When my daughter was in first and second grades I tutored reading in her classroom. The teacher would send me in the hall with a group of struggling readers and they would tell me that they didn't like to read.
"I love to read," I would respond. "In fact do you know what happens? If I am reading a really good book, I can't stop. I keep right on reading. And sometimes we just have peanut butter sandwiches for dinner because I forget to cook." They would giggle, and someone would ask my daughter later in the day if it was true. It was!
Well, now that I know about the Blood Type Diet, peanut butter is no longer an option for me. But today I was totally caught up in a book.
The 8th book in Jan Karon's Mitford series came out last winter. I've been waiting for summer to read it, but when I went to check it out at the library, and there was a waiting list. At last it was my turn, and my son picked it up yesterday.
I started off being responsible: read a chapter, do a chore, read a chapter run an errand. Then I reached a point where I couldn't put it down. I let a load of laundry sour in the dryer. It's after midnight and there are still dirty dishes in the sink. I had a blog about zucchini muffins written in my head, but I never wrote it down. But, oh, it was a good book!
First a quote from my daughter. I bought a bag of Soy Crisps, and my kids finished them off in one sitting. My daughter said, "These are a bazillion times better than chips."
Now today's blog. Because I am a professional journalist, not a health care professional, I am very cautious about giving advice to people who write me with specific questions. Linda recently asked about an area of nutrition that I had dabbled in several years ago. After mentioning one book on the subject that I liked and one that I didn't, I got philosophical.
Before the Blood Type Diet, I was always reading interesting theories about nutrition: vegetarian, low carb, high fiber, no sugar, no salt, mega vitamin, herb, juicing, homeopathic, and on and on. The more I learned, the more confused I became. So much of the information was conflicting. Everyone had statistics that almost everyone benefited from their program.
What I like about the Blood Type Diet is that it explains why some things work for some people and don't for others. For example - I read glowing reports about echinacea, and bought some. It really helps my daughter get over a cold. It never did a thing for me. Dr. D'Adamo says echinacea is beneficial for As and avoid for Os. Another example - Lots of people swear by the benefits of apple cider vinegar. I like it and find it helpful. It does nothing for my husband. Dr. D'Adamo says vinegar is neutral for Os and avoid for As. I took Vitamin E for years - sometimes as much as 800 iu per day, because everything I read said it would help bleeding problems. Dr. D'Adamo says Vitamin E is good for As, but causes bleeding problems for Os. (I wish I could get my money back!)
I still read about nutrition. (I read a magazine from the Health Food Store today, while I was waiting for my daughter at the orthodontist's office.) But everything I read now is second place to the Blood Type Diet lists. I read an article about blueberries. They are beneficial for As and Os, so we'll all eat more of them. I read another article about men eating more tomatoes. Not my A husband! I'm trying to get him to eat less tomato. He can get lycopene from beneficial grapefruit. When I read a study that says 80% of people get great results I wonder what blood type the people in the 20% who don't get great results are.
The Blood Type Diet lists trump all the other lists.
A couple of bloggers have mentioned becoming obsessed with food because of the Blood Type Diet. I asked myself, "Am I obsessed?" The answer is no. The reason I know the answer is no is because I have been obsessed with diet and exercise before.
When we got married, my husband decided I should run. I could not even jog Â¼ mile when I started, but I grew to love it. I planned my evenings around our run together. One day my mom called me at the office. She was fixing one of my favorite foods for dinner and invited us to come by their house after work. The first thought that crossed my mind was, "If we go, I can't run." That was obsessive. I recognized it. I forced reasonableness back into my exercise plans.
When I read my first nutrition book and became a health nut I was obsessive. One reason I often blog that people are more important than food is because of hard lessons I learned back then. Once I was part of a group that went to clean the house of a lady in difficult circumstances. To thank us she had prepared bologna sandwiches on white bread. I snubbed them because they weren't healthy. I saw in her eyes that I hurt her feelings. At holidays I remember rejecting traditional foods because they weren't made with whole grains. Alienating family and friends over food is obsessive. (Funny, now I hardly eat those whole grains I was so obsessed with then)
Because I'm the mom, I'm responsible for food preparation for my family, but my world is much bigger than my kitchen! I'm involved in activities that have nothing to do with food or exercise. I blog in the hopes that I can encourage someone who is trying to make the Blood Type Diet work in a busy family. But, the BTD is not my life. It is a means to an end. It gives me energy and helps me feel good so I can do all the other things I want to do in my life.
Today is my one year anniversary on the Blood Type Diet. In that year, I have never thrown caution to the wind and willfully pigged out on avoids. I am 98.5% loyal to the diet at home. There are a few packaged items that have an avoid listed near the bottom of the ingredient list, but those are the only exceptions at home. In restaurants, I make the best possible choices. I do not use the fact that I can't find a completely compliant meal as an excuse to order a really bad choice.
In social situations I may eat a few avoids. There is no point in offending someone who has prepared a meal for me. People say "I love you" with food, and rejecting what they have cooked often equates to rejecting them. There is also a psychological benefit to not using the word "never" about food. I don't have to say I will "never eat another piece of pizza." I don't eat it at home, but sooner or later friends will invite us over for pizza and a movie. When they do I eat a lot of vegetables off the veggie tray and a little pizza. I remember how good it used to taste. I can enjoy a homemade dessert without doing my health any lasting damage.
In my year on the diet I have seen lots of changes in my health. No more indigestion or GERD; no more bursitis in my shoulder, no more warts. Headaches are rare and mild. I've lost 15 pounds and a dress size. My muscle tone is much improved. I have more energy and require less sleep at night.
How am I celebrating the day? Breakfast was my usual fruit and nut mixture. My husband chose a seafood restaurant for lunch after church. Most of the entrees were breaded and fried, so I took a chance on the gumbo. It was excellent and loaded with beneficial vegetables. Dinner will be a ground beef patty, leftover turnip greens, and calabaza squash with Italian seasoning. As soon as the sun goes down, I'll run two miles.
My son was born on Ronald Regan's birthday. I have a vivid memory of being in the hospital room with my husband and my baby, watching the State of the Union Speech. We were indescribably joyful that day holding our precious baby, only a few hours old. The President seemed to speak to us when he talked about the sacredness of life. He had the same hope for the future of America that we had for the future of our family.
I was not sad when I heard of the former President's death. I have a firm faith that those who trust in Christ will have a much better life in heaven. I smile to think that after a 10 year battle with disease, he is fully restored in the presence of God. But watching the funeral today did make me realize how much I will miss him.
It's the character of the man that set off these feelings. He believed in individual responsibility and individual opportunity. That's the same quality that makes me adamant that I don't want a doctor or an insurance company or a government bureaucracy managing my health. He was both witty and tenacious, qualities needed by everyone, including school teachers and moms. He believed that God had a purpose for his life. And millions of people now living in free countries enjoy the fruit of the pursuit of that purpose.
There will never be another Ronald Regan, but I pray that God will raise up leaders around the world who will emulate his stand for morality, freedom, individual responsibility, optimism and faith.