I like these delightful days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Fall decorations are still up. I won’t get out the Christmas tree until the first of December, and I haven’t started listening to Christmas music, but I did do quite a bit of internet shopping over the weekend.
We missed our Darling Daughter at Thanksgiving – she had to work on Friday, so she couldn’t come home. Our Strong Son, however, had a long holiday weekend to spend with us. Three of his friends came home with him for Thanksgiving dinner. They were like DD – living too far to be with family and still get back for work on Friday. What a delightful group they were! The conversation around the table was interesting and thought provoking.
I worried a little about how our guests would respond to my slightly nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner. SS assured me that they all embraced an active and healthy lifestyle and that they would be more receptive than average young adults.
I spent a little more to buy a hormone free turkey. I put onions and celery in the cavity before I roasted it, and it was delicious. I cooked cranberries with honey and pineapple juice, and they were just the right mix of tartness and sweetness. The green beans were seasoned with garlic and basil. I made the same pumpkin pie that I made last Thanksgiving, using ground walnuts as a crust. The twice baked sweet potatoes were exceptionally good.
As in years past my biggest BTD compromise on Thanksgiving food was going to be dressing. When DD is home, we have tried several avoid free dressings, that were tasty. But my favorite will always be the cornbread dressing that I ate first at my grandmother’s house and later at my mother’s.
Because my Honorable Husband has dealt with pre-diabetic issues in the past, the BTD Diabetic book says corn (neutral for Type As) is an infrequent neutral for him. I double checked the food lists and was surprised and delighted to notice for the first time that corn, which was always Type O avoid on the BTD, is only a limited toxin on the Hunter diet (though it is still toxic on the Gatherer diet.) That means that the Hunter half of me can feel good about eating something that I was going to eat anyway.
What a Thanksgiving bonus this is! While we will still not eat corn often in our family, we can truly enjoy dressing at holidays. And we will probably have an occasional ear of corn on the cob or a bowl of air-popped pop corn while we watch a movie.
My family always made rather dry buttermilk cornbread. I love sweet, moist cake-like cornbread. I went on the internet to see if I could find a wheat free, cake-like cornbread recipe. I could not. However, I found several recipes that were close, and I combined them – making the best cornbread I have ever eaten.
Here is my Hunter cornbread recipe.
2 cups cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup almond milk
1/3 cup light olive oli
1/3 cup honey.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl. Combine them and stir fast – just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the sides of the bread begin to pull away from the pan.
This is delicious by itself. When you use it with homemade rye spelt bread to make dressing, you have the finale to a healthy holiday feast.
I am thankful for a lot of things in this Thanksgiving week. One of the biggest items on my list is the restoration of DD’s hormone balance.
If you are a long time reader of this blog, you remember that in her senior year DD began to deal with body image issues. You can search the archives if you want to know all the details, but I’ll summarize. DD was never anorexic. She never stopped eating. But she cut her calories back and became obsessive about exercise. She lost too much weight and threw her hormones all out of balance.
I was firmly convinced that this was a spiritual issue with her, not a psychological issue. She was rejecting the way that God had made her. She needed to deal with Him about that, not have someone play games with her psyche.
She is a smart girl, and when she went off to college, she said all of the right things, but in her mind, she was still determined to remake her body in her own image. Not surprising, she got worse before she got better. She eventually agreed to a daily accountability e-mail with me. While this stopped her weight loss, it did not result in her gaining weight.
Though she was exercising too much and not eating enough, she was extremely committed to the BTD. So the food she was eating was almost all beneficial. I think that is one of the things that protected her from worse effects on her health.
God allowed her to have a couple of health scares. He also brought some incredibly wonderful and supportive people into her life. She met some other girls who were dealing with the same issue, and as she got to know them, she began to see her own behavior for what it was. He also brought a wonderful young man into her life (I’ve called him ESS in my blogs) who loves her exactly the way God made her.
But most of all, God confronted her every morning in her Bible study. When I read back through her accountability e-mail, I am amazed. Some days He reminded her how much He loved her. Some days He forced her to face her rebellion and sin. Some days He showed her that he created her with a purpose and had a plan for her life. She listened, and her mind was renewed.
Not overnight, but gradually she changed her habits and began to gain weight. It took a long time, and a few setbacks along the way, but she got her weight back to a normal BMI. However, her hormones were still not working.
Our family doctor was more concerned about some hormone levels than others, and the one that he was most concerned about was her low thyroid. DD and I did enough reading to know that thyroid function drops in people with eating and exercise disorders for the same reason it drops in people faced with famine – it is one of the ways our bodies preserve life. When there aren’t enough calories, all body functions slow down.
She resisted taking thyroid hormone for a long time. She tried increasing iodine and several other natural remedies. Our doctor eventually convinced her that her other hormones were probably not going to return to normal until she got her thyroid working properly again.
For three months now, she has been restored to good health. She wants to wait a few more months, and then talk to the doctor about a safe way to wean herself off of the thyroid medication. Thankful hardly begins to describe how she and her dad and I feel.
My Wal-Mart has a big frozen fish section. I like it because they have wild caught* salmon for a very reasonable price. I began looking at the other types of fish they carry. I found tilapia – which I order in restaurants, but do not cook at home**. Sometimes Wal-Mart has whiting. This is a good choice for my family, so when it is available I stock up.
I also found swai. The package had a glowing description of a delicious and nutritious fish. It was not on the BTD food list I carry in my purse. That usually means a food is neutral, but I decided to do a little checking.
It turns out that swai is a river catfish that is native to Southeast Asia. Since catfish is avoid for both Type As and Type Os, I have was glad I hadn't bought any.
Interesting that the GTD says catfish is beneficial for Gatherers***. I don’t quite understand that, but since I default to the BTD, I’ll not be swai-ed.
* I wrote a blog a year or so ago after talking to the manager of a local fish market. He says that the legal definition of wild caught is tricky. It can mean that the fish are raised in a netted area in a river or ocean. They are sort of wild, but not free to escape. More important, they can be fed whatever the farmer wants to feed them in order to plump them up for market. So while I buy wild caught when I can afford it, I don’t really know it’s wild unless I catch it myself.
** Tilapia seems to always farm raised, which means lower than expected Omega 3s. That’s why I eat it in restaurants, but cook something else at home.
*** Grilled catfish is often on the menu in restaurants. Perhaps this would be a reasonable choice for the Gatherer half of me. However, I won’t be cooking catfish at home, either.
Yesterday I got an e-mail from a missionary friend that says one third of Thailand is flooded. One third! I try to bring this into some personal frame of reference, but I can’t. One third of the US under water. One third of Texas under water. Even one third of Houston, Dallas, or San Antonio under water. It is inconceivable to me.
My missionary friend writes that even in the face of losing their own homes and jobs, Thai Christians are out in boats trying to help their neighbors.
The first thing that struck me when I read this was that a disaster of this magnitude has barely been reported in the US media. The news here is focused on stirring up class warfare and destroying people’s characters.
The second thing that crossed my mind was a question. What are those newly homeless people eating? My husband and I regularly send money to agencies like the Salvation Army and the International Mission Board World Hunger Fund to assist in disasters like this.
Obviously in a disaster Blood Type Diet considerations must be set aside. After a flood, or earthquake, getting safe food is the primary consideration. In famine stricken countries just getting enough calories to maintain life is of primary importance. A Type O in Somalia is not going to ask if there is wheat in the slice of bread they are given at a shelter.
But beyond disasters, I am sometimes concerned that the BTD could easily become a diet for the rich and elite. When beef is not good enough for a Type O, it must be grass fed beef. Or when rice is not acceptable, it must be non-GMO brown rice. Or when fresh fruits and vegetables are snubbed in favor of certified organic fruits and vegetables. I think this is wrong.
Unemployment has been high in the US for an extended period of time. I am seriously sympathetic because I am underemployed myself. If families cannot make the BTD work at an ordinary grocery store, then frankly it isn’t going to help very many people.
I will continue, in my blog, to apply BTD principles to people on a budget. And I will continue to give to organizations who deliver both food and the good news of Christ to those in need.
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.