Archives for: November 2009
I am thankful to the Lord for many things this Thanksgiving week. Among them is thankfulness for a good osteoporosis report. Several years I blogged about Life Line Screening coming to our church to do non invasive tests that identify risk factors for stroke. Shortly after my Mom’s stroke, we got a brochure about another Life Line Screening in the town where we now live. We agreed that we should get tested again. This time, I chose to also test my risk for osteoporosis.
I have been on the Blood Type Diet since 2003, which has meant no milk and practically no dairy products for 6 years. Other dietary sources of calcium are limited. The amount of almonds or spinach to get the recommended intake for a menopausal woman would be far beyond what I could eat every day. I have wanted to try bone broth, but I have not yet found a local provider of marrow bones. I have been careful to take calcium/magnesium supplements as well as silica and Vitamin D. However, I wanted verification that my bones were still strong.
The results are in, and I am very happy to report that both HH and I were within the normal range on all of the stroke and aneurysm tests. What a relief! And I tested as low risk for osteoporosis. Hurrah!
This is not a commercial for Life Line. I have no vested interested in their company, and I’m sure there are other companies that provide a similar service. I am impressed at their reasonably priced, non invasive screenings in a non medical environment. No needles, no radiation, no embarrassment. We were tested for Carotid Artery Disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, Peripheral Arterial Disease, and Osteoporosis. They sent two copies of their results – one for our files and one to give to our doctor.
I am thankful for the good results, and thankful that the BTD is doing what is supposed to be doing, inside, where I can’t see.
I just realized that my mother cooked with ghee. This was long before I had any knowledge of nutrition or Butyrates (short chain fatty acids which are a source of energy for cells in the intestinal lining. Studies suggest that it is butyrate which gives fiber its anti-cancer effects. Cells incubated in high butyrate environments tend to not mutate as frequently.).
This revelation came last week when I was preparing food for a book club meeting at my house. I had just put up Thanksgiving decorations, and I wanted to do healthy snacks that went along with the decorations. I fixed Cranberry Crunch, which everyone loved, sweet potato fries, and shrimp. Ok, shrimp aren’t exactly Thanksgiving fare, but they were high protein and they were on sale.
I had sliced the sweet potatoes into thin rounds in my food processor, when I realized I was out of light olive oil and out of ghee. Butter will just have to do, I told myself, and I put a Tablespoon on each of my cookie sheets and put them in the oven. A few minutes later I pulled out the pre-heated sheets and realized that I had quickly made just enough ghee for the fries. It had the same look and smell as ghee does when I make a whole pot of it.
Suddenly I remembered how my Mom scrambled eggs. She put a teaspoon or two of butter in a skillet, and heated it until it was bubbly and starting to turn brown. Then she poured in the beaten eggs and chunks of cheese. My Dad always said she made the best scrambled eggs in the world. It had to be the ghee.
I still need to go to the store for more olive oil. The best place to buy is in the opposite direction from my mother’s rehab facility, and I just haven’t had time to make the extra drive. I still need to make a batch of ghee for the refrigerator. But over the weekend, when I needed oil for cooking, I made Quick Ghee.
A Tablespoon in a sauce pan turns quickly into ghee. One warning. It is easy enough to burn ghee when I am making ¾ cup. It is really, really easy to burn Quick Ghee. If you try this, stay by your stove. Don’t turn your back. You can have a smoky mess faster than you think. Fortunately I did not smoke up the kitchen, but once I came close enough to remind myself and you to be cautions.
I feel as if the clock has turned back to the 1970s when HH and I were first married and I was learning for the first time about health and nutrition. We were both working full time in a megalopolis, never getting home before 6:30 at night. I was reading fabulous new, healthy recipes, but had no time to cook. I laughingly described my cooking style as broiled meat, steamed vegetables, and salad.
Actually that is not a bad cooking style. It’s basic, healthy, and open to variety. I find myself back in that cooking style now. It’s not that life is so terribly hectic. My to do list is busy, but not overwhelming. I think it’s that my days are choppy. I’m at the rehab center for one meal a day with my Mom. By the time I drive in, visit with her, feed her, and run a couple of errands, I’ve spent four hours in town. My Practical Photography business (www.PracticalPhoto-Publishing.com) is beginning to generate a stream of satisfying work. I’ve got my paperwork, Mom’s paperwork, and housework to keep up with. Overall, I do not feel frantically busy, but I suddenly find that it’s time to eat, and I haven’t begun to prepare a meal.
Broiled meat, steamed vegetables and salad is a great fall back position. There is always fish in the freezer. I always have ground turkey, ground beef, and ground bison. I always have frozen vegetables ready to pull out of the freezer, and fresh vegetables washed in the fridge. I can whip up an impressive meal in a short time.
Where the BTD has changed things from the 1970s is my use of herbs and spices. Broiled meat and steamed vegetables take on a whole new life when sprinkled with beneficial seasonings. While Type A and Type O foods often clash, the spices that are beneficial for one of us are usually beneficial or neutral for the other.
I am using turmeric and curry on fish and ground turkey. I have always liked rosemary on lamb, but I have found that it is also nice on turkey cutlets. In fact rosemary, mixed with oregano and sage is a tasty combination. Cilantro is delicious on canned tuna and salmon, and it has the added benefit of neutralizing the mercury so often present in tuna. Cinnamon, cloves, and ginger all add zest to butternut squash, parsnips, and pumpkin. Parsley, fresh or dried, goes well with any kind of meat and vegetable combination. Italian spice mixes are good on zucchini & tomatoes as well as okra & tomatoes. Even when I leave off the tomatoes for the sake of my Type A husband, Italian spices and olive oil alone are really nice with zucchini.
So, though my cooking style is simple right now, my husband and I are not eating boring meals. They are full of flavor and variety. I have not come close to the end of the list of potential BTD spices. Dill, mustard powder, tarragon, and horseradish are beneficial for us both. I need to think of ways to incorporate those into my current cooking style.