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BR: Introduce yourself!
SV: Hi, I’m Sue Visser, Type O and my husband Jim, is Type A. We have been happily married for over 28 years and have a daughter: Vivienne, an O and a son: Anton, an A. We have developed our own Health Products company and supply over 30 natural cosmetics and supplements to outlets in South Africa. We research and develop the formulations ourselves and use many of the indigenous South African herbs. I do a lot of writing for health magazines and make regular contributions to both local and international radio services. As a backup to my programmes, I supply free information and research on our website – including, by the way, a lot of practical advice for blood type initiates. In our country people are reluctant to change their eating habits and think that pills and medications should solve all their health problems. Jim and I spend most of our time trying to educate them with regards to: “Eating Right for Your Type: We are both fitness and health enthusiasts and as a typical O, I am into Karate & Kickboxing and Jim prefers A type activities like bowls and yoga. We are both Tai Chi instructors for common territory, along with hiking in the gorgeous Cape Town scenery. For stress release, I have a punch bag in the garage and I go jogging every other morning. Jim does his yoga and stretches, reads or plays solitare on the computer.
BR: Can you give us a bit of insight into why you started the blood type diet?
SV: As an avid health researcher, I talk to a lot of people in the health industry and I usually end up personally experiencing whatever diet, supplements or activities that seem to be making waves. From there, I have to evaluate the good, the bad and the ugly points, to obtain an honest insight. As you know, there are many contradicitions in the alternative as well as conventional medical fields and it’s not a case of getting the same results as the people who are promoting a certain product or train of thought. When people began enthusing about the blood type science It made a lot of sense to me. In South Africa, many of the descendents of the Dutch and Huguenot families suffer fron heart conditions. It is our tradition to eat a lot of meat, potatoes and mealies. Type A’s on such a diet are heading for disaster and so was Jim, as an A type Dutch born Visser!
BR: Are there any diseases that tend to run in your family?
SV: Yes, ignorance and blatant denial of correct eating habits. Although most people tend to think they are on a "healthy diet", most of our relatives seem to succumb to cancer and heart disease. It upsets me, now that I see how "Wrong for their Type" they eat.
BR: How did you find out about the blood type diet? Was it through friends, colleagues, health practioner, or other?
SV: My Dutch friend, Bart Schubert is the editor of Health Counter news and we share an interest in trying to help people with health problems, especially the low income groups, who cannot afford what I call "elitist" medicine, with loads of hi-fi supplements and expensive therapies. Bart encouraged me to buy the book, as he offers it as part of a mail order service for his magazine.
BR: How did you get started? Was it gradually, or did you opt for the cold-turkey-version?
SV: Getting started, a few years ago was not easy and after hours of trying to make sense of an eating schedule, we both shook our heads. It seemed that only broccoli and rice would agree with us both. After a lot of frustration, we drifed back into more comfortable and communal eating habits, but felt guilty, as we had not mastered the techniques as outlined by the first book: "Eat right for Your Type"
BR: How long did it take to notice change in your body (mentally and physically!) What kind of changes did you experience?
SV: Jim was the first to feel less stressed out and his energy levels improved. He was rebellious about giving up most of his meat dishes. I did not have the time to look up every single food and for convenience sake, began to opt for a more vegetarian, but wheat free diet, so we could eat together. As an O, I noticed my energy levels drop afer a few days on only fruit & veg, for instance.
BR: Was it easy to get started? Or difficult? What was your main purpose to get started? Health problems like losing weight, or what?
SV: It was not easy to begin with and after a few months, we did not much progress. We did not have any serious health problems to begin with and were doing it on a purely academic and somewhat detached basis and began to hate it. One hears about so many wonderful health foods and because I have to help low income groups improve their nutrition, my starting point was to eliminate wheat, sunflower oil & sugar from their diets. I had to find appealing substitutes and used to go for lentils, dates, barley and lots of parsley! The lentils, rye bread and barley made me gain 6 kg.
BR: Your family, how did they react to your following the diet?
SV: My family view me with suspicion anyway and there are always freshly baked cakes, cookies and apple tart waiting when we pay a visit. All that white flour, sugar and margarine. Nobody gets the message, even though I have been tested and they know I have a wheat allergy. I’s all in the mind, they say!
BR: How many blood types are there in your family? How do you manage?
SV: We are mainly O and A. Ironically my husband has a few O type relatives who are type O vegetarians, but they have oodles of yogurt, eat lots of wheat and suffer from candida. I wonder why. At home we have now come to terms with O and A regimens and have developed a new eating plan that really is working, and we feel absolutely great on it.
BR: Is Eating Right 4 Your Type easy or difficult when you are at work, at a restaurant? On the road?
SV: It takes planning and discipline. Best to pop a few back up foods into your car or handbag in case of a pasta and bread attack! I usually go without if they can’t even provide me with a simple piece of fruit. People get insulted, but usually they know I eat funny! No point in getting sick from gooey lasagne. Let them know for next time, or better still: warn people in advance. I was guestspeaker at a breakfast once and they knew I was going to talk about diets. What did I get for breakfast? White toast, bacon & eggs! I sent it back & asked for fresh fruit.
BR: Looking at your diet: what was easy to integrate into your basic diet, what still gives you problems?
SV: At first, it was so difficult we gave up. It was only two years later, after a few months on fruit cleansing using Professor Ehert’s philosophy on fruit for breakfast and eating lots of fresh greens that I really saw a remarkable change in my body. I knocked off 8 kilos, although I wasn’t fat at first glance, all those lentils, barley and even rye had had rather an anabolic effect on my body. Jim, on the other hand, is trying to gain weight an giving Type A papaya for breakfast had a drastic effect and he lost 5kg, much to his disgust. This began to tell me something about blood type eating, now it made sense. It was this lucky break and the new: Live Right for your Type book that got me back on the road, and now I find it well worth the effort.
BR: Do you get support from your Medical Doctor? Could you convince him/her of the positive impact of the blood type diet on your health?
SV: We don’t have a medical doctor as we are never sick, but we associate with many doctors and therapists. Some of them are very open minded but they do not have the time to educate their patients and and explain that they come to them for pills, not common sense! My dentist lost 12kg with fruit only for breakfast and the O type diet sheets I typed out for him.
BR: What kind of medication did you take for overcoming your health problems? And how is your medication-intake after having started the blood type diet?
SV: We are not on medications, but take vitamin and mineral supplements. As an O I need extra B vitamins, especially as I do not react well to Rye bread.
BR: The country, city, village you live in: Is it a problem or not to find the organic foods you need?
SV: In Cape Town, South Africa we have the very best health foods and our friend is a health food importer and wholesaler. She has an very exciting and ever increasing range of foods, from blackeyed beans to millet flour and flaxmeal. It is a pleasure to cook here.
BR: Are there any other experiences you had following this way-of-life, you want to share with us?
SV: I have shared the basics of blood type eating as well as many delicious recipes with my family and friends, and with all my radio listeners and people who read my articles in health magazines. It’s easy as we have a wonderful and very informative website to back up the community work we do. It’s all free and whenever I get inspired I add more wonderful ways to enjoy making foods that are guaranteed to suit you and your family. It’s easy, once you have identified foods that I call ALL TYPE foods. Then only a few adjustments are needed if "alien" blood types come for dinner and you can serve some of the dishes separately. I’m so glad chocolate is neutral for all blood types! I am working on a research paper and recipes on using cocoa therapeutically. It will soon be at: www.naturefresh.co.za Many thanks for the D’Adamo website, I visit it every day and gain a lot form the intensive data base you provide.
BR: Sue, thank you for this great interview! Seems to me you are on the right way to promote the Blood Type Diet in South-Africa!! As you say, the diet will be followed for life once people really get started and feel so much better by eating this way! I for myself, I started and never got back to my old eating habits! The BTD just completely filled the ‘gaps’ in my health!!
I find the blood type diet to be a fascinating and overlooked methodology that deserves more exposure.
thanks for the article, great read.
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