A comment from Joan and a line in Catherine's blog got me thinking about how I make practical decisions about living life on the Blood Type Diet.
I've condensed a paragraph from Catherine's blog. "A big chunk of my money has gone on health supplements and foods. I can't help feeling resentful about that sometimesâ€¦There are so many different approaches and brandsâ€¦Practitioners and manufacturers are also trying to make money so how do you know who to trust?"
Joan's comment (after I wrote about my daughter taking protein bars on a mission trip) was: "What soy protein bars did she get?" I could imagine Joan thinking - "Suzanne has found a blood type friendly protein bar!!!"
My store has an entire shelf of protein bars. They cost as little as 75 cents and as much as $3. To be honest, I didn't read the ingredients and I don't remember the brand name. I had my daughter pick soy bars that sounded good to her and were a dollar or less. The way I looked at it - if she chose it herself she would eat it. If the first ingredient was soy protein, it would be infinitely better for her (Type A) than chips, candy bars or other vending machine snacks.
I could have read the labels and picked something expensive that she didn't want. What would be the point of that? I walked a fine line between being strictly on the diet and being practical.
I face the same sort of decisions at the grocery store. Organic carrots cost about the same as regular carrots, so I buy organic. Organic fruit is way too expensive for my budget, so I buy regular. At the meat counter, I can choose between cheap commercial chicken, moderately priced no-hormone chicken or expensive organically fed chicken. I go for the middle. In supplements, I choose capsules over tablets because they are better absorbed, and I buy moderately priced, respected brands at a health food store.
I have to be practical. How long would my family go along with the Blood Type Diet if I spent so much money on rare foods and supplements that we had to disconnect the satellite TV or buy generic tennis shoes? Not Long!!
Some of you are horrified at what I just wrote. Most of you are breathing a sigh of relief. Like Catherine, your budget won't allow you to buy the best all the time. Don't be resentful, and trust your own good judgment. Maximize the beneficials; minimize the avoids. You will feel better, and you will be less stressed.
My daughter left this morning on a mission trip. Her 8th grade class from school will spend 5 days working in a homeless shelter in another city. They will be doing clean up projects in the morning and working with children in after school care in the afternoons.
Sometimes I have told funny stories about her resistance to trying new foods that would be beneficial to her as a type A. But this weekend as she packed and repacked her suitcase, I could see that she really has absorbed a lot about eating right for her type.
She was concerned about breakfast. She starts each day with a shake made with soy milk and a soy protein mix. She likes it smooth, like when she makes it in the blender; not lumpy, like when she shakes or stirs. So she asked to buy a hand blender. It will also be useful on vacation this summer. After much debate she decided to take the protein mix, but not the soy milk. She can keep the mix in her suitcase, and she wasn't sure she would have access to a refrigerator.
They will be eating and sleeping at a nearby youth camp. "You should see the menu, Mom," she said, "hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken nuggets." We decided she could take a jar of peanut butter. Type As can live on peanut butter for weeks. (I enjoy smelling it when I fix her a sandwich, but I choose almond and sesame butter for myself.) The good news about dinner was that there would be a salad bar. There are many good Type A choices in a salad bar.
She bought some soy protein bars to keep in her back pack for snacks when they are at the shelter.
I'm going to miss her a lot this week. I'm pleased that she understood on her own that she will feel better and have more energy if she watches what she eats. Even more, I'm glad she is willing to serve others in the name of the Lord.
I am facing a yearbook deadline at the end of next week. So today is another Saturday at the school, proofing student page submissions. I packed tuna, English peas, and parsnips for lunch; and while I eat I thought I'd blog.
In our family my daughter seems to have the best immune system. She is rarely sick and when she is, she usually fights it off quickly. My husband has the worst immune system. When he catches a cold it goes on and on, turns into a secondary infection, and he winds up on antibiotics. My son and I are in the middle. We occasionally pick up a bug, and it takes us several days to fight it off.
I have long been concerned about my husband so frequently being on antibiotics. I have convinced him to try lots of vitamins, herbs, and potions over the years. Nothing has kept him from being on antibiotics 2 or 3 times each winter.
He went to the doctor for a shoulder spasm last week, and that caused us to review our health. We suddenly realized that he hadn't been on antibiotics a single time all winter. We also realized that our daughter had had one brief cold, I had one brief cold, and our son had called from college once seeking advice about a scratchy throat that quickly disappeared. My husband had two colds, but he got over both within a week.
I speculated that his Type A Diet, particularly less milk and meat but more legumes and soy, might be the cause. As I said in my biography, my husband is skeptical, but he can't come up with anything else that was different about this winter.
I had never tasted fresh pineapple juice until today, and I was not prepared for how delicious it would be.
Everyone in my family loves fresh pineapple. I can buy two kinds in my local stores. Mexican pineapples are very inexpensive, but they are not very juicy and not very sweet. Del Monte Golds, grown in Costa Rica, are very juicy and very sweet. They are also rather expensive. I haven't seen a Hawaiian pineapple locally in ages.
After some bad experiences with Mexican pineapples years ago, I decided never to buy them again. I would wait for a good price on the Golds. We eat them slowly, enjoying every bite.
When I started the Blood Type Diet, I couldn't understand why pineapple was neutral but pineapple juice was beneficial. I've read Dr. D'Adamo's explanation, and it made sense - sort of. I keep little 6 oz. cans of pineapple juice around. They make great snacks and are handy for breakfast when we're traveling. But I was appalled at the idea of juicing one of my expensive, sweet Golds. In addition, I know how important the fiber in fresh fruits is to my intestinal health. I didn't want to discard it.
This week I noticed a really good price on Mexican pineapples, and I wondered what would happen if I juiced them. It couldn't hurt to try. The juice came out of the juicer frothy and thick, nothing like the thin, pale pineapple juice in the cans. Everything about it tasted beneficial and wonderful.
Now, whichever pineapples are on special will be in my shopping cart: the Golds for eating and the cheap Mexican pineapples for juicing.
There are several family favorite meals that I no longer make because they call for avoids like cream of mushroom soup or sour cream. When I read in Paul's blog that silken tofu can be used as a sauce, I was very excited. Tofu is a beneficial for the two As in my family, and as far as I know it is neutral for me. I bought silken tofu as my new food for last week.
I put some in the blender, and it did indeed become wonderfully creamy. Then I started blending in things for taste. My husband and daughter were watching a movie together. Every time I thought I might have a good sauce, I would go into the den with two taste spoons. Every time I left the den with decidedly negative responses. They were relieved when I gave up and tossed the creamy mess into the trash.
Next I went on the internet. There are lots of tofu sauce recipes are out there, but they are either for sweet dessert-like sauces or the first ingredient is vinegar. Since vinegar is an avoid for my Type As, I could forget all those recipes.
We had chef salad over the weekend, so I cut some of the tofu into little cubes and added it to the salads. My husband said, "It's ok, but not as good as soy cheese." My daughter gave hers to the dog, and made sure I noticed that even the dog didn't finish it.
They wanted to know what tofu really was. I said that it was a different form of soy, sort of like sour cream and cream cheese are different forms of milk products. Then my daughter wanted to know why I never bought blueberry cream cheese any more. She already knew the answer - it is an avoid for everyone in the family. I said, "What if I blend blueberries into the tofu, would you try it for breakfast?" She raised her eyebrows and said, "I'd try it - but not tomorrow."
So I have failed my first tofu test. The remnant of my first purchase is now way past the expiration date. I'm not giving up. But I will wait a few weeks before I experiment with tofu again.