Category: Earlier Blogs
A lot of good, helpful, and productive ideas get linked to the Blood Type Diet on the Forum, but so do a few over blown and superfluous ideas. Not to mention ideas that are unproven or unaffordable.
Each person who writes brings their own background to the BTD. Because I am healthy, I don't have to take an occasional avoid nearly as seriously as someone battling chronic disease. On the other hand because of my health food background, I probably take more supplements than are really necessary.
Once in a while I read something on the website and inside I think "Oh my! What would someone brand new, trying to get a sense of what the BTD is about, think about that?" And sometimes my answer is that they would be turned off.
I read something this morning that got me started thinking in that vein, and I began to ponder what are the essential elements to the BTD?
Organic is not an essential. Some followers are 100% organic, some or not. I probably buy 25% organic, but organic is not a must for the BTD.
Grass fed/wild caught are not critical to the BTD. I have never bought grass fed meat. I buy hormone free meat and wild caught fish when it is affordable. But my family often eats commercially raised meats.
Fresh tastes better - no question about that. But fresh locally grown produce is not a must. In fact there are studies that show a higher nutrient content to foods that are frozen or canned immediately after they are harvested than produce that spends a lot of time in transport, on shelves, or in the refrigerator before it is eaten. When I shop I visit the produce department first. I keep a freezer and pantry full of beneficial fruits and vegetables to make our menus more balanced and more interesting.
You can freely eat either raw or cooked food on the BTD. There are lots of helpful things you can do nutritionally that may fine tune the BTD for you. Many on the BTD promote a variety of cleanses. There are supplements that may help you overcome deficiencies or disease. But none of those things are required.
The two things that define the Blood Type Diet for me are the food lists and exercise. The BTD is about making an effort to eat more beneficials and fewer avoids. It is also about exercising in a way that is beneficial for your type. If you consistently do those two things, you will see multiple health benefits.
I needed the radio to keep me company on the long drive home from my parents' house. As I scanned channels I found a talk show hosted by a dentist. He gave a fascinating talk about the healing effects of certain herbs. Because I was driving alone, I couldn't take notes, but I wrote down his name. This morning I called his office to ask if the information was posted. His assistant told me that it was in the current issue of Family Circle magazine. Here are a few of the interesting things he talked about.
Cinnamon lowers cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar. Sprinkle it on cereal, bake in breads, or add it to meat loaf.
Fennel, a licorice-flavored spice, prevents gas, heartburn and upset stomach Chew Â½ teaspoon of the seeds after a meal or make a tea .
Ginger may be good for your joints as well as your stomach. In a UCLA study patients had less knee pain with a ginger supplement than those who took a placebo. Researchers said that ginger had almost as much benefit as arthritis prescription drugs. Ginger can be added to soups, salads, veggies and entrÃ©es.
Oregano may be protective against breast and ovarian cancers, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington D.C. In addition, oregano has antibiotic and antifungal properties. One study showed that oregano oil was as effective as antibiotics in treating staph infections in mice, without danger of developing resistance. Oregano can be added to spaghetti sauce, poultry, fish and veggies such as mushrooms and green beans.
Rosemary could help fight cataracts, and is a rich source of carnosol, a compound with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. (Specifically against skin and lung cancers) Add to fruit salads, soups, lamb and fish.
Sage may boost your memory. It is tasty on fish or in salads.
Thyme acts as an expectorant by loosening phlegm. Its lemony flavor is a good addition to salads, soups, sandwiches, meat, fish or poultry.
The article answered a recipe substitution question that I had wondered about for years: Which is better dried or fresh? One food scientist said that you get more antioxidant value from the dried version (except for garlic) because the dried version is more concentrated. If a recipe calls for fresh herbs and you want to use dried, cut the amount in half.
To read the full article, which includes warnings for using too much of certain herbs, go to: http://www.familycircle.com/home/homepage.jsp
I'm going to add rosemary to tonight's lamb and ginger to tonight's carrots.
My Dad is better. He cannot stand or walk yet, but I got him a pillow that lets him sit at an angle in the bed. Now he can feed himself, write letters, and read. His quality of life took a quantum leap forward. The doctor gave him hope of a full recovery, but it will take time to heal.
When I went shopping for the pillow, I also went shopping for myself. I have not been able to find a summer dress that I like at home. I was hoping that the stores where my parents live would offer a wider selection.
Today's dresses are shapeless. They are straight up and down - no waist, no curves. Last year dresses didn't have shape either, but they had a tailored look with short jackets, so they were relatively flattering on a tall woman. This year the dresses are made of filmy floral fabric. I look like I am wearing a potato sack made of voile with a ruffle at the bottom. I must have tried on a dozen dresses and didn't find one that didn't look ridiculous.
There are shapely dresses for young girls - thin straps, low cut, decidedly curvy. However they would also look ridiculous on a woman my age. Many of my friends have abandoned dresses and are wearing pant suits. They are much too warm for me to wear in the summer. The worst part is knowing that after two years on the BTD I am in the best shape of my life and I can't find a dress that is attractive.
I suppose I will wear my old dresses one more year. The pre-BTD dresses are a bit baggy, but I can take them up. Fortunately styles change. When dresses with waists come back in style, I will go on a major shopping spree.
My Dad fell a few days ago, and has not been able to sit or stand. Yesterday I traveled to their house and we spent today in the Emergency Room getting x-rays. Fortunately he has no broken bones. The doctor says he has a severely strained back and prescribed pain medication and further bed rest. My Dad says he is not going to get the prescription filled, but is going to give his body time to heal. We may need to revisit that decision tomorrow, but tonight I am just thankful that he is at home in his own bed tonight, rather than in a hospital bed awaiting surgery.
When they took him for the first round of x-rays, I went to find something for my Mom and me to eat. There were lots of vending machines filled with wheat and sugar. I found my way to the cafeteria. It was set up like a food court.
I first went to the plate lunch kiosk. All the vegetables were mixed with avoids: English peas & mushrooms, broccoli & cauliflower, acorn squash & sugary syrup. All of the meats had gravy on them. My Mom wanted a sandwich, so I stood in line at the Deli. Roast beef was on the menu, so was ham salad. I thought I would get my Mom a roast beef sandwich and substitute roast beef for the ham in the salad for me. They were out of roast beef - all they had was corned beef. I got my Mom a turkey sandwich. Next I tried the salad bar. They sell salad for 29 cents an ounce. You put as much salad on your plate as you want and they weigh it at the check out line. I got some salad with olive oil, but I needed protein! In desperation I tried "The Grill" and got a hamburger patty. If they charged me full price, I was ripped off, but by then I didn't want to know. I just wanted to get back to Emergency with food for my Mom.
I know they make lots of jokes about hospital food. Here was a hospital that was trying to make people happy. They were borrowing the popular ideas from shopping malls and college campuses. There were lots of choices. The arrangement was attractive. But it was nearly impossible to get a Blood Type meal.
It is a curious thing how different people prefer their vegetables raw or cooked. In my own family, there is quite a divergence of opinion. My daughter likes all vegetables raw. She is adamant about it, refusing to eat cooked broccoli or carrots. I on the other hand prefer cooked vegetables. I can hardly swallow raw onions or broccoli. There are a few exceptions - I would rather have raw carrots and raw kohlrabi.
Tonight I asked my husband and as he listed vegetables he surprised himself. He would rather have everything raw except broccoli. And even broccoli he is willing to eat raw. My son is easy to please. He will go either way on all vegetables except two - he prefers cooked onions and raw celery.
This is on my mind tonight because I tried a new recipe for escarole cooked with beans. The person who posted the recipe was very enthusiastic about it. The ingredients were beneficial and sounded delicious. I bought and washed the escarole earlier in the week and added it raw to our salads one night. Everyone liked it.
Then I tried the recipe. It was good - but the four of us liked raw escarole better. It reminded me of the time I blogged about cooking fava beans. Someone wrote to me saying, "I would never cook fava beans. My family loves them raw." I have been on the lookout ever since for fresh fava beans, but have never seen them in my stores.
The point of this blog is - if you try a new vegetable and don't like it; don't give up! Try it a different way. If you don't like kohlrabi as kohl slaw, try cooking it in the oven with your meat. If you don't like cooked greens, tear them up and add them to a salad.
Hmmmâ€¦will I take my own advice and give turnips another try?
I vividly remember this day two years ago. I had been in the hospital earlier in the week for an upper GI to find the cause of indigestion that the usual medications could not stop. The specialist had assured me that the scope would show either that I had a hiatal hernia or that my sphincter muscle was too loose. Afterwards she told me that I didn't have a hiatal hernia and that if anything my sphincter muscle was tighter than normal. She had taken a sample of tissue from my inflamed stomach, and she assured me that when the lab report came back it would show the bacteria that causes ulcers. Then she would put me on antibiotics and I would be fine.
Today two years ago her office called. There was no bacteria. All the tests were normal. "Then why," I asked, "is my stomach inflamed and why am I in pain?" "Diet and stress," she replied.
I stormed around the house. I ate a healthier diet than anyone I knew (lots of whole grains of course). I was busy, but not upset or frustrated. The only stress I had was daily indigestion. I complained loudly to God. This just wasn't fair. Eventually I stopped storming and complaining. I listened, and God spoke quietly to my heart - "Maybe you've missed something."
I got in the car and drove to my favorite health food store. The owner was gone, so I began flipping through the indexes of the books she had for sale. I picked up Eat Right 4 Your Type and saw myself. I went on the diet cold turkey at that moment. My family thought it was wacky, but it worked. In a week I was off of all stomach medication.
I just read my June 13 blog from last year. I wrote about all the changes that I experienced in my first year on the BTD. There haven't been as many changes this year. I weigh 2-3 pounds more than I did a year ago. But I measured myself over the weekend and my measurements are exactly the same as they were this time last year. Clearly I have converted fat to muscle.
The first year I was on the BTD I was hesitant to buy new clothes. I was happy I had unexpectedly lost weight, but I wasn't convinced it would stay off. My clothes were pretty baggy this time last year. Last summer I began replacing my old clothes with new ones two sizes smaller. I'm now confident I won't go backwards, and my wardrobe is stylish again.
Indigestion is completely a thing of the past. My allergies are much better than they were a year ago. This time last year I took an occasional antihistamine - I can't remember the last time I had to take one. I had a very stubborn virus last winter that turned into a secondary infection. That was disappointing - but the good news was that I didn't have a single cold all winter.
I can think of three things I would like to work on in year number three. 1) I would like to build enough muscle to cover my bony shoulders and neck. 2) Though my legs are a lot firmer, there is still room for improvement. 3) I want to find more recipes that are healthy and tasty for both Os and As.
Vanity is not a desirable character trait. The Bible contains 79 references to vanity, and none of them are complimentary. However, once in a while a little bit of vanity can bring about good results. My vanity in my college years protected me from a life of dieting.
My parents sent me off for my freshman year with money in my checking account that they thought was adequate for my needs. I heard so many jokes that year about students writing home, "please send money" that I was determined to live within my funds and not write that letter.
My eating habits at the time were terrible. I ate meat, potatoes, bread and dessert. I ate a little fruit and almost no vegetables. By my freshman year I was as tall as I was going to get. Couple that with unlimited bread and dessert in the dining hall, and I began to put on weight. By the spring all of my clothes were too tight.
I couldn't buy new clothes without writing that dreaded letter asking for money. So I decided I had to lose weight. I bought a calorie counting book and forced myself to eat vegetables. I didn't have to lose much - probably just 5 pounds - to get back in my clothes.
This is what I tell my daughter about dieting. If you don't put on extra pounds by bad eating habits, you don't ever have to take them off.
In the 30 years since I graduated from college, there have been a few critical times when I overate because I was angry or upset. I ignored everything I had learned about nutrition, and began to gain weight. During one of those times I reached a day when I realized I could only fit into one pair of my pants.
Vanity kicked in again. I had my own money now, and I could have bought new clothes. But I didn't want to let the frustrations beat me. I knew that if I bought new clothes, I would never go back to the old ones. I fought back. I wore that one pair of pants until I could get back into the rest of my clothes. Again, I didn't have a lot to lose - just 5 pounds.
This is what I tell my daughter about dieting. You may reach for comfort food when you are upset. Once in a while won't hurt you (especially if you reach for beneficial comfort food). But don't stay upset for so long that you put on weight that later you will want to take off.
I was looking something up in Live Right for Your Type the other day and found that Dr. D'Adamo says essentially the same thing.
"Once you are overweight, it becomes even more difficult to restore a normal balance. Your metabolic hardwiring has changed." and "If you try to lose weight by restricting calories, you'll lose muscle tissueâ€¦low calorie dieting for more than 10 - 14 days is detrimental to your overall body composition."
If you are dealing with weight issues, I don't mean for this blog to give you pain. I would suggest you read again the chapter on metabolic synchrony in LR4YT. There is some really good information there that all of us need to review from time to time.
I tell my daughter these things because for her the answer can be simple. If she doesn't put on unwanted pounds, she will never have to take them off.
It seems as if everyone's schedule has been different this week. The nights when we were all home together, we were watching a movie or a basketball game. Tonight, however, we had a relaxed meal, with all of us around the kitchen table.
The food was simple: cod seasoned with Cajun salt, rice pilaf, Kohl slaw, Italian zucchini, and spelt-rye bread.
The zucchini was a spur of the moment concoction. It had its roots in my quest to prepare food so that it tastes good to my husband. I put a little more than a Tablespoon of butter in a skillet and made it into ghee. I added a little water, sliced zucchini, Â¼ - Â½ tsp garlic powder and several generous shakes of Italian seasoning (a blend of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sate, oregano and basil). I covered the skillet and let it cook until the zucchini was just starting to get soft.
My daughter doesn't eat cooked vegetables, so she didn't try it. The rest of us - including my husband - thought it was very tasty. I am encouraged that if I get the right amount of seasoning he does enjoy food that is good for him.
Brigit's recent posts on the Forum reminded me a lot of my husband. They are both As. They both feel better when they follow the Blood Type Diet, but they quickly tire of the same foods over and over. Beneficial food that they enjoyed a year ago, suddenly tastes flat and boring. They both express similar discouragement and frustration.
I rotate my husband's food a lot more than I do my own. And I'm learning that I must increase the amount of seasoning in order for food to taste good to him. I let a few more avoids slip into his diet. Since he has willingly given up fried potatoes and red meat, I am willing to let him enjoy an occasional tomato or green pepper.
I had an exciting dinner planned for tonight, but both of the kids were invited out to basketball watching parties. It was after 8:00 when I got home from swimming laps, so I decided to postpone my plans and fix something simple for my husband and myself.
I had eaten carrots and almond butter before I swam, so I didn't need a huge meal. I had a hamburger patty and steamed broccoli dipped in olive oil.
My husband wanted soup and salad. He likes several soups that I buy at the health food store: lentil, mushroom, and French onion to name three. But his favorite soups are broccoli & cheese and clam chowder by Campbell's. Both, of course, are filled with avoids.
I try to bump my husband in the direction of the BTD, without forcing him to be as compliant as I am. When he wants one of the Campbell's soups, I make them with soy milk. The first time I did it I held my breath, wondering if he would notice the difference. He didn't. Now I always make cream soups with soy milk.
It's just a little thing - but it adds some beneficials to what could have been a mostly avoid meal.
Jayne's Cranberry Crunch is one of my son's favorite breakfasts. This morning was the first test in his summer school class, so made it ahead of time. I didn't have time to prepare cranberries last night, so I used pineapple and cherries as the fruit filling. I also wanted to boost the protein a little.
I was doubling the recipe, so normally I would have used 2 cups of rice flour. Instead I used 1Â½ cups of rice flour and Â½ cup of rice protein. Everyone liked it, and it didn't seem to change the taste, so I think I will continue using the higher protein version.
If you missed the original blog with Jayne's recipe, here it is:
Chili is a meal the whole family used to enjoy. Now with the Os avoiding pinto beans and the As avoiding beef and peppers, it's been a long time since we had chili.
Northern beans were listed as neutral for both As and Os. I hadn't served them since there are so many beneficial beans for As. However northern beans are now listed as diabetes super-beneficial. I find the terminology confusing, but if they are super-beneficial for diabetics, they must be better than neutral for non-diabetics, so I decided to give them a try.
I found canned northern beans at the grocery store. On the back of the can was a recipe for white chili. With a little adjusting the recipe would work for both As and Os. It was really too warm a day for chili, but I didn't want to wait until fall, so we had chili for dinner tonight. It was very tasty and everyone liked it. Here is the recipe with my alterations.
6 chicken breasts (cubed)
1 can chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 cans northern beans
Oat flour to thicken (I used 6 - 8 Tbsp.)
Put the chicken, broth, cumin, onion, and celery in a pot and simmer until chicken is cooked and vegetables are soft. Add the beans and oat flour. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes to blend the flavors.
I had four items on my agenda today: to finish graduation picture orders, to get started on some repairs at the house, to get to the grocery store, and to start reading about osteoporosis. The first two have nothing to do with the BTD, but I'll touch briefly on the last two.
The store was full of summer fruit and vegetables. I bought ingredients for two recipes that I will try later this week. Mangos, nectarines, and cherries have all dropped in price. My daughter was excited about the nectarines, and my son was excited about the mangos. I bought collard greens and cooked them this afternoon. They were good for dinner with olive oil and Mexican seasoned salt.
I went into Heidi's archives and typed osteoporosis. I was encouraged by one anecdote she told of a woman who reversed bone loss and started building bone again.
What I would really like to find is a scientific study that follows a group of women for 20 or more years looking at what contributes to bone growth and bone loss.
One practical hint I read was to increase canned fish that contains bones. I love tuna. It is so easy to toss a can of tuna with leftover vegetables for a quick, tasty lunch. I prefer the milder flavor of tuna.
But I'm saying farewell to tuna and hello to canned salmon and canned mackerel, both of which are higher in calcium because of the bones. Today's lunch was a salad made with green peas, grilled onions, and mackerel.
We spent the weekend with my husband's mom. I came home with a sober resolve to up my calcium intake and not to slack off on exercise. I have seen up close how osteoporosis can rob a woman of her style of life.
Two years ago she was at our house for our son's graduation. She was driving her car, shopping for her grand children, cooking, traveling to conferences - the picture of health in her mid 80s.
She knew she had osteoporosis - she had shrunk a few inches, and had fractured her foot and ankle. But it wasn't something she couldn't live with.
Now she has a compression fracture in her spine. She is in chronic pain. She knows she will never drive again. She uses a walker to get from the front of the house to the back. After a lifetime of serving others, most of her day is spent on the sofa propped up with pillows. It is hard for her to accept that others now must serve her.
She has arthritis in her hip and knee. She needs replacement surgery, but her doctor refuses to attempt it. The osteoporosis is so severe that he doesn't think he could find enough strong bone to anchor the replacements.
I've read a little about osteoporosis. I know I need calcium - which can be a challenge to Os because milk is avoid for us. I take calcium citrate twice a day, but I wasn't taking the maximum dose until now. I eat almonds and almond butter several times a week. I have spinach or some other type of greens almost every day. Those are also good calcium sources.
I know that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bone. It also builds stronger muscles around bones. If exercising to stay trim and fend off stress wasn't motivation enough, I am now triply committed to exercise.
I plan to search the BTD archives and to do some Google searches to see what long term studies have been the most successful. I won't know for 30 years whether I did the right thing, and by then it will be too late for a second chance.
I fixed chicken tonight and seasoned it with a little salt and lots of garlic powder. My husband liked it. Normally he is not a big fan of chicken, so the fact that he liked this was confirmation that I'm on the right track about getting food to taste good to him.
All the thinking about seasoning has me thinking and researching salt - specifically is there any difference (besides hype) between regular salt and sea salt. I've learned several things.
1. Both regular salt and sea salt are 98 - 99 % sodium chloride - so the differences are small at best.
2. Regular salt has non-caking agents added, and may have iodine added as well.
3. Some sources of regular salt are deposits left long ago by the sea, so they are indistinguishable from sea salt.
4. Some salts labeled "sea salt" comes from evaporated sea water, but are so highly processed that they are indistinguishable from regular salt.
5. Sea salt that is not highly processed is light gray in color and has other minerals from the sea water.
Number 5 is the one that confuses me. Websites that promote sea salt are very enthusiastic about the perfect balance of minerals found in sea water. However other credible websites warn us to beware of eating certain types of fish because of high levels of mercury and dangerous chemicals polluting sea water.
So, if I buy unprocessed sea salt, how much mercury am I ingesting?
For the time being I am going to stick with iodized salt that doesn't cake up in humid Texas summers.
I don't underestimate the challenge of preparing tasty food for my husband with reduced salt. Jesus, understood the importance of seasoning when he drew an analogy between seasoning food with salt and the believer's role in the world.
He said, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16
I vividly remember a science experiment from my elementary school days that demonstrated that the flavor of food is more related to our sense of smell than our sense of taste. The teacher had taught us that we taste only sweet, salty, sour and bitter. The other variations of flavor are really our sense of smell. We, of course, didn't believe her.
She had a crisp apple and a crisp pear. One at a time she would blind fold us and have us tightly hold our noses. She gave us a bite of pear and a bite of apple. We could not tell the difference. It was amazing!
All of this comes back to me many years later because my husband is not enjoying his food. He does not have a good sense of smell. We often joke that if our house was on fire in the night, he would wake me saying, "Is that the fire alarm?" I would answer, "I can't hear a thing, but I smell smoke."
He long ago cut back on salt because of his blood pressure. He tries to cut back on sugar, because too much sugar is not good for anyone. Until the BTD he relied on pepper and vinegar to flavor his food - now both are on the Type A avoid list. He complained the other morning that everything tastes like cardboard to him.
He does not like the rich flavor of whole grains. The differences in flavor escape him completely. All he can tell is that they have a dryer texture. He does not like herb teas; they all taste the same to him. He likes eating in restaurants because the food is always generously salted and sweetened. However he does not want me to cook that way at home, because he wants to be healthy.
As I swam tonight, I was thinking about what I could do to make food taste better for him. Lemon juice has a tang like vinegar. He likes onions and garlic. I could use more curry. Now that the yearbook is finished, I need to experiment with some herbs and seasonings. I want him to be healthy, but I also want him to enjoy his meals.
I put in a 12-hour day on the yearbook computers. I packed lots of food for the day: 1 hamburger patty, 1Â½ cod fillets, a bag of cherries, a bag of walnuts & pumpkin seeds, green beans, okra, spaghetti squash, a bag of carrot sticks, and a mango fandango spritzer.
I never stopped for a meal, I just grazed off and on all day. When I shut the computers off at 9:30 there were only 4 pages left to finish, and only the okra was left in my food sack.
The hectic nature of deadlines hasn't changed from when I was doing my college yearbook 30 years ago. But the stress is so much easier to handle with BTD food. In college I was drinking Dr. Pepper, coffee, and eating ice cream. I'm surprised I could think at all. Four years ago I wouldn't take time to eat, and when I got desperately hungry I would grab whatever was fast - almost always wheat based. I came home irritable and snappy.
I'm tired tonight, but not exhausted.
My son is taking a summer school class that starts at 7am. I'm going to bake some muffins so he will have a good start for his first day of class. While they bake I'm going to work out on his exercise machine. Then I will be ready for a good night's sleep.
School is out. I have just finished calculating the grades for my Journalism class. At the end of this week I ship the last of the yearbook pages off for printing. I meet with the principal for final approval on Wednesday. On Thursday I meet with my publisher's rep. whose sharp eyes always find things I have overlooked.
Between now and then I have to finish proofing the work the students have done. There are also a few pages left for me to do. Most of those are end of school activities like graduation. Unfortunately, some students blew off their final page assignments, and I'll have to do those pages too. Their parents will wonder why they got a bad grade in elective!
My mind is already turning to next week and the end of deadline stress. I have continued cooking beneficial food for the family, but it has been simple and unimaginative. Tonight, for example, we had cod, green beans, okra, sweet potato fries and rice. I am looking forward to experimenting with some new recipes and perhaps even some new foods.
The neighborhood pool opened this weekend, so I'll be swimming 4-5 nights a week. It's already too hot for running except very early, before breakfast. My son has joined the gym again this summer, and I hope he will have some interesting new upper body exercises to teach me.
End of school activities and deadlines have meant that I've been getting to bed way too late. I am looking forward to 7 hours of sleep a night. I'm even looking forward to attacking the backlog of chores that I've been postponing until summer.
Most of all, I'm looking forward to reading! There is just no time to curl up with a good book during the last weeks of the spring semester. A week from Monday will find me at the library!
In the meantime, deadline week is upon me. I'll be working all day tomorrow, even though it is a holiday.
Last May I wrote a blog about the difference between chemical sunscreens and physical sun blocks. Here is the link if you don't remember that blog.
I ended by saying, "Here is what I plan to do for the summer. For mid-day water activities, we will go ahead and use high SPF sunscreens. For hiking, biking and non-water activities we will use only sun blocks. No more chemical sunscreen in makeup or moisturizer for me!"
I followed that plan all summer, and for the rest of the year.
This week there was another news story linking sunscreens to cancer, but with a different twist. Several studies have linked Vitamin D to cancer prevention. Over use of sunscreens keeps your body from making Vitamin D. The conclusion of the studies was that since people rarely die of skin cancer, and Vitamin D helps prevent more serious cancers, over use of sunscreen, "may actually contribute to far more cancer deaths than it prevents."
Here is a link to one of the news articles about the study.
So here is my revised summer plan. It can't possibly be good to let ourselves get seriously sunburned - plus it hurts! Dark tanning has left many of my high school friends with leathery, unattractive skin. I'm glad I didn't ruin my skin when I was young, and I will discourage my kids from dark tanning.
We will continue to wear sunscreen for mid-day water activities. We won't use sun protection at all before 11 AM or after 4 PM. If I'm going for a quick run or bike ride, I'll forego the sun block. However, if we're going to be in the direct sun for a long mid day activity, we'll use sun block to prevent burning.
That should give us enough sun for our skin to make plenty of Vitamin D. My daughter is happy, because that much sun will also give her a very light tan
I made two observations during dinner tonight.
One is that I think I might like spaghetti squash as much if not more than I like spaghetti noodles. Warning: If you have never eaten spaghetti squash, do not rush out and buy some thinking you will agree with me at first bite.
I have been avoiding semolina pasta for almost two years now. Some of the time when I've fixed spaghetti sauce I've poured it over a salad like salad dressing. Other times, like tonight, I've poured it over spaghetti squash. It is remarkable how much spaghetti squash looks like very thin pasta. It does not have as strong a flavor as other members of the squash family; so (like pasta) it does not compete with the flavor of the sauce. The texture is something like slightly overcooked noodles.
If you have been eating pasta your whole life, the first time you try spaghetti squash you will certainly notice the difference. But after a while, like me, you may come to appreciate the fact that it is not starchy like spaghetti. You may like the fact that it is easier to eat and it doesn't continually try to escape from your fork. You may be pleased that you don't feel stuffed and bloated afterward as you would after a big plate of pasta.
For two years I've eaten spaghetti squash because it was a neutral vegetable rather than an avoid grain. Tonight, I realized that I would choose spaghetti squash over spaghetti noodles because I've come to like it better.
My second observation has to do with As, Os, and meat. I cooked one pound of ground beef and one pound of ground turkey for our spaghetti dinner tonight. We served buffet style from the stove. Everyone got as much food as they wanted. All of us were pleasantly full but not stuffed at the end of the meal. My Type O son and I finished off the entire pound of ground beef. My Type A husband and daughter ate less than half of the ground turkey.
It's one thing to read in Eat Right for Your Type that a little meat protein goes a long way for Type As, while meat is beneficial and essential for Type Os. It is another to watch the two types making natural choices that perfectly illustrate the fact.
I fixed Jill's pumpkin waffles for breakfast. It is funny how my husband who doesn't like pumpkin, loves these waffles. Every time I fix them I hold my breath, hoping he won't ask what they are. Today he didn't ask; he just ate happily.
Today was the last day of class for my daughter. She has finals starting tomorrow, which means she gets to come home at noon to eat and study. As she ate her waffles, I said, "Can you believe this is the last lunch of your freshman year? Into her lunchbox went a container of salmon. I packed a box of carrot sticks, celery sticks, and radishes along with peanut butter for dipping. I added a bag of soy crisps and a box of juice.
I fixed a turkey sandwich for my husband on Ezekiel bread with miso and soy cheese. My son slept in, so he had pumpkin waffles and eggs for lunch. His days of sleeping in are coming rapidly to a close. The pool opens this weekend.
This would have been a longer blog, but I've been called to review my daughter for her health final.
Call it vanity if you will, but I don't like the lumpy look on my legs. I'm not overweight; in fact since starting the BTD I weigh less than I have since high school. The muscle tone in my legs is quite good, especially for my age. Still, when I look in the mirror I'm confronted with cellulite.
Various people on this and other websites have recommended body brushing as a way to combat cellulite. I was intrigued by Rachel's comparison of body brushing to giving a horse a good brushing. I don't relate as much to horses, but I have often watched the pleasure a dog or cat gets from being brushed.
So several weeks ago I decided to try it. The first few days it was scratchy and uncomfortable. But as my skin got used to it, I'll admit it really felt good. Then I began to watch to see if I noticed any difference in my legs. It's hard to tell day to day. Some days I would think, "Yes it's making a difference." Other days, "No I can't really see any change at all.
So I have decided to try an experiment. I'm going to be diligent about brushing twice a day - once before I take my morning shower and again before I go to sleep at night.
BUT - I'm only going to brush my right side. After a month or two if I can't see a difference between my two legs, I'll know body brushing was just another diet & exercise hoax. However if it works, I'll know I'm on my way to two smooth legs, and I'll have something worth blogging about.
I'm just one person. If you would like to join the experiment, start today brushing only one side. A month from now - let's say July 1 - drop me a note and tell me whether there is a visible difference between your two legs.