Category: Living the BTD lifestyle
I’ve been working on some very detailed graphic projects. Spending that much time on the computer makes my shoulders stiff. I’ve also some tough decisions to make. That also makes my muscles tight. I am usually very faithful to exercise, but I let a few days slip by without any intense Type O exercise.
Last night I resolved that no matter what I would get some exercise. It is so dry in South Texas that most of our grass is dormant – at least I hope it is dormant and not completely dead. Usually mowing gives me a good workout once a week, but not this summer. However there was one patch of grass along the driveway that decided to try and go to seed before giving up and turning brown. I cranked up the lawn mower and knocked down the tall seed stalks. Then I put on my swimsuit and headed to the neighborhood pool. I swam laps for 35 minutes.
It was the first time I had been in the lap pool since last year. The water felt good and the exercise felt great. My muscles responded by loosening and relaxing.
The pool is on a hill with views to the south and west. As I swam the sun was setting. Each time I made the turn I could see the colors of the clouds change. It was aesthetically soothing. I got out of the water physically and emotionally refreshed.
Now that the weather is hot, the hiking club is tubing. Today was my first time to go. We are in a serious drought in my part of Texas. While other parts of the country are seeing storms of unprecedented strength, we are already under water restrictions. This does not usually happen until late July or August.
Because of the drought, there is no current in the rivers. Today, the wind was pushing us upstream about as fast as the current was taking us downstream. You probably think that is hyperbole, but it is not. We gradually drifted upstream with the wind, and had to paddle back to our starting point.
God is so good. When I thought I wanted a job, all of the doors were tightly shut. God knew that I would have as much as I could handle with family matters. Now that my parents’ house has sold, my work load is picking up. I am doing a 12 page annual report for a client. I’ve been up until 2 a.m. two nights in a row to meet my deadlines. (If your graphic designer doesn’t treat you as well, perhaps you need a new graphic designer. I just happen to know someone in Texas…)
Because of the late nights, I arrived at the river ready to relax. There were six of us tubing today. We floated around rather lazy like for an hour. Then I was ready for action. My muscles had been sitting in a computer chair for long enough. I told my friends I was going up river. No one volunteered to join me. They were having too much fun drifting and talking, but I had to get moving. I paddled upstream for a half mile or so. I saw a mother mallard with seven ducklings following her to the other side of the river. I saw fluorescent blue dragon flies. The sun was hot, and the water was cool.
By the time I paddled back to where we got in, everyone else was eating lunch. I had the same thing for lunch that I would have had today if I had stayed home. English peas with chicken and hummus. Parsnips with flax oil and cinnamon. If I had eaten at home, I would have said, “That was a good lunch.” But somehow when you eat outdoors after enjoying both total relaxation and a strenuous work out, the food just takes on incredible flavor.
Wow, I wanted to shout. This is a really great lunch!
We arrived safely at Foggy Bottom Farm in northeast Alabama. One of my college roommates and her husband have retired there to raise grass fed beef and range free chickens. What fun we had catching up on news about old friends. We also had fascinating conversations about health and nutrition. These were all the more amusing because Marsha and I remember what the other was like in pre-health days.
Marsha and John were not familiar with the Blood Type Diet. They are both Type A. So I had fun telling them about how I got started on the diet and how it has benefitted my family. They were particularly interested in my not eating wheat. Marsha believes that wheat negatively affects John. I don’t know what they thought about Dr. D’s rating beef as an avoid food for Type A.
John is passionate about the superiority of grass fed beef. When I hear his statistics, it makes me wish I could afford to buy grass fed all the time. I was looking forward to tasting his beef, but their freezer was empty. They plan to butcher a cow later this month.
I did get to try the eggs from their chickens. I don’t know whether it was the eggs or whether it was that Marsha cooked them with fresh basil from the garden, but they were delicious.
I told them that I was on the fence about organic produce. Marsha agreed with me. Their garden is organic. But when she shops at the store she does not buy exclusively organic. She buys organic carrots, because their experience with cattle has showed her the effect of chemicals that leach into the ground. She does not buy organic on thick skinned items like citrus or avocadoes. Her rule of thumb for other produce is that if the organic price is less than double the price of commercial, she buys organic.
We took a lovely walk to a waterfall, and another hike up to the top of the mountain behind their house. Texas is in a devastating drought, and there were hardly any wildflowers this year. The fields in northern Alabama are full of flowers and the sides of the hills are beautifully green.
If you live in Alabama, Georgia, or Tennessee and are interested in buying grass fed beef, Foggy Bottom Farm has a website.
The years I spent as a full time Mom were without a doubt the best years of my life. The one advantage to having one child now employed and the other off at college is that my Honorable Husband and I can travel in the spring and fall. We are off on a trip to Alabama to see friends and wildflowers. Perhaps I should say we hope to see wildflowers if the tornados have left any for us to see. If we have wifi available, I will try to blog as we travel.
Our first stop was to visit HH’s mother. She has passed her 90th birthday and is still able to live in her home. Her greatest difficulty is severe osteoporosis, particularly in her spine. As her vertebrae are slowly compressed, she has increasing pain in her legs and hips. Her doctors tell her that there is not really anything they can do for her. Seeing her condition makes me even more faithful to take calcium/magnesium & horsetail supplements and to be diligent about weight bearing exercise.
HH loves Subway sandwiches; I do not. There is too much bread and too little meat for a Type O. I have the option to “make a sub a salad,” and I certainly like salad, but even the vegetables at Subway don’t agree with me. I wind up with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and spinach. All of the olives, cucumbers, and peppers are avoid.
So when we travel, HH looks for exit signs that say Subway, and I dig around in my box of food and fix myself a bowl. Today I had canned asparagus, canned salmon, and an apple. He was happy, and I was happy.
We ate dinner at a buffet in Brandon, Mississippi called Annie D’s. We both found lots of beneficial food. I don’t think I have ever eaten brisket that was more tender. It was delicious. I also had cooked greens, green beans, and sweet potatoes. He had fish, green beans, rice, and a salad.
We had not planned to have dessert, but we walked by the dessert buffet. He saw Boston cream pie, one of his favorites. I saw coconut cream pie, one of my favorites. It was too hard to resist. Don’t think too many harsh things about me…at least I didn’t eat the pie crust.
I have made an association between memory issues and sleep. It’s an association I can’t prove, because it is anecdotal. And as you know if you have read much about nutrition and health, anecdotal evidence carries no weight. Only scientific double blind studies are considered reliable proof. Perhaps someone has done a study about this that I haven’t read, or perhaps someone needs to do a study. At any rate, all I know is what has happened to me, and I am resolved to get more sleep.
If you have a good memory, you may be chuckling because this is not the first time that I have said I needed more sleep. I have made promises and made excuses many times. But recently I got serious, and the results were so beneficial, that I hope I will never regress.
When my Dad died in 2008, I was the executrix of his estate, and I took on additional responsibility for my Mom. I was also trying to find a job. It was a really busy time. Sometimes I stayed up late in order to complete all of the tasks that had to be completed. Sometimes I stayed up late because after being bombarded with phone calls and e-mails, I just wanted to be alone in a quiet house. In addition to all of the other stress, I was concerned that I couldn’t always mentally juggle all of the things I was dealing with. I forgot names. I got the sequence of events wrong. I made lots of notes to myself so that I wouldn’t make any mistakes. In addition to everything else, there was a nagging fear that I was losing my edge.
By May, the estate paperwork was finished. Mom was settled in a routine. The economy was so bad that gave up on finding a job. I became one of Obama’s underemployed and started my own business. The stress level went down and the amount of sleep went up. Surprise, surprise – my memory came back.
At the end of August, my Mom had a stroke that left her completely helpless and led to her death four months later. As the responsibility increased, my sleep decreased. Little memory lapses also returned. My husband retired during this period, so the only time I could be alone was late at night. It was usually midnight and often after 2 A.M. before I went to bed.
God began to poke at me about my need for rest – particularly with scriptures dealing with a day of rest and a year of rest. Matthew 11:28-29 made me think about how I was behaving. Jesus says, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.”
I also re-read in Live Right 4 Your Type what Dr. D’Adamo has to say about sleep.
So two weeks ago I began to stop whatever I was doing at 10:30. I finished the dishes, shut down the computer, and went to bed. I set my alarm for 8 hours after I actually got into bed. The first surprise was that the alarm woke me up. For most of my life my optimum amount of sleep has been 7 hours. When we would go on vacation, after a couple of nights catching up, I would be wide awake almost exactly 7 hours after I went to sleep. I recognized that if I was still sound asleep after 8 hours that I was seriously sleep deprived. This recognition was the motivation I needed to continue to be self disciplined.
In the past few days, I have noticed two things. First, my memory is much improved. To say that I am encouraged would be an understatement. Second, I am now waking after 7 hours of sleep, but rolling over and sleeping again until the alarm goes off. This indicates that I am gradually getting the rest that I have needed.
When God ordered His people to rest, he knew what he was talking about. I just hope I can remember this.
Christmas Eve was wonderful. My Darling Daughter and I have been cooking for two days. We had turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans and cranberries. We made pumpkin pie using ground pecans as a crust. We also made our fruit cake, which even my husband admits is as good as Collin Street Bakery’s, though it is 100% wheat free.
One year DD and I made dressing using flax bread and spelt biscuits. This year, she suggested we try flax bread and grated zucchini. We used all of the traditional seasonings. I liked it, but when our Strong Son went back for a large second helping, I knew it was a true success. DD has switched from soy milk to almond milk, so I made the sweet potato casserole using her almond milk. I didn’t want to top it with marshmallows, but I sprinkled turbinado sugar on top - just a little sweetness and crunch. I think it was the best sweet potato casserole I’ve ever eaten.
We had our dinner at lunch time. The plan was to take a long family walk afterwards, but while we were eating a norther blew in, pelting the house with frigid rain. DD, SS and I went to the neighborhood fitness center and worked out there.
The evening Candlelight Service at Church was beautiful. We sang lots of my favorite Christmas Carols.
This poem came in a Christmas card from one of my friends. I share it as my Christmas greeting to each of you on the BTD and/or GTD.
If you look for me at Christmas,
You won’t need a special star.
I’m no longer just in Bethlehem,
I’m right there where you are.
You may not be aware of Me,
Amid the celebrations.
You’ll have to look beyond the stores,
And all the decorations.
But if you take a moment,
From your list of things to do,
And listen to your heart, you’ll find
I’m waiting there for you.
You’re the one I want to be with,
You’re the reason that I came.
And you’ll find Me in the stillness,
As I’m whispering your name.
While DD is home for Christmas break, we are getting all of her routine medical check ups. Monday she had an eye appointment. When she was in elementary school she began to get headaches and eye strain. Most children who wear glasses need them for distance vision. But when I took DD to the eye doctor, it was her close up vision that needed correction. She also had a slight astigmatism. So DD wore glasses all through middle school and high school. I took her in for an eye check up about a year before she left for college, and her vision had not changed from her previous appointment.
I intended to take her in two years later, but I forgot, so she had not had a vision test for 3 1/2 years. She told me at Thanksgiving that her glasses hurt her eyes and that she had stopped wearing them. It was definitely time for an eye exam.
When her eye doctor came out to give me the report, he said that her astigmatism was gone. Both her near and far vision were perfect. She no longer needed glasses at all.
If this was the only good news, it might not have attracted my attention, but I had my eyes checked a month ago. My vision has not changed from my last exam two years ago. At my age, 57, that is welcome news. But the best news is about cataracts.
Eye doctors say they begin to notice cataract formation in patients in their 40s and 50s. Most of those cataracts are small and do not affect vision. After age 60 cataracts increase in size and by late 60s and early 70s they begin to affect vision. In the US, cataracts are reported in 42% of those between the ages of 52 to 64, 60% of those between the ages 65 and 74, and 91% of those between the ages of 75 and 85.
I asked my eye doctor about cataracts. He says that I have no sign of them at all.
Is DD’s improvement in vision is related to the Blood Type Diet?
Are my cataract free eyes related to the Blood Type Diet?
It would be impossible to know for sure. All I really know is that I feel great, I have lots of energy, I am on no prescription medications, and very few of my peers can say the same.
This blog is part confession, part suggestion, and part relaxation of the rules. If you have followed my experiences on the BTD for the past six years, you know that I’m usually looking for ways to make holidays as compliant as possible. Most years I intend to continue that practice. But this year, I find myself wanting to taste again the traditional Christmas foods I grew up with.
If I were going to psychoanalyze myself, I would say that it probably has something to do with the fact that of the last four Christmases, three have involved critical and terminal health issues with my parents. I encounter memories of what happened on particular days in December at every turn. Because of that I find myself craving to reconnect with the joy and delight of Christmas.
I went all out decorating my house this year. My husband tried to discourage me, but I told him that I really needed to do it. He didn’t understand, but he could see my passion, and after I was finished, he admitted that the house looks the best it ever has.
Another part of restoring good memories is food. I’m sure I could fight against the urge to splurge…for a while. But I have a feeling that if I did, there would come a moment in January, when Christmas goodies were all gone, that I would crash and indulge in stress eating. It wouldn’t be as satisfying, and it certainly wouldn’t be as tasty.
So I’m going to relax the rules a little this year. I continue to be almost 100% compliant at home. DD and I are going to do compliant dressing and pies for our family Christmas. But I am being much less stringent at parties and family gatherings. I went to a cookie exchange this week, and I ate cookies - quite a few, in fact. I also ate several kinds of cheese appetizers. We have a party coming up with a Mexican food theme, and while I won’t eat chips, I intend to eat tamales and enchiladas.
There is one level at which I feel a little bit guilty. But for the most part, I think this is a necessary (and temporary) way to set aside the recent past and re-experience more distant memories. I do not want to get caught up in a rut of sadness at this most happy and blessed time of the year. If a little sugar and coconut will help me get past this year with a joyful heart, I think it will be worth it.
If you are like me, I would urge you to face yourself honestly. Identify what is making you sad, confront it, and pray about it. Put limits on how far you will go with Christmas avoids. Saying yes at parties, but a firm NO at home is a good place to start. Saying that the relaxation of rules comes to a screeching halt on December 26 or 27 might be another good limit.
You are here on this website because you recognize that the Blood Type Diet is the best program for your physical needs. But there are deep emotional and spiritual needs that surface at Christmas time - don’t attempt to neglect or deny them.
My Honorable Husband injured his knee in 2005 and got incredible relief with physical therapy. He has no pain with normal activity, but if he walks for very long on a steep incline he has soreness and stiffness for several days. It terrifies him. He thinks he has reinjured the knee and is doomed to surgery. This means that the mountain hiking we both loved to do is severely limited.
Last summer in a chance (or perhaps providential) conversation with a woman in the neighborhood, I found out about a lady’s hiking club. There are about 25 women who hike in nearby state parks every Friday. It took a while to get connected, but on Friday I took my third hike with the group.
These ladies are serious hikers. Most of them are grandmothers, and they hike because they believe that if they stay physically active they will age more gracefully. The first two hikes were steep and aggressive. I met ladies who have hiked in the Alps and on the Appalachian Trail. I was glad in was in good enough shape to keep up.
Most of them are also interested in eating healthy. In so many situations, people give me strange looks when they see what I eat – like a meat and veggie bowl when everyone else is eating sandwiches. Not the hiking club ladies! There are certainly lots of sandwiches, but there are also a lot of salads and trail mix. There are even others who eat veggie bowls like I do. I’m probably the most serious about the Blood Type Diet, but several follow the basic principles.
On Friday we took a guided hike in a protected natural area. The weather was perfect, and the docent filled us with knowledge about truly native plants as well as plants that are encroaching in Central Texas. The walk, fresh air, and good conversation were rejuvenating.
A reader, frustrated by cooking cod and having it turn out too dry, asked how I cooked frozen cod. I have the same problem when I buy thin cod fillets at the grocery store; they often come out dry.
I have the best results with cod loins, which I can only buy at a wholesale store like Sams or Costco. I do not thaw them. I put the frozen cod loins in a glass baking dish, top them with seasoning, and bake them at 350 degrees. I watch through the oven window for the juices that cook out of the cod. When the edges of the juice start to turn golden brown, I test for flakiness. The moment the cod flakes all the way through, I take it out of the oven.
When I’m in a hurry, I use a no-salt seasoning like Mrs. Dash or Spike on cod. When I have more time, I like topping cod with fresh foods – onions, celery, lemon, pineapple, whatever I have in the house.
***Basma added a comment about cooking fish in a pan vs in the oven. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom and read how she cooks fish***
The cod question reminded me that my husband asked me if we ate much tilapia. He had heard a news report about tilapia being dangerous. I spent some time doing internet searches about tilapia safety this morning. I am no expert, so do your own searches, but this is a summary of what I found.
Most tilapia is farm raised in China. The Director of Food Safety at the University of Georgia went to China to inspect fish farms, and found to his horror that they were feeding tilapia human and animal excrement. The fish were given a big dose of antibiotics prior to being prepared for market. This report is evidently several years old.
Some more recent reports indicate that China has made an effort to “clean up” their fish farms. I can’t tell whether this is advertising/marketing talk or whether they have really made significant changes.
Equally alarming is that people buy tilapia thinking that it is a less expensive way to get the good benefits of eating fish. A recommended ratio of Omega 6:Omega 3 is 1:1. The typical American daily intake is estimated at 30:1. Aren’t you glad you are on the BTD and not on a typical American diet?!?
People are being encouraged to increase their Omega 3 intake, and the three best sources of Omega 3 are Flaxseed walnuts and cold water fish. When you look at the ratio, you want the first number to be smaller than 1. That means the fish has more Omega 3 than Omega 6.
You can see that tilapia is not a good choice for people wanting to increase the Omega 3s in their diet. Unlike other fish, it is low in Omega 3 and high in Omega 6.
I notice that the fat content of farm raised salmon is higher than wild caught salmon. Frankly the farm raised tastes better to me, and it is usually less expensive. I was almost ready to abandon wild caught and start buying farm raised. But in the course of looking up ratios, I learned that because of the grain based food fed to farm raised salmon, the increased fat content is the undesirable Omega 6.
As for me and my house…we will continue to buy cod loins over cod fillets. We will continue to buy wild caught salmon. And we won’t be buying any more tilapia. This blog is making me hungry. It’s time to fix lunch.
My grandparents lived on a ranch, and when I was a girl, I would hear them talk about “going to town.” The nearest town was 5 miles away. That’s where they would go for groceries and the bank. To do any major shopping they had to go to a larger town that was 20 miles from the ranch. I grew up in the city, and I thought the phrase “going to town” sounded so exciting.
Now that my husband and I live out in the country, we use that phrase all the time. He will say to me, “Are you going to town today? If so, I need to go to the hardware store.” We consolidate our errands to save gas.
Yesterday we went to town with a list of nine errands. We crossed off the first two, then went to a new restaurant for lunch. The owner had mailed out coupons for “buy one, get one free” dinners. It was a trendy sandwich shop oriented toward tourists and business lunches. The thing that impressed me was that three of their sandwiches were available in “no bun” versions. This has to stem from low carb and/or BTD pressure in the restaurant industry. I’m glad to see it. I had a sirloin burger that was topped with a fresh vegetable garnish. Instead of fries, I got a fruit cup. It was delicious.
We dropped off a photo order at a client’s (if you need a Christmas gift idea, I have one for you below), then went by the tax office. One thing I love about small towns is walking into the tax office and talking to someone right away. When we lived in the city, I would block out an hour for any errand at the courthouse.
Then we went to vote. I cast my ballot for candidates who promise to pass better health care laws than the current administration and who encourage self sufficiency and entrepreneurship.
Next, I got a flu shot. Every year I weigh the pros and cons. Last year I got the regular flu shot, but not the swine flu. This year it is all rolled into one. In the end, I decided that the possibility of feeling terrible for a week was worse than the risk of the shot. I’m not advocating that for you, it was just the lesser of two evils for me. I may change my mind next year.
Last of all we picked up produce at the grocery store and headed for home. My husband took the dog for a walk while I put things away. He poked his head in the front door and said, “Come see! There are four deer in the neighbor’s yard.” The best thing about going to town is coming home to the country.
Now for the Christmas idea. Part of my photography/graphic design business is converting old 35 mm slides to digital. I can correct faded color and make the slides into a DVD movie. No more slide projector - you watch your pictures on TV. Because I custom scan each slide, now is the time to order for Christmas. There is more information on my website Practical Photography and Publishing
Our Bible Study class had a cook out over the weekend. The men grilled hamburgers and the women brought side dishes. There was so much good food – baked beans, an oriental salad filled with crunchy veggies, lots of fresh fruit, and a spinach salad topped with cranberries and nuts. Of course there were chips and cookies, but it was easy for a Type O to find plenty to eat.
I decided to take carrot salad. It’s good for all blood types, it’s easy, and most people like it. Sometimes when I make it at home, I use oil instead of mayonnaise. It tastes good, but it doesn’t have the same creamy texture. For the cook out, I wanted to make it the more familiar way, but I was nearly out of mayonnaise, so I went to the health food store. The owner saw me looking at the various brands, and suggested I look in the refrigerator for Vegenaise. Sorry, but I would never name a product Vegenaise. It just brings weird images into my mind, like Veggie Tale characters climbing onto sandwiches.
I picked up a jar and liked the ingredients. Grapeseed oil – not good for Hunters, but super beneficial for Gatherers. There are advantages to having a mixed body type – I focused on super beneficial. Brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup – that was good, as was apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar. I bought a jar.
I put two cans of diced pineapple (with the juice) in a bowl, added several handfuls of raisins, and let them soak until they were plump. Meanwhile I grated two pounds of carrots. Just as I got ready to put it all together, DD called. She was telling me about a salad she had made with cinnamon and ginger. On impulse I put 2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon and a teaspoon of ginger in my carrot salad. Tossed it with some Vegenaise and off we went to the cook out.
The day was beautiful and the conversation was fun. We met two new couples who live in our area. The carrot salad was a hit – I think it’s the best I’ve ever made. If I had been hoping to bring enough home leftovers for Sunday lunch, I would have been disappointed.
We are back at home – thankful for safe travels. We may not live in the majestic mountains, but the Texas Hill Country is a delightful and lovely place to dwell. I have one more story from our trip that applies to the BTD.
On the last day, we were in a restaurant for lunch. One of our friends had a hard time deciding between a fried chicken dinner and chicken & dumplings. He finally decided on the fried chicken, but asked the waitress for a taste of chicken & dumplings “for my grandma’s sake.
He closed his eyes and sighed as he tasted the dumplings. “Mmmm, just like grandma’s.” Then he said, “That is why people on my mother’s side of family were so fat. All roly poly. They ate stuff like that.”
Perhaps when you read that he chose fried chicken, you were a little judgmental. It’s easy for those of us who have been involved with a demanding diet like the BTD to look with disapproval on others who don’t eat as we do.
When I look at our friend, I see how far he has come. He was not taught good eating habits as a child, but like most of us he could get away with eating anything when he was young. When he and my husband met in Viet Nam in their 20s, they were both thin and fit. He gradually put on weight until by the time he was in his 50s he was getting portly. A diagnosis of diabetes got his attention. He changed his diet and began to exercise. Today he looks great and has lots of energy.
Was fried chicken the best choice for a Type O with diabetes? No. If I had been ordering for him, I would have chosen something else. But there were certainly worse choices on the menu – like chicken & dumplings.
I never want to be so rigid that I cannot celebrate when people make meaningful changes to their eating habits that bring them a step closer to the Blood Type Diet – which I consider to be the best way to eat for maximum health.
When we travel, we take our own breakfast food and eat in our room. This has become so much easier in the last year or so, because almost every motel chain now offers a refrigerator in the room at no additional charge. For our remaining two meals, we eat out one and picnic one.
For our trip to Colorado, we are staying at a condominium. We got a great rate at a ski resort. It’s too late for summer vacationers and too early for snow. This means we have a fully equipped kitchen, which makes preparing picnic food somewhat easier. But don’t forget this is vacation, I’m keeping food preparation simple!
I added three new items to the picnic food that I’ve blogged about in the past. Since we have a refrigerator, my husband gets a lot more fresh produce with his turkey sandwich. He has had grapes, apples, nectarines, carrots and green beans. I think he could eat a turkey sandwich every day for six months, but I do try to give him lots of variety with the extras that go with the sandwich.
I bought mozzarella cheese to go in my sushi nori wraps that I eat on picnics. That’s not new. What is new is using the mozzarella in the meat and veggie bowls that I eat when we are in the condo. Tonight I had canned spinach and canned chicken topped by mozzarella. Heated for one minute in the microwave, and it is the closest thing to creamed spinach that I’ve had in years. Delicious. Along with this combination, I had a half can of pumpkin heated with diced apple and grapes. Was this a vegetable dish or a dessert?
I’ve been eating a lot of humus at home. When we arrived in Colorado, I bought a container of humus for picnicking. Last night I had tuna, English peas, and humus. I had a sweet potato as well. I once thought fixing Type O travel food was hard, but I can now fix myself a bowl quicker than I fix my husband’s sandwich.
Tomorrow I’ll look at some of our adventures eating out in Colorado.
Is the whole culture becoming more health conscious, or is it just my little Hill Country community? I am finding the most amazing foods at the local grocery store. I blogged earlier that the store now regularly stocks ground bison (for a very reasonable price) and frozen acai.
Over the summer, DD found Cedar’s Tzatziki. It is a Greek strained yogurt dip. It comes in several flavors, all of them loaded with vegetables. Yogurt is avoid for me, but it is neutral for my husband. It is certainly a much better choice for him than some of the other things (like picante or sour cream) that he likes to dip. The store is also carrying brown rice chips, which he admits are really tasty.
This week I found falafel. The ingredients are chickpeas, fava beans, onions, parsley and spices. Chick peas are avoid for my husband, but all of the ingredients are beneficial for me. And, oh my, falafel is delicious. It’s like having a little muffin with my meal.
I’m going to buy these products often, to encourage the store management to keep carrying them.
We spent an interesting day at the Charles Town Landing Historical Site. The original 1670 settlement has been restored. We learned about life in the colony and enjoyed the archeology exhibits. We walked a big loop trail that took us from one end of the compound area to the other. On one side there was a ship building exhibit featuring a Ketch sailing vessel built by hand by the docents. On the other side was a wildlife exhibit featuring local animals in their natural habitat.
We asked one of the docents to recommend one of her favorite nearby restaurants. She sent us to T Bonz. The food was delicious. I had a burger & vegetables. DD had a salad & eggs. We got a side order of broccoli and shared. Though there were plenty of beneficial choices, HH chose an avoid sandwich – steak, turkey and bacon. DD and I couldn't talk him out of it. I don’t know if his stomach bothered him. After all our warnings, he knew better than to complain.
Our last day in Charleston we packed a picnic and drove to the Isle of Palms. The kids and I went running on the beach, then jumped in the ocean to play in the surf. HH decided to be cautious because of his cornea transplant. He has healed beautifully from the surgery and his vision is better than it has been in years. He is still cautious, and he did not want to risk getting sand or salt water in his eye. He took a nice long walk on the beach. Then we pulled out the lawn chairs and ate our picnic while we listened to the water. So relaxing.
Then it was time to come home. I am getting ready to have an estate sale at my Mom’s house. HH is learning to take care of our house so I can spend more time next year developing my photography and publishing business. DD headed back to college for her senior year. SS finished grad school today. He is a physical therapist, and he is returning to Texas to practice. We are back to the real world, but the real world is a pretty interesting and exciting place to be.
We have had two more days of interesting sightseeing, scrumptious food and unusual exercise.
One day we toured a plantation just outside of Charleston. There were alligators walking free on the grounds! I picked up one bit of blood type trivia. Sickle Cell Anemia is an inherited blood disease that mostly affects people of African descent. While the disease has many disadvantages, one advantage is that it provides protection from malaria. On this particular plantation, for large parts of the year all of the activities, including management of the house, gardens, and crops, were entirely handled by black overseers while the white owners fled for less mosquito prone climates.
Another day we toured the USS Yorktown, a retired aircraft carrier. The kitchens on board were certainly not organized to provide WWII era soldiers with meals related to individual needs or blood types. Nor was the concession stand set up to provide healthy meal choices for tourists. We were glad we had packed a picnic lunch in our backpacks – turkey on oat bread for my husband, PB&J on Ezekiel bread for DD, salmon and English peas for me.
Last night we drove to Sullivan’s Island and ate at Seels. The rest of the family raved about the fish tacos. I thoroughly enjoyed my flounder with collard greens and sweet potato fries. After dinner we went for a long run on the beach. Running on sand works different muscles, I learned when I hopped out of bed this morning.
Tonight we had dinner at Jestine's Kitchen, a downtown restaurant famous for soul food. My meal was outstanding: meatloaf collard greens and okra gumbo. There is a hike and bike trail over the Ravenel suspension bridge where our son likes to exercise. DD and I power walked the bridge after dinner. We not only got a good work out, but we saw a beautiful view of the water and the downtown skyline.
We are taking a few days of family vacation before our kids strike out on new adventures. Our son is completing his last Physical Therapy internship in Charleston. He is interviewing for jobs and studying for his board exams. Our daughter is finishing up a marketing internship and preparing to go back for her senior year of college. I had traveled to 46 of the 50 states. South Carolina was one of the four I was missing.
Our Strong Son picked us up at the airport, and took us to Red’s Ice House in the Shem Creek area for dinner. While we were waiting for our table, we watched dolphins from a big deck over the water. I had mahi mahi fish tacos. The one time I cooked mahi mahi, it was dry and tough, but this was tender and delicious. I’m going to have to give mahi mahi another try at home.
After dinner we drove to the beach. We had hoped to go for a run, but SS advised against beach running in the dark because of jelly fish and shells. We walked to the light house, enjoying the sound of the surf.
Yesterday we took a carriage ride around downtown Charleston. This gave us a good overview of the historic part of the city. We had lunch at Gilligan’s. I had a bay scallop stir fry with asparagus and green beans. It was fabulous! I love the way food is seasoned in Charleston. It is a combination of Southern and Cajun. When I get home, I plan to look up some traditional Charleston recipes.
After lunch we took one of the two downtown walking tours. I’m not sure how far we walked, but we wound our way through the historic district from the Market to the Battery and back. By the time we finished, we were immersed in the history of this charming Southern city. We were also hot and tired. We returned to our hotel for a picnic supper in our room. Hurrah for hotels with refrigerators, they make vacation eating so much simpler.
My sister and I are at my parents’ house for the next three weeks. We are sorting and cleaning and getting things ready to move or sell. I arrived Tuesday night, and we started to work bright and early Wednesday morning.
The days are physically active with a lot of walking, bending and lifting. In addition I brought hand weights and running shoes. Like all other women my age, I fight a constant battle against muscle loss. DD has pushed me this summer, and I have actually gained muscle. I have no intention of going backwards during this trip!
There are diet issues involved with being away from home for this long. DD is doing an internship, and my husband has stayed home with her. I can count on DD to make sure he is BTD compliant for breakfast and supper. If he doesn’t’ eat too much bread or too many crackers for lunch, he will be fine.
I have mentioned many times that my sister lives in Europe. When her family comes to America, they want to eat all of the old favorite foods – hamburgers, fries, donuts, pizza and the like. That won’t do for me at all. So I am cooking for myself. It will be meat and vegetables as usual.
Last night they took me to Salt Grass Steakhouse to say thank you for the work I’ve done on the estate. It’s been a labor of love, and I certainly didn’t expect such a lovely meal. It was a Type O delight - Prime rib, Caesar salad, and a huge sweet potato. The prime rib was cooked perfectly. I chose Caesar salad because our server said that the dinner salad was iceberg lettuce. Caesar was beneficial Romaine, and Parmesan is one of the few cheeses that are actually good for Hunters.
When we got back to the house, they introduced me to a TV program – The Mentalist. What a great show! My kids gave me a blow up pad from The Firm that is supposed to strengthen core muscles. You do regular exercises while you try to keep your balance on the pad. I worked out with 5 pound weights on the pad during the show.
My sister and I are reliving childhood memories as we sort through the things in the house. My parents knew how to have fun, and they lived out their faith in innumerable practical ways. If the first three days are any indication – it will be a happy time together.
Because I am in good health, I find that “just a little bit” of an avoid does not bother me. As I’ve said many times, I don’t eat avoids at home. But when I am at a friend’s home, I am a gracious guest. When I am in a restaurant, I look for the best choices I can find and do not stress over hidden avoids. . However in the last few days, too many “just a little bits” caught up with me and reminded me of why I have stayed with the BTD for seven years.
Last week I had “just a little bit” of cake. It was the social thing to do at the time. My weight popped up two pounds the next day, as it always does when I eat wheat, but I didn’t notice any other ill effects.
Monday my husband and I ate at a Chinese buffet. We love this restaurant because it is MSG free and the vegetables are fabulous. I stayed away from all of the breaded foods, but I know there were avoids in the sauces and melted cheese on one of the vegetables.
Yesterday I met with my book club. While I am the only one on the BTD, most of the ladies are interested in health. I have talked about BTD books, and others also bring in diet books and cook books. There are always healthy choices among the snacks. Yesterday’s hostess had lots of fresh fruit. She also had an egg casserole and cake. I stayed away from the cake, putting lots of fresh fruit and some eggs on my plate.
I thought I was compliant until I took my first bite of the eggs. This was more like French toast casserole. It was layers of white bread with eggs and cheese in between. There was also a layer of sausage hidden on the bottom.
Last night my stomach was gurgling. This morning my weight is up again, and my stomach is not happy. I have that heavy, burning feeling that I lived with for more than 10 years before I found Dr. D’Adamo’s book.
I will be ok. After I post this blog, I’ll fix myself some ginger juice and water. Today will be a beneficial only day, and by tomorrow morning, my stomach will feel right again. The weight is water weight and it will vanish as suddenly as it appeared as soon as the wheat is out of my system.
I still believe that people are more important than things, and that “just a little bit” of an avoid is better than ruining a relationship. This experience, however, was a good reminder, that even the “little bits” are causing inflammation, and that the cumulative effect over several days is not good.