Archives for: September 2009
Everybody has heard prune jokes. People snicker at the mention of prune juice. Referring to a recipe like Prune Whip will draw gales of laughter. Even a nationally advertised soda once became suspect because of a rumor that prune juice was an ingredient. It astounds me that people who pride themselves on speaking of sexual activity in the most graphic terms without a blush, act like adolescent boys when it comes to elimination.
What a shame that such a nutrient-packed food is so maligned.
Plums (ie fresh prunes) are beneficial for every blood type. Prunes are beneficial (even super beneficial in some cases) for Type As and Type Os.
I like prunes. They naturally taste as sweet as a dessert without any of the disadvantages of refined sugar. They are delicious chopped up in my morning breakfast mix. They quickly restore my blood sugar if I’m late eating a meal. They are essential when traveling throws my normal body rhythm off.
I was happy to see that Reader’s Digest did an article in their health section on prunes, and I learned something new. Recent studies have shown that prunes are one of the best fruits for strengthening bones! They not only prevent bone loss, but animal studies indicate they may reverse it. Preliminary studies indicate that benefits come from as few as three prunes a day.
Not only do they contain bone building nutrients like boron, potassium, and vitamin K, but they are also high in disease-fighting antioxidants – a good thing to know when Swine Flu is daily in the news.
I had three prunes for breakfast this morning, and that’s not a joke.
Square Peg Guy sent a comment on the blog about my latest cholesterol report. He is type O, and he wrote about the things he’s done to try to reduce his cholesterol naturally. He added, “I've never been able to get my total level below 250 without Lipitor, which I was on for a few years, “and ended his comment with “I wonder if it even matters?” I published the comment, but it has haunted me because of the experience of a friend at church.
A year or so ago, we got an e-mail from C’s wife. C was in the hospital. He had had a heart attack, and would be having multiple bypass surgery. She asked for prayer. This was a shocking e-mail because C is relatively young, probably in his late 50s. He exercises moderately and is not over weight. He is also a Medical Doctor.
The surgery was successful, and eventually they told us the whole story. They had gone on a trip to the mountains. C had noticed shortness of breath, but had blamed it on thin mountain air. A few weeks after they got home, he had unmistakable heart attack symptoms, and went to the hospital.
I said, “C, you’re an MD. I have to assume you get your cholesterol checked. Was it ever high?”
He admitted that his cholesterol had been high for quite a while. He said that as a doctor, he saw all of the statistics. While most people who have heart attacks have high cholesterol, not all people with high cholesterol have heart attacks. He made a decision not to take the medication. He ended by saying that he was now taking cholesterol medication and would be for the rest of his life.
Like Square Peg Guy, C is Type O.
I am not a medical professional – I’m just a volunteer blogger, trying to make the BTD work for my family. But I would give this friendly advice to Square Peg Guy or anyone else with consistently high cholesterol. If you can’t get your cholesterol down naturally, and you don’t want to take cholesterol medication, at least have some further tests done. Find out if you have a buildup in your arteries. Get an EKG. Repeat the tests often enough to know if there are changes. Don’t wait until you have shortness of breath or worse. Don’t ignore the fact that you are at higher risk for a heart attack because of your cholesterol.
I wanted to avoid being on medication if I could. I was successful in bringing my cholesterol level down. However, while my husband’s cholesterol dropped on the BTD, and he reduced his dosage of cholesterol medication, the level has not gotten low enough for him to get off of it altogether. There is nothing to be ashamed of about that.
It seems to me that there is a natural tendency for cholesterol levels to drift higher and higher every year as people get older. I haven’t read this in a study, but I talk to people whose cholesterol numbers were nicely balanced when they were 30 years old. However, the numbers were moving upward by 40 and in the warning zone at 50. By 60 they are on statins.
My own cholesterol numbers were drifting higher when I started the BTD. There was a marked improvement when I first went on the diet. But the last two years they had started to drift upwards again. My ratio was still good, but my LDL drifted above the high mark for the first time ever.
I wrote a blog in April about what I was changing in my diet to try to stop the drift.
I am thrilled to say it worked. Here are my numbers from my July cholesterol test.
Total Cholesterol: 215
I am not at all concerned about a total cholesterol number 15 points over the 200 level when my ratio is so good. My total cholesterol reads high because my good cholesterol is so high.
Prescription for the future:
Stay on BTD.
Stay on Niacin and Vitamin B6.
Maximize cholesterol lowering foods like grapefruit.
Never neglect exercise.
Don’t get complacent. The tendency to drift will surely continue. Like all forms of aging, it is the result of living in a decaying world with a body irrevocably marred by sin.
Pears confuse me because they are superbeneficial for Hunters, a black dot avoid for Gatherers, and neutral for Type Os. Because I’m fairly confident that I’m a Hunter, I tell myself I should eat more of them, but because they have never been one of my favorite fruits, I usually choose something else. However, in the past three weeks, I’ve eaten three varieties of pears.
My Mom always liked trying new things. Some of her finds are healthy, like cherry essence prunes - which are beneficial as well as heavenly tasting. Other finds are not so healthy, like marshmallow cream – which has no redeeming value as a food product, but it sure tastes good.
When I went to visit her three weeks ago, she had a box of apple pears. According to the box, they have been grown in California for 20 years, but they have just now made it to Texas grocery stores. Mom had been saving them until I arrived so that we could try them together. They were very crisp like a fresh apple. The flavor was more like a pear, but without any of the grittiness that pears usually have. They were very good. I wouldn’t be surprised if they grew in popularity
I went back to her house this week to clean out the refrigerator and set up an alarm system. I went to her grocery store to buy food for my two-day stay. I wanted bananas, a peach and a pear. Most of the pears were hard and green, but at last I found a bin of ripe yellow pears.
At check out, I noticed the one pear cost $1.35. I questioned the checker and was told that it was a French Butter Pear. Whatever - that was pretty expensive for a pear ($2.99 per pound)! But on impulse, and perhaps in honor of Mom, I kept it. This pear was outstandingly good. It was very juicy and very sweet. If the price on French Butter Pears went down, I’d buy them regularly.
Today I am back home. After I fed Mom her lunch – pureed beef, green beans and potatoes – I went to the grocery store. I came home with two Bartlett pears. Perhaps pears are becoming a habit with me.
I’ve followed the Blood Type Diet since 2003, and I’ve written this blog since 2004. Clearly I think the BTD matters. I’ve talked to friends and total strangers about the difference it has made in the way I feel. There should be no question in anyone’s mind that I know the BTD is important.
I’ve blogged on many occasions about restaurants and certain social situations where it is difficult if not impossible to eat right for a meal. I have advised to always be kind and gracious, never to be offensive, and to do the best you can in those complicated but brief situations. The real evidence of how much you believe the BTD is not your public posture, but what you eat in the privacy of your own home. If you eat right at home, an occasional avoid in public will do you no harm (unless of course you are celiac or have serious allergies – obviously I’m not talking about that).
But there are three circumstances when the BTD doesn’t really matter. All of those are when the desperate need of your body for calories trumps everything else. Poverty is one. People who are starving don’t think twice about potatoes in the soup, or avoid foods in a care package. Prison is another. People imprisoned or in concentration camps, may care about what they eat, but they have no leverage. They must eat what is set before them in order to stay alive.
The third is the condition my mother is in right now – critically ill. Sure it would be better for her Type O body if she ate only beneficial meats, vegetables, and fruits. If she did, it probably would give her a better chance of recovery. If I requested it, the rehab center would take away her dessert and give her double portions of meat. But the pleasure foods keep her eating, and she is as desperate for calories right now as the poorest of the poor. If a few spoons of ice cream in between the spoons of pureed meat keep her opening her mouth for more, I’ll feed them to her.
She has trouble swallowing, and liquids give her the most trouble. We have to mix a cornstarch product into her drinks to make them a honey consistency so that she doesn’t choke. Do you think I am worrying about cornstarch as an avoid? Absolutely not. She must have fluids to survive, and choking on organic pineapple juice or pure spring water could give her pneumonia. The thickener in water must not taste very good. She would rather have orange juice or cranberry cocktail. Guilt free, I spoon those juices into her mouth.
DD is home for Labor Day weekend. She went with me last night to visit her Granny. When she saw the menu she raised her eyebrows as if to ask, was I really going to let Granny eat all of that? Some of the people around her refused to eat any of their dinner last night. There is not an avoid so bad that I would not use it to keep calories and fluids going into her body. She relished the thickened milk stirred into pureed brownie. There will be time to improve her diet later on. Right now she has to have calories, and the will to work with her rehab team.