Archives for: March 2009
Those of us who are interested in diet and nutrition are more attuned to little changes in our bodies. That goes doubly for people who frequent sites on the internet like the BTD website. I like to think that if something was seriously wrong, I’d notice it early. I’ve noticed several changes since Thanksgiving and Christmas.
My cold sore came back. Because they are caused by a virus, once you get one, you have to watch out for reoccurrences for a couple of years until they run their course. I thought I had beat mine into total submission, but I had to fight it back again.
One day I bumped something with my hand and it hurt. The knuckle on my ring finger was tender. I thought I must have jammed it, but when the pain persisted for two weeks, I had to face reality that something was going on with my joint. Not good. This on top of my knee pain made me feel really old.
My hemorrhoid returned. I have had good results with home remedies for hemorrhoids, but this time nothing worked. I relented and got an OTC preparation. It contained cocoa butter, and caused an allergic reaction. That was terrible! I went to the doctor who prescribed a cream. I don’t like being on prescription medication, but I had to have relief, and the cream worked fast.
Worst of all I started having a pain in the middle of my chest. It was similar, but not identical to the GERD pains that I had before I went on the BTD. After six years had the BTD stopped working? One day it hit so hard when I was walking that I wondered if I was having a heart attack.
I started thinking, and trying to figure out what was going on. The cold sore was definitely stress related. I’ve been under plenty of stress since Thanksgiving, no doubt about that. I wrote a blog in 2006 about the “Life Change Events Study” that calculated how changes in life – whether good or bad – predisposed someone to illness. When I wrote the blog, my score was 190. I calculated my total again. Now it is 400. (Here is a link to the point list http://www.dadamo.com/B2blogs/blogs/blog1.php/earlier-blogs/suddenly-sick )
I started to look at the other problems. Adelle Davis calls arthritis “a disease of adrenal exhaustion.” The stress connection to joint pain is obvious. What about the hemorrhoid? I’m not constipated, and I’m not overweight, and I’m certainly not pregnant. Those are the three main causes. I thought about the cream that the doctor prescribed – it was a steroid cream - another connection to stress and adrenal fatigue. I read the BTD Encyclopedia anti-stress protocol and began to implement it. I also added extra B Vitamins.
That left the chest pain. I have been so careful about avoids – especially wheat and dairy. I did not want to believe my stomach inflammation had returned in spite of the BTD. I didn’t want to believe I was having heart problems either. I was getting scared.
Early one afternoon I realized that I hadn’t had any chest pain all morning. I had eaten the same thing for breakfast. I had followed my usual routine of working at the house and putting in job applications. I had eaten a big lunch. My mind was racing, looking for the key. As I cleaned up, I found my supplement box on the coffee table. My husband and I had enjoyed dinner and a movie the night before. Because I had neglected to return the box to the kitchen table, I had forgotten to take supplements that morning. I popped the whole handful in my mouth and swallowed them with a gulp of water. I could feel them all go down together, small tablets, capsules, and large tablets tumbling over each other until they hit the sphincter muscle between my esophagus and my stomach. There they stuck. I swallowed more water. I ate some dried fruit. The pain in my chest started. At that moment I knew, my heart was fine and the BTD was still working.
I realized that I had started taking glucosamine (a really big tablet) for my knee. In addition I took lysine for the cold sore, B Vitamins for the joints, rutin and bioflavanoids (another big tablet) for the hemorrhoid, plus bromelain for inflammation. I was taking more supplements than usual, and larger ones at that. Now when I take my supplements, I take them early in a meal one at a time. I eat a bite between pills. They don’t get stuck. They slide through just like they are supposed to.
I’m still stressed. I can’t change the circumstances in my life, but I can respond better now that I’m aware of what the combined stresses are doing in my body. I’m thankful that my awareness of problems when they were small will keep them from becoming big issues. Most of all I’m relieved to know that it’s just stress. I’ve got work to do, but I’m not scared.
March 26, 2004 I posted my very first blog. We had just come home from my husband’s father’s funeral. I wasn’t sure what people would think of me for blogging about food at a funeral. But the dilemma of how to follow the BTD when I’m in the home of friends or relatives was a big issue to me at the time.
I started the BTD in June 2003, so I hadn’t even been on the diet a year when I started blogging. You have watched me grow and struggle and figure out how to make this diet work in my family. One of the reasons I like blogging is that it keeps me accountable. I believe that if my blog is to be interesting, I have to be transparent. I don’t mind writing about my failures, but it’s so much more fun to write about success. I’ll admit that there have been moments when I have walked away from an avoid just so I didn’t have to fess up on the internet.
I enjoy getting comments and I write back when I can. When we were moving I got hopelessly behind, and some of the e-mails I received during that time never got answered. I especially enjoy knowing when I have encouraged someone. The most amusing comments assume that I know Dr. D’Adamo and have some influence over him. People seem to think that I can fix a perceived conflict in the books, or correct a problem with the website. Ok, here’s the truth. I have never met Dr. D. I have never even talked to him on the phone. We’ve e-mailed maybe 10 times in five years of blogging. Someday perhaps I will get to meet him. It would be fun to attend one of his conferences.
Sometimes I wonder if I will ever run out of things to blog about. Then I go to the dentist’s office and get an ear full about controversial fillings or I start to plan a menu for DD’s Type A roommate who is coming home with her. As long as everyday life is an adventure, blog topics are infinite.
Everything about my life, including the BTD and the blog, is interwoven with my Christian faith. Urging Christians to seek good health through the marvelous and unique way God created us is the motivation behind my blogging. I can remember 30 years ago when any interest in Health Food or nutrition was associated almost exclusively with the more liberal and free thinking elements of society. There was a time when people raised their eyebrows if I asked for brown rice or preservative free meat. That has changed a lot in recent years. Nutrition is much more mainstream. But I still find people at church to be suspicious of the health culture, and they really shy away when blood types are introduced into the conversation. I’m glad when something I say encourages anyone, but I’m particularly happy when I play a tiny part in opening cautious conservative eyes to the truth that God has given them tools to be more proactive in their health.
Personally, I don’t understand their fears. God, who created the world and all of the creatures in it, created our bodies. It seems logical to me that the closer I eat food to the way that He made it, the healthier I will be. The more I understand how my body works, the better prospect I have of an active and productive life. I want my mind alert so that I can study the Bible. I want to feel good so that I can serve others. I don’t want to waste money on medical care, and I don’t want to waste time in a doctor’s office. Of all the diets I have tried (and I tried a lot) the BTD has worked the best and the most consistently.
Two things about blogging give me a thrill. The first is when I get to encourage someone in the Christian Community to build their health. The second is when I can encourage someone in the Health Community to know Jesus Christ. The first five years have been fun, and I’m excited about the future.
I was at my Mom's over the weekend. The paperwork mountain is gradually being whittled away. I cooked for her on Sunday. We had steamed shrimp - a favorite for both of us. Alongside I fixed two vegetables that my husband does not like.
The first was yellow squash. Usually I fix it with onion, ghee, and salt. But Mom's blood pressure has been bouncing around a little. Sometimes high; sometimes low. We had already had Chinese take out, and I didn't want to over do the salt. So I was thinking beneficial no-salt seasoning, and curry came to mind. I cooked the onions until they were starting to get soft, then added sliced yellow squash and sprinkled curry powder over the top. Sorry I didn't measure. It was very good, and no salt was needed.
Mom loves greens, but my Dad didn't like them, so she got out of the habit of eating them. I picked up a bag of turnip greens from the freezer section at the grocery store. When she thinks of turnip greens, I know she thinks of cooking them in salt pork. I certainly didn't want to do that. I really wanted to make ginger greens (I blogged about that recipe a year or so ago), but I didn't have ginger juice. However, the store had a health food section, and I found dried ginger. I put half a bag of turnip greens in a sauce pan, swizzled some olive oil on top, and diced a handful of dried ginger. I cooked them on low heat so I wouldn't have to add water. The ginger flavor permeated the greens, and they were great. I should give DD credit for the idea. She told me she succesfully cooked carrots with dried ginger in the dorm microwave.
Two favorite vegetables, altered just a little because I was away from my own kitchen. Be bold! You can find new ways to fix old favorites.
When I was shopping in anticipation of Spring Break, the magazine rack at the check out stand was filled with pictures of the First Lady in an attractive red dress with her arm draped over the back of a White House sofa. I could not help but observe that she had nice muscle tone.
On the way home, I heard a news commentary on the radio gushing about the fashion statement the First Lady had made at the State of the Union address by daring to wear a sleeveless dress in February into the hallowed halls of Congress. The commentator spoke of an uproar in the fashion industry, and how companies were reworking their upcoming lines to show more bare arms.
While I was in that frame of mind, DD came in from college. Her first night home, she, her Dad and I took a power walk up and down the hills of our neighborhood. She and I walked with weights. She was showing me new triceps exercises that she has learned from the football players who work out in the gym at her school. It is certainly paying off for her. Her overall muscle tone is ideal – firm yet feminine. Even the fawning commentator, would have to admit that DD’s arms rank right up there with Mrs. Obama’s
Twice during her Spring Break we went to the little gym in our neighborhood and worked on our arm muscles. Then my strong son came home. He talked with me about strengthening my core, and how that would prevent osteoporosis. He showed me exercises to strengthen my lats and my rhomboids. SS reminded me that while a person may feel stronger and increase the amount of weight he or she can lift when they start a new exercise regimen, they do not actually start building new muscle tissue for six weeks. He emphasized that to strengthen my knee, my core, and my arms, I have to be committed to the exercises for the long haul.
The Hunter in me would much rather get out and run or ride my bicycle, than do repetitive weight work. DD and SS, each in their own ways, have forced me to recognize that I must commit myself to push through (what I consider to be) boring exercises if I want to see results. Ok, Ok I get the picture. It will take perseverance to get a strong spine, sturdy knees, and Obama Arms.
This started out to be a blog about flavored green tea, but as I wrote, it took on a life of its own. Last year when I read an article about BPA plastics and possible links to cancer, I checked out the water bottles I buy and the Rubbermaid bottle that I carry in my car. Both of them were Category 1 plastics. But a nagging doubt had been placed in my mind. One day I was in Target looking for something, and I saw stainless steel water bottles on sale. I picked up one for me and one for DD.
I used mine some of the time, but mostly I defaulted back to old habits and refilled plastic water bottles. DD on the other hand learned to love her stainless steel bottle. She is home this week on Spring Break. She brought with her three flavored green teas. She makes tea for herself every night in the dorm, and she began making it for me this week. I’m hooked.
She’s a college girl – so she doesn’t have a fully equipped kitchen. She fills her stainless steel bottle with the hottest tap water she can find, and pops in a tea bag. It sits around until she is ready to drink it, usually when it’s about room temperature. I’ve read that connoisseurs watch a timer and brew green tea for a certain number of seconds. That’s great if you have the time to watch tea brew, but DD’s method sure is convenient.
She likes peppermint green tea, which had been my favorite. She also brought blueberry green tea, and chamomile/honey green tea. Both are delicious, but the blueberry is outstanding. She tells me she finds them in the regular grocery store. I really enjoy sipping tea out of the stainless steel cup when we’re watching a movie. Who needs raisinettes?
In the course of looking up background links about BPA, I saw that 5 gallon water bottles are often 7s. I don’t have 5 gallon bottles, but I do have 2 and 3 gallon bottles. I went to the garage and the three older bottles all have 7s on the bottom. The newest bottle is a 3. This frustrates me so much. The community where I live adds fluoride to the water so that kiddies who eat a high sugar diet won’t get cavities. They never consider that fluoride contributes to osteoporosis. At my age that is a big concern to me. So I have gone to the extra expense of buying bottled water, only to find that the bottles contain a cancer causing chemical. It’s enough to make you crazy.
If you are not up to date on BPA, here is a link that quickly gives the basics.
Both Tupperware and Pampered Chef have some products with BPA. Here are their websites.
The word hydration conjures up two images in my mind. One is a scene from a favorite Disney movie – Lady and the Tramp. The first time the viewer meets the Tramp, he is waking up in a railroad yard. He stretches and enjoys a deliciously long drink of water, then lets the water roll over his whole body. The second is a scene from the TV show Gilmore Girls. Lorelai sleepily wanders into the kitchen and finds Luke by the refrigerator guzzling from a half gallon container of orange juice. “Don’t let me interrupt your hydration,” she says.
A modern proverb is “Eat like a king in the morning and like a pauper at night.” The meaning is that you will be healthier if you eat your large meal early in the day and eat lighter at night. But is the proverb true? In Live Right 4 your Type Dr. D’Adamo recommends that lifestyle for Type As, but is silent regarding Type Os.
I know a lot of Type Os, who advocate eating this way. I’ve read their posts on the Forum, and corresponded with them. They make a great case – and I’m not going to argue with their success. But I don’t feel good when I eat that way. I don’t wake up hungry. I wake up thirsty. If I start the day with a big breakfast (eggs, steak, vegetables), I am hungrier at lunch, and still hungrier at dinner.
DD has been taking a speech class, and one assignment was a persuasive speech. Because she is so focused on health, she chose persuading fellow students that they would be healthier if the went to bed earlier and got up earlier. She had been convicted that she needed to change her own sleep patterns based on Dr. D’s cautions about Type As and Circadian rhythm. Her research was fascinating (she made an A on the speech by the way).
One graphic was particularly interesting to me. I’d post it but it is copyrighted, so you will have to picture it in your mind. It was a circle divided into three parts. One third said “4 AM to Noon, Elimination, needs water”. The second third said “Noon to 8 PM, Appropriation, needs food.” The last third said “8 PM to 4 AM, Assimilation, needs rest.”
I saw myself in that graphic. I feel the best when I get up and drink a big glass of water. About an hour later, I eat a light breakfast of fruit and nuts and powdered protein (egg white or nutritional yeast). About 10:30 or 11:00 I may have a glass of green tea or some seltzer water with ginger juice. I am content.
Suddenly between Noon and 1:00 I am starving. Now I want meat protein and lots of it. I want 3 servings of vegetables – at least. Between 5:00 and 6:00 I am hungry again. But if I have eaten a big noon meal, I am satisfied with a salad and some fish or poultry.
I’ve been trying to follow this pattern, and I’ve felt really good. I didn’t know just how good until yesterday when it all got thrown off. My husband had taken the day off and we were doing some paperwork together in the morning. It should have taken an hour, then I had some errands to run. I should have been back by lunch time. But we found a problem with the papers, which led to a morning of stressful phone calls, which led to a late start on the errands, which of course took longer than expected. I didn’t have lunch until 3:00. By then my whole body rhythm was thrown off. I didn’t fully recover until this morning when I started afresh with a big glass of water.
If you are Type A, Dr. D suggests the King/Pauper schedule. If you are Type O and King/Pauper works for you – stay with it. But if you are Type O, and King/Pauper doesn’t quite fit, think about the Tramp. Hydrate in the morning. Be ready for a hearty lunch of beef and vegetables. Have your evening meal early – before 8 PM – and let it be light protein and light vegetables.