Archives for: September 2010
We are back at home – thankful for safe travels. We may not live in the majestic mountains, but the Texas Hill Country is a delightful and lovely place to dwell. I have one more story from our trip that applies to the BTD.
On the last day, we were in a restaurant for lunch. One of our friends had a hard time deciding between a fried chicken dinner and chicken & dumplings. He finally decided on the fried chicken, but asked the waitress for a taste of chicken & dumplings “for my grandma’s sake.
He closed his eyes and sighed as he tasted the dumplings. “Mmmm, just like grandma’s.” Then he said, “That is why people on my mother’s side of family were so fat. All roly poly. They ate stuff like that.”
Perhaps when you read that he chose fried chicken, you were a little judgmental. It’s easy for those of us who have been involved with a demanding diet like the BTD to look with disapproval on others who don’t eat as we do.
When I look at our friend, I see how far he has come. He was not taught good eating habits as a child, but like most of us he could get away with eating anything when he was young. When he and my husband met in Viet Nam in their 20s, they were both thin and fit. He gradually put on weight until by the time he was in his 50s he was getting portly. A diagnosis of diabetes got his attention. He changed his diet and began to exercise. Today he looks great and has lots of energy.
Was fried chicken the best choice for a Type O with diabetes? No. If I had been ordering for him, I would have chosen something else. But there were certainly worse choices on the menu – like chicken & dumplings.
I never want to be so rigid that I cannot celebrate when people make meaningful changes to their eating habits that bring them a step closer to the Blood Type Diet – which I consider to be the best way to eat for maximum health.
I have total control over the two meals that we picnic when we are traveling. We eat at a restaurant for the third meal for three reasons. First - we get fresh produce that it is sometimes hard to carry around in the car. Second - while I can get canned tuna and salmon or sliced turkey for picnics, it is hard to buy beef that doesn’t have to be cooked. I feel better when I have beef or lamb at least every other day. Third – we are on vacation, after all. It’s nice to have a little break from kitchen chores. On this trip we have had several outstanding meals, a few average ones, and one real disappointment.
We had lunch one day at Shanghai Pearl in Durango. I ordered beef and broccoli. The portions were generous, and they added some carrots to the broccoli. I liked that. I also liked their egg rolls, because they were stuffed with lots of vegetables.
At Mesa Verde, we ate at the Spruce Tree Terrace. When we first walked in and I saw the menu, I was worried - sandwiches and pizza. Then I noticed a big refrigerator with premade salads. I chose a Southwest salad with grilled chicken. It had a little corn and a few pinto beans in it, but the greens were fresh and beneficial (no iceberg) and it was very tasty.
The day we rode the Durango Silverton train, we ate at Grumpy’s in Silverton. The piano player kept us entertained as we ate. I had one of the best hamburgers imaginable (without the bun, of course) and a huge salad. They even had real olive oil.
One day it rained, so we went to a train museum and several art galleries in Durango. For lunch we stopped at Serious Texas Barbeque. My husband’s barbeque turkey was good. One of our friends ordered brisket and the other ordered a Texas taco. They were both satisfied. I ordered brisket and it was dry and hard. I could see that I had either gotten the end piece, or brisket that had been sliced and left out for a while. I rarely complain in a restaurant. When I asked our server about the brisket, I got a defensive and sarcastic reply. Eventually they brought me more meat. It was good. But I’m from Texas, and this was not real Texas barbeque.
Yesterday we visited a honey farm. We saw working hives, watched the bottling operation, and tasted samples of several flavored honey. Cinnamon was my favorite. Lunch was at Christina’s. At first the menu did not appear to be BTD friendly. But our server was friendly as well as helpful, and in the end I got a delicious and beneficial meal.
Today we drove the Million Dollar Highway. The fall colors were spectacular. We were on sensory overload. We ate at the Red Mountain Inn in Ouray. My Philly cheese steak was loaded with onions and peppers. Since I didn’t eat the bread I got two side orders – sautéed snow peas with carrots and sweet potato fries. Every bite was delicious.
I indulged in dessert twice. One was ice cream mixed with tropical fruit. The other was a sorbet made from fresh grapefruit. Don’t hold the desserts against me – after all I am on vacation.
When we travel, we take our own breakfast food and eat in our room. This has become so much easier in the last year or so, because almost every motel chain now offers a refrigerator in the room at no additional charge. For our remaining two meals, we eat out one and picnic one.
For our trip to Colorado, we are staying at a condominium. We got a great rate at a ski resort. It’s too late for summer vacationers and too early for snow. This means we have a fully equipped kitchen, which makes preparing picnic food somewhat easier. But don’t forget this is vacation, I’m keeping food preparation simple!
I added three new items to the picnic food that I’ve blogged about in the past. Since we have a refrigerator, my husband gets a lot more fresh produce with his turkey sandwich. He has had grapes, apples, nectarines, carrots and green beans. I think he could eat a turkey sandwich every day for six months, but I do try to give him lots of variety with the extras that go with the sandwich.
I bought mozzarella cheese to go in my sushi nori wraps that I eat on picnics. That’s not new. What is new is using the mozzarella in the meat and veggie bowls that I eat when we are in the condo. Tonight I had canned spinach and canned chicken topped by mozzarella. Heated for one minute in the microwave, and it is the closest thing to creamed spinach that I’ve had in years. Delicious. Along with this combination, I had a half can of pumpkin heated with diced apple and grapes. Was this a vegetable dish or a dessert?
I’ve been eating a lot of humus at home. When we arrived in Colorado, I bought a container of humus for picnicking. Last night I had tuna, English peas, and humus. I had a sweet potato as well. I once thought fixing Type O travel food was hard, but I can now fix myself a bowl quicker than I fix my husband’s sandwich.
Tomorrow I’ll look at some of our adventures eating out in Colorado.
My husband and I are vacationing with another couple in Southern Colorado. Today we went to Mesa Verde. Everywhere we went we read about hunters and gatherers.
If you are not familiar with Mesa Verde, it is a National Park that preserves the ancient dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloans. The pit houses and mesa top houses are interesting, but those kinds of Pueblo ruins are scattered all over the Southwest. What makes Mesa Verde so fascinating are the cliff dwellings. They look like complex apartment communities, but they were built under overhanging cliffs. They were secure from both enemies and predatory animals, because the only access was by ladders or toe holes in the cliffs.
The Native Americans who lived in these ruins are identified in the museums, on the park signs and in all the brochures as hunters and gatherers. Many of those exhibits talk about what these hunters and gatherers ate, and believe me it is nothing like the GenoType diet!
Meat was high on the list. They killed and ate lots of game including deer, rabbits, squirrels, and turkeys. That sounds a lot like a hunter. Their other foods were pinto-like beans, corn, and squash. Neither pinto beans nor corn are beneficial choices for either hunters or gatherers. Most squash is neutral, but many are black dot for gatherers.
One of our friends commented that it would have been heavenly to have lived in such beautiful country, out in the open, with no worries about economic crises or unemployment. We all agreed that an active outdoor life would have advantages. But in spite of the clean air and water, the life span of the Ancestral Puebloans was short and often brutal. There were no antibiotics, and limited techniques for setting broken bones. There were no bananas from Central America, no salmon from Alaska, no Romaine from California, no cherries from Washington. Most of the beneficial foods enjoyed by GTD hunters and gatherers would have been completely unknown.
I will take my computer, my modern grocery store, and the probability of seeing my grandchildren grow up over the primitive life of this very interesting culture.
Speaking of hunting, our son is taking care of our dog and our house while we are gone while he hunts for a physical therapy job. We are thankful that even in this very difficult economy he is having very positive interviews.
Is the whole culture becoming more health conscious, or is it just my little Hill Country community? I am finding the most amazing foods at the local grocery store. I blogged earlier that the store now regularly stocks ground bison (for a very reasonable price) and frozen acai.
Over the summer, DD found Cedar’s Tzatziki. It is a Greek strained yogurt dip. It comes in several flavors, all of them loaded with vegetables. Yogurt is avoid for me, but it is neutral for my husband. It is certainly a much better choice for him than some of the other things (like picante or sour cream) that he likes to dip. The store is also carrying brown rice chips, which he admits are really tasty.
This week I found falafel. The ingredients are chickpeas, fava beans, onions, parsley and spices. Chick peas are avoid for my husband, but all of the ingredients are beneficial for me. And, oh my, falafel is delicious. It’s like having a little muffin with my meal.
I’m going to buy these products often, to encourage the store management to keep carrying them.
We took a load of furniture to DD on Friday for her college apartment. On the way home this afternoon, we stopped in Brady, Texas for dinner. Usually my husband wants to stop at Subway when we’re traveling. He eats a sandwich. If I haven’t packed a meal for myself, I get a salad. He ate at Subway yesterday on the way to DD’s, so on the way home he wanted something different.
We drove through Brady, looking. There were lots of fast food restaurants. None of them looked appealing. There were several local restaurants, but there were few cars in the parking lots. That didn’t look promising. We were reaching the edge of town when I saw a Subway sign. Looked like it would be Subway two days in a row.
Next door to the Subway was a café called Boondocks. It advertised seafood and steaks. The parking lot was filled with pickup trucks. I looked at HH and said, “Do we take a chance. This place will either be really good or really bad.”
We took the chance and it was really good. All of their meals are served with choice of potato, choice of salad, beans and hush puppies. I ordered Cajun tilapia. I said that I didn’t want a potato, and asked if I could have two salads. They were agreeable, so I ordered Coleslaw and a garden salad.
The tilapia was cooked to perfection. The Coleslaw was excellent. The beans were well seasoned, but not too spicy. I gave my hush puppies away.
If you are ever driving through small rural towns looking for a restaurant, take a chance on the parking lot with all the pickup trucks. If you are ever in Brady, you’ll get a good meal at Boondocks.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that DD has a young man in her life who is an Exercise Sports Science major (He is also Type O). We were talking about running the other night and ESS told us something that may solve a mystery and facilitate a more complete healing of my knee.
He was talking about a professor of his who has run multiple marathons. He trained hard and ran long hours – always on the safe side of the road, facing traffic. Continuous running with his left leg slightly lower than his right, took its toll on his body. I’m not sure whether his bone growth was affected, or whether his joints were damaged, but ESS said that when he took off his corrective appliance, the class gasped at how crooked he looked. He urged them to run half of their time on one side of the street and half on the other.
This morning I went for a run. I was listening to J. Vernon McGee on my MP3 player and enjoying the cool temperature. About 20 minutes into the run I remembered what ESS had said and switched to the other side of the street. At first I didn’t notice any difference. Then I began to feel something. It wasn’t pain – more like a stretching sensation.
Now I am wondering…could running on the left side of the street have contributed to the patella femoral syndrome in my right knee? I worked hard on my quads all summer, so I rarely have pain anymore from everyday activities, but I still can’t do lunges.
I remember severely bruising my right knee in high school. After the injury healed, I would occasionally get a weak feeling in that knee, but it was not a problem until 2008. I never could pinpoint why I developed patella femoral. Now I’m wondering about running crooked.
I’m going to try running 1/3 on the right side of the road, 1/3 on the left, then 1/3 on the right. I’ll blog about the results of my experiment.
I got my hair cut, and the first thing my stylist said was, “I’ve gone gluten free and organic.” I’m sure I’ve mentioned the BTD to her at other appointments. We talk about everything imaginable. I reminded her that I was wheat free - in fact nearly grain free* - but that I didn’t do organic. Then we started comparing diets.
She is doing a program that is recommended by the gym where she exercises. I asked about her blood type, and she didn’t know, but her preferences in food and exercise lean toward Type O.
She is trying lots of new recipes. She let me taste a quinoa dish that was very good. Before she cooked the quinoa, she added golden raisins, craisins, and orange juice. When I make it, I will substitute pineapple juice, which would be better for Type Os and Type As. I really think my husband will like quinoa prepared this way.
There are things I like about her new diet, however, it disappoints me that it is just another diet that tries to squeeze every one into one mold. Eating is not a “one size fits all” proposition. A diet must treat people as individuals with different metabolisms and food needs. No matter how intriguing a new diet idea sounds, I filter it through BTD food lists.
* No longer grain free. click here for more info