Our family is under an unusual amount of stress today. I'm not the only one dealing with stress; many of you are probably more stressed than I am. There is not a thing I can do to make this particular stress go away. The only control I have is my response to the stress. Two of the response choices I can control are diet and exercise.
As I cleaned up the kitchen this morning I noticed that my husband and I deal with stress and food very differently. He stops eating, and I eat more. He only ate half of his breakfast this morning - I've already had breakfast twice. I need to make sure that I plan meals that will entice him to eat and give him maximum nutrition in small servings. I must watch myself and make sure that extra food I eat is filling and good for Os. So far I'm doing ok - my extra breakfast was a plate of carrot sticks dipped in sesame butter.
I plan to swim this morning. I must make sure that I manage my time so that I get to the pool and have a vigorous swim. Even as I type this I'm thinking about how much better I will feel when I get my body moving fast. Tonight I will encourage my husband to take the dog for a walk around the park near our house. That would be the more relaxing kind of exercise that his Type A body needs.
Another choice I can make is to affirm that nothing happens to me that surprises God, and that his plans for my life are good. I can pray that God will work through the stressful circumstances to bring about good for my family and for others. I started doing that even as I washed up the dishes.
Normally I bemoan the commercialization of holidays and how stores start displaying Thanksgiving and Christmas items way too early. This week I have to eat my words, so to speak. Pie pumpkins have arrived at the grocery store!
This was one of my favorite BTD discoveries last fall. I'd always been told that display pumpkins for Halloween and Thanksgiving were not very good to eat. Pie pumpkins are smaller, and selected for cooking. They are also beneficial. I bought a small one last fall, cooked it in the pressure cooker, and prepared it as a compromise between a vegetable and a dessert. I left out the eggs, sugar, and milk that would have made it into a pie filling. I added he cinnamon and ginger that give pumpkin its traditional flavor.
It was delicious. From Thanksgiving until Christmas I fixed pumpkin once a week. My family did not share my delight in this discovery. My husband has never liked pumpkin pie, so it was no surprise that he didn't care for pumpkin as a vegetable. My daughter likes pumpkin pie, but didn't think pumpkin as a vegetable was sweet enough.
With the arrival of the new year, pumpkin disappeared from the store. I tried canned pumpkin several times. It was good, but lacked the rich flavor of fresh pumpkin.
Here it is the 2nd week of September. Cantaloupe (Musk Melons), nectarines, and other summer fruit are still in the stores. Pumpkin has already arrived for the fall. I will enjoy the multitude of choices while I can.
This blog will probably be too long. But if you persevere to the end, you will find that it has an interesting BTD application and it meshes with recent columns by other BTD website writers about weathering hurricanes and preparing for crises.
I do a daily Bible study. Some years it's about a topic, some years encouragement, some years theology. This year I am reading through the Bible from start to finish looking at the history behind the books, with an emphasis on archeology.
I've known that I was getting closer to the book of Ezekiel. And I thought what fun it would be when I got to Ezekiel 4:9 to do a blog on Ezekiel Bread. All I knew about Ezekiel Bread was what was written on the package, but I imagined God giving the recipe to promote health and wellness. I was planning a joyful, positive, uplifting blog about God's bread recipe.
When I got to Ezekiel, and studied the historical context, I realized I couldn't write that blog. Let me see if I can briefly set up the circumstances.
The southern kingdom of Israel had been in rebellion against God for years. There was immorality and injustice, sin and selfishness, not to mention idolatry. (When I read about this rebellion against God I can't help thinking how similar it is to current events in America and Europe. But, back to the subject.) God had been warning that if they didn't repent, judgment was coming. Babylon invaded the land, captured the king, and took him along with the best educated and most important people into captivity. Ezekiel was one of those captives.
What the captives wanted was for God to zap the Babylonians so they could go back home to Jerusalem. There were many false prophets who were saying God would do just that. But God told Ezekiel that because the people still refused to repent that Babylon would again invade the land. This time there would be a siege and horrible famine. In the end the Babylonians would tear down the walls of Jerusalem, destroy the temple and take almost everyone left into captivity. This message did not make Ezekiel a popular prophet. (By the way a false prophet is someone who says "this message is from God" and it doesn't happen. I think about false prophets when someone suggests I look up my horoscope, but I digress again.)
One day God told Ezekiel that he wanted to demonstrate for the captives just how bad it was going to get back in Jerusalem. He said that Ezekiel would act out a famine for 390 days. Ezekiel would have to lie on his side for most of the day. He could only eat a small amount of food and drink a small amount of water. The food Ezekiel would eat would be a bread, which was described in Ezekiel 4:9.
Ezekiel Bread is famine bread. It is made of simple ingredients that can be stored for a long time. It is designed to preserve life in the most horrible of circumstances. It does not take a fancy bread machine; it can be baked in the most disgustingly primitive conditions.
Isn't it interesting that Ezekiel Bread is either beneficial or neutral for every blood type? Ezekiel ate a small amount of this bread and nothing else for 390 days, yet was still able to function and think clearly. My kids sometimes complain about the texture of Ezekiel Bread when I use it for sandwiches, but it always keeps their energy up all afternoon.
Other writers on this web site have asked lately, what food could we store for a hurricane or a terrorist attack or some other crisis that would last a long time and be good for every blood type? One answer would be the ingredients for the famine bread that God described years ago to the prophet Ezekiel.
I've been way too busy the past few days. It seems as if I've spent all my time dealing with unexpected crises, and I haven't had time to do the projects I've planned. So here it is 12:08 AM - and I'm baking zucchini muffins. I bought the ingredients several days ago and they have been sitting on my counter. Every day I've planned to make them, and every day something has come up to prevent it. Tonight I resolved to make the muffins no matter what.
As I was putting them in the pans, my daughter came in to say good night. She looked over my shoulder and smiled. She had her braces tightened yesterday and her mouth is still sore. Zucchini muffins are soft and easy to eat.
Another thing I've neglected during these busy days has been answering my mail here at the website. I read my mail almost every day, and try to answer promptly, but I'm a little behind right now.
I sometimes quote Bible verses that remind me of the BTD. Mary sent her favorite BTD verse from the Catholic Bible: Sirach 37:27 "For not every food is good for everyone, nor is everything suited to every taste."
With high profile people refusing to release their medical records these days, it was tempting to follow suit when my cholesterol numbers came in a bit disappointing. But in the interest of honesty and full disclosure here is the report.
My cholesterol was up - 221. It has only been this high one other time (in 1995).
The rest of the numbers look ok. Triglycerides were 62, HDL was 99, LDL was 110. The good news was that my cholesterol/HDL ratio was 2.2, the lowest it has ever been.
Mike Staffieri did a performance review not long ago, and I've been intending to do the same. Just the brief review I've done since getting this report turns up one thing that may have contributed to the higher cholesterol reading. In the weeks prior to my previous test the main fat in my diet had been olive oil on vegetables and salads. In July I reworked a buttery spread recipe to be BTD neutral/beneficial with ghee & olive oil. For most of the summer I used the buttery spread sparingly. But for a couple of weeks prior to my recent blood donation I had a craving for it, and let myself overindulge. Overindulgence has now come to a screeching halt, and I'm getting myself back toward the recommended 5-8 Tablespoons per week.
The nice thing about getting a free cholesterol test when I donate blood is that I don't have to worry over this report for 6 months or a year. I'll donate again in December, if not before.