Archives for: December 2011
We didn’t have internet for Christmas. To tell the truth it was very strange. I had no idea how internet dependent I had become. No e-mail, no social networking, no communication with clients, no alternative news sources. I couldn’t even wish my sister a Merry Christmas. I felt rather isolated. However, I had time to read. I had forgotten just how much I enjoy becoming immersed in a good book.
DD and I got to cook together for Christmas Eve dinner. We were in charge of bringing vegetables. We fixed ginger carrots and basil green beans. Both are easy recipes that I’m pretty sure I have blogged about before.
We had also planned to do a raw veggie tray. DD saw a picture of a veggie tree on line, so we did that instead. This will become one of our family traditions. It was healthy and so cute. If you are need a unique idea for a New Year’s Eve party – consider this.
Here is the original link, so you can see a picture.
Click here for Veggie Christmas Tree Picture
The instructions are very wordy. I think I can condense her multiple pages into a couple of paragraphs.
You start with a 12 inch Styrofoam cone. Cover the sides (not the bottom) with aluminum foil. This is so the vegetables don’t touch the Styrofoam. Hot glue the bottom of the cone to a glass plate that is not an heirloom. Our cone popped right off without damaging the plate, but I wouldn’t take a chance.
Start at the bottom and using tooth picks, stick broccoli to the cone. It takes two big bunches of broccoli to cover the cone. For “decorations” use carrots, cherry tomatoes, radishes, cauliflower, or any other raw vegetable you like. Sometimes we used toothpicks Sometimes we just squeezed the decorations between the broccoli. We put a bowl of dip beside the tree for family members who don’t eat plain raw veggies.
It was a delight to look at, and delicious to eat.
How a near disastrous lunch turned into a new favorite recipe.
This adventure started at the grocery store last week when they had frozen packaged cod on sale. I’m talking really on sale - 60% off. The expiration date was fine, so I bought several packages.
This morning I took one of the packages out of the freezer, planning grilled cod and vegetables for lunch. The house is cool (we keep our thermostat on 68-70 in the winter) and the cod was thick, so it was still mostly frozen when I was ready to cook. That was ok. I put it in a skillet on low heat and started washing produce.
Maybe I was hungry, but it seemed to be taking a long time for the cod to thaw, even in the skillet. I was concerned about it sticking to the bottom of the pan, so I added a chopped onion and the juice of one lemon to increase the moisture.
The next time I peeked under the lid, there was too much moisture. The fish was thawed, but it was falling apart, more like ground meat than a fillet. I took a taste. The flavor was nice, but it did not look at all appetizing.
Soon the fish was cooked, but it looked like mush. How was I going to serve it? Gumbo came to my mind. I added a sprinkle of Creole seasoning. Then I opened a small can of tomato paste. I tossed in a little celery seed. Remembering rice left over from last night’s dinner, I divided it into two bowls, and called my Honorable Husband to the table. - - - He loved it.
He said, “I think I would rather have fish in a casserole like this, than have a chunk of fish on my plate.” I was stunned. Moments before I had been considering making him a peanut butter sandwich to hide my embarrassment, now we were brainstorming about how to make this accidental fish casserole better the next time. I suggested okra; he suggested broccoli; we both thought of carrots.
I have several packages of frozen cod to experiment with. Perhaps I will measure and come up with a real recipe. Or perhaps I will just wing it - that technique certainly worked well this time.
This is not a Christmas blog - - though Joy to the World is my favorite Christmas Carol and at Jesus’ birth the angels brought “Good tidings of great Joy.”
It seems to me that in every culture eating and mealtime are supposed to be occasions for joy. Food is not just fuel that you pump into your stomach like gasoline into a gas tank. Food is supposed to bring pleasure. There are ethnic recipes, holiday traditions, and etiquette standards. There is companionship, hospitality, and round the table conversation.
Yet when I talk to people who are trying to follow a diet they fret about what a hassle it is. All too often I read people on the Forum who are ready to abandon the BTD/GTD because it stressful.
If I ever had the chance to sit down with Dr. D for lunch or a cup of green tea, I would have a thousand questions. One of them would be – are people on the BTD/GTD destined to a life of stress? I am guessing, based on his books and mp3s of speeches, that the answer would be a resounding NO! In fact I could site passage after passage where he writes about the damage that stress does to your body and how to use exercise, sleep and food to minimize stress.
So if stress is the antithesis of what the BTD is supposed to be about, what can we do on a daily basis (and especially as we enter the Christmas season) to find pleasure rather than panic in the kitchen and dining room?
Relax if you are new to the diet. It will take a while to remember what foods are beneficial, neutral and avoid. Embrace the beneficials. Try new foods. Focus on building health. Don’t be fearful of making a mistake. You ate wrong for your type for years…now you are getting better.
I believe that people are more important than things. I strictly follow the rules at home; but when I am with family or friends, I am a gracious guest. There are three advantages to this. First it makes the BTD less scary and more appealing to friends who might be considering it. Second, it preserves relationships, rather than offending those I care about. Third, I get to enjoy a treat.
Be a little flexible and not too legalistic. I believe that when strict adherence to rules about food becomes legalism, it is counterproductive. You are trying to reduce stress, not add stress. A slip up with an avoid is not going to kill you.
Here is how it works for me. I was invited to a neighborhood cookie exchange this week. I made Type A & O compliant cranberry apricot bars to share. I did not eat appetizers that contained wheat, because there were lots of other choices. I tried several cookies and they were delicious. I brought a variety of cookies home which makes my husband, who feels the loss of cookies at Christmas time more deeply than I do, very happy. It was a joyful evening – full of laughter, companionship, and friends. The next day I was back to my own routine.
It would make me very sad to think that someone would abandon the BTD/GTD entirely because of pressure to be perfect. Stress should not be part of this diet. Eating right includes enJOYing your food.
I am afraid I have been guilty of perpetuating what Dr. D, in one of his recent blogs, accused his detractors of saying
Here is his quote:
"(They say) the diets are dangerous. This statement is usually proffered by experts concerned that, by restricting certain foods by blood type, people will develop nutrient deficiencies. However, each diet variant (A, O, etc.) is a carefully engineered balance of foods that ensures full nutritional value."
When I started the BTD and got wheat and milk out of my diet, the improvement in my health was immediate, dramatic and permanent. Like most newbies, in had an insatiable desire to learn more. I began to read in the columns and later in blogs and on the Forum, that many Type Os were virtually grain free. Since there were no beneficial grains for Type Os, (except manna bread, which is more of a product than a grain) I decided to try it.
It seemed to work. I had a little rice bran in my breakfast mix, and on most days that was all the grain I ate for eight years. I felt good, my weight was stable, I had lots of energy, my immune system was working. This appeared to be the way for me to go. I have blogged about this many times and have encouraged other Type Os to do the same. Shame on me!
After my colonoscopy last summer which found two polyps, one of them the precancerous type, I wrote a blog about reevaluating my diet. Susana sent me this quote from Dr D.
"Grain and legumes are about the only sources of phytates, which are anti-oxidant mineral chelators. There are pros and cons to phytates (some people would argue that they block mineral absorption) but they do have fairly potent anti-cancer effects in the colon, which in the case of GT1 Hunters is a bit of an Achilles heal."
Since then I have been adding grain back into my diet. I compared the grains that were neutral on the BTD with the grains on the GTD that are beneficial for either Hunters or Gathers. Those are the grains I am focused on.
I am pleased to say that my weight has not increased with the additional grain. The only change I have noticed is that the craving I had for nuts is diminished. This has let me get my nut portions more in line with Type O recommendations.
I plan to go back through my blogs and edit out all references to grain free. And if I see references on the Forum advising Type Os to be grain free, I will counter them as adamantly as I do references to avoiding neutrals.
As Dr. D said in his quote at the beginning of this blog.
“each diet variant (A, O, etc.) is a carefully engineered balance of foods that ensures full nutritional value."