We hiked in the Bear Lake area today. First we took a short loop trail around Bear Lake itself. There are lots of good memories associated with Bear Lake, and walking around it is like renewing an old friendship. Then we set out on the more ambitions Bierstadt Lake trail. It is a lovely hike through the forest. Suddenly you break out of the trees seeing the lake and a beautiful view of Longs Peak, Flattop Mountain, and Hallett Peak. Letting everyone make their own trail mix turned out to be a good idea. We sat on the rocks and munched our snacks, and enjoyed the view before returning to the car. In all we hiked a little more than five miles. Not bad for our first day at high altitude.
I am a photographer as well as a writer. Everywhere we go on vacation I carry a backpack with 10 pounds of camera equipment. I'll shoot about one roll of slide film per day on this trip. I'll also have stronger shoulder and leg muscles by the time we get home.
Dinner tonight was at the Big Horn Restaurant. Their buffalo burger looked good to me. Buffalo is a Type O beneficial, but it is next to impossible to get where I live. Unfortunately the side choices were fries, onion rings, mashed potatoes or 3-bean salad. As I read through the menu, I had noticed grilled liver and onions. Our waiter was a nice German exchange student. I asked if I could have grilled onions, like the ones served with liver, as my side order to a buffalo burger. He was agreeable. I discarded the bun, and ate my buffalo patty with a knife and fork along with lettuce, sliced tomato and grilled onions. My son chose the elk burger. I presume that elk is ok since venison is beneficial.
As we travel I'm going to record how we eat and how we exercise.
On long travel days we eat as we drive - we call it "eating on the fly". We collapse one seat in the van and put the ice chest and food box there. It's a table where the kids can play cards or stack back packs most of the day, but at mealtime, I move to the back seat and become a short order BTD chef. For myself I had tossed all the leftover vegetables from the refrigerator into a plastic dish. There was leftover brisket and leftover chopped steak. I mixed half of each into the vegetables. With the other half of the beef, I made a thick sandwich for my son. My daughter had peanut butter and jelly on sprouted bread. My husband had a turkey and soy cheese on sandwich. I sliced apple and nectarine for dessert.
Exercise on a travel day is tough. I did almost two hours of 5-minute isometrics when it was my turn to drive. (If you don't remember 5-minute isometrics, go to my archives and look for a blog by that name in May). When we got to our motel, I walked laps around the building, going up or down every time I came to a staircase.
It is a tradition that our first meal the night we arrive in Estes Park is at Taco Bell. The Type As, like the burritos, and I get a taco salad. Tonight they were out of taco salad! I was tired, hungry, and disappointed. Everyone else placed their order; I said I would walk around and see what I could find to eat. Across the street was a locally owned Mexican restaurant called Taco Baja. The menu offered lots of choices. I ordered taco salad with beef and black beans, but no cheese or sour cream. The owner was a friendly man who tried to guess what diet I was on. At first he thought vegetarian because I said no cheese, then he remembered the beef. When I said Blood Type Diet, he said, "Oh, my in-laws do BTD; have for years. They own a spa in Arizona and tried to get me to come down and open a Blood Type restaurant."
As I walked back across the street, my son saw me coming. "Mom's smiling," he said. Indeed I was. Instead of an ok taco salad, I had a custom made Type O taco salad. The consensus is that next time our first meal in Estes Park will be at Taco Baja.
It is so good tonight to be in the shadow of the mountains again. I made my first trip to Rocky Mountain National Park when I was 9 months old, and I never tire of coming here. My husband and I often dream of retiring nearby. I cannot look at the majesty of the mountains and believe that they happened by chance. I cannot look at the intricate way our bodies are formed and believe that we randomly evolved. "I lift up my eyes to the hills; where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1
Soon we will be leaving for a week in the mountains. I can hardly wait!! Right now I'm starting to pack. On vacation, our family picnics two meals a day. We always eat breakfast in our room, unless our motel has a healthy complementary continental breakfast. We always have one meal in a restaurant. That's when we eat salads, cooked meat, and other things that are difficult to picnic. We have one meal out of the ice chest and food box.
Last year on vacation I had been on the Type O diet for less than two months. How, I asked myself, would I picnic without bread? I bought small cans of vegetables - spinach, peas, lima beans. Every day I opened one can of vegetables and mixed it in a bowl with tuna or sardines. I ate that while the rest of the family ate sandwiches. I'm planning similar meals for myself this year.
The rest of the family is following the BTD a little more closely this year. I've already packed soy milk, and my daughter will take the portable blender she bought for last spring's mission trip. She will have her morning soy shake. My husband has requested soy cheese for his sandwiches. I'll be taking two packages in the ice chest in case we can't buy it locally.
Before the BTD, I took several varieties of trail mix. This year I think it will be better if I pack walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and several dried fruits separately. I'll take zipper sandwich bags, and let everyone create their own trail mix day to day. I'm also taking soy protein bars for backpacks.
There is a nice grocery store near where we will be staying so I can buy fruit and carrots locally. Three years ago there was also a small, but nice health food store. Businesses come and go in resort villages, so I can't assume it will still be there.
Packing clothes is easy: shorts for daytime hiking, jeans for horseback riding, a light jacket for mountain thunderstorms. It's the food that takes the planning.
Hidden in the middle of a news story I found this interesting sentence, "Current government dietary guidelines recommend that 45 % to 65% of daily calories come from carbohydrates. An updated USDA pyramid is slated for release in 2005."
How many revisions is this of the food pyramid? At least the 3rd that I can remember.
Sometimes people send me comments asking what I think about one of the other popular diets, or whether I think they could combine another diet with the BTD. To me the big difference between the BTD and all the other diet plans (South Beach, Adkins, Pritican, Weight Watchers, etc, etc) is that all the others assume that people are all the same. The food lists are the same, the exercise requirements are the same. When I look around I can see for myself that that is simply not true. Some people feel great as vegetarians; other people get sick. Some people thrive on red meat, other people get sick. Some people love aerobic exercise, some people do better stretching. The BTD not only explains the differences, but it helps you identify which plan will really work for you.
If there was a "one size fits all" diet that really worked, ask yourself why they need another revision to the food pyramid.
For years I have read that muscle weighs more than fat. I never believed it until now.
I can remember in high school watching friends issue each other a challenge to see who could lose weight the fastest. At the end of a week or two, whichever one had lost the least would say, "I've been exercising more, so I'm converting muscle to fat, and muscle weighs more." It sounded to me like an excuse for why the diet wasn't working. When by the end of a month both friends were back to looking and eating just as they had before, I was convinced I was right.
At Christmas last year we picked up our college son for the holidays. His roommate's mom said, "Don't the boys look great. No freshman 15 for our guys." The boys gave us an ear full. They had observed that dorm food didn't cause the notorious 15 pound weight gain for college freshmen. In their opinion it was binge drinking. "Too many carbs from pizza and beer," my son said bluntly, "that's the cause of the freshman 15."
That fall he had become interested in the weight room at the student rec center. In the spring he became serious about weight training. This summer he used some of his life guard money to join a gym.
He has gained 9 pounds - up to 164 from 155. He appears to be the same size. His clothes all still fit, and his waist is the same. He has noticeably added muscle, especially to his shoulders and chest. Even at that when I look at him, I think where is he hiding 9 pounds?
The only explanation is that muscle really is heavier than fat. It makes me want to join a gym. But don't let it be an excuse to fudge on the BTD!