Swimming has been wonderful! The sun is back out, but the water is still cool from two weeks of rain. One night when I climbed out of the water the guards asked, "How far did you swim, Mrs. Graham?" "Thirty-two 50s," I answered. "If you had done three more you would have had a mile," said the guard. "Wait a minute," I said. "Thirty-two 50s is 1600, and that IS a mile." "1600 meters is a mile," said the guard, "our pool is 50 yards long. You were 160 yards short." So, now I have a new goal - thirty-six 50s.
Ever since Rachel blogged about sushi nori, I have wanted to try it. I've also been looking at recipes beneficial for Type A, and have found miso often listed as an ingredient. I decided it was time to see if there was an Asian market nearby. The first thing I noticed was freezer after freezer of fish. I will have to go back with my "Food and Beverage" list and see if they have any of the beneficial fish I've not found elsewhere.
Sushi nori is 100% roasted seaweed, a Type O beneficial. I filled it with tuna and black eyed peas. I guess I had expected either a soft texture like a wrap or a crunchy texture like a taco. It wasn't either. It was very thin, but tough and hard to bite through. I liked the taste. I can't remember eating a sandwich since last July, so it was great to hold it in my hand and eat it from one end to the other. Rachel, if you are laughing at me because I was supposed to do something to it to make it less tough before I ate it, please let me know.
Last night was the best zucchini I've ever fixed. I poured olive oil in a skillet, enough for a generous coating, but not a deep puddle. I added an ounce or two of water and four sliced zucchini. I sprinkled Italian seasoning generously over it all. As soon as it started to bubble, I turned the heat back and let it cook slowly.
This blog got its start with a comment from Luis. He is Type O, a little older than my son, living alone, weight training, and trying to make the Blood Type Diet work. He said two things that caught my interest because my son will be facing the same challenges when he goes back to college in the fall.
Luis wrote, "What kind of recipes would you recommend; do you know any quick ones?" and "I also find it very expensive to eat right. I know it helps in the end but ruins my budget." I know there are others trying to make the Blood Type Diet work in a simple and inexpensive way. Here is my answer to Luis, a little better organized and with a few additions. I plan to print a copy for my son and put it in the box with his skillet and silverware.
The easiest way to shop and cook is to emphasize single meats, fruits, and vegetables, minimally processed, the way God made them.
I roast or bake lamb, cod, beef, salmon etc. They are delicious just with seasoned salt. I get fresh salmon, but cod is almost always frozen. Leg of lamb, brisket, and eye of round roast are economical. When I roast beef or lamb I set the oven temperature at 425 F. for about 30 minutes, then I turn it back to 325 and let the meat cook until a meat thermometer says it is medium well. When I buy ground beef I go for 90% lean 10% fat. That seems like a good balance between price and quality. Ground beef patties or ground beef sprinkled over vegetables are both good. Canned tuna, salmon and sardines are quick, inexpensive meats. Eggs are good for any meal.
I steam a lot of vegetables (broccoli, parsnips, asparagus) and eat them with olive oil or butter and salt. I bake sweet potatoes. My son and I find them very filling and cheap. I can find collard greens, turnip greens and spinach in the frozen food section at my grocery store. They are inexpensive and easy to fix with just a little water and butter. Black eyed peas, English peas, and okra are also available frozen. Fresh squash is good and inexpensive. Zucchini and yellow squash I cook lightly with a little butter and water in a skillet. Acorn and butternut squash I bake in the oven. I often sautÃ© an onion in butter and add it to vegetables, especially to yellow squash, collards and turnip greens.
Salad greens and raw carrots go well with any meat. Instead of salad dressing I use olive oil and a few shakes of seasoned salt. For lunch I often throw lettuce, leftover vegetables, and leftover meat in a bowl, and top it with olive oil. I buy fresh fruit in season and frozen berries year round. Fruit is a great salad, dessert, or breakfast mixed with nuts.
If you try to buy bread without avoids, that can get expensive. But rice crackers and rye crackers are low priced. Rice and oatmeal are easy to cook and very inexpensive. Os don't need much grain anyway.
While I like to cook sauces, casseroles, breads, and desserts, I could get along quite happily and healthily with the basic foods described here.
Last week I was all excited about a gluten free bread book. Yesterday I started to bake bread, and found that I could not use the recipes in the book - too many A and O avoids. To get her breads to rise without gluten, the author uses such things as garbanzo bean flour (Type A avoid), whey (A & O avoid), potato flour (A& O avoid), and gelatin (Type A avoid). The purpose of the bread project is to find bread beneficial for my As. The book was not a total waste of time. In the introduction it says when bread starts to rise then sinks in the middle it means too much water. It suggests using an egg to add spring. My spelt-kamut-rye bread was better yesterday using some of the author's suggestions. When it is really good, I'll post my recipe. In the meantime, the gluten free bread book will get swapped for another used book at Half Price Books.
I read a novel yesterday by an author I have enjoyed. It was advertised as a love story, and is soon to be released as a movie. The theme turned out to be that the love of your youth can give life meaning when you are facing cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, and arthritis in a nursing home. It left me feeling bummed out. I am not naÃ¯ve enough to think that eating right will prevent aging; indeed my world view assures me that death and dying are inevitable on this earth. I do however hope that the effort I put into nutrition and exercise will give me a better quality of life than the misery described in the book. While I love my husband dearly, we would agree that at the end of lives we hope to see more purpose than just our love for each other.
Following two disappointing books, I needed something uplifting. I found it in a quote from Corrie ten Boom. If you are not familiar with her, she survived a Nazi death camp. She said, "If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you'll be at rest!"
My daughter is babysitting. My son is life guarding at the pool. My husband is at his office. I'm happy to be home alone. During the school year I have the house to myself most mornings before I go to teach. During the summers I rarely have a moment to myself unless I stay up late at night.
I pulled yesterday's leftovers out of the refrigerator for lunch, and didn't even warm them up: salmon, asparagus, pumpkin, and jicama fries.
After I finish writing this blog, I will turn on the stereo and tackle accumulated paperwork and necessary housework. I'm hoping the weather will permit a swim tonight. We've had thunder showers pop up every evening for days, canceling lap swim and preventing running. I've done one kind of exercise or another at the house, but it doesn't make me feel as good as a long run or swim.
I know I abused the original meaning of the song title that I used as the title of this blog. But it does feel natural to be alone after a satisfying lunch anticipating a productive afternoon. And it will be exciting when everyone comes roaring home with noisy tales of their adventures of the day.
Call me a snob, but I used to think of generic or store brand products as being inferior in quality to the highly recognized, big brand name products. That opinion was reinforced in my early young adult years when I bought generic strawberry preserves and found the leaves still attached to the strawberries. Not appetizing! Since starting the Blood Type Diet, however I have found to my surprise and delight that some store brand products contain fewer additives and fewer avoids than name brand products.
For instance, all of the nationally advertised cooking sprays contain avoids. However the low priced Hill Country Fare generic contains only Canola Oil, soy lecithin, water and propellant. I now use it for all my baking.
I had never looked at the ingredients in salt until Heidi's column mentioned that most salt contains a Type O avoid - dextrose. Even the health food store brands contain dextrose! But my store brand generic salt contains no dextrose, only two anti-caking agents.
I have written before that the two Type As in my family are not ready to give up tomato products. One of the reasons is pizza and another is sloppy joes. After I started the Blood Type Diet, I was going to make sloppy joes with ground turkey instead of ground beef, and put my sauce on a large salad while the As had theirs on bread. I know I should make my own sloppy joe sauce, but the main advantage of this meal is that it is fast, so I was using the nationally advertised brand. I looked at the label and the #2 ingredient was corn syrup. No more sloppy joes for me! Yesterday my daughter had a friend over and they wanted sloppy joes for lunch. As I was picking up a can of sauce, I noticed a store brand next to the name brand. There is no corn syrup! Sugar is the #4 ingredient and there are no chemical additives. Sloppy joes for me again!
Not all store brands are better. The store brand of black-eyed peas contains as many chemicals and avoids as the big name brands. Bush and Eden are the best canned black-eyed pea choices in my stores.