Three bits of background before starting this blog.
1. When I first started the BTD, I learned that kale, a vegetable I had never heard of, was highly beneficial. I ate it often at first, but because my family wouldn’t eat it and it smelled terrible when it was cooking, I gradually stopped buying it.
2. I was in a health food store and they had free samples of a new product. Kale chips. They were delicious, outstanding, crunchy, yummy! I said, “I’ll buy a bag of those.” Ouch. I didn’t look at the price: they were really expensive. Double ouch. I didn’t look at the ingredients: they were coated with lots of salt and nuts.
3. DD has been dehydrating vegetables in her oven to take to work as a snack.
So, I decided to make my own kale chips. I bought kale, washed it, dried it, and broke off chip size pieces. I sprinkled on onion and garlic powder. I put it in the oven according to DD’s instructions. It did not stink up the kitchen while it was cooking.
When it was finished, I popped a chip into my mouth. First impression made me smile. It was light and crunchy. As I kept chewing, the tougher it got and the more it tasted like. . . kale. I think the thing that made the packaged chips so delicious was the nuts.
I decided to cook the rest of the kale with onions like I used to. Pew! The kitchen smelled terrible. But kale cooked with onions tastes good. I added ground turkey and had a nice lunch.
I hope I will continue to buy kale, even if I am the only one who eats it. I’d like to experiment further with kale chips. There is potential here, I just haven’t put it all together yet.
I can almost always find plenty to eat at a pot luck dinner, but last night was an exception. The funny part was what all of the ladies were saying after it was over.
My Honorable Husband sings in the choir at our church. Last night the choir had a party and a pot luck dinner. HH signed me up to bring a salad. At the grocery store I found strawberries and pineapple on sale. I thought that would make a pretty Valentine month salad. I served it in a bowl shaped like an apple that we received as a wedding gift.
The people who organized the party were so creative with music related games and table decorations. We had lots of fun playing and visiting. Then it was time to eat.
There were three salads: my fruit salad, a pasta salad, and potato salad.
There was one vegetable: hash brown casserole.
There were five entrees: spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken with a cheese topping, a chicken and noodle casserole, spicy venison sausage, and meat cooked with onions and green peppers.
There were at least six cakes and one plate of cookies.
You are thinking the same thing I was thinking as I approached the serving line – there is not much here for a Type O. I took some of my own fruit, some of the sausage, some of the meat, and a little of the chicken with cheese topping. The meat turned out to be pork, but even if I had known that ahead of time, I think I would have taken some, though perhaps not as much. There were just no other choices.
The funny part came at the end of the party when we were cleaning up. All of the venison was gone. There were a few stray strawberries in the bottom of my bowl. More than half of the meat and onions was gone. There were lots of leftovers in every other dish.
Suddenly the other ladies began trying to give their food away. The lady who brought the spaghetti said, “Someone take this home, we are both on a diet and can’t eat it.” The lady who brought the potato salad said, “This only lasts a few days and we don’t eat potatoes.” Several of the ladies who brought cakes were saying, “Please take some cake, I don’t need this in my house.” One lady was offered a take home plate. She waved it away saying, “Not for me, I don’t need all that starch.”
Someone could have brought green beans, or a green salad, or a crock pot of legumes. I’m not sure whether the high carb dishes were brought because our friends wanted to offer comfort food at the party, or whether high carb dishes are less expensive for people on tight budgets in this bad economy.
Regulars on the BTD don’t need me to spell it out, but for the benefit of guests I will gently and kindly say that the people at the party preferred the healthier choices when they served their own plates. Yet they brought food to a pot luck that they didn’t want to take home.
Several months ago I read about someone on the Forum who was trying to determine their GenoType, so they asked their dentist about Carabelli’s cusp and incisor shoveling. I thought this was a great idea, and made a note to ask my own dentist at my next appointment.
Yesterday was the day. My dentist says that virtually everyone has a Carabelli’s cusp. Some people’s are very prominent, others are very faint, more the hint of a ridge than a cusp. Often the size of the cusp varies from one first molar to another. He was giving me a lot of detail about people groups. The GTD had asked yes or no to Carabelli’s cusp, so this was not helping.
I changed my question, and said, “On a scale of 1-10, how prominent are my Carabelli’s cusps?” He looks for a while with his mirror, and said that I would be a 6.
Next I asked about incisor shoveling. Again he said that it’s not a matter of whether you have it, but a matter of how much. We applied the scale again, and he said I had slightly less shoveling than average. He gave me a 4.
Overall the results were disappointing. I have never been completely confident about my GenoType because my significant fingers are virtually the same length. Now I find out that these other two indicators are less of a yes/no and more of a degree. Again I fall right in the middle of the scale.
So I’ll stick with the Blood Type Diet, tweaking certain foods based on the two GenoTypes that I might be.
The dentist had one parting comment. “You need to eat more sugar,” he said, in his dry humorous way. “If all of my patients ate as healthy as you do, I wouldn’t be able to make a living.”
My Honorable Husband walked into the kitchen this morning and said, “I have a brilliant idea. On the weeks that you don’t have your Hiking Club, let’s go out into the Hill Country and do a hike ourselves.”
When we were younger, we loved hiking together. Most of our vacations have been to the mountains. The two of us enjoyed mountain trails before we had children. Our son was on the Cub Lake trail when he was 3-years-old and our daughter hiked to Nymph Lake when she was three as well. As the kids got older, we took longer trails. Even the years when we did historical vacations, we did a lot of walking – like the Freedom Trail in Boston.
In 2004 HH hurt his knee. He did physical therapy and fortunately avoided surgery. Under normal circumstances he has no pain. But he learned that his strenuous hiking days were over. His knee does not like steep inclines or large rocks. He exercises every day walking on the roads around our home. When we are on vacation, we take long walks on smooth paths. It is the mountain trails that bring back the pain. It was hard for me to accept that when his hiking days ended, mind did as well.
Two years ago God blessed me with a ladies hiking club. I am one of the younger women in the group. A few of these hikers are in their 70s. We are all in the club for the same reasons: we want to stay healthy, and our husbands for one reason or another, do not hike. I’ve had a wonderful time getting to know these ladies as friends as we hike together twice a month.
One day in early January it was sunny and warm. HH and I drove to a lake with the dog and took a long walk on a hike & bike trail. There were no inclines and because the path was for bicyclists, it was smooth enough for him to enjoy without having to watch his feet. Last week we had a coupon for a new restaurant out in the Hill Country. We decided to drive up for lunch and take an equestrian trail that was nearby. I enjoyed both of these outings. It was great exercise, of course, but it was more than that. I realized how much I had missed the camaraderie of being on the trail with HH. Conversation sprang up naturally about issues that we never seem to have time to talk about on an ordinary busy day.
He obviously felt the same way. So we now have a commitment to hike together on the weeks when I don’t have Hiking Club. We will look for more bicycle and equestrian trails. Some weeks we may invite couples from the city to come and join us. This is going to be fun!
I can understand why food manufacturers lace their products with salt and sugar. Both are addictive. Because I eat natural, unprocessed food most of the time, I feel the difference when I get too much salt or sugar. I don’t like the way too much salt makes me feel. I am thirsty, and the inside of my mouth tingles. I don’t like the way too much sugar makes me feel either. I am sluggish and lazy. That is my logical, healthy, informed self. But once I get started on salty, sweet food look out. Logic, health and wisdom abandon me, and I am as vulnerable as any ordinary gal in a fast food drive through line.
I am in a Book Club in my neighborhood. Last year several of us read a book called True Women, about women pioneers in Texas. We also enjoyed a follow up book called The True Women Cookbook. The club was meeting at my house in January, and I decided to do recipes from the True Women Cookbook along with recipes that have been handed down from my early Texas ancestors.
I moderated the recipes a little so that my husband and I could eat the leftovers. I used neutral flours in the cookies and substituted feta cheese for cheddar. My book reading friends loved the theme, and the food was delicious, if I say so myself.
Though there weren’t any avoid foods (except for coconut), there was still more sugar and salt than I am accustomed to eating. One of the cookies was a no bake recipe that called for making a sauce with sugar, butter and milk (I used almond milk). Another cookie was dusted with powdered sugar. Several of the recipes called for dried fruit and one for honey. The asparagus was topped with both cheese and a crunchy salty topping.
The night before the Book Club I did quite a bit of taste testing – but I told myself, I’ll eat moderately tomorrow. The day of the Book Club I decided to yield and enjoy myself – tomorrow I’ll get back to eating normally. The day after the Book Club the leftovers were too tempting. Sugar and salt were calling my name.
This morning I got up resolved to get back in control. I know that the best thing for my body is to eat my food as close to the way God made it as I can. Concentrated salt and sugar are not the way He intended for me to eat.
I know today will be filled with temptation. There are still a few leftovers in the house, though most of them are going in the freezer after I finish writing this blog. I am drinking lots of fluid. I added l-glutamine to my morning green tea to head off carb cravings. I’ll take more l-glutamine late this afternoon before I start dinner preparation. Writing this blog makes me feel accountable to all of you who are reading it.
As my logical, healthy, informed side begins to reassert itself, I have a renewed sympathy for those around me who are trying for the first time to wean themselves away from processed foods. It takes a while to savor the flavors of grains and vegetables without excessive sugar and salt. I’m eager to get back on track, and I’m glad I have l-glutamine to get me past the moments when the cravings would try to drag me back.