Category: Living the BTD lifestyle
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.
I introduced my book club to the Blood Type Diet yesterday. All of the ladies were interested and receptive.
Book Babes got its start when two friends became disillusioned with the immorality and dirty language in the books they were asked to read and review for a local book club. They began a club for ladies with a little more conservative world view. Rather than assign a book for everyone to read, each lady brings two or more books from her personal collection to the meeting. You tell a little about your book. Other members can borrow it for a month.
Yesterday I took Atlas Shrugged, Lord Change Me, and Live Right 4 Your Type. The hostess served fudge, spiced cookies, strawberries, quiche, and coffee. As we were eating, one of the ladies said something about wishing she could lose some weight, but always being hungry.
I jumped in saying that was the perfect segue to one of my books. I talked about all of the popular diets and how each had statistics to prove that it was right, yet they were all in conflict. I then said that the Blood Type Diet was the best predictor of what kind of diet you would do best on. A Type A who has often wanted to be a vegetarian, but has been scared to try it because she didn’t think it was a “balanced diet” took my book. Two other ladies wrote down the title and said they were going to buy it on Amazon rather than waiting for next month.
I warned them that this was not an easy diet, pointing to my plate and explaining why I hadn’t eaten the crust to my quiche and why I had declined the fudge and cookies. I also said that I had been on this diet since 2003 and that the health benefits had been far greater than I could ever have imagined.
We spent the weekend with a lot of friends and relatives. Everywhere we went people talked about wanting to be healthy. For my generation this is a big change. I’ve been made fun of for years for being “such a health nut.”
My husband’s family had a reunion on Saturday. We stayed with one of his cousins and had a wonderful sharing stories and looking at pictures. They took us to a North Texas Mexican restaurant where this South Texan had the best taco salad I’ve ever eaten. For breakfast the next morning they served bacon and eggs. My eyes met HH and we silently agreed to be gracious and make the best choices possible. As we ate, the cousins said what a treat this breakfast was for them. They are trying to eat healthy and never eat bacon and eggs any more. I ate lots of eggs (They “help heal and regenerate “ a Hunter’s digestive tract). I did have one piece of bacon, but no toast. Happily for us, they served grape juice instead of orange juice.
Lunch at the reunion was covered dish. Most covered dish dinners are Type O disasters – lots of grain, lots of cheese, and lots of sauces. Because we were coming from out of town, I had planned to go to the grocery store and pick up bags of greens for a salad. I thought that way I would be sure to have something that I could eat. However the cousin said she was taking a fresh spinach salad with walnuts and craisins. So I decided to go with fruit. I think Swine Flu and ProBerry were on my mind. I made the salad with blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and pineapple. It was colorful and healthy. I went to the reunion knowing now that there would be at least two things for me to eat.
I was surprised. I was delighted. There was lots of Type O food – turkey, brisket, onions, carrots, peas, and more. I filled my plate twice, and never ate an avoid. Naturally, there were desserts and pasta salads, but clearly a lot of the family is eating healthy.
After the reunion HH and I drove to my Mom’s house to visit with her. The next day as we headed for home, we met some friends for dinner at Chilis. I ordered my usual old-timer hamburger with broccoli instead of fries and black beans instead of the bun. Our friends are going to an alternative medicine doctor who uses some kind of machine to determine an individual diet for them. The man was Type A, and the machine had him on a diet that was remarkably like they Type A diet. The woman did not know her blood type, but the diet she is on has solved several health issues. Both of them talked about how hard it is to change the way they have eaten all their lives. But both realize that they have to change if they want to be healthy.
Not everyone has found the BTD (yet) but I am encouraged to find friends and family beginning to notice that what they eat really does impact how they feel.
This week has flown by. Going to see my Mom and getting serious again about job applications have distracted me from blogging. I’ve been to three luncheons in the past week. That’s a higher than usual number of meals eaten in restaurants. Each presented it’s own BTD challenges.
Last Wednesday I attended the Tea Party across from the Courthouse in our county. After the Tea Party, two friends and I went out to lunch. We chose a local restaurant that I have passed many times, but never tried. They had a plate lunch that comes with a vegetable and a salad. It sounded perfect until I asked what the vegetable of the day was. “Corn,” said the server. I was not going to get into an argument, but corn is not a vegetable!!! I abandoned the idea of meat and vegetables, and ordered an omelet. I have been intrigued by a line in one of the GenoType daily e-mails that said regarding Hunters, “To help heal and regenerate your digestive tract, aim to eat seven to nine eggs a week.” This omelet contained NO bacon, sausage or ham. Instead it was loaded with beneficial vegetables. It was a good and filling choice.
Friday I returned to my hometown to visit my Mom. The trip was scheduled to coincide with the funeral of the father of my best friend from elementary and high school. After the service, the family invited me to join them for lunch Chili’s. I like eating there, because they are quite agreeable to serving me a hamburger with broccoli instead of fries, and they are very generous in their broccoli portions. The topic of conversation for most of the meal was dieting. My friend and her husband are on a variation of the Atkins diet that has them only drinking Atkins shakes. A cousin has recently had stomach-stapling surgery. She ate about 1/3 of her meal, and took the rest home in a to go box. An aunt is thinking of paying high dollar for a doctor-monitored program. I said I was had been on the Blood Type Diet since 2003. None of them had heard of it, and the level of interest varied. My friend is Type O. She was relieved that the low carb approach of Atkins was heading in the right direction. The cousin specifically chose stomach stapling because she did not want to ever be on another low carb diet. The aunt seemed to think that paying a high price and having a doctor’s input would motivate her. It illustrated to me the confusion of people who are confronted with so many contradictory diets, but no one blinked an eye when I dumped my hamburger out of the bun and left it behind.
Today I attended a ladies’ luncheon in the town where I live. I realize that I may need to do a little networking, and develop some stronger ties here, in order to find a job. I met some delightful women; some of whom I hope will become friends. The menu was fajitas. I knew I could make a meal out of the meat and lettuce. However they also served green beans! I don’t usually associate green beans with Tex-Mex food, but I was certainly glad to see them. They were well seasoned, though I couldn’t quite identify what the seasoning was. We did not talk about dieting, but as I looked around the table, I noticed that I was not the only one who said “No” to tortillas.
After three luncheons so close together, I’m ready to eat food from my own kitchen for a while.
DD came home for the weekend to attend a training session for her summer job. Her roommate came with her to enjoy a few days of warm weather in the country. The roommate is also Type A, and she has been curious to watch how DD has eaten this semester. DD and I planned the weekend’s meals around beneficial foods that are favorites of hers. We had salmon (her family doesn’t eat much fish) and black eyed peas (which she gets only at New Years).
I wanted to fix spinach, because it is the most socially acceptable of the cooked greens. I suggested one of my favorites – spinach, raisins, and almonds - but DD reminded me that raisins are toxic for Teachers. So we used dried cherries instead. It was fabulous. I’ll never go back to raisins again.
Sunday night after they left, I had a craving for fried okra. Someone had posted on the Forum that they oven fried asparagus the same way I oven fry sweet potato chips. If it works for asparagus, why not okra? I poured thin film of light olive oil on a cookie sheet and added frozen chopped okra. I cooked it at 400 degrees, stirring every 5 minutes or so. I decided it was done when it was a little brown on the edges. That night when it was fresh and hot it was very good. I’ll admit it’s not as tasty as deep fried okra - usually coated in wheat flour and corn meal - but since that is no longer an option, this is a good substitute. I ate the left overs the next day. They were not as good – a night in the refrigerator cancelled all of the crispness.
I got my cholesterol report from when I gave blood in February. It is an improvement over my previous cholesterol report, but not quite what I had hoped. Last year my triglycerides were 72, and my ratio was 3.0 – both excellent readings. But for the first time in my life my LDL bumped above the magic 130 number. It was 150.
Some would have advised me to abandon beef and lamb which are so good for Type Os, but I knew better. I stayed with beneficial foods. I had become very liberal in my servings of beneficial oils and nuts. I cut those portions back within the BTD guidelines. I also added extra Vitamin B6.
The new report shows my triglycerides at 71 and my ratio at 2.9 – still excellent. My LDL has dropped to 135. I have let paperwork encroach on my exercise time way too often since my Dad passed away. I’ve missed the release of tension that exercise always gives me. Now I have a double reason for making sure that I don’t let desk duties distract me. I’ve also added some time release niacin just to make sure that the LDL isn’t sticking anywhere that it shouldn’t be. I’ll let you know what happens in six months.
Those of us who are interested in diet and nutrition are more attuned to little changes in our bodies. That goes doubly for people who frequent sites on the internet like the BTD website. I like to think that if something was seriously wrong, I’d notice it early. I’ve noticed several changes since Thanksgiving and Christmas.
My cold sore came back. Because they are caused by a virus, once you get one, you have to watch out for reoccurrences for a couple of years until they run their course. I thought I had beat mine into total submission, but I had to fight it back again.
One day I bumped something with my hand and it hurt. The knuckle on my ring finger was tender. I thought I must have jammed it, but when the pain persisted for two weeks, I had to face reality that something was going on with my joint. Not good. This on top of my knee pain made me feel really old.
My hemorrhoid returned. I have had good results with home remedies for hemorrhoids, but this time nothing worked. I relented and got an OTC preparation. It contained cocoa butter, and caused an allergic reaction. That was terrible! I went to the doctor who prescribed a cream. I don’t like being on prescription medication, but I had to have relief, and the cream worked fast.
Worst of all I started having a pain in the middle of my chest. It was similar, but not identical to the GERD pains that I had before I went on the BTD. After six years had the BTD stopped working? One day it hit so hard when I was walking that I wondered if I was having a heart attack.
I started thinking, and trying to figure out what was going on. The cold sore was definitely stress related. I’ve been under plenty of stress since Thanksgiving, no doubt about that. I wrote a blog in 2006 about the “Life Change Events Study” that calculated how changes in life – whether good or bad – predisposed someone to illness. When I wrote the blog, my score was 190. I calculated my total again. Now it is 400. (Here is a link to the point list http://www.dadamo.com/B2blogs/blogs/blog1.php/earlier-blogs/suddenly-sick )
I started to look at the other problems. Adelle Davis calls arthritis “a disease of adrenal exhaustion.” The stress connection to joint pain is obvious. What about the hemorrhoid? I’m not constipated, and I’m not overweight, and I’m certainly not pregnant. Those are the three main causes. I thought about the cream that the doctor prescribed – it was a steroid cream - another connection to stress and adrenal fatigue. I read the BTD Encyclopedia anti-stress protocol and began to implement it. I also added extra B Vitamins.
That left the chest pain. I have been so careful about avoids – especially wheat and dairy. I did not want to believe my stomach inflammation had returned in spite of the BTD. I didn’t want to believe I was having heart problems either. I was getting scared.
Early one afternoon I realized that I hadn’t had any chest pain all morning. I had eaten the same thing for breakfast. I had followed my usual routine of working at the house and putting in job applications. I had eaten a big lunch. My mind was racing, looking for the key. As I cleaned up, I found my supplement box on the coffee table. My husband and I had enjoyed dinner and a movie the night before. Because I had neglected to return the box to the kitchen table, I had forgotten to take supplements that morning. I popped the whole handful in my mouth and swallowed them with a gulp of water. I could feel them all go down together, small tablets, capsules, and large tablets tumbling over each other until they hit the sphincter muscle between my esophagus and my stomach. There they stuck. I swallowed more water. I ate some dried fruit. The pain in my chest started. At that moment I knew, my heart was fine and the BTD was still working.
I realized that I had started taking glucosamine (a really big tablet) for my knee. In addition I took lysine for the cold sore, B Vitamins for the joints, rutin and bioflavanoids (another big tablet) for the hemorrhoid, plus bromelain for inflammation. I was taking more supplements than usual, and larger ones at that. Now when I take my supplements, I take them early in a meal one at a time. I eat a bite between pills. They don’t get stuck. They slide through just like they are supposed to.
I’m still stressed. I can’t change the circumstances in my life, but I can respond better now that I’m aware of what the combined stresses are doing in my body. I’m thankful that my awareness of problems when they were small will keep them from becoming big issues. Most of all I’m relieved to know that it’s just stress. I’ve got work to do, but I’m not scared.
March 26, 2004 I posted my very first blog. We had just come home from my husband’s father’s funeral. I wasn’t sure what people would think of me for blogging about food at a funeral. But the dilemma of how to follow the BTD when I’m in the home of friends or relatives was a big issue to me at the time.
I started the BTD in June 2003, so I hadn’t even been on the diet a year when I started blogging. You have watched me grow and struggle and figure out how to make this diet work in my family. One of the reasons I like blogging is that it keeps me accountable. I believe that if my blog is to be interesting, I have to be transparent. I don’t mind writing about my failures, but it’s so much more fun to write about success. I’ll admit that there have been moments when I have walked away from an avoid just so I didn’t have to fess up on the internet.
I enjoy getting comments and I write back when I can. When we were moving I got hopelessly behind, and some of the e-mails I received during that time never got answered. I especially enjoy knowing when I have encouraged someone. The most amusing comments assume that I know Dr. D’Adamo and have some influence over him. People seem to think that I can fix a perceived conflict in the books, or correct a problem with the website. Ok, here’s the truth. I have never met Dr. D. I have never even talked to him on the phone. We’ve e-mailed maybe 10 times in five years of blogging. Someday perhaps I will get to meet him. It would be fun to attend one of his conferences.
Sometimes I wonder if I will ever run out of things to blog about. Then I go to the dentist’s office and get an ear full about controversial fillings or I start to plan a menu for DD’s Type A roommate who is coming home with her. As long as everyday life is an adventure, blog topics are infinite.
Everything about my life, including the BTD and the blog, is interwoven with my Christian faith. Urging Christians to seek good health through the marvelous and unique way God created us is the motivation behind my blogging. I can remember 30 years ago when any interest in Health Food or nutrition was associated almost exclusively with the more liberal and free thinking elements of society. There was a time when people raised their eyebrows if I asked for brown rice or preservative free meat. That has changed a lot in recent years. Nutrition is much more mainstream. But I still find people at church to be suspicious of the health culture, and they really shy away when blood types are introduced into the conversation. I’m glad when something I say encourages anyone, but I’m particularly happy when I play a tiny part in opening cautious conservative eyes to the truth that God has given them tools to be more proactive in their health.
Personally, I don’t understand their fears. God, who created the world and all of the creatures in it, created our bodies. It seems logical to me that the closer I eat food to the way that He made it, the healthier I will be. The more I understand how my body works, the better prospect I have of an active and productive life. I want my mind alert so that I can study the Bible. I want to feel good so that I can serve others. I don’t want to waste money on medical care, and I don’t want to waste time in a doctor’s office. Of all the diets I have tried (and I tried a lot) the BTD has worked the best and the most consistently.
Two things about blogging give me a thrill. The first is when I get to encourage someone in the Christian Community to build their health. The second is when I can encourage someone in the Health Community to know Jesus Christ. The first five years have been fun, and I’m excited about the future.
I was at my Mom's over the weekend. The paperwork mountain is gradually being whittled away. I cooked for her on Sunday. We had steamed shrimp - a favorite for both of us. Alongside I fixed two vegetables that my husband does not like.
The first was yellow squash. Usually I fix it with onion, ghee, and salt. But Mom's blood pressure has been bouncing around a little. Sometimes high; sometimes low. We had already had Chinese take out, and I didn't want to over do the salt. So I was thinking beneficial no-salt seasoning, and curry came to mind. I cooked the onions until they were starting to get soft, then added sliced yellow squash and sprinkled curry powder over the top. Sorry I didn't measure. It was very good, and no salt was needed.
Mom loves greens, but my Dad didn't like them, so she got out of the habit of eating them. I picked up a bag of turnip greens from the freezer section at the grocery store. When she thinks of turnip greens, I know she thinks of cooking them in salt pork. I certainly didn't want to do that. I really wanted to make ginger greens (I blogged about that recipe a year or so ago), but I didn't have ginger juice. However, the store had a health food section, and I found dried ginger. I put half a bag of turnip greens in a sauce pan, swizzled some olive oil on top, and diced a handful of dried ginger. I cooked them on low heat so I wouldn't have to add water. The ginger flavor permeated the greens, and they were great. I should give DD credit for the idea. She told me she succesfully cooked carrots with dried ginger in the dorm microwave.
Two favorite vegetables, altered just a little because I was away from my own kitchen. Be bold! You can find new ways to fix old favorites.
When I was shopping in anticipation of Spring Break, the magazine rack at the check out stand was filled with pictures of the First Lady in an attractive red dress with her arm draped over the back of a White House sofa. I could not help but observe that she had nice muscle tone.
On the way home, I heard a news commentary on the radio gushing about the fashion statement the First Lady had made at the State of the Union address by daring to wear a sleeveless dress in February into the hallowed halls of Congress. The commentator spoke of an uproar in the fashion industry, and how companies were reworking their upcoming lines to show more bare arms.
While I was in that frame of mind, DD came in from college. Her first night home, she, her Dad and I took a power walk up and down the hills of our neighborhood. She and I walked with weights. She was showing me new triceps exercises that she has learned from the football players who work out in the gym at her school. It is certainly paying off for her. Her overall muscle tone is ideal – firm yet feminine. Even the fawning commentator, would have to admit that DD’s arms rank right up there with Mrs. Obama’s
Twice during her Spring Break we went to the little gym in our neighborhood and worked on our arm muscles. Then my strong son came home. He talked with me about strengthening my core, and how that would prevent osteoporosis. He showed me exercises to strengthen my lats and my rhomboids. SS reminded me that while a person may feel stronger and increase the amount of weight he or she can lift when they start a new exercise regimen, they do not actually start building new muscle tissue for six weeks. He emphasized that to strengthen my knee, my core, and my arms, I have to be committed to the exercises for the long haul.
The Hunter in me would much rather get out and run or ride my bicycle, than do repetitive weight work. DD and SS, each in their own ways, have forced me to recognize that I must commit myself to push through (what I consider to be) boring exercises if I want to see results. Ok, Ok I get the picture. It will take perseverance to get a strong spine, sturdy knees, and Obama Arms.
The word hydration conjures up two images in my mind. One is a scene from a favorite Disney movie – Lady and the Tramp. The first time the viewer meets the Tramp, he is waking up in a railroad yard. He stretches and enjoys a deliciously long drink of water, then lets the water roll over his whole body. The second is a scene from the TV show Gilmore Girls. Lorelai sleepily wanders into the kitchen and finds Luke by the refrigerator guzzling from a half gallon container of orange juice. “Don’t let me interrupt your hydration,” she says.
A modern proverb is “Eat like a king in the morning and like a pauper at night.” The meaning is that you will be healthier if you eat your large meal early in the day and eat lighter at night. But is the proverb true? In Live Right 4 your Type Dr. D’Adamo recommends that lifestyle for Type As, but is silent regarding Type Os.
I know a lot of Type Os, who advocate eating this way. I’ve read their posts on the Forum, and corresponded with them. They make a great case – and I’m not going to argue with their success. But I don’t feel good when I eat that way. I don’t wake up hungry. I wake up thirsty. If I start the day with a big breakfast (eggs, steak, vegetables), I am hungrier at lunch, and still hungrier at dinner.
DD has been taking a speech class, and one assignment was a persuasive speech. Because she is so focused on health, she chose persuading fellow students that they would be healthier if the went to bed earlier and got up earlier. She had been convicted that she needed to change her own sleep patterns based on Dr. D’s cautions about Type As and Circadian rhythm. Her research was fascinating (she made an A on the speech by the way).
One graphic was particularly interesting to me. I’d post it but it is copyrighted, so you will have to picture it in your mind. It was a circle divided into three parts. One third said “4 AM to Noon, Elimination, needs water”. The second third said “Noon to 8 PM, Appropriation, needs food.” The last third said “8 PM to 4 AM, Assimilation, needs rest.”
I saw myself in that graphic. I feel the best when I get up and drink a big glass of water. About an hour later, I eat a light breakfast of fruit and nuts and powdered protein (egg white or nutritional yeast). About 10:30 or 11:00 I may have a glass of green tea or some seltzer water with ginger juice. I am content.
Suddenly between Noon and 1:00 I am starving. Now I want meat protein and lots of it. I want 3 servings of vegetables – at least. Between 5:00 and 6:00 I am hungry again. But if I have eaten a big noon meal, I am satisfied with a salad and some fish or poultry.
I’ve been trying to follow this pattern, and I’ve felt really good. I didn’t know just how good until yesterday when it all got thrown off. My husband had taken the day off and we were doing some paperwork together in the morning. It should have taken an hour, then I had some errands to run. I should have been back by lunch time. But we found a problem with the papers, which led to a morning of stressful phone calls, which led to a late start on the errands, which of course took longer than expected. I didn’t have lunch until 3:00. By then my whole body rhythm was thrown off. I didn’t fully recover until this morning when I started afresh with a big glass of water.
If you are Type A, Dr. D suggests the King/Pauper schedule. If you are Type O and King/Pauper works for you – stay with it. But if you are Type O, and King/Pauper doesn’t quite fit, think about the Tramp. Hydrate in the morning. Be ready for a hearty lunch of beef and vegetables. Have your evening meal early – before 8 PM – and let it be light protein and light vegetables.
When I look at what Dr. D says about Type Os and Vitamin E, I see the explanation of the near disaster in both of my pregnancies. I am very much aware that anecdotal evidence is not proof in science or medicine. I can't prove my theory. I can only speculate what might have happened if the BTD had been written 25 years ago.
When I found out that I was pregnant with my first child I was thrilled and delighted. I was following the best Health Food plan that I knew of at the time, and I was committed to sticking to it without compromise for 9 months. Fortunately, I had come across a pregnancy diet that stressed high protein as a way to avoid for pre eclampsia. It would have been a disastrous diet for a Type A, but it was really good for me. Unfortunately I had read that Vitamin E was important for pregnant mothers. I bought 400 iu capsules, and was taking two a day.
When I was about 8 weeks along, HH and I went to see his parents. They were as thrilled about this pregnancy as we were. HH has two sisters, but he is their only son. The day after we arrived I began spotting. They took me to the doctor, and after an examination, he told me that I was having a miscarriage, and that all I could do was go home and wait. I lay in bed all weekend, committing myself and the life of that precious baby to God. I continued spotting and we drove back home. The spotting continued for a week or so and stopped. I went back to my own doctor and he could hear the baby's heart beat. The rest of the pregnancy was trouble-free, and SS had an easy and natural birth.
Being interested in all things natural, I planned to breast feed for a year. One of the vitamins recommended was Vitamin E. Everything was going well, except that I never stopped bleeding after childbirth. Vitamin E was again the recommended treatment, so I increased my dosage, I think I was taking two or three 800 iu capsules a day. Eventually I had to have a D&C to stop the bleeding.
When HH and I began to think about another baby, I reread all of the best material I could get my hands on. Nothing I read cast aspersions on Vitamin E. When I became pregnant, I increased my Vitamin E. I didn't want spotting like I had had before. I was careful about everything - I knew I was at risk because I was now 36 years old. I well remember the sinking feeling I had when the spotting started again. It lasted a couple of weeks. I lay on the sofa all day, trying to take care of a toddler, and trying to trust that God knew what he was doing. The spotting stopped, we celebrated hearing the baby's heartbeat, and the rest of the pregnancy was a joy.
I bled a lot during childbirth. Vitamin E was universally recommended, and I took it. My doctor was perturbed that I continued to bleed, but he was more patient this time. We waited 3 months, but eventually I had another D&C. I continued to have very heavy periods, and I continued to take Vitamin E. I never made a connection between the two.
SS was 18 when I first read the BTD. I immediately recognized the connection between my chronic stomach inflammation and the "natural" wheat and dairy products I poured into my Type O body. It has taken me much longer to realize that the BTD is also right about Vitamin E and Type Os. When he was in his 80s my Type O father began to bruise easily. A little bump would leave him with a huge red and purple mark on his arms and legs. He was taking Vitamin E to protect his heart. Because of Dr. D's recommendations, I convinced him to stop the Vitamin E and take bioflavonoids instead. The bruising went away within weeks, and he never had that problem again.
I am past the age where I can experiment with Vitamin E for pregnancy or periods. However, I do not knowingly take any supplemental Vitamin E. What I get from beneficial oils and nuts will have to be enough.
I see that this blog has been linked to a pregnancy website. Because of that I need to add that while Vitamin E is avoid for those with Blood Type O, it is beneficial for Blood Type A.
This is one of those cases where someone does a study and finds out that a food or a nutrient is helpful for a high percentage of people. They don't stop to think why their technique helps some and harms others. The answer often turns out to be related to Blood Type.
Type Os with their already thin blood are harmed by substances like Vitamin E that further thin blood. Type As with their thick blood are helped by it. While I do not take Vitamin E, I do give it to my Type A husband and daughter. DD tells me that Vitamin E lotion really helps her skin. Someday when DD marries and is pregnant, I will encourage her to take Vitamine E.
We are back from a wonderful weekend at the wedding of our oldest nephew. DD drove in from her West Texas university. Our Strong Son was a groomsman, so he flew in from Kentucky. He brought his girlfriend to meet the extended family. It was wonderful to see our nephew so happy, and wonderful for our family to all be together.
The Rehearsal Dinner was served family style at Maggianos. Even though this is an Italian restaurant there was plenty for a Type O to eat. Two types of salad were served for appetizers. Salmon with spinach, and Chicken Parmesan were among the entrees. I did enjoy every bite of a small slice of lasagna – Maggianos makes the best lasagna I’ve ever tasted. One of the dessert choices was grilled bananas. They were really delicious.
We were all up early the day of the wedding. We had to be at the church for pictures at noon. The wedding was at 2:00 and the reception was at 4:00. There was no time for lunch, and I knew that my blood sugar would be low and I would be grouchy if I didn’t have anything to eat between breakfast and the reception. I packed a bag of fruit slices and nuts. DD drank one of her protein shakes and I ate my snack while we waited for pictures. The reception was a buffet, with a salad bar, a fruit bar, and delicious roast beef. I stayed away from the pasta bar, but I did indulge in a piece of wedding cake in honor of the day.
I want to encourage you that it is possible to enjoy a social event and stay true to the Blood Type Diet. It is also ok on a special occasion to select a few favorite avoids and enjoy them. I never waste the limited number of avoids I intend to eat on boring food. I passed the bread basket without feeling any temptation. The bowls of chips and candy didn't interest me at all. I chose a few special treats, enjoyed them, and quickly returned to my usual way of eating. I'm writing this because DD is still very tentative about getting out of her BTD routine in a public situation. If you are the same way, I encourage you (as I encouraged her) to relax. Stay 100% compliant if it makes you feel safer. But enjoying an avoid on a special occasion will not cause harm (unless you are allergic, celiac, or fighting a disease). The thing you do not want to do is binge, then feel guilt for your gluttony.
Until this weekend this part of the family has showed no interest in the Blood Type Diet. Occasionally DD and I will get a funny look or a raised eyebrow, but there has been no curiosity and no questions. This time was different. A couple of people engaged me in conversation about what I ate and why. I enjoyed telling them about how well the BTD has worked for me.
When we got home there was an envelope from our family doctor. The lab results were in from my husband’s annual physical. His blood sugar had been creeping up for several years, and last year it was 106 – over the line and into the pre-diabetic range. The doctor gave him a year to get it down. My husband began to follow the BTD Diabetes book. He had a few set backs and a number of days when he was discouraged, but it was worth it. His blood sugar was 88. “This diet works,” he said smiling.
I have not forgotten my promised blog about Vitamin E. I’ll do it this week.
Every so often there is a news report about the dangers of taking vitamin or mineral supplements. Coming from a background in the branch of Health Foods that emphasized vitamins for both prevention and cure of diseases, these reports always make my Type O blood boil. Usually as I read the articles, I can spot the misinformation. Often it involves mega doses that are far beyond what any rational person would take. I’m always suspicious that drug companies, or others who have a vested interest in discouraging natural or preventive medicine, fund the studies.
Sometime last year, a report was released which showed that of the people involved in a particular study, those who took multiple vitamins had a higher mortality than those who did not. I bristled, knowing that some people would stop taking vitamins that their bodies needed because of the study. At the same time, I was at a loss to explain the results. Something happened last week this week that brought back a memory, and may have given me a bit of insight into what was going on behind the scene in the study.
When I was first learning about the Blood Type Diet, I was dumbfounded to read that Dr. D’Adamo considered Vitamins A and E as avoids for Type Os. I had never been a mega-vitamin person, but I had taken hefty doses of both for years. They were anti-oxidants. They were supposed to be good for all kinds of things. But Dr. D wrote,
“Since your blood type is prone to slower clotting, I would not recommend that Type Os take Vitamin A supplements without first checking with your doctor. These supplements can enhance blood thinning…Likewise, I would not recommend Vitamin E supplements for Type Os because they can complicate Type O tendencies toward slower blood clotting.”
I stopped taking extra A and E, though I did continue to take a multiple vitamin.
This week I got a flyer in the mail advertising a new multiple. As I read it, I noticed that it didn’t have any Vitamin E. I went to the pantry to look at the label on my multiple. I had assumed it was about 30 IU, at least that what I remembered from the last time I checked. It was 200 IU! Good grief, that was a lot more Vitamin E than I wanted to be taking. I looked again, and the advertised multiple had half the Vitamin A than what was in the multiple I was taking. How??? I asked myself did I not notice this? Did they change the formula and I never saw a “new and improved” sticker?
It gets worse. I have started taking CoEnzyme Q10. Dr. D recommends it for all Blood Types for cancer prevention, intracellular energy, and heart failure. I had been buying a particular brand, but as I got ready to order this week, I noticed another bottle by the same company that was less expensive. I compared the two. There was the same amount of CoEnzyme Q10 in each of them, but the more expensive one that I had been buying contained 100 IU of Vitamin E.
I began to think about multiple vitamin advertisements I’ve seen lately in magazines and on TV. They really stress antioxidants. They talk about being formulated for heart health. I guess they have all increased their Vitamin A and E, because it’s the faddish thing to do.
So here I am, fairly knowledgeable about nutrition and vitamins. I know that Vitamin E is avoid for Type O, and I stopped taking it years ago. I think I am getting a token amount in my multiple. Instead I find that I’m taking 300 IU a day and the RDA is only 22 IU. I suddenly have some insight into why the study showed that people who take multiple vitamins have a higher mortality.
That brought back a vivid Vitamin E memory. But this blog is already too long. I’ll share the memory next time.
It’s possible to get too many of the wrong vitamins, but you can never get enough of the Word of God. This from Proverbs 4: Pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight. Keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.
Warning: if you are a BTD purist, you may not like this blog. However, if you are still struggling between following the BTD and enjoying old favorite foods, this might work for you.
My Honorable Husband is one of those who wants to be healthy, and wants to follow the BTD, but isn’t quite ready to make the break with foods he’s enjoyed all his life. Sometimes I try to make beneficial foods more enticing. Sometimes I try to make avoids more beneficial. I’m always nudging him toward greater compliance.
He tends to be a starch-a-tarian, and he loves Alfredo sauce. In a restaurant, if HH finds noodles with vegetables and chicken tossed in Alfredo sauce on the menu, he considers that to be an ideal BTD meal. DD, much more the purist, rolls her eyes.
When I began to prepare dinner tonight, I was facing a container of tofu that was about to go bad. HH denies liking tofu. But if I make a salad and put an equal number of chunks of tofu and soy cheese, he happily gobbles them both up. But tonight I had more tofu than I could hide in a salad, and I hate to let something good go to waste.
Then I had an idea. I had already started cooking ground turkey. I opened a jar of Alfredo sauce and put the tofu and an equal amount of Alfredo sauce in the food processor. I mixed them together and they were delightfully creamy.
He ate a large salad with a lot of beneficial vegetables and a bowl of noodles topped with ground turkey and 50/50 Alfredo/tofu sauce. He enjoyed his dinner, and complimented me on the sauce.
You decide. Is 50/50 sauce a compromise of principal? Or is it a clever way to get someone to enjoy an extra beneficial that they might otherwise have turned down? Not everyone will answer the same way. And that’s ok, because, after all, the Blood Type Diet is the one diet that recognizes the biochemical uniqueness of each individual.
DD has gone back to her university full of hope and enthusiasm. She has had several bits of really good news, and she said, “Mom, you need to blog about this.” I thought about several Type As who have written on the Forum that they wish they could gain weight. I thought about several others who deal with thyroid problems. I said, “DD, why don’t you write about it from your perspective. Your experience could be an encouragement to someone.” So today’s blog is from my Darling Daughter.
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As Marvelous Mom has blogged, I have been struggling with gaining back weight. My “Daring Experiment,” seems to be working, and I am getting close to what my weight was a year ago. I have two more pounds to gain. Then, I can level off for a while and see if my hormones will start up again. My new diet was very easy to stay on while at home for Christmas break. I was slightly worried about going to back to school though. I brought a blender back with me to make my tasty soy shakes.
The second day I was back at school, I suddenly dropped two pounds. It scared me. I began to think that the weight gain had been a fluke and that my experiment had failed. I continued to plunge ahead with the plan—eating mini-meals every 2-3 hours and emphasizing egg white protein and vegetable proteins like nuts, nut butters, and soy.
I get fresh veggies from the University dining hall every day. They have an excellent salad bar that is quite accommodating for my new eating habits. My fellow students do not think that I am eating enough—since they just see me eating fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch, and a nut butter soy shake for dinner. However, they just do not understand that I am literally eating ALL day long. I am sure that my roommate finds it strange that I drink a shake for dinner (she is much too sweet to say anything though).
The next day, after my scare, my weight was up a little, and the day after that, I was back to where I had been when I left home. My morning temperature has been in the low 98s three of the last five days, which is a huge improvement. Then I got the best news - the doctor’s office called Friday to say that my latest lab report showed my thyroid is within the normal range. I was so excited. I had a lump of happiness swell up in my throat. I immediately e-mailed my Sunday School teacher and told her of all the AMAZING and unexpected blessings that God had showered down upon me. Who would have thought that having my wisdom teeth extracted would lead to weight gain, which led to a diet breakthrough, which led to my thyroid going back to normal?!?!?!
As much as I have learned this past year about my physical, as well as spiritual, weaknesses and strengths, I ought not be worried about my weight gain. I know with all of my heart that God is going to take care of me. He has said so in so many ways—especially through this new diet.
I found this verse in my daily Bible study: Deuteronomy 8:3
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Prior to Christmas break, I was eating meat in an attempt to gain weight. I have never liked the way a whole serving of meat makes me feel. Forcing myself to eat 3 ounces of meat was very stressful, and I looked for any excuse to cut back. I knew I could gain weight by eating more bread and grains, but that's how I ended up with an unattractive kind of fat. While I can admit that I lost too much weight, if I have to gain it back, I want to gain muscle, not lumpy fat.
It was not until I came before the Lord desperate for His answer to my problem, that I finally began to see that I needed soy, egg white, and vegetable protein to gain healthy weight, nourish my thyroid, and feel better all the way around.
Paul, one of the Hall of Fame Bloggers, first introduced me to the concept of “Thinking like an A.” He helped me realize that the way to be happy on the Blood Type Diet is not to look for substitutes for avoid foods, but to embrace the way I am made and relish the foods that build health. He got me “Thinking like an O” and constantly reminded me that my Type A husband and daughter were made differently. I thought I had learned the lesson well, but DD is carrying me to the next level.
DD and I had the same fear about getting her wisdom teeth out – the fear that she would lose more weight. Since the day that she got the lab report about her thyroid not functioning correctly, she has been committed to gaining weight. We worked closely together, planning beneficial meals based on the portions outlined on the BTD and the GTD. There were areas of conflict. We would look at a portion of meat or fish and see 2-5 ounces. She pushed for 2; I pushed for 4; we compromised on 3 – neither of us happy. The same was true of grain portions. However, I never had to urge her to eat nuts or fruit or salad. She was adamant that she would not eat high sugar foods, high fat foods, or other avoids in order to gain weight. In two months she had painfully put on two pounds. We were both terrified that she would lose that much and more by being on a liquid diet for several days.
I fixed protein shakes every two hours – fruit juice with egg white protein, soy milk with Spirutein, soy milk with egg white protein and peanut butter. We added lecithin to everything. I juiced carrots, beets, celery, and other vegetables. What we thought would be a few days on a liquid diet stretched to almost two weeks. Amazingly, she did not lose weight. She began to gain. We decided it was because she was not exercising. Just walking through the house made her stitches throb, so going to the gym or jogging was out of the question.
Gradually she added soft foods, and gradually she began to walk for exercise. Still she gained weight. She began to add little bits of salmon and chopped turkey to soft vegetables. After a good report from the surgeon, I pushed her to up her meat intake to 3 ounces again. Within days she lost 2 ½ pounds. Perhaps it was just a fluke, we hoped, but her weight stayed down. We were both devastated.
On January 2 she called me at my Mom’s house and said. “Check your e-mail. I want to try a daring experiment.” She had gotten up early to do her Bible study; then she began praying and rereading everything she could about the Type A Diet. She wrote, “Could it be that as an A, upping my meat and grain portions aren't going to help me gain weight, because they are not the best for my body. Could it be that if I started adding in more soy, nut, fruit, bean, and veggie servings instead of the meat and bread that I might gain?" She went on to quote line after line from Live Right that supported her hypothesis.
As I read, it just had the ring of truth. I called her back, and said, “Do you have a plan for the day?” She did, and I said, “Go for it.” The next morning she had gained a half pound. She has now regained everything she lost after Christmas, plus another half pound.
She has lost the gassy, bloated feeling in her stomach that had bothered her since she had increased her meat portions. She is enjoying her food. I actually caught her licking the knife the other day after she made a peanut butter sandwich. “This does not look like a girl with an eating disorder,” I said. She laughed at me.
She has a long way to go to get her hormones back to normal, but somehow I feel she is on the right track. I have a lot to sort out about understanding a daughter who really is “thinking like an A.”
We are back at home after what our Strong Son calls the “Christmas Tour de Texas”. We spent six days visiting family and friends from one end of the state to the other. There were new traditions to add excitement, old traditions to add constancy, and favorite traditions that were left on the shelf this year out of practicality.
I didn’t decorate our house very much. Between taking care of DD and helping my Mom with paperwork, there just wasn’t time. I put up the tree and the lights, but no ornaments. I hung the wreath on the porch and got out one nativity scene. It wasn’t grand, but it was pretty. I didn’t do any Christmas baking. DD was on a liquid diet for days. I cooked very simple, beneficial meals for my husband and me. After SS got home Friday night I cooked a little more, fixing some of his favorite dishes. It wasn’t fancy, but it was healthy.
We left Sunday for a Memorial Service for my Dad that included all four of his grandchildren. Then we spent a few days with my Mom, leaving after Christmas Eve lunch. We crossed the state to spend Christmas Eve evening and Christmas Day with HH’s family. We returned home Friday night.
Everywhere we went there was plenty of beneficial food. Usually on a holiday trip, there are lots of temptations. Often there are many meals where beneficials are absent and neutrals are scarce. This was not one of those trips. I ate heartily at every meal. Yet I weighed precisely the same when I returned home as I did when I left.
DD’s mouth began to improve on Monday. By Christmas Day she could talk and smile without pain. We began to walk for exercise, which felt good physically and emotionally. Tonight she is back at work, taking two protein shakes and containers of applesauce and pumpkin in her bag. I will fix fresh carrot/celery/watermelon juice when she gets off.
We didn’t get to drive around looking at neighborhood Christmas lights this year. But we did go to a synchronized light show, where they played Christmas carols. As the music played, lights in the Christmas trees flashed on and off to the beat of the music. It was fabulous.
Of course we missed my Dad. But we did not “sorrow as others who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14. The baby in the manger was sent to teach us about God and bear the burden of our sin. Because of Christmas, we have the promise that we will see my Dad again.
Studies show that people under stress are statistically likely to get sick. The day after I got home from the funeral, I got a scratchy throat. I looked in the BTD encyclopedia. Dr. D recommends astragalus, l-glutamine, and kutki as antiviral remedies. I didn’t have any kutki, but I started attacking the sore throat with the other two immediately. I also began taking Coldeze. The Encyclopedia recommends zinc for non-secretors, and I’m a secretor. However I seem to have had good results with Coldeze in the past, and I figured it couldn’t hurt.
I am moving through every stage of a typical cold virus. But it is very mild. Just a scratchy throat, not one that is burning sore. Just sniffles, not heavy congestion. Just a dry cough that responds to menthol, not a deep cough that takes codeine to get relief. Nothing stops a virus, but I’m glad that the Type O protocols are keeping it from raging out of control. Perhaps I need this cold to slow me down a little. Otherwise I might be frantically trying to make up for time missed shopping and decorating.
DD had her wisdom teeth out on Monday. Her mouth is so small, that they had a hard time getting them out. She was is a lot more pain than she expected on Monday. Today she doesn’t hurt as much, but she is really swollen. She’s sleeping a lot. I tease her that her first semester grades were so good, and I hope she doesn’t slack off now that her “wisdom” has been removed!
DD is at a Christmas Cookie party tonight. She called this morning while I was in the hall waiting for the nurses to finish a procedure on my Dad. She didn't know what to do. She wanted to go to visit with her friends from church. But she didn't want to be pressured to eat cookies.
I told her that part of her recovery from the compulsive exercise/eating mode she has been in will be learning how to be polite, be social, and be healthy all at the same time. The Blood Type/GenoType diet is the only diet I know that seeks to build overall health for the long term, but it is quirky compared to what is "normal in our culture".
In a social situation, you have to determine what compromises you can make and where you draw the line. No amount of social pressure will cause me to drink alcoholic beverages. Almost all of them are avoid for me. In addition I have religious and genetic reasons to abstain. I will not eat brownies, because I have a history of allergic reactions to chocolate. But if I was at a cookie party, I would scout the table for the best options - maybe a fruit cake that was mostly nuts and fruit or a rice krispie cookie. Perhaps if I saw an old favorite like a crème puff I would take one and eat it very slowly.
I told DD it was important that she not let either the BTD or her fears about her weight drive her into seclusion. She decided to go and enjoy herself, but not eat cookies.
Then, because the nurses were taking longer than expected, I got philosophical. I remember reading in a CS Lewis book - one of the Space Trilogy books if I remember right - that God creates some experiences to be rare, special and exciting - but not to be every day events. You can apply that statement to lots of things, but I apply it to food.
Sugar and honey are perfect examples. God created them, and they are good. But they are meant to be eaten in small amounts on occasion, not gulped down by the quart full every day. If you eat sugar cane, the way God made it, you would never have a problem with weight or diabetes. It's when it is refined that it becomes detrimental to health.
Macadamia nuts are another example. They are beneficial for me, and they are delicious. But they are too expensive to make into nut butter and eat with carrot sticks. They need to be relished a few at a time on special occasions.
What we have done in our culture is take the exceptional foods that should be rare and over eat them. Sodas, fried chips, cake, cookies, ice cream, crackers, and candy have become daily necessities. At the same time, the staple beneficial foods like vegetables, which ought to be eaten daily, have become snubbed by the culture and eaten rarely.
We have taken food the way that God planned it and perverted it. Thus we have cookie parties, but never veggie parties. "If I had an apartment," said DD, dropping a hint, "I'd have a veggie party." I laughed, because I think she would. And with her creativity, I think people would have fun.
DD decided that she and I should cook Thanksgiving dinner for my parents this year. A big production holiday dinner has become more than my Mom wants to do, since so much of her energy is spent taking good care of my Dad. Last year they bought a catered meal. It was good, but it wasn’t the same foods that we traditionally have. As DD makes progress toward health, she wanted to see if we could fix the traditional foods with mostly beneficial ingredients.
She got home Tuesday night, and we cooked all day Wednesday while my husband was at work. We were in new territory, adjusting family recipes to be in line with the BTD. My husband’s mom had taught me that rather than buying a self basting turkey with hydrogenated fat injected under the skin, I could make my a turkey juicy by filling the cavity with apples and onions. This year, at the suggestion of a friend, I added slices of lime to the apples and onions. The flavor was delicious – just a tiny hint of citrus. I did stuff the cavity pretty tight, so the turkey took longer than expected to cook. DD and I laughed and said that if we had been expecting company at 6:00 we would have been in trouble! But since we were cooking a day in advance, it didn’t matter.
Dressing was the biggest hurdle. We all love traditional dressing. I’ve blogged in past years about making it with corn bread and rye bread or cornbread and spelt biscuits. DD was adamant that we not use cornbread this year. After much discussion we decided to use flax seed bread and spelt biscuits. Except for that, we followed our traditional recipe. We didn’t tell anyone what it was. HH asked why it was darker than usual. We said it was made with whole grains. He said it was the best dressing he had ever eaten. Truly it was delicious. The spelt biscuits gave it the right texture. The flax seed bread gave it the right flavor.
We made cranberries using the cranberry part of Jayne's cranberry crunch recipe. The flavor is the best!
DD was for leaving out the sweet potatoes, but I knew my Mom & Dad would miss them. My Mom’s recipe calls for canned sweet potatoes mashed with milk, spices and orange juice. She tops it with marshmallows. This year I made it with the same spices, but with freshly baked sweet potatoes. I substituted pineapple juice for the milk and orange juice. It was not only good; I think it was better.
DD wanted pumpkin pie with no avoids. She decided we could make a pat in crust with ground walnuts. The first day, the walnuts were crunchy and had the appearance of a crust. By Saturday, the juices from the pie had mingled with the walnuts, so it was more like a pudding than a pie. It still tasted great, but the texture was best the first day. We used 100% pure canned pumpkin, and started with the recipe on the can. We substituted honey for the sugar, added ginger juice, and left out the milk. DD and I loved it. We are glad that there is one more piece for each of us tomorrow. The rest of the family liked it, but preferred my Mom’s pecan pie.
We rounded out the meal with broccoli and spiced peaches. My mom provided rolls and a relish tray. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. At church the Sunday before Thanksgiving we sang a chorus that sums up the season for me.
For all that you’ve done, I will thank you.
For all that you’re going to do.
For all that you’ve promised, and all that you are
Is all that has carried me through.
Jesus I thank you.
Thank you for loving and setting me free
Thank you for giving your life just for me.
How I thank you. Gratefully thank you.
Thank you, thank you, Lord.