Category: Type B
Last night we ate at an atypical Mexican restaurant with amazing food. It looked to me as though persons of every blood type could wrest a multi-course meal from its bold, extensive menu.
Called "Mamacita's", it is located in San Francisco's "yuppiest" neighborhood - The Marina. It was a Monday night, and the place was packed. There was a busy bar scene, too, viewed from afar.
We started with a shared appetizer of grilled scallops, served with a black bean coulis, a variety of tiny, kumquat-sized potatoes of various colors, miniature (Japanese?) artichokes, and grilled pencil asparagus. The scallops (a Nomad superfood) were dense and beefy, and very flavorful: The best scallops I've ever had. I wasn't crazy about the artichokes. For a B-nomad, the scallop/asparagus combination was perfect.
Then I actually passed over the lamb and kale taco for the carne asada taco, being in the mood for steak. It featured Niman ranch "organic" beef, a chili sauce, arugula, and flecks of goat cheese. David (type O) ordered the duck leg taco, with a sweet barbecue sauce and fruity slaw. The meat was perfectly marinated, very moist.
Okay, so we did order margaritas and enjoyed the chips and (tomato) salsa prelude. It would be worthwhile to go back to try the lamb, the mahi mahi, the various tuna dishes...
A Mexican restaurant with something for any and everyone. "Avoids" are easily dodged here; there's so much to choose from, and virtually everything is grilled. Clean food. Hooray!
I confess: I've never really sweat this diet much. I've been more or less compliant at different points along this 14-(!) year-long path thus far. I go a year here or there without a tomato product, and then a year of having some tomato sauce once a month - much longer without peanuts, buckwheat or lentils - that sort of thing. But I generally opt for my beneficials wherever possible. Dr. D'Adamo has written that he doesn't have a problem with 60-70% compliance as the norm for someone in good health - as we B-secretors so often are! So I'm no stickler.
Maybe B is the easy blood type. We're the most omnivorous, after all, and we're frequently recognized for easy-goingness and "balancedness". That holds true for me, thanks be to God.
Being of the Nomad genotype, I've found that diet to open up even more former avoids to occasional use.
I generally avoid most: Corn, soy, buckwheat.
I'm not a big bread-eater.
I don't go for hard liquor.
I lay low on tomatoes, pork, lentils, peanuts, shellfish.
But most important is that I favor lamb, turkey, fish, eggs and beef as my animal foods, plus some dairy, almonds as my nuts, rice as my starch, that sort of thing. I favor beneficial vegetables and fruits over "avoids". I favor green tea over black, generally. I drink coffee on-again-off-again (usually year-long breaks between months-long morning coffee ways). I don't smoke or take medications/drugs.
I think it's important to remember that any American who generally opts (as I do) against corn, soy, chicken, tomatoes, pork and shellfish, say, is already an oddball. To add plenty of other items to that list is really unusual. And then to favor one's beneficials goes a lot further. So I'm definitely "on board" with D'Adamo, even though I'm casual about it.
If you're one of those B's who takes an approach similar to mine and is also sensitive to the positive effects of certain permitted foods (the energy-zap of hot peppers, for instance, or the power-station that is eggs), then there's room for you, too, at the dadamo table, IMO. Pull up a chair.
From the Blog Journal: November 2009
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Recently I've tried some new bites: Here's what is B-good and I've really enjoyed:
- Salmon Fajitas at Chevy's Fresh Mex: Delicious grilled salmon, bell peppers and onions. Chevy's also has a number of salads. You can get one with their grilled salmon: What a treat.
- Horseradish Cheddar: A local deli sells this. It's marvelous sliced and rolled with thin-sliced roast beef. You can then slice it in strips and toss it with a salad.
- Dill Havarti: Melt this over an open-faced roasted turkey or salmon sandwich. It's somewhat creamy and delicate.
- Pepper Jack: Another pungent winner. Wakes everything up. Re-discover it.
- Salmon Pakoras: An Indian restaurant takes chunks of tandoori-roasted salmon, dips them in a thin (uh oh) bajri batter (contains garbanzo flour) and flash fries them.
- Paneer Pakoras: They do the same thing with slices of Indian cheese.
(But you don't have to batter and fry tandoori salmon, which is usually so yummy on its own. And you can fry paneer in ghee with some spices; easy to reheat and slice thin, serve with chutney.)
I notice LAMB showing up on all sorts of cuisines' menus these days. All the Chinese restaurants are featuring it now.
Some favorite "ethnic" restaurant-Lamb dishes are:
- Boti Kebob (Tandoori Lamb Cubes)
- Shawerma (Middle Eastern roasted lamb, sliced and served - usually - in a pita sandwich with a vegetable salad. Sometimes it's mixed with beef.) VERY savory!
It's rare that I find myself eating a lamb leg roast or a rack of chops, though I do roast chops or tenderloin at home, and I also like lamb burgers. A number of San Francisco restaurants are serving lamb burgers now; it's definitely a trend.
B's: Do keep your eye open for Rabbit. Especially à la Moutarde in French/Burgundian restaurants, served in a copper terrine, generously sauced. This is so...soothing. It may be the ultimate B comfort food. I've tried making rabbit myself. I dunno. The bunnies this prime butcher has tend to be skinny: Very little meat on the bones. So it's a strictly restaurant option for me. If you can find a good place to order it, go often and bliss out!
We're deep into game season. Go somewhere top notch and order roast loin of venison with a port/berry reduction. Maybe you'll have dreams about your ancestors and their fire-roasted gazelles.
I wasn't really thrilled to be B, or any type I might have been, as long as I was "doing-things-with" most of the right ingredients, until the Epiphany, with which I really have to credit Dr. Robert Atkins, the breakthrough-messenger in this regard: "It's okay to eat outside the Low-Fat box." For me that box, of whose tyranny I'd been quite unconscious before, was labelled "Full Fat Dairy Is Forbidden".
Frankly, I'd preferred whole milk to reduced-fat all my life, but only permitted myself to guiltfully buy the occasional quart, and I indulged my taste for it chiefly in two places: Half-and-half in my coffee, and -- rarely -- an ice cream treat, again: Knowing it's "not good for" me.
After scanning Bob's book last summer, I made different choices at the dairy department that very evening: I bought heavy cream and full-fat yogurt and sour cream. And, indeed, the ensuing weight loss was -- dramatic! (In the past, whenever I've wanted to lose weight, I've used a terrific weight loss "diet". It includes lots of dairy, but all skim or almost-skim. Not really satisfying.)
But here's what this B has discovered: I LOVE preparing cream sauces, creamy dressings and desserts. I LOVE paneer amidst my curries, and sour cream on my manna toast, with fruit. The guilt is gone: I openly and unabashedly look forward to feta cheese dressing on my beets, and I've invented a bedtime cordial that is very calming and satisfying: A shotglass of cream (occasionally diluted with cold spicy (leftover) herb tea).
In sum, I decided to indulge myself in my inherited right to really ENJOY dairy, not just "permit it, low-fat". And once I began doing so, I confirmed that the BTD is not so much about dodging lectins and "avoids": It's about, indeed, coming fully into one's genetic individuality and brazenly enjoying whatever parts of one's "beneficials"-spectrum seem to fit with THAT. My individuality -- not the Blood Type Diet -- is primary. A North American Pharmacal brochure puts it this way: "Dr. D'Adamo's research and the Blood Type Diet can help you...feel 'right' in your body, your mind and your world."
As a B, it dawned on me that the enjoyment of a way of eating that featured dairy CENTRALLY was not only "to be tolerated" but, in fact, The Answer. I'd been thinking, like most Westerners, as an O: "What's my MEAT going to be? and I'll build the menu around that." The O hunter goes out and spears the deer, and all meals revolve around that carcass for a long time. But now I think as a B: "What's my milk, my cream, my cheese, my yogurt going to be?" The B shepherd/nomad goes out and milks his camels/horses/goats/sheep, drinks the milk, churns some butter, curdles some cheese, cultures some yogurt/kefir. These guys walk alot too, and they're in great condition. Instead of: "Cool! As a B I 'can-include-some' dairy, like a low-fat kefir drink or yogurt shake", I'm saying, "WOW! I can indulge in my favorite food! Hooray!"
Example: Instead of making a tomato sauce for my spaghetti (ho hum), I'm cooking a super-creamy veal and mushroom stroganoff and covering my parsleyed egg noodles with it, next to the brussels sprouts and red wine. I'm thinking, "Those poor suckers who have to fall back on tomato sauce..."(Corollary: The way to stop missing your "avoids" is to start REALLY DIGGING your bennies!)
I'm learning a whole new way to everyday-cook. When I lived in Switzerland, I was semi-attached to my Californian metabolism, unable/unwilling to handle the "gruyère, gruyère, everywhere" ways of my friends..until NOW. (Timing is Everything.) Just as my BTD-compliant, type A, brother is admitting that he's just not honestly drawn to animal food anymore, I'm admitting that my particular B-inheritance has me enjoying the creamy milk of the flock, above and beyond all else: The milk is my centerpiece and shall take a much more central place in my every meal and snack.
Do you see how we tend to congratulate the O who identifies with the hunter/gatherer and "discovers" meat? and how we likewise praise the A who begins to really enjoy his tofu and veggies? but we address all sorts of caveats to the B who develops a cell-deep appreciation of the shepherd's way of eating? (Ever see a shepherd milk his goat and then skim off the fat before drinking it? What were we thinking????)
So, my B clanmates: Nonfat yogurt and skim milk as occasional snacks to form part of the periphery around a meat-centered diet (and those meats are supposed to be the wild stuff: venison and bunnies) may actually be unbalanced. Since I could, alas, find game and rabbits only seldom, I was spending pretty pennies on lamb, lamb, lamb and fish, fish, fish: Maybe that's your limbo-stage, too, in adhering to B. But it gets really FUN when you start saying, instead, from your deepest origins, "Look how much milk I've gotten from this cow: How can I use it creatively and satisfyingly?" and then ADAPTING your turkey leftovers or your fresh-caught cod to THAT. Pick up some paneer and say; "Where can I harvest some greens to make a saag?" and only THEN, go get your (smaller) pieces of meat and fish, and your veg/fruits/nuts...
You'll certainly be reading more from me on this topic. Meanwhile, Bob, wherever y'are: Thanks, Buddy.
Here in the United States, the incidence of ABO blood groups is estimated at approximately 44% O; 42% A; 10% B: and 4% AB. Whether one finds oneself in a majority type - O or A - or in a minority one - B or AB - goes a long way, I find, toward determining personality factors. In other words, bloodtype personalities are "the way they are" not only because of intrinsic factors, but also by virtue of their being embedded in large/extended or in small/isolated clans of typemates.
Both O's and A's harbor expectations that the world sees things the way they do; they're accustomed to a certain understood-ness amid society. Very simply put, O's want to win at the world's game, and A's want to be accepted within and facilitators of community. Both know that B's and AB's are "different", "quirky" in some way; O and A can't imagine being that out of step with the broader world.
B's and AB's, for their part, are accustomed to their differentness. But I have a theory that distinguishes the inner comfort and self-acceptance of the B from the apprehension and inner turmoil of the AB.
I posit that B, operating independently, skirting the larger, customary byways, is contented in that state and role, wearing it well, but that AB has trouble with such desires because of the A allele. AB's would like to be as straightforward in their unusualness as B's are, but they have this A-voice gnawing at them - A, the one who wants to fit in, to get along, to create community, to enjoy security. AB sees that B isn't as compromising or as equivocating, and envies B. AB wishes s/he could ditch the A self-expectation, the inner A's criticalness of inner B, in order to shine like the B, riding the wind -- OR -- that s/he could "outgrow" his/her B-differentness altogether and be included in the larger A-compliant world. You might find AB's alternating in their behavior toward B's: projecting orneriness against free, autonomous B acquaintances and family at times, and expressing a yearning to take off and run with the horses, too, at others.
Speaking of horses, anthropologic bloodtype archetypes portray this subtle variation too: B the utter nomad, AB the gypsy. The nomad is out there in the wilderness - deserts, steppes, mountains- watching stars shoot, clouds morph, dunes shift - while the gypsy is the oddball closer to civilization: The family washing clothes in the stream by its caravan at the city's edge, the accordionist with the dancing bear on the midtown corner, the fortune teller at the gate.
These archetypes also show how B and AB can find their level and contentment: B in not caring to justify himself to society, confident that the latter will use/absorb/ignore/reject what it chooses to of B's offerings and wares, and AB being pleased to amuse, or find a unique role within, the majority's society while proudly upholding his very staunch policy of caginess/aloofness. Playing by his own rules, as it were, within the larger system. Keeping a foot outside the box.
Both AB's and B's are passionate critters. AB's for their majority-wannabe A allele, however, are more conflicted, I think. If you're an AB or you love one, try these insights on for size. If you're, like myself, a B, your drifting isn't aimless: It may simply conform to patterns that transcend the era and the culture and the family you inhabit. Be true to it.