Archives for: October 2002, 21
Welcome! I'm glad you asked this question, because the vast majority of people who follow the blood type diets are faced with the same task: plan it, shop it, cook it. A scattershot approach is fine, but... what if I'm eating too much of some things and not enough of others? what if I get home from the store and can't make a single meal from everything I bought? It can seem pretty complicated at first. For O nonsecretors, nonsecretors in general actually, we have no sample menus ~ but here's a way to make up your own.
Live Right 4 Your Type provides guidelines for portion quantities and frequency. Because we all have different favorite foods, health concerns and available time/energy/money for shopping and cooking, the best approach is to use those guidelines to make up your own meal plan. I’ll use the example of a type O nonsecretor, but everyone can benefit by using this process. You set up a structure you can depend on (helpful for forming good habits!) then fill it in as you go. It also makes it a little easier to get back on the diet if you’ve crashed & burned along the way. There's plenty of room for new foods -- and the occasional slip-up! :-}
First, devise a weekly “big picture” to work from. I started by listing the food categories down the left side of a page, then entering the weekly frequencies of each category to the right, multiplying “per day” frequencies by 7 in order to get a consistent total. Remember that in the case of fruits and vegetables, the frequencies listed in Live Right should read “per day” rather than “per week.” Beneficial vegetables can be used without limitation.
Then, pare it down to likely meals over the week. For me, I started with:
* 2 portions meat/poultry on weekdays
* 1 portion fish 3 times on weekdays (as fits in)
* 2 eggs, one fish and one portion meat/poultry on Sat & Sun
* 1 portion beans per week (optional, in place of one poultry)
* Handful of nuts or 2 T nut butter per day
* Unlimited beneficial veg & vegjuice per day
-- and/or 2-3 neutral veg & vegjuice per day (salad 3x/wk)
* 2 portions fruit a day (in winter, Proberry syrup 1 T/day)
* oils as needed (salad dressing 3x/wk)
For each of these eight “diet sections,” run through the food lists and jot down a few items you’d like to have in the coming week. Now you’ve got a shopping list.
Note that although technically we’re allowed up to three portions of grain, two servings from the milk and yogurt list, and one of cheese, I don’t include them in my planning because they’re not ideal foods for my type. They’re also notoriously difficult to completely avoid at a restaurant or party. So, I use the Convicted Food rule: rare outings in return for good behavior. If I find myself in a situation (traveling, holidays, you name it) where dairy or grain has slipped in a few times in a row, or if something I’ve eaten has triggered cravings, I consider the food an Escaped Convict and put it away accordingly for a good long time. There are only six grains that even rate “neutral” for O nons, so don’t feel like an alien if you find you’re better off without them altogether. You'll have a lot of company.
While our food choices seem terribly restricted when surrounded with carb-heavy supermarket aisles and Vegetarian! All Soy! No Fat! advertising, I’ve found there’s plenty to eat. There’s one single avoid for us in the whole meat/poultry list, to start with. Only 11 avoids appear in the 80+ seafood entries. Adding only the vegetables, fruits, nuts... suddenly we have hundreds of choices, many of which will do you more good than all the medicine in the world. If it helps boost your enthusiasm, think of all the stuff we can have that nobody else can eat!! Frankly, I’m sort of grateful for my food list, even for the challenges it sometimes sets for me.
If you look carefully at my little food plan, you’ll find evidence of a Type A nonsecretor in the house. I eat more turkey, chicken and the occasional OK-for-A-non bean dish than I would in an all-O household. If you live alone, or with others of your own polymorphic persuasion, the food plan doesn’t change much but the ease of shopping and recipe choice does.
The main thrust of the O-non diet is meat, fish, vegetables, nuts/seeds (and fruit in the summer). For a type A, it might be the same in reverse order with the addition of more beans and grain. For Bs and ABs, dairy can play a greater part. Let the seasons be your guide to some extent. Try to keep an eye on what’s fresh from the local producers. (I note you're in a farming area ~ these are general recommendations! :-)) Look into community organic food co-ops, visit websites like eatwild, and see if someone not too far away is raising something you want. You’ll be getting more nutrition for your dollar, and new confidence in the kitchen, as well as the satisfaction of supporting your local hard-working organic farmers and ranchers.
This plan confers treasures upon those who follow it. We’re doubly encouraged to try things we’ve never had before, expand our involvement in the basic ecology of food and people, and do more home cooking (quality-for-quality, it’s cheaper in the long run). Over time, the avoids you long for now will elicit a grimace instead of a drool. I think the key to enjoying the O nonsecretor diet is to let its balance take you where it wants you to be. It’s a good place. Give it time, and let your beliefs and habits change gently according to the evidence of your sharpening senses. It WILL become effortless... I promise!