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I have recently had some of the wisdom of the BTD reaffirmed for me. I had, for quite some time, been enjoying a lovely goat cheese available in here Toronto, called Caprano. It comes in a small round, and is a creamy texture with a delicious flavour. I have been buying it regularly at one of the cheese stores at Kensington Market, where I buy my food supplies. Lately it has changed texture – it is less creamy and prone to slight crumbling, with a stronger, not quite so delicious flavour. And lately – surprise, surprise! – I have not been feeling quite as good as I had been not so long ago. I had been quietly considering at age – almost 67 – that my body was simply wearing out, and that perhaps the little strains I had been feeling, coupled with a general feeling of being more tired than normal had to go along with my age, and were something to which I needed to become accustomed. Stopping eating the cheese altogether (with regrets, of course) has quickly brought my energy back up to remembered levels. It was so easy! Thereby the lesson was learned first-hand of why it is important not to eat aged cheeses, no matter the source of the cheese (cow, goat, sheep).
Friday night I visited some friends for dinner. As expected, the meal was not a compliant one for this B non-secretor person. I declined to eat the lentil soup, even though I was urged to taste it at least. It looked delicious, but I did not want to jeopardize my relatively delicate health balance. The main course was a lamb stew, which was very tasty. It included potato and tomato in its make-up. I haven’t eaten potatoes for a very long while now, but I did manage to get a few pieces on my plate (and they were delicious!). As well, the potato lectins were obviously in the broth of the stew. I suspect the oil used for cooking the stew was also an avoid, and there may have been other avoids in the stew on a small scale. I was really “under the weather” when I got up on Saturday morning. I was headachey, slightly grumpy and low energy, most of which, thankfully, did leave by early afternoon, except for the headache. It is difficult, though, to explain to the best-intentioned and very loving but not understanding friends that something they have inadvertently included in their cooking will make you sick, particularly when in the moment you look perfectly normal and don’t show any signs of malaise after eating their food.
Another friend, visiting on Saturday, expressed the thought that knowing that I was eating something on the avoid list was going to give me a reaction because “it is a psychological problem after all”. I had to explain that it is a genetic affliction, and that there is nothing that can fix the fact that I am a non-secretor, and will therefore continue, as I have all my life so far, to react to avoid foods in varying degrees. And that it will probably get worse as I continue to age and have less and less tolerance for items containing damaging lectins for my system.
The past weekend, which included the dinner invitation on Friday and visits with friends at my home on Saturday and Sunday, emphasized the fact that when I cook my own food I feel very well indeed, and my energy can actually go up because of that. It’s all so simple when I follow the BTD, and so terrible when even a small deviation comes along.
Aside from my food issues, it has been impossible to not think about the people affected by the tsunami in south-east Asia. In actual fact, there is no-one on this planet who has not been affected in one way or another. I am delighted to reflect on the fact that Canadians have been extremely generous in giving donations and are engaged in doing various things to raise relief money for the people in those ravaged countries. Benefit concerts are being held in so many places, and most people here seem very happy to contribute towards helping to rebuild homes and lives, as they are able.
Our Canadian Prime Minister, currently on tour to see first hand the devastation, has realized that there are two aspects to the event – the one that is apparent to the naked eye (and I’m sure, unbelievable in extent), and the one that no-one can see, that no-one can comprehend, the inner feelings of incredible loss of family, friends, homes and communities. In those few moments, life on this planet has changed inalterably. As much as we scramble to help in the efforts to rebuild lives, we can never bring back what vanished so quickly. A Canadian man, making a donation of five and a half million dollars (matched by the Canadian government, by the way, to double the effect), said that he was doing it simply because he couldn’t live with the nightmares he was experiencing, night after night since the disaster
So we all do what we can, as we feel compelled to do. In the very least, I invite everyone reading these words to join in a few moments of prayer every day for the peace of mind and safety of those survivors in the region and for their friends and relatives who are spread throughout the world – as well as for the healing of our planet earth after these wounds have been inflicted without warning. It does not matter what you believe or how you pray – or if you don’t know how to pray – every simple prayer is heard and has a power. Together, the power of our prayers is enormous – but we must do it in order to manifest this power. God bless everyone!