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For me, the Blood Type Diet is, in a sense, a misnomer: It's not really a Diet! "Weight-Watchers" is a diet, with points and values and counting and measuring. "Atkins" is a diet, with ketosis-strips and carb-counting. Macrobiotics is a diet, with percentages of whole grains on the plate and of salt in one's condiments. "Fit For Life", "The Zone", "Jenny Craig": These are diets. You get the idea.
A Meta-Diet, however, is one that helps one to select components within a spectrum of foods. Blood Type science has produced certain data I choose to use when deciding what to eat/order/buy, from "Avoid" to "Beneficial". If I were to so choose, I certainly could "do" Atkins or SouthBeach or Macrobiotics (etc.) WITHIN the larger context of the, in my case, B parameters.
Personally, I eat foods from both ends of the spectrum, choosing to buy foods from the Beneficial end and, if necessary, to eat so-called "Avoid" foods that are served me in certain settings, i.e., I'm a good guest, uninterested in boring my host with Diet-Talk irrelevant to the "theme" of our dealing and uninclined to inconvenience others with dietary demands.
At a restaurant, I simply don't, as a rule, order "Avoids": Does that make me a "dieter"? Hardly.
Usually, people who dine with me have no idea I'm following any dietary principles. It's only when I eat with the same person repeatedly that I may have to refuse constantly-offered chicken or tomatoes, for example: Only then is my "pattern" evident. I'm happy this way. I don't seem to be capable of becoming a tedious/one-track thinker or companion.
Recently I attended a dinner party where everything served was, it so happened, B-friendly: What a pleasure! But I knew two of my dinnermates to be Type A, yet in very good health. For them the filet mignon was clearly not BTD-compliant. But they don't use BTD principles, and they enjoyed it. I did not take it upon myself to bring this to their attention; I'm grateful that they were attending this function: Their presence was a delight! We all had a wonderful time. They happen to know I use D'Adamo's guidelines, and I'm sure I'm the one they'll ask, if they're ever inclined to investigate these. But I thoroughly enjoyed their company and the evening.
Yesterday I attended a gathering at which people's health-matters were mentioned in several separate areas of the setting. In one corner, a young man was commenting about the apparent weight loss of an older gent. "Yes, in fact I've lost 24 lbs: Eleven more to go!" I asked the latter how he'd lost the weight, and he said a friend had advised him to skew his diet away from "carbs" and toward protein and low-fat dairy. Of course, I asked if he knew his blood type.
Him: O negative.
Me (enthused): No WONDER you've lost that weight. It so happens that you're eating relatively right for your blood type - Great! And, as an O, you're especially needing to exercise, too -- How's that going?
Him: Actually, I know I need to exercise. It'll help me lose these last 10 or 11 lbs. BUT: Quite frankly, I don't seem to have ANY energy. I just can't bring myself to do much of anything...
Me: As much for your spirits as for your physical health, you O's need to get exercise. Would you LIKE me to make some energy suggestions applicable to you?
Him: Sure! Please do!
At his prompting, I went on to suggest he forego the dairy, cut out wheat and gluten, and enjoy plenty of greens and berries (these are "carbs", friends), while maximizing fish and lean red meat. I asked about his medications, and he mentioned Lovastatin. I told him about the CoQ10-depletion resulting from statin use, and he admitted having heard alot of good stuff about CoQ10; he'd been wondering about it: I told him to bring it up with his MD. Then I offered to help him grocery-shop and to give him a list of supplements and exercises to discuss with the MD. Am I "putting him on a diet"? It seems I'm just tweaking what he's already doing. (Q: Why? A: Because he's INTERESTED.)
In another corner of the room, allergies were being discussed. One man was suffering from laryngitis and general chest congestion. "It happens every year, just a fact of life". He proceeded to defend his Being Allergic, an aspect of his identity he seemed reluctant to lose, when I asked him his blood type.
Man: O positive, but that's just the way it is: C'est La Vie.
Me: Many O's suffer from allergies.
Lady: I'm O too! I also have allergies. So?
Me: So, it's possible to adjust one's diet so as to improve one's condition.
Man: Yeah, well. It's just the way it is. I've ALWAYS, all my life, had 'em.
And That Was That. See my blog: 1/27/06: "Art of the Pause", to see why I did not pursue this further with him. If this man had shown a glimmer of interest, I might have advised him to try going dairy- and wheat-free (not really a Diet) WITHIN WHATEVER HIS current programme happens to be. HIS, not mine. "Meta".
Aside: BTW: Here's an update from "Art of the Pause", mentioned above:
Remember Nancy, the young O Whole Foods employee who'd shown interest in the BTD, whom I'd advised to drop her cottage cheese-y wheat-rye-bready breakfast and substitue farmer cheese and 100% rye? Well, she hasn't taken me up on that. She still loves that breakfast, and still has her lifelong companion: Good Ol' Reliable "Sinus Trouble". And that's ok with me, because it's ok with her.
Both she and the allergic "Man", above, really need, and in fact deserve, to pursue what's important to THEM, and that's what matters...MORE THAN HEALTH!!
There are some who'd say, "But it's not 'loving' to 'go along with' people damaging their health". I disagree. They haven't come to me to consult me about their health. They've got other fish to fry, maybe (see my 5/20/06 blog: "'Balance': If Beethoven Had Practiced Feng Shui") they're prolific composers of symphonies, painters of frescoes, or the equivalent...
People are usually happy with their diets until and unless they become gravely or chronically ill or obese. Who am I to interfere with that Happiness? Being The Picture of Physical Health is the goal of but a minority. One of the aspects of Blood Type Medicine I greatly appreciate is its applicability to the unique lives and lifestyles of (utter) Individuals.
I'm not right and Nancy wrong. Nancy daily partakes of a breakfast that delights her. That delight is part of life too: Hers.
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