I have been trying to eat healthy for long enough that I know I have to read labels, but sometimes I still get caught off guard.
For years I've taken Kyolic garlic. When I started the Blood Type Diet and saw that garlic was neutral, I continued to take it. Then I noticed that the number two ingredient, is whey! I was horrified. I checked the other garlic labels in my health food store. Every single one contained either whey or soy oil. I wound up buying garlic tablets that don't seem to have any avoids at Walmart of all places. But I rarely take it any more unless a virus is going around.
My son used to get migraine headaches. We traced them to MSG, chocolate, and sodium nitrite. After years of reading carefully reading labels, I thought I knew which of the standard products were safe for him. Most lunch meat has sodium nitrite, but Oscar Mayer's oven roasted turkey breast did not. Since other brands without sodium nitrite had corn syrup or other offensive additives, I've been a loyal Oscar Mayer customer for years. For some reason, the week before my son came home from college, I glanced at the turkey breast label and saw "sodium nitrite". I wrote the company to complain. They answered, defending their decision and implying that they now add sodium nitrite to all their meat products.
Two nights ago dinner was almost ready, when I realized I needed another vegetable that I could eat. I keep some canned vegetables in the pantry for such occasions, and I grabbed a can of neutral English peas. The label said they had sugar in them. They had also changed the name from English peas to "sweet peas". When did this happen? At the store yesterday I read pea labels. Every brand had sugar, or worse, corn syrup! I'm going to check the health food store to see if they carry peas without sweetener. Otherwise, I guess it will be frozen or fresh peas from now on.
Will I trust products, even at health food stores, without reading labels anymore? No whey.
I have chosen to follow the Blood Type Diet rather than take medication for GERD the rest of my life. My husband has chosen to take blood pressure and cholesterol medication rather than diligently follow the BTD. That's his choice, but it does mean that he has to severely limit his favorite juice (and Type A beneficial) grapefruit juice.
Last night my son was in charge of preparing drinks for dinner. He asked his dad what he wanted. Dad answered, "What kind of juice do we have?" The first choice was grape juice (Type A neutral). It was rejected. The second choice was pineapple juice (Type A beneficial). "That's worse," said Dad, "I'll take grape juice."
I let the subject drop last night, but picked up the thread of conversation at breakfast this morning. "What you have to understand," he said, "is that there are reasons people like potatoes and orange juice and don't like, what was that green stuff we had the other night, oh yeah, kale. Potatoes and orange juice taste good and kale does not. It's not a conspiracy. General Foods has PhDs in marketing who study these things. There is a reason they don't sell kale. People don't like it."
He paused for a breath, but before I could jump in with a rebuttal, he went on. "I know; that's why people are over weight and have heart attacks and high blood pressure. It's because they eat things that are not good for them. I eat a lot of the stuff you give me because I know it's good for me. But don't kid yourself. It doesn't taste as good as pizza and French fries."
I handed him his lunch box as he walked out the door. "I hope you enjoy your lunch," I said. "It's a soy cheese and turkey sandwich." "Soy cheese," he said, breaking into the first smile of the morning. "That's a food that tastes good!" I silently resolved to continue my quest for good tasting healthy recipes.
I just got home from the store, and the produce department is bursting with summer fruit, all much less expensive than last week. Peaches are in; watermelon is in; cherries, strawberries, and grapes are cheap. As soon as I finish this blog, I'm going to wash fruit and make a fruit salad. Half will be for us, and half to take with a casserole to friends who are sick this week.
While I was picking out my fruit, I saw a mom with two small children. One of them was whining - loudly. I smiled at the mom and said, "Has anyone told you today that you're doing a great job as a parent?" Her eyes lit up and she just beamed. I went on, "My youngest is starting high school next year. These years go by so fast." "I know," she said, and we both went on with our shopping.
By the way, I didn't mention that her little whiny one was saying over and over, "I want an apple. I want an apple." The mother of a child who is begging for fresh fruit is certainly doing something right!
My son's summer job is life guarding. This is his fifth year working at the pool. Yesterday he made his first rescue of the season. A 5th grade girl went down the slide into deep water and couldn't swim.
When he came home from work I saw two red spots on his chest where he had missed rubbing sun screen. That introduces today's blog.
Last summer as I was first reading about the Blood Type Diet, I saw that while Os are less prone to most cancers than other blood types, we are more prone to melanoma. I don't need to nag my life guarding son about using plenty of sun screen - they talk about that subject at every training session. I did decide to increase my daily use of sunscreen. I bought a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen for my face, and a moisturizer with sunscreen for my neck and arms.
Toward the end of the summer there was a line in one of Heidi's columns about sunscreen causing cancer. WHAT!?! I went to the internet and read enough to stop using the sunscreen moisturizers. I put the subject on the back burner for the winter, but the approach of summer has forced me to reexamine the topic. I'm going to urge you to do your own internet research. It's very controversial, and I'm just going to scratch the surface in this blog.
It turns out that there are physical sun blocks and chemical sun screens. The sun blocks are zinc oxide (which all of the web sites consider safe) and Titanium oxide (only 1 website I read cast aspersions on titanium oxide).
The chemical sunscreens are: benzophenone-3 (Bp-3), homosalate (HMS), 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC), octyl-dimethyl-PABA (OD-PABA), and butyl-methoxydibenzoylmethane (B-MDM)
There has been research in Europe that has linked 5 of the chemical sunscreens with cancer. The researchers observed that they "behaved like oestrogen in lab tests, making cancer cells grow more rapidly." I asked Dr. D'Adamo and he confirmed that some substances in sunscreens have "shown to act as xenobiotic estrogens."
It is the chemical sunscreens that have made the 30, 40 and 50 SPF sunscreens possible. It is the chemical sunscreens that are used in water proof and sports sunscreens. All of the grocery store brands are chemical sunscreens. I found one physical sun block at my health food store. There are several brands available on the internet.
Here is what I plan to do for the summer. For mid-day water activities, we will go ahead and use high SPF sunscreens. For hiking, biking and non water activities we will use only sun blocks. No more chemical sunscreen in makeup or moisturizer for me!
One thing I'm learning is that if I let myself get frantically hungry, I am tempted to grab whatever is close. Knowing how bad an avoid will make me feel, I drink water, eat sugar free peppermints, and make myself wait. But once that point of frantically hungry is reached, a reasonable amount of beneficial food does not satisfy, and I eat too much. Feeling stuffed with beneficial food is not nearly as uncomfortable as feeling stuffed with junk, but it still feels stuffed.
When we get out of church I am really hungry, and I want lunch NOW. But lunch is at least 20 minutes away. I have started putting a bag of walnuts and a bag of figs in the car on Sunday morning. As soon as we get to the car I get a snack. By the time we get to a restaurant and order our food, I am ready to eat, but not desperate. When I first started doing this my family teased me, now they say, "Mom can I have a handful of your walnuts?"
Yesterday we ate at a Chinese restaurant with friends. I ordered beef and broccoli with steamed rice and without the sauce. It was delicious, however, it came with an eggroll and I just love eggrolls. Since I've been recently reminded that cabbage is neutral I decided to eat the eggroll, though it was likely that the crust contained wheat and that it had been fried in an avoid oil. With the first bite I knew it was worse than that. There was pork in this eggroll. I should have put it down, but I did not. I tasted eggroll all afternoon.
Food is deeply linked to fellowship at church functions. During my health nut years, I could hardly ever find much to eat that wasn't highly processed. Now, on the Blood Type diet it's even worse - I can't even eat the little cheese cubes on the fruit and vegetable trays. But, there always seems to be an abundance of donuts, chips, cookies, and soda.
Yesterday morning someone brought chocolate peanut bars to our Bible study. It was easy enough to politely decline. Peanuts are avoids for Type Os and I've been very allergic to chocolate since I was 8 years old. It made me smile, however that as the plate went around the room almost everyone made a joke about how fattening the bars were or how their doctors would not approve. The most poignant comment of all came from our teacher as the empty plate was returned to the couple who had brought the snacks. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled." Matthew 5:6