Posted by Peter D'Adamo for Sante_J.
I won't mince words: I'm on a junk jag. I'm feeling lazy and choose to order in or go for quick meals. I'll touch upon four "avoid" foods I've tasted -- truly tasted -- recently.
The first is popcorn. I've gone many years in a row with no popcorn. I don't miss it. But now that I've had some, I've discovered that it has a powerful taste with which I'm no longer familiar: It's CORNY! There's just no other way to describe it. The interesting thing about popcorn is: It's easy to eat without tasting it. You can focus on your movie or TV show. You can perceive it mostly texturally (a sensual marvel in itself). You can enjoy the butter or the salt or the herb-sprinkle. You can mindlessly scarf it down by the handful. But if you stop and focus, there's just no way around its sheer corniness. It's quite miraculous, really, that corn, burst from its kernel, tastes the way corn on the cob tastes, the way ground corn in chips tastes: Corny. And nothing else in the world does, or comes close.
The second is root beer. This is a subject worthy of its very own blog. I "discovered" root beer this spring. I'm sipping one right now. It's rather a delicacy for me, as an "avoid", and I relish it. A good root beer (this one is "Barq's Famous Olde Tyme...Since 1898")(it also contains corn syrup - I know - and it doesn't taste corny) brings out my inner perfumer. It has a dark, musty patchouli-like base, the requisite hint of birch, a vanilla roundness, and a spiking of clove. A sophisticated cordial, if well blended and properly appreciated. A top-notch root beer syrup could be a cocktail ingredient, extended, perhaps, with rum or certain whiskies.
Third is arabbiata or "fra diavolo" tomato sauce. The "diavolo" is in the peppers, and they're essential to complexifying a good marinara base, especially if undergirded by such suitable foils as crustaceans or a beneficial ocean fish such as halibut. Linguine marinara is fine, but just as easy is a jar of Rao's Arabbiata or Classico Spicy Pepper tomato sauce. Another way to add interest is to do as my Nana so masterfully did: Go Garlicky.
Fourth is vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. No: I don't like them lately. Haagen-Dasz vanilla frozen yogurt, Breyer's vanilla ice cream. Taste: Sugar, sugar, sugar (and probably corn syrup too, again!). A single note with no complexity. These might silkily enrich a fine root beer (as a "float") or take a brandy- or rum-based saucing, but alone they are no longer (Hooray!) a temptation. They'd do well to take on a textural garnish component, such as particularly raspy walnuts, with that rum sauce, or to be founded upon a spiced cake. Of the four recent avoids, solitary vanilla ice cream is the low scorer, by a wide margin (Then again, I'm not exactly advocating solitary tomato sauce!).
I could easily have hidden from you my little vices. But what I wanted to share was the art of fully experiencing one's food. Avoids are foods we may be better qualified to truly taste, for their being relative rarities in our long-term programs. And if you're going to "cheat", make it good!
Dr. D'Adamo says he waits all year for his wife Martha's stuffed cabbage, an avoid for him. I'll bet he really tastes it, too.
I've come to the realization that I find the 3-meals-per-day model oppressive. And I think it may be bloodtype-related.
We B's are outsiders, not settled village folk. Gathering 'round the breakfast and lunch tables may be ideal for farmers and shopkeepers, and even for some trappers and gatherers, but those of us on the move just reach down into our mounts' saddlebags - whenever - and grab a stick of jerky or a few dates or fermented milk.At day's end there's the more sociable fire, and, if the saluki dispatched a gazelle, there's a feast around the platter, otherwise a bunny, a lamb chop, or, most often, just some grain/bread and curds/whey and, later, coffee.
If you run the demographic numbers, you'll find that modern Bs are far less likely to be 9-to-5'ers than are As or Os. Bearing this in mind, you'll understand why those of us who do adapt to the standard workday struggle with what's called "meal skipping" until we (fitfully)adapt to essentially alien ways. But those of us out in the open pasture, the mountains, the deserts, aren't stopping the caravan midday to throw together what you'd call a meal.
So if you're type B and this is your (modern) situation, you might want to experiment with reconnoitering the portions into two real meals and a snack, or one real meal and two light ones. You may not be shepherding cattle down from the highlands or seeking an oasis in the Sahara, but maybe you're a freelance consultant visiting clients or an artist in a studio on your own natural timeclock with no mandated schedule. It's only my opinion and B-experience, but maybe, like this seasoned B, you've found yourself maladapting to the sit-down Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner standard on a permanent basis.
I float the hypothesis for you bloodtype health practitioners: Scan your files for B cases with meal-skipping tendencies. And bear this in mind: A number of ABO personality theorists remark that many B's are driven to focus on a project/task ( I call it "burrowing") for very long uninterrupted stretches, hours on end. Rather than simply notice it and smile about it, maybe we should be respecting it, not expecting Bs to break for a workout, as an O might, or a nap or yogic pose, as would an A, let alone for a meal.
I posit that Bs mealskip because of deeply rooted anthropologic-genetic factors, and that diets, and especially portions, should take this gene-linked tendency, this ingrained adaptation of a small percent of our population, into account. From my B point of view, we're not skipping anything. Though devotees of the currently dominant cultus chastise us ("You call that breakfast?!" or "Don't you want to stop for lunch now?"), it's only because they haven't eyes for the vast steppe we're traversing.
When tested over the long haul, the Blood Type principles deliver good health and digestive well-being. Then comes the point at which they are easily integrated into one's way of life. This is a major milestone for any diet.
How many follow Veganism until it damages their health? How many scruple macrobiotically until it alienates them from society? With the BTD, compliance is relatively easy, once one has hit one's stride.
I have Type B blood, and, over the years, I know increasingly how to grocery-shop, how to restaurant-order, and which nutritional supplements can benefit me. I know that after an all-Beneficial meal, I'll feel satiated, not full, and certainly not bloated. I also know -- and this is crucial -- which "avoids" to favor over others, in extenuating situtations, and what to expect in the way of immediate consequences.
Here at the top of my B game, then, one finds no tomato or corn or chicken products in my pantry, nor any lentils nor chickpeas nor peanuts. One finds, instead, an assortment of cheese/yogurt/milk products, some eggplant and/or bell pepper pestos/sauces, and lamb in the freezer. Fresh produce is brought in, such as kale, parsley, onion, lettuce, carrots, pineapple, plums, etc. Fresh fish, likewise. There is a large assortment of herbal and green teas (and some black ones, too). Etc. It's quite simple.
Simplicity and banality. The Blood Type Diet, ideally, in practice, becomes a boring subject! It is no more than the way I choose what to place in my shopping cart or to order at restaurants. Occasionally, one makes a discovery: A great way to serve venison, a good restaurant for rabbit, a particularly interesting aisle at the Indian grocery, a new variety of kale...but such discoveries await just about everybody. Once one has entered what may be called The Maintenance Phase of the Blood Type Diet, it becomes more and more of a "no-brainer". This is why the attainment of Maintenance status is such a worthy goal. It behooves one to search out the foodstuffs and venuies that shall support one's program over the long haul. Having done so, Life awaits.
Lucky you! You're a B on your way to a French bistro, café or fine dining experience, or, best of all, La Belle France herself! What can you expect? Loads of beneficials are available in French cuisine, constituting good reasons to find Gallic eateries in your vicinity.
As has become our habit, we'll first take a look at the French "staples".
Grains: Breads, noodles and pastries of wheat. Some rice, some buckwheat.
Fats: In the North: Butter; In the South: Olive Oil. Lard is also used.
"Fine" French food can be extraordinarily rich. I remember a number of great feasts, both in France and in top New York restaurants, that were "real occasions", but with long recovery times. Factor that in.
Meat: Lamb (leg of, rack of, saddle of, chops). Venison, in season. RABBIT!!! This is where to find those elusive benny meats, B's. Mutton, on location in France.
Seafood: Salmon, Sole, Mackerel, Sardines, Caviar...et al.
Dairy: Goat and sheep cheeses.
Oil: Olive (in the South)
Beans: Some Lima, in the North.
Vegetables: Carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, horseradish, parsley, parsnips, beets, and, in the South, eggplant and bell peppers.
Meat: Beef, veal, squab, pheasant, squab. On Tier One, pork sausages and bacon.
Fish: Scallops, escargot (on Tier One), Tuna, et al.
Dairy: Eggs. In the North: Butter. Many, many cheeses. Cream and crème fraiche (in sauces, soups, etc.)
Nuts/Seeds: Hazelnut (Tier One only), walnuts, almonds
Beans: White, green, flageolet, peas
Vegetables: Spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini (in South), winter squashes, celery, celeriac, turnips, leeks, endive, chicory, herbs
Fruit: Apple, pear, berries, currants, peaches, cherries
Condiments: mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard
Beverages: Wines. Beer (in North). Coffee, tea. Distilled spirits and fortified wines (Tier One)
Meat: Chicken, Chicken Stock, Goose, Duck, Quail.
Seafood: Snails (Tier Two), Anchovies, Mussels and other shellfish (bouillabaisse), frog, bass.
Dairy: Blue cheese
Grains: Buckwheat (in crepe flour)
Vegetables: Tomatoes, artichokes, olives, radishes
Condiments: Ground black pepper
Lamb with no tomato saucing
Loin of Venison
Rabbit terrine à la moutarde (This may, indeed, be your main motivation for going to a French restaurant!)
Tier One Only: Choucroûte (pork sausages and cabbage), an Alsatian treat
Cheeses, especially goat, in omelets and quiches, salads, and on a cheeseboard, with wine-matches.
Fresh and beautiful vegetables: Favoring the Bennies, also sometimes puréed in soup/coulis.
Salads (including Niçoise, sans tomatoes and olives)
This category shall address the standard offerings of a Greek/Turkish/Middle Eastern-Levantine/N.African sort of eatery (The provençal/mediterranean region of France shall be treated elsewhere). I don't claim to have covered all subregions, but I do think there's enough information here to assist you with most menus.
By now you are growing accustomed to approach any cuisine with the question, "What are its staple grains(s) and fat(s)?" In the Mediterranean region, we B's are blessed: Yes, we must stay away from most standard meze/appetizer platters (tabbouleh, falafel, baba ghanoush, tahini sauce/dressing, tomato salads), but a choice of beneficials-only meals is usually a possibility.
Grains: Rice is abundantly available. In the Western Mediterranean, a form of semolina called "couscous" is a specialty (not to be confused with "bulghur", which is an Eastern Mediterranean cracked wheat product, to be avoided). In the Eastern Mediterranean, pita bread is often served. Some restaurants offer Whole Wheat Pita, in addition to the white flour kind: Stick with the latter, if you're a wheat eater: Some B's avoid wheat, too, especially if overweight. ("Too much weight? Too much wheat!")
Fat: Ah, the Mediterranean: Home of the golden green elixir so dear to B's. We're on home turf now, when it comes to oils; don't worry about sautéed dishes here, where Olive Oil reigns.
Protein: Lamb, goat, mutton, sardines, mackerel, other fishes.
Dairy: Yogurt (in tsatsiki, etc.)( and called "labnah" in the Levant), Feta (in greek salad, spanakopita, etc.), cottage cheese
Oil: Olive Oil
Vegetables: Eggplant, Bell Peppers, Hot Pepper sauce (harissa), Carrots, Parsley.
Protein: Beef, Fishes (?carp roe? "Taramasalata")
Grain: Rice, couscous (semolina), white pita bread
Nuts/Seeds: Walnuts, almonds
Vegetables: Salads, spinach, onions, cucumbers, fennel, green beans, garlic, zucchini, herbs (thyme, oregano, marjoram, mint, etc.)
Fruits: Orange, lemon, figs, quince, dates, apricots
Beverages: Mint tea, wine, coffee, tea
Protein: Chicken/pigeon (and chicken broth in Avgolemono Soup, for example), Anchovy
Grain: Bulghur ("tabbouleh")
Beans/legumes: Chick peas ("Hummous", "Falafel", "Baba Ghanoush"); Lentils (watch out: sometimes mixed with rice in a "pilaf": Ask for Plain Rice)
Nuts/Seeds: Pistachio ("Baklava"), Pine nuts (sometimes hiding in a "Pilaf"); Poppy seeds, Sesame seeds ("Tahini" sauce/dressing, "halvah" dessert")
Ajvar (Balkan eggplant/pepper spread/relish)
Skordalia (garlic dip served with fried eggplant)
Lamb! Shish-kabob: Broiled, grilled. And if you can watch for hidden tomato and/or olives in a sauce, a Lamb Tagine! mmmm
Fishes: in a "charmoula" herb sauce, with plain rice and grilled eggplant
Spanakopita (filo appetizer stuffed with spinach and feta)
TsaTsiki: Yogurt/cucumber/parsley appetizer
Eggplant salad or grilled (NOT "baba ghanoush", which usually has a chick pea base)
Stuffed Grape Leaves (rice stuffing)
"Greek Salad" with no tomatoes or olives (Ask for lettuce, peppers, cucumber, onions and a chunk of feta cheese: A simple pleasure)
Baklava dessert if Walnuts are the only nut used
Bee Healthy, B's.