Archives for: May 2011
Every day I am inundated by shared e-mail. I get political comments, pictures of cute animals, stories that make me cry, and helpful hints. I am amazed at how much false information is in these e-mails. I often do a little google search and find that the facts are flat out wrong or deliberately misleading. I don’t know who originates these things, but most of them are in the same writing style and they are all way too wordy.
I got one a few weeks ago. It was a long, long, long story about someone’s friend who served in Vietnam, a burn victim, and a kitchen accident. The bottom line was that if you put white flour on a burn, it will not blister or scar. I wondered if it was true.
Last week I was cooking up a storm. I had all four burners going on high heat. I reached to stir something on the back burner and bumped the lid of the pot on the front burner. Steam hit my hand - immediate pain and redness on two fingers. I was reaching for an ice cube, when I thought of the flour e-mail.
I didn’t have any white flour in the kitchen, but I had spelt flour. I rubbed flour into both burns. I went back to cooking, still in pain. “That didn’t work,” I thought cynically. I didn’t think about the incident again until this morning. I looked at my hands…no redness, no brown mark. Both of those steam burns would normally have blistered. They did not. In fact, I have no memory of any more pain. I finished cooking and served the meal, never thinking again about pain or burns.
So, surprise, here on the BTD website, is a beneficial use for white wheat flour. Rub it on burns. If you are Type O or a non secretor of any Type, keep it in your first aid kit, but out of your food.
The flour story originated with a burn victim in Vietnam. My Honorable Husband spent a year in Vietnam serving our country. His cousin, Mark, died there in 1972. On this Memorial Day, take a moment to thank God for young men and young women down the years who have volunteered to give up their freedoms to preserve ours.
Now that the weather is hot, the hiking club is tubing. Today was my first time to go. We are in a serious drought in my part of Texas. While other parts of the country are seeing storms of unprecedented strength, we are already under water restrictions. This does not usually happen until late July or August.
Because of the drought, there is no current in the rivers. Today, the wind was pushing us upstream about as fast as the current was taking us downstream. You probably think that is hyperbole, but it is not. We gradually drifted upstream with the wind, and had to paddle back to our starting point.
God is so good. When I thought I wanted a job, all of the doors were tightly shut. God knew that I would have as much as I could handle with family matters. Now that my parents’ house has sold, my work load is picking up. I am doing a 12 page annual report for a client. I’ve been up until 2 a.m. two nights in a row to meet my deadlines. (If your graphic designer doesn’t treat you as well, perhaps you need a new graphic designer. I just happen to know someone in Texas…)
Because of the late nights, I arrived at the river ready to relax. There were six of us tubing today. We floated around rather lazy like for an hour. Then I was ready for action. My muscles had been sitting in a computer chair for long enough. I told my friends I was going up river. No one volunteered to join me. They were having too much fun drifting and talking, but I had to get moving. I paddled upstream for a half mile or so. I saw a mother mallard with seven ducklings following her to the other side of the river. I saw fluorescent blue dragon flies. The sun was hot, and the water was cool.
By the time I paddled back to where we got in, everyone else was eating lunch. I had the same thing for lunch that I would have had today if I had stayed home. English peas with chicken and hummus. Parsnips with flax oil and cinnamon. If I had eaten at home, I would have said, “That was a good lunch.” But somehow when you eat outdoors after enjoying both total relaxation and a strenuous work out, the food just takes on incredible flavor.
Wow, I wanted to shout. This is a really great lunch!
Unless you have been boycotting the news, you know that there is a self proclaimed prophet who says that the rapture will happen today (May 21, 2011). Because I sometimes blog about my faith in Jesus Christ and my reliance on the Bible for wisdom, I thought I would give you my thoughts about the issue.
It seems to me that people have divided themselves into three groups about this prediction:
Those who believe it.
Those who use it as an opportunity to mock all people of faith.
Those who use it to teach and encourage.
I do not believe that this is a true prophecy for two reasons. First, Jesus himself said “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36. So if Jesus says that He doesn’t know the day or the hour, then I do not believe that a radio preacher from California knows. Second, while numbers are sometimes used figuratively in the Bible, nothing in scripture tells us to become mathematicians and go through elaborate calculations to find some hidden meaning.
If I were to say to you “there is not one thing to eat in my house.” You, knowing me, would understand that I do not mean that literally. What I would mean is that there is nothing BTD beneficial that I am in the mood for. If I were to say “A Krispy Kreme donut has a million calories.” You would know that I meant this great tasting avoid food has way too much fried fat and concentrated sugar to build health.
Bible numbers are similar. I believe most of them should be taken literally. But some numbers have figurative meanings. The number 7 for example represents perfection or completeness. So when Jesus’s disciple asked him, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” and Jesus answered, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” Jesus was not saying keep count and stop forgiving after the 490th time. He was saying forgive completely and perfectly as you have been completely and perfectly been forgiven by God.
I do not see anything in scripture that teaches us to be preoccupied with numbers, to combine numbers and letters in an elaborate scheme to find hidden meanings, or to multiply and divide them in an effort to find out what God has said he is not going to tell us.
While I believe this is a false prophecy, it nonetheless grieves me that so many people have used it as an opportunity to mock people of faith. All week the news has been full of commentators making jokes about the end of the world. If you take the Bible seriously, the end of the world is no laughing matter. It makes me sad to think that people could be swept along by the ridicule of a false prophet and wind up skeptics and scoffers themselves.
OK I will admit to one moment when I also made a BTD joke about this. I told my family we would have pizza and ice cream for lunch on Saturday before the 6 p.m. deadline.
Overall, however, I find myself in the third category. This false prophecy, gives Christians an opportunity to explain things that are taught in the Bible. I’ve heard people say all week that the word rapture is not in the Bible. Not exactly true. The New Testament was written in Greek. There is a Greek word meaning caught up with force or snatched up. That Greek word is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” The Latin translation of that Greek verb was Anglicized into our noun, rapture. What the Bible teaches is that God is patient, not wanting any to perish, and He gives us many opportunities to repent and turn to Him. But there will come a moment in time when the saved will be caught up to be with God and the lost will face eternal judgment.
Jesus encouraged us to use our time on earth wisely, to accept his free gift of salvation, and to pursue holy living. Judgment day is coming. The end of the world is coming. It may come in our lifetime. It may not come for a thousand years. When it comes, it will be sudden, and those who are not ready will be left behind.
Jesus wants us to live every day with the expectation that it could be our last day on earth. If we took that teaching seriously, it would revolutionize our conversations, our daily work, and how we spend our money. It would impact how long we hold grudges, what we think is worth being angry about, and how tightly we hug those we love. Jesus said, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13
March 21 is the one day that I do not expect the Lord to return, since there has been so much emphasis on it. But perhaps it will be tomorrow, or next week. I am ready. Are you?
Do you remember when you first heard about the BTD? If you were like me, as you read through the food list for the very first time there was a lot of emotion. Oh no! A favorite food is avoid. Ah Ha! I never liked that food, now I know why. Yuk! I never liked that, how can it be beneficial. I knew it! A favorite food is highly beneficial. And the best emotion of all - Yes!!!!! A food you thought would be avoid turns out to be beneficial.
Yes!! was the way I felt when I read that Club Soda and Seltzer Water were beneficial for Type Os. I had given up commercial soda years before when I became interested in nutrition and health food. You cannot read the ingredients and see all of the artificial flavors, preservatives and sweeteners and continue to convince yourself that commercial soda is in any way good for you. Then I discovered Knudson spritzers – which are basically club soda and fruit juice. My children called it fruit juice with fizz. I bought a lot whenever it was on sale and kept it in the pantry. Their friends thought it odd that we didn’t have Coke and Dr. Pepper, but they had to admit that fruit juice with fizz tasted pretty good.
I have recently found a few other brands of soda that I trust, and that I think stack up well with the BTD. Here is my list of sodas from the very worst to the best.
Commercial diet soda – I would take my chances with dehydration before I would drink anything with NutraSweet or aspartame.
Commercial soda – It’s BTD avoid and common sense avoid as well. Too many artificial ingredients, too much sugar.
Health brands of soda – I salute several companies for trying to make a healthy soda, but there is still way too much sugar in all of the brands I have looked at.
Health brands of soda with sucralose (Splenda) – I buy Hansen’s Diet Soda. Though I’m not wild about anything artificial, sucralose has been thoroughly studied and there just isn’t any scientific evidence against it. It tastes sweet, but it is not absorbed by your body. It passes right on through, unmetabolized. It is unrated on the BTD, so for now it is neutral.
Health brands of soda with "sugar alcohol" sweeteners like xylitol and erythritol. I am actually enthusiastic about this sweetener. It is not artificial. It does not raise blood sugar. Xylitol has a positive effect on dental health. Zevia is a brand of soda that uses erythritol. It used to be expensive, but the price is coming down.
Fruit juice spritzers like my old favorite Knudson. There is nothing artificial here. Just fruit juice and fizz.
Club soda and fruit juice. Make your own soda! This is the least expensive and best option for Type Os. Club Soda is beneficial. When you add beneficial fruit juices (pineapple, cherry) or flavors (ginger) you have a refreshing drink that is totally beneficial.
Saturday brought two exciting events – DD’s graduation and the wedding of DD’s roommate. Watching DD walk the stage to receive her diploma in the afternoon and walk the aisle as her roommate’s bridesmaid in the evening made for an exciting day.
This wedding reception was the best I’ve been to in years. Let me try to explain what I mean by best. I am deeply concerned about what weddings and wedding receptions have become in our culture. I enjoy the pageantry of a “royal wedding” and the food at a gourmet reception as much as anyone. My concerns are in two areas.
The first is what could be called the princess attitude – or less kindly bridezilla. It is the expectation that the wedding day is all about the bride and her desires and glory. That is the antithesis of what I believe about what a wedding ought to be. A wedding is a couple saying vows before God and their friends. It takes seriously “What God has joined together, let not man separate.” It is the beginning of covenant relationship – not self glorification for a day.
My second objection comes from my deep conviction that debt is dangerous. I understand from friends that a rather ordinary wedding today can cost from $30,000 up. I have had friends tell me their frustration at still paying off credit card bills from a child’s wedding long after the marriage has ended in divorce. Elaborate meals served at fancy receptions make up a large part of the high price of a modern wedding. While I enjoy every bite of prime rib served at wedding receptions, I cringe at the expense that the new couple or their family incurs. If they have the money and want to spend it that way, it is their right and privilege. But all too often they are spending money they don’t have to impress family and friends or to live up to some cultural standard.
DD’s roommate did not fall into either cultural trap. The wedding ceremony focused on their commitment to God and to each other from the first song to the exit of the wedding party. The reception was held in the fellowship hall of the church. To my delight, the food was simple and healthy. They had two serving tables filled with fruit, nuts, cheese and crackers. There was a delicious apple salad made with chopped nuts. There were fresh blueberries, strawberries, and pineapple. There were dates that were the largest and juiciest I have ever tasted. There were bowls of almonds and pistachios as well as platters of cheese. I stayed away from the aged yellow cheeses, but I did taste and enjoy several white cheeses.
On each of the serving tables were several drink choices in large clear jugs. There was cucumber water, orange water, lemon water, and tea. There were wedding cake and little tarts. The food was healthy, delicious, and friendly on the budget.
It was a beautiful and happy occasion not because of all the money they spent or because the bride got to be princess for a day, but because their marriage is getting off to a good start.
The last two days of the trip, we didn’t have wifi, so I couldn’t blog. We spent one night with my husband’s cousin in New Orleans and one night with a good friend in Houston. We got back home today, and I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.
All of the people we visited are more aware of healthy eating and exercise than average. Though they don’t follow the BTD, they all had plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. No one served a lot of dessert, which suited us just fine. We did a lot of walking on this trip. When I walk on a vacation, I always have my cameras with me, which means I have 6-8 pounds on my back. However, I missed the intense exercise I get when I am at home.
We had several long days of driving. My husband and I take turns behind the wheel. When it’s his turn to drive, I read or sleep. When it’s my turn to drive, I do isometric exercises. It makes the time go faster, and keeps me from getting stiff in the car. I start by squeezing my quads for five minutes. Then I do shoulder shrugs for five minutes. I alternate lower body, upper body isolating one muscle group at a time.
I read a book one time about a lady who had been very ill. She was confined to her bed for a long period of time, and worried about whether she would ever regain her strength. She began to observe her cat, and realized that cats never do aerobic exercise. In fact, cats appear to be downright lazy, yet they have excellent muscle tone. The lady noticed that her cat slept for a while, then did a series of stretches, then curled up for another nap. She began to stretch with her cat. You’ve already guessed the happy ending. The more she stretched, the stronger she became. One day she could get out of bed, and before long, she was walking and resuming normal activity.
While I drive I think about that cat. I squeeze and stretch my muscles. I’m serious about this. I work hard enough to get warm, and I turn all the air conditioner vents my direction. Still, I miss intense exercise.
I got everything unpacked as quickly as I could and went to the fitness center this afternoon. Hurrah, the elliptical trainer was repaired while we were gone. I did 25 minutes on the elliptical and 25 minutes of weights. Walking is good; stretching is good; but this was real exercise. Running is definitely on the agenda for tomorrow.
Forty five baby chicks arrived at the farm. Oh! They were so cute and soft. The hatchery boxes them up for shipment almost immediately after they come out of their shells. When they arrived, John had to dip each chick’s beak into water. They didn’t like the water in their nostrils so they opened their beaks and got a taste of water. This reminded them that they needed a drink after their long ride in a box.
After the chicks were settled we drove to Chattanooga to visit the Tennessee Aquarium. We ate lunch at Sticky Fingers in downtown Chattanooga. I had sliced turkey, pulled chicken, sweet potato fries and collard greens. The Aquarium was wonderful. We have visited aquariums in South Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, California and Texas. This is as good as any of them and better than most.
The next morning we waved good bye to John and Marsha and drove past the tornado area to Montgomery, where we visited long time friends Jim and Margaret. Jim grilled chicken, Margaret fixed vegetables and salad. We had a wonderful dinner and watched classic black & white movies.
Today we walked to a lake near their house. We ran up and down the dam for exercise. We had lunch at a downtown barbeque restaurant called Dreamland. This restaurant is famous for pork ribs. The best choice for me was a barbeque chicken salad. It was delicious, but it I could not help compare and contrast Texas barbeque with Eastern barbeque.
Texas barbeque is focused on beef brisket. A few restaurants will serve chicken or turkey, but beef is what Texas barbeque is all about. Eastern barbeque is focused on pork ribs and pulled pork. They may serve chicken and turkey, but our friends all say usually there is no beef.
Barbeque restaurants in Texas have three standard side orders – Cole slaw, pinto beans, and potato salad. Occasionally a restaurant will add another vegetable, but usually not. Barbeque restaurants in the East have long lists of side orders. Almost always there are cooked greens of one beneficial variety or another.
If I were going to imagine the perfect barbeque restaurants it would have the best of both worlds. It would serve beef, chicken and turkey. OK, maybe they could have pork ribs, not that I’d ever eat them, but people in the East seem to want them. I would also have a lot of side orders including sweet potatoes, okra, green beans, and cooked greens. What a BTD banquet that would be.
We arrived safely at Foggy Bottom Farm in northeast Alabama. One of my college roommates and her husband have retired there to raise grass fed beef and range free chickens. What fun we had catching up on news about old friends. We also had fascinating conversations about health and nutrition. These were all the more amusing because Marsha and I remember what the other was like in pre-health days.
Marsha and John were not familiar with the Blood Type Diet. They are both Type A. So I had fun telling them about how I got started on the diet and how it has benefitted my family. They were particularly interested in my not eating wheat. Marsha believes that wheat negatively affects John. I don’t know what they thought about Dr. D’s rating beef as an avoid food for Type A.
John is passionate about the superiority of grass fed beef. When I hear his statistics, it makes me wish I could afford to buy grass fed all the time. I was looking forward to tasting his beef, but their freezer was empty. They plan to butcher a cow later this month.
I did get to try the eggs from their chickens. I don’t know whether it was the eggs or whether it was that Marsha cooked them with fresh basil from the garden, but they were delicious.
I told them that I was on the fence about organic produce. Marsha agreed with me. Their garden is organic. But when she shops at the store she does not buy exclusively organic. She buys organic carrots, because their experience with cattle has showed her the effect of chemicals that leach into the ground. She does not buy organic on thick skinned items like citrus or avocadoes. Her rule of thumb for other produce is that if the organic price is less than double the price of commercial, she buys organic.
We took a lovely walk to a waterfall, and another hike up to the top of the mountain behind their house. Texas is in a devastating drought, and there were hardly any wildflowers this year. The fields in northern Alabama are full of flowers and the sides of the hills are beautifully green.
If you live in Alabama, Georgia, or Tennessee and are interested in buying grass fed beef, Foggy Bottom Farm has a website.
The years I spent as a full time Mom were without a doubt the best years of my life. The one advantage to having one child now employed and the other off at college is that my Honorable Husband and I can travel in the spring and fall. We are off on a trip to Alabama to see friends and wildflowers. Perhaps I should say we hope to see wildflowers if the tornados have left any for us to see. If we have wifi available, I will try to blog as we travel.
Our first stop was to visit HH’s mother. She has passed her 90th birthday and is still able to live in her home. Her greatest difficulty is severe osteoporosis, particularly in her spine. As her vertebrae are slowly compressed, she has increasing pain in her legs and hips. Her doctors tell her that there is not really anything they can do for her. Seeing her condition makes me even more faithful to take calcium/magnesium & horsetail supplements and to be diligent about weight bearing exercise.
HH loves Subway sandwiches; I do not. There is too much bread and too little meat for a Type O. I have the option to “make a sub a salad,” and I certainly like salad, but even the vegetables at Subway don’t agree with me. I wind up with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and spinach. All of the olives, cucumbers, and peppers are avoid.
So when we travel, HH looks for exit signs that say Subway, and I dig around in my box of food and fix myself a bowl. Today I had canned asparagus, canned salmon, and an apple. He was happy, and I was happy.
We ate dinner at a buffet in Brandon, Mississippi called Annie D’s. We both found lots of beneficial food. I don’t think I have ever eaten brisket that was more tender. It was delicious. I also had cooked greens, green beans, and sweet potatoes. He had fish, green beans, rice, and a salad.
We had not planned to have dessert, but we walked by the dessert buffet. He saw Boston cream pie, one of his favorites. I saw coconut cream pie, one of my favorites. It was too hard to resist. Don’t think too many harsh things about me…at least I didn’t eat the pie crust.