Category: Earlier Blogs
I had an unsettling experience at school a few days ago. I've been mulling it over in my mind, and have decided to share it. An employee at the school came into my room and told me that he had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. He knew that he needed to make some changes to his diet, but he didn't know where to start. He asked for my advice.
Six months ago I would have engaged him in conversation. I would have asked his blood type. He recently had surgery, so if he didn't know, he could have easily found out. I would have given a basic stereotype for each of the four blood types. I would have talked about my family and how we eat.
That afternoon I froze. Worse, I punted. I talked in generalities. I didn't know whether to talk blood type of genotype. Even if I had wanted to talk about genotype, there is no way I was going to measure a man and a fellow employee.
He has serious medical issues, and I lacked the confidence to give him advice. What if I chose the wrong diet? What if I the measurements were too close to call? What if I steered him in the wrong direction?
I don't know why he came to me. Maybe it's because I am thin and fit in a society that is neither. Maybe someone told him I knew a little about nutrition and diets. I sensed that he was disappointed at my response, but my tongue was tied in knots.
I've gone over the conversation again and again in my mind. I feel bad about it, but not bad enough to seek him out and re-engage the topic.
I think about Peter when the little servant girl asked him if he knew Jesus, and he said - Who me? Never heard of the man.
I ask - would I falter like this if someone said to me, "Suzanne you are so happy and cheerful, what's your secret?" Or would I say "It's because I have Jesus in my life. I know that my sins are forgiven and that I am loved beyond measure by the God who created me."
I perceive a significant difference. God never changes. Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. Because I know that, I can answer with assurance.
I really must get a handle on the changes in my diet! I want to again have the assurance that what I say is true and helpful.
My Honorable Husband is been working on our income taxes. My Darling Daughter is taking two dual credit courses on the internet. Between the two of them I couldn't get computer time to blog last weekend.
The Blueberry Flax Bread was outstanding!
There have been several Flax Bread recipes posted since the GTD rated it beneficial or super beneficial for everyone except Explorers. This is the recipe I chose. It is not like a loaf of sandwich bread. It is a flat bread that you cut in squares - sort of like cornbread.
Basic Flax Bread Ingredients
2 cups ground flax seed
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons sugar or other sweetener
5 beaten eggs
1/2 C water
1/3 C oil
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 10X15 pan with cooking spray
Mix dry ingredients
Add wet to dry, and mix thoroughly
Let batter sit for 2-3 minutes to thicken. (Leave it too long and it's not easy to spread.)
Pour batter onto pan, it may not reach all the way to the edges
Bake for about 20 minutes, until it springs back to touch and is browning around the edges.
To make the Blueberry Flax Bread, add 1 cup frozen blueberries. Reduce the water and oil. I used 1/3 cup water and Â¼ cup oil. Bake in a 9X9 pan, so the bread will be thicker. It took a little longer to cook because it was thicker. When it is done it will begin browning and pulling away from the sides of the pan.
The best change so far on the GTD is my Darling Daughter's willingness to try new foods including (drum roll please) cooked vegetables. As you know, if you've read my blog for long, DD likes her vegetables raw. On the BTD raw salad greens and raw veggie sticks were the main stay of her diet. When the GTD took away salad, she knew she had to branch out. She's been scouring the GTD websites for recipes that are good for me as well as her and her dad. She's come up with some winners.
Tonight we had steamed artichoke with lemon and Parmesan. I started with a bag of frozen artichokes from the local grocery store. I cooked them in the microwave with 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. While they were still hot I topped them with Â¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
This is a very tasty way to eat artichokes. DD has already requested some in her lunch tomorrow. She has eaten cooked zucchini and cooked carrots in restaurants recently. This is a good change.
DD likes salmon, mahi mahi, and tuna, but she has never liked cod. She found a recipe for baked cod with basil. We tried it and she liked it. Mix 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, and drizzled it over some frozen cod fillets. Sprinkle 1 tsp dried basil over the fish. Bake in 400 degree oven until cod is opaque in the center.
The big difference here was the oven temperature. I've always baked cod at 350 degrees. It comes out soft. DD likes her fish firm, and the 400 degree cooking temperature gave her what she liked.
The best recipe we've tried is for flax bread. I thought it would be hard and time consuming. It is neither. Tomorrow morning DD has requested flax bread with blueberries. If it comes out a good as we think it will, I'll post the recipe.
I have not become committed to the Hunter diet as quickly as I would have liked. There are too many toxins in my kitchen.
Thirty something years ago when I read my first book on nutrition, I was horrified that my modern kitchen was a cesspool of processed food. It was easy to go through the pantry and throw the bad stuff in the trash.
Five years ago when I found the Blood Type Diet, my stomach really hurt, so it was again easy to go cold turkey and make a clean break. Besides, many of the whole grains and dairy products that were bad for me as a Type O, were neutral for the Type As in my family.
This time it's harder. The week before I got my GenoType food lists, I had been to the store. I had just stocked up on prunes, raisins, figs, cherries, and collard greens. I had put two gallons of soy milk in the pantry! All of those were recommended for some of us on the BTD, now they are toxic for all of us. Mozzarella and feta cheese were two of the few neutral dairy products on the BTD. I had both in my refrigerator when the GTD declared them toxic.
For several days when I thought I was a Gatherer, I was very distressed about losing so many favorite Type O foods. One of the bright spots was gaining sunflower seeds. I bought 2 pounds. When I switched to Hunter, sunflower seeds were off the list again. What do I do with them? I think I'll mail them to SS in his birthday box. He likes sunflower seeds and continued to eat them, even though they were Type O avoid.
I had just bought 16 pounds of chicken for the freezer. For 5 years it was a frequent family dinner because it was neutral for everyone. Now it's toxic for the Type As. We're eating more fish for dinner, and I'm eating chicken for my lunch.
HH is happy to eat the Type A beneficial/Teacher toxins. In the future, I may feed him more like a Teacher, but I think he will always consider himself Type A.
As far as the Type O beneficial/Hunter toxins - I just can't make myself throw away expensive food that until so recently was supposed to bring me good health. I'm not buying more of the toxic foods, but I'm gradually eating them up. That makes it harder to tell how the GenoType diet is working for me, but it's easier on the family budget.
My Darling Daughter and I went to the grocery store with a list of foods that are beneficial for both Hunters and Teachers. I wrote last summer how pleased I was with the grocery store where we now live. Again on this shopping trip I was amazed at how many unusual foods they routinely carry. When we checked out, the cashier asked if I had found everything I was looking for. I answered, "I did remarkably well, considering I had some pretty weird items on my shopping list." She smiled and said, "People in this community are interested in health and we try to keep them happy."
We bought mustard greens and ate them over the weekend. I had mine cooked, DD mixed hers raw with a salad. Both of us liked them. I liked the flavor better than collard greens. She thought the raw greens tasted "sort of minty."
I liked the pine nuts better than she did. It wasn't that she thought they tasted bad. She just didn't think they measured up to other beneficial Teacher nuts like walnuts, pecans or peanuts. They reminded me of macadamia nuts which I have avoided for so long that I may not remember them correctly. But I will be happy to eat the pine nuts by myself.
We're going to have the escarole tonight for dinner with roasted turkey.
We bought currants, which are super beneficial for her and neutral for me. I had expected to find currants as a seasonal Christmas item, but my store carries them year round - and for a reasonable price. Since raisins are toxic for both of us, I expect we will be putting currants in our trail mix.
We bought Romano cheese, which we put in a salad with black beans. Both of us liked it a lot. We also bought a rutabaga, which I am still a little scared of. Maybe tomorrow for the rutabaga.
The produce manager says that they carry quince and passion fruit, but only in the summer. We saw persimmons, guava, and pomegranates, but we couldn't remember how they were classified. It turns out guava is good for me and persimmon is good for DD. We can buy those two on our next shipping trip, but pomegranates are bad for us both.
These are all new foods to us. I'm hoping some of them will become surprise GTD favorites the way parsnips and kohlrabi did when I started the BTD.
I don't think I've mentioned that my Bible study this year is a plan to read the Bible through in one year coupled with readings by C.S. Lewis. It seemed appropriate because the second movie from the Chronicles of Narnia series is due out this year. This morning I read this quote, "Comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end. If you look for comfort, you will not get either comfort or truth - only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with, and in the end, despair.
That perfectly describes where I am with regard to the BTD and the GTD. I am looking for the truth about the way my body works. I am hopeful that in the end I will find a style of eating that I am comfortable with.
I took my Darling Daughter's database of the Hunter and Teacher foods and shortened it to a more manageable length by deleting food items that, while they may be beneficial, are not available where I live. Pepeao, ground cherry, ocean pout, and Manchego cheese were a few of the unfortunate beneficals that I may never get to try unless I vacation in the right place at the right season of the year. I thought "ocean pout" was a typographical error until I googled it. Fascinating fish! Those edited lists are posted on the refrigerator door.
DD and I also pulled portion sizes and weekly servings off the food lists and posted them on the refrigerator door. The portion sizes are the same for Hunters and Teachers, but the weekly servings are quite different.
It will take a few weeks before I can prepare a meal without referring to those lists multiple times. This morning it took several trips to the refrigerator door before we got breakfasts and lunches planned. I'm going to fix quinoa for dinner tonight, and DD was taking salmon and veggies to school for lunch. That meant she and my husband could have the zucchini bread I made with spelt and oat flour for her breakfast. I had nuts and fruit because spelt is toxic to Hunters.
I'm concerned that my mind will automatically default back to the old lists, so I'm double checking everything. Even things I think I know. I had mango and papaya mixed up this morning. The mango is only for me and the papaya is only for her. But I will get comfortable with this. You will too if you are seeking the truth.
Don't neglect to spend a little time today looking for the truth about God. While the idea of God as an indulgent grandfather may be comfortable, it is nothing like the Creator God who is to be found in the pages of scripture by those who seek him.
I've griped quite a bit lately, but I really am trying to understand the new GenoType system. I started searching through Dr. Ds blogs preceding the book release and his posts on both forums in recent weeks. Of all I've read, here is the exchange that I've found most clarifying.
COMMENT ON FORUM: The differences between the two diets are deeper than I expected. Type O Gatherers can have whey protein. Type B of all genotype have milk as toxin. One of these diets will prevail and one of them will die. Because they can't both be true.
DR. D. RESPONDS: Yes they can, because they are essentially two different diet systems. It is not accurate to consider the GTD the further elaboration of the BTD; any more than you can consider baseball the further development of cricket, or American football the latest version of rugby. The BTD is the BTD, and the GTD is the GTD. They have different rules (which is why it is of almost no use whatsoever to compare them point by point (or in the case of the diets, food by food). If you have a hard time getting your brain wrapped around that, you can imagine that they are two books written by two different authors, using two different systems. You can employ one in lieu of the other, or take elements from both. You can also throw up your hands and walk away. But one thing you cannot do is perfectly reconcile them to each other. If you could do that for one, there would be no need for the other.
FOLLOW UP COMMENT ON FORUM: I read a few times on the board that the GTD is supposed to be a refinement of the BTD. It did not make sense to me because the foods - for example for the 0-Nonsecretor - are quite different. So it is basically up to the individual to choose which system (BTD or GTD) is better for her/him. I, for example, have lots more pain on the GTD, so I am not continuing with it.
DR. D. RESPONDS: You're doing exactly what I think is the best approach. Try all things, hold on to that which works.
BACK TO SUZANNE'S BLOG: So when I found the BTD 5 years ago, it was my misconception that blood type was the best predictor of what diet style would be best for both health and weight loss. Blood type is one method and genotype is another equally valid method. I have to try both and decide what works for me.
At 54 years old this is a little scary. I know how I feel day to day, but I don't always know what is going on at the cellular level. Are there dangers developing that I would be unaware of until they are full blown problems? I don't have a lot of time to experiment about what diet will help me age the best.
Dr. D uses the games of baseball, cricket, football and rugby as examples. As long as the word "toxin" is used, I feel more like I'm playing Russian roulette.
I will be eagerly watching for Dr. D's explanation about why foods are rated as they are on the GTD. The Encyclopedia and TYPEBase4 do that for the BTD. I hope that similar information is quickly forthcoming about the GTD. Lettuce as a toxin for Hunters and Teachers is a big concern.
Even without understanding all the "whys" my Darling Daughter and I have agreed to stop comparing the two diets. I feel like I have been extremely successful on the Type O diet. But I have to admit there have been a couple of areas of concern. (More about that in future blogs - this one is getting way too long.) DD thinks that she has gained weight too easily on the Type A diet. We are both going to go with the GenoType diet. We'll stay with it until we draw a conclusion. I may go back to Type O. I might even give the Gatherer Diet a try since the distinction between Hunter and Gatherer in my case is such a teeny tiny finger measurement.
If I'm interpreting Dr. D correctly, any of the choices might be correct. I may even decide to come up with my own combination. I have to figure out what is best for me.
Suzanne's Darling Daughter writes her first blog.
I first heard about the Genotype Diet last week. I was extremely excited to discover my genotype and see my new and improved food list. After studying the Teacher food list, I changed my mind and decided that I wanted nothing to with the diet that took away my yummy leafy greens. However, I decided to give the GTD a chance and look at the food lists with a little more open-mindedness.
I have now been eating according to the Teacher GTD for about five days. My Mom suggested I write a blog about how I was adjusting.
Although I am happy that turkey is now Super Beneficial, it is hard to find turkey when dining out (except for a turkey sandwich, which must be disassembled in order to be beneficial). I always relied on chicken as my main dish in restaurants. Besides fish and side veggies, there really is nothing very good for me to eat at most restaurants. When I can find fish, it is usually catfish, shrimp (both avoids), or salmon (beneficial, but outrageously priced). Of the four restaurants my boyfriend and I dined at this past weekend, I found tilapia (beneficial and reasonably priced) only at one.
I immediately noticed that soymilk was a Limited Avoid. For the past five years, my morning has begun with a soymilk protein shake. I was completely devastated and had no idea what I would eat for breakfast. My mother and I took a trip to the health food store and noticed that almond milk was on sale. We decided to give it a whirl. To my great surprise (and satisfaction) it was remarkably tasty. I have had it three mornings so far. Compared to soymilk, the almond milk improves the protein shake texture. I have not had it enough to say whether I like it more or less than soymilk, but I do like it. I had planned to take soymilk, soy powder, and a shaker cup with me to college next year. Because almond milk is so expensive, I will have to make it every night in a high-power blender. This won't be too bad at home, but it will be hard with a community bathroom at school.
As a little girl, I naturally gravitated towards salad and greens. Waiters would give my mother the strangest looks as her 3-year old asked for a side salad instead of a kid's meal. According to the BTD, this wasn't strange, just my natural "A-ishness." On the GTD, most leafy greens are toxins and should be avoided. I do not understand how something that my body and the BTD has told me for years is so beneficial, now suddenly, because my torso is longer than my legs, can be a toxin. As I visited colleges this past year, the dining hall was a huge factor for my decision. Which college would best accommodate my BTD eating habits? I picked a college that had a grilled chicken bar and a salad bar (made up mainly of iceberg/spinach). On the GTD, finding beneficial food to eat in the dorm is going to be VERY challenging.
I am enjoying the different cheeses that I am now allowed to eat.
When I first read over the Teacher food list, the lack of fruits infuriated me. Although I still miss all the formerly beneficial fruits terribly, I am really enjoying some the new fruits like kiwi and papaya. On the BTD, I was always mad that I couldn't eat papaya (another childhood favorite).
Overall, although I really like many aspects of the GTD, my brow crinkles when I think about eating in the dorm next year. The BTD had lots of common foods that were beneficial or neutral for type As (lettuce, apples, celery, cucumbers, etc.). Most of the beneficial Teacher foods are not so common. While living at home and being able to prepare food myself, I think that this diet will be good. However, the chances of finding mahi-mahi, ghee, provolone cheese, adzuki beans, escarole, kiwi, and quince in the dining hall are not very good.
I have measured my husband and daughter. Both of them are Teachers. So I am still outnumbered 2-1.
Neither of them really fit any of the genotype profiles for people with blood type A. When my daughter measured as a teacher, I thought for sure my husband would be a warrior. His body type is radically different from hers. But the calculator was adamant that they were the same. I'm glad really, it will make my life less complicated to only deal with two food lists.
I wish I could recreate for you my husband's comments as I measured him. He mocked the process every step of the way. Five years ago he was suspicious about whether his blood type really had anything to do with how he should eat. I gradually won him over. Now his suspicions are back. He thinks measuring fingers isâ€¦wellâ€¦absurd is one of the kinder terms he used.
However he has always hated chicken and loved cabbage. When I tell him that chicken has changed to avoid and cabbage to beneficial, he may be happy. Of course he may also be really angry that Dr. D had him eating chicken for 5 years and it turned out to be wrong.
I will measure my son on his next holiday. I don't expect him to be interested in the fine points of the genotype diet at this stage of his life. He follows a general Type O diet with as much meat as possible and as many vegetables as he can find time to cook in between a heavy load of classes and labs.
My daughter took all 6 genotype food lists and compiled them in an Excel Database. Everything is hidden except Hunter and Teacher. That way we can quickly see what we can eat in our family. If we have guests, we can unhide whatever food list we need.
I'll admit there are a lot of things I do not understand. For 5 years collard greens were beneficial and mustard greens were avoid. Now collard greens are avoid and mustard greens are super beneficial. I hope that Dr. D will start a series of blogs explaining why some of the foods changed so radically. I hope that I did not do my body any harm by eating wrong for my type for five years.
Our 31st wedding anniversary came during the holidays. Our son was coming home. Our daughter was having finals. We were in and out of town. The days and nights were really busy. One night we started off to do two errands. We planned to have a quiet anniversary dinner afterwards. The two errands took longer than expected, and one of them got us both a bit agitated. The mood was not right for a romantic dinner. So we put off celebrating our anniversary until after the New Year.
My Honorable Husband - he really is honorable by the way. I blew out a tire on the way to work today. Shredded it. Picture a cartoon character after a TNT explosion. But HH keeps the spare tire filled, and he keeps our AAA coverage up to date. I didn't have to struggle with lug nuts in the cold rain. See why I love him. But I have digressed.
My Honorable Husband said he was taking me out last night, and he wanted me to pick the restaurant. I chose Outback Steakhouse. I picked it for several reasons. I can cook beef in a lot of tasty ways, but I can't cook a steak in my oven that compares with a steakhouse steak. But most steakhouses serve their steak with salad and baked potato. Outback has vegetables. It also has fish entrees, so HH wouldn't be left eating something he didn't like for dinner.
At the risk of another digression, it has always interested me that HH never really liked steak. Long before I heard of the blood type diet, when we would go out to eat, I would order steak and he would order seafood.
With my steak I chose a baked sweet potato and steamed broccoli. It was delicious. HH had grilled stuffed redfish and broccoli. If we had stopped there, we would have had a very beneficial meal. But HH wanted a dessert. "We used to share a piece of cheesecake on our anniversary," he complained. I answered that a dessert would be fine, but not cheesecake. I think my cheesecake far surpasses restaurant cheesecake. I made it for our son at Christmas, and the memory was still too fresh. We shared an apple cobbler instead. It was really good - way too much sugar, of course, but really good.
The more I read about Gatherers, the more agitated I became, and the less I identified with them. No offense Gatherers, you guys are sweet and I love you, but I'm not one of you. I decided to go back and watch the videos again, remeasuring as I went.
When I got to the finger part, the video shows measuring from the top of the hand. But the voice says "measure from the crease". What crease? I turned my hand over. There was a crease. I looked at my hands and noticed for the first time that I have a moderate amount of webbing. Someone on the Forum had mentioned webbing as a problem with finger measurements.
I measured again, this time in millimeters instead of inches. I put the new numbers in the calculator and held my breath. I am a Hunter! I looked at the description. It's ME!! Allergies and inability to sit still and all! I looked at the food lists. It's the good old Type O Diet.
I'm happy again. If anything the adrenaline high I've been on for the past two days reconfirms my Hunter status. I guess I better eat super beneficials today!
A couple of observations:
If you really don't feel right about your genotype, watch the videos again. Measure again. Trust yourself.
The GTD is going to be harder to explain to people than the BTD. However when I read in the Gatherer characteristics that they are often non secretors, things began to make a little more sense. I'm thinking of a particular Type O friend who is sweet and well padded and who has never quite identified with the Type O diet.
There are changes and conflicts between the two programs. I need to have a bigger picture of how the two diets fit together. For a while there I thought that Dr. D was throwing out the BTD for a whole new system. Now it's looking more like he is trying to fit exceptions (non secretors and others who didn't quite fit the basic 4 types) into categories that suit them better.
For now, I'm a Happy Hunter, and I'm going to study my food lists - after I do a cardio workout.
I copied the food lists off the genotypediet.com website. I'm putting them into a format that I can more easily use, and I'm studying the changes. There is lots of interesting information, and in the next few days I'll write about how those changes will affect my lifestyle. But today I'm going to point out two big problems I see with the Genotype Diet.
First is the issue of confidence. I have blogged from time to time about how excited I was when, at 23 years old, I read my first book on nutrition. I made radical changes in my eating habits, and saw positive results. But as I read more, I realized that nutritionists didn't agree on anything. Some were low carb; some were low fat. Some focused on vitamins; some focused on herbs. Some said everyone needs protein; some said everyone should be a vegetarian. Each nutritionist had studies and statistics that proved they were right. It was very confusing, and I lost confidence in all of them.
What I loved about the Blood Type Diet was that it explained the contradictory studies. Some people need protein, some are natural vegetarians, some need low fat, some need low carb. Your blood type was a simple and accurate predictor of what you needed to eat and how you needed to live.
The Genotype Diet seems to me to be a completely new paradigm. Your body shape and the lengths of your bones determine your type. Blood groups are mixed together in genotypes. The food lists are very different. Here's one example. On the Type O diet, fava beans are neutral. In the BTD Menopause book fava beans are super beneficial. The Gatherer Diet says fava beans are avoid. This is not three nutritionists arguing with each other. This is three books by the same man - three books written since 2002, no less. How am I to have confidence that I am doing the best for my body when the programs appear so different? (See, I told you that I was not sweet)
The second issue is credibility. When my husband and I eat with friends, they notice that I do not eat a typical American diet, and they ask about it. I have a simple one-line explanation. "The same blood type antigens that give you your blood type are at work in your digestive system, and are the best predictor of what you should eat." Some people quickly change the subject. Others tell me their blood type and ask what they should be eating.
I can imagine myself in a similar situation now. What do I say - "The hormone levels when you were in your mother's womb determine how you should eat. I have a tape measure in my purse. Let me measure your leg and finger bones." No Way!!
Even worse is the credibility problem with family and friends. After nearly 5 years of talking with enthusiasm about blood types, am I to say, "Sorry, the Blood Type Diet is no more. It's been replaced by something entirely new." This is going to be embarrassing.
I'm going to give the Gatherer Diet a fair shake. It may turn out that I feel even better on it than I did on the Type O Diet. But the conflicts are confusing. Now, I'm going to go fix myself some lamb for lunch - - since beef is no longer beneficial.
I've been looking at the genotypediet.com website. I can identify with the basic premise that "genes are not a fixed set of preprogrammed instructions. They are a dynamic, active part of your life, responding each day to your environment, your history, and your diet." I can think of several examples where changing my habits actually changed how my body worked.
Dr. D has named 6 genotypes. When I read the descriptions, it was obvious which one I was. I was a Hunter. Then I started filling out the forms in the calculator. The calculator insists that I'm a Gatherer.
Here is the description of a Gatherer: "Gatherers tend toward a "padded" look and are likely to have high BMIs and waist-to-hip ratios. They're sweet-natured and emotional, but their "algorithmic" minds and capacity for concentration and focus make them natural problem solvers. Gatherers are always blood type O or B, and they're mostly Rh-positive. They often struggle with appetite regulation and are unsuccessful crash dieters."
I don't identify with anything in that description. I am not padded. The upper half of my body is very angular and very bony. I carry most of my weight in my thighs, but is more of a muscular look than padded. My current BMI is 20. The highest my BMI has ever been (A time in my late 20s when I was upset and for several months abandoned everything I knew about nutrition) was 23.
I am a lot of things - kind, empathetic, listening, helpful - but no one would call me sweet. I've known people who are sweet (come to think of it, most of them are padded) and I'm definitely not one of them. I'm also not emotional. My husband is the emotional one in the family. I'm the steady one. Yes, I am a good problem solver, but not because of concentration and focus. I am the antithesis of a step by step algorithmic person. I work both ends toward the middle, keeping everyone confused until it all comes together.
I am nervous about being in a category with Type Bs. Milk and mild products seemed to be the big culprits in the indigestion that led me to Dr. D. My Type O diet has me eating milk products 0-2 times per week; while Type Bs can eat milk or cheese every day. How can we be the same genotype?
There is a little truth to the part about appetite regulation. I was initially attracted to nutrition because when I ate healthy food I could eat until I was full without gaining weight. Before then I was a successful crash dieter - I just hated doing it.
This is a huge contrast to the way I felt when I first read about Type Os. After every sentence, I would gasp and say, "That's me!" I look at the description of a gatherer and I see a stranger.
I have come to trust Dr. D's research about food, so I'm going to plunge ahead and give this a try. It's back to the website to "gather" more information.
I'm looking for new recipes. I feel like I've been bogged down fixing the same old food. When I read the description for "Turnip Hash Browns" in the BTD Recipes section I can't say I believed it. Turnips and the words, "light and flavorful" just don't seem to go together. But the ingredients were beneficial so I tried them last night.
I followed the recipe except: I had 3 turnips instead of 4, and I had a large onion instead of a small one. So the flavor of mine was a little stronger on onion than the original.
The main course last night was meat patties - beef for me and salmon for the Type As. My husband is terrified of turnips - probably something from his childhood summers in Mississippi. He refused to try them.
My daughter prefers raw vegetables. She initially resisted the turnips because they were cooked. However when she read the ingredients and realized how beneficial they were, she took a taste. She surprised herself and liked them. She said, "I wouldn't eat them plain, but adding a little bit to each bite of salmon tasted good."
I thought they were wonderful with the beef patty. With the spices, they might have been better than grilled onions. I can hardly believe I'm writing that, but it's true. We have a basketball game tonight, and my dinner is a bowl with leftover beef patty, great northern beans and turnip hash browns. My mouth is watering, but it won't be time to eat for another hour.
If you're brave - try Turnip Hash Browns. They are tasty - really.
My daughter has taken the Blood Type Diet much more seriously since last summer. She tends to be pear shaped like me. However because she is not quite 5'3" tall, just a few extra pounds can make a big difference in how her clothes fit.
Last summer when she realized she could barely squeeze into her jeans, she said, "enough is enough" and set out to lose some weight and reshape her body. Her self-discipline has been remarkable. She gave up all the wheat based afternoon snacks that were neutral to her. She stopped eating anything after dinner. She started seriously exercising. Her efforts have been rewarded. Her jeans fit fabulously, and her muscle tone is to be envied.
However she worries too much. She worries when she goes to a restaurant whether she will find anything beneficial. She worries when she goes out with friends and is pressured to eat ice cream or some such treat. She worried a lot about what she would eat while we were visiting family at Christmas.
I watch her carefully. She has not stepped across the line into dangerous obsessive behavior. She came close a few times, but conversations about beneficial foods and Dr. D's concept of "foods that act like medicine" brought her back to a healthy perspective.
I don't want to see her worry. The Blood Type Diet ought to free us to live a more abundant life rather than adding a new level of anxiety in an already anxious world.
I do not ever want to reach a point where I live in fear that an occasional avoid will do me irrevocable harm. That simply is not true. I want to be healthy, but healthy involves not only what I eat, but being in a peaceful and confident state of mind.
I read this during my Bible study this morning. I'm going to share it with my daughter after school this afternoon. I thought you might enjoy reading it as well. It's from chapter 6 of Matthew.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
It's beginning to look a lot like January. The Christmas decorations are almost down. A couple of December freezes have killed all of the grass. Our son's holiday is over and he is back at school. For three weeks it was wonderful to have another Type O to cook for.
We had noticed a restaurant in an old train station near our church. Because they advertised hamburgers as their specialty, we waited to try it out until both beefeaters in the family were present.
It is a combination antique store and restaurant. They have lots of old signs for sale - most of them from car dealers and soft drink companies. We saw a display of old 6 Â½ ounce Coke bottles. That sparked a conversation about how portion sizes have changed, just in my lifetime. Even the soda with a kid's meal is larger than 6 Â½ ounces today.
When we got our menus, I saw instead of a hamburger, I could order a hamburger patty with two side orders. They had fries and onion rings, of course. But there were also lots of vegetable choices. I chose black-eyed peas and turnip greens, and ended up with a very beneficial meal. There were beneficial choices for the Type As as well.
The day we were there it was crowded. We had to wait 15 minutes to order. At first I thought - hooray, vegetables are making a comeback. The days of going out to eat and finding that salad is the only menu item available to me are over. Then I looked around. Most people had hamburgers, fries and a soda. Many of them had sticky cinnamon buns or cookies for dessert. The old train station was crowded because evidently all their food - healthy and unhealthy alike - is tasty.
I'll just be happy that there is a restaurant close by that has reasonable prices and beneficial food.
All of the Christmas shopping is done. Family is starting to gather together. This afternoon I am relaxing, reading, visiting, and catching up on e-mail. I got some insightful comments after my November Blog about mints. Here are some of the best:
"As a pharmacist with many years of experience and a recent doctorate, I view both aspartame (Nutrasweet) and sucralose (Splenda) as chemical poisons. When Splenda first appeared on the market, our daughter called from college for advice and I said it was too good to be true. Upon researching I found that it is a substituted sugar. This means the actual sugar molecule is chemically altered. In this case 3 hydroxyls are substituted with chlorine molecules to retain the sweetness and subtract the calories. Another disaster for the public, which while not as dangerous as aspartame (a neurotoxin) it should not be consumed without long-term testing. We are seeing Splenda users with bright red rashes, abdominal bloating, gas, and pain; and one of the first questions I ask patients requesting my recommendation for any rashes or stomach pain is: "Do you use any artificial sweeteners?" I chew a Xylitol gum (Biotene and others) as unobtrusively as possible as it freshens breath and prevents cavities... My rule of thumb is to stick with natural products that are not chemically altered...Sugar is not the healthiest product but it will not harm you in small quantities. Xylitol and Stevia are both natural sweeteners that may be used safely"
"I know that any artificial sweetener is not good for me and I've heard all the negative publicity sugar gets. In the end I decided that sugar is mostly a natural product God has supplied for us so as long as I only use it sparingly I go for sugar."
"Check out longlifeunlimied.com they have xylitol products which are excellent. By the way their xylitol is NOT from corn, which most others are! Theirs is from tree bark!"
This comment is from Dr. D on one of the old message board archives, "Xylitol causes extreme flatulence in about 50% of the population."
The xylitolnow.com website deals with this issue saying, "Initial overuse can have a laxative effect with some people. If you have never used xylitol sugar before, start slow, allow your system to adjust to higher quantities. By doing this you are increasing the necessary enzymes in your stomach to digest xylitol."
I took the plunge and ordered both xylitol mints and xylitol gum. They arrived about a month ago. As Dr. D. predicted, I noticed a slight increase in gas. As xylitolnow.com predicted, it seems to be gradually diminishing.
If you Google xylitol gum or xylitol mints, you will find quite a few companies selling them under different brand names. I ordered from emeraldforestxylitol.com
I chose them because they had the best specials on the day that I ordered.
I really like the gum. I had previously tried a xylitol gum that began to digest and break apart after about 5 minutes of chewing. I was left with a nasty mush in my mouth that I didn't want to swallow. The emerald forest gum holds together for as long as I've ever tried to chew it. It leaves my mouth and teeth feeling really good.
The xylitol mints are powerful - more like altoids than starlight mints. I think I prefer the soft peppermints made with sugar, but I will probably continue to use xylitol mints.
Since it is the day before Christmas Eve, I thought this would be a fitting end to a blog about mints:
According to legend there was a candy maker who wanted to invent a candy that was a witness to Christ.
First of all, he used a hard candy because Christ is the rock of ages. This hard candy was shaped so that it would resemble a "J" for Jesus or, turned upside down, a shepherd's staff. He made it white to represent the purity of Christ. Finally a red stripe was added to represent the blood Christ shed for the sins of the world, and three thinner red stripes for the stripes He received on our behalf when the Roman soldiers whipped Him. Sometimes a green stripe is added as a reminder that Jesus is a gift from God.
The flavor of the cane is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop. Hyssop is in the mint family and was used in the Old Testament for purification and sacrifice. Jesus is the pure Lamb of God, come to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
So, every time you see a candy cane this Christmas, remember the message of the candy maker: Jesus is the Christ!
I can't believe it's been a week since my last blog. Every day has been filled with activity and food. Every paragraph of this blog could have been a blog in and of itself, there just hasn't been time to write.
Our son flew home after his first semester at graduate school. He was tired after the hardest semester of his life. I had to work late the night he came home. I picked up Chinese food so we could all eat together at a reasonable hour. The next night I fixed spinach and lamb. He has caught up on his sleep and is rejuvenating his spirits by working in the yard.
Our daughter volunteered for a part in the drive through Christmas exhibit where she goes to school. Some very creative people turn part of the campus into Bethlehem - complete with horses and sheep. As visitors drive through, they see the entire Christmas story reenacted. Our daughter and a friend had taken a belly-dancing course just for fun in the fall. I've watched her practice, and it looks like perfect exercise for a Type A. She wound up as a belly dancer at Herod's palace. One of the nights was perfect weather. The others were very cold. I've been giving her lots of water with Echinacea and elderberry drops.
Our son has a girlfriend. She is a delightful Christian young woman, and we like her a lot. His graduate school kept them several states apart during the fall semester. She came for a 4-day Christmas visit. She is a Type A. So I continued to plan meals in my usual fashion with choices for As and Os. They took lots of long walks around our neighborhood and out in the country.
I've had three big stresses to deal with. My Mom fell again. She got up in the night to go to the bathroom, and fell. When she couldn't get up, she decided not to wake my Dad. She just sat on the bathroom floor until morning. It is so hard to see her weak like this, even if she is 91-years-old. It makes me more committed to my own muscle strengthening program.
My journalism class needed to put out one more issue of the school newspaper before the holidays began. The lead story for the front page didn't get approved by the administration until yesterday. That gave me very little time to finish the layout and print the paper. Today was the last day of class. I printed as I ate my lunch (cooked spinach, feta cheese, raisins, cubed chicken and olive oil) The class stuffed and distributed the paper. It was on time, but without a moment to spare.
I did most of my Christmas shopping early, but I still have the two most difficult people to shop for left on my list. I don't even have a really good idea. As soon as I finish this blog, my daughter and I are going to wander through the mall. I hate it that shopping stresses me at Christmas time. That is the antithesis of the season. No more shopping stress after today! I'm going to relax and enjoy the break from work and remember the miracle of Christmas.
Now you're caught up with all my activities. In some form or other the Blood Type Diet has been a part of each and every one, because the BTD is an integral part of my life.
Today is the Christmas luncheon at my husband's office. The company provides turkey and ham. The employees bring all of the side dishes. For years I have baked homemade bread. Before the Blood Type Diet, I made the same whole wheat bread that I made for my family. Now, at home, I bake rye bread, which is better for my Type As. But I don't think that the people at the office would appreciate the rye texture, so I go back to the old wheat recipe when I bake for the party.
This morning as I took the last loaf out of the bread machine I thought of something that I should have noticed long ago. The old recipe has extra gluten. It was about the time that I started baking bread that my indigestion got so much worse, and it was indigestion that eventually led me to the BTD.
Here's the irony - it was a health food store that recommended adding gluten to my recipe!
When I first got my bread machine, I followed the recipe for whole wheat bread. It was not at all appetizing. The flavor was nice, but the loaf was hard and heavy. Friends said to mix half white flour and half whole wheat. I recoiled against that idea. I had been reading for years about the evils of white flour and the benefits of whole grains.
I went to my favorite, independently owned health food store. One of the major organic, health food brands packages pure gluten powder. My friends at the store told me to add two Tablespoons of gluten to my recipe. I did and the results were fantastic - a 100% whole wheat loaf that was light and delicious.
I baked bread often, and I ate a lot of what I baked. All of the ingredients were natural and whole grain. According to conventional wisdom, what better food could I eat?
It was about that time that indigestion changed from a mild, occasional annoyance, to an every day aggravation. I never made the connection. I looked at lots of other foods and factors in my diet and lifestyle, but I never questioned my natural, healthy, delicious bread.
Providentially I found the BTD, learned that wheat is avoid for Type Os and that gluten is one of the culprits that makes it avoid. I started looking for wheat free bread recipes, and the gluten went into the back of the pantry. This morning is the first time I've connected the dots about the role that bad advice about "healthy" gluten played in my finding the BTD.
One more thingâ€¦After my blog about feeling like a short order cook, Joe wrote about his 3-Blood Type Family. He said, "In spite of the inconvenience, I think it is much better than eating incorrectly." I couldn't agree more. We are all healthier when we eat right for our types. I would much rather spend a little extra time in the kitchen than a lot of extra time at the doctor's office.
When I started the BTD, my family had two Os and two As. Then my son left for college, and I was outnumbered except on holidays. I adjusted by fixing myself Type O lunches and serving dinners that we all could eat. That worked really well until this year. My Type As are going in different directions.
My husband is craving grain. There are a lot of grains that are beneficial for As, and I'm serving them. But what he really wants is more rice, noodles, and wheat rolls, all of which are neutral.
My daughter on the other hand is shunning grain. She read that avoiding wheat is one of the keys to Type A weight loss. She is over compensating and eating very little of even the beneficial grains. What she really wants is lots of salad and lots of fruit.
Today we got home from church and everyone was hungry. My husband wanted soup, salad and rolls. "Don't just thaw out one," he said. My daughter wanted raw vegetables and peanut butter with fruit. "I'll warm up a little bit of last night's chicken, too," she said. I had leftover parsnips and ground beef. There weren't any green vegetables in the refrigerator, so I quickly sautÃ©ed some okra. I felt like a short order cook!
The positive side of this is that the BTD leaves room for a lot of individuality. This is a diet that starts with the premise that we are not all alike. Even within the blood types there is plenty of diversity. The negative side is the complexity of serving a family style meal.