Archives for: September 2008
The next time I hear about the conflict between Wall Street and Main Street, I may throw a shoe at the TV or the computer monitor. Surely all of you are too intelligent to fall for that kind of class warfare! When banks start failing, everyone is going to be hurt, whatever street we’re on.
I grew up hearing stories of the Great Depression from my parents who vividly remembered it. (They were born in 1917 and 1918) A local bank held the mortgage on my grandparents’ ranch. For years the family struggled just to pay the interest on that mortgage so they would not lose their means of livelihood. My other grandfather was an officer in the bank in a small farm community. The officers didn’t get their money out until everyone else had been paid. Both families kept food on the table with backyard gardens. Ironically my mother learned to love cooked greens, and my father learned to hate them.
I hope that enough of our representatives in Washington will have enough backbone to put election year pontificating aside and do the right thing to stabilize the financial markets, but I’m not counting on them.
I have begun to think about what I need to do to keep healthy food on the table. I am seriously considering a garden on the back of our property. I have a lot to learn if I’m going to break ground for a spring garden. Even without a garden, increasing vegetable servings and portions is one way to make our food dollars go farther. That would be beneficial for both the Type Os and Type As in the family.
I fear that most Americans will increase their wheat and potato portions. That will fill them up, but will cause health problems, especially for Type Os.
I don’t know how long I will buy spelt bread at $4.50 a loaf. HH likes it much better than the less expensive Ezekiel Bread. I can dig the bread machine out of the closet, but I wish I hadn’t sold my bread slicer before we moved. Organic will be out of the question, and when I finished the leftover salmon for lunch today, I may have been eating my last wild caught fish – unless I’m fortunate enough to find a sale.
I have already started ordering supplements on the Internet. I really want to support my local health food stores. But their supplement prices are twice as high as the same products on line.
Perhaps you think I’m over reacting. Here are a few facts. Most employers no longer provide pensions; they provide 401K plans. Unless you plan to die young, you have to generate enough income from your 401K so that you don’t spend your principle. Falling stock markets, falling interest rates, and inflation (all of which increased at the speed of light this week) decrease your 401K income. Social Security expenditures will exceed income in 2017, with bankruptcy following unless benefits are cut. Medicare expenditures began exceeding income last year. The program will be bankrupt by 2020. Those “facts” are suddenly very personal when HH hoped to retire this year and we have two children in college.
It will help if I can find a good job quickly. I’m working at that every day. It will also help if I get away from the computer and pound out some of this stress in intense physical exercise.
One of the first things you read about Hunters is that we have "an overabundance of adrenaline and a fierce, nervous energy that winds down with age." I'm afraid I saw that characteristic up close last weekend.
When I first met my husband, he (though a Type A) was the runner. Once he got me started running, he knew he had created a monster. I wanted to push on to longer runs, but he was content to jog a mile or two. He had a friend who also liked running. One summer my husband hurt his back, and his running days were over. The friend went on to run marathons. We saw him and his wife occasionally, and they always looked like they were both in great shape. At the time I didn't know anything about BTD or GTD, but when I think of him now I would say - "Type O Hunter."
We hadn't seen them in several years, but we ran into them at a party over the weekend. I didn't recognize him. Even when HH called his name I thought, "No, that's not right." He looked like he had some sort of wasting disease. He held up his end of the conversation, but with little enthusiasm. They left the party early, and I turned to a mutual friend and said, "Clearly something is wrong, what is it?" I expected to hear the C word, but instead I heard this story.
He had retired early and loved it. He kept running marathons, and started gardening. He threw himself into gardening with the same energy that he did everything else. His knees began to give him trouble, but he kept on pushing. He began experiencing neurological symptoms, and went to the doctor. They tried several medications. They couldn't find the source of the nervous sympboms, but they did find that he had lost all of the cartilage in his knees. He got depressed. They tried several surgeries and several more medications. The depression deepened, and the symptoms got worse. He is in a physical and mental downward spiral.
All I could think was Hunter burn out. I have the same kind of enthusiasm, energy and drive. Now I have seen up close what I could be like in 10 years if I don't eat right, I neglect getting enough rest, and I let the stresses of life get to me.
A short, violent spring thunderstorm dumped 5 inches of rain on our hillside and washed out part of the path around our back yard. We postponed repairing it all summer because we couldn’t decide what would be the most attractive and most durable material.
For several days we thought Hurricane Ike was going to come straight at us, and we quickly got serious about flood and erosion control. We decided that a lot of the damage that occurred last spring could have been prevented if we had a berm in one particular area. I started hauling rocks for the 10 foot long mound. I gathered some rocks from our property. I hauled others from the discard piles at a nearby construction site.
When I do this kind of physical labor, I’m not concerned about exercising! Setting aside a time to exercise on exercise equipment wearing designer exercise apparel, is definitely an urban phenomena. My farming and ranching grandparents didn’t worry about getting enough exercise, they worried about getting enough rest.
Lifting rocks is at least as hard as lifting weights. Climbing up a hill with a bucket of dirt gets my heart rate up at least as fast as a treadmill. My back has been a little stiff when I waked in the morning, but it quickly limbers up. I believe I’m getting stronger. It’s a good, healthy feeling.
When I’ve not been hauling rocks, I’ve been sending out my resume. I told our principal a year ago that when DD graduated, that I would resign from my job teaching journalism. I have thoroughly enjoyed helping the kids publish the yearbook and school newspaper. But I’m eager to return to doing the work of a writer, photographer and graphic designer myself.
It’s been a while since I searched for a job. Some of the rules have changed. The internet has made it both harder and easier to get noticed. I’m excited about the possibilities.
HH saw some beans soaking on the kitchen counter and asked what they were. “I’m fixing fava beans for myself tomorrow,” I told him. “You don’t like them.”
“How do you know I don’t like them?” he asked. “I don’t ever remember having them.”
So I retold the story (I’m sure I blogged about it way back when) of how the first time I cooked fava beans he loved them. I had over cooked them in the pressure cooker and they reminded him of mashed potatoes. He requested that we have them once a week. The third time I cooked fava beans he said he didn’t like them, wouldn’t eat them, and not to fix them any more. OK I’ll admit it, I teased him quite a bit about his inconsistency. He said, “Maybe I’ll give them another try tomorrow.”
The next day I was listening to talk radio in the car, and one of the shows had a guest who was reviewing some recent research about how great the spice turmeric is. I thought to myself that if he followed the BTD he would have known long before his “recent research” that turmeric is beneficial or super beneficial for every Type.
Then I chided myself for not using it more often. I like the flavor, but somehow it gets pushed to the back of the pantry. With all of this in mind I arrived home to fix the fava beans. The package says to pressure cook the favas for 20 minutes. If I do that, they become so soft that goop starts to ooze out of the top of the pressure cooker. So I cook them for about 12 minutes. They are soft enough to mash, but they are not gooey or burned.
I added turmeric, garlic, and olive oil to the favas as I mashed them. I tasted them and I liked them. HH tasted them and said, “These are ok; you can fix them again.
Melissa left a comment that she thought my husband would like the Lemon Turkey she posted in BTD recipes. I fixed it tonight, and both of us thought it was delicious. HH suggested we have it again soon. That’s two victories this week!! I’m all smiles.
My husband and I are making progress. DD read my blog and Chanur’s comment. She e-mailed recipes and helpful suggestions. The theme of her e-mail was “Take care of my Dad, I want him to be healthy.”
One night he apologized for his bad attitude. He said, “If I have to choose between good taste and good health, then good health is a slam dunk.”
If you want to know the truth, I’m sympathetic to his plight. First of all, he has no sense of smell. Maybe it is genetic, or maybe it is because he has had sinus trouble most of his life. But most food has no flavor for him. That is why he likes pepper and vinegar, even though they are avoid. He can taste them. That is why he would rather have cheddar cheese than tofu. Unless a food has a strong or distinct flavor, to him it “tastes like cardboard.”
I’m also sympathetic because I’m the one who has changed – not him. When he married me I knew nothing about nutrition and could have cared less. I was a typical American cooking lots of desserts and serving white bread at every meal…you get the picture. Just before our first anniversary, I read my first health food book, and changed our way of eating overnight. Then five years ago I found the BTD and changed everything all over again.
It’s sort of like when two secular people get married, then one of them accepts Christ as savior. While I will pray fervently along with the new Christian that his/her spouse will also receive Christ - I do sympathize (just a little) with the spouse. He (or she) was content being a heathen. He married someone like him – who liked to party, or sleep late on Sunday, or whatever. Now he is under pressure to change, to give up bad habits, to surrender his life to God, to go to Bible study instead of clubs. I know he will be better off, both now and in eternity, if he becomes a Christian, but I can see that from his perspective it’s not fair that his marriage has been upended.
When HH & I married we were both unhealthy Christians. I changed, and I’ve been dragging him along ever since. I can’t blame him when occasionally he rebels or digs in his heels.
Here is the new plan. I’m going to set things up so that he can make his own casseroles. I’m going to fix a grain or a noodle dish (which I usually won’t eat). I’m also going to fix a meat (fish or turkey) and several vegetables. He is going to mix what he wants in a bowl. I’ll have some kind of beneficial or neutral sauce to go on top. He thinks this will work. I think it will work too.
Though we have our differences about food right now, HH and I agree that this is the best cole slaw we’ve ever had. Last summer I wrote that Lynn, one of my best friends, had been diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer. She had a year to reminisce with her husband, comfort her children, and enjoy her grand children. Her funeral was a joyful tribute to her life. For the dinner after the service, someone brought Chinese Cole Slaw. It was so good that I went back for seconds. Then I asked for the recipe. The original has too many avoids, but I have come up with my own version which is good for Type Os, and only has one avoid for Type As.
Here is the original recipe, which, though it is delicious, I do not recommend:
2 packages of Angel hair cabbage
2 packages of Ramen noodles
2 packages slivered almonds
2 Tbsp sesame seed
2 Tbsp butter
4 - 6 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup oil
salt & pepper
Crunch up the noodles. Brown the almonds and sesame seed in the butter. Mix the vinegar, sugar oil, salt and pepper together in a jar. Shake together. At the last minute toss all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
I think part of the secret to this cole slaw is the angel hair cabbage. You can buy it pre-washed and pre-cut in the produce section of your grocery store. It is light and crisp. The other secret to this cole slaw is adding nuts. The recipe may be great for a big gathering like a funeral. I had to make it practical for two of us eating dinner alone.
Here is my BTD version:
In a jar shake together 2/3 cup light olive oil, ¼ cup honey, and 4 Tbsp rice vinegar.
Put a serving of Angel hair cabbage in a bowl for each person. For each serving, break 2 Tbsp pecans or walnuts into small pieces and mix them with the cabbage. Pour a little of the dressing into each bowl and toss quickly.
It is crunchy, tangy, and not too sweet. I like it and HH likes it.
I knew that DD going away to college would mean changes, but I had not anticipated the conflicts I have had with my Honorable Husband over meals and food choices.
He likes casseroles. Before we had children and long before the Blood Type Diet, I fixed casseroles 3-4 times a week. He likes noodles and rice with sauces. He likes bread even if his meal includes another starchy food.
Children severely limited the casseroles. Very few young children like their meat and vegetables mixed together, and ours were not exceptions. HH did not complain. For 24 years he ate meat and vegetables. After I started the BTD, he saw even less of his beloved grain dishes. Still he did not complain. He just ordered pasta dishes every time we went out to eat.
But with DD gone, he is no longer out numbered. There are two of us eating, and he is voicing his opinions. He is tired of salmon and cod. He wants catfish – not a beneficial choice. He is tired of olive oil on vegetables. He wants cheese sauce. He announced tonight that he likes green beans, but he does not like snow peas.
I had not expected this to be part of our empty nest adjustments. I want him to be happy with his food. I do not want him coming to the kitchen and sighing. At the same time, I do not want to return to they days when he had an upset digestive tract 1 week out of every three or four weeks. That was common before the BTD.
Both of us have choices. He has to decide whether to eat what is healthy or to eat what he likes. I have to decide whether to push healthy food or to let him have his way hoping that he will associate the way he feels with what he is eating. Interesting days are ahead.