Archives for: February 2009
A load was lifted from my shoulders today. These are stressful times. The economy is not good. There are international conflicts. As I am in the process of launching my two young adult children, at the same time that I am in the process of taking care of my Mom. My husband can be pretty needy, too! It's certainly not a good time to be looking for a job.
You may remember from an earlier blog, that last February I was called back for a recheck on my mammogram. The radiology center had switched from analog to digital images, and suddenly there were several calcifications showing up that hadn’t been there before.
I really didn't need another stress factor. But one test of character is how we respond when God allows things to happen in our lives that we don’t want. Worrying wouldn't do me any good. I needed to continue to eat right and exercise. I needed to keep my eyes on the blessings in my life, and my heart committed to following God's will.
After the recheck, they told me that they didn’t see anything of immediate danger, but they wanted to do another mammogram in six months and make sure that nothing was growing or changing. In August I got a good report. No changes were visible, but again I was told to come back in six months. I was glad that there were no changes, but I still felt like there was a sword hanging over my head.
Today I had another mammogram. No changes. I'm discharged! Next mammogram will be routine – in a year.
I called a friend - asked if she had time for an impulsive lunch. We went to a café and talked and laughed for 3 hours. I had meat loaf, lightly steamed spinach, and roasted mixed vegetables. It was delicious. And it was eaten with a very light and thankful heart.
It is so much fun when in the middle of an innocent conversation I correctly guess someone's Blood Type. They look at me like I'm psychic. The resulting conversation is always interesting.
I am at my Mom's house for a couple of days. Her caregiver had to go out of town. The last time I was here Mom said she thought she had a cavity. She was right. Actually she had three. All are small. Two were filled today, and we'll go back for the third in March.
While I was waiting I asked the receptionist if there was a place nearby where we could get barbeque for lunch. Mom and I - both Type Os - were hungry for some good brisket. The receptionist rolled her eyes. It turns out that the dentist loves meat, but she doesn't. When he wants to take the office staff out for a treat, he takes them for barbeque. She said, "They have really good sauce, but I just don't like to eat meat."
I said, "Do you have Type A Blood?" She looked at me like I was crazy, and said, "Yes, but how did you know that?" I had fun telling her about the Blood Type Diet, and I wrote the web address down for her.
Then the dentist came out, and the conversation got even more interesting. He loves meat, and he feels guilty about it. He believes meat is bad for everyone, but he can't help craving it. I kept thinking that he had to be an O, but when I asked, he said he didn't know his Blood Type. Rats, I wanted to be two for two.
After the appointment, Mom and I drove to the restaurant. The line was long, so I felt sure that the barbeque would be as good as the dentist promised it would be. We were not disappointed!
I enjoy grilled onions. I serve them often, mixed with cooked greens or on top of beef. However, grilled onions seem to have lost popularity and are being replaced in restaurants with the more stylish “roasted onions”. The big difference seems to be that, in a restaurant, grilled onions often arrive swimming in fat, where roasted onions do not.
When I fix grilled onions at home, I cook them in just a little bit of ghee, so my onions aren’t “swimming” and ghee is a good fat. Grilled onions are also fast, and I am usually fixing my lunch at the last minute, when I am already hungry. But Tuesday, I got an early start decided to try roasting an onion at home.
As long as I was planning ahead, I decided to bake a sweet potato as well. When we moved to our new house, I blogged that my husband wanted a microwave oven, and that while I didn’t plan to use it often, it was sure nice to have a sweet potato on short notice. In that blog, I compared sweet potatoes cooked in the oven with microwaved sweet potatoes and noted that I liked oven baked sweet potatoes better. However, more often than not, in the past year, time has triumphed over taste, and I have microwaved my sweet potatoes.
So into the 400 degree oven went a sweet potato wrapped in foil, and an onion, cut in half in a covered mini casserole dish. I went back to work on the computer. Soon the house was filled with delicious smells.
The roasted onion was very good and full of flavor. Mine was juicier than restaurant roasted onions. Perhaps they don’t cover theirs, so they don’t steam as much in their natural juices. The sweet potato was delicious. I really must take the time to bake them in the oven more often. They are much better.
One more note about onions. Before the BTD the only onions I liked were fried onion rings. Because onions are super beneficial, I resolved to eat more of them, and eat them in a healthy way (rather than coated in wheat flour and deep fried). I was a little scared, so I began with sweet onions. The more I ate, the more I liked onions, and they became a regular part of my diet. As food prices have gone up, I have been forced to notice that sweet onions are consistently twice the price of yellow onions. With fear and trembling, I switched to yellow onions about a month ago. They burn my eyes a little more when I slice them, but they taste every bit as good – and frankly every bit as sweet – as the more expensive varieties.
When I look at what Dr. D says about Type Os and Vitamin E, I see the explanation of the near disaster in both of my pregnancies. I am very much aware that anecdotal evidence is not proof in science or medicine. I can't prove my theory. I can only speculate what might have happened if the BTD had been written 25 years ago.
When I found out that I was pregnant with my first child I was thrilled and delighted. I was following the best Health Food plan that I knew of at the time, and I was committed to sticking to it without compromise for 9 months. Fortunately, I had come across a pregnancy diet that stressed high protein as a way to avoid for pre eclampsia. It would have been a disastrous diet for a Type A, but it was really good for me. Unfortunately I had read that Vitamin E was important for pregnant mothers. I bought 400 iu capsules, and was taking two a day.
When I was about 8 weeks along, HH and I went to see his parents. They were as thrilled about this pregnancy as we were. HH has two sisters, but he is their only son. The day after we arrived I began spotting. They took me to the doctor, and after an examination, he told me that I was having a miscarriage, and that all I could do was go home and wait. I lay in bed all weekend, committing myself and the life of that precious baby to God. I continued spotting and we drove back home. The spotting continued for a week or so and stopped. I went back to my own doctor and he could hear the baby's heart beat. The rest of the pregnancy was trouble-free, and SS had an easy and natural birth.
Being interested in all things natural, I planned to breast feed for a year. One of the vitamins recommended was Vitamin E. Everything was going well, except that I never stopped bleeding after childbirth. Vitamin E was again the recommended treatment, so I increased my dosage, I think I was taking two or three 800 iu capsules a day. Eventually I had to have a D&C to stop the bleeding.
When HH and I began to think about another baby, I reread all of the best material I could get my hands on. Nothing I read cast aspersions on Vitamin E. When I became pregnant, I increased my Vitamin E. I didn't want spotting like I had had before. I was careful about everything - I knew I was at risk because I was now 36 years old. I well remember the sinking feeling I had when the spotting started again. It lasted a couple of weeks. I lay on the sofa all day, trying to take care of a toddler, and trying to trust that God knew what he was doing. The spotting stopped, we celebrated hearing the baby's heartbeat, and the rest of the pregnancy was a joy.
I bled a lot during childbirth. Vitamin E was universally recommended, and I took it. My doctor was perturbed that I continued to bleed, but he was more patient this time. We waited 3 months, but eventually I had another D&C. I continued to have very heavy periods, and I continued to take Vitamin E. I never made a connection between the two.
SS was 18 when I first read the BTD. I immediately recognized the connection between my chronic stomach inflammation and the "natural" wheat and dairy products I poured into my Type O body. It has taken me much longer to realize that the BTD is also right about Vitamin E and Type Os. When he was in his 80s my Type O father began to bruise easily. A little bump would leave him with a huge red and purple mark on his arms and legs. He was taking Vitamin E to protect his heart. Because of Dr. D's recommendations, I convinced him to stop the Vitamin E and take bioflavonoids instead. The bruising went away within weeks, and he never had that problem again.
I am past the age where I can experiment with Vitamin E for pregnancy or periods. However, I do not knowingly take any supplemental Vitamin E. What I get from beneficial oils and nuts will have to be enough.
I see that this blog has been linked to a pregnancy website. Because of that I need to add that while Vitamin E is avoid for those with Blood Type O, it is beneficial for Blood Type A.
This is one of those cases where someone does a study and finds out that a food or a nutrient is helpful for a high percentage of people. They don't stop to think why their technique helps some and harms others. The answer often turns out to be related to Blood Type.
Type Os with their already thin blood are harmed by substances like Vitamin E that further thin blood. Type As with their thick blood are helped by it. While I do not take Vitamin E, I do give it to my Type A husband and daughter. DD tells me that Vitamin E lotion really helps her skin. Someday when DD marries and is pregnant, I will encourage her to take Vitamine E.
We are back from a wonderful weekend at the wedding of our oldest nephew. DD drove in from her West Texas university. Our Strong Son was a groomsman, so he flew in from Kentucky. He brought his girlfriend to meet the extended family. It was wonderful to see our nephew so happy, and wonderful for our family to all be together.
The Rehearsal Dinner was served family style at Maggianos. Even though this is an Italian restaurant there was plenty for a Type O to eat. Two types of salad were served for appetizers. Salmon with spinach, and Chicken Parmesan were among the entrees. I did enjoy every bite of a small slice of lasagna – Maggianos makes the best lasagna I’ve ever tasted. One of the dessert choices was grilled bananas. They were really delicious.
We were all up early the day of the wedding. We had to be at the church for pictures at noon. The wedding was at 2:00 and the reception was at 4:00. There was no time for lunch, and I knew that my blood sugar would be low and I would be grouchy if I didn’t have anything to eat between breakfast and the reception. I packed a bag of fruit slices and nuts. DD drank one of her protein shakes and I ate my snack while we waited for pictures. The reception was a buffet, with a salad bar, a fruit bar, and delicious roast beef. I stayed away from the pasta bar, but I did indulge in a piece of wedding cake in honor of the day.
I want to encourage you that it is possible to enjoy a social event and stay true to the Blood Type Diet. It is also ok on a special occasion to select a few favorite avoids and enjoy them. I never waste the limited number of avoids I intend to eat on boring food. I passed the bread basket without feeling any temptation. The bowls of chips and candy didn't interest me at all. I chose a few special treats, enjoyed them, and quickly returned to my usual way of eating. I'm writing this because DD is still very tentative about getting out of her BTD routine in a public situation. If you are the same way, I encourage you (as I encouraged her) to relax. Stay 100% compliant if it makes you feel safer. But enjoying an avoid on a special occasion will not cause harm (unless you are allergic, celiac, or fighting a disease). The thing you do not want to do is binge, then feel guilt for your gluttony.
Until this weekend this part of the family has showed no interest in the Blood Type Diet. Occasionally DD and I will get a funny look or a raised eyebrow, but there has been no curiosity and no questions. This time was different. A couple of people engaged me in conversation about what I ate and why. I enjoyed telling them about how well the BTD has worked for me.
When we got home there was an envelope from our family doctor. The lab results were in from my husband’s annual physical. His blood sugar had been creeping up for several years, and last year it was 106 – over the line and into the pre-diabetic range. The doctor gave him a year to get it down. My husband began to follow the BTD Diabetes book. He had a few set backs and a number of days when he was discouraged, but it was worth it. His blood sugar was 88. “This diet works,” he said smiling.
I have not forgotten my promised blog about Vitamin E. I’ll do it this week.
Every so often there is a news report about the dangers of taking vitamin or mineral supplements. Coming from a background in the branch of Health Foods that emphasized vitamins for both prevention and cure of diseases, these reports always make my Type O blood boil. Usually as I read the articles, I can spot the misinformation. Often it involves mega doses that are far beyond what any rational person would take. I’m always suspicious that drug companies, or others who have a vested interest in discouraging natural or preventive medicine, fund the studies.
Sometime last year, a report was released which showed that of the people involved in a particular study, those who took multiple vitamins had a higher mortality than those who did not. I bristled, knowing that some people would stop taking vitamins that their bodies needed because of the study. At the same time, I was at a loss to explain the results. Something happened last week this week that brought back a memory, and may have given me a bit of insight into what was going on behind the scene in the study.
When I was first learning about the Blood Type Diet, I was dumbfounded to read that Dr. D’Adamo considered Vitamins A and E as avoids for Type Os. I had never been a mega-vitamin person, but I had taken hefty doses of both for years. They were anti-oxidants. They were supposed to be good for all kinds of things. But Dr. D wrote,
“Since your blood type is prone to slower clotting, I would not recommend that Type Os take Vitamin A supplements without first checking with your doctor. These supplements can enhance blood thinning…Likewise, I would not recommend Vitamin E supplements for Type Os because they can complicate Type O tendencies toward slower blood clotting.”
I stopped taking extra A and E, though I did continue to take a multiple vitamin.
This week I got a flyer in the mail advertising a new multiple. As I read it, I noticed that it didn’t have any Vitamin E. I went to the pantry to look at the label on my multiple. I had assumed it was about 30 IU, at least that what I remembered from the last time I checked. It was 200 IU! Good grief, that was a lot more Vitamin E than I wanted to be taking. I looked again, and the advertised multiple had half the Vitamin A than what was in the multiple I was taking. How??? I asked myself did I not notice this? Did they change the formula and I never saw a “new and improved” sticker?
It gets worse. I have started taking CoEnzyme Q10. Dr. D recommends it for all Blood Types for cancer prevention, intracellular energy, and heart failure. I had been buying a particular brand, but as I got ready to order this week, I noticed another bottle by the same company that was less expensive. I compared the two. There was the same amount of CoEnzyme Q10 in each of them, but the more expensive one that I had been buying contained 100 IU of Vitamin E.
I began to think about multiple vitamin advertisements I’ve seen lately in magazines and on TV. They really stress antioxidants. They talk about being formulated for heart health. I guess they have all increased their Vitamin A and E, because it’s the faddish thing to do.
So here I am, fairly knowledgeable about nutrition and vitamins. I know that Vitamin E is avoid for Type O, and I stopped taking it years ago. I think I am getting a token amount in my multiple. Instead I find that I’m taking 300 IU a day and the RDA is only 22 IU. I suddenly have some insight into why the study showed that people who take multiple vitamins have a higher mortality.
That brought back a vivid Vitamin E memory. But this blog is already too long. I’ll share the memory next time.
It’s possible to get too many of the wrong vitamins, but you can never get enough of the Word of God. This from Proverbs 4: Pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight. Keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.