s hard at first, and it seems like it’s all uphill, but you will break through.
Today’s activities highlighted how seriously some people take animal nutrition and how little thought they put into their own diets. I doubt that Kentucky is all that different from any other part of the country; it’s just that the contrast was so obvious at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The Kentucky Horse Park is like a theme park – except there aren’t rides. It’s like a museum – except there are shows and activities. It is a wonderful place to learn all about horses and see close up some of the things that horses can do.
We wanted to have lunch in between two of the shows. The restaurant serves cafeteria style, and at first, there didn’t seem to be anything but sandwiches and wraps. Then we came to the salads, but they were pre-made with bacon and fried chicken. At last, at the end of the line, DD and I found what we wanted – plate lunches with a meat and two sides. One of the meat choices was a half of a baked chicken. DD and I decided that we would get one plate lunch with mixed vegetables and green beans. We would add a side order of green beans, and share. It was a good plan and it worked.
When we paid for our meal at the end of the line they charged us $2.50 for the extra green beans. Behind us was a boy who wanted an extra order of French fries. They charged him $3.00. DD and I found this to be amusing. People are willing to pay more for fries than they are for vegetables.
All through the park there is an emphasis on proper nutrition for the animals. The owners and trainers want the horses to be sleek, fast, and in good health. But the snack stands and much of the food in the restaurant play to the lowest desires of the human visitors.
SS asked if his grandfather had made progress learning to walk again, and I gave him an update. He took my observations and explained what is happening physiologically. Both neurological components and immobility components are at work, he said. At first, right after the accident, it was all neurological. The head injury was real, and it interfered with the nerves to his leg. However being in a wheel chair for 18 months has affected his ability to use his muscles and joints properly.
There is no way to know how much of the problem now is neurological and how much is immobility. It’s possible that permanent nerve damage was done. It is also possible that his current problems are not the result of the head injury at all. SS said that immobility perpetuates itself. Muscles shrink when they are not used. The lubricating fluids that allow joints to move properly are not made until the joint moves.
Keep yourself moving with the right exercise for your type. Don’t let immobility rob you of your ability to have an active lifestyle now and in the future.
When we travel, we picnic two meals a day and eat out one. This saves money and time, plus it makes it easier to stay within BTD boundaries.
Every motel we are staying in on this trip has a continental breakfast. Most of the time that means wheat and orange juice. DD and I don’t even go to look at the breakfast any more. We bring nuts and dried fruit with us. I pick up fresh fruit at local grocery stores. My husband and son check out the breakfast buffet. If it’s donuts and bagels, they come back to the room for trail mix. If it’s muffins and cereal, they stay. This morning they stayed, and when they got back they told me that there were hard-boiled eggs. I went down and picked up two for a snack later in the day.
At the meal we eat out, we order things that aren’t practical to carry in our ice chest. I usually look for beef and fresh vegetables. For lunch today, our son took us to Qdoba. It is a lot like Chipotle, but better. I had a naked burrito – in other words a burrito without the tortilla. It had black beans, shredded beef, rice with cilantro and Romaine lettuce.
Dinner was a picnic in our hotel room. I brought a loaf of Ezekiel in my suitcase. I don’t know how hard it will be to find healthy bread here. DD had a peanut butter and blueberry Simply Fruit sandwich. HH and SS had turkey and soy cheese sandwiches. I had a can of salmon and a can of asparagus mixed together with a little olive oil in a bowl.
There is a nice fitness room at our motel. All of us except HH worked out on the machines. SS told us more about what he is learning about muscles. He said it is important to spend equal time working out chest and back muscles. Because body builders over emphasize pectorals, many of them spend incredible amounts of time doing bench presses, and never work out their backs. Often they wind up hunched over and in pain.
This blog sounds like all we did is eat and exercise. Of course that is not true. We spent the day exploring the incredibly beautiful horse farm country. We got to meet some famous racehorses, and watch some little colts scamper after their mothers in the pastures.
Finding beneficial food when traveling is always an adventure. Today we left on a 10-day trip to visit our Strong Son and do some sightseeing in Kentucky. The first challenge was making sure we would have food to eat on the airplane.
Last summer we didn’t take a vacation because we were moving. The three previous summers we had driven to our destination. So I hadn’t been on an airplane since 2003. I went on the internet to see what kind of food I could and couldn’t take on the plane. The big prohibitions were liquids, gels, and oils. There was little about food per se.
I fixed turkey and soy cheese on Ezekiel bread for my husband. That seemed totally safe. For DD I fixed peanut butter and pineapple on Ezekiel bread. I worried a little about whether security would question the peanut butter. However, it was my bowl of leftover chicken and vegetables that concerned me the most. There was nothing on the TSA website prohibiting meat, greens, or beans. But I knew that if they opened the container and poked around in it with gloved fingers, that I’d throw it away. I packed the homemade power bars in luggage I checked. They are chewy, and I had to admit they looked suspicious. For the flight we would eat packaged protein bars and apple slices
All of our carry on luggage sailed through the x-ray machines with ease. We ate a beneficial lunch in the gate waiting area.
SS e-mailed directions to a restaurant called Ramseys. All he told us was that it was typical Kentucky cooking. The entrees came with three vegetables, and there were lots of good choices. I had pot roast, which was tender and delicious. With it I had kale (I’ve never seen kale in a restaurant before), honey-mustard carrots, and yellow squash with onions. Of the three, the kale was my favorite.
Our son is learning things in PT school that are useful to the Blood Type lifestyle. Tonight we talked about exercises my Dad could do to strengthen the muscles in his legs. SS said that when you first start exercising, your body adjusts to the increased activity by compensating with existing strengths. It takes about six weeks before muscle fibers start breaking down, and new muscle starts building.
How many people have I known who exercised faithfully for a month, then quit because they couldn’t see any results? I’ve known a few who became discouraged after a week! According to SS, they haven’t even started building muscle yet. Exercise isn’t a short term quick fix; it is a lifetime commitment.