We had friends over for dinner Friday night. I asked my husband what he would like for me to fix. He said "Remember that meat and cheese casserole you used to make, let's have that." There was a reason that I "USED TO make" that casserole. It has three ingredients: noodles, queso, and ground beef. The noodles and cheese are avoids for me; the tomatoes and beef are avoids for my Type A husband and daughter.
I asked my daughter what she thought about the proposed casserole. She wrinkled her nose, because she likes each of the individual ingredients but she does not like her food mixed together. Then her eyes brightened, and she said, "Mom, why don't you set it up like a taco bar. Let everyone go by and pick what they want to eat."
That is exactly what we did. I had a bowl of ground beef and a bowl of ground turkey; a bowl of queso and a bowl of noodles. I had a big bowl of greens and a large platter of other salad vegetables. I baked kamut rolls. I explained to our friends that they could mix up the ingredients any way they wanted. When we sat down at the table no two plates were alike.
For dessert I fixed the walnut torte in the RECIbase on this website and served it with diced nectarine. I was a little suspicious because the ingredients were very unusual, but it was delicious.
On a different subject, how is this for a greeting. "Good health to you and your household, and good health to all that is yours." You'll never believe where I found itâ€¦in the Bible. It's 1 Samuel 25:6.
My favorite place to run is a park near home. There is a steep hill in the middle of it, and a running trail about a mile long circling the hill. Several trails go over the top of the hill. When I first get there I climb up to the top and back down. That gets my muscles warmed up. Then I run 1 Â½ laps around the hill. I climb back over the top, and return to my car for water.
Yesterday spring had arrived at the park. The trees and bushes were bursting with new life. A tree at the top of the hill was covered with yellow flowers. Along the trail were trees with bright purple flowers and other trees with delicate white flowers. On the ground were bushes with pink flowers and wildflowers of all sorts of colors. The dark green of the evergreens was in stark contrast to the pale green of the newly budding leaves. It was a gorgeous day for a run.
If anyone was to ask "But which color is right?" or "Which color is best?" we would think they were crazy. You would never say that the purple flowers are superior to the white, or that the pink will take over from the yellow. The beauty is in the variety. Especially at spring time I see the hand of a very creative creator behind the variety of color and shape.
Yet ever so often I read in Heidi or Doc Bron's columns questions like "Which blood type is best?" or "Will Type A and B eventually replace Type O?" As if we could change our blood type, anyway! I enjoy the many personalities, sizes, talents, and yes, even blood types found among human beings. Each type has unique strengths, and each type has its challenges. What a dull world it would be if we were all the same. In the incredible variety of people there is evidence of intelligent design.
I hope it's spring where you are. Celebrate the joy of new life! And celebrate the unique and wonderful way you were made.
When I first started reading last summer about Living Right for my Type, one of the things that rang true was that Type Os thrive on aerobic exercise. I am lousy at team sports and always have been, but I love to run and swim and hike. I'm not saying that it's always easy to start running on a hot day or to jump into the water on a cold day, but once I get going and my heart gets pumping; I feel energized.
My primary reason for starting the BTD was heartburn. The second thing that attracted me was the idea of improving my muscle tone. I was happy enough with my weight, but I was dismayed at how my muscles had softened between my 40th and 50th birthdays. Relief from heartburn was almost immediate. Rebuilding my muscles has been slower, but I am making steady progress.
My very athletic son suggested that I vary my exercise rather than doing the same thing every day. So one day I run, one day I swim, one day I ride my bicycle and one day I power walk. He also said I should do some weight work. I was skeptical.
But I kept coming across articles that said women my age needed to do weight work, not only for muscle tone, but also to prevent bone loss. OK, OK, I can take a hint. I committed myself to do weight work two days a week.
Last night I worked out with weights in the living room. There is a noticeable difference in the strength of my arms since I started. I am improving and can do more repetitions than I could at first. So I know it's effective, but I hate it. At the end of my work out last night I felt tired and blah.
The weather today is gorgeous. After I finish typing this blog, I'm going for a bike ride. When I get home I will be tired and energized.
April 1 is my first yearbook deadline for this year. That means that I have to turn 1/3 of the pages for our school yearbook over to the publisher. I spent more than 15 hours at the school yesterday proofing pages and tightening up the layouts.
I couldn't help contrasting this year's deadline with last year's. I started on the BTD in June. Last March and April I was battling almost daily heartburn and trying to figure out how I could be feeling so bad when I was eating so "healthy." I remember the afternoon before the deadline working late at school and rushing home to pick up some supplies. As I dashed around the house, my daughter said, "Mom, you need to eat something." I snapped that Dad had promised to take her and her brother out for dinner. I didn't have time to eat; I had to get back to school. She said again, "Mom, listen to yourself, you need to take time to eat." I listened; I smiled; and I grabbed one of my son's power bars out of the drawer and bought a hamburger on the way back to the school. At the time I didn't know anything about how a type O should eat, but I remember tossing half the bun in the trash and being amazed at how much better I felt after eating the meat.
I knew yesterday would be hectic, and this year I was going to be prepared. I packed all the leftover veggies from the refrigerator into little plastic containers. There were 2 beneficials and 3 neutrals. I also took 1 Â½ leftover chicken breasts, a bag of walnuts & raisins, a bag of carrot sticks, and an apple. I did a few pages and stopped for a snack. Did a few more pages, and had another snack. I was never tired and never frantic. The creativity was flowing and at 1 a.m. I was finished and pleased with my work.
This morning at church our pastor preached on Jehovah Rapha - the God who heals or the God who makes healthy. I am thankful for the abundance of food that God has provided for my benefit. God did not create French fries, or Twinkies, or 48 oz. diet sodas, or hydrogenated vegetable oil. He created food filled with things that nourish all the varieties of individuals that He made. God has worked through what I learned on the BTD to restore my health.
I was out of town for the funeral of my husband's father when I received the message inviting me to be a blogger. It was a stressful time, made bearable only by the assurance that while he cannot return to us, we will see him again in heaven.
The stress of those difficult days is the background of my first blog. Here are 3 lessons from the funeral.
My husband spent the last 10 days of his father's life helping to care for his dad. He and I talked on the phone every night. The days were increasingly stressful. One night he seemed close to the breaking point. I said, "Get to the store. Buy some multiple vitamins and some calcium." He had all kinds of excuses: he didn't know where to find a health food store, he didn't know what brand to buy, and he couldn't be away from the house too long. I said, "The stress is depleting your body of vitamins and minerals faster than you can possibly replace them with food. Just go to a grocery store. Buy any multiple and buy some calcium citrate." He did, and by the time we talked the next night he could feel the difference in his mood and in his ability to relax and sleep. Do I believe that the premium vitamins I buy are superior in quality and better absorbed than the grocery store brands? YES. But here is lesson #1 - When I can't do the best, I do the best I can.
After the funeral, friends of the family brought in lots of food and set up a reception in the dining room. The table was full of wheat and sugar and other avoids. It all was brought by people who love our family. I could have been obnoxious, rejecting the food and the love that came with it. I could have disregarded eating right and filled my plate with avoids. Either extreme would have been foolish. I graciously accepted a piece of carrot cake. Lesson #2 - My health problems are not the result of politely eating an occasional avoid that is offered as an expression of love, but of willfully indulging in avoids when I have the opportunity to make better choices.
That piece of carrot cake, while not satisfying any nutritional requirements, did satisfy me at an emotional level. At times of stress we all crave comfort food. However, the comfort effect of the carrot cake was very short lived. It wasn't long until I found myself circling the dessert table craving more. I was determined not to yield, and went into the kitchen. Someone brought a huge platter of brisket. Someone else brought a bowl of delightful greens - not just iceberg lettuce, but spinach and dandelion as well. I piled my plate with greens, and topped it with lots of brisket. Here was food that gave both nourishment and comfort. I felt full and satisfied for the rest of the day. Lesson #3 True comfort and satisfaction are in beneficials.