Category: Helpful Ideas
Saturday I took a friend who lives in San Antonio out to lunch for her birthday. I had read on the internet about a Hawaiian restaurant called Aloha Kitchen. It is a tiny restaurant in a strip center; probably more of a café than a restaurant. I had expected to find lots of tropical fruit and coconut on the menu. Instead they serve a variety of meat and rice dishes with oriental sauces which celebrate the blend of cultures in Hawaii today.
I ordered a combination plate with Huli Huli chicken and Draggin' Meat. I chose mixed squash and a spring roll for my two sides. Everything was delicious.
I had told our server that we were celebrating my friend's birthday. They hung leis around her neck and sang Happy Birthday in Hawaiian, accompanied by a ukulele, of course. Then they brought her a piece a guava pie. I ordered a slice of mango pie. What a perfect way to end an unusual lunch.
On the drive home, I turned on the radio and listened to a show about GMO foods. I confess I was ignorant about the subject. The two things that caught my attention were a list of ingredients to avoid if you wanted to stay GMO free and a list of ailments that some research associates with high intake of GMO products.
The radio guest said there were eight foods on the GMO watch list. Corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets are almost always GMO. In addition some papaya and a small percentage of zucchini and yellow squash are also GMO.
I really don't eat the first five on the list. Corn is avoid for Type Os. Soybeans are toxic for Hunters and Gatherers. There are so many beneficial oils, that I don't waste my time with canola or cottonseed oil. I sweeten with agave, honey, or turbinado sugar, not beet sugar.
The radio guest was particularly concerned about high fructose corn syrup. I agree with her about avoiding any product with corn syrup on the ingredient list, though our reasons are different.
The radio show emphasized a French study that was released in the fall of 2012. I read some more about it when I got home and was disappointed. They fed the rats in the study GMO corn, and gave them water mixed with Roundup herbicide. The rats developed lots of problems particularly breast tumors and organ failure. The results lost their impact on me because two potentially dangerous variables were used.
Making rats drink water mixed with herbicide is cruel, and I'm not a bit surprised that it led to health problems. How am I to know which problems were the result of the GMO corn, and which were the result of drinking herbicide?
As a Christian, I believe that the closer we eat our food to the way that God created it, the better off we will be. So I am skeptical of GMO in the same way that I am skeptical of any processed food.
I'm glad to have a short list of GMO foods to watch out for, and glad that none of them are foods that I often eat. But I do not approve of the scare tactics used by the French study or the radio show guest.
Since Aloha means both hello and goodbye, I'll say hello fun Hawaiian food and goodbye GMO.
A recurring theme in my blogs is that I try to focus on beneficials – on what I CAN have. There are so many delicious beneficials, as well as plenty of neutrals to round out menus and give variety. When I keep my focus on them, I am content both as I cook, and as I eat.
However, when I focus on avoids it just makes me feel deprived. I start wanting the thing I’m not supposed to have. It doesn’t help when I describe the Type O diet, and someone dismisses it by saying, “Oh I could never give up wheat.” or “I couldn’t live without cheddar cheese.”
I smiled when I read my Bible Study this morning from Genesis. The author makes exactly the same point about Eve. Her avoid list only had one item…and what did she want? Of course…the one thing she wasn’t supposed to have. Here is a quote from Sarah Young’s book “Jesus Calling.
“Before Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, thankfulness was as natural as breathing. Satan’s temptation involved pointing Eve to the one thing that was forbidden to her. The garden was filled with luscious, desirable fruits, but Eve focused on the one fruit she couldn’t have, rather than being thankful for the many good things freely available. This negative focus darkened her mind, and she succumbed to temptation.
“When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened. You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers, and countless other gifts from God. You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life.”
I’m sure I will keep returning to this theme, because I believe it is the second greatest factor to success on the Blood Type Diet.
During this Easter season, keep your focus on the blessings in your life and in your diet. Approach God with thanksgiving for the many, many things that you have. And enjoy the good news that eggs are either beneficial or neutral for us all.
We didn’t have internet for Christmas. To tell the truth it was very strange. I had no idea how internet dependent I had become. No e-mail, no social networking, no communication with clients, no alternative news sources. I couldn’t even wish my sister a Merry Christmas. I felt rather isolated. However, I had time to read. I had forgotten just how much I enjoy becoming immersed in a good book.
DD and I got to cook together for Christmas Eve dinner. We were in charge of bringing vegetables. We fixed ginger carrots and basil green beans. Both are easy recipes that I’m pretty sure I have blogged about before.
We had also planned to do a raw veggie tray. DD saw a picture of a veggie tree on line, so we did that instead. This will become one of our family traditions. It was healthy and so cute. If you are need a unique idea for a New Year’s Eve party – consider this.
Here is the original link, so you can see a picture.
Click here for Veggie Christmas Tree Picture
The instructions are very wordy. I think I can condense her multiple pages into a couple of paragraphs.
You start with a 12 inch Styrofoam cone. Cover the sides (not the bottom) with aluminum foil. This is so the vegetables don’t touch the Styrofoam. Hot glue the bottom of the cone to a glass plate that is not an heirloom. Our cone popped right off without damaging the plate, but I wouldn’t take a chance.
Start at the bottom and using tooth picks, stick broccoli to the cone. It takes two big bunches of broccoli to cover the cone. For “decorations” use carrots, cherry tomatoes, radishes, cauliflower, or any other raw vegetable you like. Sometimes we used toothpicks Sometimes we just squeezed the decorations between the broccoli. We put a bowl of dip beside the tree for family members who don’t eat plain raw veggies.
It was a delight to look at, and delicious to eat.
Sometimes when I am out and about, I need something to drink, and the first thing I look for is green tea. If I am near a health food store, I really like several products by Honest Tea. If I am near a grocery store, I like Arizona’s diet green tea and Snapple’s diet green tea.
If we are traveling, like we were last weekend, the choices have been slim. I think all convenience stores and ice houses must use the same massive supplier. It’s obvious when you are standing in front of the refrigerator at a convenience store that green tea is increasingly popular. But, until yesterday, there were only sweetened green teas with lots of sugar and corn syrup; or diet green teas sweetened with aspartame.
Yesterday we were returning from taking a truck load of furniture to DD’s new apartment. HH was fighting a cold, so I drove the whole trip. We stopped at a convenience store because I needed to walk around, and I needed something to drink. I went to the refrigerator cases, looking without much hope for Arizona or Snapple diet green tea. Just before I walked away I saw Lipton, Diet green tea with watermelon flavor. That is new. Knowing that all the other Lipton diet teas are sweetened with aspartame, I looked suspiciously at the label. It is sweetened with sucralose. I bought a bottle. The watermelon flavor is delicious.
When I got home, I checked the website. Lipton has changed all their bottled green teas to sucralose. Hurrah for Lipton!
Update: Read the labels! I was in the grocery store the day after I wrote this blog, and looked at diet Lipton Tea. It had aspartame! I guess they are getting all of the old stuff out of their warehouse! Let the buyer beware.
First choice is my own green tea either unsweetened or lightly sweetened with agave.
Second choice is Honest tea.
But Lipton now joins Arizona and Snapple as adequate third choice bottled green teas.
Today was a busy day at work. I had an appointment several miles from home at 10:00 and another in the same city at 2:00. I didn’t want to waste the gas to drive home, so I went to an internet café where I could work on my laptop.
I ordered iced green tea. They had three flavors: jasmine, oolong, and fruit oolong. I chose fruit oolong and it was delicious. After I got home I looked up oolong. It is not BTD or GTD rated, so it is considered neutral. I read an article that says oolong is half way between green tea and black tea. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but next time, I think I’ll take the jasmine green tea.
I went to Google News tonight looking for financial news. It must have been a big day for research result releases. Here are tidbits from stories that had BTD and women’s health connections.
This study contradicts the popular notion that soy isoflavones will prevent bone loss in menopausal women. I wish I knew the blood type breakdown of the women in the study. Soy is a neutral food for Type Os, but it is beneficial for Type As. I once read that isoflavones were supposed to help menopausal women, so I tried mixing some of my Type A daughter’s soy protein powder in with my breakfast. It didn’t settle with my stomach, so I abandoned the idea. I tried the tablets for a while, but didn’t notice that they had any effect on me at all.
I should have listened to Dr. D. In the Menopause book he writes, “Essentially carnivores when it comes to protein requirements, Blood Type Os should minimize consumption of beans and legumes…An exception for menopausal women may be soy beans. They contain isoflavones that help minimize symptoms, build up bone, and protect the heart.” Then he lists them as neutral, the same as he does in all the other books.
The recommended dose of calcium for women over 51, is 1200 mg per day. I actually take a little more than that since I don’t eat dairy. This study indicates that the lowest fracture risk was with women taking 750 mg per day. The study also indicated that women who wait until they are older to start taking calcium do not decrease their fracture risk.
Interestingly, the Menopause book lists calcium last on the list of bone supplement protocols. Dr. D. suggested 1,000 mg. He puts Horsetail, Manganese, Vitamin A and Boron as more important than calcium. Looks like I may be wasting money taking as much calcium as I do.
Dr. D lists Flax as a beneficial food for Type Os of all ages. I eat it for the fiber and the essential oils. I didn’t know that it contained plant estrogens that were supposed to help hot flashes. The study contradicts the hot flash theory, and said that it had no more impact on hot flashes that a placebo.
This was the most peculiar of the studies. The very drugs that many women take to prevent osteoporosis are linked to fractures of the thigh bone. I have had my bone density checked twice, and I am not showing any signs of osteoporosis, so I haven’t taken any of these drugs. I’m glad I haven’t.
A lot of popular theories about menopause and osteoporosis were shot down today - if you believe the studies are completely accurate. I will continue taking calcium, but not as much. I will eat flax for its other benefits. I’ve already stopped taking soy, and I don’t plan to take the osteoporosis drugs.
Weight bearing exercise is looking like a really good choice for women my age. I’m halfway expecting to read a study about that tomorrow.
My horrible experience with a colonoscopy 6 years ago was 80% the doctor’s fault and 20% my fault. I made sure that a lot of things were different this time.
First I got a new doctor! He came highly recommended by friends, and he was wonderful.
Things the doctor did differently.
He used a different prep procedure.
Six years ago my last normal meal was in the evening two days before the colonoscopy. The next morning I was allowed clear liquids only. I tend to be a little hypoglycemic, and this was really hard on my system. I was hungry, irritable, weak, and had a headache.
This time beginning 3 days before the colonoscopy I wasn’t supposed to eat nuts, beef, or raw fruits and vegetables. I could have all of the poultry, fish cooked vegetables, and cooked fruit that I wanted. There were plenty of beneficial choices. The morning 24 hours before the colonoscopy I couldn’t have solid food, but I could have dairy products. This got enough protein into my system to sustain me until lunchtime. It was only clear liquids after that, but I was ok. No headache. No weakness. No snapping at my husband.
This doctor divided the colon cleaning medication into two steps. It took longer, but it was less violent and less stressful. He recommended adding crystal light to the preparation to make it taste better. I did not do that because of the aspartame. It tends to give me a headache and it irritates my digestive system. The goal was to keep my digestive system happy.
This anesthesia was milder. Six years ago I woke up groggy after the procedure. I slept most of the afternoon. My stomach was cramping. I wasn’t thinking clearly. This time the anesthesiologist said I would be fully awake in 9 minutes. I remember everything the doctor said in recovery. I slept for about an hour when I got home, but after that I was up and moving around. The one time I got a crampy feeling I walked outside, and it went away. I was thinking clearly enough to work on the computer.
Things I did differently
My instructions that said I could have dairy products, including pudding and ice cream for breakfast the morning 24 hours before the colonoscopy. Having ice cream for breakfast was tempting, but I wanted to keep my digestive system happy and dairy definitely makes it unhappy. I decided to make boiled custard with almond milk. Recipe is here . As I drank two cups, I knew the eggs were really good for me. I had more custard for breakfast the morning after the procedure. Delicious, filling, sustaining.
The best choices I made for clear liquids the rest of the day were Blue Sky Ginger Ale, Blue Sky Crème Soda, Welches White Grape and Peach Juice, and Vitamin Water Lemonade. All of those tasted good and kept my blood sugar steady.
I was allowed broth, and I got really excited at the grocery store when I found organic beef broth with no avoid ingredients. I thought that would be nourishing, but I really didn’t like it. It was salty and it didn’t have as many calories as the other drinks. When I have to do this again in 5 years, I will skip the broth.
Both doctors said I could eat anything I wanted after the colonoscopy. In my opinion this is very bad advice! Six years ago I took it literally. I was very hungry when I woke from my first nap. I had leftover beneficial food in the refrigerator. I ate lamb and sweet potatoes and broccoli. It tasted so good. It made me feel good…at first. But it was too much for an empty and irritated digestive system. How much of the cramping and fever were a result of this heavy meal and how much were a result of the doctor’s incompetence I’ll never know. But I wound up in the hospital.
This time I treated myself as if I had just gotten over a stomach virus. My first meal was apple sauce. I had rice flour bread to made toast with ghee. I ate vegetable soup mid afternoon and chicken & rice soup for dinner.
The next day I expanded my food selections, but stayed with easy to digest food. I had custard with applesauce and bananas for breakfast the next morning. Eggs and rice toast for lunch. By dinner time I was starting cooked vegetables.
I have a bottle of Type O probiotic. I took one on both the day of the colonoscopy and the day after.
By Friday I was eating everything but nuts, beef, broccoli, and raw vegetables. Even though I felt totally normal, waited another day before I started those hard to digest foods.
Maybe someday there will be a non invasive colon inspection. Until then, by following these steps, I won’t be afraid.
Every day I am inundated by shared e-mail. I get political comments, pictures of cute animals, stories that make me cry, and helpful hints. I am amazed at how much false information is in these e-mails. I often do a little google search and find that the facts are flat out wrong or deliberately misleading. I don’t know who originates these things, but most of them are in the same writing style and they are all way too wordy.
I got one a few weeks ago. It was a long, long, long story about someone’s friend who served in Vietnam, a burn victim, and a kitchen accident. The bottom line was that if you put white flour on a burn, it will not blister or scar. I wondered if it was true.
Last week I was cooking up a storm. I had all four burners going on high heat. I reached to stir something on the back burner and bumped the lid of the pot on the front burner. Steam hit my hand - immediate pain and redness on two fingers. I was reaching for an ice cube, when I thought of the flour e-mail.
I didn’t have any white flour in the kitchen, but I had spelt flour. I rubbed flour into both burns. I went back to cooking, still in pain. “That didn’t work,” I thought cynically. I didn’t think about the incident again until this morning. I looked at my hands…no redness, no brown mark. Both of those steam burns would normally have blistered. They did not. In fact, I have no memory of any more pain. I finished cooking and served the meal, never thinking again about pain or burns.
So, surprise, here on the BTD website, is a beneficial use for white wheat flour. Rub it on burns. If you are Type O or a non secretor of any Type, keep it in your first aid kit, but out of your food.
The flour story originated with a burn victim in Vietnam. My Honorable Husband spent a year in Vietnam serving our country. His cousin, Mark, died there in 1972. On this Memorial Day, take a moment to thank God for young men and young women down the years who have volunteered to give up their freedoms to preserve ours.
Do you remember when you first heard about the BTD? If you were like me, as you read through the food list for the very first time there was a lot of emotion. Oh no! A favorite food is avoid. Ah Ha! I never liked that food, now I know why. Yuk! I never liked that, how can it be beneficial. I knew it! A favorite food is highly beneficial. And the best emotion of all - Yes!!!!! A food you thought would be avoid turns out to be beneficial.
Yes!! was the way I felt when I read that Club Soda and Seltzer Water were beneficial for Type Os. I had given up commercial soda years before when I became interested in nutrition and health food. You cannot read the ingredients and see all of the artificial flavors, preservatives and sweeteners and continue to convince yourself that commercial soda is in any way good for you. Then I discovered Knudson spritzers – which are basically club soda and fruit juice. My children called it fruit juice with fizz. I bought a lot whenever it was on sale and kept it in the pantry. Their friends thought it odd that we didn’t have Coke and Dr. Pepper, but they had to admit that fruit juice with fizz tasted pretty good.
I have recently found a few other brands of soda that I trust, and that I think stack up well with the BTD. Here is my list of sodas from the very worst to the best.
Commercial diet soda – I would take my chances with dehydration before I would drink anything with NutraSweet or aspartame.
Commercial soda – It’s BTD avoid and common sense avoid as well. Too many artificial ingredients, too much sugar.
Health brands of soda – I salute several companies for trying to make a healthy soda, but there is still way too much sugar in all of the brands I have looked at.
Health brands of soda with sucralose (Splenda) – I buy Hansen’s Diet Soda. Though I’m not wild about anything artificial, sucralose has been thoroughly studied and there just isn’t any scientific evidence against it. It tastes sweet, but it is not absorbed by your body. It passes right on through, unmetabolized. It is unrated on the BTD, so for now it is neutral.
Health brands of soda with "sugar alcohol" sweeteners like xylitol and erythritol. I am actually enthusiastic about this sweetener. It is not artificial. It does not raise blood sugar. Xylitol has a positive effect on dental health. Zevia is a brand of soda that uses erythritol. It used to be expensive, but the price is coming down.
Fruit juice spritzers like my old favorite Knudson. There is nothing artificial here. Just fruit juice and fizz.
Club soda and fruit juice. Make your own soda! This is the least expensive and best option for Type Os. Club Soda is beneficial. When you add beneficial fruit juices (pineapple, cherry) or flavors (ginger) you have a refreshing drink that is totally beneficial.
I have a friend who is very interested in healthy eating, but is soon to be married to a Type O man who would rather eat mostly carbs and sugar. She asked how she could influence him to change. In my answer, I told three anecdotes about my own husband. Two of them I have written blogs about, but one came from the early days, and I thought I’d share it in today’s blog.
More important, I tried to give her sound advice about how to gently change a loved one’s diet without letting it become a point of conflict. I thought that some of you are probably dealing with similar issues with a spouse, a child or a parent. All of us want the ones we love to be healthy and live long. These are a few things I have tried over the years that have worked.
Do not try to change someone you love overnight. I have tried that – it breeds resentment.
Gently bump him in the right direction. There are lots of good carbs for Type Os. Sweet potatoes and rice are good and inexpensive. Many legumes are good for Type Os. They provide fiber and carbs. If you cook them in your crock pot, they are very cheap.
Don’t try to get him completely off of wheat. Go ahead and buy rolls or French bread. But don’t put out the whole package. Divide it up and put it in the freezer. Serve dinner with one roll. Let there be plenty of meat, rice, and beans when he goes back for seconds.
Start with broccoli not something exotic.
Start with rice not quinoa.
Start with black beans not fava beans
Keep a few old favorite unhealthy foods available, but not easy access or unlimited supply.
Let him see that he has less pain and more energy
Use honey or real maple syrup on whole grain pancakes and waffles instead of the maple flavored corn syrup. No one wants to go back to fake after tasting real.
Don’t deprive him of desserts. There are many ways to have something special and sweet at the end of a meal.
Fruit pies are better than cake with icing.
Try a little ice cream with lots of fresh fruit on top.
Pumpkin or sweet potato pie rather than syrupy pie like pecan.
Oatmeal and carrot cake are full of fiber and nutrients.
I tend to use real sugar in reduced amounts rather than alternative sweeteners. I can reduce the sugar and oil in a regular recipe by 25% - 33% and no one notices. I did this with my children when they were very young, and I never got a complaint.
Go ahead and cook vegetables you like, even if he doesn’t like them. Two reasons for this.
1. If you deprive yourself, you will slowly build up resentment.
2. One day he might try it and like it. You never know.
Don’t push him to eat foods he doesn’t think he likes. Two reasons for this.
1. He may comply to please you, but it will slowly build up resentment.
2. Men like to think they are in charge. They don’t like being pushed.
I have found in that resentment is bad for digestion and bad for marriage.
The way my husband has slowly grown to eat more healthy is by discovering things on his own.
I did push a lot in the early years. He griped and complained about vitamins. One time on vacation he got into poison oak. He had oozing sores all over his back. We were in a strange town and didn’t know a doctor. I rubbed vitamin E into his back and he woke the next morning healed. He said, “Maybe there is something to those vitamins of yours.” Complaining was reduced by 75%.
He has gradually become committed to eating healthy himself. Not because I say so, but because he has seen it work in his own body, and has internalized the concepts. This is the goal.
The garbanzo beans I cooked in the crock pot were wonderful. However I cooked more than I thought I was cooking, and since they are avoid for Type As, I was eating them all by myself. At the same time I ran out of hummus.
Traditionally hummus is eaten with bread or pita chips – both of which are avoid for Type O. I found that I really like hummus mixed with cooked greens. I’m sure that horrifies Middle Eastern gourmets, but, really, it tastes good. Hummus and mustard greens with ground beef is one of my favorite lunches.
So, there I was, out of hummus, but with more garbanzo beans than I knew what to do with. I decided to make homemade hummus. I didn’t have sesame seeds or tahini, but I had lots of other nuts. My first experiment was with pecans. I put garbanzos, pecans, garlic in the food processor and whirled them until they were creamy. It didn’t taste like hummus, but it tasted good, and it was delicious with cooked greens.
After I finished the pecan hummus, I still had garbanzos left – I told you I cooked a lot of beans! So I tried homemade hummus again with walnuts. This time I added a little olive oil. Again, it didn’t taste like hummus, but it was very good. I wish I had thought to add some lemon juice. That might have made it taste more like real hummus.
I’m not committing to make my own hummus all the time. But it’s nice to know that I have such a good way to use up leftover garbanzo beans.
I got a crock pot as a wedding gift. It is sort of a mustard color – one of the earth tones that was popular in the 1970s. I used it a lot when my Honorable Husband and I were first married. He loved casseroles and stews. I loved coming home from work to find dinner warm and ready to eat. Then we had children – who like most children didn’t want their food all mixed together. Then the family got on the Blood Type Diet and none of the old favorite recipes were suitable for both Type As and Type Os. So the crock pot has been gathering dust in the back of the pantry beside the deep fryer.
One of our Christmas gatherings was a Sunday School covered dish party with a Mexican food theme. I knew there would be lots of corn, wheat, and cheese. By the time the sign up list got to me two other people had already said they would bring salads. I was quickly thinking of something that would be healthy and in line with the Mexican theme. I wrote down black beans.
I have always taken the easy way out and bought canned beans. My grocery store carries brands with reduced sodium and minimum added ingredients. When the kids are home, a can serves the family. When it is just HH and myself, we have a few beans left over for veggie bowls the next day. But since I was making black beans for a crowd, I thought I would dust off the crock pot and cook them myself.
I found a really easy recipe in the internet.
Soak one pound of black beans overnight. I soaked them in the crock pot.
Drain the beans and pick out the broken pieces. Add one can broth (I used chicken) one onion (chopped) and one jar of salsa. Add enough water to cover the beans. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8 – 9 hours. I started on high and switched to low after about 4 hours.
The beans were really good. They were also really easy. Most of all, I was shocked at how inexpensive they were compared to canned beans.
So, when I was getting ready for our Christmas Day tamale dinner, I decided to cook pinto beans in the crock pot. HH tries to eat relatively low sodium because of his blood pressure. My Darling Daughter gets a burning sensation on her tongue when she eats too much salt. So I kept the pinto beans really simple.
One pound of pinto beans soaked overnight.
Drain the beans and pick out the broken pieces. Add one chopped onion. Add 2 teaspoons of cumin. Add water to cover the beans. Cook in the crock pot the same way I cooked the black beans.
Once again I was struck by how inexpensive and delicious crock pot beans can be. So for New Year’s Day, I cooked black eyed peas. Another success! Now I’m hooked. I’ve already bought garbanzo’s to cook this weekend. It has become increasingly hard to find canned fava beans and adzukis, but my health food store carries dried packages of both.
I will probably always keep a few cans of beans on the pantry shelf for times when I need them quickly. But I plan to use the crock pot for beneficial beans at least once a week.
For Christmas I got a rice cooker. If you are a long time reader, that statement will make you smile. Several years ago I was with a group of women and one of them said that if she had to give up every appliance in her kitchen except one, she would keep her rice cooker. I was astounded - first because I had never heard of a rice cooker, and second because I rely daily on my food processor and blender.
Because of my Honorable Husband’s experience with pre-diabetic blood sugar levels two years ago, I only serve him one starch per meal, and I aim for beneficial starches. He loves rice, and it is a beneficial food for Type As in the BTD Diabetes book. My schedule works against me, however. To cook brown rice properly on the stove, I have to remember to start cooking it early, and I have to serve it quickly after it is done. One day I saw pre-cooked rice packets in the grocery store. You pop them in the microwave for a minute (the packet says 90 seconds, but I thought 60 seconds was better) and they are ready to eat. I could get both brown rice and wild rice. Initially I intended to have a couple of packets as a back up, but it was too easy. I began to buy them often.
Though they saved a lot of time, I always felt guilty. For one thing they are expensive relative to the cost of rice. There were also added ingredients, that I didn’t read too closely, because I knew I’d find things that weren’t good for him. And I don’t trust microwaving food in plastic bags. I do it from time to time, but I am suspicious.
As it got close to Christmas, I remembered the conversation about rice cookers and began to do a little research. I wanted a small cooker, because I mainly cooking rice for HH alone. I didn’t want to spend a fortune, and some of the highly rated oriental cookers are really expensive. One day DD and I wandered into a gourmet store at the mall and I got into a conversation with one of the sales people who recommended a one to six cup Black & Decker rice cooker that was moderately priced. He said if I didn’t like it, I could bring it back to the store for up to three months. I asked how many other people had returned them, and he said, “No one has ever brought one back.” I put it on my wish list, and Christmas morning it was under the tree.
Since then I have entered a love affair with my rice cooker. I can cook absolutely perfect brown rice in about 45 minutes or less. It is full of flavor – it even makes the kitchen smell good. It has an automatic warming function that keeps the rice ready to serve until the rest of the meal is ready. I can also use the warming setting to reheat leftover rice.
If I had to choose between the rice cooker and the food processor I would still choose the food processor…but I hope I never have to make the choice.
This blog is getting long. I’ll save the “old gadget” part for another day.
I like to buy meat at Sams Club. I can get good ground beef and turkey at the grocery store. I am delighted that I can get ground bison there as well. But I’m usually disappointed in grocery store roast and brisket. Grocery store lamb is so expensive I would never consider buying it. However the meat counter at Sams Club is both BTD and budget friendly.
Today I bought boneless leg of lamb. I froze it. I’ll thaw it out and roast it with fresh rosemary the next time my son comes for dinner. The smallest eye of round roast they had today was 4.55 pounds. I will cut it in half tomorrow morning. Then I will roast half and freeze the other half for later.
Sams also carries Cod Loins in their frozen food section. The cod in the grocery store is thin and falls apart. It reminds me of orange roughy or whiting, neither of which are on my favorite fish list. But the Cod Loins are thick. They have both a good flavor and texture. I bought a bag of Cod Loins today. I like to keep them in the freezer for days when dinner time sneaks up on me.
I mentioned bison, which reminds me of a funny incident. I have a facebook friend who posts a lot of animal youtube links. She is a dear person, and it’s fun to talk with her about books and travel, but I think she drifts into the “animals are people, too” way of thinking. She had posted a link to a video bemoaning the tragedy of bison from Yellowstone National Park wandering out of the protected park lands and being shot by hunters. I commented, all in fun, that “bison is delicious, good for Type Os, and available at HEB.”
My friend was not bothered by my post at all, but one of her friends screamed at me in all caps. I assume she is a Type O frustrated with trying to be vegetarian. I’m certainly glad I understand why my Type O body needs meat. I came home from today’s shopping trip with plenty of high quality beneficial protein.
I love it when the pressure of health conscious people forces retailers to carry more beneficial food. It’s fine with me if their motivation is profit. Profitable businesses create jobs, after all. I was happy when grocery stores started carrying whole grain products – I remember when they didn’t. I chuckled with delight when Wal-Mart began carrying organic produce. I’m not sold out on organic myself, but it shows that they are listening to their customers.
I was in the freezer section of my grocery store a week ago looking for frozen blueberries and cherries. On the top shelf, I saw a new product sticker. It was Acai!!! The package says it is pureed berries with a little cane juice extract, and it is labeled “smoothie pack”. The instructions tell how to quickly thaw the puree to make a smoothie.
I used some in my morning breakfast mix, and it was delicious. I haven’t tried it in a smoothie yet, but when DD gets home this summer she will come up with creative smoothie combinations.
If it’s available at my grocery store, then it means that the big suppliers are stocking it. Ask at your store for Sambazon brand Acai smoothie packs.
It’s time for church! I’m looking forward to worship this morning.
When I go for more than a week without a blog, it’s a pretty safe bet that instead of blogging I am bogged down in paperwork. I had two or three things that I wanted to write about after Spring Break, but they were overshadowed by executrix duties and computer issues.
One of the required courses for graduation where DD goes to college is a healthy life class. As you would expect, they do not teach the BTD, but DD has enjoyed the course and learned that there is more to health than diet and exercise.
The instructor sent the students to a website called realage.com/. It is a free site, but you do have to register with an e-mail address. You take a 10 – 15 minute survey giving health, diet, exercise, and life style information. It calculates how your biological age compares to your calendar age.
The students had to take the survey and write an essay on what they learned about themselves and how they can improve their biological age. DD learned that she is still about two pounds below a healthy weight.
I could hardly wait to try it myself. I’m 56 years old. I know that I don’t have the body of a 20 or 30 year old, but I wanted to see if seven years on the BTD made me score better than other women my age.
Woo Hoo! Biologically I am 47.8 years old.
The website says that while I exercise enough overall, I need to spend more time lifting weights. That is probably true. A big factor in my score was losing both parents and starting my own business within the last 18 months. That is way more stress than any body needs. It also advises me to carve out more time for myself. Ha! I want to do that too - - tomorrow.
Of course it says I should eat more grain and less red meat, but I will ignore that advice. Overall I was happy with my score. I can go back in 90 days and take the survey again to see how I am doing.
The best thing about the survey is the reminder that while we have no control over some factors in aging, there are many things people do to destroy their own health. I want to live every day with maximum energy, maximum joy, and maximum service to God.
When I think of grief, I think of sorrow, sadness, and regret. I was not consciously grieving in a traditional way, so I was caught off guard by my mood and my physical symptoms.
I can see how someone who has no assurance of a better life after death could be overwhelmed with grief after a parent dies, but I can back up my assurance for my Mom and Dad with many scriptures. I have grieved with friends who have faced the deaths of children and spouses. There is great sorrow, even when there is knowledge that they will meet again in heaven.
However after watching my Mom cope bravely with life for four months paralyzed and unable to speak, there was a lot of relief and solace mixed with the sadness when she passed away. I moved toward settling legal issues and resuming my life. Yet something was missing. It was hard to define. There was a spark, an enthusiasm, that just wasn’t there. I found myself skipping exercise and snacking at night. Healthy snacks, of course, I was smarter than to sink to eating avoids.
Most upsetting, I began to have indigestion – for the first time since starting the BTD 7 years ago.
A series of e-mails with my sister, led us both to realize that we were grieving. I described my mood as mentally active but emotionally lethargic. She said that we had been so focused on Mom, that we had never grieved for Dad. I said that I wasn’t sad, but there was a hole in my life.
Once I realized that I was experiencing grief in an unexpected way, I began to take action. I’m doing a better job of planning my exercise. I’m getting more sleep. I’m listening to less news and more music.
Nutritionally I bought some fresh ginger and juiced it. I also increased my ghee intake. I’m encouraged, just two days on ghee and ginger has almost totally eliminated the feelings of indigestion.
Now that I know I’m grieving, I understand that it will be a process. There won’t be any shortcuts. I am confident that faith will lead me through. And in the meantime, I’m glad that beneficial food will relieve the physical symptoms.
Two friends have had knee replacement surgery in the past month. One is a single woman (Type O) whose surgery was in Texas and whose rehab was at a live-in nursing facility. The other was a married man (Type A) whose surgery was in England and whose rehab was at home. Both of them agree that rehab from knee surgery is excruciatingly painful.
Both of their doctors were very honest before the surgery. They said rehab would be pain worse than childbirth. Pain that would daily bring them to tears. Both of my friends thought that the doctors were exaggerating to make sure that they took their therapy and exercises seriously. Wrong; the doctor was painting an accurate picture.
The man described his experience using words like “torture” and “the rack”. The woman said, “More than once I was reduced to quivering and blubbering.” I’m not sure either of them would have had the surgery if they had known how horrible the recovery would be. I will follow up in a year, after they have had a chance to use their new knees, and see how they feel about it then.
But for now, they had two bits of advice for me, which are worth passing on to you.
First – keep your leg muscles strong now. If you don’t have knee problems, be thankful and build up the muscles in your legs so that your knee joint is supported. If you are overweight, all those extra pounds are adding stress to your knees. Think preventive. Be proactive.
If you have knee pain now (as I do) obey your physical therapist. Exercise those quads. Stay active and flexible. A lot of knee surgery can be avoided. When you strengthen your leg muscles, you take pressure off of the joint and give it a chance to heal. My husband had a tear in his meniscus. Physical therapy for several months and continuing to do his exercises has him 100% pain free without surgery. My patella femoral pain is more difficult to treat, but I have improved so much. The minor twinges I still get are a warning to keep up the exercises. Women my age have trouble building muscle because of hormone changes. I really have to work at it.
Second – If your knee pain is debilitating, and you are headed for knee replacement surgery, my friends recommend 3 months of work with a physical therapist or a personal trainer before the surgery. They say that the stronger your muscles and the more flexible your ligaments before surgery, the better off you will be in rehab.
I got my seasonal flu shot about a week ago. I didn’t blog about it immediately because I wanted to see if there were any ill effects. There were not. My arm was not particularly sore. I didn’t run any fever, no aches or pains. I felt perfectly normal. I did have a headache three days later, but I think it would be a stretch to blame that on the shot.
I got the shot because of my Mom. The rehab facility has signs posted everywhere warning visitors to stay away if they or anyone in their household has any flu-like symptoms. I do not want to risk exposing my Mom or any of the residents with flu.
On the day I got the shot I actually had an appointment for an annual physical. The day before there had been one news report after another about flu cases in our area. Doctors were interviewed on the radio who were seeing hundreds of flu patients a week. I woke up thinking, “Why am I going to sit in a waiting room with a bunch of flu germ carriers? Why put myself at that kind of risk?” I cancelled the doctor appointment and called a local pharmacy that gives flu shots. They said that they were almost out of seasonal vaccine and if I wanted a shot, I should come that very morning. So I switched my schedule and got the shot.
I am more wary about the H1N1 vaccine. The nasal spray is a live virus. I know I don’t want that. The shot is a dead (inactivated they call it) virus. Right now all H1N1 shots are reserved for high risk groups, so I couldn’t get one if I wanted it. I’ll wait and see what, if any, side effects turn up from the shot.
I heard one doctor interviewed on the news, who said that next year’s seasonal vaccine will include H1N1, but it will be a dead variety, and will be more thoroughly tested.
Whether you decide to get vaccinated for the flu or not, I strongly urge you to stay at home if you have any flu symptoms. There is nothing you have to do that is so important that it gives you the right to expose someone else. If people exercised common courtesy by keeping their germy hands off of shopping carts, and door knobs, it would go a long way toward slowing the progress of the disease. Stay home instead of going to a concert, movie, or even a church service. Get a friend to pick up children from school.
Sorry if I sound irritable, but I am tired of standing in line with people who are hacking and wheezing! I have hand sanitizer in my car, and my hands will probably be chapped all winter from the alcohol.
A few days of rest and self imposed isolation would not only protect others, but it would give the flu patient’s own body a chance to rest and recover more quickly.
Last week I carried beef jerky with me wherever I went. Sometimes just knowing I had a beneficial in my purse was enough to get me over the momentary stress. Other times chewing on the tough jerky worked the stress out of me.
This week I bought some sliced roast beef at the deli. I was late getting home to cook lunch. I ate a slice of roast beef in the car. It was just what I asked for: beneficial, fast and filling.
Both of these foods are probably too salty to be 100% good for me. But I’m not stressed every day, and I’m confident the beef is better for me than some of my other choices.
Tonight I had a good visit with my Mom at the rehab facility. She can hold her glass now and take a drink. I feed her the meat and vegetable part of her meal. She has to help with the spoon to get her dessert. She is learning to make use of her left hand. We had such a good time looking at family pictures on my computer. As I left my Mom said, “I love you, Suzanne.” My name has never sounded so beautiful.
It was late when I got home, and I walked in the kitchen feeling frantically hungry. I ate two pieces of beef jerky and settled down inside. After that I could wait for dinner.
Right now I’m comfortably full and very happy.
Everybody has heard prune jokes. People snicker at the mention of prune juice. Referring to a recipe like Prune Whip will draw gales of laughter. Even a nationally advertised soda once became suspect because of a rumor that prune juice was an ingredient. It astounds me that people who pride themselves on speaking of sexual activity in the most graphic terms without a blush, act like adolescent boys when it comes to elimination.
What a shame that such a nutrient-packed food is so maligned.
Plums (ie fresh prunes) are beneficial for every blood type. Prunes are beneficial (even super beneficial in some cases) for Type As and Type Os.
I like prunes. They naturally taste as sweet as a dessert without any of the disadvantages of refined sugar. They are delicious chopped up in my morning breakfast mix. They quickly restore my blood sugar if I’m late eating a meal. They are essential when traveling throws my normal body rhythm off.
I was happy to see that Reader’s Digest did an article in their health section on prunes, and I learned something new. Recent studies have shown that prunes are one of the best fruits for strengthening bones! They not only prevent bone loss, but animal studies indicate they may reverse it. Preliminary studies indicate that benefits come from as few as three prunes a day.
Not only do they contain bone building nutrients like boron, potassium, and vitamin K, but they are also high in disease-fighting antioxidants – a good thing to know when Swine Flu is daily in the news.
I had three prunes for breakfast this morning, and that’s not a joke.