Category: Living the BTD lifestyle
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.
On the way to my husband’s family reunion, we spent the night with one of my roommates from college years. Alice first read about the Blood Type Diet in one of my Christmas Cards. One year I mentioned that after the BTD had solved years of stomach pain, I was blogging on the D’Adamo website. She says that she got a copy of the book, but gave up because the diet looked too hard.
However, her Type A mother was also having stomach trouble. Her doctor, like mine, performed lots of tests and came up with no answers. The medication he prescribed made her worse and not better. Alice and her Mom went to a health food store to see if there were supplements that might help. The owner said, “The first thing we need to know is her blood type.” That’s when Alice remembered my success with the BTD. Her mom started the diet and bought some supplements. It worked. Her stomach pain vanished, and stays away as long as she eats right.
When Alice told her I was coming to visit, her Mom said, “Yes, the gal that saved my life.” Oh my! I’ve never saved anyone’s life before. Of course it wasn’t me. It was the wonderful way that God made our bodies, and the wonderful research done by Dr. D. I was just the conduit.
Alice claims that she is marginal about the BTD, but she and her husband fixed a fabulous dinner that was perfect for both Type Os and Type As. He grilled steaks, chicken breasts, onions, and pineapple outside. She fixed green beans, carrots and salad with homemade dressing. For dessert she had oatmeal cookies made with spelt flour. It was a feast.
We had so much to talk about – our children and friends from long ago. Many roommates get together and talk about those things. But Alice and I have equal fun talking about what we eat and how our faith has grown.
When we moved to our home in the Hill Country, we agreed we wanted a natural yard with native grasses and wildflowers, rather than a groomed suburban yard. However, there are limits, and I resolved to get rid of Johnson grass. It is a tall prolific grass that is impossible to walk through. It will quickly choke out all of the low growing pretty grasses. It took two years, but by cutting off all of the seed pods before they had a chance to open, I virtually eliminated Johnson grass from our acre.
This year the wild flowers have been beautiful. I have photographed 35 different flowers growing around my house. It is a joy to look out the windows or walk down the path to the trees. I have a lot of dandelions this year, and I may try harvesting the leaves after the flowers stop blooming.
I reached the conclusion that I don’t like thistles. The flowers are ugly, and the pointy leaves are not friendly. I decided to attack them in the same way that I attacked the Johnson grass, clipping off the buds before they have a chance to open into flowers and make seeds.
It takes me about an hour to cover 1/3 of our yard looking for thistle buds. I walk and bend and snip. Then I walk some more. It isn’t the type of intense exercise that is the most beneficial for Type Os, but is good for flexibility. It is really good for my soul to be outside in the spring air, away from the computer chair.
I’m not counting my thistle workout as my exercise for the day. I still need cardio and strength training. But I do like this time of year when yard work makes my lifestyle more active than it is in the winter.
Thistles remind me of sin. They may be ugly and unwanted, but they are also stubborn. They don’t give up easily. I can snip off buds one day, and three days later more buds are forming. I can never let down my guard.
A friend we have known for more than 30 years spent the weekend with us. On Saturday we took a long trail in the Hill Country. After the hike, we were all hungry. The two men wanted pizza. My initial plan was to eat a lot of salad and a slice or two of pizza. But an impulsive request led to perfect Type O alternative in a pizzeria.
The menu had a Greek salad that sounded good. We placed our order, then I went back to the waiter. It bothered me that there was no meat on the salad. I knew I would soon be hungry again unless I had more protein. I asked if he could put some of the beef that he used for the beef pizzas on my salad. He said sure, but it would cost me a dollar more. I happily paid the dollar.
The salad was delicious. It was made with Romaine not iceberg lettuce. The portion of feta cheese was generous, as was the added beef. I was barely half way through my salad, when the men finished their part of the pizza. Only my one slice was left. I encouraged them to cut it in half and enjoy it. The salad was filling, delicious, and a great option in an environment often hostile to us non-wheat eaters.
My Honorable Husband takes me out to eat almost every Sunday after church. He is sensitive to the fact that to have Sunday lunch ready to eat when we get home from church, I would have to be up at the crack of dawn cooking. The other alternative is to start cooking when we get home, when everyone is already hungry. We don’t go to fancy restaurants. We usually go for a buffet or barbeque.
There is some debate about whether Easter Sunday or Mothers Day is the most crowded day for Sunday lunch in a restaurant. Because we had eaten out twice while our friend was here, I suggested that today we avoid the crowds and eat at home. I had enough left overs in the refrigerator to quickly put together two bowls of meat and veggies. Mini casseroles, I called them. HH asked for a fruit plate to go with his casserole.
For myself, I tried something that DD often makes at school. I took the half apple left from the fruit plate, cut it into cubes and put it in the bottom of a clear Pyrex bowl. I generously sprinkled on cinnamon and ginger. Then I topped it with a thick layer of canned pumpkin. I popped it in the microwave until I could see the apples starting to bubble. I stirred it all together. Oh my, it was good - - and it was fast.
When DD makes it she also adds raisins and walnuts, but I kept mine simple. Dining in or dining out, it was a weekend of good BTD eating.
When I go for more than a week without a blog, it’s a pretty safe bet that instead of blogging I am bogged down in paperwork. I had two or three things that I wanted to write about after Spring Break, but they were overshadowed by executrix duties and computer issues.
One of the required courses for graduation where DD goes to college is a healthy life class. As you would expect, they do not teach the BTD, but DD has enjoyed the course and learned that there is more to health than diet and exercise.
The instructor sent the students to a website called realage.com/. It is a free site, but you do have to register with an e-mail address. You take a 10 – 15 minute survey giving health, diet, exercise, and life style information. It calculates how your biological age compares to your calendar age.
The students had to take the survey and write an essay on what they learned about themselves and how they can improve their biological age. DD learned that she is still about two pounds below a healthy weight.
I could hardly wait to try it myself. I’m 56 years old. I know that I don’t have the body of a 20 or 30 year old, but I wanted to see if seven years on the BTD made me score better than other women my age.
Woo Hoo! Biologically I am 47.8 years old.
The website says that while I exercise enough overall, I need to spend more time lifting weights. That is probably true. A big factor in my score was losing both parents and starting my own business within the last 18 months. That is way more stress than any body needs. It also advises me to carve out more time for myself. Ha! I want to do that too - - tomorrow.
Of course it says I should eat more grain and less red meat, but I will ignore that advice. Overall I was happy with my score. I can go back in 90 days and take the survey again to see how I am doing.
The best thing about the survey is the reminder that while we have no control over some factors in aging, there are many things people do to destroy their own health. I want to live every day with maximum energy, maximum joy, and maximum service to God.
Friday was a perfect Spring Break day. The weather was cool; the skies were bright blue; the sun was shining. DD and I went for a run. We ran for time rather than distance, and I ran a little farther than I usually do in 45 minutes. It certainly didn't spoil the run, but I couldn't help noticing all of the trash, particularly cans, on the side of the road.
The weather changed during the night. We woke to rain pelting on the windows. The rain stopped during the morning but it was cold and windy all day. Late in the afternoon my husband announced he and the dog were going to walk to the mailbox. I said that I’d go along, if we could walk the route that I had run on Friday.
I put on plastic gloves and grabbed a trash bag. We were off. Every time I saw an aluminum can I stopped and picked it up. HH walked one side of the street and I walked the other. We walked for a little more than an hour and picked up a half a trash bag of cans. It was good exercise, and it made our neighborhood look nicer. On Monday I will visit the recycle center and sell the aluminum.
This gives new meaning to the phrase, “It pays to exercise.”
DD is home for Spring Break. I love cooking with her, exercising with her, and bouncing ideas off her head.
Last night she made curried green beans for her dad and me. She took a curried chicken recipe that she likes, and made it vegetarian. Clever girl! I’m proud of her!
Green beans – last night she used a 12 oz package of frozen green beans. You could, of course use fresh. If you use canned, drain them completely – no green bean juice!
Pineapple cubed – she used about a cup of canned pineapple, drained.
Raisins – she didn’t measure, about a half a cup
Walnuts – about a cup. She really likes using pine nuts, but I was out.
Curry powder – sprinkle generously. You should be able to see the yellow on the beans.
Ghee – she didn’t use ghee, but when I make this recipe, I will add 2-3 teaspoons.
Drain all but a little water from the cooked beans. Add the fruit, nuts, and curry powder. Heat until the flavors have a chance to mix.
I asked her if the measurements were right, and she said, “I just throw stuff in there until it looks tasty. You want the green beans to dominate, but a serving should have several pieces of pineapple, raisins, and nuts.”
One more thing. DD is trying to make an A in a Marketing course. You can help by filling out a simple survey (less than 3 minutes) on celebrity endorsements. Here is the link. DD thanks you in advance.
My sister, who lived in Western Europe for more than 20 years, has moved to one of the former Soviet republics. When she was home for Mom’s funeral, I asked her what new foods she was enjoying in her new culture.
She mentioned two fruits: persimmons and pomegranates. Persimmons are beneficial for Type A Teachers, and pomegranates are super beneficial on the Type O Cancer Diet. DD chimed in saying that she had bought both in her local grocery store and found them both impossible to eat.
My sister laughed and told us what she had learned from her new friends.
Persimmons in the store are usually beautiful and bright orange. In this condition they are still unripe. Put pretty persimmons in a window or on a counter top. Watch as they start to become less bright. They begin to look a little brown. When the skin has kind of a translucent glow, they are ripe.
To eat a ripe persimmon, cut off the top and scoop the insides out with a spoon.
I bought persimmons. I was not convinced that I would recognize when they were ripe. Each day the bright orange faded, and they became more of a rust color. One day I saw what my sister meant by translucent glow. I waited one more day and tried it.
Oh my! What a delightful fruit. It was sweet and soft. I had expected it to be stringy, but it wasn’t at all. It was like eating pudding or sorbet. Persimmons are back on my shopping list.
This success inspires me to buy pomegranates. Pomegranate juice is popular in my part of the world, but I don’t see people rushing out to buy the fruit. I’ll let you know how they are when eaten according to the Eastern European manner.
One of the confirming things when I first went on the Blood Type Diet was the way that peanuts and cheddar cheese affected me. I had always loved both of those foods, but they were rated as avoids. After I had been on the BTD for a few weeks, and had felt such good results, I had to experiment and find out what would happen if I tried to eat a few old favorite avoids. Peanuts and cheese made me noticeably sleepy. I thought back and remembered times when I had taken them as snacks in the car on long road trips. I would get so sleepy that I had to ask my husband to drive.
The ladies from my church brought dinner to us after Mom’s funeral. There was lots of really delightful and healthy food. However one of the dishes was King Ranch Casserole. Oh, how I used to love King Ranch Casserole! It is a Mexican chicken meal with corn tortillas, peppers, and melted cheddar cheese. I couldn’t resist a small portion.
After dinner my sister and I did the dishes. We were suddenly so tired. We had planned to do some paper work, but both of us were yawning and falling asleep. We blamed it on the stress of the weekend and the long drive home. Both of us went to bed early.
I woke up the next morning bright eyed and full of energy. That’s when it hit me. We weren’t sleepy because of stress. We were both Type Os, and we were sleepy because of cheddar cheese. My sister, because she lives in Europe, eats a lot of cheese. She is often tired at night, and tries to go to bed early.
I don’t regret the delicious taste of the King Ranch Casserole. It was a treat to be enjoyed once in a long while. However, I’m also glad I know the effect that cheese has on my Type O body. It’s much nicer tonight to be alert and productive after dinner. If I needed any confirmation that cheddar cheese is avoid for me, I certainly got it.
Boiled custard at Christmas was a tradition in my family. My grandmother and later my Mom cooked it slowly over low heat. If it was cooked too quickly, it would get lumpy. Oh it was delicious. At my grandmother’s house after a big turkey dinner, we would have a cup of custard with a slice of fruit cake.
My husband’s family had a different tradition. They made ambrosia using oranges, grapefruit and grated coconut. It was also delicious at the end of a turkey dinner.
To my disappointment, neither my husband nor my children shared my love for boiled custard. One year, instead of making custard, my Mom bought non-alcoholic eggnog at the grocery store. Everyone liked it. Eggnog tasted every bit as good with fruitcake as the custard. So we had a new family tradition.
Then I found the Blood Type Diet. I always go ahead and enjoy favorite foods on special occasions, but I couldn’t do eggnog and fruitcake every night of the season without my heartburn coming back. When DD got serious about the BTD, she decided to be much more rigid than I am. She refused to indulge in Christmas eggnog or ambrosia either one. Traditions on both sides of the family were endangered.
DD came home from college this year with a carton of Silk “Nog” made with soy milk. She could hardly wait for us to try it. It is thinner than regular eggnog, but it has a very similar flavor. All four of us liked it. DD went back to the store for more. We’ve been watching Christmas movies and drinking soy nog at night.
Today I stopped by the grocery store for a few last minute things before going to visit my Mom. They were almost out of soy nog, so I bought 3 cartons. On impulse, I took one of the cartons into the rehab facility.
I had arrived right at the end of lunch. Mom hadn’t eaten very much. I poured some soy nog into a cup and offered it to her. She liked it. I told her all the news of the day, giving her sips of soy nog every so often. At one point she reached up, took the cup from me and drank by herself. That is the first time she has held the cup on her own since her problems with pain started in early November.
I left the rehab facility rejoicing. The doctor’s pain management is working. Mom is more comfortable. The nursing staff was correct when they said that as Mom’s body got used to the pain medication, her alertness would return. Mom recognized the taste of a traditional Christmas treat, and enjoyed it so much that it revived some of her desire for independence.
Boiled custard is in the past. Eggnog is in the past as well. Soy nog is the new Graham family tradition. I’m looking forward to more of it tomorrow.
I feel as if the clock has turned back to the 1970s when HH and I were first married and I was learning for the first time about health and nutrition. We were both working full time in a megalopolis, never getting home before 6:30 at night. I was reading fabulous new, healthy recipes, but had no time to cook. I laughingly described my cooking style as broiled meat, steamed vegetables, and salad.
Actually that is not a bad cooking style. It’s basic, healthy, and open to variety. I find myself back in that cooking style now. It’s not that life is so terribly hectic. My to do list is busy, but not overwhelming. I think it’s that my days are choppy. I’m at the rehab center for one meal a day with my Mom. By the time I drive in, visit with her, feed her, and run a couple of errands, I’ve spent four hours in town. My Practical Photography business (www.PracticalPhoto-Publishing.com) is beginning to generate a stream of satisfying work. I’ve got my paperwork, Mom’s paperwork, and housework to keep up with. Overall, I do not feel frantically busy, but I suddenly find that it’s time to eat, and I haven’t begun to prepare a meal.
Broiled meat, steamed vegetables and salad is a great fall back position. There is always fish in the freezer. I always have ground turkey, ground beef, and ground bison. I always have frozen vegetables ready to pull out of the freezer, and fresh vegetables washed in the fridge. I can whip up an impressive meal in a short time.
Where the BTD has changed things from the 1970s is my use of herbs and spices. Broiled meat and steamed vegetables take on a whole new life when sprinkled with beneficial seasonings. While Type A and Type O foods often clash, the spices that are beneficial for one of us are usually beneficial or neutral for the other.
I am using turmeric and curry on fish and ground turkey. I have always liked rosemary on lamb, but I have found that it is also nice on turkey cutlets. In fact rosemary, mixed with oregano and sage is a tasty combination. Cilantro is delicious on canned tuna and salmon, and it has the added benefit of neutralizing the mercury so often present in tuna. Cinnamon, cloves, and ginger all add zest to butternut squash, parsnips, and pumpkin. Parsley, fresh or dried, goes well with any kind of meat and vegetable combination. Italian spice mixes are good on zucchini & tomatoes as well as okra & tomatoes. Even when I leave off the tomatoes for the sake of my Type A husband, Italian spices and olive oil alone are really nice with zucchini.
So, though my cooking style is simple right now, my husband and I are not eating boring meals. They are full of flavor and variety. I have not come close to the end of the list of potential BTD spices. Dill, mustard powder, tarragon, and horseradish are beneficial for us both. I need to think of ways to incorporate those into my current cooking style.
I’ll admit it. Sometimes when I’m stressed, I feel like I’m starving. I not only want to eat, I want to feel full. I do not want salad, blueberries or broccoli. If anything those foods make me hungrier. What I really want is a half a pizza, a pint of ice cream, or a handful of cookies.
In my younger days, that is exactly what I ate. I remember with embarrassment what I consumed some nights when I was studying for exams. After I got into Health Food, I substituted whole grains for the junk food. Problems at work or home would send me scurrying for homemade rolls or whole wheat crackers. I’ve given up those comfort foods since I started the BTD.
I haven’t found a really satisfying substitute. Neutral grains give short term satisfaction. But while eating small servings of manna bread, oats, spelt or rice as a snack is not a problem, overeating them when I’m stressed, causes side effects. They are not a viable choice.
What comforts the best is trailmix. A bowl of walnuts, pecans, almonds, and dried fruit makes me feel good. So does a plate full of carrots and nutbutter. If the stress is quickly resolved, these are a good solution. But of all the beneficial foods, nuts and dried fruit put weight on me the fastest. So when the stress lasts several days or weeks, I need something that comforts without adding weight.
My Mom’s stroke and the economy are two long term stresses that I’m dealing with now. There are times at the end of the day when I feel desperately hungry. Sweet potatoes, brisket and turkey are good choices, but unless there are leftovers in the refrigerator, these take time to prepare. I catch myself eating a handful of nuts or dried mango while I’m cooking something better.
I’ve tried drinking green tea or fruit juice and club soda. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it just makes me hungrier. One of the best choices is a glass of juice with ¼ teaspoon l-glutamine powder.
A good comfort food would have to be beneficial, filling and fast. If you have something that works for you, I’d love to hear about it.