Last night we took a trip back in time to the Victorian era and the days of Charles Dickens. A rural community near us has restored a group of old farm buildings and turned them into clever antique and gift shops. Every December they have a Dickens Christmas Celebration. The shopkeepers dress in Victorian era clothes. Local performers put on outdoor shows. There are even horse drawn carriage rides. It is a delightful event.
On the way we stopped for dinner at Chipotle's. It is easy to get a beneficial blood type meal there. I had a bowl with grilled steak, onions, green peppers, black beans and romaine lettuce. My husband and daughter chose rice, pinto beans, chicken, and other Type A foods.
After we arrived at the village, we realized that we could have eaten at a local restaurant, one of which is a British tea room. We strolled around the village, picking up a couple of Christmas gifts in the shops and enjoying the decorations and the music. We joined a candlelight sing-along around the big outdoor Christmas tree.
Strolling is not adequate Type O exercise. Earlier in the day I had gone to a parking garage to climb stairs. I got a very good work out. I think I will exercise there a lot this winter when it is too cold and drizzly to enjoy running.
You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. Luke1:31-33
Perhaps I spoke too soon about not having nutrition credibility with my husband's family. The last day we were there I got up early, and had breakfast alone with his Mom. She mentioned having read the negative news report about Vitamin E and said she had thrown her bottle of Vitamin E away. I was thinking that it was a shame the newspaper report scared her because she is Type A, and the Vitamin E is good for As. It's just not good for all blood types. I was trying to decide whether to try to explain that, when she said that she wished she knew what to do about nighttime muscle cramps.
I asked if she took calcium and magnesium. She got out a bottle of grocery store calcium tablets. I said that I thought capsules were easier to absorb than tablets, and that if she took magnesium with the calcium it would help her leg cramps. She seemed very interested. She has never shopped at a health food store, so I said I would buy some calcium/magnesium and mail it to her.
Today I was mailing a box of Christmas gifts to her house. I included a bottle of calcium/magnesium capsules. I'm hoping it will open a door to more conversations. I'm so happy that she asked me.
The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God." Luke 1:28-30
It's December 1, and this morning we had our first frost. The Christmas season has begun. I love Christmas! I love the music, the gifts, and the food. I love how the spirit of the season makes people more charitable and puts smiles on their faces. I'm hoping that I will start decorating the house this afternoon, but I've had lots of yearbook work to do this week, so decorating may have to wait until Friday.
Kristin wrote a blog about cranberries a few weeks back, and I've been enjoying them in a couple of new ways. My original cranberry sauce recipe called for 3 cups fresh cranberries, 1 cup water and, one cup sugar. This week I made cranberry sauce with the same 3 cups of berries, but Â½ cup water and 1/3 cup sugar. I liked the thicker sauce. My family did not notice the missing sugar. Someone eating a traditional American diet might find the cranberries to be too tart, but since we routinely decrease sugar in recipes, they tasted just fine to us.
I also cut raw cranberries in half and tossed them in a salad. They tasted good with salad greens, and looked quite Christmassy.
Figs are one of my favorite foods. Though I rarely get to eat them fresh, I often have dried figs as a snack. A few weeks ago I saw fruit-only fig preserves at the health food store and couldn't resist buying them. Without bread, it's been hard to know how to use them. Maybe it was hearing the Christmas chorus, "bring us some figgy pudding," but today I tried something radical.
We used to eat a lot of carrot salad. But after starting the BTD it just didn't taste the same without the whipped cream and mayonnaise. I've tried several variations, but hadn't found anything as good as the original. Today I had some grated carrots left over from last night's dinner. On impulse I mixed them with a little olive oil and a spoon of fig preserves. It was delicious - creamy and sweet, but not too sweet.
As much as I love the festive traditions of Christmas it's easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of the season and forget the true significance. I'm going to close each blog in December with a couple of verses from the Christmas story, which is, after all, the real reason for the season.
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. Luke 1:26-27
Without question, the best thing about the Thanksgiving holiday was being with our son. He told interesting stories about his classes and hilarious stories about his friends. He also told stories about what he eats.
He doesn't know his roommate's blood type, but says, "He eats like an O." They fix lots of meat in their apartment, especially ground beef. He asked how to cook a roast, and I gave him easy instructions.
He eats one meal a day in the dorm cafeterias. That is where he gets his vegetables. The dorm cafeterias are all-you-can-eat, so he loads up with vegetables and salad. He and his roommate are hesitant to buy and cook vegetables. It's true, that vegetables would mean more preparation and clean up time. But it would be easy to fix sweet potatoes in the microwave.
On mornings when he has 8:00 classes, breakfast is a quick protein shake in the blender. On mornings when he has late classes, he and his roommate fix eggs.
He isn't trying to be BTD compliant. He broadly aims for lots of meat and vegetables and he limits sodas and desserts. He eats way too much wheat for an O, and he still drinks milk. He keeps a variety of microwave dinners in their freezer for fast meals.
However he is eating infinitely healthier than I was at his age! And I'm pleased with his initiative and independence. One night he decided to fix spaghetti. "I fixed way to much," he said. "So we called a couple of friends to come over and join us for dinner."
I wish I could spontaneously do that. But I would feel like I needed to straighten the house and set the table. Plus I would have to check my husband's calendar and my daughter's schedule. By the time I had everything all ready the opportunity would have passed.
I thought the Forum post by suzedgar was honest and very appropriate for this time of year. No matter how hard we try, there is no way to be both a gracious guest and faithful to the BTD in most social settings. And the next 5 weeks will be filled with parties and dinners.
As we drove home from my husband's mom's house, we were listening to a financial tape in the car. The author said that everyone who succeeds financially will have failures along the way. If your failures make you fearful, they prevent you from attaining your goals. Successful people, he said, find ways to turn their failures into advantages.
Can the same logic apply to the Blood Type Diet? Can I turn eating avoids at a party into principles that will help me be healthier? Here are a few ways that I try to think about unavoidable avoids.
First: While I may be in a situation where I have to eat avoids, I do not have to be a glutton. There are almost always beneficial or neutral foods available. I try to eat more of the advantageous foods and only polite tastes of the avoids. At Thanksgiving dinner, I had three slices of turkey but only two bites of dressing.
Second: I find it discouraging to think of never, ever eating old favorite foods. Knowing that sooner or later I will be at a dinner or a party where I will get a taste of once-loved food makes it easier to totally avoid those foods at home. The breaded zucchini strips I ate at my nephew's house have satisfied my desire for onion rings and fried okra and immunized me from ordering them in a restaurant.
Third: I keep fresh in my memory the way I feel after too many avoids. Those memories are perhaps my biggest asset when I am looking at a buffet of holiday food. They give me the strength to say NO when I am tempted to grab comfort food.
By remembering those three principals, it's been a long time since I overindulged on avoids to the extent that I felt really horrible. If you feel sluggish and bloated after Thanksgiving, I have this advice. For a couple of days eat only meat and beneficial vegetables. Sweet potatoes, salad with olive oil, cooked greens, parsnips, black-eyed peas and adzuki beans are all very filling. Raw carrots dipped in nut butter are also satisfying. Stay completely away from anything with grain or sugar until your equilibrium is restored.
Though I was fairly compliant on our holiday trip, when we got home last night I ran for two miles - good for dissipating stress and for loosening muscles tired of sitting in the car. For dinner I fixed baked cod, kale, black-eyed peas, and onions - all highly beneficial. I feel healthy and energetic today. My weight is up a little more than a pound, but I'm confident that it is mostly water and will disappear shortly.