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.
Here is the first principal I learned on the BTD:
For you some food acts like medicine, for you some food acts like poison, and for you some food acts like food.
So I eat as many beneficials as possible, regardless of what nutritionists are saying about them. For instance if I read an article about cholesterol and beef, I ignore it because beef is beneficial to me.
I avoid the avoids even if other nutritionists are raving about them. For instance, if I read an article promoting oranges, I ignore it because oranges are avoid for me.
What about neutrals? Here is where I pay attention to what other nutritionists are saying because neutrals are food for me, and what other nutritionists say about food value might be useful.
For example, I recently I read an article on antioxidants in beans.
"The darker the bean, the more antioxidant power it packs, say USDA scientists who compared the antioxidant activity in 12 different kinds of beans. Black came out on top, followed by red, brown, yellow and white. Half a cup of black beans has as many of these disease fighting nutrients as two glasses of red wine, says researcher Clifford Beninger. Beans are packed with protein, fiber and folate which can reduce the risk of heart disease. Enjoy the bounty of beans.
This was useful information to me in my mixed household. Black beans are beneficial for my As, and would seem to be the best of the neutrals for me.
I took five students to a yearbook workshop. I let them choose where we would eat during our lunch break and they chose Schlotzsky's Deli. We stood in line to order and when it was my turn, I tried to custom order a salad. I was quickly informed that all their salads are pre packaged in a refrigerator case. The line of customers waiting to order was almost out the door and there I was trying to find something close to a Type O salad.
Smoked turkey would not work, nitrites and shredded cheese everywhere. Chicken Caesar would not work; who knows what was in the dressing. I could feel people getting impatient when I saw a Greek salad. It contained several beneficials and only one avoid (black olives). It contained two neutrals that I've never tried radicchio and feta cheese. I picked one up. Was it my imagination or did everyone in the line breathe a sigh of relief? I asked if I could get a couple of slices of roast beef on the Greek salad. The server said it would cost 99 cents. No problem, I'll pay the 99 cents.
The only dressings were packaged. However there were sliced lemons in the beverage line, so I squeezed lemon over my salad. It was delightful. I'm going to buy some feta cheese. I often toss a lot of different leftover vegetables and meats together in a bowl for lunch. A little crumbled feta cheese will give it a whole new dimension.