Archives for: May 2009
This blog about dental fillings is not intended to be controversial. Neither is it intended to cover both sides of the argument. I am relating a fascinating conversation that challenged my preconceived ideas about dental fillings.
Some months ago I noticed that I could feel, with the tip of my tongue, something sharp on one of my back molars. The tooth didn’t hurt, so I waited until my next regular dentist appointment. The dentist told me that I had chipped a tiny piece off of one of my silver fillings. “I guess that means you’ll be replacing it with one of the new safer fillings,” I said. I was not prepared for the vehemence on his reply. For the next 30 minutes, as he worked in my mouth, he gave me the other side of the story -the side you don’t get from the internet. When he finished with me and started work on DD, I got out a notebook, and made him go through it all over again so I could take notes.
I’m glad that I didn’t have to make any decisions that day. The dentist removed the sharp piece that I could feel with my tongue, and assured me that the filling itself was still well seated and didn’t need replacement.
I think the best decision is for parents to make sure their children eat healthy low sugar foods so they won’t get cavities. Then they won’t have to make difficult decisions about fillings at all. The rest of this blog is what my dentist said to me that day.
“They can’t prove silver fillings are harming you with real science. If they could, there would be ten lawyers in my waiting room right now, because there are a lot more lawyers than dentists.
“If you compare the mercury that gets into your body from fillings to the amount in foods you eat every day, you would find that there is more available mercury in a can of tuna fish. Scientists agree that silver dental fillings leach mercury into the mouth. But hundreds of studies show that the exposure is from 1-3 micrograms per day. One can of albacore tuna contains 52.7 micrograms. Chunk light tuna contains 27.2 micrograms.
(Suzanne notes: The EPA safe level is .1 microgram per kilogram of body weight per day. The Food and Drug Administration reference dose is 0.4 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. The World Health Organization set the level of mercury consumption considered safe at 1.5 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. For my weight my safe level would be EPA - 5.76 micrograms per day; FDA – 23.04 and WHO – 86.42. Back to my dentist’s comments)
“If you look at the mercury that gets into the environment if you break one of those new light bulbs, you are talking about much more serious exposure. Read the precautions on how you are supposed to clean up your house if one of those spiraling bulbs made with mercury vapor drops and breaks.
“I’ve been in practice for 30 years. I’d say that 2% to 5% of my time is spent replacing work that has already been done. I can tell you that silver lasts longer plastic. I have a patient who is 80-years old. She got four silver filling when she was10 years old. They are still in good shape. A silver filling doesn’t fail. Sometimes the tooth around it fails, but that’s rare. Sometimes they break if they are too big and should have been crowns. Plastic however needs to be replaced after 10 - 15 years.
“A silver filling costs about $100. Plastics; $130. Insurance allows both. A dentist makes a lot more money on plastic. They can charge more when they put them in, and in a few years they get to charge again to replace them. Plastic may be the best esthetic choice, but it’s not the best choice for safety or money.
“Plastic is very technique sensitive. The guy who graduates last at dental school can put in a silver filling that will last long time. Not so with plastic. It has to be done right or it will fail even sooner.
“Why would I want to harm my patients? I could make more money with plastic. It’s not what goes in your mouth that hurts the environment. It’s what goes down the drain in industrial usage.
“There was a TV reporter who got all worried about her 12 silver fillings. She decided to have them all replaced with plastic, and she did a report on the experience. After it was over, she talked on camera about how much better she felt. The irony is that the greatest exposure to mercury is when the filling is being put in taken out. When it’s just in your mouth, there much less mercury exposure than you get from food. Baby boomers who got one to two cavities per year filled when they were growing up received a small exposure each time. However, when they took out her twelve fillings in one day she got a large exposure.
The dentist has much more exposure than any one patient. I’m standing here breathing vapor. Yet statistically dentists have lower rate of MS than general population. They keep trying to prove that silver fillings are dangerous, but the proof just is not there
I went to a continuing education seminar at the San Antonio Dental School. One of the speakers was promoting tooth colored fillings hoping to get the school to move in that direction. During the question and answer session, I said I wanted to ask a question about safety. He thought I meant the safety of silver fillings and interrupted my question to say that there was lots of research that proved silver was safe. He was not promoting his product by questioning the safety of silver. I said that he had misunderstood my question. I meant had there been adequate studies on the safety of plastic fillings. He looked surprised, then admitted that he had not seen any research at all. As far as he knew, plastic fillings had not been studied for safety."
I cooked lunch for my Mom on Sunday, and put together a nice vegetable combination.
She lives close enough to the coast that it’s easy to get wild caught Gulf shrimp. Sunday morning we went to the grocery store to buy shrimp to steam. Right next to the shrimp was a small piece of salmon, so I bought that as well. Mom had carrots and yellow squash in her refrigerator that needed to be eaten soon. I also wanted a green vegetable, and the okra looked good.
When we got back to the house, I put the salmon in the oven. On impulse I decided to stir fry the three vegetables together. The natural juices from the okra provided enough moisture that I didn’t have to add water at all. When the vegetables were almost done, I sprinkled on a generous amount of ginger powder. At the last minute, I steamed the shrimp. Lunch was ready.
Mom and I thought the ginger vegetables were really good. Okra and tomatoes cooked together are common, but I’m not sure I’ve seen okra cooked with other vegetables. Because they were stir fried without water, they were still crisp, rather than limply floating in a pool of juice. I will try this combination on my family soon.
I had to make a quick decision about avoids in a restaurant. Did I make the right choice? I’m not sure. Here is the whole story.
I’m spending every 2nd or 3rd weekend with my Mom. She has friends from church who come to see here, but still she gets lonely. She also needs my help with the mail and the bills. I’m blessed that my husband and kids are self sufficient so I can leave them on their own. A month or so ago I had stopped to get gas on the way home and noticed a Mediterranean restaurant across the street. I needed food for the road, so I went in.
The lamb shawarma looked good, and the owner recommended hummus. I said, “What’s hummus?” After giving me a look of pity, he explained that it was made of chickpeas and tahini – beneficial and super beneficial respectively for Hunters. He gave me a taste and it was delicious. While I was waiting for my food, I wandered into the grocery section of the restaurant. I found canned fava beans! What a treat, I bought four cans. I also found Turkish delight. (I have wanted to taste Turkish delight ever since I first read “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.” In my humble opinion, it’s ok, but not worth selling your soul for.)
I ate the lamb, salad and hummus out of the wrap. It was a little messy in the car, especially since I had to pick the cucumbers out of the salad, but it was so good that it was worth it. The canned favas didn’t stay on the pantry shelf for long, either. Since then, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to go back. I told my Mom that I would bring her a surprise for dinner Friday night.
I ordered two lamb dinners. They came with salad, rice, and hummus. All was well until the owner asked me which kind of rice I wanted. I could have white rice – neutral for Type O Hunters - however refined rice goes against the grain of my Health Food background. Or I could have brown rice – Hunter beneficial - seasoned with yummy spices. But there were lentils – avoid for Type Os – added to the brown rice.
It was a tough decision. I remember one of the early bloggers asking if he was in a restaurant and ate a beneficial and an avoid, did it equal two neutrals? I also remember Dr. D pointedly answering No, that it didn’t work that way. I had to make a quick decision. Empty calorie refined rice or brown rice laced with an avoid? I chose the brown rice.
This is why eating out is hard. I get to eat beneficial foods that I don’t have a way to prepare for myself, but I can’t control all of the ingredients. If there had only been one kind of rice, I wouldn’t have worried about it, because I do not obsess about avoids that I can’t control. But in this case I had to choose between two imperfect options. For sure I made a delicious choice. And I felt better when I looked at food list and saw that though lentils are avoid for Os, they are just black dot for Hunters. I think I answered my own question as I typed this last paragraph. An occasional avoid in a restaurant is not worth obsessing about either way – and it’s certainly not worth spoiling an otherwise yummy and beneficial meal.
That was the subject line of an e-mail DD sent to me after she read the GenoType Daily called “Your Body Proportions.” Of the three GenoTypes that can be Type As, she didn’t match up with any of them.
Here was the first description: “One unique characteristic of Teachers is that on one hand, your ring finger is probably longer than your index finger, while the opposite is true of your other hand. Let this asymmetry be a reminder that Teachers should always seek balance in life!” This is not DD. Both of her index fingers are longer than her ring fingers. And her body is not asymmetrical. Except for her finger prints her left and right sides are similar if not identical.
Here was the second description: “Another unique gender-specific characteristic of all Explorers: Men and women have backward finger lengths (men have longer index fingers and women have longer ring fingers — the opposite of the norm).” This is not true of DD.
Finally, the third description: “Long-headedness is a common trait of warriors — meaning your head is longer than it is wide. A Warrior’s legs are typically longer than the torso. Yet one symmetry you exhibit is that your index-to-ring-finger ratio is usually equal.” DD’s head is longer than it is wide, but her torso is longer than her legs. Her finger ratios are 63/62 and 63/60.
This GenoType Daily was a reminder of how frustrating it has been to nail down DD’s Genotype. Teachers typically have lots of whorls — DD just has three. Explorers typically have loops on their index fingers that open to the thumb. DD’s left index finger does this, but her right index finger is a whorl. Warriors usually have many arches; DD has none.
From the waist up she is sinewy like a Teacher. From the waist down she would be padded like a Warrior if she didn’t exercise so much to keep her legs in shape. None of her is muscular like an Explorer.
Because the physical characteristics are inconclusive, we took another look at the personality and emotional characteristics. Except for the tendency to be compulsive, DD has none of the Teacher personality. She is mostly like a Warrior, with a few Explorer traits.
For this reason DD has continued to follow the Type A diet — with a few Teacher and Warrior diamond foods added for variety.
This blog is not in any way to disparage the GenoType Diet!! If your GenoType is clear, by all means take advantage of the diet. However, I know from reading the Forum, that DD is not alone, and that others also appear to be Genotypeless. If you are in that category, I would encourage you to follow your Blood Type Diet. There is no guesswork about your type, and the results for my family have been outstanding.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that I haven’t written nearly as much about bicycling for exercise since I moved to the country. My parents gave me a bicycle when I was about 12 years old. I took care of it, and it lasted for many years. The fact that it didn’t have gears was not an issue because I had always lived in cities with flat terrain. But when we moved to the Hill Country, things changed. The first time I tried to ride, I couldn’t even get to the top of our driveway. A few weeks later I came across a notice in “Want to Buy” on craigslist from a girl who wanted an old fashioned bicycle with wide tires. I sold it to her.
DD and SS both had mountain bikes that we had bought at department stores. DD and I rode together last year, but even with the gears, SS’s bike was hard to ride. There just are no flat streets or paths in the Hill Country. Everything is either up or down. Add to that, I’ve never liked riding a man’s bike. Then the last straw - his bike developed squeaky breaks and a wobbly back tire. The bike shop told me it would cost more to repair it than I had paid for it. We donated it to a charity that repairs broken bikes and gives them to children at Christmas.
Though I rode DD’s bike occasionally last fall, I knew I would need to buy another bike before she got home for the summer. I sought the advice of two friends who are serious cyclists. Both of them told me not to spend money on another department store bike. They said that for hills, I would be happier if I invested in a serious bike. I wasn’t sure I would be happy paying 2-3 times the price.
I began to watch craigslist for a used ladies Trek. Sometimes I called to late – the bike had already been sold. Sometimes the asking price was too high for a used bike. Other times the price was right, but the bikes were rusty or in need of repair. I began to wonder if I was being too picky or too cheap.
Yesterday I saw a newly posted ad for a Trek for $250. I had hoped to spend less than $200, but the seller still had the original paperwork and he was willing to deliver the bike. There wasn’t a scratch or a flake of rust on it. This morning I went for my first ride. My friends were right – the Trek is noticeably superior to the department store bikes. On DDs bike I sometimes had to traverse to get to the top of a hill. The Trek went straight up every hill, and I never even used the lowest gear.
Biking is the kind of vigorous exercise that is good for Type Os. DD and I will ride together all summer. Now that I have a bike that is fun to ride, I expect I’ll be peddling up and down the hills several times a week.
I have always tried to find good watermelons by patting them and listening for an echo. Sometimes I would pick a good one, but sometimes I got a dud. Usually I wait until June to buy them, because early watermelons can be flavorless.
Watermelon is super beneficial for Hunters and Gatherers, and I’ve been longing for one. Somewhere I read that the best watermelons have a large yellow spot where they rested on the ground. So I decided to buy a May watermelon. I didn’t thump or pat. I picked the one with the biggest and brightest yellow spot.
It was fabulous: sweet, crisp, and full of flavor. I will have to see if the yellow spot hint works every time.
I read an interesting statement today by CS Lewis, “Niceness is an excellent thing. We must try by every medical, educational, economic, and political means in our power to produce a world where as many people as possible grow up nice; just as we must try to produce a world where all have plenty to eat. But we must not suppose that even if we succeeded in making everyone nice we should have saved their souls. A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world. For mere improvement is not redemption.”
If everyone recognized the wisdom of the BTD, and began to eat right, it would make them feel better. But eating right will not change a person’s heart. While pointing people I meet to a better way to eat in a good thing, it is far better when I can point people to the loving God who created them and who longs for them to repent and turn to Him.
My Strong Son is starting his second physical therapy internship in the same city where my Darling Daughter goes to college. The first week of his internship was the last week of her freshman year. They had a lot of fun hanging out at night. He watched basketball while she studied for finals, then they went to the gym together. On Friday my husband and I joined them for much more than Mother’s Day. It was Mother’s Weekend.
Friday night they took me to a local steak house for dinner. My steak came with grilled onions and peppers, green beans, and a huge sweet potato. While we were waiting for our meal, they gave me my first gift. It is a balance disc. DD has used them at the college gym this year. SS has used them with patients at PT school. They tell me that as I use it with my regular weight exercises, it will force me to use my abs and strengthen my core. I can hardly wait to get it home and try it.
After dinner we went to a two mile hike and bike trail. The landscaping was very well done, and lots of people were out getting their evening exercise.
Saturday morning we went to the zoo. The weather was cool, and the animals were really active. We saw flamingos fighting over nesting sites, jaguars climbing trees, and lions strolling majestically. We got to the monkey cages at feeding time. The colobus monkeys were munching on kale and collards. They don’t like the tough inner stems any more than people do. But their obvious enjoyment of the raw leaves, made DD and me decide to try one of the raw kale salad recipes this summer.
SS’s girlfriend and her mom came to see us Saturday afternoon. They were bringing DD some rugs, accessories, and knick knacks for her apartment next year. We all went out for barbeque for dinner. The turkey was delicious, and I got to choose my own vegetables from a buffet line. After dinner we went to a paleteria. This was my first visit to a Mexican ice cream shop. I tasted several flavors, but finally chose a mango paleta. It looked like a Popsicle or ice cream bar, but it was made with fresh fruit. I had expected it to be very sweet, like a Baskin Robbins ice, but it wasn’t. I’m sure some sugar was added, but it certainly wasn’t an excessive amount.
Sunday morning the kids came to the hotel to pick us up for church. They brought me a lovely bouquet of yellow flowers – daises, roses, and some little flowers I’m not familiar with. After church we had Chinese food at a local restaurant DD likes because they will custom steam her food the way she likes it. It was delicious – just fresh food – no chemicals added.
It’s been a wonderful Mother’s Weekend – great food, exercise every day, and being with my favorite people in the whole world.
I introduced my book club to the Blood Type Diet yesterday. All of the ladies were interested and receptive.
Book Babes got its start when two friends became disillusioned with the immorality and dirty language in the books they were asked to read and review for a local book club. They began a club for ladies with a little more conservative world view. Rather than assign a book for everyone to read, each lady brings two or more books from her personal collection to the meeting. You tell a little about your book. Other members can borrow it for a month.
Yesterday I took Atlas Shrugged, Lord Change Me, and Live Right 4 Your Type. The hostess served fudge, spiced cookies, strawberries, quiche, and coffee. As we were eating, one of the ladies said something about wishing she could lose some weight, but always being hungry.
I jumped in saying that was the perfect segue to one of my books. I talked about all of the popular diets and how each had statistics to prove that it was right, yet they were all in conflict. I then said that the Blood Type Diet was the best predictor of what kind of diet you would do best on. A Type A who has often wanted to be a vegetarian, but has been scared to try it because she didn’t think it was a “balanced diet” took my book. Two other ladies wrote down the title and said they were going to buy it on Amazon rather than waiting for next month.
I warned them that this was not an easy diet, pointing to my plate and explaining why I hadn’t eaten the crust to my quiche and why I had declined the fudge and cookies. I also said that I had been on this diet since 2003 and that the health benefits had been far greater than I could ever have imagined.
We spent the weekend with a lot of friends and relatives. Everywhere we went people talked about wanting to be healthy. For my generation this is a big change. I’ve been made fun of for years for being “such a health nut.”
My husband’s family had a reunion on Saturday. We stayed with one of his cousins and had a wonderful sharing stories and looking at pictures. They took us to a North Texas Mexican restaurant where this South Texan had the best taco salad I’ve ever eaten. For breakfast the next morning they served bacon and eggs. My eyes met HH and we silently agreed to be gracious and make the best choices possible. As we ate, the cousins said what a treat this breakfast was for them. They are trying to eat healthy and never eat bacon and eggs any more. I ate lots of eggs (They “help heal and regenerate “ a Hunter’s digestive tract). I did have one piece of bacon, but no toast. Happily for us, they served grape juice instead of orange juice.
Lunch at the reunion was covered dish. Most covered dish dinners are Type O disasters – lots of grain, lots of cheese, and lots of sauces. Because we were coming from out of town, I had planned to go to the grocery store and pick up bags of greens for a salad. I thought that way I would be sure to have something that I could eat. However the cousin said she was taking a fresh spinach salad with walnuts and craisins. So I decided to go with fruit. I think Swine Flu and ProBerry were on my mind. I made the salad with blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and pineapple. It was colorful and healthy. I went to the reunion knowing now that there would be at least two things for me to eat.
I was surprised. I was delighted. There was lots of Type O food – turkey, brisket, onions, carrots, peas, and more. I filled my plate twice, and never ate an avoid. Naturally, there were desserts and pasta salads, but clearly a lot of the family is eating healthy.
After the reunion HH and I drove to my Mom’s house to visit with her. The next day as we headed for home, we met some friends for dinner at Chilis. I ordered my usual old-timer hamburger with broccoli instead of fries and black beans instead of the bun. Our friends are going to an alternative medicine doctor who uses some kind of machine to determine an individual diet for them. The man was Type A, and the machine had him on a diet that was remarkably like they Type A diet. The woman did not know her blood type, but the diet she is on has solved several health issues. Both of them talked about how hard it is to change the way they have eaten all their lives. But both realize that they have to change if they want to be healthy.
Not everyone has found the BTD (yet) but I am encouraged to find friends and family beginning to notice that what they eat really does impact how they feel.