Category: Reflections and Commentary
I am thankful for a lot of things in this Thanksgiving week. One of the biggest items on my list is the restoration of DD’s hormone balance.
If you are a long time reader of this blog, you remember that in her senior year DD began to deal with body image issues. You can search the archives if you want to know all the details, but I’ll summarize. DD was never anorexic. She never stopped eating. But she cut her calories back and became obsessive about exercise. She lost too much weight and threw her hormones all out of balance.
I was firmly convinced that this was a spiritual issue with her, not a psychological issue. She was rejecting the way that God had made her. She needed to deal with Him about that, not have someone play games with her psyche.
She is a smart girl, and when she went off to college, she said all of the right things, but in her mind, she was still determined to remake her body in her own image. Not surprising, she got worse before she got better. She eventually agreed to a daily accountability e-mail with me. While this stopped her weight loss, it did not result in her gaining weight.
Though she was exercising too much and not eating enough, she was extremely committed to the BTD. So the food she was eating was almost all beneficial. I think that is one of the things that protected her from worse effects on her health.
God allowed her to have a couple of health scares. He also brought some incredibly wonderful and supportive people into her life. She met some other girls who were dealing with the same issue, and as she got to know them, she began to see her own behavior for what it was. He also brought a wonderful young man into her life (I’ve called him ESS in my blogs) who loves her exactly the way God made her.
But most of all, God confronted her every morning in her Bible study. When I read back through her accountability e-mail, I am amazed. Some days He reminded her how much He loved her. Some days He forced her to face her rebellion and sin. Some days He showed her that he created her with a purpose and had a plan for her life. She listened, and her mind was renewed.
Not overnight, but gradually she changed her habits and began to gain weight. It took a long time, and a few setbacks along the way, but she got her weight back to a normal BMI. However, her hormones were still not working.
Our family doctor was more concerned about some hormone levels than others, and the one that he was most concerned about was her low thyroid. DD and I did enough reading to know that thyroid function drops in people with eating and exercise disorders for the same reason it drops in people faced with famine – it is one of the ways our bodies preserve life. When there aren’t enough calories, all body functions slow down.
She resisted taking thyroid hormone for a long time. She tried increasing iodine and several other natural remedies. Our doctor eventually convinced her that her other hormones were probably not going to return to normal until she got her thyroid working properly again.
For three months now, she has been restored to good health. She wants to wait a few more months, and then talk to the doctor about a safe way to wean herself off of the thyroid medication. Thankful hardly begins to describe how she and her dad and I feel.
Yesterday I got an e-mail from a missionary friend that says one third of Thailand is flooded. One third! I try to bring this into some personal frame of reference, but I can’t. One third of the US under water. One third of Texas under water. Even one third of Houston, Dallas, or San Antonio under water. It is inconceivable to me.
My missionary friend writes that even in the face of losing their own homes and jobs, Thai Christians are out in boats trying to help their neighbors.
The first thing that struck me when I read this was that a disaster of this magnitude has barely been reported in the US media. The news here is focused on stirring up class warfare and destroying people’s characters.
The second thing that crossed my mind was a question. What are those newly homeless people eating? My husband and I regularly send money to agencies like the Salvation Army and the International Mission Board World Hunger Fund to assist in disasters like this.
Obviously in a disaster Blood Type Diet considerations must be set aside. After a flood, or earthquake, getting safe food is the primary consideration. In famine stricken countries just getting enough calories to maintain life is of primary importance. A Type O in Somalia is not going to ask if there is wheat in the slice of bread they are given at a shelter.
But beyond disasters, I am sometimes concerned that the BTD could easily become a diet for the rich and elite. When beef is not good enough for a Type O, it must be grass fed beef. Or when rice is not acceptable, it must be non-GMO brown rice. Or when fresh fruits and vegetables are snubbed in favor of certified organic fruits and vegetables. I think this is wrong.
Unemployment has been high in the US for an extended period of time. I am seriously sympathetic because I am underemployed myself. If families cannot make the BTD work at an ordinary grocery store, then frankly it isn’t going to help very many people.
I will continue, in my blog, to apply BTD principles to people on a budget. And I will continue to give to organizations who deliver both food and the good news of Christ to those in need.
Being the newest employee at her company, DD has learned that while she gets Thanksgiving Day off, she will be working on Wednesday and Friday. After a brief moment of despair at being apart for the first time at a major holiday, we all agreed that she is incredibly blessed to have a good job in this economy. She is also blessed because ESS’s hometown is a couple of hours from where she works, so they can have Thanksgiving dinner with his family.
For that reason DD and ESS came to spend this weekend with us. SS came home too. I got all of the Thanksgiving decorations out, so the house looked festive. We agreed we would not have traditional Thanksgiving dinner. However we did have a big celebration meal, and I have two recipes to share.
First Joan was absolutely right. The spinach dish labeled Swag Mushroom at the India Buffet was really Saag Mushroom. Because SS loves India food, I made it. You can Google the traditional Saag Mushroom. This is my BTD version. Everyone liked it except DD - who in spite of being Type A, doesn’t care for the taste or texture of mushrooms.
10 oz frozen spinach
8 oz Portobello mushroom
2 tsp ginger juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
1tsp chili powder
Dash of cayenne pepper
½ cup almond milk
2 Tbsp ghee
Heat ghee in large skillet over medium heat; add mushrooms and garlic. Sauté until tender. Add ginger juice and chili powder. Stir for 1 minute. Add spinach. Add a pinch of salt if you like. Reduce heat low, and cover skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is soft (10-15 minutes).Stir in cayenne and almond milk. Add a little more almond milk if it is too dry. Cover and simmer 5-10 minutes.
Recipe #2 is for Millet - Thanksgiving style
I was going to roast a turkey breast. As you know I am adding more grain back into my diet, and I had recently bought millet. I put one cup of millet in the baking dish with the turkey breast. I took one can of MSG free chicken broth and added enough water to make 2 cups. I chopped up an onion and sprinkled it all with poultry seasoning and sage. Then I put it in the oven and followed the instructions for cooking the turkey.
It was delicious. The house smelled like the holidays. DD said it was better than dressing. Everyone liked it and it was so easy to make.
DD has something else to be thankful for. If you have been a long time reader of this blog, you know that her last year of high school she dabbled in an exercise/eating disorder. She lost too much weight and got her hormones out of balance. Her recovery has been a very long spiritual and physical journey. The BTD gave me the courage to not force her into a rapid weight gain based on junk food. For some time she has the healthiest spiritually and emotionally that she has ever been. Now her physical health is returning as well. We may not be at the same table on Thanksgiving Day, but we will all be thankful.
Oh how I wish that all of the health studies in the news would give the Blood Types of the participants. It could clarify so many things for me.
While we were on vacation, my Honorable Husband did a lot of reading, and he nearly flew into a panic when he read about a study that showed, “Frequent aspirin use may be associated with an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration.”
HH takes one baby aspirin every day. His doctor told him to start doing this about 5 years ago. I have supported him because he is a thick blooded type A with early onset high blood pressure and a family history that includes heart disease.
But this new study has him terrified because of his cornea transplant. Has he saved his vision from one disaster only to go blind from aspirin?
As I read the magazine article, I wished for one paragraph, even one sentence, that gave the Blood Types of the participants. If it showed that mostly Type Os were getting macular degeneration after taking aspirin, that would make sense. But the article is silent.
Family history and Blood Type both put him at risk for heart disease. How do you choose between your heart and your eyes? I advised him to keep taking the aspirin for now.
I also suggested he ask his cornea specialist if there was any Blood Type data hidden deep in the details of the study.
I made my first trip to Rocky Mountain National Park when I was 9 months old. This is my 21st trip to what I think it is my favorite place on earth. And my favorite place in Rocky Mountain National Park is Bear Lake. Though Les has been to Colorado and to RMNP, he had never been to Bear Lake. So we spent the past two days exploring in the Bear Lake area.
One day we took two short trails. First we walked around Sprague Lake. From the road, Sprague Lake is ho hum. It is in a marshy area, and we have been told that a moose family lives there. If you walk around to the back side of the lake, you get a nice view of the mountains, but it has never seemed to me to be a spectacular view. This week my opinion of Sprague Lake changed. In the fall it is truly beautiful. The aspen groves on the sides of the mountains add touches of gold among the dark green spruce and fir forests.
I walked alone along a path by the stream feeding the lake, hoping to get a photograph of wild life, but it was a “wild moose chase.”
Then we took the trail around Bear Lake. It is a short trail, that can turn into a long walk when you stop to take pictures every few yards. The shear face of a cliff on Halletts Peak rises above a blue lake that looks like a gem. Trust me, it is so beautiful that there is something worthy of a photograph at every turn of the trail.
The next day we returned to Bear Lake, to take what my family has always called the trail to the three lakes. The trail to Nymph Lake is very easy. DD took this hike when she was 3 years old. The trail continues to Dream Lake, but it becomes a little steeper. To me Dream is the prettiest of the three lakes. The third part of the trail to Emerald Lake is more strenuous. HH was not sure that he would try to go all the way to Emerald. His knee does not like inclines and it doesn’t like stepping around rocks. The trail to Emerald has both. We took it slow, and I think it helped that I stopped often to take pictures. He made it all the way. Emerald is dramatic. It is right at timberline, so there aren’t many trees. The water color is stunning, and the rocks are sharp. The mountains rise straight above you.
We sat on the rocks, ate our lunch, and soaked in the view. I had trail mix, an apple, carrots, and beef jerky. HH had a turkey sandwich, carrots, and chips. The chipmunks were delighted to have my apple core.
Rocky Mountain National Park is my favorite place. Bear Lake is my favorite part of Rocky Mountain. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 121:1-2. I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
At each of the lakes I looked at the mountains. I was reminded that whatever national or international crisis was on the news; whatever difficulty confronts my family; God who created this majesty cares for me.
We had a gorgeous day for our trip to top of Pikes Peak on the cog train. Someday I would like to ride the train to the top and walk down, or perhaps even hike up the mountain and ride the train back down. But that would not happen this trip. It does take a day or two to adjust to high altitudes, and we only arrived in Colorado last night.
We had expected the view from the top of the 14,110 foot mountain to be spectacular. What we hadn’t expected was such a lovely ride up the mountain. The aspen were bright yellow, and the streams were sparkling white. We saw a golden eagle soaring on the wind currents.
When we arrived at the summit, the views in every direction were breath taking. We literally felt like we were on the top of the world. I was not surprised to learn that Katharine Lee Bates wrote the words to America the Beautiful after a trip to the top of Pikes Peak in 1893.
The people who run the food service at Pikes Peak have a rule against bringing picnic lunches on the train. They want you to buy their boxed lunches. I had asked in advance if they could prepare me a lunch without bread or potato chips. They said that they could not and were agreeable that people on special diets could bring their own food. I enjoyed my asparagus and salmon while those around me ate boxed lunches.
If I am going to eat an avoid, particularly wheat, I want to make it memorable. Ordinary, everyday wheat, like sandwiches, tortilla chips, rolls, and pizza, are not worth compromising for.
Pikes Peak is famous for something besides the beautiful views – high altitude donuts. A man named Lewis began making donuts to sell to tourists on the mountain in 1889. They are world famous, and I am told that they do not taste the same when they are made in mile high Denver, much less in the flat lands of Texas. I decided that the experience of eating a high altitude donut on top of Pikes Peak was worth it.
I bought one for myself and one of HH. They are cake donuts, so they do not melt in your mouth the way a hot fresh Krispy Kreme does. However, they probably have the best flavor of any donut I have ever eaten.
We have driven to Estes Park and checked into our condominium. We are looking forward to a week’s hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.
When I think back on today in years to come, I will probably not remember the donut. But I will remember the majesty of the mountains, and my heart sings...
“O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!”
I have blogged at other times about my journey from totally unhealthy eating, to being a health food nut, to the Blood Type Diet. One of the books that had an impact on my health food stage was Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition by David Reuben. His father died of colon cancer and he wanted to protect himself from that disease. His research said a high fiber diet was the best way to do that. He introduced me to bran and wheat germ which I ate for years. While his plan kept my bowels moving, the wheat worked against me as a Type O, and eventually led to indigestion.
When I started the BTD in 2003 I had to find alternate fibers to avoid constipation. I knew that colon cancer and colon polyps were also part of my genetic history. I applied Reuben’s high fiber research to the BTD.
I had my first colonoscopy in 2005. While the experience was terrible, the results were excellent. No polyps.
When I had my 2nd colonoscopy this year, I expected good results again. I did not expect two polyps, and I sure didn’t expect one of them to be pre cancerous.
I left the clinic with diet recommendations from the doctor. Since then I have been looking at his recommendations, the Blood Type Diet, the GenoType Diet, and Dr. D’s Cancer Prevention book.
The diet from colon doctor says that while fiber is important for other colon conditions – it doesn’t help polyps. Here is his list of things to do to reduce polyp formation.
* Reduce red meat intake to only 2 times a week or less.
* Eat more fruits and vegetables
* Calcium supplementation 1,200 mg per day
* Don’t smoke
* Be physically active.
* Maintain normal weight
* Take one baby aspirin a day.
* Study results on alcohol are mixed. Some studies show alcohol increases colon cancer, other studies show red wine may reduce cancer risks.
I already do most of what is on list yet my colon health declined. Why?
I eat more fruit & vegetables than I did before the BTD. I take more calcium than is recommended. I get selenium in my multiple vitamin, plus I eat many selenium containing foods. I have never smoked. I exercise 5-6 days a week. My weight is normal for my height, and lower than average for my age. I don’t drink wine, but I eat a lot of black and red grapes.
That leaves red meat intake and aspirin where there are conflicts between the anti-polyp diet and the BTD.
I am not going to take the aspirin. I have seen in myself and in my father what happens when type O’s take Vitamin E and aspirin as preventive measures. It leads to increased bruising and longer clotting times. My Type O blood is already thin enough. I will leave the aspirin for thick blooded Type As.
Red Meat – this is the tough one, because at first glance it seems to be in opposition to the BTD. Food portions in the Little Books – which I always reach for first since they are so easy to use, are: Lean red meat 2-5 ounces 4-6 times per week. Poultry 2-5 ounces 2-3 times per week.
Because red meat makes me feel so good, I had gone toward the high end of the scale eating 4-5 ounces 5-6 times a week. Since getting my lab results on the pre-cancerous polyp, I have made a slight adjustment. I am weighing my beef and eating 3-4 ounces. For lunch and dinner on one day I have fish and poultry. The next day I have fish and beef. Once or twice a week I substitute 3 eggs for a one of those portions. This puts me having beef about 3 times per week.
I looked at the portions in Dr. D’s Cancer Prevention book. There is a slight difference between it and the Little Books. In the Cancer Prevention book, he groups beef and poultry together saying to eat 2-5 ounces 6-9 times a week. My new plan is right in line with that recommendation. The book also contains a two page explanation of Dr. D’s position on beef and cancer. It is worth reading if you have concerns in this area.
Another slight conflict between the Dr. D and anti-polyp diets concerns apples. I used to eat an apple a day. After the GTD came out, I cut back to 1 or 2 apples a week. The Cancer Prevention book says apples are frequent neutrals. I am not eating an apple a day, but I am increasing my apple intake significantly.
I had taken myself off of almost all grain. There are no beneficial grains for Type O except manna bread, and the recommended portions for grains are 1 serving 1-6 times a week. I felt good with 0-1 servings. I am thinking that may be too extreme. I am trying to reincorporate 1 portion of neutral grains 3-5 times a week.
I won’t have another colonoscopy for 5 years. That is a long time to wonder whether my new program will succeed in preventing polyp formation.
I once read somewhere that in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were vegetarians, and that at the end of this world – in heaven – we will all be vegetarians again. It does appear to be true according to Genesis 1:28-29 that God’s original plan was for humans to eat green plants and fruit.
After the flood (Genesis 9:3) God said that animals were also suitable for food. For the rest of the Bible, eating meat is not only shown in a positive light, but it is often commanded. There are quite a few Biblical passages about Jesus eating meat.
One verse in Revelation mentions eating fruit in heaven, but it doesn’t say fruit will be the only thing that is eaten.
My Bible study this summer and fall has me reading in the prophetic books. Today I found this passage in Ezekiel. The passage speaks a time in the future when God dwells among His people in a newly created, perfect world. At that time it says trees will provide fruit for food and leaves for medicine. So does this mean we are going to be fruitarians in the millennium or in heaven? Not necessarily so - because the passage also mentions fishermen. If there are fishermen, people will be eating fish. And if salt is left for flavoring, then people must be doing some cooking, because there is certainly no need to salt fruit.
There will be a huge number of fish because this water goes there. Since the water will become fresh, there will be life everywhere the river goes. Fishermen will stand beside it from En-gedi to En-eglaim. These will become places where nets are spread out to dry. Their fish will consist of many different kinds, like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. Yet its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be left for salt. All kinds of trees providing food will grow along both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. Each month they will bear fresh fruit because the water comes from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be used for food and their leaves for medicine.” Ezekiel 47:9-12
We certainly do not live in that perfect world today. It is obvious to me that human effort will never create a perfect world. Only God can do that, and he will in His time. The Bible teaches that our bodies in heaven will not be the same as they are today, and if God creates my new body to be satisfied with just fruit, I’ll be fine with that.
In the meantime, if someone tries to tell you that the Bible says you ought to be a vegetarian or a fruitarian today, tell them to read the whole Bible, not just isolated passages that support their views.
Al Gore, former vice president of the US, in an interview Monday said, “we need to initiate an organic vegetarian diet for the general population.” This frightens me on two levels. First – Someone who once was a heartbeat away from the presidency, thinks that the government has a right to dictate my diet. Second - The implications for the BTD are enormous. This would destroy the health of the 44% of the US population that is Type O. When I look at Gore’s pudgy, pasty face, I wonder if he is a Type O trying to eat a vegetarian diet.
Sometimes, I think people like to complain. I have a friend with morning sickness. She talks every day about how bad she feels and how many times she throws up. I say, you need Vitamin B6. She agrees she needs to try it, but she hasn’t. I can't remember how many people over the years I have told about this simple solution to morning sickness. Some people literally laugh at me. Others express interest but never follow through. Yet everyone I know who has tried Vitamin B6 has had success with it. One friend who couldn’t keep anything down, including B6 tablets, got sublingual B complex and stopped having morning sickness immediately.
We have given up watering our grass. We siphon the water out of our washing machine to try to keep the trees alive. The temperature Sunday was lll.6. HH asked if the thermometer was in the sun. I told him it was suspended in the shade several feet off the ground. Yet the East Coast is being pounded by flooding rain, and the New England covered bridges that I love to photograph are washing away.
I was eating lunch with a Type O friend. She and I have talked many times about the BTD and why I eat the way I do. She was eating her hamburger with the bun, I was eating mine without. She was talking about being on medication for acid indigestion. She said, “You are really lucky that you found something that works for you.” I laughed at her. Luck has nothing to do with it. It was certainly providential that I found out about the Blood Type Diet. After that it was attitude and self discipline about what I ate.
Now if I would take my own advice about attitude and self discipline regarding 8 hours of sleep.
My horrible experience with a colonoscopy 6 years ago was 80% the doctor’s fault and 20% my fault. I made sure that a lot of things were different this time.
First I got a new doctor! He came highly recommended by friends, and he was wonderful.
Things the doctor did differently.
He used a different prep procedure.
Six years ago my last normal meal was in the evening two days before the colonoscopy. The next morning I was allowed clear liquids only. I tend to be a little hypoglycemic, and this was really hard on my system. I was hungry, irritable, weak, and had a headache.
This time beginning 3 days before the colonoscopy I wasn’t supposed to eat nuts, beef, or raw fruits and vegetables. I could have all of the poultry, fish cooked vegetables, and cooked fruit that I wanted. There were plenty of beneficial choices. The morning 24 hours before the colonoscopy I couldn’t have solid food, but I could have dairy products. This got enough protein into my system to sustain me until lunchtime. It was only clear liquids after that, but I was ok. No headache. No weakness. No snapping at my husband.
This doctor divided the colon cleaning medication into two steps. It took longer, but it was less violent and less stressful. He recommended adding crystal light to the preparation to make it taste better. I did not do that because of the aspartame. It tends to give me a headache and it irritates my digestive system. The goal was to keep my digestive system happy.
This anesthesia was milder. Six years ago I woke up groggy after the procedure. I slept most of the afternoon. My stomach was cramping. I wasn’t thinking clearly. This time the anesthesiologist said I would be fully awake in 9 minutes. I remember everything the doctor said in recovery. I slept for about an hour when I got home, but after that I was up and moving around. The one time I got a crampy feeling I walked outside, and it went away. I was thinking clearly enough to work on the computer.
Things I did differently
My instructions that said I could have dairy products, including pudding and ice cream for breakfast the morning 24 hours before the colonoscopy. Having ice cream for breakfast was tempting, but I wanted to keep my digestive system happy and dairy definitely makes it unhappy. I decided to make boiled custard with almond milk. Recipe is here . As I drank two cups, I knew the eggs were really good for me. I had more custard for breakfast the morning after the procedure. Delicious, filling, sustaining.
The best choices I made for clear liquids the rest of the day were Blue Sky Ginger Ale, Blue Sky Crème Soda, Welches White Grape and Peach Juice, and Vitamin Water Lemonade. All of those tasted good and kept my blood sugar steady.
I was allowed broth, and I got really excited at the grocery store when I found organic beef broth with no avoid ingredients. I thought that would be nourishing, but I really didn’t like it. It was salty and it didn’t have as many calories as the other drinks. When I have to do this again in 5 years, I will skip the broth.
Both doctors said I could eat anything I wanted after the colonoscopy. In my opinion this is very bad advice! Six years ago I took it literally. I was very hungry when I woke from my first nap. I had leftover beneficial food in the refrigerator. I ate lamb and sweet potatoes and broccoli. It tasted so good. It made me feel good…at first. But it was too much for an empty and irritated digestive system. How much of the cramping and fever were a result of this heavy meal and how much were a result of the doctor’s incompetence I’ll never know. But I wound up in the hospital.
This time I treated myself as if I had just gotten over a stomach virus. My first meal was apple sauce. I had rice flour bread to made toast with ghee. I ate vegetable soup mid afternoon and chicken & rice soup for dinner.
The next day I expanded my food selections, but stayed with easy to digest food. I had custard with applesauce and bananas for breakfast the next morning. Eggs and rice toast for lunch. By dinner time I was starting cooked vegetables.
I have a bottle of Type O probiotic. I took one on both the day of the colonoscopy and the day after.
By Friday I was eating everything but nuts, beef, broccoli, and raw vegetables. Even though I felt totally normal, waited another day before I started those hard to digest foods.
Maybe someday there will be a non invasive colon inspection. Until then, by following these steps, I won’t be afraid.
If you have been avoiding a medical test, because you are afraid of getting bad results, this blog is for you. If you think the BTD will protect you from medical problems and you don’t need medical tests, this blog is for you, too.
Those who have been reading my blog since the beginning, may remember that I had a horrible experience with a colonoscopy six years ago. You can look through the archives if you want to know all the gory details, but to quickly summarize, the doctor removed what he thought was a polyp, but it turned out to be “something vascular.” I wound up back in the hospital for tortuous tests to make sure he had not perforated my colon. That was followed by two weeks on three antibiotics all of which cause nausea and diarrhea. It was a month before my digestive tract was healed.
Afterwards the doctor told me I would need another colonoscopy in 5 years. I laughed derisively at him. At that moment I thought I would do anything rather than subject myself to another colonoscopy. I still felt that way when the 5 years were up. My primary care doctor was sympathetic, and did a non invasive test to make sure there was nothing critical going on inside me.
There are colon issues in my family. My grandmother died from colon cancer when she was 79. My mother had a large precancerous polyp removed when she was 85. In addition, I knew two people with colon cancer this year. One died. The other is having success with radiation and chemo therapy. I had to face reality and be responsible.
I had a colonoscopy yesterday morning. I recovered quickly, and today I am feeling 90% normal. Getting the colonoscopy was the right thing to do. The doctor found and removed two polyps. Both were small and looked harmless. I won’t know for two weeks whether they are the truly benign type or the type that can become cancerous. But whatever the results of the pathology, I was wrong to think that I could avoid this medical test.
I know people who avoid going to the dentist, having a mammogram, getting a prostate screen, checking their cholesterol, etc. because they are afraid of the results. This does not make any sense at all. Get the test. If there is a problem, get treatment early.
I wanted to avoid this test because the previous test had been such a horrible experience. Statistically, I knew that the problems I had the first time were very rare, and were highly unlikely to happen again. Still I was afraid. I had to say to myself – “get over it!”
There was also the temptation to say, “I follow a health building diet. I eat all the right food. I exercise. I’m immune to bad things like polyps or cancer.” While I credit the BTD, healthy eating, and exercise with my having more energy and fewer health complaints than most people my age, I am not invincible. Genetics certainly plays a role. Plus in this fallen world, body parts inevitably wear out. How foolish to be responsible about eating right but irresponsible about screening tests!
I want to share some things that made this colonoscopy better than the previous one, but today’s blog is long enough. I’ll post Part II this weekend. There will also probably be a Part III about what the doctor recommends for polyp prevention.
I do not know if it’s my age or my body type, but I do NOT like low waisted pants, and I do NOT like capris. That has made shopping for summer shorts very difficult in the past few years.
I am a combination body type. The top half of me is like a Hunter - sinewy, boney, and lean. The bottom half of me is more like a Gatherer - I carry weight in my legs and thighs. Capris make me my legs look terrible. Low cut pants focus attention away from my best physical asset, which is my tiny waist.
Fashion designers do not care about my preferences. Capris and low riding pants have been the style for several years. I know I am not alone. Friends my age complain all the time about low waisted pants and shorts. Rather than buying clothes that make me look bad, I have continued to wear my old clothes. Some of my favorite shorts have been around for five to six years. They are beginning to show their age.
I cannot tell you how many stores I have visited looking for shorts. This year I have been on a campaign. Everywhere I have gone, JC Penney, Academy, Bealls, Old Navy, Izod, Van Heusen, Macys, I have told the department manager, “My friends and I do not like these low riding pants! If you will stock clothes with real waists, we will shop!” Sometimes they say, “We just get what the buyers send us.” Sometimes their eyes glaze over.
Kohls sent me a $10 gift card in the mail. This afternoon I drove to the nearest Kohls and surprise, surprise. I found shorts with waists where they are supposed to be. OK, they are a little lower than my ideal, but they are flattering. If you have a body style like mine, look for Croft & Barrow Classic Fit.
To the other stores - I told you that if I ever found clothes that fit, I was ready to shop. I bought six pairs…and tops to match.
My Honorable Husband was doing some research about a vacation we hope to take in the fall. One day we want to take a scenic train ride. He said, “Uh oh, you’re not going to like this.”
The website states emphatically that you were not allowed to bring food or water on the train. They sell drinks and box lunches. They do not want any outside competition.
I called the toll free number. I was very nice, and my tone of voice was friendly. I said that we were looking forward to our train ride in the fall.
Then I said, “I am on a wheat free and preservative free diet. Will you be able to provide me with a box lunch that meets my needs?”
She quickly said that they would not be able to make me a special lunch, but that I could bring my food in my purse. If anyone questioned me I should just tell them that I am on a special diet.
I like it when people are accommodating. I like it when those in customer service know when to bend the rules. This is not always the case. Sometimes I talk to people who are rigid and irritable.
This morning’s conversation makes me look forward all the more to our fall trip. I’m thinking chicken and asparagus sounds good for a train ride.
Traditional wisdom says that weight is directly related to calories. If you take in more calories than you burn off; then you gain weight. If you burn off more calories than you take in; then you lose weight. I have never found that to be true for myself.
When my Honorable Husband and I were first married we were together all the time. We ate the same things; we worked at the same office; we socialized and exercised together. He stayed trim and lean with no effort at all. I struggled to keep from gaining weight.
I remember one night in particular preparing a dinner of spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. He ate a heaping plate of noodles topped with homemade meat sauce, a big salad, and two pieces of garlic bread. I poured meat sauce over my salad and thought, “This is NOT fair.”
The memory of that evening was one of the things that made it so easy for me to accept the Blood Type Diet and the reality that wheat and Type Os are irreconcilable enemies.
Another event occurred last week that reaffirms my doubts about traditional wisdom and calories.
The ladies in our Bible Study class decided to have a salad luncheon on Saturday. I took a turkey salad made with apples, craisins, and walnuts. That way I knew that the Type Os, including myself, would get plenty of protein. I had expected that there would be lots of green salads, and maybe a fruit salad or two.
Boy, was I wrong. There was one green salad, one fruit salad, and one tuna salad. All of the other salads were beautiful gelatin salads loaded with sugar, whipped cream, fruit, and…calories. Except for one plate of crackers, there was no wheat in the room.
I decided that while too much sugar is bad for anyone, sugar is not avoid. I stayed away from the crackers but I tried every one of those gorgeous salads. The recipes may have said salad, but they all tasted like dessert to me.
If I eat so much as a cookie or one piece of pizza, the very next morning my scale will tell me that I’ve gained 3 pounds. Those three pounds (a direct result of a small amount of wheat) will stay with me for 2-3 days.
The morning after eating all that sugar, I got on the scale with fear and trembling. I hadn’t gained any weight. The next morning I got on the scale again thinking that perhaps it took 36 hours for the sugar to circulate around looking for a fat cell to latch onto. But again my weight was stable.
I’m sure if I ate that much sugar every day, week in and week out, that I would gain weight. However, if I ate that much sugar every day, I would begin to have other health problems that would be a worse than my jeans fitting too tight.
Reality for me is in the Type O Little Book. My weight loss key is “wheat, corn, navy beans, lentils, cabbage and dairy.” Wheat is listed number one. Traditional wisdom can say what it will, but BTD trumps calories in this Type O body.
One more story from the luncheon. There was a reading basket in the bathroom, and right on top was one of the BTD Little Books. I asked our hostess if she followed the Blood Type Diet. She said, “No, someone gave me that book, but I’ve never read it.” I was sad. It’s like seeing a dusty Bible on a coffee table. Truth is in the house, but unless the book is opened and read, it has no impact.
I’m hoarding again, but it’s beef this time. In 2010 there was there was a rumor of a pumpkin shortage. I ignored it, because there was plenty of pumpkin on the shelves at my grocery store…until June, when Libby’s pure pumpkin was suddenly unavailable. There were still limited cans of organic pumpkin. Organic pumpkin is less flavorful, watery and more expensive, but I bought it anyway because it is a beneficial food that DD and I eat at least twice a week. I wrote a blog about traveling to three grocery stores and buying all the organic pumpkin they had. I felt a little guilty about hoarding.
Now I am hearing another rumor. The local radio stations say that cattle are suffering because of the severe drought in Texas. Ranchers are beginning to sell off their stock. Better to get what they can now, than wait until the cattle start to lose weight or the ranchers have to buy feed in the summer time. The expectation is that beef prices may drop in the short term, but will skyrocket later this year.
I have no idea whether the rumor is true, but I have started picking up a couple of pounds of extra lean ground beef every time I go to the store and stashing them away in the freezer. If the rumor is true I will still be able to eat beef every week. If the cattle situation is exaggerated, I’ll have fun cleaning out the freezer and enjoying lots of beef.
I had beef for lunch today in a variation of one of my favorite bowls. In the refrigerator, I found leftover mustard greens and leftover artichokes. I mixed them with ground beef and ¼ carton of hummus. For “dessert” I chopped up half an apple and heated it in the microwave with pumpkin and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. A Type O meal doesn’t get much better than that.
I am happy to again be reading on the Forum after a long hiatus. I gave up chat rooms and computer games while I was dealing with my parents’ end of life issues. I didn’t realize how much I had missed the Forum until I got back on a week or so ago. This morning I read a post from “Mother”. After initial success on the BTD she is frustrated. She has been trying to eat only beneficial and diamonds. Now she is not only bored with her food, but experiencing unpleasant physical symptoms.
First a disclaimer. This blog is my opinion. I have never met Dr. D. I have never talked with him. We exchange an occasional e-mail, but he never tells me what to write. This is how I have applied his writings and his speeches that are available on MP3.
Dr. D. never asks us to eat only beneficial and diamonds. I doubt he would consider it to be healthy.
One of the first things that grabbed my attention about the BTD was the concept that “For you some foods act like poison, some foods act like medicine, and some foods act like food.” Beneficials (diamonds) are the foods that act like medicine. Really now, can you imagine existing on medicine- even supplements - alone? Of course not. I maximize beneficials, especially when I am sick or under stress, but I would no more eat only beneficials than I would try to exist on Benadryl, Vitamin B complex, penicillin, and calcium.
Neutrals are good food. They supply energy, phyto-nutrients, vitamins, fiber, and variety. Eat them. They are good for you. I’ll go farther. They are good for you in any amount. If I eat a meal of chicken, butternut squash, and English peas, I have eaten a good meal.
This was from a FAQ column on the BTD website.
What is compliance?
• If you are recovering from an illness or desire weight loss, then 80%-100% of your food choices should be highly beneficial.
• If you are a healthy individual over the age of 55, 80% of foods should be beneficial.
• If you are under 55 and healthy, 70% or more of your food choices should beneficial.
• The remainder of your food choices should be neutral. Avoids should not be eaten.
Dr. D. wrote in his Ask Dr. D’Adamo column that “Generally 70-80% total compliance works well in most people (out of 10 food choices, 7-9 being neutral or beneficial choices)” To me, that means that 1-3 food choices technically could be avoid.
If you have read my blog for very long, you know that I don’t eat avoids at home. I don’t even keep things that are avoid for both As and Os in the house. I try not to eat avoids in restaurants, but if one sneaks in I do not worry about it. I do eat avoids at parties and when I am a guest in someone’s home. Sometimes I feel negative effects. That reminds me why I love this diet! Sometimes I don’t feel anything at all. That reminds me that my body is not hyper sensitive, and that 70 – 80% compliant builds health.
I am happy on this diet. I am satisfied physically and emotionally. I have been content for almost 8 years. I stay happy and satisfied because I freely enjoy neutrals, and I give myself a break once in a while on avoids.
To “Mother” and others like her, I would say that I would be bored too if I ate only beneficials. I’ll be honest. If I had eaten such a limited diet as only beneficials for 2 years, I would abandon the BTD and go looking for something else. But Dr. D. has never put those kinds of restrictions on us. Neutrals are good for food. Enjoy them and the delicious variety they bring to the BTD.
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.
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?
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.
I have a friend who is very interested in healthy eating, but is soon to be married to a Type O man who would rather eat mostly carbs and sugar. She asked how she could influence him to change. In my answer, I told three anecdotes about my own husband. Two of them I have written blogs about, but one came from the early days, and I thought I’d share it in today’s blog.
More important, I tried to give her sound advice about how to gently change a loved one’s diet without letting it become a point of conflict. I thought that some of you are probably dealing with similar issues with a spouse, a child or a parent. All of us want the ones we love to be healthy and live long. These are a few things I have tried over the years that have worked.
Do not try to change someone you love overnight. I have tried that – it breeds resentment.
Gently bump him in the right direction. There are lots of good carbs for Type Os. Sweet potatoes and rice are good and inexpensive. Many legumes are good for Type Os. They provide fiber and carbs. If you cook them in your crock pot, they are very cheap.
Don’t try to get him completely off of wheat. Go ahead and buy rolls or French bread. But don’t put out the whole package. Divide it up and put it in the freezer. Serve dinner with one roll. Let there be plenty of meat, rice, and beans when he goes back for seconds.
Start with broccoli not something exotic.
Start with rice not quinoa.
Start with black beans not fava beans
Keep a few old favorite unhealthy foods available, but not easy access or unlimited supply.
Let him see that he has less pain and more energy
Use honey or real maple syrup on whole grain pancakes and waffles instead of the maple flavored corn syrup. No one wants to go back to fake after tasting real.
Don’t deprive him of desserts. There are many ways to have something special and sweet at the end of a meal.
Fruit pies are better than cake with icing.
Try a little ice cream with lots of fresh fruit on top.
Pumpkin or sweet potato pie rather than syrupy pie like pecan.
Oatmeal and carrot cake are full of fiber and nutrients.
I tend to use real sugar in reduced amounts rather than alternative sweeteners. I can reduce the sugar and oil in a regular recipe by 25% - 33% and no one notices. I did this with my children when they were very young, and I never got a complaint.
Go ahead and cook vegetables you like, even if he doesn’t like them. Two reasons for this.
1. If you deprive yourself, you will slowly build up resentment.
2. One day he might try it and like it. You never know.
Don’t push him to eat foods he doesn’t think he likes. Two reasons for this.
1. He may comply to please you, but it will slowly build up resentment.
2. Men like to think they are in charge. They don’t like being pushed.
I have found in that resentment is bad for digestion and bad for marriage.
The way my husband has slowly grown to eat more healthy is by discovering things on his own.
I did push a lot in the early years. He griped and complained about vitamins. One time on vacation he got into poison oak. He had oozing sores all over his back. We were in a strange town and didn’t know a doctor. I rubbed vitamin E into his back and he woke the next morning healed. He said, “Maybe there is something to those vitamins of yours.” Complaining was reduced by 75%.
He has gradually become committed to eating healthy himself. Not because I say so, but because he has seen it work in his own body, and has internalized the concepts. This is the goal.