Archives for: January 2013
The past week has been unusually warm, and I took advantage of it by going for a bicycle ride.
Oh my! I discovered muscles that have been neglected for nine months. I had so much fun doing water aerobics and tubing last summer that I didn't ride my bicycle much if at all. I usually ride a lot in the fall, but between two mini vacations and HH's Mom being in rehab, I don't think I ever got the bicycle out of the garage. So I haven't done any consistent bicycling since last spring.
I have not neglected exercise. I work out at the fitness center twice a week. I still do the line dancing class once a week. I hike with the hiking club and with my husband. I run when the weather is not too cold. Each form of exercise uses different skills and different muscles.
As soon as I got on the bicycle I knew I had neglected my biking muscles. The most embarrassing and frustrating moment was at the end of the ride. There is a hill right before you get to our house. You come to it at the end of a ride, when you are already tired. Five years ago when we moved here, I had to walk my bike up that hill. Gradually, as I got stronger, I could traverse the hill and ride all the way to the top. Then came an exciting day when I rode straight up the hill. What a great feeling, physically and emotionally!
This week, I approached the hill with confidence. About half way up I thought, "I'm not going to make it." I peddled harder, countering my negative thoughts by saying aloud "Yes I am!" As HH often says - reality will prevail. I could tell that I was about to stall, and I did not want to risk a fall. I hopped off the bike and walked it the rest of the way.
If the weather stays mild, I'll give those unused muscles another chance next week.
Something happened his week that took me back to my college days. My roommate Alice and I had moved out of the dorm and into an apartment. Both of us copied favorite recipes from our Moms and we were excited about cooking in our own kitchen.
We were also both on a tight budget. One day Alice told me to come home prepared for a delicious dinner. She had found a great deal on chicken and was going to make one of her Mom's best recipes - Chicken Diablo. When I got in from class the apartment smelled wonderful. But when we sat down to dinner we realized the great deal on chicken had been on a package of wings and backs. We had a fabulous sauce but almost no chicken. Wings are mostly bone and skin. Backs are just bone. It was a poignant lesson for two young women.
At least I thought I had learned the lesson. I guess I needed a refresher course, because last week I found a great deal on frozen cod, and I bought it.
I decided to make my Mother's seafood Creole recipe. She made it with shrimp, but I was going to use the cod. I started the sauce first. It wasn't long before the kitchen smelled wonderful. I opened the cod. Oh my! I did not know fish could have gristle. I had a package that was mostly bone and tough connecting tissue. By digging and scraping I eventually found a respectable amount of cod, which I mixed in with the sauce.
I served the Creole over steamed brown rice. HH thought it was delicious. It was delicious...but it would have been so much better if I hadn't skimped and tried to save money on the fish.
Fried chicken is a Southern classic. Chicken Fried Steak is a Southwestern version of that Southern classic. Pre BTD I loved Chicken Fried Steak. I was never particularly good at making it, but I ordered it every time I could in a restaurant. After the BTD it became one of those foods like pizza - it wasn't really good for any blood type. The beef was bad for my husband, and the flour was bad for me.
I didn't miss it a whole lot, except when we would eat out with our Strong Son. He would smile as he enjoyed his Chicken Fried Steak and say, "Now Mom, you know I don't eat as much wheat as I used to, but I'm not taking this diet as seriously as you do." My mouth would water.
Last week I bought a package of turkey cutlets. Usually I cook the cutlets with barbeque sauce in the oven. I live in Texas so naturally there are 25 - 30 choices of barbeque sauce in my grocery store. Of those, 2-3 are free of high fructose corn syrup and other avoid ingredients.
Since my New Year's resolution is to try a new recipe every week that both my Type A husband and my Type O self can eat, I began to think what else I could do with the turkey cutlets. If Chicken Fried Steak was good, I wondered what Chicken Fried Turkey would be like. Back in the days when vegetables were popular and people ate at the cafeteria every Sunday after church, Luby's Cafeteria made some of the best Chicken Fried Steak. They had published a 50th anniversary cookbook, and I had bought one. Sure enough their Chicken Fried Steak recipe was in the cookbook. Here is the recipe - with my BTD changes.
3 large eggs
1 cup milk (substitute almond milk)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups flour (substitute rice flour)
2 1/2 pounds of round steak cut in pieces (substitute turkey cutlets)
Oil (I used light olive oil, but it smoked too much, next time will try grapeseed oil)
Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, seasoned salt, and pepper.
Place flour in a shallow bowl.
Pound the meat with a meat mallet to 1/4 inch thickness. Coat with flour. Dip into egg mixture, then again into flour.
Heat 1/8 inch oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook meat 3 - 4 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked through.
Except for the smoke from the light olive oil, this recipe was a big success. It tasted delicious. My Honorable Husband said, "Great dinner."
I will probably use less milk next time. There was too much of the egg milk mixture left over. When I warmed up the leftovers, the coating was not as crisp as it was the night I made them. Next time I will refry them just a little in oil so that the leftovers will be as good as the original.
I keep a pitcher of green tea in the refrigerator all the time. As much as I like the taste of plain green tea, I also like variety. So I usually mix 4 bags of green tea with two bags of another flavor of tea. Obviously I do not use any black tea because is avoid for both of us. I look for herb teas with no avoid ingredients.
I especially like fruit flavored tea, so I often mix blueberry, peach, and raspberry herb teas with green tea. We drank the last of some peppermint green tea last night.
The reason flavored tea is on my mind this morning is because I just placed an order with Vitamin Shoppe. I had a coupon that was getting ready to expire. I really needed to order two things, but in order to get free shipping, I had to shop a little more.
I clicked on the sales, and found Tulsi teas with delicious sounding flavors. I wasn't familiar with Tulsi, but I took the time to do some research. Holy Basil is another name for Tulsi, and Holy Basil is highly recommended for Type As. It is especially good for cortisol issues, something that both HH and DD struggle with. It is neutral for Type Os, but several Os on the Forum have written that they feel like it helps them.
I bought three flavors that sound delicious. I can hardly wait for them to get here. But in the meantime, I'm thinking that today we will have ginger green tea.
I always read labels...at least I thought I did...but I missed one.
After I posted the Teriyaki Turkey recipe, Jane commented that Soy Sauce contained wheat.
My first reaction was that wheat was probably a minor ingredient near the bottom of the ingredient list. I walked to the refrigerator to check the bottle. No. Wheat was the number 1 ingredient. I couldn't believe it.
Why do they call it Soy Sauce if the main ingredient is wheat? It should be called Wheat Sauce...but that sounds terrible.
Jane recommended Tamari. At the grocery store I found 5 different kinds of Tamari. All of them were wheat free. Only one was low sodium. I bought that one.
While I was at the store I was also checking labels on soups. When my son was young he was extremely sensitive to MSG. Back then it seemed that all canned soups had MSG. Then Campbells came out with Healthy Request which was MSG free. Other soup makers followed their example and began eliminating MSG from their products. Finally Amys, Pacific, and other companies began marketing organic soups.
I began to buy more canned soup. My husband loves soup and salad for supper. Personally, while I like the taste of many soups, I don't find them filling enough to call a meal. I could warm a can of soup for him and have leftover meat and veggies for myself.
I do read soup labels carefully, even for favorite soups that I buy often. For a few years the trend seemed to be away from MSG. Now it seems to me that it is coming back to more soups. I've stopped buying several products that I bought a year or two ago.
I embarrassed that I missed the wheat in Soy Sauce, but I needed the reminder to stay vigilant. Even when I think I have read the label before, or when I think I know what is in a product, I need to take the time to check.
Eventually this blog is going to be about a recently released study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, but I'm going to start with some personal experiences and observations
A month or so ago, there was a thread on the Forum about skinny jeans. People were challenging each other to get serious about losing weight and get into those magical jeans before the holidays. I wanted to scream, but resisted being argumentative at the time.
That thread brought back too many memories of the two years that my Darling Daughter spent in the clutches of an exercise and eating disorder. Once she recognized that she had bought into a lie, it took another two years for her to heal mentally and physically. At the time, I gave credit to God and the Blood Type Diet for keeping her from doing herself serious harm. The Blood Type Diet kept her focused on eating the healthiest foods during the time when she was not eating enough. God helped her to see that the root of all eating disorders is a refusal to accept that He made each of us in a precious and wonderful way. It goes against His will and against nature when we try to change our body type to look like a freak in a fashion magazine.
When I say skinny jeans, I'm not harping on a particular brand. I am talking about any style of clothing that makes girls and women feel badly about themselves if they do not have skinny legs and huge chests. This has been the style for way too long and it forces 95% of women to wish they could change themselves. Some women overeat out of frustration. Some women starve themselves to try to conform to an unreasonable standard. Some women, and I count myself in this group, make peace with their bodies and try to dress in a way that camouflages their shortcomings. Wouldn't it be better if we could all ignore the New York fashion gurus and be content with the way God made us?
I often get e-mails and read Forum posts from women who started the Blood Type Diet to lose weight and are frustrated because they are not losing fast enough. I believe this is because the BTD is far more important than a weight loss diet. This is a health building eating plan for the rest of my life. The reason I lost a little weight, but not an extraordinary amount of weight, is because if I follow the BTD I am building health. New York's idea of fashion is contrary to health.
If you eat the type and portions of food recommended on your food lists, you will gradually shed pounds - if you are really and truly overweight. You will eventually level off to an easily maintainable weight that is healthy. But you won't fit into pencil skirts or boy cut shorts.
Maybe that makes you think, "The BTD is not for me. I'm outta here." Before you go, you should read about a study published on January 1 by researcher Katherine Flegal. She did a study in 2007 that found that people who were a little overweight lived longer than people who were underweight. She was severely criticized. So she did another study with a much larger sampling of people. And she reached the same conclusion.
She does not recommend eating junk food. She does recommend exercising. She cautions that weight is not the only factor in longevity. Her study does shoot big holes in the myth that skinny is healthy and a low BMI guarantees a long life.
If you google her name and "weight" or "BMI" or "long life" or "death risk" you will find several newspaper and magazine articles. Make sure you choose one with the new study not the 2007 study.
You cannot change your body type. Any diet that tells you that you can is lying to you. If you want an eating plan that maximizes your health and moderates your weight, give the BTD a try.
Last night's dinner was an adventure. I had a meeting with a client in the morning, and she served me some of the best beef tacos I have ever had for lunch. That put me in a fish frame of mind for dinner. Since I have resolved to try at least one new recipe a week this year, I began looking for something new I could do with cod. I found a lovely recipe, but when I went to get the cod out of the freezer, I was out. How did I let myself run out of something so basic? I was also out of salmon. The only fish in the house was canned tuna, and I was not in the mood to try a new tuna recipe.
I took out a pound of frozen ground turkey and a package of frozen vegetables. I could whip up a couple of quick vegetable bowls. It was far short of my expectations, but it would be healthy for HH and me. As I cut open the vegetable package, I noticed a box that said "serving suggestions". It said to top the vegetables with Teriyaki sauce. I realized that I had eaten Teriyaki flavored beef jerky, but I didn't have a clue what was in Teriyaki sauce.
On my computer, I called up the BTD recipe center, and there were two compliant Teriyaki sauce recipes. I combined them, because I didn't have the precise ingredients for either one. Here is what I did.
1/4 cup agave
5 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger juice (I ran fresh ginger through my juicer)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.
First I started brown rice in the rice cooker. I warmed the Teriyaki ingredients in a saucepan while I browned the turkey. I added 2 Tablespoons of oil to the skillet where the turkey was cooking and turned up the heat to stir fry the frozen vegetables. I was watching the Teriyaki sauce to make sure it didn't boil. As soon as the vegetables were barely soft, I poured the sauce over them and the turkey. I called HH to dinner.
He took one bite and said, "This is really good."
Teriyaki turkey, where have you been all my life?
Later this year I will celebrate my 10th year on the Blood Type Diet. Before the BTD I continually battled allergies. Nine months of the year I had post nasal drip. More mornings than not I woke with a scratchy throat. Certain foods gave me hives, and I sometimes had hives for no apparent reason.
I can't say I noticed a dramatic change in my allergies when I first started the BTD, but within a year I realized I was taking fewer antihistamines. I itched less, had fewer sore throats, bought less Kleenex. I eventually tried chocolate - a beneficial type O food, but one that had given me hives since I was a little child. No hives! I often treat myself to a square of unsweetened dark chocolate. You can't imagine how good that is unless allergies had prevented even a taste of chocolate for 30 years.
Last week I had an allergy attack. I know what precipitated it. Friday after Christmas I spent almost two hours mowing the grass on the back part of our lot. It has been really dry, so the lawn mower kicked up lots of dust. The grass needed to be mowed because it went to seed late this year, due to the drought. The mulcher was flinging seeds and dry stalks everywhere. The cedar trees were pollenating. We have very few cedars on our property, but they are prominent in the Hill Country and the pollen count was high.
By 8:00 that night my throat was hurting. At first was impossible to tell whether it was a cold, the flu, or allergies. I took both antihistamines and cold-eze that night. By the next night, when I had no fever and the symptoms returned as the antihistamines wore off; I was confident that this was allergies.
I added bromelain and stinging nettle from the BTD Encyclopedia allergy protocol and Vitamin C because it is good for so many things related to the immune system
My procedure for antihistamines is don't worry about the clock. Take the next dose when symptoms start to return. For six days I knew precisely when the previous dose was wearing off. Friday morning slipped by without my noticing the time. I've been off them now for more than two days with just a hint of drainage
What I'm now asking myself is "Why?" after so many years, why the return of allergies now?
Adelle Davis wrote that allergies are stress diseases. I think this may be the key. November and December were stressful. I didn't get enough sleep. I worried about things I couldn't control. I think my adrenal glands were tired and left me vulnerable to environmental factors that hadn't bothered me for several years
I have been in a rut. When I was a bride I was a, resourceful cook. When I was a mother, I was a creative cook. When I started the BTD, I was an experimental cook. But since DD left home, I've cooked the same things over and over. It's healthy. It's BTD compliant. But it's getting boring.
So my one New Year's Resolution is to try at least two new recipes a week. I'm off to a good start, because I tried two recipes today.
The morning of New Year's Eve, I started soaking a pound of black eyed peas. The evening of New Year's Eve, I was getting them ready for the slow cooker when I realized I was out of onion. I always cook black eyed peas with onion.
Don't panic, I told myself. How do most people cook black eyed peas? The answer is with bacon or salt pork. Obviously I was not going to do that...but I had a package of Buddy's chicken sausage in the freezer. If you are not familiar with Buddy's, it is a company that sells hormone free chicken. Their sausage is free of nitrites and other preservatives. I put the frozen sausage in the slow cooker with the beans and 2 cloves of garlic. Served with a spinach salad, it was a perfect New Year's Day lunch.
For dinner, I was going to cook beets. Normally I season beats with ghee, ginger, agave. It is delicious. But remembering my resolution to get out of my rut - even if it is a delicious rut - I got out a German cookbook that I've had for years, but never used. There was a recipe for beets with orange sauce. Orange is avoid for both Type As and Type Os. I decided to substitute pineapple juice for the orange juice. The recipe called for cornstarch, but that is also avoid. I kept it simple tossing the cooked beets with a Tablespoon of ghee and a heaping Tablespoon of pineapple juice concentrate.
HH was watching football and I was reading during dinner. As he took his plate to the kitchen, he said, "That was a really good dinner." I'm not sure that it was all that good, but it was different. The fact that he noticed, reinforces my resolution.