I am back home from the family reunion. I would probably be missing everyone, but school starts tomorrow, so I'm too busy to be sad. I had a long, late night conversation with my brother-in-law. He started out skeptical about the Blood Type Diet. But he has had stomach problems similar to mine, and had already figured out for himself that he feels better when he avoids milk products. He assumed he was lactose intolerant, but was interested in the concept of whey as a Type O avoid. The last thing he said to me was that he was going to look further into the Blood Type Diet.
While I was gone Jayne wrote saying, "I find I falter with avoids, but then I've got a younger family and a husband that still likes his wheat and especially sandwiches." I realize that sometimes I write as if my family is dedicated to the BTD, and sometimes I write as if they ignore it completely. In fact, both are true. Let me see if I can describe their fluctuating levels of commitment.
My daughter has the second highest level of personal commitment - within the foods that she likes. She easily gave up milk potatoes, and beef. She easily increased pinto beans, peanuts, salad, and soy. However, she does not like trying new foods - especially foods with strange names. She does not want to totally give up popular teenage foods like pizza and soda. Even at her level of commitment to the Type A diet, she has seen undeniable changes in her skin and muscle tone.
My husband has gradually become convinced that the Blood Type Diet is probably true. He is willing to follow the Type A diet as long as I do all the planning. When I fix a beneficial breakfast for him, he enjoys it. But at my parents' this week he ate packaged cereal and milk. When I pack him a beneficial lunch, he compliments it when he gets home. But if he goes out for a business lunch, he eats whatever he is in the mood for. He does not want to remember what foods are beneficial and what foods are avoids.
My son tends to naturally like Type O foods, but is the least likely to ask for my advice. He likes getting bigger meat portions at dinner and making thicker sandwiches. The BTD has given him ammunition against vegetarian influences on his college campus. He happily switched to sweet potatoes. He is an athlete, and had already cut back fried foods and sodas. The Type O diet reinforced those habits. However, sports nutrition articles praise oranges and peanuts so highly that he does not want to believe they are avoids. I did such a good job convincing him to drink milk when he was a little boy, that he won't give it up (I wish there had been an "Eat right for your baby" book 20 years ago). He understands that wheat is bad for him, but still likes sandwiches. This summer he has been content with sprouted bread.
I got up early and ran through the neighborhood where I grew up. It is a 3/4 mile loop around the playground and school where I spent my K - 6th grade years. I ran the loop 3 times. I wish I could exercise first thing every morning. It certainly gets the day off to a good start.
In my extended family there are 7 Os and 3 As. There is a lot of variety among the Os. My Dad and my sister are artistic and slightly melancholy. My Mom is a classic sanguine. My son and I tend to be phlegmatic. Our body types are different as well. My Dad is compact and wiry. My son is tall with lots of lower body strength. My nephew is tall with very broad shoulders. My Mom and my sister are apples. I am a pear. But we all have one thing in common - we like beef!
I did better with food choices today. Pizza for lunch was the big avoid for the day. I took a little pizza and a lot of fresh fruit. Dinner was a seafood feast with beneficial and neutral vegetables. Dessert was too sugary to be healthy, but no major avoids except the crust.
My Dad is an avid reader, and National Geographic is one of the periodicals he reads monthly. The cover story for the August issue is on fat. Some of the research is fascinating and should have pointed the writer directly to the Blood Type Diet, but she chose to do pros and cons about Adkins instead. Here were some of my favorite quotes.
"The food pyramid guidelines told Americans to avoid fat and eat grains, so we loaded up on pasta and bread. The low-fat message backfired." "We're eating more vegetables...the only problem: almost a third of these vegetables were iceberg lettuce, French fries, and potato chips." "Americans enjoy one of the most luxurious lifestyles on Earth: Our food is plentiful. Our work is automated. Our leisure is effortless. And it's killing us." "The grains we're eating are flour based items like pasta, tortillas, and hamburger buns which have little more nutritional value than table sugar."
Tonight I have a smile on my face, a lot of love and my heart, and a slight gurgle in my stomach. I'm at a family reunion.
My sister and her family live overseas. They come to the United States for a few weeks every summer, and we all get together for a several days at my parents' house. We have had a wonderful time today catching up on what all of us have been up to. Though we write a lot of e-mail, so we know the main events in each others lives, it's so much more vivid when we sit around the dining room table telling stories with hand motions and voice inflections.
There is a lot of laughter in my family. There is also a lot of food, not all of it BTD friendly. We had hamburgers for lunch. I warned my mom before we went to the table that I wasn't going to eat the bun. She had baked sweet potatoes the night before, and was agreeable to my warming up one of the leftover sweet potatoes to replace the bun and chips. Dinner was more difficult. On the positive side, there was a big fruit platter with several beneficial choices and green beans. On the avoid side, we had a breaded chicken dish (quite tasty) and corn on the cob (I did take the smallest piece). If those had been the only two avoids, I would probably have been ok. But there are three family birthdays in the summer and mine is one of them. I could hardly say no to carrot cake served in my honor.
The little gurgles I am feeling tonight will do me no lasting damage, but they do serve as a reminder of why I started the BTD and why I intend to continue following it.
Yesterday I said I aimed for 10 fruits & vegetables a day. Today I ate 11 different vegetables and 5 different fruits. I need to always be thankful that I live at a time and in a country where such abundance is even possible.
For breakfast I had ground seeds topped with a banana and a plum, and moistened it with pineapple juice. I packed my lunch for teacher in service: a salad made of spinach, kohlrabi, carrots and chicken with steamed parsnips on the side. I took an afternoon snack of walnuts with prunes and dried apricots. It was a good thing I did because I stayed late to finish sorting yearbooks.
Dinner was a school sponsored banquet for faculty and their guests at a buffet called Ryan's Steakhouse. At Ryan's you can eat very, very healthy and BTD compliant or very, very unhealthy and noncompliant. There are 5 different food lines plus a separate dessert line. I chose neutral and beneficial vegetables that were cooked simply. For instance fried okra, pickled okra, and okra & tomatoes were all available. There were canned green beans and fresh green beans cooked with onions. There were candied sweet potatoes and sweet potatoes grilled in their skins. I looked for the freshest vegetables and those with the fewest additives. Add two slices of roast beef, and I had a Type O feast.
But for every good choice, there were at least two bad choices available. Potatoes were prepared many different ways. Fried meats and vegetables were plentiful. Pastas, breads and other starches were there to tempt the unwary of every blood type. My husband did a pretty good job of making wise Type A choices. I suspect some of my fellow teachers, however, will be regretting their selections before morning.
The speakers for in service were chosen to inspire and motivate us teachers for the year ahead. Here is one quote that I found particularly meaningful, "You are not molding lives. They come to you molded and preformed by God. You are helping them find their place in the Body of Christ."
I am at my school computer, eating lunch. Summer's over. We had our first teacher in service meeting this morning. I was up much earlier, and had breakfast much earlier than I have been accustomed to since school was out. I have also been accustomed to a snack mid-morning. We did have a brief break during our meetings, but I avoided the muffins and orange juice. So I'm glad I packed a generous lunch.
As I've written before, I don't measure serving sizes, but I do count the number of fruits and vegetables I eat per day. I aim for 10. That is one more than the Type O diet calls for, but I don't eat as much cereal bread or grain as the BTD allows, so I substitute an extra fruit or vegetable. I naturally tend to eat more fruit, because I like it and it is easy to grab as a snack. Lately I've been making an effort to increase vegetables.
I packed four vegetables in my lunch, three of them beneficials. I had steamed asparagus with olive oil, grilled onions and spaghetti squash, and seaweed. When I packed lunches this morning I had enough lamb for one and enough roast for one. I put half of each in my son's sandwich, and wrapped half of each in sushi nori seaweed wraps for me.
Fellow blogger Paul Buckless came to the rescue on sushi nori. He wrote, "Wrap your nori rolls and run a finger moistened with water down the open edge. Seals good as gold. Wrap them in cling film to store. This will keep them fresh, crisp and more importantly in shape." I did it this way and it worked great. However Paul said that the cling wrap would keep them crisp, and it made mine softer. That was a positive for me - I liked them better soft than brittle.