I refer to the Type O Guide every day, but Live Right 4 Your Type sits on the shelf with my other nutritional reference books. This morning I looked something up in the index, and as I was thumbing through, the headline on page 26 caught my eye, "Blood Type and Stress."
The fact that I quickly got back to feeling normal last week does not mean that my stress has gone away. The three things causing it will be around for a while, possibly forever. So I began re-reading about Type O and stress.
" Type Os require a lot more to knock them off kilter in the face of stress. However, once they are pushed to the point of dramatic response, it usually takes them longer to recover." That is ME - that is my life right now! I kept reading.
There was a lot of information about dopamine, adrenaline and nonadrenaline; then I came to this sentence on page 35, "This link may explain a curious circumstance that I've noticed over the years. Many Type Os crave either wheat or red meat. Wheat is one of the highest plant sources and red meat one of the highest animal sources of L-tyrosine, the building block of dopamine and the catecholamines."
I have been incredibly hungry ever since these stresses started. I tried to stay close to the recommended Type O guidelines, but by late afternoon I have been frantic. I thought it was blood sugar plummeting, and have been eating dried fruit and nuts. They gave me a feeling of fullness, but did not satisfy. I began drinking more fluids, but I was still hungry. My weight has bounced up and down 2-3 pounds, something it has not done since I started the BTD.
My body wants more meat. It doesn't want fruit, nuts, or water. For lunch today I fixed ground beef and ate as much as I wanted (with vegetables of course). I feel better this afternoon than I have in several days. I also bought some rhodiola and some lipoic acid (other LR4YT recommendations for Type O stress).
I'm wondering what other interesting things I've forgotten since I first read Live Right a year and a half ago. I think I'd better re-read the whole book.
I needed a fast lunch. I grated a carrot and half a kohlrabi in the food processor. I put them in a bowl with fresh spinach. I added a can of tuna and doused the whole thing with olive oil. Topped with a generous sprinkle of Trocomare seasoned salt, it was delicious.
Three fresh vegetables - two of them beneficial - combined well with 6 ounces of protein. My stomach was happy, and I was out the door, headed for school.
Last week Priscilla wrote asking what I ate for dessert. It is my opinion that dessert is one of the areas where in order to live a healthy life you have to retrain yourself to think a completely different way - a paradigm shift, to use current terminology.
Refined sugar was the big "NO" food when I was in my health nut years. (Even though sugar is neutral for Type Os, I still believe that an excess of refined sugar contributes to a lot of health problems.) This was a big issue for me because in the Southern US where I grew up, dessert after every meal is a mark of hospitality. I tried fruit as a dessert, but frankly I like fruit better as a salad or a snack. I tried desserts with other sweeteners (fruit juice, honey, raw sugar), and some of them are delicious. But I finally decided that the best thing was to get away from the idea that dessert is part of a meal.
I have raised my kids that way. When they were little, I noticed that if we were away from home and they were expecting dessert, that they would eat less dinner. It was important to me that they ate an abundance of protein, fruit & vegetables. I didn't want them taking small servings of real food to "save room for dessert."
I bake cookies and cakes, but they are eaten as after school snacks, not dessert at the end of a meal. If we have company for dinner and I fix a dessert, we don't eat it at the end of the meal. We clear the table and visit for a while, and then I serve dessert.
Now that I am on the Type O diet, wheat has become the big "NO". Instead of substituting other sweeteners for sugar, I'm learning to substitute other flours for wheat. When I adjust a recipe, I find that I can cut the sugar by 1/3 and no one notices. I think that is better for all of us. I substitute butter or oil for shortening and margarine. Again I find that I can cut the fat in a recipe by 1/4 to 1/3 without anyone complaining. I find that for cookies, cakes, and breakfast breads; rye, spelt, and kamut flours can be substituted and the recipe turns out the same. Rice flour alone has a different texture, but I often mix rice with other flours. (Yeast breads are another matter, I'm still not happy with my results, but I found a couple of new recipes on the internet that I'll be trying.)
This week I baked gingerbread with Type A beneficial flours. My daughter has eaten it for both breakfast and snack two days in a row.
My daughter has a cold. Nothing serious - a sore throat on Sunday and feeling tired with a scratchy throat on Monday. Fortunately Monday was a holiday, so she got lots of rest. However, since she's not running a fever, missing school today was not an option.
Yesterday she was able to drink lots of fluids all day, and keep a steady supply of herbs and vitamins in her system. School rule is no pills - that means no illegal drugs, no prescription drugs, no over the counter drugs and no vitamins - in the possession of students. If she was seriously ill I could take medication or supplements to the nurse's office, and she could go there to take them, but this is just a cold.
So this morning we were talking about what I could pack in her lunch and what vitamins & herbs she should add to her breakfast. She said that the high school teachers have agreed that students can have water bottles in class. (I guess they get tired of interruptions for trips to the water fountain.) She said I think I'll take a water bottle. That way when my throat gets dry, I can just take a drink. I said, put Echinacea drops in your bottle, that way you will get a steady dose all day.
When school was out this afternoon her water bottle was empty and her cold was much better. She had felt good all day. Tomorrow she will do the same thing, and that will put an end to this cold.
Echinacea is good for Type As, but would not be good for me. I started thinking about what I would do if I caught this cold. According to The Blood Type Encyclopedia I could put elderberry (proberry) drops in my water bottle. I'll put that on my shopping list. I think I'll put astragalus on the list also, as it is good for both As and Os. Unfortunately, I don't think astragalus comes in drops, so it wouldn't work in a school water bottle.
My stomach is much improved in a very short time. I would say that I'm 90 - 95% back to normal.
Food was not the main culprit. I had not drifted into eating avoids. I did however make an extra effort to increase beneficials, and to serve meals on time. Before the BTD I would have smothered my stress with wheat and potato snacks. That would have made my stomach worse and started a vicious cycle. Because I did not fall into that trap, I was able to heal faster.
No doubt I feel better after vigorous exercise. I did fall into a trap here. Stress made me lethargic and I neglected the exercise that would have best dissipated stress from my Type O body. Not only have I exercised every day, but I have selected more physical chores. Saturday I disassembled and scrubbed the lawn furniture - nasty, sweaty job. Today I'm washing windows. Desk work and sewing projects are on hold for a few days.
The emotional/spiritual part of me was where the biggest adjustment had to come. It is popular today to say "look inside yourself for answers and strength." HA! Inside myself is selfishness and worry. But when I look outside of myself to the creator God who though he is all powerful wants to have a personal relationship with me, that is where I find answers. I can rely on the promises of scripture: God's plans for me are good, though I'm going through a rough time right now; blessings come from serving others, not being self-serving; God is in control and I can trust Him.
I took my eyes off Jesus for a few days, which led to fear, which led to a stomach ache. My focus is back, my faith is renewed, and I'm beginning to be curious about how God will work through these problems to bring about good things.