Category: Reflections and Commentary
We have had our nephew and his family visiting for several days. We’ve been doing a lot of swimming and walking. I get in a rut at times – routine house hold duties, job hunting, computer chores. Sometimes I forget that we moved to the Hill Country in part because of the many opportunities for outdoor exercise. We have had a lot of fun with our company, and every day has been filled with physical activity. But it did distract me from blogging and delay the second part of my experience with foot, knee, and hip pain.
After Fred died, I tore apart one of my shoes and tried to copy what he had done. I could never get it exactly right. Some days my knees would feel good; some days they would hurt. I tried department store variety arches, but they did not help. I talked with several people about getting custom orthotics made by a podiatrist, but they were made of hard plastic, rather than the comfortable soft material Fred had used. I called dozens of shoe stores, but no one could give the kind of personal service that Fred had always given. They didn’t have his compassion, his work ethic, or his knowledge.
Eventually I found a shoe store – a national chain called Foot Solutions – that sold several brands of soft arches that were a much higher quality than the department store brands. They measured my feet and recommended Lynco arches.
There were advantages and disadvantages to Lynco arches. They worked really well in athletic shoes, but not in dress shoes. They gradually compressed so that they didn’t provide the support, and had to be replaced. That would have been fine, except the changes were very subtle, and I didn’t recognize them until my knee began to bother me again. Then I would look at the bottom of my shoes, see that the heels were worn down. Then I would remember to buy new shoes and new arches. It would take several weeks to feel right again.
While the Lyncos kept me pain free most of the time, they weren’t perfect. Sometimes stairs would bother me. I learned to use the T-Tapp technique of “No Duck Feet”. If DD and I did an exercise video with lunges, my knee would begin to hurt and continue hurting for several days. But I could hike, run, ride my bike, and do all normal activity quite comfortably, so I didn’t worry.
I began having a little more knee pain last December. I should have recognized that I needed new shoes and arches, but I missed the signals. Instead since SS was home from Physical Therapy School, I asked him why my knees hurt when I did lunges. He did some measurements, and had a theory about my knee pain. He gave me some exercises to do. The pain got slowly worse until February or March when I looked at the bottom of my shoes, saw how badly worn they were, and exclaimed, “Oh that’s what’s wrong.” I got new shoes and Lynco arches. Yet for some reason, the pain did not go away as quickly as it had for the previous 10 years.
I was better. I was not uncomfortable for most of the day. But something was still not quite right.
I had heard radio advertisements for a store called Ideal Feet. They claimed that their arches would make your feet feel better in 10 minutes. I went in and got measured. Their arches are more expensive, but they do not have to be replaced. If they stop working, the company will replace them. They have arches for athletic shoes and dress shoes. I believe they are helping, though I still can’t do lunges.
In the meantime SS took a class in joint dysfunction this spring. He called several time to ask questions about symptoms. He has put a name to my condition. I’ll write the last part of this blog about knees next week.
Book Babes (a neighborhood book exchange club) met at my house this week. It was fun to get out the nice dishes and tablecloths. I don’t get to use them often in our casual culture. It was just too hot to brew coffee. I made green tea with peppermint, peach juice, and regular black tea. I sliced fresh fruit for a platter, and I made a walnut torte.
The ladies really liked the green tea. They also liked the walnut torte. No one could believe that it was made entirely without flour of any kind. In the course of answering questions, I wound up explaining how I got started on the Blood Type Diet. One lady had a sister in law who is on the diet. The others had never heard of the BTD. They were fascinated with the concept until I said that the two worst foods for Type Os were wheat and dairy.
One lady blurted out, “ I couldn’t live without cheese.”
This, I think, is the difficulty with mass acceptance of the BTD. A part of the world is so used to abundance and affluence that they can’t imagine depriving themselves of a food they like, even if it would improve their health. Another part of the world is so poverty stricken that they are trying to get enough calories to fend off starvation. They can’t afford to worry about avoid foods; they just need food.
This blog about dental fillings is not intended to be controversial. Neither is it intended to cover both sides of the argument. I am relating a fascinating conversation that challenged my preconceived ideas about dental fillings.
Some months ago I noticed that I could feel, with the tip of my tongue, something sharp on one of my back molars. The tooth didn’t hurt, so I waited until my next regular dentist appointment. The dentist told me that I had chipped a tiny piece off of one of my silver fillings. “I guess that means you’ll be replacing it with one of the new safer fillings,” I said. I was not prepared for the vehemence on his reply. For the next 30 minutes, as he worked in my mouth, he gave me the other side of the story -the side you don’t get from the internet. When he finished with me and started work on DD, I got out a notebook, and made him go through it all over again so I could take notes.
I’m glad that I didn’t have to make any decisions that day. The dentist removed the sharp piece that I could feel with my tongue, and assured me that the filling itself was still well seated and didn’t need replacement.
I think the best decision is for parents to make sure their children eat healthy low sugar foods so they won’t get cavities. Then they won’t have to make difficult decisions about fillings at all. The rest of this blog is what my dentist said to me that day.
“They can’t prove silver fillings are harming you with real science. If they could, there would be ten lawyers in my waiting room right now, because there are a lot more lawyers than dentists.
“If you compare the mercury that gets into your body from fillings to the amount in foods you eat every day, you would find that there is more available mercury in a can of tuna fish. Scientists agree that silver dental fillings leach mercury into the mouth. But hundreds of studies show that the exposure is from 1-3 micrograms per day. One can of albacore tuna contains 52.7 micrograms. Chunk light tuna contains 27.2 micrograms.
(Suzanne notes: The EPA safe level is .1 microgram per kilogram of body weight per day. The Food and Drug Administration reference dose is 0.4 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. The World Health Organization set the level of mercury consumption considered safe at 1.5 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. For my weight my safe level would be EPA - 5.76 micrograms per day; FDA – 23.04 and WHO – 86.42. Back to my dentist’s comments)
“If you look at the mercury that gets into the environment if you break one of those new light bulbs, you are talking about much more serious exposure. Read the precautions on how you are supposed to clean up your house if one of those spiraling bulbs made with mercury vapor drops and breaks.
“I’ve been in practice for 30 years. I’d say that 2% to 5% of my time is spent replacing work that has already been done. I can tell you that silver lasts longer plastic. I have a patient who is 80-years old. She got four silver filling when she was10 years old. They are still in good shape. A silver filling doesn’t fail. Sometimes the tooth around it fails, but that’s rare. Sometimes they break if they are too big and should have been crowns. Plastic however needs to be replaced after 10 - 15 years.
“A silver filling costs about $100. Plastics; $130. Insurance allows both. A dentist makes a lot more money on plastic. They can charge more when they put them in, and in a few years they get to charge again to replace them. Plastic may be the best esthetic choice, but it’s not the best choice for safety or money.
“Plastic is very technique sensitive. The guy who graduates last at dental school can put in a silver filling that will last long time. Not so with plastic. It has to be done right or it will fail even sooner.
“Why would I want to harm my patients? I could make more money with plastic. It’s not what goes in your mouth that hurts the environment. It’s what goes down the drain in industrial usage.
“There was a TV reporter who got all worried about her 12 silver fillings. She decided to have them all replaced with plastic, and she did a report on the experience. After it was over, she talked on camera about how much better she felt. The irony is that the greatest exposure to mercury is when the filling is being put in taken out. When it’s just in your mouth, there much less mercury exposure than you get from food. Baby boomers who got one to two cavities per year filled when they were growing up received a small exposure each time. However, when they took out her twelve fillings in one day she got a large exposure.
The dentist has much more exposure than any one patient. I’m standing here breathing vapor. Yet statistically dentists have lower rate of MS than general population. They keep trying to prove that silver fillings are dangerous, but the proof just is not there
I went to a continuing education seminar at the San Antonio Dental School. One of the speakers was promoting tooth colored fillings hoping to get the school to move in that direction. During the question and answer session, I said I wanted to ask a question about safety. He thought I meant the safety of silver fillings and interrupted my question to say that there was lots of research that proved silver was safe. He was not promoting his product by questioning the safety of silver. I said that he had misunderstood my question. I meant had there been adequate studies on the safety of plastic fillings. He looked surprised, then admitted that he had not seen any research at all. As far as he knew, plastic fillings had not been studied for safety."
I have always tried to find good watermelons by patting them and listening for an echo. Sometimes I would pick a good one, but sometimes I got a dud. Usually I wait until June to buy them, because early watermelons can be flavorless.
Watermelon is super beneficial for Hunters and Gatherers, and I’ve been longing for one. Somewhere I read that the best watermelons have a large yellow spot where they rested on the ground. So I decided to buy a May watermelon. I didn’t thump or pat. I picked the one with the biggest and brightest yellow spot.
It was fabulous: sweet, crisp, and full of flavor. I will have to see if the yellow spot hint works every time.
I read an interesting statement today by CS Lewis, “Niceness is an excellent thing. We must try by every medical, educational, economic, and political means in our power to produce a world where as many people as possible grow up nice; just as we must try to produce a world where all have plenty to eat. But we must not suppose that even if we succeeded in making everyone nice we should have saved their souls. A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world. For mere improvement is not redemption.”
If everyone recognized the wisdom of the BTD, and began to eat right, it would make them feel better. But eating right will not change a person’s heart. While pointing people I meet to a better way to eat in a good thing, it is far better when I can point people to the loving God who created them and who longs for them to repent and turn to Him.
I’m reading a fascinating book called “The Screwtape Letters.” The author talked about the Blood Type Diet in the chapter I read this morning, though he couldn’t have known it, since the book was first published in 1942.
He started by recognizing that God has built into us natural desires which are good because they make life pleasant and possible. We need to eat; we long for friendships, and we appreciate beauty. One of the tactics of the devil is to take that innocent enjoyment and exaggerate it until it becomes perverse and harmful. An obvious example is how the natural desire for intimacy in marriage has been twisted so much that it has led to infidelity and immorality.
God made us so that change is pleasant. We enjoy the differences in the seasons, the diversity of personalities, and the thrill of travel. We also enjoy variety in the food that we eat.
The author grabbed my attention when he began to use food as an example. God never intended food to become an end in itself, he said. When it does, it can become the sin of gluttony on one end or an eating disorder on the other. This was particularly interesting to me, and as I thought about it, I expanded it, adding some of my own conclusions.
God himself built variety into food making it sweet, salty, sour, or bitter. Then he added all of the distinctions that fragrance add to taste. This is good, but where there is something good, there is fodder for the devil.
Sugar, and the sweetness it gives, is pleasing to the taste, but modern transportation and food processing have led to sugar addictions. We have an insatiable desire for sugar that, if it is unchecked, leads to disease. The same holds true for salt and fat.
Because our bodies are different, a food may be good for some, but bad for others. The beneficial and neutral food lists are long and filled with diversity. Yet how often do I read about unhappy Type Os who can’t make themselves give up wheat, or disappointed Type As who think giving up shrimp is unfair.
The author writes, “The pleasure of novelty is by its very nature more subject than any other to the law of diminishing returns.”
The quest for a new recipe can be good, and a new combination of tastes is exciting. But as I look at commercials for food products and restaurants I see what the author is talking about – an insatiable desire for change. On the Forum (and even around my on dinner table) I hear that food is boring.
I have examined myself this morning, asking to what degree has my innocent enjoyment of change been converted it into a demand to constantly have something new. Am I satisfied with the bounty that God has provided, or do I let my mind wander into the areas that are forbidden fruits? Am I contented or complaining? The honest answer, of course, is a little of both. The revelation to me is that to the degree that I am complaining, I am allowing my enemy to manipulate my mind and distract me from the goodness of God.
Those of us who are interested in diet and nutrition are more attuned to little changes in our bodies. That goes doubly for people who frequent sites on the internet like the BTD website. I like to think that if something was seriously wrong, I’d notice it early. I’ve noticed several changes since Thanksgiving and Christmas.
My cold sore came back. Because they are caused by a virus, once you get one, you have to watch out for reoccurrences for a couple of years until they run their course. I thought I had beat mine into total submission, but I had to fight it back again.
One day I bumped something with my hand and it hurt. The knuckle on my ring finger was tender. I thought I must have jammed it, but when the pain persisted for two weeks, I had to face reality that something was going on with my joint. Not good. This on top of my knee pain made me feel really old.
My hemorrhoid returned. I have had good results with home remedies for hemorrhoids, but this time nothing worked. I relented and got an OTC preparation. It contained cocoa butter, and caused an allergic reaction. That was terrible! I went to the doctor who prescribed a cream. I don’t like being on prescription medication, but I had to have relief, and the cream worked fast.
Worst of all I started having a pain in the middle of my chest. It was similar, but not identical to the GERD pains that I had before I went on the BTD. After six years had the BTD stopped working? One day it hit so hard when I was walking that I wondered if I was having a heart attack.
I started thinking, and trying to figure out what was going on. The cold sore was definitely stress related. I’ve been under plenty of stress since Thanksgiving, no doubt about that. I wrote a blog in 2006 about the “Life Change Events Study” that calculated how changes in life – whether good or bad – predisposed someone to illness. When I wrote the blog, my score was 190. I calculated my total again. Now it is 400. (Here is a link to the point list http://www.dadamo.com/B2blogs/blogs/blog1.php/earlier-blogs/suddenly-sick )
I started to look at the other problems. Adelle Davis calls arthritis “a disease of adrenal exhaustion.” The stress connection to joint pain is obvious. What about the hemorrhoid? I’m not constipated, and I’m not overweight, and I’m certainly not pregnant. Those are the three main causes. I thought about the cream that the doctor prescribed – it was a steroid cream - another connection to stress and adrenal fatigue. I read the BTD Encyclopedia anti-stress protocol and began to implement it. I also added extra B Vitamins.
That left the chest pain. I have been so careful about avoids – especially wheat and dairy. I did not want to believe my stomach inflammation had returned in spite of the BTD. I didn’t want to believe I was having heart problems either. I was getting scared.
Early one afternoon I realized that I hadn’t had any chest pain all morning. I had eaten the same thing for breakfast. I had followed my usual routine of working at the house and putting in job applications. I had eaten a big lunch. My mind was racing, looking for the key. As I cleaned up, I found my supplement box on the coffee table. My husband and I had enjoyed dinner and a movie the night before. Because I had neglected to return the box to the kitchen table, I had forgotten to take supplements that morning. I popped the whole handful in my mouth and swallowed them with a gulp of water. I could feel them all go down together, small tablets, capsules, and large tablets tumbling over each other until they hit the sphincter muscle between my esophagus and my stomach. There they stuck. I swallowed more water. I ate some dried fruit. The pain in my chest started. At that moment I knew, my heart was fine and the BTD was still working.
I realized that I had started taking glucosamine (a really big tablet) for my knee. In addition I took lysine for the cold sore, B Vitamins for the joints, rutin and bioflavanoids (another big tablet) for the hemorrhoid, plus bromelain for inflammation. I was taking more supplements than usual, and larger ones at that. Now when I take my supplements, I take them early in a meal one at a time. I eat a bite between pills. They don’t get stuck. They slide through just like they are supposed to.
I’m still stressed. I can’t change the circumstances in my life, but I can respond better now that I’m aware of what the combined stresses are doing in my body. I’m thankful that my awareness of problems when they were small will keep them from becoming big issues. Most of all I’m relieved to know that it’s just stress. I’ve got work to do, but I’m not scared.
March 26, 2004 I posted my very first blog. We had just come home from my husband’s father’s funeral. I wasn’t sure what people would think of me for blogging about food at a funeral. But the dilemma of how to follow the BTD when I’m in the home of friends or relatives was a big issue to me at the time.
I started the BTD in June 2003, so I hadn’t even been on the diet a year when I started blogging. You have watched me grow and struggle and figure out how to make this diet work in my family. One of the reasons I like blogging is that it keeps me accountable. I believe that if my blog is to be interesting, I have to be transparent. I don’t mind writing about my failures, but it’s so much more fun to write about success. I’ll admit that there have been moments when I have walked away from an avoid just so I didn’t have to fess up on the internet.
I enjoy getting comments and I write back when I can. When we were moving I got hopelessly behind, and some of the e-mails I received during that time never got answered. I especially enjoy knowing when I have encouraged someone. The most amusing comments assume that I know Dr. D’Adamo and have some influence over him. People seem to think that I can fix a perceived conflict in the books, or correct a problem with the website. Ok, here’s the truth. I have never met Dr. D. I have never even talked to him on the phone. We’ve e-mailed maybe 10 times in five years of blogging. Someday perhaps I will get to meet him. It would be fun to attend one of his conferences.
Sometimes I wonder if I will ever run out of things to blog about. Then I go to the dentist’s office and get an ear full about controversial fillings or I start to plan a menu for DD’s Type A roommate who is coming home with her. As long as everyday life is an adventure, blog topics are infinite.
Everything about my life, including the BTD and the blog, is interwoven with my Christian faith. Urging Christians to seek good health through the marvelous and unique way God created us is the motivation behind my blogging. I can remember 30 years ago when any interest in Health Food or nutrition was associated almost exclusively with the more liberal and free thinking elements of society. There was a time when people raised their eyebrows if I asked for brown rice or preservative free meat. That has changed a lot in recent years. Nutrition is much more mainstream. But I still find people at church to be suspicious of the health culture, and they really shy away when blood types are introduced into the conversation. I’m glad when something I say encourages anyone, but I’m particularly happy when I play a tiny part in opening cautious conservative eyes to the truth that God has given them tools to be more proactive in their health.
Personally, I don’t understand their fears. God, who created the world and all of the creatures in it, created our bodies. It seems logical to me that the closer I eat food to the way that He made it, the healthier I will be. The more I understand how my body works, the better prospect I have of an active and productive life. I want my mind alert so that I can study the Bible. I want to feel good so that I can serve others. I don’t want to waste money on medical care, and I don’t want to waste time in a doctor’s office. Of all the diets I have tried (and I tried a lot) the BTD has worked the best and the most consistently.
Two things about blogging give me a thrill. The first is when I get to encourage someone in the Christian Community to build their health. The second is when I can encourage someone in the Health Community to know Jesus Christ. The first five years have been fun, and I’m excited about the future.
The word hydration conjures up two images in my mind. One is a scene from a favorite Disney movie – Lady and the Tramp. The first time the viewer meets the Tramp, he is waking up in a railroad yard. He stretches and enjoys a deliciously long drink of water, then lets the water roll over his whole body. The second is a scene from the TV show Gilmore Girls. Lorelai sleepily wanders into the kitchen and finds Luke by the refrigerator guzzling from a half gallon container of orange juice. “Don’t let me interrupt your hydration,” she says.
A modern proverb is “Eat like a king in the morning and like a pauper at night.” The meaning is that you will be healthier if you eat your large meal early in the day and eat lighter at night. But is the proverb true? In Live Right 4 your Type Dr. D’Adamo recommends that lifestyle for Type As, but is silent regarding Type Os.
I know a lot of Type Os, who advocate eating this way. I’ve read their posts on the Forum, and corresponded with them. They make a great case – and I’m not going to argue with their success. But I don’t feel good when I eat that way. I don’t wake up hungry. I wake up thirsty. If I start the day with a big breakfast (eggs, steak, vegetables), I am hungrier at lunch, and still hungrier at dinner.
DD has been taking a speech class, and one assignment was a persuasive speech. Because she is so focused on health, she chose persuading fellow students that they would be healthier if the went to bed earlier and got up earlier. She had been convicted that she needed to change her own sleep patterns based on Dr. D’s cautions about Type As and Circadian rhythm. Her research was fascinating (she made an A on the speech by the way).
One graphic was particularly interesting to me. I’d post it but it is copyrighted, so you will have to picture it in your mind. It was a circle divided into three parts. One third said “4 AM to Noon, Elimination, needs water”. The second third said “Noon to 8 PM, Appropriation, needs food.” The last third said “8 PM to 4 AM, Assimilation, needs rest.”
I saw myself in that graphic. I feel the best when I get up and drink a big glass of water. About an hour later, I eat a light breakfast of fruit and nuts and powdered protein (egg white or nutritional yeast). About 10:30 or 11:00 I may have a glass of green tea or some seltzer water with ginger juice. I am content.
Suddenly between Noon and 1:00 I am starving. Now I want meat protein and lots of it. I want 3 servings of vegetables – at least. Between 5:00 and 6:00 I am hungry again. But if I have eaten a big noon meal, I am satisfied with a salad and some fish or poultry.
I’ve been trying to follow this pattern, and I’ve felt really good. I didn’t know just how good until yesterday when it all got thrown off. My husband had taken the day off and we were doing some paperwork together in the morning. It should have taken an hour, then I had some errands to run. I should have been back by lunch time. But we found a problem with the papers, which led to a morning of stressful phone calls, which led to a late start on the errands, which of course took longer than expected. I didn’t have lunch until 3:00. By then my whole body rhythm was thrown off. I didn’t fully recover until this morning when I started afresh with a big glass of water.
If you are Type A, Dr. D suggests the King/Pauper schedule. If you are Type O and King/Pauper works for you – stay with it. But if you are Type O, and King/Pauper doesn’t quite fit, think about the Tramp. Hydrate in the morning. Be ready for a hearty lunch of beef and vegetables. Have your evening meal early – before 8 PM – and let it be light protein and light vegetables.
A load was lifted from my shoulders today. These are stressful times. The economy is not good. There are international conflicts. As I am in the process of launching my two young adult children, at the same time that I am in the process of taking care of my Mom. My husband can be pretty needy, too! It's certainly not a good time to be looking for a job.
You may remember from an earlier blog, that last February I was called back for a recheck on my mammogram. The radiology center had switched from analog to digital images, and suddenly there were several calcifications showing up that hadn’t been there before.
I really didn't need another stress factor. But one test of character is how we respond when God allows things to happen in our lives that we don’t want. Worrying wouldn't do me any good. I needed to continue to eat right and exercise. I needed to keep my eyes on the blessings in my life, and my heart committed to following God's will.
After the recheck, they told me that they didn’t see anything of immediate danger, but they wanted to do another mammogram in six months and make sure that nothing was growing or changing. In August I got a good report. No changes were visible, but again I was told to come back in six months. I was glad that there were no changes, but I still felt like there was a sword hanging over my head.
Today I had another mammogram. No changes. I'm discharged! Next mammogram will be routine – in a year.
I called a friend - asked if she had time for an impulsive lunch. We went to a café and talked and laughed for 3 hours. I had meat loaf, lightly steamed spinach, and roasted mixed vegetables. It was delicious. And it was eaten with a very light and thankful heart.
I enjoy grilled onions. I serve them often, mixed with cooked greens or on top of beef. However, grilled onions seem to have lost popularity and are being replaced in restaurants with the more stylish “roasted onions”. The big difference seems to be that, in a restaurant, grilled onions often arrive swimming in fat, where roasted onions do not.
When I fix grilled onions at home, I cook them in just a little bit of ghee, so my onions aren’t “swimming” and ghee is a good fat. Grilled onions are also fast, and I am usually fixing my lunch at the last minute, when I am already hungry. But Tuesday, I got an early start decided to try roasting an onion at home.
As long as I was planning ahead, I decided to bake a sweet potato as well. When we moved to our new house, I blogged that my husband wanted a microwave oven, and that while I didn’t plan to use it often, it was sure nice to have a sweet potato on short notice. In that blog, I compared sweet potatoes cooked in the oven with microwaved sweet potatoes and noted that I liked oven baked sweet potatoes better. However, more often than not, in the past year, time has triumphed over taste, and I have microwaved my sweet potatoes.
So into the 400 degree oven went a sweet potato wrapped in foil, and an onion, cut in half in a covered mini casserole dish. I went back to work on the computer. Soon the house was filled with delicious smells.
The roasted onion was very good and full of flavor. Mine was juicier than restaurant roasted onions. Perhaps they don’t cover theirs, so they don’t steam as much in their natural juices. The sweet potato was delicious. I really must take the time to bake them in the oven more often. They are much better.
One more note about onions. Before the BTD the only onions I liked were fried onion rings. Because onions are super beneficial, I resolved to eat more of them, and eat them in a healthy way (rather than coated in wheat flour and deep fried). I was a little scared, so I began with sweet onions. The more I ate, the more I liked onions, and they became a regular part of my diet. As food prices have gone up, I have been forced to notice that sweet onions are consistently twice the price of yellow onions. With fear and trembling, I switched to yellow onions about a month ago. They burn my eyes a little more when I slice them, but they taste every bit as good – and frankly every bit as sweet – as the more expensive varieties.
When I look at what Dr. D says about Type Os and Vitamin E, I see the explanation of the near disaster in both of my pregnancies. I am very much aware that anecdotal evidence is not proof in science or medicine. I can't prove my theory. I can only speculate what might have happened if the BTD had been written 25 years ago.
When I found out that I was pregnant with my first child I was thrilled and delighted. I was following the best Health Food plan that I knew of at the time, and I was committed to sticking to it without compromise for 9 months. Fortunately, I had come across a pregnancy diet that stressed high protein as a way to avoid for pre eclampsia. It would have been a disastrous diet for a Type A, but it was really good for me. Unfortunately I had read that Vitamin E was important for pregnant mothers. I bought 400 iu capsules, and was taking two a day.
When I was about 8 weeks along, HH and I went to see his parents. They were as thrilled about this pregnancy as we were. HH has two sisters, but he is their only son. The day after we arrived I began spotting. They took me to the doctor, and after an examination, he told me that I was having a miscarriage, and that all I could do was go home and wait. I lay in bed all weekend, committing myself and the life of that precious baby to God. I continued spotting and we drove back home. The spotting continued for a week or so and stopped. I went back to my own doctor and he could hear the baby's heart beat. The rest of the pregnancy was trouble-free, and SS had an easy and natural birth.
Being interested in all things natural, I planned to breast feed for a year. One of the vitamins recommended was Vitamin E. Everything was going well, except that I never stopped bleeding after childbirth. Vitamin E was again the recommended treatment, so I increased my dosage, I think I was taking two or three 800 iu capsules a day. Eventually I had to have a D&C to stop the bleeding.
When HH and I began to think about another baby, I reread all of the best material I could get my hands on. Nothing I read cast aspersions on Vitamin E. When I became pregnant, I increased my Vitamin E. I didn't want spotting like I had had before. I was careful about everything - I knew I was at risk because I was now 36 years old. I well remember the sinking feeling I had when the spotting started again. It lasted a couple of weeks. I lay on the sofa all day, trying to take care of a toddler, and trying to trust that God knew what he was doing. The spotting stopped, we celebrated hearing the baby's heartbeat, and the rest of the pregnancy was a joy.
I bled a lot during childbirth. Vitamin E was universally recommended, and I took it. My doctor was perturbed that I continued to bleed, but he was more patient this time. We waited 3 months, but eventually I had another D&C. I continued to have very heavy periods, and I continued to take Vitamin E. I never made a connection between the two.
SS was 18 when I first read the BTD. I immediately recognized the connection between my chronic stomach inflammation and the "natural" wheat and dairy products I poured into my Type O body. It has taken me much longer to realize that the BTD is also right about Vitamin E and Type Os. When he was in his 80s my Type O father began to bruise easily. A little bump would leave him with a huge red and purple mark on his arms and legs. He was taking Vitamin E to protect his heart. Because of Dr. D's recommendations, I convinced him to stop the Vitamin E and take bioflavonoids instead. The bruising went away within weeks, and he never had that problem again.
I am past the age where I can experiment with Vitamin E for pregnancy or periods. However, I do not knowingly take any supplemental Vitamin E. What I get from beneficial oils and nuts will have to be enough.
I see that this blog has been linked to a pregnancy website. Because of that I need to add that while Vitamin E is avoid for those with Blood Type O, it is beneficial for Blood Type A.
This is one of those cases where someone does a study and finds out that a food or a nutrient is helpful for a high percentage of people. They don't stop to think why their technique helps some and harms others. The answer often turns out to be related to Blood Type.
Type Os with their already thin blood are harmed by substances like Vitamin E that further thin blood. Type As with their thick blood are helped by it. While I do not take Vitamin E, I do give it to my Type A husband and daughter. DD tells me that Vitamin E lotion really helps her skin. Someday when DD marries and is pregnant, I will encourage her to take Vitamine E.
Every so often there is a news report about the dangers of taking vitamin or mineral supplements. Coming from a background in the branch of Health Foods that emphasized vitamins for both prevention and cure of diseases, these reports always make my Type O blood boil. Usually as I read the articles, I can spot the misinformation. Often it involves mega doses that are far beyond what any rational person would take. I’m always suspicious that drug companies, or others who have a vested interest in discouraging natural or preventive medicine, fund the studies.
Sometime last year, a report was released which showed that of the people involved in a particular study, those who took multiple vitamins had a higher mortality than those who did not. I bristled, knowing that some people would stop taking vitamins that their bodies needed because of the study. At the same time, I was at a loss to explain the results. Something happened last week this week that brought back a memory, and may have given me a bit of insight into what was going on behind the scene in the study.
When I was first learning about the Blood Type Diet, I was dumbfounded to read that Dr. D’Adamo considered Vitamins A and E as avoids for Type Os. I had never been a mega-vitamin person, but I had taken hefty doses of both for years. They were anti-oxidants. They were supposed to be good for all kinds of things. But Dr. D wrote,
“Since your blood type is prone to slower clotting, I would not recommend that Type Os take Vitamin A supplements without first checking with your doctor. These supplements can enhance blood thinning…Likewise, I would not recommend Vitamin E supplements for Type Os because they can complicate Type O tendencies toward slower blood clotting.”
I stopped taking extra A and E, though I did continue to take a multiple vitamin.
This week I got a flyer in the mail advertising a new multiple. As I read it, I noticed that it didn’t have any Vitamin E. I went to the pantry to look at the label on my multiple. I had assumed it was about 30 IU, at least that what I remembered from the last time I checked. It was 200 IU! Good grief, that was a lot more Vitamin E than I wanted to be taking. I looked again, and the advertised multiple had half the Vitamin A than what was in the multiple I was taking. How??? I asked myself did I not notice this? Did they change the formula and I never saw a “new and improved” sticker?
It gets worse. I have started taking CoEnzyme Q10. Dr. D recommends it for all Blood Types for cancer prevention, intracellular energy, and heart failure. I had been buying a particular brand, but as I got ready to order this week, I noticed another bottle by the same company that was less expensive. I compared the two. There was the same amount of CoEnzyme Q10 in each of them, but the more expensive one that I had been buying contained 100 IU of Vitamin E.
I began to think about multiple vitamin advertisements I’ve seen lately in magazines and on TV. They really stress antioxidants. They talk about being formulated for heart health. I guess they have all increased their Vitamin A and E, because it’s the faddish thing to do.
So here I am, fairly knowledgeable about nutrition and vitamins. I know that Vitamin E is avoid for Type O, and I stopped taking it years ago. I think I am getting a token amount in my multiple. Instead I find that I’m taking 300 IU a day and the RDA is only 22 IU. I suddenly have some insight into why the study showed that people who take multiple vitamins have a higher mortality.
That brought back a vivid Vitamin E memory. But this blog is already too long. I’ll share the memory next time.
It’s possible to get too many of the wrong vitamins, but you can never get enough of the Word of God. This from Proverbs 4: Pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight. Keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.
We’ve eaten out quite a bit this week. When I first started the BTD, I thought that my Type As were lucky in restaurants. It seemed to me that everything was so wheat oriented, that they could always find something to eat, where Type Os were limited. As I have watched DD discover, that while wheat is neutral for As, they Type A diet is really plant rather than grain based, I’ve realized that restaurants are kinder to Type Os.
Last Saturday I met a college girlfriend for lunch. We went to a French restaurant, and I thought I’d be in big trouble. How wrong I was! The rosemary chicken was fabulous, and it was accompanied by green beans and broccoli. I was as Type O compliant as I would have been at home. Saturday night HH and I met a couple we’ve known for more than 20 years for dinner at a really cute Western café. I had chopped steak topped with onions, okra, and green beans. HH couldn’t find anything truly beneficial on the menu. He settled on grilled catfish.
Yesterday HH was on a business trip. Again he found himself at a restaurant where the Type A choices were really limited. In a restaurant Type Os can always order a sandwich & salad and throw away the bread. Type As, looking for beneficial fish or high quality vegetable protein, often have fewer choices.
DD is flourishing. She is a Marketing major and she has a new job in the Marketing department at her university. She is learning some new computer programs, and loves the work. Her slow but steady weight gain pleases us both. The root of her eating disorder was a spiritual one, and as she deals with the spiritual issues, she is seeing success. Here is an excerpt from an e-mail I received from her this morning. It starts with a paragraph from a book she is reading.
“Strive to trust God in more and more areas of your life. Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity. Instead of running away from these challenges, embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings hidden in the difficulties. Don’t waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been. Start at the present moment—accepting things exactly as they are—and search for God’s way in the midst of those circumstances.”
DD added, “Nothing I say can add to the sting of that one.”
I have mentioned in past blogs that my right knee is weaker than my left one. It doesn't hurt all the time, but if I move it in the wrong way it is sore for several days. I particularly notice the soreness when DD and I do exercises that involve lunges. My right knee does not like lunges or pliés.
SS has started his first physical therapy internship. When he was home for Christmas, I asked why my knee was that way. He got a mad scientist gleam in his eye and had me stretch out on the floor. He twisted and turned my leg. He did strength tests. He told me that my right knee cap slips out of the groove when I put it in certain positions. He promised to look up the exercises I needed to do to strengthen the muscles that hold my kneecap in place.
He mailed me nine exercises. The muscle and ligament that support the knee cap also attach to the hip joint, so I am doing quadriceps strengthening and stretching plus iliotibial band and hip adductor strengthening.
In the past when injuries or disease got so painful that surgery was required, physical therapy was prescribed to aid recovery. Then orthopedists began prescribing PT before surgery. Some patients improved so much that surgery became unnecessary. The momentum for the future is that physical therapists would become primary care physicians for muscular skeletal problems. People like me who have a minor problem will use PT to solve it early rather than waiting until pain is acute.
Think of the way dental treatment has changed in the last 60 years. In my grandparents' day tooth decay and gum disease were normal. If someone lived long enough, a dentist pulled all their teeth and built dentures for them. Now children and adults go in for preventive dentistry once or twice a year. Decay and gum disease are stopped before they do damage. Hardly anyone needs dentures any more. PTs can imagine a day when joint pain is dealt with early and routinely, and surgeries are limited to repairing broken bones and other accident related injuries. I guess I'm a guinea pig for the new ideal.
SS says the hospital where he is working has a lunch special for employees: meat and vegetables for $2.50. He said, "I can't buy groceries and cook for myself for that price. The food is really good too." He is eating like an O and thinking preventive health care. I couldn't be more pleased. Now, I'm going to go do my exercises before I go to bed.
SS went to spend the New Year’s holiday with his girlfriend. DD spent the New Year’s holiday working nine hour shifts. HH planned to spend the holiday watching football. I saw an opportunity to go check on my Mom. It was a good thing I did.
She is really doing well. She is lonely, but that is understandable after 57 years of marriage. She is eating pretty well. There were plenty of fresh fruits and salads in her refrigerator. There were comfort foods too – crackers and ice cream – but I’m not going to pass judgment about that. The problem came when we began to go through her mail.
My Dad had been very carefully arranged to have all the utility bills paid automatically through his checking account. He did not want basic services to be in jeopardy if he were ill or incapacitated. He also had my Mom’s name and my name added to his checking account several years ago. I knew all of that, and the system worked well last summer when he was sick and confused.
What I didn’t know was that there are laws that when someone dies, the funeral home has to report the death to Social Security. In turn Social Security reports the death to financial institutions using that Social Security Number. The banks then freeze the accounts. The purpose is to keep angry ex-wives, unscrupulous children, or mercenary cousins from pilfering the assets before the will is executed.
My Dad’s account should not have been frozen because of the multiple signatures, but the bank made a mistake. They bounced all of the utility payments for December. Not only that, they refused to deposit a dividend check. As Mom and I opened the mail, we found a letter threatening to cut off the electricity. This was a stress I did not need!
It took more than two hours on the phone to trace the problem. We raced a check to the post office. A very apologetic bank manager promised to call the other utilities involved and attempt to resolve the issue before gas, water and phone are disconnected.
Why am I blogging about this? Two reasons. First – remember that comfort food I mentioned. When at last I got off the phone, and we sat down to a very late dinner, I ate a big slice of pound cake. There are stressful moments when comfort food is very difficult to resist. This, I regret to admit, was one of them for me.
Second – My mom is fortunate that she has her own checking account with enough money to buy groceries. I am horrified at the thought of couples whose only account is frozen when one of them dies. I can easily imagine a scenario where the widow or widower would have to borrow money from family or friends to pay for basic necessities during the 2-3 months it takes to probate a will. Don’t think you could depend on credit cards! One of my Dad’s cards was cancelled out right. The other card was frozen until my Mom could reapply.
I know that no one wants to think about death. but I strongly suggest that you ask your banker what would happen if someone in your family died. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to unneeded stress.
I picked up a great idea at the hardware store. It doesn’t have anything to do with food, but it has a great deal to do with health.
Monday and Tuesday were freezing cold. We have a propane heater that looks like a fireplace in our living room. We kept that going non-stop because DD was so cold from the ice packs she had to keep on her face. While the heater kept the living room and kitchen delightfully warm, it also tricked the thermostat into thinking that the whole house was warm. The office where the computer is was chilly.
I had a lot of computer work to do, and I suddenly realized I was chilled – not quite teeth chattering chilled, but shaking arm chilled. Since I was already fighting a cold, I was worried that I was coming down with a fever. Fortunately, I got back to the warm part of the house, and I was fine.
This made me decide to buy a little heater for the office. I talked to a guy at the hardware store about electric, oil, and kerosene heaters. He gave me pros and cons to each one. Then he said, “What you really need is what my wife bought in Arkansas. It is an electric pad you put on the floor under your desk. You put your feet on it. As it warms your feet, it makes your whole body feel warm and comfortable.”
I may shop on the internet for one of those pads. Or I may just use the heating pad I already have. Working at the computer on a cold day with toasty feet sounds wonderful to me; certainly a lot better than shaking inside a sweater and a jacket.
I am happy to report that on this 1-week anniversary of my cold, I am symptom free! I am unhappy to report that DD has had a very difficult time recovering from having her wisdom teeth removed. She is still on soft food and pain pills. Her face is noticeably swollen. The surgeon told her she can’t exercise and can’t go back to work. I can’t help wondering if her low body weight may have had something to do with her slow recovery. She didn’t have any reserve to draw from. That’s not the kind of thing girls or women think of when they desire to be unnaturally thin.
My Dad passed away early in the morning. The infection had caused so many problems with his internal organs that his heart just gave out. My feelings are going every which way. I will miss him so much. But if he could not recover, I'm glad that he didn't linger. My Mom, sister and I had a great time tonight telling stories about him and laughing. But when someone tells me how much he meant to them, I start to cry. We have so much to do and so many decisions to make. But nothing is really as important as spending time with each other.
In talking with the urologist last week, he said that women get UTIs easier than men, but they also get over them easier. He said that when a man gets a UTI, particularly when it is reoccurring, there is almost always a physical cause - a stone, a blockage, or problem with surrounding organs. Remember this if you are a man! The urologist thought that Dad's infections were caused by a stone near his kidney
A few random thoughts:
Take time to love your friends and your family - you don't know how long you will have them.
I'm fully committed to preventive medicine, but there are things that beneficial food, vitamin C, and herbs won't cure. I regret not taking him to a urologist in September.
In times of stress, don't skimp on meals or exercise. I've tried to stay focused on beneficial foods. This afternoon I walked for 45 minutes while I talked to family on the phone. It helps a lot with the stress levels.
Plan ahead to take the stress off your family. I'm so glad Dad had talked with us about his wishes for funeral and burial. It has made the decisions much easier. My husband and I had never made plans. Tonight we started planning to make plans.
Make sure your relationship with God is secure. The biggest comfort we have is knowing that Dad can hear music again, that he can walk again, that he is reunited with his parents and his brother, and that he is in the presence of God.
I was reading Reader’s Digest last night. There is another study out about low fat diets and cancer. The author of the article was clearly frustrated. One study establishes a relationship; the next study says there is no link; then the next study says… There is no end to the studies, and there is no end to the conflicting information.
Those of us on this website know that there can’t be a one size fits all study about cancer and low fat diets because each of the four blood types handles fats in different ways. Wouldn’t it be great to have four studies – one for each Type? Then we might get something that would really be useful.
My husband watches a lot of TV news. I can’t believe how many diets are being promoted on TV. Every time I walk through the living room there is another before and after picture and a high pressure sales pitch.
It must be very frustrating and discouraging to be looking for a diet that works and be faced with so many contradictory choices. It’s why I often say that finding the Blood Type Diet was providential. I was at the right place, at the right time, with a need. Here I am 5 ½ years later fully convinced that this is the only diet that addresses the fact that we are all uniquely created individuals.
On a different subject, I heard a good analogy about the bail out plan. It came from John Cornyn, a Texas Senator. He was on a talk radio program, explaining to a host who was opposed to the plan, why he had voted yes. He said that voting for the bailout bill was like being a fireman and being called to the scene of a fire. When you get there, you realize that the fire is at a derelict’s house. The owner inside is a liar and a thief, a drug pusher and a drunkard. You ask yourself, if you are going to risk your own life to go in and rescue this derelict and save his property. Then you realize that if you don’t, that the fire will spread and burn down the whole neighborhood.
Wow. Both of my kids are off at college. Incredible. The time has flown by so fast. It seems like yesterday that I was bringing my babies home from the hospital.
People have been asking all week if I’m ok. Am I sad? Is the empty nest hard? I have to say I am not sad or depressed. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been too busy to be unhappy. Perhaps it’s because I have no regrets. I loved being a Mom. I totally threw myself into being a full time at home Mom for years. It wasn’t until DD started Middle School that I even considered going back to work. Then I was working part time at her school.
My goal has been to raise two productive, healthy, godly young adults. To hold them back from their dreams and plans for the future would be unnatural.
That having been said, I did pamper them a bit the last week that they were both at home. I fixed a lot of their favorite foods. Spinach with raisins and butternut squash for SS. Pumpkin with ginger and green beans with basil and garlic for DD. Watermelon and mango for SS. Papaya, kiwi, and nectarines for DD. Eye of round roast for SS. Fresh salmon for DD. It was fun to plan meals that I know they like, and that they won’t get when they are off at school.
The distance doesn’t seem as great as it did when I went off to college in the 70s. Long distance phone calls were expensive, and letters took 2-3 days to reach their destinations back then. I’ve talked with DD on the cell phone every day. She called me from the grocery store this afternoon asking my opinion about fruit juice and soy milk. It was fun to imagine her and her roommate loading up their shopping cart.
I heard this statement earlier in the summer, “When you are a mother, the days go by slowly, but the years go by quickly.” It’s hard to grasp that when you are struggling with a 2-year-old or negotiating with a 13-year-old. But when you hug your 18-year-old and your 23-year-old good-bye, you realize how true it is.
We had barely gotten home from our vacation when I got a call from my Mom at 8 am. She can't hear a thing over the phone; she just said to me, "Dad has fallen, please come." That's not an easy thing to do, on the spur of the moment. They are a 3 1/2 hour drive away. I called a friend from their church to go by and give me a first hand report. Then I packed my bags.
It turns out that my Dad (90 years old) had symptoms of a urinary tract infection, but ignored them. Then he started running a low grade fever. He decided that the medications he takes every day might be related to the fever, so he stopped taking everything - prescriptions and vitamins. He got weaker and weaker. Right before I left on vacation he admitted the UTI symptoms, and got antibiotics. He took them just long enough to get relief, then stopped, then started again. He continued to get weaker, until one night he was in the bathroom with his walker and his legs collapsed and he sat down on the floor. Fortunately it wasn't really a fall. He just slumped and couldn't get up.
By the time I got there, friends had carried him to bed. He wasn't making much sense, and he was seeing illusions. I called his doctor. Some of the medication he was on must not be stopped suddenly. If it is, it causes -- muscle weakness. The sporadically treated UTI had come roaring back - causing confusion and weakness. The doctor prescribed antibiotics and said get him back on his meds.
For several days I thought he would not recover. Fortunately today he is talking sense again. He is still too weak to stand by himself - even with the walker. He has lost a great deal of the independence that is so important to him. We have a home health care worker taking care of him 9-5 every day. My Mom (at 92) can't get him in a sitting position to eat and she can't roll him over to change his sheets.
I once read a book on natural home remedies. It had a vitamin or herb therapy for almost everything imaginable. I looked up strep throat, and the author wrote this: (I'm paraphrasing) If you have symptoms of strep throat, go to the doctor and get antibiotics. This is serious. It is not the time to take vitamin C.
I feel the same advice is true for any number of bacterial infections. There is a time for preventive care. There is a time for home remedies. There is a time for beneficial food on the best diet in the world. But, there is a time for modern medicine.
I'll say the same thing to you that I'm saying to my Dad, now that he can talk coherently again. If you have symptoms of an infection, don't ignore them. Call the doctor. If you want to cut back on your meds, tell your doctor and find out the safe way to do it. Don't stop cold turkey. You can get very sick, very quickly if you ignore an infection and suddenly stop your meds.