Archives for: October 2009, 28
My quest to genotype 50 people has been more challenging then I care to admit. I tried to put a few flyers around some of my local haunts but I did not get one call. So my new strategy has been to find people with large social networks (or big mouths) who need to lose weight or have expressed that they just don't feel good. My hope has been that one person would tell the next and they would come streaming in all wanting to know the secrets of their personal diet. It has not been that simple because many of my friends have given up on losing weight due to so many failed diets and being menopausal. Still I continue to bother them and have no shame in telling them that they need to shed a few pounds; that their future health and well-being is important enough to invest in.
My consultations with people go something like this...
First, I let them know it will take about 2 hours for the initial consultation. In the beginning I didn't tell people this and soon learned that they were, more often than not, stopping by between picking up kids and getting home to dinner. These distracted people are really hard to work with. I also realized some people need to know all the details while others just want the diet without the research behind it.
For those who want to know the whys and why nots, I have found Eric Morrison's blood type movie to be quite helpful. I can sit people down to watch the movie and know that in the end they have some basic understanding for the food choices. I have had a very good response to the video; two people actually watched it twice. Eric's “Explaining the Blood Type Diet” runs about 45 minutes so during that time I make a cup of tea for my guests to enjoy while watching, and then I get everything ready to measure and fingerprint them.
Once the film is finished I answer any questions and then take their health history. It’s interesting to see that many people don't really understand what diseases they have. I find many who are on blood pressure medication will deny they have high blood pressure because in some quirky way they consider it irrelevant if they take medication. They don’t realize that meds often only mask the disease. This is also common for those with high cholesterol who keep their condition under control with a prescription. Inquiring about their medications or the results of any tests they may have had is a good way to know their underlying health conditions.
Once I have their medical history I begin the body measurements; my husband Jeff helps me with this. I have a chair already measured that I know is 17 inches high so I always have them sit in that chair, it is my genochair. Standing and sitting height, weight (I let them write it down rather then say it), finger lengths, head measurements, waist, hips etc… Having witnessed Dr. D'Adamo and his team of interns measure people at the University of Bridgeport helped me understand the proper way to measure people, particularly leg bone length. I take all the information I need for an accurate Genotype and record it on a 5”x8” index card my husband created that contains data on one side and fingerprints on the other.
While I measure them I have a short discussion on what the measurements mean, this is often a bit abstract for most people. Getting them to understand how body measurements will somehow relate to the foods they can and can't eat is the most difficult part. They often look a little blankly at me, trusting that I know what I am doing. (I will mention Manning just incase they want to go look him up for more information.)
Once finished, our first visit is over.
In the beginning I used to figure out the genotypes of people and give them their diets all at the same time. But I have found that most people need some time to think through what we have discussed. The time between measuring and the receiving of their food lists helps them to prepare psychologically. It also gives me time to speculate what foods they might have questions about.
During the second meeting I go over the diet page by page. In this way I can address any initial concerns they have regarding its content. I like to show people the food on their lists that may not be familiar to them, so I make sure I have a few of those items around the house. I’ve even reached into my freezer to show them grass-fed beef or homemade flax meal bread. Samples sometimes become part of this second visit. O's always want to know where the bread is and A's want to see the fruit and vegetable list. Many A's have never eaten tofu or if they have it has only been served in some unappealing way. O's begin to freak out when they see the list of carbohydrates and wheat is in the red avoid section. This is when I begin to pull out bags of quinoa or millet to show them what they can have. Initially I was unprepared for the response of O's, thinking everyone would embrace the idea of not eating wheat, but the media has ingrained in us the idea that we can't live without wheat in our diets.
This sharing of information is the part of genotyping I enjoy most because I am able to impart years of food knowledge, both my own and from Dr. D’s work, with people. I send them on their way, knowing that in a few days they will be calling me as they wonder what ghee is, or how to buy fresh fish. And gladly I will be ready to share what I know.
When I told someone I was contemplating the start of a support group and possibly cooking classes so we can share our knowledge collectively, I could see excitement in her eyes. At moments like those I know I am in the right place and doing what I love.