The question I get most of all is in regard to what it means to be a secretor or non-secretor, how to find out, etc. So Here goes...
For beginning on the BTD, it is advised to start out with the Secretor version of the diet, or that found in the wallet foodlists. That is simply because most (about 80%) of all people are secretors, and it’s a little easier diet to follow when you’re starting out as grains and sugars aren’t as restricted. After a time, though, you will want to find out your secretor status, especially if you have any chronic health problems. This enables you to fine tune the diet further and see even more amazing results.
You can order the salivary secretor test through this website’s online store, North American Pharmacal, or a few other sources. Here are some links:
NAP Secretor Test
In Europe, go to
You must know your ABO bloodtype beforehand, and the rest is simple, with detailed instructions provided. Basically you spit into the little tube provided and mail it to the lab in the postage-paid envelope provided. You can get your results either through the mail or online. The salivary test is more accurate than blood tests, as it is easier to read in the lab.
Then, when you get your results, if you find out you’re an O secretor, congratulations! Have a party, and eat some strawberries for me. If you’re an O non-secretor, time to study up and make the mental adjustment to giving up soy, dairy, spelt, and cutting further back on carbs. O’s can see my archive for things that non-secretors can add back into their diet, the blog was titled “O Secretors: 58, Non-Secretors: 16”, from January. For most of you the news of your non-secretor status won’t be a complete surprise, you may have already noticed some of the signs: increased food sensitivities, more problems with UTI’s, Candida, h. pylori, dental cavities, etc. In my case finding out my secretor type helped me get a diagnosis on my h. pylori. I realized, you know, I do have some symptoms, so I explained my symptoms to my doctor and he tested me for it with a positive result.
Keep in mind that it’s not easy to guess ahead of time, as not all non-secretors have all the telltale signs. For instance, I have great teeth, not one cavity, but I do have most of the other problems (more than a handful of food allergies/intolerances, previous problems with h. pylori, previous recurrent UTI’s, etc.). I attribute my good teeth to diagnosing myself (inaccurately) with hypoglycemia as a teenager and going sugar free for many years. I didn’t have hypoglycemia, my sugar levels were normal, but I knew then that I felt better when I didn’t eat sugar, especially sodas.
Here is a good overview of secretor subtypes I just came across:
The Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia and Live Right 4 Your Type give the most comprehensive information I can find, so I recommend those especially for my fellow non-secretors.
Also, if you're a nonsecretor, you don't need to worry about the Tier system in Live Right, all non-secretor food lists are automatically like Tier II. We nonnies have to be good, but the potential for great health is certainly there, if we follow the plan. Many non-secretors express how sick and tired they are of being sick and tired...we were often the sickly children, getting prescribed antibiotics time after time, missing school or work, repeated unfruitful doctor's visits, etc. The great news is that we can turn that around and become the image of good health. In my experience, we O nonnies can lose weight very quickly on the diet. Do other nonnies have this experience? I often worry about losing it too quickly. I have to avoid stepping on the scales or else I might be tempted to slow things down by eating too many carbs. Just focus on how you feel, not what the scale says.
What I eat on a good day
1 cup cherry juice with ARA powder
2 eggs with beans, veggies, or fruit
A couple dried figs or prunes for a snack
Beef burrito with nonnie flatbread (see Flip It post), beans, salsa, avocado
Or salmon scramble (or some chicken or tuna) on salad, with lemon juice as dressing
Banana for snack
Beef with sautéed mushrooms or onions
or Fish or lamb chops
Broccoli or other vegetable
Sometimes a little rice, or sweet potato
Of course, I drink water and seltzer throughout the day, though usually not enough of it.
Sauteed Mushrooms A/O-nonnie compatible:
1-2 Tablespoons ghee
8 oz package whole mushrooms, cleaned, stems cut flush with top
broth appropriate for your type, I used chicken
Saute mushrooms in ghee over medium to medium-high heat until they brown and start to soften, add broth to finish cooking, add a little terragon to taste. Less is better if you aren’t used to the flavor yet, but it compliments the mushrooms quite well. Lemon juice would also be good sprinkled on top.
For me, the mushrooms add flavor to whatever meat (usually beef) I’m eating, for my type A husband, they fill the role of meat. Yes, he’s starting to cut back more on meat. He’s not too interested in the technicalities of the diet, but has realized that meat doesn’t agree with him or his metabolism, so I’m encouraging that, and starting to cook more with that in mind. My A son doesn’t like red meat, and loves beans, so he’s on track as well. With both of them I just try to introduce more beneficials, and find some that they really like before I start cutting out much else. Of course, they’re just happy if I cook!
My other goal is to cook one big batch of something good for my diet each day. Yesterday I made ghee and compliant refried beans (I posted the recipe a while back), today I planned to make more flatbread, but I may have to put that off till tomorrow. Next in line is to cook up more mushrooms and a bunch of buffalo burgers for meals on the run, then some brown rice pilaf to go with them. Then some more energy balls for my sweet tooth. I also want to try a recipe for nonnie-compliant almondaisse, because I miss mayonnaise. I’ll blog my progress.
Oh, there was one other comment I wanted to respond to...how much nettle root I take for allergies, I take 1 capsule twice a day, and I'm thinking of switching to stinging nettle leaf, from NAP and adding their Querticin. Right now I just take one from the health food store.
Responses to Questions:
I’ve been so busy lately, but I have a bunch of comments to reply to. So I’m just going to toss them out and answer them here…So for Julie, Redd, Gina, Rebekah and Alicia, here goes, I’m only about halfway through them, so I’ll post more in the next couple days:
Carob status: Os can have carob and cocoa, but chocolate bars are a bit harder to come by since non-secretors can’t have milk or sugar. Thanks for the recipe, Rebekah
Rebekah’s Freeze Recipe Now, I can’t mention a recipe without posting it,… I haven’t tried it yet, and have a bit of adaptation to do for nonsecretors, but it sounds great and for you secretors, here you go: “Rebekah's Freeze: 3 bananas 3-5 fresh dates almond milk walnuts nutmeg, *when you peel and freeze bananas, their structure changes. Peel and freeze the bananas for 24 hrs. Make almond milk by blending a cup of blanched almonds with 3 cups water for 1-2 minutes, then strain with cheesecloth. This is nice to have on hand. Yum. Use about 1/8 of a cup of almond milk, processed with the dates in the food processor. Smash it or process it with the frozen chopped bananas, (Making sure all ingredidnts are kept really cold) and add walnuts and spice at the end. Cardamon is also nice. This is not exactly unlike Chunky monkey ice cream, sans chocolate.” If any nonsecretors try it, let me know how your substitutions go…prunes instead of dates? Or maybe just some molasses to sweeten it. I did try some frozen bananas with blueberries and rice milk, it wasn’t as sweet as a typical smoothy, but I liked it and it kept me away from the ice cream everyone else was eating.
Eye color: Blue-hazel, but they always looked green to me because they’re blue with gold in the middle, and yellow + blue make green : )
Cabbage Status: According to TypeBase, cabbage is neutral for secretors, avoid for non-secretors. That seems to be the most up-to-date ranking.
Avocado Status: Beneficial for O non-secretors, but yes, they are avoids for secretors. Yet, secretors can have a little dairy and soy, while alack, non-secretors cannot. So I sometimes use avocados to fulfill my need for something smooth and creamy. They’re beneficial because they’re good for our vulnerable non-secretor teeth.
For Redd: I agree with the idea that garbage gets stored in our fat cells, and comes back to haunt us when we lose weight. That’s interesting about smelling the cigarettes from long ago during weightloss and cleansing. I’ve never smoked, but I have noticed feeling old yuckiness when losing weight… I gained a lot after having mono, and was quite sick, then when I lost that weight, I had some of my mono symptoms return. I think exercise helps flush the junk out of your bloodstream a little faster after it’s released from your fat cells.
Why Shouldn’t Meat be Frozen I don’t remember where I read it, either Live Right or the Encyclopedia, but freezing meat increases the polyamine content. It's still better to eat meat that's been frozen, than not eat meat, for Os, but fresher is always better. Where I live, fish is almost always frozen, especially the good stuff like wild alaskan salmon, so I eat it, and balance it out with foods that lower polyamines. Actually, Thanks to Nina and Heidi, I now know that it's only commercially flash frozen meats that have higher polyamines. Foods you freeze in your own freezer are fine. That's a relief! Thanks for the note on that!
Ibuprophen: I’ve had doctors tell me to take this as well, for maintenance, since I too am prone to inflammation. It’s unfortunate that O’s are more prone to inflammation, but also more prone to stomach problems from the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories, like Aspirin and Ibuprophen. I don’t think Dr. D’Adamo recommends taking them, but there are some herbs that can help, and of course, the diet is the best medicine of any. Check out the anti-inflammation protocol: http://www.dadamo.com/protocols/4.html Not to say that I never take ibuprophen, but I try to not take it too often. Be sure to really avoid wheat, corn, and dairy products, but I’m beginning to think that for Os, all avoids cause inflammation.
Here’s my recipe for energy balls, it’s in RecipeBase, but I made some adaptations, so I’ll post it here…
Recipe: Energy balls or bars
Submitted by: Deb (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Can by used by: A,O
Description Dried fruit, nut & seed snack, sweet but not as sickly as some bought bars. Inspired by Energy Balls sold in Homestead Health Shop, Wgtn, NZ, but some Ingredients changed to suit an O/A household. Any combination of dried fruit, nuts & seeds could be used.
The "LSA" included in the recipe comes from "The Liver Cleansing Diet" by Dr Sandra Cabot and consists of 3 parts flaxseed, 2 parts sunflower seeds, 1 part almonds, all ground up together. Good sprinkled on cereal or added to baking. Store in freezer. Category Other Ingredients
I’ve adapted it to an O non-secretor (I think it’s okay for A’s as well)
¾ Cup prunes
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
½ cup almonds or walnuts or any combination
¼ cup flax seeds
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
Approx 2 Tbs water
Approx 2 oz sesame seeds
Directions Put the prunes, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts & flaxseed into food processor. Process till fruit is mashed and nuts & seeds are roughly chopped (or till all pureed together, if you prefer a smoother texture – which I do).
Add raisins & cranberries and process till just combined. Add just enough water to bind together (about 2 Tbs)
To make balls :
Roll spoonfuls of the mixture in sesame seeds till well coated. Chill. Makes about 20 small balls (I eat 2-3 at once for a small snack) or could be made into 10 bigger balls.
To make bars : (not as fiddly)
Stir the sesame seeds into the mixture and press into a tin that has been lined with baking paper or lightly greased. Chill. Can then be cut into whatever size you want. This amount fills a tray about 5" by 9", but the recipe could easily be doubled or tripled.
Note : B, AB's - you could probably try different combinations of fruit & nuts, but I'm not sure whether it could work without the seeds.
I don’t know if my As are secretors, but I’ll assume they are for this listing of veggies that are beneficial to both types. I figure, if I’m going to go to the trouble of preparing vegetables and trying to get my A’s to eat them, I’m going to concentrate on the veggies that are beneficial for all of us. I've listed them loosely in the order of what's most common/easy for me, to what I've never tried or hardly heard of:
Kale - I've tried this but haven't prepared it myself
Collard Greens - I've tried this but haven't prepared it myself
Okra - I've only tried this in soups and prepared foods
Kohlrabi - I've never tried this one
Chicory - Until recently I wasn't even sure what this was...
I thought chicory was curly endive, but I think it looks more like a wrinkled collard greens.
PhytoBase info on Chicory:
As a vegetable, Chicory is mentioned by the ancient authors Horace, Pliny, Virgil, and Ovid. The blanched leaves can be used cooked and in salads. In France and Belgium, the roots are sliced, kiln-dried, roasted, ground, and added to coffee, imparting a slightly bitter taste and dark color. For medicinal purposes, the leaves, the roots, and the entire plant--both fresh and dried--are all subject to use. Chicory works by increasing the flow of bile into the digestive tract.
Thanks to Paul, I now know that Chicory is related to dandelion, and it tastes good in a green salad. Hmmm. Maybe I have space to grow some...I don't have much space, but he said it doesn't take much. I find it interesting to read about his fall and garden harvest, during my springtime. It seems to tie the passage of the seasons together in my mind; I'm usually just stuck in the season I'm in, without really thinking about the next.
My herb seedlings are sprouting! The basil is doing especially well (I'll have to thin it out soon since my little one thought it was fun to toss the seeds around), the italian parsley is a bit behind but strong looking, and the tiny chamomile seeds have turned into tiny seedlings.
No more pot luck dinners for me! I should have eaten before going and taken some deflect, but I was too busy making a salad. I ended up so hungry that I ate too many avoids at the dinner. I don't know which ones got me, but they got me good. It took me 3 hours to get to sleep last night, as I was achy, gassy, itchy, and restless. Drat! And I've got a busy day today.
I think I'll make and freeze some homemade compliant TV dinners to take with me from now on. I'll get some of those sectioned plates with lids, like ziplock or gladware, that type, and just grab one out of the freezer and throw it in the car on my way out. Frozen is better than full-of-avoids. Meat, rice, veggies...just basic little meals. That will be my goal for this week...to put those together. I'm the only O and hate cooking for one, so I'll cook for 8, and freeze the other 7
I did meet my goal for last week, that was planting some herbs and starting some herb seeds. That was a fun goal, and I'm excited to see them grow, and more excited to eat them.
I just made a makeshift lunch with no meat in the fridge. I scrambled 2 eggs, added one 15 oz can of salmon, then put the 'scramble' on top of lettuce, with lemon juice sprinkled on top (saving half of the salmon for later). It was pretty good, and very satisfying ... a better lunch than I expected to have when I trudged into the kitchen!