Archives for: August 2004
As I become more involved in this virtual community we share as blood type dieters, I'm learning more about who we are. While there is no stereotypical BTDer, I've found many common threads...
1. Inquisitive: we're always willing to ask tough questions, even when we know we may not like the answer.
2. Intelligent: so many with advanced degrees in science, healthcare, and other fields. Compared to other diet communities, I've been surprised at how many of us have so much education and expertise.
3. Open-minded: in spite of our educations and backgrounds, we've all realized that there must be a better way to good health than what the authorities tell us, afterall, their advice doesn't work for everyone.
4. Recovering hypochondriacs: Many of us were 'difficult cases' for mainstream medicine, we confused our doctors, and often questioned their reasoning and methods of covering up symptoms rather than treating the causes.
5. Acutely aware of our health: We won't accept just feeling ok, or a little better, we want to be as healthy as possible, and are willing to sacrifice some comfort foods to do so.
6. Plan to be around awhile: Regardless of our age or state of health, all the attitudes that I've intoned from the different sounding boards is that we intend to be around to see the next generation grow, to see what the future holds, and to help shape that future.
Sure, sometimes we're frustrated with how difficult it can be in our surroundings to eat any sort of health food, sometimes we're faced with setbacks, sometimes we fall off the wagon and get bruised, but we know what we know and we're willing to fight to set things right.
There's a discussion going on in the yahoo O group about BTD restaurants, and it generated a lot of thought on my part. So I'm going to share it with the masses in hope that somebody out there will give it a shot.
Restaurants are fairly high risk, and you don't want to start out too big. So look for a small location to start with just a juice bar, that can be upgraded to snacks and wraps, and eventually, if it's well received, expand it into a full-scale restaurant.
Where to locate it...I'm thinking of finding a location near a place where people already know their blood type and are fairly health-conscious. The local Red Cross, or any blood donor facility. (Near a Health Food Store would also be good.)
The only problem I can think of with this idea is that they give out juice and snacks to blood donors. Unless you're willing to eat junk though, this option doesn't provide the fuel you want after donating. I'm sure you could work out something with the Red Cross to allow you to advertise in their snack area and offer discounts to donors, then you could send customers over to them who want to find out their blood type.
I think you'd have to offer some standard fare, and allow people to order wrong for their type. It's about providing options, and educating customers, but not forcing them. If you go out of business because you didn't offer what the customers wanted, you're no longer able to help those who do want to eat right. But if you make the right foods taste so much better than anything else... nobody could complain about that! That may be a challenge if you want to cater snacks to type O non-secretors, but it should be possible.
As for me, until that happy day comes that an establishment like this comes to my area, there's a juice place nearby where I get carrot/ginger or carrot/celery juice. The Jamba Juice is also willing to give me what I ask for, usually pineapple juice and ice as the base, then some banana, mango, blueberry, etc. That way there's no added sugar or milk; it's not quite as sweet, but it's refreshing.
Ok, if you haven't guessed by my location, the fact I know nothing about wine, my lack of whining about no coffee, and my quiet family life, I am LDS (Mormon). I try not to get too personal in my blogs, but I figure I ought to write about what I've been thinking about, and lately that's been relating my diet to my religion.
We have a dietary code called the Word of Wisdom, which I always find very interesting to read through. The scripture that it comes from was received in 1833 and pretty advanced for the time as tobacco wasn't yet known to have any ill effects.
I'm always most interested in the spirit of the law, and the spirit of this law is summarized by this line: "In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation" When I read that, I can't help but think of the big tobacco companies and others powerful industries that knowingly provide us with foods and products that are harmful to our health.
While I avoid those things that are proscribed by my religion, I also use the spirit of the law as a guide when confronted with many of the addictive frankenfoods that have been invented and become prevalent since 1833... sodas (with or without caffeine), food additives, overly processed foods... foods that were designed to increase the corporate bottom line with little or no thought to what it would do to consumers' health. Hey, they're just giving us what we want, right? They're also doing their best to shape what it is we want.
There are instances in our history where we have been warned against things "not of our own making" and there was, and still is to a certain extent, a strong sense of self-sufficiency which relates to making our own food. I think this idea to make our own food has been discombobulated into Cambell's condensed soup casseroles and jello salads a little too often, as the advertising agencies for large corporations know how to appeal to our desire for self-sufficiency and turn it into something that benefits them. But, it was nice to grow up with a garden, learning how to can foods, make jam, etc.
Anyone out there with a year's supply of BTD compliant food? That's another thing we do, we keep food storage just in case of emergencies. And, how do you store good proteins sources for Os? Buy a couple rabbits, I guess. Hey, they're beneficial for O non-secretors.
I just had one of the most satisfying breakfasts ever. I woke up actually craving collard greens. I've had them southern style, and I've had them brazilian style, I liked both (better than home-style because I never cooked them right). So I found a description of how to cook them brazilian style.
The most important part is to slice them very thin (after removing the middle vein), you roll them all up together into a cigar shape and slice them as thinly as possible, 1/8 inch is recommended, though mine were mostly 1/4 inch.
The next most important thing is to use butter or ghee. Many recipes call for lard (which is pork based, thus an avoid), and I think any fat that comes from an animal works better for the flavor than just oil.
Saute a small onion (diced) and 2 cloves of minced garlic in about 2 Tablespoons of butter, when they're starting to brown, add the shredded collards and cook on high (turn down heat if butter starts to smoke) until they start to wilt or to taste, and add salt if desired. I also used the same pan to scramble some eggs afterward. It gave the eggs a good rich flavor. I didn't expect the greens to have that rich flavor, as I always attributed that flavor to the pork or lard that restaurants usually prepare it with. I added a little red pepper flakes to mine, for even more flavor.
My husband liked it too (without the red pepper), which surprised me, he usually doesn't like new foods.
I'd choose this over hash browns with my breakfast any day (and I used to be quite the hash brown connoisseur)... wouldn't it be nice if that were an option at more restaurants!
My aunt and uncle raise goats and lambs, I'm going to be getting some lamb, mostly ground lamb. I love it with garlic and rosemary for breakfast... kind of a sausage substitute. I noticed that mutton is beneficial and lamb is only neutral for non-secretors. Anybody tried mutton? Sounds like grass fed mutton would have quite a strong flavor.
They recommended 'finishing' the lamb for a week on grain, but I opted to skip that step. Flavor may be a little stronger, but it will be healthier, higher in CLA's. It will be finished on grass and alfalfa, maybe some dandelions if I'm lucky. My mom's a B, so lamb and goat are beneficial for her, and she's getting one of each.
Now to order some grass fed beef... I got my freezer for a reason, might as well fill it up. I'll try to make sure they don't flash freeze it. The new health food store carried fresh, not frozen, beef for a while, but stopped as it didn't sell well enough. Check out www.eatwild.com for a listing of local ranchers who raise grass-fed meat. I wonder how it effects the meat, health-wise, to have it dry aged?
I'm doing better as far as stress and sleep and eating schedules go. It was a nippy fall morning, I actually woke up early, made breakfast and showered before the baby woke, and he woke a hour earlier than yesterday (3 hours earlier than the day before). I don't know if we'll ever get him to bed by 8 pm, but we're improving, he went to bed 90 minutes earlier last night than the night before.
I've got to do something with the collard greens in my fridge, I've had mixed luck cooking them in the past but I'm trying again. Spinach is the main green I have a taste for, but it's so hard to clean. Kale, beet greens and chard are also good, but collards are so healthy that I want to figure them out.
This is funny, but I'm still not ready to laugh about it...
Yesterday I went shopping with a list of ingredients for stuffed peppers. So far so good. While my son napped I started to assemble them, sliced the onion, cooked it with ground beef, cooked the rice, etc. I got them all assembled, a few meals worth in one pan. Then as I reached for the pan to put it in the oven I accidentally knocked it off the counter and it flew to land face down on the floor, splattering across the kitchen. I contemplated it for a bit, and decided the floor wasn't clean enough to eat from, so I cleaned it up and tossed it out. I'll blame my clumsiness on PMS, that gets me everytime.
I then glanced at the fridge and saw the Outback takout menu I'd posted there a couple months ago. I looked up their gluten free menu from Living Without magazine, and called them right up! I was even ready to indulge on the Chocolate Thunder, but fortunately for my diet, when I verified it, it's not totally gluten-free at this location, so I abstained. I ordered a steak griller for me and a salmon griller for my A. We shared, and they were both very good, and seemed O compliant. The grilled pineapple is always a hit with me. I like the curbside-to-go service with a little one in his carseat. It ended up being a nice enough experience to make up for my culinary mishap, even without the dessert.
I will cook again...I'm just not sure when
I decided long ago to not care how much I spend on groceries. Anything that keeps me home instead of eating out so much is a good thing. Of course, buying whole foods instead of prepared meals offsets some of the costs. When I started the diet, I was a poor student, but it was just that one thing that I didn't really budget.
You also have to consider how any costs associated with the BTD offsets medical costs. I was reviewing my medical records last night. In 1997 I had 14 visits to the doctor (not counting physicals or preventative care visits). Infection here, infection there, epstein barr rechecks, dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, change antidepressants, check for lupus, etc. etc. Fortunately I survived all that medical care, though I wish I'd discovered BTD when it was first published! When you consider my antidepressants were costing me more than $100 a month, and each visit was at least $20...the BTD would have saved me money. I liked Cheryl's blog a while back...Pay me now or pay me later, I think it was titled, about medical costs.
I recommend everyone keeps a copy of their medical records. I just went in to my old clinic to sign a release form and pay for the copies of my records from their storage facility, as I realized I had a two year gap in my records. The gap covers from about the time I injured my back through my first year on BTD. I'll have to fill you in when I get those and can really analyze them. I can already see that my triglycerides dropped significantly when I started the diet, thanks to some insurance blood work I got copies of. The triglyceride level went from 198 to 107! (They didn't have me fast for either reading, and I know the 107 was within an hour after eating a steak lunch.)
Back to groceries, my goal for this week is to start cooking again, and more importantly, to start planning meals ahead of time. This is all toward the ultimate goal of being able to take care of myself enough to start reaching out to friends and relatives with health problems and start helping them more with meals and such. Here I am, I'm terrible at planning meals, and often skip them, my kitchen is a constant mess from the last time a cooked, which was a while ago. Expensive flour goes bad in my pantry, fruit and veggies go bad in my fridge...I'm not the best example. I skip meals. Got to change these things, and hurry it up, for my own sake and others'.
Next week I'm also going to put my son on a gluten free diet, and see how it goes. He doesn't seem to have celiac disease, but he's at risk of it genetically, small for his age, sometimes gets diarrhea, and has borderline low iron. I have to check, though I'm afraid to find out if he may have it. I've been observant, and haven't noticed a real pattern, but the only way to really know is to take him of gluten entirely for a while. There are blood tests, but it's easier on him to just change his diet for a time. He eats pretty healthily, loves fruit and tries his veggies, it should go pretty smoothly. Wish us luck!
Today has been a tough day, work wise, and I didn't get much sleep. I didn't eat lunch until almost 4 pm, at which point I decided that if I hadn't cooked yet, it wasn't going to happen. So I tried Wendy's. They'd discontinued their low carb meals, but were still happy to give me a classic double with no bun. They left of the sauces, which was a bonus for my body, though my mind secretly wanted to indulge. When I got home, I tried putting a little curry powder on it all, and it was a very good substitution for the sauces. One of the more successful fast food meals I've had in a while.
Now I'm brewing up some Sip Right Tea, so that I can relax and recuperate a bit. I also have a nonnie brownie smothered in almond butter and topped with walnuts from the freezer. I think that recipe would be better to include chopped nuts in the brownies, it would give them a better texture. I was sent a recipe using sweet potato flour and less glycerine...I'm looking forward to trying it. I think less may be more sometimes when baking with glycerine, but I'm still a novice at that art.
Ahhhh. Relaxation and fuel.
I went to dinner at a relatives, and they had brownies for dessert, which were very hard to resist, so I had to come home and make some I could eat. I usually do without dessert, other than maybe some fruit or berries, but when everyone else is eating it, it's difficult to completely deny myself.
So, I gave up on trying to make the brownie recipe any healthier than it has to be. I had tried using less sweet rice flour, and I tried adding some protein powder, but it didn't really hit the brownie craving like they should. So this time, I just took my standard recipe and substituted 1/2 cup veg. glycerine for the 1 cup sugar, and 1/4 tsp almond extract for the tsp vanilla. Here 'tis:
1/2 cup (1 cube) butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable glycerine (or 1 cup sugar for secretors)
1/2 cup sweet (glutinous) rice flour
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. salt
Heat oven to 325 Degrees F., grease a brownie pan.
Melt butter in saucepan, remove from heat.
Add cocoa powder and mix well
Add eggs one at a time and mix well
Add vanilla, salt and sweet rice flour, stir just until just mixed, don't overmix.
Pour into pan and bake for 25 minutes or until done. Check often toward end as glycerine seems to smoke a bit if cooked too long.
Serve with almond butter...takes place of the old standby, milk, that we can't have.
Do use sweet rice flour, as regular rice flour doesn't work very well. I've also been told that quinoa flour works nicely. If you're a type that can use regular sugar, do so. The glycerine makes them quite dense. I'm wondering if some baking powder may make them fluffier.
I feel honored to be blogging since January, it has really helped me stick to the plan. I've enjoyed virtually meeting so many like-minded people who are also willing to give up the tasty but dangerous junk food we're constantly confronted with, in exchange for better health.
I'm happy to discover that I've had 15000 hits! I hope I've helped in all your efforts to improve your health and compliance, through my discoveries and hiccups along the way.
Today I discovered a delicious little drink... pure pomegranat juice with lime-essense sparkling water. About half and half. It's delicious. I didn't mean to buy the flavored sparkling water, but this was an excellent use for it. Lime juice squeezed into plain sparkling water would work for it as well, and you'd avoid whatever they mean when they list "flavorings" on the ingredient label. Another tasty find is canned tuna fillet packed in olive oil. Just add a little salt or Trocomare, and you're set, you won't miss the mayo anymore.
While I'm at it, I found some nonnie-compliant rice snacks. Must ration them to stay in bounds on O-nonnie grain allowances... Soken Brown Rice Petals, and Eden Food Wheat Free Brown Rice Chips. I must warn you, they are hard to ration, but for emergency car food or a rare treat, they're great.
My challenge for this week is, like Natalie, to cook and eat more vegetables. Also, to cook more meat instead of eating out. I've been doing way too much eating out lately, and for a celiac that's especially bad. The latest edition of Living Without does have a nice article on three chain restaurants that now have gluten-free menus...PF Chang's, Outback Steakhouse, and Wildfire. Getting BTD compliant is still a challenge, but at least celiacs can be eat more safely when eating out at these places. I only hope I can resist Outback's gluten-free dessert, it's absolutely not BTD compliant, but sure sounds tempting...I won't describe it here though.
Oh, food advertising is getting to me lately. I see these foods on TV and billboards and it sets my cravings off like crazy. I don't even watch that much TV, but every time I turn it in I'm hit by the junk food advertisements. I see a slice of pizza on TV, and I suddenly remember how it tasted so very long ago. Grrr. At least, with celiac disease, I'm not REALLY tempted, because I remember how it felt...gluten comes to life inside me like a spiney alien trying to take over my body from the inside. Oh, I got a good laugh when I visited silly-yak.com... they have a plain grey T-shirt that simply states: "wheat sucks" I must get that T-shirt, it makes me smile.
Anyone know of any anti-wheat sites, I've seen many anti-dairy and anti-soy, anti-everything except wheat. I see some that are celiac or allergy related, but none that are just plain anti-wheat. Is it that the wheat industry is so strong, or more likely that wheat just has a strong hold on us and nobody cares if it's doing bad things to them?
Hello all! I've been travelling around the west for the last week, now I'm back to my computer and my kitchen. I'll be happy to get back to my local health food store. As many huge shopping centers as I went by, I'm happy to be back to a place where I can easily find what I need. I've realized that it's actually quite fortunate to have two health food stores in a town this size.
I set out to be good while travelling, but often failed. My son's emergency supply of candy became my snack once, I only had a few jelly bellies, but it was enough to cause motion sickness and a headache that day. From now on I'll get him candy that only he likes, as jelly bellies can be too tempting for me. I ended up eating lots of eggs and steaks, that part was good, but sometimes couldn't turn down the sugary drinks in place of the bottled water I should have been trying. I did find that Knudsen's makes Spritzer's that are sweetened only with fruit juice, the ginger ale version is O-nonnie compliant with sparkling water, grape juice, ginger juice and ginger flavoring.
As for my truly stupid moment on the trip, at least I saved that for the last day of travel and didn't suffer the full consequences until I got home. I used to get the zesty chicken bowl from taco bell quite often, but forgot to tell them to leave off the tortilla strips, and didn't realize the dressing was on it, that used to be in a seperate packet. Unfortunately, both items have gluten in them. ugh. Wasn't even worth it. I guess one avoid leads to another, which eventually leads to the big one...wheat. And I was so careful to always order my scrambled eggs and omelettes from the shell, not a mix, because at some places the mix has wheat in it. Dr. D'Adamo's blog on learning from failures applies to me here, and I'll certainly be more mindful in the future.
I came down with a head cold over the weekend. I usually have pretty good control over my sweettooth of late, but the second I felt this cold coming, I wanted candy. That makes no sense as sugar hurts the immune system, so this was bad timing. Maybe I subconsciously wanted to be sick so that I could take a break?
I ended up having some sugar, though not as much as I used to often eat. I also tried a diet soda when I ran out of sparkling water. It tasted awful! I can't believe I had any in the house. Plain sparkling water is way better than diet soda in my opinion. It did a number on my stomach too, that and the sugar I had the same day, worst gas and indigestion I've had in a long time. I'm so glad to have my stomach back to normal now, after a few doses of sip right tea. I don't plan to put myself through that again.
The good news is that I'm overcoming that cold, which in others who had it turned into a mean sinus infection. I rubbed shea butter in my nose, it's a natural decongestant, and it feels good too. I also used saline nasal spray. I managed to entirely avoid over the counter medications this time. I am thinking of investing in one of those neti pots, I think that would have been very helpful. Summer colds are so miserable, I guess it's the heat, I could hardly stand walking outside with it.
The other good news from this weekend is that I survived another pot-luck dinner without eating avoids. I brought a turkey, cranberry, almond, broccoli salad, and ate mainly that. My very blunt neice didn't hesitate to tell me how yucky everything on my plate looked; her plate had a roll, ham, and potato chips on it. But I'd rather have her tell me my plate looks yucky, than tell me I'm fat (like she did a year ago).
I'm glad my son likes healthy foods, some kids these days won't even touch a vegetable...some adults too, for that matter. I like vegetables, but sometimes I'm not organized enough to cook and eat them...I've got to work on that.
Thanks to all for the comments and questions! I'll miss the active presence of the other type O non-secretor, and supportive pioneer to the BTD, Heidi. Her presence and help on the early dadamo forum was instrumental in getting me started on the diet back in 1999. I'm sure I can't fill her shoes, but I welcome any questions in the O non-secretor department!
Mostly those are thyroid questions lately as I mentioned that I've gone off levoxyl recently. So here is my personal thyroid timeline...
1989-1990, at the tender age of 14 I became a vegetarian for one year. Ate tofu, plenty 'o whole grains, nuts, but didn't cut out dairy or eggs... oh, and yes, a few vegetables.
1991-1992, had symptoms of hyperthyroid as is often seen with beginning stages of Hashimoto's, blamed it on hypoglycemia though my blood sugar levels were normal, and never got a diagnosis.
1994 severe case of mono, age 19
1995 mono morphed into chronic fatigue,
1996 undiagnosed hypothyroid, borderline normal TSH, but told not to worry about it and sent off with Zoloft, which didn't help so I quit taking it.
1997 TSH finally went above range, got tested and found to have Hashimoto's, started taking synthroid
1998 thyroid fatigue morphed into extreme sleepiness from another antidepressant, Paxil, got off it, and on Wellbutrin
1999 By this time, very overweight, on antibiotics nearly every month for UTI's or sinus infections, fairly high cholesterol. Wellbutrin worked, but time to get off it with the help of jogging. Soon injured my back while playing with nephews, didn't feel well for some time... Also, was unable to lose weight whatever I tried, counted calories down to 900 a day, but still gained a pound on that, so gave up on calorie counting.
August 1999, came across Eat Right 4 Your Type at a friend's house and read it there. Hmm. Interesting. Saw notation to a book by Dr. Bland, Genetic Nutritioneering, and bought that one.
October 1999, started to admit that wheat may do bad things to me. Ate the breakfast of champions a couple hours after waking up, it had been a good morning, but now I had to go back to bed feeling depressed and achy.
December 1999, FINALLY stopped eating wheat and implementing a few other points from the BTD. Dropped 14 pounds in two weeks, and started to see some HOPE!
Lost 35 pounds overall, before I started to cheat again. I gained 10 pounds in 2001 from corn intake, then another 10 pounds over the holidays.
2002 Became pregnant. A few months into it, the doctor reduced my Levoxyl for the first time (I don't remember when I switched from synthroid to levoxyl, if you're wondering). Ended up gaining, GULP!, 50 pounds during the pregnancy. (was still cheating, wheat free, but little more and eating corn and dairy a plenty)
2003 as a new mom, lost 30 pounds over time without dieting as could be expected. Healthy baby boy, by the way.
January 2004 Started BTD faithfully once more after stomach problems started to act up again. Gradually lost 30 pounds by August, and gradually reduced levoxyl to 0. The BTD has helped me feel better physically and emotionally, and helped me get though a stressful time in my life.
Since 1999, I've gone from needing upwards of 4 prescriptions at any one time, to needing none. I've gone from thinking I'd always suffer from some condition or another, to knowing that my body can heal itself when given the right resources. The proof to any diet/way-of-life is in the pudding, and this is the only plan that works for me and my health... even if it means I can't eat real pudding anymore! After all is said and done, I would never choose any other path.
I'm not eating much more than Jim anyway. Strange. I used to overeat when stressed, now, like Erika, I undereat. I'm lucky to get in one square meal a day, though I do snack on protein or fruit to keep my brain working. This last two months has just been piling up on me. My grandma died, my car broke down, my back went out, my son is sick, it takes as long to find babysitters as they end up actually helping, I'm behind on all my work, I had to give up jogging for hiking, although my stamina is pretty low (no mystery there)...I could go on, but I'll stop myself.
My back is better now, and it recovered much more quickly than it used to previous to BTD. And my son loves our hikes, they are the highlight of his day.
I'm now off my thyroid medicine. It's been an adjustment between overmedicated and coming off the medicines too fast...it's been hard. From all indications though, my thyroid is now capable of full-scale automated production.
Maybe I'll juice some lemons for lunch... nah, I think I'll aim a little higher than that. I have some lovely canned tuna in olive oil. I did have green beans with my 2 breakfast eggs (around noon, now it's 4:00 pm, so the schedule still needs some work.)
Enough talk, time to eat.