Category: Type B
In his Live Right 4 Your Type, Dr. Peter D'Adamo expounds briefly upon the few standout social/emotional qualities he has noticed, among patients and those around him, while emphasizing that these are not hard and fast rules.
As a B, I find it noteworthy - and remarkably true - that the other three bloodtypes manifest interpersonal reactivity when stressed, where B might experience only fatigue, for instance, or, at "worst", some fleeting internal discouragement or disgust.
We Bs represent only about 10% of the world population. According to Dr. D'Adamo, we are remarkably [emphasis mine] able to relax ourselves and reduce our own stress. When maladapting, we simply "become extremely tired, depressed and lacking in motivation". We are "unconventional thinkers...easygoing...able to take upsets in stride, keep [our] priorities in perspective, and understand [our] limitations, [be] less driven", and we "make sure to find time to relax". Unique to our blood type's description among the four, there's nothing here about social acting-out, venting against others, obsessing about how to deal with others, feeling defensive or anxious, desperation to please or to appear right.
What Dr. D'Adamo doesn't deduce, or express, however, is that Bs, therefore, are utterly surrounded by those who manifest complex and incomprehensibly emotionally-driven behaviors in their relations with others and with us -- people who blow up, melt down, act out, "play games" -- and these explosions, dramas and maneuvers can baffle us because our behavior is not similarly subject to unfathomed depths and motives, not similarly oriented toward manipulation of the other person's reaction. (Note that the Japanese Bloodtype Personality theorists link B to careers in Psychiatry - a career that would be dangerous, perhaps, for non-Bs to pursue!)
Even during my days of close work with postpartum women, the B client's most intense emotionality was generally a relatively quiet/retreating non-anxious and non-agitated depression, with a markedly evanescent and easily-dissipated course, when treated with adequate education on the part of a patient, calm teacher. O and A women were far more likely to experience complex transferences with the counselor, for instance.
You other types: Be jealous, perhaps, of the easygoing B. And understand that we often truly have no idea what you are churning or ruminating about (if you expect us to) by identifying with it or with you. We do not identify with that state, but we (a tiny subset of society) are expected to accept that those around us can be subject to numerous hot-buttons, pet-peeves, expectations and demands that drive symbolic, convoluted reactions.
Many's the friend who has told me my insights are uncanny. One MD friend had unsuccessfully consulted 3 psychiatrists in 3 different cities, for a life-wracking problem she explained to me over a snack one day, which, in less than a quarter hour I, in her word, "nailed". Do all Bs have this honed a skill? Only if we're observant in the relevant sphere. But I think we, to some extent, do all tend to see the world and its, ahem, realities, from something of a distance.
Perhaps we frustrate you with our equanimity. Would it help to view our "[discomfort] with rigid rules" (per Dr. D'Adamo) as a trait of a mysteriously alien Type amongst you, as if the Addams Family or the Solomon Family (from TV's Third Rock from the Sun) inhabited your world?
We're here, and we can actually help. Tap us and find out. Don't hate us. And if you decide to see a shrink, maybe you should choose a 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.