Ah, it's been a good day. I now have the upper hand on my recovery from pneumonia. I feel much more alive, and can breath in for what feels like five minutes, before I reach my full lung capacity. I find it odd now that I didn't realize I was missing any of that. My lips are pink again, and my mind is no longer too befuddled.
I'm sure it will be another week or two before I'm totally over this, and I'll need to continue resting whenever possible, but I'm glad to see some real progress.
This bad cold was more than just a cold, it was pneumonia, and I'm currently still recovering from it. I didn't feel that bad, but it was just weird enough that I went into the doctor. I wouldn't take the first antibiotic of choice (levaquin), due to it's side effects that it seemed were beginning to affect me with some tendon pain. So I'm taking something weaker, and getting better a bit more slowly because of it. What good is it to get better faster if my tendons won't let me be active? My lungs have cleared quite a bit, and I'm getting a bit stir crazy.
It's been odd to find time to read, as I don't usually read much with 2 small children, but I've been able to do some reading lately, by finally reading Guns, Germs, and Steel.
I've only made it through the first couple chapters, but was interested to see how the switch to agriculture was made. It's looking to me like it wasn't a conscious choice for the betterment of society so much as it was a compromise to avoid starvation. With fairly rapid population growth and spread, most the large animals that were easy to catch and good eating were actually wiped out in extinction. In many areas that meant that changes had to be made. Those changes didn't bring about better health, but did make population growth, civilization (with all its good and bad), and avoiding starvation all possible. The few catchable animals that weren't pushed to extinction were those that were domesticated...which was a better fate for them than extinction, in addition to providing humans with needed nutrition. Odd to think that much of the meat we eat owes its continued existance to being spared by our ancestors for the purpose of growing food.
The switch from running for our food to sitting on it waiting for it to grow, has resulted in technological advances and longer lifespans, but not all humans have adapted to the health challenges that come along with it. I'm one of those humans, and benefit from adding alternative foods into my diet (the closest thing to the wild foods that the hunter/gatherers ate), while eliminating many foods that are cultivated to feed the masses of population growth. Most even in the gatherer genotype have adapted a bit better than I, as they can have some gluten and dairy.
The book also brings to mind many other questions. Beginning to learn how the environment and food sources changed the course of history, I wonder what changes our current environment is leading to. Will our technological advancements make up for our environmental challenges (or lack thereof). Will modern medicine save us from the sedentary zoo-like lives we've chosen to live? It would be better from a health perspective, as well as a financial one, to cut back and opt out of some of the perks of civilization, and get back to the basics. Not by being hunter-gatherers, that boat has passed, but by consuming less of our civilization's "cargo". We've gone beyond being agrarian, to living in a zoo of our own creation, and I fear that is not sustainable...as I type on my computer and my son plays x-box. We've got to get out more, once I'm well.
I now have a very bad cold, bordering on larengitis and ear infections. Rats. I think the antibiotics for strep and UTI did nothing for my overall immunity. Now I need to rebuild. I'm going somewhat back on the O-nonsecretor diet for now. I may have to cut out dairy almost entirely. If I followed the serving suggestions and avoided the toxins, it would probably work out fine. However, just a little casein triggers some major cravings for more. I may just have to be a gluten-free, casein-free and oat-free gatherer. I still haven't run swami on myself (or gotten genotype swami), but for a lectin-sensitive gatherer, some changes would probably show up there. Giving up the oats and dairy may make me return more to O-non permanently. I found some superfoods for gatherers that I absolutely love, so if they're neutral or beter (and GFCF) then I'll continue enjoying those regularly, and I'll keep cutting back on the high glycemic gatherer toxins or black dots, even if they're neutral or better for O-nons. That may be restrictive, but lately I haven't had much appetite and have to force myself to eat anything, so no biggie right now.
I did test positive (through enterolabs) for casein intolerance, but figured it was worth trying for a while, now I may have to finally accept my casein intolerance. No more denial. Certainly eating it every day may not have served me well. There's no denying that we're all individuals, and tweaks are necessary even to the most individualized diets.
Aside from cutting out dairy for at least the month to see the results, I'm also taking NAPs immunity pack. The redoxa seems to work better than Mucinex for breaking up the mucus, and the proberry seems to be helping this time around.
Taekwondo is going well. My feet and ankles have been sore this week after years of using them only for walking on. All kinds of little muscles are sore. A couple months ago I could hardly flex my toes, but that is changing. I love having a workout with definite goals, where I can see my progress and learn how to do new things.
I had a little sore throat before my last class, but went anyway, as it's not uncommon for me to have a morning sore throat that goes away. I was able to keep up with the class just fine, and was in for many sore muscles from it. Then my whole body got sore on top of all the sore muscles, and by Friday I was having spells of feeling very horrible. I was taking everything from the supplement cabinet that I could think might work, but it wasn't helping that much. So I went in to the doctor and she was very impressed my the looks of my throat, and I quickly found out I have strep throat. I'd been meaning to go in for a while for mild, though painless, symptoms of a UTI, and sure enough, I had that too. So I'm taking a strong round antibiotics now, to cover both infections. This was the first UTI I've had since 1999! Back then they were exceedingly painful, even with only a trace of infection, so this one took me by surprise.
I get strep every couple of years, and it always hits me harder than any flu ever does. Even though my sore throat wasn't all that terrible yet, my body felt absolutely lousy. Today my sore throat is worse, and I can see now that it looks sick, whereas before it just looked a little red. My body, however, feels quite a bit better. It's a good thing that I have lots of polyflora, I'll need it.
Last week I finally, officially, irrevocably, weaned my youngest. He'll be three in November, and was only nursing once a day, but now that is done. So I ordered some new supplements, the Genotype Gatherer formulas. I never took the time to find out if I could take them while breastfeeding, I just took the more conservative option and waited. I'm excited to start taking those once they arrive. My gatherer traits have become more obvious to me over the last few months, so I'm looking forward to balancing them out.
With the release of The Genotype Diet, and the excitement that comes with that, the skeptics have also become excited. The lack of double-blind placebo-controlled study is one of the criticisms they start out with.
First off, many popular diets don't have a similar study done on them. Yet, because they never claim to be scientific (many are written by laypersons), they don't get this criticism. People try them if it sounds doable and see what happens. There's often no harm in that, as most foods and most exercise plans are quite safe. Some may be dangerous in the long-term, as they often drastically reduce whole categories of calories (fats or carbs, usually) but they often aren't done for the long term. For BTD and GTD to be based on science, and science that many scientist and doctors are not expert in, has invited a lot of criticisms that the layperson-written-diet-book hasn't.
Secondly, science is based on observations, some of which are decades in the making, as in BTD and GTD.
Thirdly, double blind studies are expensive, and have to have some big dollars behind them. Especially when you consider the number of variables involved in testing 6 types, or more (if you test BTD with Secretor Status instead). Most companies and organizations with enough money to fund that type of study would have their bottom line threatened by the success of it, as it steers customers away from those things that make them those big bucks (such as pharmaceuticals or processed foods).
Fourth, all the diets Dr. D'Adamo recommends are healthy and balanced, and full of a variety of whole foods. They steer us clear of many processed foods, which over time are proven to be dangerous. While skeptics may consider his ideas dangerous, his diets are certainly not. Many good ideas, even truths, were once considered dangerous.
Fifth, all studies that do exist have a percentage of success and failure. If the success rate is 80% (which is probably much higher than any regular diet's success rate) there's another 20% who see poor results from the diet. It is still classified as a success, but what of those who fall into the minority? How do you account for those? Too often they are swept under a rug, deemed insignificant. The same problem exists for studies done on pharmaceuticals, they don't work for everyone, and my fail miserably for a small percentage. (They are also moving toward more individualized targeted drugs, based on genetics and individual detoxification pathways.)
*Another sucker-punch a skeptic will throw in, is to imply that it's all about making money. Selling books doesn't really make that much money. And last I checked, there were no D'Adamo frozen meals being sold in the grocery store. (I wish there were, that'd be great, but it is not the direction Dr. D'Adamo is going in.) It's healthier to prepare your own food from whole ingredients, and all you really need to do any of the diets is a book. Dr. D'Adamo's books can be checked out from the library or purchased used. If anybody has financially benefitted from my choice in diet, it has been local and organic farmers and free-range ranchers.
So if I am in a minority, and the medically established diet, or food pyramid, doesn't work for me, where does that leave me?
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it was not until I gave up my top avoids/toxins based on blood type that I lost any weight. When I follow the diet, I lose weight and improve health, when I don't, I don't. Cutting my calories way back, cutting my fat intake back, and exercising 10-12 hours a week did not lose any weight. (Low carb made me feel like a ball of sludge, so I didn't try Atkins for long, I admit.) So I am a cluster of anecdotal evidence. Meaningless by the reasoning of skeptics. I however, don't consider it meaningless. Stupid to try anything out of the realm of medically proven double-blind-studied diets? Well, I don't think so. I could have waited for more evidence, but if I had I wouldn't have the life that I do. I would have been subjected to numberous double-blind-studied pharmaceuticals, such as Vioxx, Phen-fen (sp?), antidepresants, continued repeated courses of antibiotics, NSAIDs, Tagamet, cholesterol-lowering drugs, etc. We all know where some of those "safe" solutions have led some people. Instead, I follow the right healthy diet for me, and rarely have to take many prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs.
I don't consider anecdotal evidence to be meaningless. Evidence and observations are still part of the scientific method, last I checked.
Be sure to check out Dr. D'Adamo's responses to other criticisms here.