Category: Earlier Blogs
My husband and I had something to celebrate; so a few days ago he took me out to a nice steak and seafood restaurant.
I ordered a sirloin steak. Normally it would have come with salad and a baked potato, but the menu had been changed to potato and broccoli. Curious, I thought. At that moment my primary concern was the potato. Fortunately they let me substitute roasted vegetables, which turned out to be delightfully seasoned onions, peppers, carrots and squash. It was a delicious and very beneficial meal.
Later I started thinking about the broccoli and wondering if putting cooked broccoli in place of raw salad was because of the increasingly frequent news reports about e-coli in raw produce. Two national restaurant chains have received really bad publicity, after customers got sick.
Last night we were all Christmas shopping and ate dinner at a cafeteria in the Mall. My daughter picked a piece of spinach out of her salad and asked, "Is it really safe to eat this?"
There is no doubt that raw foods have more vitamins and more enzymes than their cooked, frozen, or canned counterparts. However, it would only take one experience with e-coli or any other digestive bug to quickly wipe out all the benefits.
Mike and I lamented a year or so ago that about the only vegetable you can get in the currently popular restaurants is salad. They mostly serve sandwiches or pastas or potatoes. Very few offer any vegetable beyond lettuce and it's accompaniments. If restaurants become skittish about raw produce and stop serving salad, what will the Type Os do?
I almost ended my blog with that last question mark, but I feel compelled to add one more thought. If you only buy organic, and only eat in organic restaurants, do not kid yourself that you are safe. Because of the nature of organic fertilizers, improperly washed organic produce probably carries a higher risk than improperly washed commercial produce.
I got a flu shot on Friday. I debated a long time, but in the end decided it was the right thing to do.
My history with flu shots goes back to the mid-70s when I first started working. My employer gave free flu shots to all employees who wanted them. Free sounded good. The shots were given on a Friday. On Saturday and Sunday ran fever and felt terrible. After 2 years, I thought, "Why am I doing this? I might as well get the flu if I'm going to run fever and feel terrible. No wonder they give their free shots on Friday. I lose my weekend with side effects and have to go back to work on Monday."
So I stopped taking flu shots for many years. Most years I did not get the flu, though occasionally I did. Five years ago - Darling Daughter was in 7th grade - the flu hit our community particularly hard. DD was sick for nearly a week. My son swam the regional qualifying swim meet with the flu. My husband and I both had it. The next year, we all got flu shots. It was another bad year for flu, but my family stayed healthy all winter. Not only that, I learned that the new vaccines only make your arm sore - no more fever and flu-like symptoms.
I was convinced. I would get a flu shot every year. Then came the winter of the flu vaccine shortages. We were made to feel guilty because if we got flu shots we would be depriving someone who needed them more. I didn't get the flu that year, and the pattern was broken. My husband went back to getting them, but I couldn't psyche myself up to volunteering for a needle stick. Besides, I was on the BTD by then, maybe that would protect me.
This year flu is ravaging our school already. Friday we put out the last issue of the newspaper before Christmas, and only half of my class was there to help with distribution. DD said, "They're dropping like flies!"
She began early in the week bugging me to get her a flu shot, saying "I don't have time to be sick!" It was a lesson in the inefficiency of bureaucracy, but at last I got her an appointment for Friday afternoon. On the way, she asked if I was going to get a shot, too. I said yes, I said no, I said yes, I said no. I finally decided to do it. If flu is bad in December, this could be another really bad year. We will be spending time with family in the next few weeks, which will include tiny babies and octogenarians (those at greatest risk) as well as toddlers (germ carrying machines). I don't want to catch it, and I don't want to spread it.
So I rolled up my sleeve and got the shot.
When my husband and I married 30 years ago, the country was in the middle of a cultural shift. Our generation was much more casual because of the influence of the hippie movement, but like so many brides and grooms, for weddings, we reverted to the traditions of our parents. So I registered for and received fine Wedgwood china as wedding gifts. I remember with a smile inviting friends for dinner and setting the table with my china, only to have everyone, including my husband wear blue jeans.
I hardly used the china when our children were young, but in recent years I've begun to get it out at holidays. I've noticed some of the pieces were cracked. It seemed impossible; they sat untouched and protected in a china cabinet. At Thanksgiving when I found a beautiful china casserole dish broken in half, I contacted Wedgwood.
What I found out is so frustrating. I should have been washing my china twice a year even when I wasn't using it. China (at least china made in the 1970s and 80s - my mother and her generation's china seems to keep quite nicely in a cabinet) likes water, and it will spontaneously break if it gets too dry. So today I am washing what is left of my china.
What, you ask, does this have to do with the BTD? First - if you have china, wash it occasionally even if you don't use it. I wish someone had told me this 10 years ago.
Second, there's an allegory here. There are physical laws that govern how our bodies work. Knowing your Blood Type and eating accordingly are among those physical laws. For the first 49 years of my life, I didn't know anything about the Blood Type Diet, (just like I didn't know that my china needed moisture), but that didn't keep the laws from impacting my body. All of the avoids I was eating were causing damage (fortunately damage that was more reversible than cracked china!) Once I found about the physical laws and began to change my behavior, my physical health improved dramatically.
Here's the point - I thought I was taking care of my china and taking care of my body, but I was wrong on both counts. My good intentions did not protect either my china or my body. I only hope that the changes I am now making in my home management are as successful as the BTD changes I made 3 Â½ years ago were to my physical well being.
I was at the fish counter and to my delight saw wild caught salmon for about the same price I usually pay for farm raised. I bought the biggest piece they had.
After I cooked it, I knew why the price was so low. I think it had been used as a training tool at a fish filleting school. There were bones everywhere. It took the joy out of eating the salmon, because we had to pick through it so carefully. In addition it was dry and tough, not moist and flaky.
I hate to admit it, but though I occasionally get an outstanding piece of wild salmon, as a general rule it is not as tasty as farm raised.
That is not the case with hormone free chicken. I much prefer the taste of hormone free chicken over ordinary grocery store chicken. I buy hormone free chicken almost exclusively. Frankly, I can't tell the difference between natural beef and the more processed variety. Since my health food market puts their natural beef on sale on a regular basis, we eat natural beef most of the time.
But salmon is giving me a problem. It is hard to justify paying 3 times the price for fish that doesn't taste as good.
I've never tried a hormone free turkey, but my health food market ran a promotion during November. Each time I shopped I got a coupon. I saved enough coupons to get a free turkey. I'll be roasting it for Christmas. I'm just hoping it will not turn out to be a "tough old bird."
Yesterday I began to worry that I'm not feeling the Christmas spirit. A full week into December, and my mood is one of rushing and listing and planning rather than joy and excitement.
We went to a Christmas concert last week. The music was wonderful. It included a handbell choir playing intricate music with perfect timing. But we were running late, and we had trouble finding a parking place. We were fortunate to find a seat in the far right balcony. Those arriving after us had to sit on the floor. Somehow the shadow of anxiety robbed me of the full joy of the concert.
We are in the middle of a big family project, and my husband suggested that we cut back on Christmas decorations this year. "Let's just put up the tree and the nativity scene," he said. "Next year you can go all out and decorate every room." I know he is right. At one level I'm glad to be relieved of three days of decorating, followed, inevitably, by 3 January days of restoring order. Decorations have absolutely nothing to do with the meaning of Christmasâ€¦but putting up holly and angels do set a mood, and they do trigger memories of Christmases past.
When my children were little, we began to celebrate Christmas on December 1. Now my college son is studying for finals. Even when finals are over, he will stay at school to work for several days before coming home. My high school daughter has 5 research papers and 3 projects due before school is out. Last night she and I both literally dozed off as I asked her questions about moles and empirical formulas. Late nights of study do not foster Christmas cheer.
There is the added difficulty of following the BTD. Say what you will, food is a big part of the cultural Christmas environment. Is there a single traditional holiday food that is truly beneficial? I seem to be surrounded by cookies and fruit cakes and egg nogs. They are all lovingly prepared by people just as busy as I am. When I say "No, thank you," I see disappointment in their eyes. When I say "Yes, I'll take some," I kick myself later for not having more self discipline.
This morning as I opened my Bible, I asked God to slow me down enough to enjoy the true wonder and excitement of Christmas. A few minutes later, I read these words by Thomas a'Kempis, "Willingly would I speak my word, and reveal my secrets unto thee, if thou wouldst diligently watch for my coming, and open unto me the door of thine heart."
I thought of the shepherds, out in the fields that first Christmas night, watching their flocks, watching the sky. The rest of the world was rushing around worrying about details of Caesar's census and taxes. All of the details that seemed so important caused them to miss the heavenly hosts glorifying God that Christ was born. Christmas is more than decorations and food - it is even more than family. I want to watch, with an open heart, for God to reveal himself during this season when we celebrate that "God so loved the world."
A popular entrÃ©e in my part of the country is chicken fried steak. It is a thin steak, dipped in egg, dredged in seasoned flour, and fried in a skillet until it is done. It is usually served with green beans, mashed potatoes and white gravy. (I can make a pretty good BTD imitation using rice flour. I quickly brown it in a tiny bit of oil, then transfer it to a baking sheet and let it finish cooking in the oven.)
Some restaurant chef decided to cook a thin slice of chicken breast the same way. He called his new dish - chicken fried chicken. The name has always amused me. The name of today's breakfast experiment is also amusing in a similar way.
We were out with friends a few days ago, and the topic turned to oatmeal. I'll admit it was a strange choice of conversation, but each of us commented on whether we liked oatmeal, and how we liked it cook. One of the men said, "On weekends I make oatmeal for the kids that tastes like an oatmeal cookie." Because it was a man describing the dish, it is more of a list of instructions than an ingredient list.
Put the amount of water in a saucepan that you would normally use for oatmeal. I was going to use 1 Â½ cups of oatmeal, so I used Â¾ cup of water. As the water heats up, peel and dice an apple and put it in the hot water. When it starts to boil, cover it and turn the heat down. When the apples are soft, add a hand full of raisins, some maple syrup or brown sugar (or both) and a little bit of vanilla. Then add the oatmeal, and cook it as you normally would. Serve with a little soy milk and olive oil, if you like.
My honorable husband and darling daughter both liked it a lot. DD said it is her 2nd favorite oatmeal, peanut butter oatmeal being her favorite. HH says oatmeal cookie oatmeal is even better than peanut butter. It is a good choice for a cold morning.
I've been trying new recipes. Since I have to adjust the ingredients to make them compliant for both As and Os, they don't always come out right on the first try. The process would be faster if I could go for a second attempt at the recipe the next week, but the family wants more variety than that.
As soon as I have a recipe that's a keeper, I will post it. In the meantime, I thought I'd share a website. http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blalcohol6.htm
My husband and I do not drink alcoholic beverages. For many years the reasons for that decision was based on genetic and religious components. When I started the BTD nearly 4 years ago and realized that alcohol is avoid for Type Os and Type As (except for some wines) it was confirmation that we were making a good decision.
I don't have anything against cooking with alcoholic beverages, except that since we don't drink them, I don't usually have any available in the house. One of the recipes I've been experimenting with calls for sherry.
The above website suggests substituting pineapple juice for sherry. It worked beautifully in the recipe, adding just the right flavor - and it was beneficial for both As and Os.
I've made French toast for years according to the recipe in "Joy of Cooking." It called for orange juice; I substituted pineapple juice. I used to dust it with powdered sugar, but I rarely do that any more. The sugar sure looks pretty, but it must not affect the taste much, because no one seems to notice when I leave it off. My Type As are always happy when I serve French toast for breakfast.
Yesterday morning I was in the mood to try something new, so I made the French toast recipe from "Confessions of a Sneaky Organic Cook." I substituted ground flax seed for the wheat germ. My daughter said the other French toast is a little fruity, while this one is a little nutty. Both As liked it a lot, and said to put it on the repeat recipe list.
Here are the ingredients:
Â½ cup soy milk
1 tsp salt
Â½ cup ground flax seed
1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
dash of cinnamon
6 slices of Ezekiel bread
Mix the first 6 ingredients together. Soak each piece of bread in the egg mixture until it is soft. I cooked mine on a non stick griddle. If you use a skillet, you will probably have to use some butter or cooking spray.
I'm sad every fall when summer fruits like plums, peaches, berries, and nectarines dwindle from the produce aisle. In recent weeks my fresh fruits have been limited to beneficial bananas along with neutral grapes and apples. Fresh cranberries are in the stores, but just for the holidays. Though frozen blueberries and cherries are beneficial I still yearn for fresh fruit.
So, I was excited and delighted to see that mangos are back. Technically, mangos are in the store year round, but in the summer they are expensive. In the winter I can get them 2 for a dollar, sometimes even 3 for a dollar.
To me the taste of a large chunk of mango can be a little strong. Here are the two ways I like to eat fresh mango:
Grilled: Stand your mango on end, and with a sharp knife slice down one side as close to the seed as you can. Do the same for the other side. Peel your two large pieces of mango. Sometimes you can get two smaller edible pieces from the sides of the seed - it just depends on the size of the mango. Melt butter or ghee in a small skillet and sautÃ© the mango. I first ate this at a restaurant, served as a side dish to salmon. It is delicious.
Cubed: Cut the two big pieces from the mango in the same way as above. But instead of peeling, take your knife and cut a checkered pattern to, but not through, the skin. Gently push the center of the peeling side of the mango, and it will turn inside out, leaving cute little cubes of mango. Slice them off of the skin. Mix the cubes with other fruit.
It's interesting in my family that the two Type As, for whom mango is avoid, don't like it at all. While my son and I, for whom mango is beneficial, can hardly get enough. I bought four inexpensive mangos while I was shopping for Thanksgiving holiday food, but we never had a chance to eat them. I sent two back to college with my son. This morning I had mango and pineapple in my fruit and nut breakfast mix.
There may not be quite as much variety, but winter fruit is as delicious and beneficial as summer fruit.
I'm writing this rambling blog in the last minutes of a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. I took our favorite holiday recipes, made them as BTD compliant as I could, and enjoyed the feast.
I cheated on pies. My husband likes pecan. My son likes pumpkin. I didn't want to bake two pies, so I bought pies at the store. All week I looked for pie pumpkins. Though I wasn't baking a pie, I wanted pie pumpkins in reserve to cook after the holiday. All the stores seemed to be out. I went shopping late Wednesday to pick up eggs and a few other last minute items. The lines were long, but at last I was out of the store. There on the sidewalk was a huge bin of Colorado pie pumpkins. I picked up several and went back inside to stand in line again.
No one in the family likes giblet gravy, so the dog got his Thanksgiving dinner for breakfast. As I was getting the turkey ready for the oven, I offered him the neck. Poor thing, he couldn't really enjoy his treat because he was so worried that someone would try to steal it from him. He hunkered over it on the patio, growling every time anyone walked past the window. By the time the turkey was done, every morsel of the neck was consumed.
The difference between dressing and stuffing made our meal an hour later than planned. A stuffed turkey needs to cook longer. I was making dressing, so I planned my timetable around roasting an unstuffed turkey. What I didn't take into consideration was that the onion and apple I put into the cavity would have the same effect on the cooking time as stuffing. The turkey was worth waiting for. It was wonderfully moist and tender, thanks to the onion and apple.
When I was a girl, I remember relatives saying, "Southerners eat dressing; Yankees eat stuffing." I have no idea whether those regional differences are still true, but today I made cornbread dressing, which bakes in a separate pan. I used spelt biscuits and cornbread so the dressing was wheat free at least. My husband said that he had never tasted better dressing.
Sweet potato casserole, basil green beans, cranberries (Janey O's recipe with pineapple juice and honey) and a raw vegetable tray rounded out our meal. As we ate, my husband asked us to each name several things that we were thanked God for this year. We were all reminded again that we are very blessed.
I got an e-mail from my sister. She has lived in Europe for many years, but now her son is going to college in America. Her husband was able to schedule a business trip so that he could spend the Thanksgiving with their son. As those two Type Os discussed where they wanted to go for their Thanksgiving dinner, they talked about turkey. But in the end they both decided that what they really wanted was a big steak. It may not be traditional, but it is very Type O.
However and wherever you spent Thanksgiving Day, I hope you took a moment between preparing stuffing and stuffing yourself to remember your blessings and to offer appropriate thanks to the One who gives all good things.
I have mentioned before in blogs that my husband tends to find a favorite food, eat it as often as he can get it, then burn out and refuse to eat it again. I have tried to be careful to rotate his Type A beneficial foods, but in the past two weeks he has been struggling with burn out.
Over the weekend he complained about heartburn, implying that the BTD was no longer working for him. I asked a few questions and found out that he had been drinking as many as 4 sodas a week, and that, if I wasn't with him, he was ordering beef when he went out to eat. His stomach is further aggravated by medication the doctor has him on to fight an infection. We had a pretty frank discussion about what he was doing to himself. He agreed to be more compliant and he already feels better.
But the bottom line of the conversation was that he is tired of beans, tired of chicken, tired of salmon, tired of salad, basically tired of so many foods that are good for him. He wants shrimp, crab, cabbage, picante, and mashed potatoes - all foods guaranteed to give him misery.
My daughter is just the opposite. She is back from a 4-day school retreat, where she was perfectly happy to eat salad two meals a day. She walked in the dining hall, looked at the food choices and made a b-line for the salad bar. One night they served grilled chicken and she enjoyed that meal.
Here are some of her comments. "I couldn't eat the breakfast tacos, because they mixed bacon in with the eggs." "They had spaghetti one night and I was going to eat that, but my friends all said it tasted funny. I decided to stay with salad." "I didn't eat the carrots because they were in a big bowl, and everyone was reaching in with their hands. Since so many people were sick and coughing, I stayed away." "They had box lunches one day, but the only choice was ham & cheese. If they had turkey, I would have eaten it." "I'm glad I took the peanut butter, I ate about half of the jar." "It sure is good to be home and have fresh fruit again."
So I have a Type A who is content and a Type A who is bored. At least my husband is excited about turkey for Thanksgiving. After the holiday, I'm going to have to search out some new Type A recipes.
I think Sante_j's blog today about abortion and breast cancer is extremely important information. I have read some of the statistics before, but I've never seen the evidence presented in such a concise manner as it is in her blog.
There is another disease killing women that has also been hushed up because of political correctness - cervical cancer. I'm attaching an edited article from the October 7, 2006 World Magazine. It prompted a very frank conversation between my honorable husband, my darling daughter, and myself. This blog and Sante_j's blog will probably be too much to process in one sitting. Read one today and one tomorrow, but read them both.
Stalking a silent killer
by Lynde Langdon
Eva PerÃ³n never knew what killed her. In the early 1950s, before patients' bills of rights and managed care, doctors and families commonly kept cancer diagnoses a secret from those afflicted. But Argentinian president Juan PerÃ³n went to great lengths to hide his wife's diagnosis of cervical cancer from her. He never told his wife before her death in 1952 that an American specialist performed her hysterectomy in place of her local doctor. Historians have speculated that the deception was part political maneuvering and part denial; President PerÃ³n did not want the country to learn of his misfortune in an election year, and his wife did not want to know.
But there was something neither PerÃ³n nor the public knew about Evita, even after a Broadway musical memorialized the story of her populism and humanitarianism. Her cancer was caused by a sexually transmitted virus that she most likely caught from her husband, whose first wife also died of cervical cancer.
The CDC estimates that 80 percent of women under 50 have had human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical cancer. Doctors have known about the disease for at least 20 years, but until recently it remained as much a mystery to the public as it did to Juan and Eva PerÃ³n. T
The release of an HPV vaccine in June finally gave women a reason to talk to their doctors and each other about the disease. The facts of HPV challenge what they thought they knew about sex and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). As with all STDs, abstinence until marriage will prevent HPV, but it has to be abstinence from all genital contact, and on the part of both spouses. HPV can occur in monogamous relationships if one of the people in the relationship has had previous genital contact with someone else.
HPV is similar to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, only in that both can be transmitted sexually. But statistically speaking, the population that exposes itself to HPV is much larger than the one that exposes itself to HIV. About 40,000 new U.S. cases of HIV occur every year, while there are over 6.2 million new cases of HPV.
There are more than 100 kinds of Human papillomaviruses, all of which cause changes to skin cells. The majority of types cause the common skin wart; about 40 kinds of HPV are transmitted through genital contact. Most HPV infections clear up on their own with no symptoms. Some types of HPV cause genital warts in men and women, while a handful of strains change the cells of the cervix into pre-cancerous cells. The cells will develop into cancer if not detected and removed. Men can carry the kinds of HPV that cause cervical cancer, but they rarely experience any symptoms from it. Doctors now believe HPV is the sole cause of all cervical cancer.
With 6.2 million new cases of HPV every yearâ€”more than gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis combinedâ€”the Centers for Disease Control predict that if every American ages 14 to 49 took an HPV test on the same day, 15 percentâ€”20 million peopleâ€”would be infected. More than half of sexually active men and women get HPV at some point in their lives; and, the CDC says, by age 50, 80 percent of women have had HPV. A recent study showed people who use condoms were 70 percent less likely to get HPV than those who do not, but condoms are not 100 percent effective at preventing the virus.
Gynecologists now use HPV testing as a follow-up to an abnormal Pap test, which analyzes cervical cells for early signs of cancer. But HPV has a long, unpredictable latency, so a woman can contract the virus early in her adult life and have it for years before it affects the cells in her cervix. A man can also carry the virus for a long time and never experience symptoms. Without abstinence, both may give the disease to others in the meantime.
Connie Mao, a gynecologist at the Harborview Women's Clinic in Seattle, said most of her patients with HPV had never heard of the virus before she diagnosed them with it. "They want to treat it, they want to know it's gone, and they want to know who gave it to them," said Mao, who is also on the faculty at the University of Washington, the country's leading HPV research center. "All of those questions with HPV are very hard. You could have had it for 10 years, and I can't treat it."
"We do not routinely test the cancers for HPV because it does not affect treatment and they are all positive," said Liz Swisher, a gynecological oncologist at the University of Washington.
FDA approval of the HPV vaccine Gardasil, which provides immunity from two kinds of HPV that cause 70 percent of cervical cancer, has sparked increased interest in the virus from women and the media. The vaccine's maker, pharmaceutical company Merck, has started a national ad campaign to promote HPV awareness. Commercials show women talking about "cancer caused by a virus" and direct viewers to the website www.tell-someone.com. The women in the commercial appear surprised to hear that HPV causes cervical cancer.
The Pap test helped doctors in the United States bring cervical cancer rates under control. Between 1955 and 1992, the number of U.S. cervical cancer deaths dropped by 74 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. Dr. Anna Giuliano, a researcher at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Florida, has studied HPV and cervical cancer since completing her Ph.D. in 1990. "Ultimately, as long as people participate in a Pap smear screening program, their risk for cancer is going to be very low," Giuliano said.
"There have been studies looking at how women feel once they have been given an HPV test diagnosis," Giuliano said. "It's almost akin to having been diagnosed with one of the classic STDs. . . . Women don't know if they can have sex again or not. It does create a lot of anxiety even when they don't develop cervical cancer."
Cervical cancer ranks 11th on the list of common cancers in American women, according to the American Social Health Association. But worldwide, it is the second deadliest cancer, next to breast cancer, in women because developing countries lack Pap test screening programs. The World Health Organization reports that 80 percent of the world's cervical cancers occur in developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Central America. In Central America and the Caribbean, cervical cancer is more common than breast cancer.
In the United States, the Gardasil vaccine is already for sale for $120 a dose, more expensive than any other vaccine on a price list published in August by the Centers for Disease Control. Since it takes three doses to develop full immunity, American women can expect to pay $360 for full protection against HPV. Some private insurance companies have already agreed to cover the cost. So did the federal Vaccines for Children program, which provides free immunizations to uninsured or underinsured children. Since Pap testing, which usually costs less than $50 a test, has successfully kept U.S. cervical cancer at bay, Giuliano does not expect rates of the disease to drop significantly lower because of the vaccine. Rather, she predicted, the incidence of abnormal Pap tests and genital warts will decrease.
To develop immunity to HPV, women must receive the vaccine before they expose themselves to the disease. That puts the responsibility on parents to estimate when daughters will become sexually active and to decide whether and when a girl should get the HPV vaccine. The CDC recommended the vaccine for girls as young as 9, stirring a controversy similar to the debate over sex education in schools. States chose not to include the vaccine on their lists of shots required for school attendance.
Conservative family groups that oppose mandatory sex education and condom distribution at schools have said they support the use of the vaccine as long as parents, not schools, choose whether their children receive it. The Family Research Council issued the following statement: "While we welcome medical advances such as an HPV vaccine, it remains clear that practicing abstinence until marriage and fidelity within marriage is the single best way of preventing the full range of sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, and negative psychological and emotional consequences that can result from sexual activity outside marriage."
Mao witnesses those consequences at the Harborview Women's Clinic, where every day she explains HPV to another patient who has never heard of it. "I've taken care of a lot of young women with fairly significant disease who end up getting procedures done to remove abnormal cells," Mao said. "I've had people tell me, 'I wish someone would have told me about HPV before I had sex with people, and maybe I would have had fewer partners or thought about it a little.' People don't understand the risk of having boyfriends when 15 or 16 years old other than just getting pregnant."
Copyright Â© 2006 WORLD Magazine
October 07, 2006, Vol. 21, No. 38
We developed a rattle in the car on our Parent's Weekend trip. We have 1,000 miles to go until the car is out of warranty. So this week I had to take the car to the dealer. I sat in the service department waiting room and read while they tore apart the dashboard looking for the rattle. There were two articles that are worth mentioning.
One had the headline, "Are trans fats the worst fats?" The article states that almost all experts agree that trans fats are bad. What the experts can't agree on is which is worse, trans fats or saturated fat. A new study at Wake Forest University shows that "trans fats may cause redistribution of fat tissue into the abdomen (the worst place to store fat for both health and appearance) and lead to higher body weight, even when total calories are the same."
It is curious to me that if "all" experts agree that trans fats are bad, then why are they in almost every bread, cracker, cereal, and pastry sold in grocery stores. Of course, if you follow the BTD and eat only beneficial oils, you don't have to worry about trans fat research.
The second article was about Vitamin D. Researchers have decided that the current RDA of 400 IU is just barely enough to prevent rickets. The government will re-examine the RDA in 2008, and could well raise it to 1,000 IU.
The reason for the change is the long list of diseases that research has linked to Vitamin D deficiency.
18 types of cancer are associated with lack of Vitamin D.
Adequate Vitamin D may cut the risk of colon cancer in half.
Prostate cancer occurs in men who work indoors 4 years earlier than in men who work outdoors.
Breast, lung, bladder, esophageal, gastric, ovarian, rectal, renal, uterine, cervical, gallbladder, laryngeal, oral, pancreatic, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and Hodgkin's lymphoma are cancers associated with low Vitamin D.
Children who took 2000 IU of Vitamin D per day had an 80% lower risk of developing diabetes according to a study in Finland. Women with Multiple sclerosis who took 1000 IU of Vitamin D per day had a measurable improvement in their immune system attacks.
My multiple vitamin contains 400 IU. That may be enough in the spring summer and fall when I spend a lot of time in the sun. But now that cold weather is coming and I'm exercising more indoors, I'm going to increase my Vitamin D. I had been cautioned about Vitamin D toxicity so often in my health nut years, that I consciously avoided buying calcium supplements with Vitamin D added. That decision just got reversed.
By the way, it took 3 Â½ hours, but they found and fixed the rattle in the car.
I hope I am not breaking any copyright laws by linking this comic from Friday's paper. I salute Brant Parker and Johnny Hart for making me laugh, and I wonder if they follow the Blood Type Diet.
We had company for dinner one night last week. To accommodate everyone's tastes and blood types, I did as I often do for my family; I prepared all of the ingredients to a casserole separately, and let everyone build their own. My Darling Daughter came into the kitchen and asked if I had cooked both ground beef and ground turkey. Of course, I told her, I wouldn't leave you and Dad with nothing to eat but beef.
DD continued her kitchen inspection and asked, "Which is the beef and which is the turkey?" On a whim I suggested she sniff the two skillets and see if she could tell for herself. She sniffed the beef first, wrinkled her nose, and said, "That smells terrible." She sniffed the turkey, smiled and said, "That must be the turkey." Her nose knows what is good for her.
While we all had the digestive system virus last week, I couldn't help noticing what seemed to be Blood Type differences. Both my husband and daughter complained of nausea and lack of appetite. My stomach gurgled, but I never felt nauseous, and I was hungry all the time.
However both of them had mild lower GI symptoms, while I spent one morning making frequent trips to the bathroom. Coincidence? It could be, but I can't help thinking that our built in ABO characteristics made us respond differently to the same virus.
I admitted that when we ate at Rudy's last Saturday night, since there were no beneficial or neutral vegetable choices, I ate pinto beans and creamed corn. My stomach gurgled all night. Sunday I watched what I ate pretty carefully. But my stomach gurgled again all the next night. I was frustrated - two vegetable avoids had thrown my system so far off balance.
Then my daughter complained that her stomach didn't feel right. Then my husband called from work and said he was nauseous and was coming home early. He ran 102 degrees of fever that night.
Suddenly the light came on - I wasn't dealing with a reaction to avoids - we all had a stomach virus. We are all fine now, but the experience underscored a concept that needs to be restated from time to time on this website where we are all trying to build better health by using natural means.
Sometimes people have a bacteria, virus or parasite that needs medical intervention. Sometimes people are dealing with a critical disease that must be identified in order to treat it effectively.
I cringe when I read a post on the Forum that goes something like this, "I have tightness in my chest and pain in my left arm. Do you think this could be detox?" I scream at the computer - NO, NO, NO, get to the doctor! Go to a naturopath, go to an osteopath, go to an MD - but get competent medical advice."
Sante J. wrote brilliantly about this when she told of her friend who died after going to a chiropractor for an aneurysm. If you have read many of my blogs, you know that I found the Blood Type Diet AFTER getting an upper GI to make sure my symptoms were not warnings of something serious like cancer in my stomach or esophagus.
I've been following the best nutritional advice I could find for nearly 30 years in an effort to live a healthy life. The BTD was the final piece of the puzzle that made all of the other theories come together. I am living proof that it has paid off. But I'm still going to pick up an occasional virus. And I'm still going to get professional advice when I am concerned about symptoms that might mean something bad is going on inside.
On a lighter note - a quote about spiritual disciplines that is equally valid for the BTD:
"Like any new model of behavior, they must be wrestled with, talked through, come to terms with, and tried on. With time, a few of them will begin to settle in and become a consistent lifestyle. Looking back, you'll discover you've actually changed."
On the way to Lubbock I did isometric exercises in the car. When I'm driving I pick a muscle group to tense and relax for 5 minutes. Then I pick another muscle group. I alternate lower body, upper body. I can go for an hour without duplicating an exercise. I drove for a long time on this trip, so I did 2 full hours of isometrics. This may seem like strenuous exercise, but my heart rate goes up, and I have to turn the air conditioner vents in my direction.
Saturday we walked more than a mile to the football stadium. However we were walking and talking, stopping to visit people as we went. It was more of a stroll than strenuous exercise. Our hotel had an exercise room, so after dinner I did 15 minutes on the Stair Master and 15 minutes of weights. That was a good work out.
Coming home it was back to isometrics.
Every time I travel, I find myself more and more irritated with the environmentalist wackos who are forcing everyone to use low water toilets. Not only do they make traveling distasteful, but I am fully convinced that they waste more resources than they save. If they are ordinary low water toilets, they do not flush all of the paper and other debris. They have to be flushed twice, and sometimes three times. They are not saving water!
If they are the high powered toilets that sound like they are exploding, they flush out the debris, but they spray the seat with potty water. I have to waste a wad of toilet paper to clean the toilet before I can use it. Maybe they save a little water, but they kill trees to make all of the extra toilet paper.
Cleaning my own bathrooms at home is fine, but I do not like cleaning bathrooms all across the state of Texas! When I come back to the car with a look of irritation on my face, my husband no longer asks what is wrong.
We spent last night and today visiting our son at Texas Tech Parents Weekend. Last night we met him for dinner. He asked what kind of food we wanted. I said, "You know me. I want meat and vegetables." He suggested a place called Cotton Patch. It was wonderful. I ordered roast, and with it I got two vegetables. There were 12 choices, and more than half of them would have been good. I picked carrots and broccoli.
I asked for olive oil to go with the broccoli. Our server hesitated, so I added, "It has to be olive oil. I don't want corn oil." He was back in a few minutes to say that all they had was vegetable oil, so I went to the car and brought in my olive oil.
This afternoon after the football game, our son, his roommates, and some other friends all went to a place called Rudy's. Again our son picked it because he thought I could get meat and vegetables. I ordered brisket, which was delicious. But though there were 8 vegetable choices, none of them were neutral, much less beneficial. I finally settled on pinto beans and creamed corn.
It was interesting to me that two restaurants which promote their vegetables could be so different.
Where has this week gone! We have had friends from out of town visiting with us, and there has just been no time to blog. I have neglected e-mailing family and friends as well, but we have sure had a lot of fun. There has been something interesting to blog about every day, and here I am trying to sum it all up quickly.
We have eaten out a lot, and when I look back, I am pleased to say that I made good choices in restaurants.
We live in a part of Texas that is known for good Mexican food, and one night we ate at the best Mexican restaurant in our city. They make homemade flour tortillas and deliciously crisp corn tortilla chips. I remember this from pre-BTD days! I did not eat any of them - even though our food was a little slow coming and I was getting pretty hungry. Several others in our group ordered fajitas, which were brought to the table sizzling hot in a skillet. They were served with tortillas, rice, and pinto beans. I ordered a steak fajita salad. I got the same delicious meat, but without the grain and pinto bean avoids.
I told our waitress to hold the cheese, but I ate the guacamole. I said I had dodged avoids, not left them out altogether. Seriously, I think that guacamole was the only avoid all week.
One night we ate at Red Lobster, a national seafood restaurant. Again they are known for their cheese biscuits which the others in our group ate in great quantities. I abstained. I ordered a seafood trio which was very good. It came with shrimp, scallops, and stuffed flounder. I knew the stuffing would be mostly grain, so I asked if they would substitute grilled flounder and they were agreeable. For my side order I chose mixed vegetables which turned out to be freshly steamed broccoli, carrots and yellow squash. I asked for some of the clarified butter (same as ghee) that they serve with their fish, but I used it on my vegetables. It was delicious.
More about the week's adventures tomorrow.
Among our friends in our Sunday School class are a missionary to Eastern Europe and his wife, who is from the country where he serves. They are in the States for a year while he gets his masters degree; then they will return to the mission field. They are a delightful couple, and they invited us to their home for lunch on Sunday. I knew as soon as we accepted the invitation, that avoids would be unavoidable. Her English is limited, and where most of the time I can briefly explain to someone why I don't eat wheat, I knew in this case I could not make her understand. I decided that it was more important for me to be a gracious friend and guest than to offend her.
She served two dishes from her native country. One was a breaded chicken with cheese. The other she called surprise salad. I must have the recipe!! It was not only delicious, but think it was mostly beneficial, though I couldn't identify all of the ingredients. I guess she was afraid that we might not like her native foods, so she also fixed lasagna and garlic bread. For dessert she served a very light cake filled with raspberries and cream.
If I had served my own plate, I would have heaped on the salad, and had small portions of the avoid foods. However, our plates were served and passed to us. As long as I was going to eat avoids, I made up my mind to enjoy food that I hadn't eaten in ages, and I did.
I feel guilty, and I go hard on myself on the rare occasions that I eat avoids at home. I give myself a reprimand if I am out and I choose an avoid when a neutral or beneficial is available. Being a gracious guest is another matter entirely. Besides - it could be years before I eat another plate of lasagna!
Quoting from my Bible study this morning: A man trying to win a woman will do anything for her. She'll call him and say, "I know it's late and you're tired, and it's raining, but could you come over and change my flat tire?" "Sure, Ill be right over," he says. And over he comes with a smile. Now fast forward. They've been married 10 yearsâ€¦She asks him to get off the couch and do something for herâ€¦He moans and groans, then she gets upset. What's happening? What was once a delight has become drudgery - because the love motivation has cooled off.
Our problem isn't really obedience, it's keeping our love for Christ strong, for love makes obedience a joy.
You can apply that to your marriage or your spiritual life any way you want to. I'm going to apply it to the BTD.
When I first started the BTD everything was so new and exciting. I believed it might be the answer to my long term struggle with indigestion. Indeed it was, and so much more. I was reading and studying and trying new recipes. Compliance wasn't a problem because I so clearly remembered how bad I had felt before and how great I felt now.
Now fast forward. It's been more than three years. Some of that early excitement has worn off. I'm in a comfortable routine. I'm used to feeling good, and some days I take the BTD for granted. I don't try as many new recipes. If I get busy I may skip a day of exercise or eat easy-to-prepare neutrals instead of beneficials.
If you are going to have a good marriage, you have to work to keep the love alive. If you are going to have a living relationship with Christ you have to periodically return to your first love for him. If compliance to the BTD is going to be a joy, you must remember what made it fun and exciting in the beginning.
Pardon me while I go look through some new recipes.