Category: Earlier Blogs
Some days I go through my normal routine - eating beneficial and neutral food and exercising - hardly giving a thought to the BTD. Other days I'm faced with tough BTD decisions. Yesterday was one of those days.
I attended a yearbook workshop with some students. To be honest, I'm not ready to think about school, but a certain amount of planning has to happen during the summer. Lunch was included in the workshop. I assumed it would probably be sandwiches; so yesterday morning I packed a bag of trail mix (walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds and raisins). If lunch was a sandwich, I'd eat the meat out of the bread and have the trail mix on the side. If I was lucky and they served a Type O lunch, I could have the trail mix late in the afternoon as I drove home.
When I opened my box lunch there was nothing (emphasize NO thing) that I could eat. There is a local franchise run by a Christian family. They care for their employees (they're even closed on Sunday so their employees can attend church), they keep their restaurants clean, and treat their customers well. But they use MSG in all their entrees. The box lunch was from this restaurant. I had a big white bun surrounding a chicken patty coated with bread crumbs and MSG. I also had a bag of high fat, high salt Fritos and a brownie. I ate my trail mix and drank a bottle of water.
On the way home I stopped at the grocery store. All the stores in my area carry frozen hamburger patties. All of them are high fat except one. These particular sirloin burgers have no additives and are very lean. The store was out of them and the UPC tag was gone from the freezer shelf.
I had a suspicion that they had been discontinued, and my natural inclination was to begin to get irritated. However I am trying to be more disciplined and remember that "All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28) I spoke kindly to one of the grocers.
While he was in the office checking the computer, I searched the shelf again and I found a new product. "HEB Natural Angus Beef Patties. No added hormones ever. No antibiotics ever, Always vegetarian fed, No additives or preservatives." It is the same price as the sirloin burgers! It is also available in 1 pound ground beef pouches.
The grocer came out apologizing; the sirloin was discontinued. "No problem," I said. "I have found something I like better." I showed him the package and asked how long they had carried it. It turns out to be a new product that has only been on the self a month or six weeks. Instead of being irritated, I was blessed.
I got a wonderful letter yesterday from my college roommate. She has been on the BTD since February and her cholesterol has dropped from 297 (Triglycerides were 166) to 243 (Triglycerides now 129).
Alice said I could share her story with you. She first heard about the Blood Type Diet when I mentioned my blog in a Christmas card two years ago. "I checked into it then and I said, nope, not for me! I could never do without bread, potatoes, or dairy! Later my sister was going to a whole-health chiropractor and he encouraged her to investigate the BTD."
Then last February Alice's doctor got upset because of her cholesterol readings. The doctor had cause to be concerned. Alice's father had a fatal heart attack when he was only 58.
"I had always had excellent numbers and it was within the last year or so that they had suddenly started climbing. The doctor gave me the "cholesterol diet" and said we'd retest in 3 months. I chunked that diet and decided to go with the BTD. I decided to wait a little longer to give it time and finally went Friday for tests. The one other thing besides BTD I've done differently is to add "Red Rice Yeast" which is a natural alternative to the statins with supposedly no side-effects."
"The nurse who called asked me if I've been on my cholesterol diet. If so she was going to let me continue without meds and see if it continues to come down. I didn't get into it with her, but just said yes (because I feel I am on a cholesterol diet.) If I continue to do well, I'll eventually tell my doctor, but she really is clueless on anything alternative. I figure she will be more likely to listen if I have definite results."
Alice wrote this about her level of compliance. "When I say I'm on the BTD, I haven't achieved the level of compliance that you have. What you said you were doing on the cruise is what I pretty much do daily (minus the one dessert a day.) I eat mostly beneficials, but don't usually read the labels for other ingredients. I rarely eat wheat, dairy, or corn. If we're out and everyone is eating a hamburger, I skip the fries (opt for a salad maybe) and eat the hamburger while pushing the top bun off as I eat. If we go eat Mexican foodâ€¦oopsâ€¦you can just imagine! So just think how great I'd be doing if I were greater compliance!"
I was so thrilled to get this letter! I know what the BTD has done for me. But this dramatic of an improvement in such a short time is something to shout about, and you can't argue with blood tests. If you know someone who is still bewildered about what a Type O should do for high cholesterol, read this final comment from Alice.
"Funny, I went to get a paper copy of my blood tests today and the doc has a note on them that I am on a "lowfat" diet. Ha! I eat lots of beef, nuts, fish, and eggs (I know even more than the BTD recommends, but even Dr. D' says his numbers are only recommendations). So I'm definitely not on a "lowfat" diet."
I've been Googling like crazy trying to find out how much truth there was in the Detox Seminar I took on the cruise.
The leader started by drawing a triangle and saying that in order to lose weight you had to pay attention to exercise, nutrition and detox. You will not be able to lose those last few pounds or inches without detox, she emphasized. Then she talked about all of the ways that toxins get into your body and where they are stored. The liver, kidneys and colon are three major areas. Cellulite, she said is when toxins are stored around fat cells.
She said that water alone would not flush toxins out of your body. If toxins are in your blood stream, water will flush them out of your system, but water alone will not release the toxins from the places where they are stored. The natural purifiers, she said, are algae and seaweed. There was a tendency to believe her because outside we could see our ship moving through beautiful blue water.
That was all she would say at the seminar. She wanted people to sign up for a test (using electrodes) to analyze their body composition. Then she would sell them the kind of seaweed they needed to cleanse their system. I'm not the kind of person who lets a stranger run electric currents through my body in order to convince me that I need to spend hundreds of dollars on her products. But I was curious about her theory.
When I Google seaweed and detox, I get hundreds of responses. Most of them are for seaweed plasters, creams or soaps. It does not seem logical to me that seaweed applied to the outside of my body would release toxins stored in my internal organs and fat cells. When I Google cellulite the consensus seems to be that it is hormonal and/or inherited rather than caused by toxins.
However I know seaweed and kelp are beneficial for Type Os. So I looked up Bladderwrack (a kelp) in the BTD encyclopedia and read that Dr. D. recommends it for detoxification in Type Os! Under primary action, it says "Traditional herbal medicine for weight loss."
I don't need to lose weight, but I do have some stubborn cellulite that no amount of exercise (and no amount of body brushing last summer) has had any impact on. I am increasing the amount of seaweed I eat and I'm taking Bladderwrack. I'll let you know if it changes the appearance of my legs.
Here are two pictures from the cruise. The first is me in a hurricane damaged part of Cozumel. The second is me snorkeling in Progresso.
If you can't see them, try this link
While we were on our vacation, I followed the Blood Type Diet, except for the minor deviations I mentioned. I probably dropped from 97% compliant to 87%. My daughter stayed with the Blood Type Diet the whole trip. My son ate like a Type O except he ate too much wheat. Once he said, "Mom, does it bother you that I eat bread?" I told him that I got away with eating wheat for many years, but that it eventually caught up with me. "You are young and active," I said. "One of these days you'll start having trouble. At least when it happens, you will know what's wrong. It took me 10 years of experimenting before I learned what was causing the trouble."
My husband was a different matter. At home he eats like a Type A because I serve him Type A food for breakfast lunch and dinner. When we eat out, he usually asks me what would be good choices for him. But on the cruise he ignored the BTD and ate whatever he wanted. He had steak. He had shrimp, lobster, and many other avoids. He ignored the legume and vegetarian choices that would be good for him.
In the same way that I can't force someone to turn their life to God, I can't force someone, even someone I love, to eat right. In both cases, I have to wait until they sense the need for themselves.
On the last night of the cruise he had acid reflux, and was pretty uncomfortable. That did not stop him from having two hamburgers and my Mom's beef tenderloin en route home. He was, by then, quite miserable.
Our daughter lit into him. She told him he knew better than to eat the way he had. "Cows are cute," she said. "They are not for you and me to eat! Save the cows, Dad." He tried to flee to another room, but she stayed after him, fixing him peppermint tea and blasting him for his poor choices. He turned to me, but I just grinned. I didn't need to say a word.
Today he is much better. I think he has learned a lesson, but it took another Type A to teach it to him.
We left the ship, our enchanting home for five days. There were no worries. Delicious meals were prepared. Our room was cleaned twice a day. We just relaxed, listened to the water, and breathed fresh air. Relaxed doesn't mean inactive - not for a Type O. I got lots of exercise climbing stairs, working out at the gym, and swimming.
We stopped for a visit with my parents on the way home. My Dad is 88, and his skin has become fragile. Every time I see him he has a bandage some where from a cut. He bumped his leg, and what should have been a minor injury became seriously infected. Fortunately he responded quickly to antibiotics. I must see if I can find some natural supplement that would strengthen his skin.
When I first started the BTD my Dad went to the library and checked out the books. He has always eaten a lot of vegetables and a lot of beef. Now he uses soy milk instead of cow's milk and has cut back on wheat. I'd say he is 75 - 80% on the BTD.
He has a Norwalk hydraulic juicer that he is going to give me. We had way too much luggage this trip and couldn't squeeze it into the car. It is an older model 235, I believe. The only problem is that he can't find the instruction book. Another thing on my to do list - find out how to operate and clean the machine.
My Mom fixed beef tenderloin for dinner. After the first bite I said, "The chefs on the cruise ship can't hold a candle to your cooking." She laughed, but I wasn't kidding. The first meal I fixed at home included turnip greens and parsnips with ghee. I just realized I never saw cooked greens on any menu on the ship. I guess greens are too practical or down home for elegant dining.
The grass needs to be mowed, and the paperwork has stacked up. There is a mountain of laundry to do. Vacation was wonderful, but now we're back on terra firma (solid ground).
As my husband and I ate breakfast I noticed one of the food service officers standing nearby. I introduced myself as a blogger on a nutritional website, and asked him to sit with us for a few minutes. I wanted to know how they handled passengers with specific dietary needs.
Tamas Pata, assistant manager, said that when a travel agent books a Carnival Cruise, the agent is supposed to ask about special diet needs. I vaguely remember them asking me that question, and my answering no. Mr. Pata said on the first day of the cruise someone from food service contacts each passenger who indicated special needs. They bring menus for the whole cruise. You select what you want to eat and list any foods you can't have. Your food is prepared and served to you in the dining room.
As an example, Mr. Pata told of a person who was allergic to garlic who wanted fish with garlic sauce on Day 3. Their fish was served with a garlic-free sauce.
"I've seen it all," Mr. Pata said. "Wheat and dairy allergies, garlic and shellfish allergies, kosher and other religious diets. A few people choose to bring their food on board, but we can accommodate most people."
If you tell the travel agent ahead of time, they will even bring additional food on board. For instance, whole milk, lowfat milk and chocolate milk are standard items, but if I had said that my daughter needed soy milk, they would have had it on board and available for her.
Food on the buffet line is not specially prepared, so a passenger with severe reactions would have to be very careful there. But anything served in the dining room can be adjusted for a passenger's needs.
Today was a wonderfully relaxing day at sea. We did several activities together as a family, and each of us also spent time pursuing our own interests. I went to an art auction, and found it to be quite interesting. We all met at the hot tub before we got dressed for dinner.
My dinner began with mango soup. It was so good, the meal would have been a success if it had ended right there. Every night I have had the garden salad with olive oil because the specialty salad came with dressing pre-applied. If I had met with food service on that first day, I could have had the "hearts of romaine" salad served to me plain.
My entrÃ©e was Beef Wellington, another famous dish I have read about, but never eaten. It was served with ginger carrots and broccoli. In addition, my daughter gave me her asparagus and zucchini. This was the best night for veggies on the trip. Because of the abundance of vegetables, it was easy to enjoy the steak, but leave the crust of the Beef Wellington behind.
I ordered a fig cake for dessert. It was nice, but not good enough to be worth the wheat. After dinner we wandered the deck, watching people and enjoying the sea breeze. Tomorrow we leave this pampered place and return to the real world.
Our arrival in Progresso, Mexico was delayed because of fog. There wasn't any hurry for breakfast, so I stood in line for an omelet. Just watching the chef flip the eggs in mid air was worth the wait. I ordered an omelet with onions and peppers, but no cheese.
Once the fog lifted we headed for the beach. We did a lot of swimming and snorkeling. The beach was sandy. There were no big breaking waves, just the gentle kind that feel good when they splash against you. We rented a jet ski for part of the day. Neither of our kids had ever driven a jet ski, but it didn't take them long to learn. They had a marvelous time following the shoreline and jumping waves.
Once again I visited the weight machines in the gym before dinner. The range of motion in my shoulder has noticeably improved in three days.
When I eat out in a restaurant, I usually try to find something in the $6 to $8 dollar range. If it's a special occasion like an anniversary or Valentine's Day, I may order a $11 or $12 meal. But I just don't look at the side of the menu with the $20 and $25 entrees. It's not that my husband ever said I couldn't; it's my own choice. I guess that since I do the shopping and cooking, I'm just aware how much food I could buy for the cost of one fancy dinner.
However, on a cruise, the meals are already paid for. I can order anything I want with a completely clear conscience. Tonight I had something that I have often seen on the other side of the menu, but I would never have dreamed of ordering - Chateaubriand. It was served with steamed broccoli and baked zucchini, and was indescribably delicious. For dessert I had baked pineapple. I must find a recipe for this! It was wheat free, and absolutely luscious. This was a Type O meal cooked to perfection.
We went ashore on Cozumel today. There were multiple opportunities for physical activity. We took a taxi to San Francisco beach and snorkeled all morning. A little way out from shore were seaweed beds where an amazing variety of tropical fish were swimming. My favorites had bright blue and bright green bands. There was no surf, and the water was crystal clear. It was hard to tell whether I was in five feet of water or way over my head.
For lunch I had an apple from the ship and a bag of homemade trail mix. The trail mix was almonds, walnuts, pecans, raisins, and pineapple, one of my favorite combinations.
We took a glass bottom boat ride out to a coral reef where we saw even more beautifully colored fish. We did a little shopping and took a long walk along the shore. I have to say it again; the water is just incredibly beautiful.
Before dinner I went by the gym for a few minutes on the weight machines. I want to take full advantage of the opportunity to work on specific muscle groups while I have the chance.
Dinner presented a tough choice: sirloin or turkey. The sirloin came with potatoes. The turkey came with sage dressing, parsnips and yams. I was very curious what the ship's gourmet chef would do with parsnips, so I went with turkey. I had expected turkey on one side of the plate and three little mounds of the three accompaniments on the other. Instead they put the dressing in the middle of the plate, topped it with mashed parsnips, and topped that with mashed yams. Two slices of turkey covered the vegetables, and gravy was poured over all. The flavors just blended together. It was good, but not as outstandingly tasty as I had anticipated.
There was a party on deck with a Mexican food buffet after the evening show. The kids were going and I joined them. I had not planned to eat again, but the food was too good to pass up. There were salmon enchiladas, black bean tostadas, and steak tacos. All were hors d'oeuvre sized, and I tried one of each. I also had guacamole, but no chips, not even the wrapping around the enchilada and taco. Protein at midnight is one thing, but I didn't forget myself so far as to have grain just before I went to sleep.
Today was what they called a "fun day at sea." My daughter and I agreed last night to start the day in the gym. I set the alarm, and we slipped out of the room at 7:00. I did 20 minutes on an elliptical trainer and 30 - 40 minutes on the weight machines. The elliptical trainer frustrated me at first. On the fat burning setting the machine wouldn't let me go as fast as I wanted to go. I switched to the cardio setting, and the machine kept changing from fast to slow then fast again. Finally I put it on manual and ran at a steady pace that was comfortable for me. I loved the weight machines. I did a pretty aggressive leg work out. I was more cautious with my arms, but my shoulder felt fine.
My daughter spent about 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. Afterward she said, "Mom, I know you like this kind of exercise, but it isn't for me. You feel great, but I feel drained." What can I say? I am an O and she is an A.
We showered and went to the breakfast buffet. Two words describe the buffet - pork and pastry. Ham, bacon, sausage, pancakes, French toast, and Danish were in abundance. I ate half a grapefruit, a banana, and a lot of scrambled eggs.
My husband found a shady spot where he could read. The kids went to the pool. I decided to go to a free detox seminar at the spa. It was very interesting. When I get back I want to do a little research on what the lady said, then I'll blog about it.
Lunch was roast and vegetables from the buffet. They had fresh fruit tarts, so I had my dessert for the day at lunch. My son said, "Mom, you're on vacation, you should splurge a little." I laughed at him and said, "One dessert a day IS splurging."
Among the dinner choices were two of my all time favorite foods, prime rib and lobster. How could I choose? I went with the lobster because it came with vegetables and the prime rib came with a potato. My son told the waiter he would like prime rib first, but might also want a lobster. As soon as he took the last bite of prime rib, that plate was whisked away and replaced with a lobster. They really spoil you on these cruises!
When the waiter brought the dessert menu, I told him I would like to have a half a piece of prime rib instead of dessert. He looked at me very seriously and said he couldn't do that. I didn't think it was fair - he brought my son two entrees, why not me? The waiter continued, "The kitchen is not set up for half portions. I'll bring you a whole slice and you can eat what you want." So while my family ate dessert I ate prime rib. It was delicious, and I ate every bite.
We boarded the ship after lunch on Friday. After finding out stateroom, we began to explore. I can already see that a certain level of exercise is built into living on a cruise ship. Our room is on Deck 5 in the bow. We eat on Deck 8 in the stern. The pool is on Deck 10, the hot tubs are on Deck 11, the gym is on Deck 12, and the walking track is on Deck 13. Shows are in an auditorium on Deck 8, and the Purser's desk is on Deck 9. We are going to be climbing stairs and walking from one end of the ship to the other all day.
Our first dinner was quite an experience. Everyone dressed up, not necessarily in formal wear, but in nice slacks and dresses. We were served a four-course meal. My appetizer was asparagus soup, and it was delicious. The salad choices were romaine and tomato tossed with a house dressing or a mixed green salad with a choice of dressing. Because I wanted only olive oil, I chose the mixed greens. It was about half iceberg lettuce and half beneficial greens. The olive oil was excellent quality.
My entrÃ©e was lamb. It came with potatoes and root vegetables. I asked if I could substitute the green beans that came with a chicken dish for the potatoes. Our waiter seemed flustered by the request; evidently I had asked for something that would hamper the system. However he brought my dinner as I requested it. I think the lamb I cook at home is delicious. This lamb was even better. It was tender and superbly seasoned. The vegetables were wonderful.
For dessert I chose something called lavender ice. I'm not sure what was in it, but it melted in my mouth. After dinner we went out on deck. It is so relaxing to hear the swoosh of the water and look at the stars.
I have been packing for our vacation. We are going on a cruise. This is a first for me. I have traveled to many different places in many different ways, but never on a cruise.
Based on what friends have told me about food on cruises, I have spent some time planning my cruise philosophy. I'm going to avoid the big obvious avoids. No rolls at dinner, no sandwiches, no milk or cheese, no potatoes, no pasta. However, if I order something beneficial like steak, lamb, spinach, or sweet potatoes, I'm not going to worry about the ingredients in the sauce or seasonings.
I'm going to eat one dessert a day. That will certainly include some wheat and dairy products. This is vacation; I'm going to enjoy myself that much. I've heard that on cruises they serve food 24 hours a day. At home I don't eat after dinner time - I'm going to keep that rule on the cruise. I don't drink alcoholic beverages, and I have no intention of starting on this trip.
There is supposed to be a gym on board, so I hope I can work out on some weight machines. There is also supposed to be a jogging track. Two days we will go ashore to swim and snorkel. I'm going to be sure I get lots of exercise.
I'm packing calcium, magnesium, multiple vitamins, and bladderwrack. After the recent media madness about prescription drugs after a Caribbean vacation, my husband said we should only take pills in their original bottles. I take several other daily supplements, but I'm leaving them behind. The break might be good for my body anyway.
I'm packing my nut and seed breakfast mix. I'm also packing nuts and dried fruit so that we can make trail mix for our two days on the beach. There's a lot of packing left to do before we load the car. I'd better get busy.
With gas prices so high, I've been doing more errands on my bicycle this summer. I rarely drive to the post office or the bank any more. I've even taken to dropping clothes off at the dry cleaners. It's too hot and humid to run except in the early morning, but I can ride any time of the day. The wind in my face keeps me comfortably cool.
The other day I rode to the grocery store. I don't do much grocery shopping from the bicycle because I can't carry very many things home. On this particular day I had a short list. I was loading my grocery sacks into the bicycle baskets, completely oblivious to what was going around me.
A voice asked what I was doing. It was a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. We visited for several minutes catching up on each others lives and what our kids were up to. She asked again what I was doing. I said that I tried to do a different exercise every day. Sometimes I ran, and sometimes I swam. I saved up errands close to home and did them on my bicycle.
She said "I could do that!" I don't know if she has followed through, but I hope so. Bicycling is fun because I am outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Bicycling can be strenuous enough for a Type O, or relaxed enough for someone just starting to exercise. When I ride the stress melts away, and when I get home I can check several items off of my to do list.
My son is home from working the first session at Camp Kanakuk in Missouri. Kanakuk is the largest Christian sports camp in the world. We were delightfully entertained last night with tales about the adventures of his middle school boys. You might be interested in what he said about the food.
There were no sodas served at meals or for snacks. One night each week they have a Western dance, and root beer is part of the refreshments. That is the only soda for either campers or counselors.
At meals they had lemonade, sports drinks, and fruit punch. However, before the boys and girls could get one of those drinks they had to drink a glass of water first.
Only one dessert item was served per day. If they had ice cream for lunch, there was no dessert at dinner. If they had a sweet pastry for breakfast, there was no dessert for the rest of the day.
Meals were served family style at tables. Kanakuk wants the campers to develop a heart of service, but rather than lecturing them, they give them opportunities to see people serving. My son said that at orientation the counselors were told that any time one of the serving dishes was empty, they were to get up, go to the kitchen, and get a refill. With middle school boys who have been playing hard all morning or afternoon, you can imagine how many times the counselors interrupted their own meals to serve the boys. But by the end of the week, when a counselor would start to get up, one of the boys would say, "Let me go get more."
There was fruit served at every meal: bananas, oranges, apples, or strawberries. There was either a salad or a vegetable served at both lunch and dinner. My son said, "Mom there was only one time I couldn't get a Type O meal. One night we had soup and salad, and there just wasn't enough protein. Other than that, I had all the meat I needed."
There was a lot of bread, which my son said the kids flocked to. However potatoes were served only occasionally.
Though this is radically different from the way most of the boys and girls probably eat at home, there were no complaints. The campers accepted the no soda and one dessert policies and filled up on healthy food.
There is no tolerance for ridicule at Camp Kanakuk. Counselors are with the boys and girls all day and all night. If any one starts to tease or make fun of someone else "we nipped it in the bud," my son said. Yet there were crazy skits to make the kids laugh and daily recognition of achievements to put smiles on their faces. That environment most certainly is the best for the digestive system and the whole person as well.
Sunday after church we ate at a Greek restaurant. The owners had distributed buy-one-get-one-free dinner coupons to entice new customers. My husband is suspicious of new food, but I told him to think of the Dancing Zorba in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".
I decided immediately on the gyro salad. The description sounded like a perfect Type O meal: Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, feta cheese, lamb, beef, and olive oil. My daughter decided on a Greek salad without the lamb and beef. My husband ordered fish with potatoes and salad.
My husband said the fish was really good. I wish I knew what herbs were used in the topping. My daughter enjoyed her salad. Based on the description, I had expected to find a slice of roast and a slice of lamb on my salad. I looked gyro up on the internet when I got home, and indeed that was the original gyro. However, what is most common now is a meat loaf made with ground beef, ground lamb, and lots of spices. This was what I had on my salad. It tasted good, but had a texture like bologna.
Since I have been on the BTD, I've had very few headaches - maybe 2 a year. Sunday afternoon I had a pounding headache. I suspect MSG or nitrites may have been in the meat.
I'll be more suspicious if I go to another Greek restaurant. But the next time I have leftover lamb or roast, I may make my own version of a gyro salad.
Since our neighborhood pool opened I have been swimming laps three times a week. It is a wonderful way to cool off at the end of the day. Twice this week I swam a half mile without fins, which means I used my shoulder a lot more.
We're planning a couple of visits to the coast this summer, so my daughter and I bought snorkel gear. We took it to the pool Thursday night to learn how to use it. At first it was awkward. When I swim laps I exhale through my nose and inhale through my mouth. In the snorkel mask, I can't use my nose at all. I finally got into a rhythm and swam Â¾ mile. I still need to learn what to do when water builds up in the mouthpiece. If I have enough breath to exhale hard I can clear the tube, but a couple of times I had to stand up. I sure don't want that happening in deep water at the coast!
Last night we rented "Anatomy of a Murder." In the movie, the defendant pleads temporary insanity because of an "irresistible impulse." Those irresistible impulses often happen on the BTD. If I don't eat wheat, I don't miss wheat. But just a bite of cake or pizza makes me want more and more. Usually I resist, but sometimes the impulse is irresistible. Sometimes the impulse is for something sweet. I can usually steer myself toward a beneficial fruit or a small amount of sugar in a neutral snack.
Yesterday I was desperate for something crunchy. I was resolved not to eat any avoids. Almonds did not satisfy. 100% rye crackers finally did the trick.
What causes these occasional impulses? Temporary insanity - I don't think so. Reverting back to old habits - perhaps. More likely I'm low on protein. I upped my protein today, and the impulses kept their distance.
One of the things I want to do this summer is try new recipes. I'm off to a slower start than expected because I've been working on some computer slide shows. Sometimes I have to make a recipe several times before I want to recommend it. I tried a chicken recipe that relied on an avoid to make the sauce work. My first attempt at a substitution was ok but nothing to brag about. The flavor was good enough to make it worth the effort to try again.
I tried a new kale recipe. The flavor was good, but it was way too salty. I may have copied the recipe wrong. If not, I'll need to adjust the seasoning to my taste before I pass it along.
For months I've had Debra's Parsnip Cherry bread recipe on my counter. I put the ingredients in the bread machine last night, and woke this morning to the wonderful smell of fresh bread.
My greatest difficulty with this bread was the name. Though parsnips are beneficial for my Type As, neither likes to eat them. My daughter prefers raw veggies over cooked. Everyone talks about steaming parsnips, mashing them, or cooking them in a stew. She tried steamed parsnips, but rejected them on the same grounds that she rejects cooked carrots and cooked broccoli. I've never heard anyone talk about eating them raw. I tried them raw today, dipped in pumpkin seed butter, and they tasted fine. I'm going to see of she will give them another chance raw.
My husband does not have a good sense of smell. So when he eats parsnips he only tastes the tartness, not the flavor. If I told the As they were eating Parsnip Cherry bread for breakfast they would have balked. I thought about calling it Chewy Cherry bread but that seemed to imply a sweet bread rather than a yeast bread.
When Debra first blogged about the recipe she said "It has a sweet and 'spicy' kick to it!" When I tasted it, I knew what she meant. It has a similar impact to a sweet and sour sauce. I decided to call it Sweet Tart bread (or Sweetheart bread). I hoped that name would prepare my As for the unusual flavor.
My strategy must have worked. This very Type A beneficial bread (all beneficials and neutrals for Type Os too) got a favorable rating from everyone. Here is the link to Debra's original recipe. I used 2 Tablespoons of sugar instead of 4 teaspoons. That was my only change.
There are three CDs in the John Sarno "Healing Back Pain " audio book. I was fascinated in the first two CDs as he gave example after example of people he had helped. I was reminded of people I have known who have spent many years and huge amounts of money to be free of pain. I was eager to get to the third CD and find out his solution to the anger that he says is at the root of back and other pains.
I was disappointed. He doesn't deal with anger at all. He writes that 80% of his patients become pain free by realizing that their pain is not a structural problem. The other 20% he sends for psychotherapy. If someone's pain returns he puts them through a group refresher course where they are reminded about TMS basics.
His techniques are undeniably useful. I once blogged about a high school knee injury that would periodically return to haunt me. It has all the characteristics of TMS, and is already showing improvement.
However as a Christian, it bothers me that I have enough subconscious anger to cause physical symptoms. It seems important to me to deal spiritually with that anger. When Sarno deftly skipped over that part, I turned to another book ""Competent to Counsel" by Jay Adams. His section on anger and resentment have given me a lot to think about. Here are a few quotes:
"Christ did not allow his anger to turn into resentment. He, therefore, was angry but did not sin." â€¦ "Ventilating sinful feelings is simply unbiblical." â€¦ "Christians must not allow one single day to pass with unresolved anger stored in their hearts. The principle is clearly set forth: Do not let the sun go down on your anger. In other words, every day Christians must handle the problems that have arisen." â€¦ "All he can do, all that God requires him to do, is to confess any known sin, ask for forgiveness, and earnestly seek to make restitution wherever necessary and possible - all in order to bring about reconciliation."
There is, of course, a lot more than those few quotes to what Adams says about anger, just as there is a lot more than my brief summary to what Sarno says about pain. If you are dealing with painful back, shoulders, or knees, I would recommend you get both books and read them side by side. I am indebted to Dr. Sarno for focusing my attention on areas of unconfessed sin that had both spiritual and physical significance.
Because of my frozen shoulder, I have been interested in the variety of treatments and ideas in the "torn rotator cuff" thread on the Forum. Dr. John Sarno, an MD who treats people for back, shoulder and neck pain and has written several books, has been mentioned several times. In early June there was a spirited debate about the merits of his philosophy. Several things in my past made me curious to know more about him.
Then by strange coincidence I kept coming across verses in my Bible study that linked the state of mind with the health of bones.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Psalm 51:8
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Proverbs15:30
For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones are consumed. Psalm 31:10
These are not isolated verses - a concordance finds many more.
So I checked out "Healing Back Pain" on CD from my local library.
Sarno does not say that there is no such thing as a back injury. On the contrary he insists that his patients have a medical evaluation before they come to him, and he urges readers to have a thorough physical exam before starting his program.
He does not say that back (or shoulder or neck) pain is imaginary. He says that it is very real and has a physical source. He says it is caused by oxygen deprivation. His is not a mystical program.
He says that it is illogical to believe that an injury, once it is healed, should continue to reoccur year after year after year. He does not accept the idea that a relatively minor injury could do so much physical injury that it leads to debilitating pain. (He uses frozen shoulder as an example of this point.)
At the risk of oversimplifying, he says that rather than confronting anger, stress and fear, the subconscious mind will create a diversion or distraction in the form of pain.
There are several things that I have no control over, that make me angry. Because there is nothing I can do about the situations, I squash the feelings back inside. Is it a coincidence that I have had shoulder pain three times in less than 10 years?
I am finding many of his ideas to be extremely helpful. I also have one disagreement with him. I'll write about that next time. In the meantime, go to the library or bookstore and get his book (or CDs). You may well see yourself in his examples more often than you expect.
I heard a tale recently about a lady in an eastern state who gave her toddler a bunch of grapes. As the child was eating, a spider crawled out of the grapes and bit him. It sounded like an urban legend to me, and sure enough I checked the Snopes site tonight, and there it is along with several variations involving snakes and coats.
I came pretty close to living out that urban legend at over the weekend. For a party, my friend and hostess had finger food catered. There were lots of avoids in the form of breads and chips. I had eaten before the party, and planned to snack only beneficials and neutrals. There was a good veggie tray, and an amazing assortment of summer fruit. I filled my plate and began to nibble and visit.
I noticed that there were spots on the grapes, but I assumed that they must be hard water spots. It never occurred to me that a caterer would serve unwashed fruit. Then I pulled off a grape, and underneath was a spider web. No spider, and certainly no bite. This is my real life, not some urban legend.
But I confess it made me lose my appetite. Any rinsing of those grapes would have dislodged the spider web. I was eating grapes fresh from the field, sprayed with who knows what. I looked at the strawberries and blueberries, now suspicious of them as well.
I'm pretty zealous about washing produce at home. People who pick fresh fruit and vegetables do not have sanitary facilities in the fields. Non organic produce needs to have any pesticide residue washed off. Organic produce needs to be washed even more thoroughly because of bacteria in manure and other natural fertilizers.
I blogged some time ago about my method of washing produce, and I won't repeat myself today. If you need instructions, you'll find them at this link
There is no good way to end this blog. I do not want to become so fanatical that I refuse to eat away from home. But it is disconcerting to find that a caterer, who also owns a restaurant, has such low food handling standards.
I thought Don made a profound statement on a recent post. It's about a topic that comes up both on the Forum and in my comments. I've never seen anyone give a name to it, as Don did when he said, "Are they foods or food products?â€¦ With food products you just have to read the ingredients list and compare them against your appropriate BTD food list to determine if you should use the product or not."
I remember the first time I encountered the difference between food and food products. I was reading through an old food list in Eat Right for your Type, and saw that string cheese was listed as an avoid. I wondered why, since the string cheese I bought was plain mozzarella.
As I continued to read, I learned that in the early food lists, Dr. D. had tried to include name brand foods, but that it quickly became impractical because different companies used different ingredients in their food products. He could not possibly investigate all the brands. So TYPEBase4 deals almost exclusively with foods, not food products. Ezekiel and Manna breads are examples of exceptions to that rule..
Foods are single ingredients. They can be plants like carrots, watermelon, spinach or mangos. They can be animal like beef, turkey, or eggs. Some are chemical like MSG, salt, or maltodextrin. Some are herbs or spices; some are processed like oil or cheese.
Food products involve recipes and a list of ingredients. I have to be responsible for reading the ingredient lists for the food products I buy. I was going to use as an example that the major brand sloppy joe mix contained corn syrup as the second ingredient, but that the store brand used sugar instead. I went to my pantry and pulled out a can of store brand, just to check, and saw to my horror that the ingredients have changed. There is corn syrup in the store brand now, and I didn't take the time to check the label when I bought it.
I, then, have decisions to make. I can decide to be 100% compliant. Realistically, that would mean not buying many food products. Because on almost every label there is an avoid hidden somewhere toward the bottom. It would also mean paying outrageous amounts for certain products. For example the major brand of salt contains a tiny amount of a corn derived additive - however sea salt without that additive costs 15 to 20 times as much.
Since I am healthy, I am comfortable with my decision to say that I am 95 - 98% compliant. I'm allowing for a few avoids near the bottom of ingredient lists in food products. If I were dealing with disease, I would avoid all traces of avoids.
There are some avoid ingredients that I know give me trouble. I don't buy food products that contain MSG, nitrites, or aspartame. However, if I find a gum or starch near the bottom of an otherwise compliant food product, I may buy it. I don't eat Italian dressing because of the white vinegar, but I sometimes use canola mayonnaise. The amount of vinegar is small relative to the main ingredients, which are neutral.
For food you can rely on TYPEBase4.
For food products, read ingredient lists! Think twice about avoids in the top 3-4 ingredients. Balance caution and obsessiveness regarding avoids near the bottom of ingredient lists.