Category: Living the BTD lifestyle
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.
I’ve followed the Blood Type Diet since 2003, and I’ve written this blog since 2004. Clearly I think the BTD matters. I’ve talked to friends and total strangers about the difference it has made in the way I feel. There should be no question in anyone’s mind that I know the BTD is important.
I’ve blogged on many occasions about restaurants and certain social situations where it is difficult if not impossible to eat right for a meal. I have advised to always be kind and gracious, never to be offensive, and to do the best you can in those complicated but brief situations. The real evidence of how much you believe the BTD is not your public posture, but what you eat in the privacy of your own home. If you eat right at home, an occasional avoid in public will do you no harm (unless of course you are celiac or have serious allergies – obviously I’m not talking about that).
But there are three circumstances when the BTD doesn’t really matter. All of those are when the desperate need of your body for calories trumps everything else. Poverty is one. People who are starving don’t think twice about potatoes in the soup, or avoid foods in a care package. Prison is another. People imprisoned or in concentration camps, may care about what they eat, but they have no leverage. They must eat what is set before them in order to stay alive.
The third is the condition my mother is in right now – critically ill. Sure it would be better for her Type O body if she ate only beneficial meats, vegetables, and fruits. If she did, it probably would give her a better chance of recovery. If I requested it, the rehab center would take away her dessert and give her double portions of meat. But the pleasure foods keep her eating, and she is as desperate for calories right now as the poorest of the poor. If a few spoons of ice cream in between the spoons of pureed meat keep her opening her mouth for more, I’ll feed them to her.
She has trouble swallowing, and liquids give her the most trouble. We have to mix a cornstarch product into her drinks to make them a honey consistency so that she doesn’t choke. Do you think I am worrying about cornstarch as an avoid? Absolutely not. She must have fluids to survive, and choking on organic pineapple juice or pure spring water could give her pneumonia. The thickener in water must not taste very good. She would rather have orange juice or cranberry cocktail. Guilt free, I spoon those juices into her mouth.
DD is home for Labor Day weekend. She went with me last night to visit her Granny. When she saw the menu she raised her eyebrows as if to ask, was I really going to let Granny eat all of that? Some of the people around her refused to eat any of their dinner last night. There is not an avoid so bad that I would not use it to keep calories and fluids going into her body. She relished the thickened milk stirred into pureed brownie. There will be time to improve her diet later on. Right now she has to have calories, and the will to work with her rehab team.
We are on vacation. Our Strong Son has a week off between semesters. The daughter of some dear friends is getting married. We’re traveling around together for a week, and then will go to the wedding before our kids start back to school. SS picked the rest of us up at the Nashville airport, and we drove to Memphis.
Someone in the family should have remembered that this week is the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death – but none of us did. We arrived in Memphis to find that there is a citywide event honoring Elvis. I was worried that Graceland would be so crowded that we couldn’t see everything.
But I guess true Elvis fans who come back to Memphis for Elvis Week have already visited Graceland. Our tour was wonderful. The gravesite was inundated with flowers. I’m not sure whether it is always like that, or whether this is something special for Elvis Week. There are big crowds at an outdoor pavilion where Elvis impersonators (now called Elvis tribute artists) are giving an ongoing free concert.
Finding BTD compliant food on vacation is always a challenge. We finished our tour about lunchtime. Of the available restaurants in the Graceland area, the Chrome Grill seemed to have the most potential. I was inclined to have Memphis Barbeque. SS advised against it. He said that while barbeque in Texas means brisket, barbeque in the East usually means pulled pork. I asked, and sure enough, they were serving pulled pork.
There was a sign on the menu that said meatloaf was one of Elvis Presley’s favorite meals. The trouble with ordering meatloaf in a restaurant is that you don’t know how much wheat and what kinds of additives are in it. I passed on the meatloaf and chose a grilled chicken breast.
It came with three side orders. I chose baked beans, green beans, and sweet potatoes. SS told me that Eastern barbeque sauce is sweeter than the sauce on Texas barbeque. Indeed the beans were in a sweet sauce that was tasty. I’ll admit that I dipped my chicken in the sauce, pretending that it was barbequed chicken. The green beans were cooked southern style, which probably meant with salt pork, but they were delicious. The sweet potatoes were covered with a cinnamon sauce.
You could say that my basic meal was beneficials and neutrals, but the seasonings and sauces contained small levels of avoids. Knowing that did not keep me from enjoying my lunch.
Our hotel has a nice fitness room, including some free weights. DD, SS and I all worked out before having a totally beneficial picnic dinner in our room.
The stiffness in my finger has responded to a combination of three supplements.
In the spring when my knee was giving me trouble, I blogged that I was also waking with stiffness in my right ring finger. It felt like I had jammed it, but I didn’t remember an injury.
I haven’t complained in the intervening weeks, but I have waked every morning with a stiff and painful finger that got better as I used it during the day.
A week ago, I started taking three supplements for inflammation – quercetin, bromelain, and turmeric. I took one capsule of each at breakfast and supper. The first week there was no discernable difference. Yesterday, however, I woke with almost no pain. During the day the pain was completely gone. This morning there was only a slight twinge of stiffness.
I am very optimistic, and very, very pleased.
I am at my Mom's house this weekend, and I read a column by Dear Abby that could have been written about someone on the BTD. Here is the letter, written by a mother and grandmother who Abby nicknamed Stumped.
"Dear Abby: Over the past two years my daughter and son-in-law have lost a lot of weight. They as well as my grandsons eat very little and don't like having to order food. My problem is not knowing how to celebrate without food. When I think of holidays, I think of a family meal. Any ideas?"
This is the other side of the coin, and I think that those of us on the BTD need to give our friends and relatives a little help. I can imagine that the writer of this letter has been brought up to think of food as a way of showing love. She shows people she cares by preparing a large (and probably delicious) meal. She doesn't know how to say "Happy Birthday" without a cake. She doesn't know how to say "Merry Christmas" without candy, and she doesn't know how to say "Good Morning" without bacon.
In her mind, when the daughter and the grandchildren reject her food, they are rejecting her as well and they are spurning her love. There are a lot of people out there like Stumped, and they aren't all mothers and grandmothers. Some of them are friends and neighbors.
They aren't going to want to hear a lecture about diet and exercise. I'm guessing that Stumped, after years of celebrating with food, is probably overweight herself. Seeing her daughter's family looking fit makes her feel guilty. They do deserve some kind of explanation. I've started saying, "I don't eat bread because it upsets my stomach." It's true, and it's brief. Plus, it's hard for someone to come back and insist that I eat something that I just said would make me feel bad.
I often volunteer to bring something to a celebration meal. That helps the hostess, and it helps me too because I know that there will be something that my family and I can eat with enthusiasm.
Abby had some good ideas. She urged Stumped to think of activities other than food. She suggested a movie, a sporting event, or a hike. She suggested bringing along healthy snacks like fruit and vegetables. There are no guaranteed solutions. I can just imagine Stumped showing up with a bag o orange slices for a family of Type Os and Type As. That would be a disaster!
If you have a technique that has smoothed things over with someone like Stumped, I hope you will add it as a comment to this blog. I don't want to jeopardize my health, but I do want to be aware that there are lovely people on the other side of the coin who haven't discovered the BTD...yet.
Our family loves to watch movies. My first date with HH was to a movie. We purchased our first VCR because SS was such a fussy baby that we dared not take him to a theater. When the kids were growing up, we looked forward to Friday “dinner and a movie” on the living room floor. Because I was a health nut, I bought an air popcorn popper – no palm oil or microwave popcorn for my family.
After the BTD, I gave up popcorn, but still made it for HH and DD since corn was a neutral food for them. Then HH’s blood sugar went over the line into pre-diabetes territory, and popcorn was banned from the living room. We all missed it. DD loves to look in the Blood Type Diet Recipe Center for new foods to try. She found a recipe for a popcorn substitute. We have made it twice now with our Friday night movies.
The first time we made it, we had serious doubts about whether it would work. We were “popping” walnuts and pumpkin seeds in a covered sauce pan as if they were popcorn. But it works just like the recipe says. You hear the pumpkin seeds start to pop, and you shake the sauce pan to keep them from burning. When the popping stops, they are ready.
We have not added the nutritional yeast. I know I would like it – I eat nutritional yeast in my breakfast every morning. However, we wanted the flavor to be as much like popcorn as possible for HH, and nutritional yeast can be a little strong for the uninitiated. DD, SS and I love faux popcorn. DD thinks it is better than the real thing. HH would still prefer popcorn, but since that is not an option, he is willing to accept this as an alternative.
The popped seeds have a roasted flavor similar to popcorn, but they are delicious in their own right. The biggest difference between popcorn and faux popcorn is that the popcorn is mostly air, so you can eat a lot of it. Since these are nuts, you wouldn’t want to eat a whole bowlful. Type “faux” in the search box in the Recipe Center and you’ll find detailed instructions.
In honor of the 4th of July, I served red, white, and blue food last night for a church party at our house. The food at church parties is like the food at parties everywhere – mostly chips and desserts with an occasional veggie or fruit tray. I didn’t want to do chips or desserts, because I didn’t want leftovers. As long as there is no junk food in the house, my Honorable Husband sticks to the BTD and keeps his blood sugar in the normal range, but if corn or sugar based snacks are available he eats them.
I decided that since the weather has been so hot and dry, that I would just serve fruit. It sounded cool and refreshing to me. At the store DD and I joked that the fresh fruit colors went along with the 4th of July. The idea stuck with me, and I decided to go with the theme.
At one end of my dining room table I had a big white bowl filled with watermelon. (By the way, the yellow spot technique that I blogged about earlier has worked. I have a 100% record for sweet watermelons this year.) At the other end of the table I had a tray arranged with cherries, white grapes and blueberries in stripes. I made a centerpiece of paper firecrackers and American flags. I used white plates and red napkins. It was very cute.
I served peppermint green tea and pineapple juice. Two people told me how glad they were that I served fruit. The youth really enjoyed the green tea. Best of all, we can freely enjoy the leftovers.
I can’t resist saying a word about the title of this blog. When I was in high school I worked at Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Parlor. That is where I first heard the phrase “Red White and Blueberry.” It was their featured July flavor of the month. Thinking of myself working at an ice cream parlor makes me shake my head and smile. I’ve certainly come a long way since then!
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.
I had to make a quick decision about avoids in a restaurant. Did I make the right choice? I’m not sure. Here is the whole story.
I’m spending every 2nd or 3rd weekend with my Mom. She has friends from church who come to see here, but still she gets lonely. She also needs my help with the mail and the bills. I’m blessed that my husband and kids are self sufficient so I can leave them on their own. A month or so ago I had stopped to get gas on the way home and noticed a Mediterranean restaurant across the street. I needed food for the road, so I went in.
The lamb shawarma looked good, and the owner recommended hummus. I said, “What’s hummus?” After giving me a look of pity, he explained that it was made of chickpeas and tahini – beneficial and super beneficial respectively for Hunters. He gave me a taste and it was delicious. While I was waiting for my food, I wandered into the grocery section of the restaurant. I found canned fava beans! What a treat, I bought four cans. I also found Turkish delight. (I have wanted to taste Turkish delight ever since I first read “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.” In my humble opinion, it’s ok, but not worth selling your soul for.)
I ate the lamb, salad and hummus out of the wrap. It was a little messy in the car, especially since I had to pick the cucumbers out of the salad, but it was so good that it was worth it. The canned favas didn’t stay on the pantry shelf for long, either. Since then, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to go back. I told my Mom that I would bring her a surprise for dinner Friday night.
I ordered two lamb dinners. They came with salad, rice, and hummus. All was well until the owner asked me which kind of rice I wanted. I could have white rice – neutral for Type O Hunters - however refined rice goes against the grain of my Health Food background. Or I could have brown rice – Hunter beneficial - seasoned with yummy spices. But there were lentils – avoid for Type Os – added to the brown rice.
It was a tough decision. I remember one of the early bloggers asking if he was in a restaurant and ate a beneficial and an avoid, did it equal two neutrals? I also remember Dr. D pointedly answering No, that it didn’t work that way. I had to make a quick decision. Empty calorie refined rice or brown rice laced with an avoid? I chose the brown rice.
This is why eating out is hard. I get to eat beneficial foods that I don’t have a way to prepare for myself, but I can’t control all of the ingredients. If there had only been one kind of rice, I wouldn’t have worried about it, because I do not obsess about avoids that I can’t control. But in this case I had to choose between two imperfect options. For sure I made a delicious choice. And I felt better when I looked at food list and saw that though lentils are avoid for Os, they are just black dot for Hunters. I think I answered my own question as I typed this last paragraph. An occasional avoid in a restaurant is not worth obsessing about either way – and it’s certainly not worth spoiling an otherwise yummy and beneficial meal.
My Strong Son is starting his second physical therapy internship in the same city where my Darling Daughter goes to college. The first week of his internship was the last week of her freshman year. They had a lot of fun hanging out at night. He watched basketball while she studied for finals, then they went to the gym together. On Friday my husband and I joined them for much more than Mother’s Day. It was Mother’s Weekend.
Friday night they took me to a local steak house for dinner. My steak came with grilled onions and peppers, green beans, and a huge sweet potato. While we were waiting for our meal, they gave me my first gift. It is a balance disc. DD has used them at the college gym this year. SS has used them with patients at PT school. They tell me that as I use it with my regular weight exercises, it will force me to use my abs and strengthen my core. I can hardly wait to get it home and try it.
After dinner we went to a two mile hike and bike trail. The landscaping was very well done, and lots of people were out getting their evening exercise.
Saturday morning we went to the zoo. The weather was cool, and the animals were really active. We saw flamingos fighting over nesting sites, jaguars climbing trees, and lions strolling majestically. We got to the monkey cages at feeding time. The colobus monkeys were munching on kale and collards. They don’t like the tough inner stems any more than people do. But their obvious enjoyment of the raw leaves, made DD and me decide to try one of the raw kale salad recipes this summer.
SS’s girlfriend and her mom came to see us Saturday afternoon. They were bringing DD some rugs, accessories, and knick knacks for her apartment next year. We all went out for barbeque for dinner. The turkey was delicious, and I got to choose my own vegetables from a buffet line. After dinner we went to a paleteria. This was my first visit to a Mexican ice cream shop. I tasted several flavors, but finally chose a mango paleta. It looked like a Popsicle or ice cream bar, but it was made with fresh fruit. I had expected it to be very sweet, like a Baskin Robbins ice, but it wasn’t. I’m sure some sugar was added, but it certainly wasn’t an excessive amount.
Sunday morning the kids came to the hotel to pick us up for church. They brought me a lovely bouquet of yellow flowers – daises, roses, and some little flowers I’m not familiar with. After church we had Chinese food at a local restaurant DD likes because they will custom steam her food the way she likes it. It was delicious – just fresh food – no chemicals added.
It’s been a wonderful Mother’s Weekend – great food, exercise every day, and being with my favorite people in the whole world.