Occasionally, through no fault of my own, I've eaten tomato products that were served to me outside my home. I remember one case, in which there was a light smear of ketchup already on my hamburger. Another involved a "Spinach Pesto Lasagna", chosen over the regular Tomato Meat Lasagna, that turned out to be a tomato-sauced meat-free lasagna with a spinach-pesto-marked "X" on its surface, squeezed from a pastry tube!
One does not expect to be handed a pre-sauced hamburger, or for Pesto Lasagna to be a marinara-sauced affair. I could have rejected either dish and demanded a tomato-free meal in its place, but I ate both. On these occasions, I'd say I took in about 1/2 teaspoon of ketchup and a tablespoon-and-a-half of marinara sauce, respectively. And I'm the wiser, should I ever again find myself in similar situations, to be alert to such possibilities. Simple, right?
Though I'm not alone in my liberality, I sense there are hypercompliant types who'd easily send back the burger or the lasagna, demanding the tomato-free expectation be met. These folks are willing to wait another 15 minutes or more for the replacement to be prepared and served them, as if that teaspoon or tablespoon might derail the trajectory of their health's improvement. It is this notion of the trajectory, I believe, that we find at the crux of the Compliance issue: Does a small bump in the road upset the whole journey?
It's a spiritual matter, actually. For some, it's as if permitting the teaspoon of ketchup to enter one's mouth were to be as concertedly avoided as some grievous sin that would seriously compromise one's entire life of faith! (And one would hope that their vigilance re: "Avoids" would indeed carry over to their moral life; likewise resilience in the face of failure.) It does have an almost "superstitious" quality, like the tennis player who is convinced he lost the match because, back in the 5th game of the first set, his second serve wasn't preceded by four bounces.
Did the ketchup distract and derail my general compliance? Not at all. A mere blip on the screen. Did it lead me to crave ketchup on all future burgers? No.
Sometimes perspective is called for. Laughter is good, too.
One of the things I so appreciate about Dr. D'Adamo's books is the supplement guides. The number of nutritional supplements available to us American consumers is truly staggering and can be overwhelming at the shops; D'Adamo's advice for supplements appropriate to each blood type for a given purpose is not only welcome but phenomenally accurate.
Indeed, one of the most convincing factors affecting my initial trust in his work was his touting Magnesium so broadly for Type B. I quote here what I then read in Eat Right 4 Your Type, p. 178:
"Magnesium is the catalyst for the metabolic machinery in Type Bs. It's the match head -- what makes Type Bs metabolize carbohydrates more efficiently. Since you are so efficient in assimilating calcium, you risk creating an imbalance between your levels of calcium and magnesium. Should this occur, you find yourself more at risk for viruses (or otherwise lowered immunity), fatigue, depression, and, potentially, nervous disorders. In these instances, perhaps a trial of magnesium supplementation (300-500mg) should be considered."
I had, solitarily, "discovered" magnesium at least a dozen years before I'd heard of Dr. D'Adamo, and was already using it as my own, idiosyncratic, nutritional tonic. P. 178 of ER4YT almost singularly sold me on D'Adamo. But there was more.
On the following page he names Licorice first among phytochemicals appropriate for B. Again, many years previously, I'd discovered Licorice tea in a tea catalogue from which I'd thereafter ordered it by mail and enjoyed it as my (quirky) herbal beverage ever since...
Well, since discovering and adhering to the BTD, I've had occasion to discover other supplements -- and weed out options inappropriate for my type -- as well as to find my personal preferences repeatedly confirmed by Dr. D'Adamo as of great medicinal value to Type Bs. More examples of his prescribing, for B, my own established preferences:
- Epsom Salt Baths
- Evening Primrose Oil (fem. balance for all types)
- Ghee (Likewise, for all types)
ONE such confirmation might have been deemed a coincidence. But NINE?? (I've also since benefitted from supplements I only discovered FROM Dr. D'Adamo, including Larch and elderberry...)
And then I added his confirmations of my practice of SINGING and my choices of tennis, walking, t'ai chi, and dance for stress reduction and exercise, and I knew that my many years of selecting and self-prescribing components of my lifestyle and "program" had brought me to where I could consider his work an extraordinarily excellent fit, and, indeed, marvellously accurate and trustworthy.
I can say that over the past several years, I've seen this excellent fit between D'Adamo's contribution and my friends, family, acquaintances, and clients numerous times. In fact, a current client, and her husband, and her mother, are all downright amazed to learn from me just how D'Adamo's work jibes with what they know to be true about their own diets, diseases, constitutions, and practices. They have visited the website and, yes, ordered his book(s)!
It's this Confirmation of the established intuitions and practices of health-conscious adults in my orbit that is so convincing and satisfying. It's but one of the reasons I don't usually view the acceptance/adoption of the BTD as a "conversion". All too often, I hear, "I KNEW that!" and "Incredible! I already eat that way!"
There's something to be said for eating what you're served. And when you're a tourist, to some extent it's a good standard of conduct. Sometimes it'll be a matter of choosing the least of all evils: The O can "pass" on the bread, the A on the beef, etc., where possible...but it isn't always so.
Some hosts may take it as an insult if you don't "fill your plate", and, I have to say, you may miss something extraordinary. If you're not ill, think "Tier One" when you travel, understanding that you may have to expand on that, to take in a "serious Avoid", perhaps daily. Enjoy your trip and take "Deflect", I say.
Despite my B loyalty, there's a particular Palestinian chicken dish I wouldn't refuse if it were offered to me under ANY circumstances. It's a regional specialty requiring not only alot of time and experience, but...unspeakable love. It's an HONOR to be served this dish, and, once you've tasted it you may actually, as I did, weep. OK? I might select something different at a restaurant, but if someone's Palestinian mother were to serve it to me, I'd melt. In NO case would I refuse to taste it.
If I were at a Sicilian trattoria and I were told "Today we're serving the Specialty of the House: Blah Blah Marinara etc.", I'd never be so picky/gauche/B-fanatic to say: "No marinara for me, thanks". The rationale would NOT be: "Hey, I'm on vacation, so I'll feast on Avoids". It would be this: "I've CHOSEN to be the guest, this week/month, of numerous hosts. Some are more personal than others and might take offense at my rejecting their hospitality". And then, "WOW! I'm REALLY in SICILY!!!"
And, if there's a very, very special dish in a less "personal" restaurant/buffet setting, e.g., couscous or bisteeya in Morocco, bouillabaisse in Marseille, paella in Barcelona, I'd be at least willing to TASTE it on the side! Why? Just to indulge the proprietor? No. There are other reasons.
To have an Experience: You're not at some formulaic AmerItalian chain: This is The Real Thing: Wake up! Cuisine is an essential aspect of ANY culture. To be unwilling to TASTE the marinara sauce of a Sicilian host who's proud of it, whose ancestors have perfected the recipe over generations, defeats the purpose of Tourism, no? It, in effect, carries an attitude of "closedness" to new things that doesn't quite jibe with the whole notion of Leisure Travel, does it? (Is it even POSSIBLE to know a place without tasting its signature dishes?)
Maybe I'm saying that really sick people shouldn't be tourists, and that if you're ill, you should consider postponing that sojourn in Provence 'til you're better. And that if you're NOT ill, you shouldn't be the guest of anyone you've misled to believe you ARE. Think about it: "I can't eat this" "I can't eat that" (?) - or - "Wherever I go, I just order broiled salmon and rice, daily..." Is THAT the way to learn, experience? And yet another angle is: Is that the way to endear your hosts to Americans?
See, there are 3 questions most American tourists don't ask themselves:
(1) "What am I saying, what is my conduct demonstrating, to non-Americans,about 'American Tourists'?"
(2) "What am I learning about the host culture? How many personal interactions am I actually having with regular local people? How much 'inside information' am I taking away from my travel experience?"
(3) "If the above two issues are meaningless to me, why am I a tourist?"
This "We-carry-our-own-food, thank-you" attitude is really off-putting, anti-social, and actually savors (globally) of Imperialism. It says "We might set up our own versions of 'fast food' all over your cities and towns, but we sure don't stoop to eat what you mistakenly/ignorantly call 'Food'." I wonder: Do many American tourists know how to comport themselves as GUESTS? And are we sensitive to avoid giving the impression of Conquerors?
Spend some time daydreaming before you embark on that whirlwind tour. Imagine yourself being invited by locals, all over the world, to enjoy the very best that their countries have to offer. Then imagine yourself open to, and meriting, those invitations. See yourself accepting the fact that many, if not most, of those experiences involve the sharing of food. It means leaving the beaten path, choosing the road not taken, being open to surprises.
Unless, of course, your diet's pristineness is sacrosanct, in which case your parameters must remain restricted; food serves a socially separative rather than convivial role in your life, in which case: Stay home and remain "compliant". That might be the best option for the ill, whether physically or spiritually. Or: Drop down to Tier One Compliance that you're willing - on sheer whim - to ignore, if "kismet" so require. Now THAT'S an Adventure!
The real Von Trapp family had a somewhat different history than that described in The Sound Of Music. For one thing, Maria married Georg Von Trapp in 1927, years (rather than weeks) before Anschluss (Nazi Invasion of Austria, March, 1938); for another, Von Trapp lost a huge fortune when, a couple of years after his marriage, the Austrian bank collapsed, a bank he had generously shown his good will as it faltered, by transferring ALL of his millions into it from safety in England!
Suddenly, Baron Von Trapp owned only real estate: Substantial, yes, but entirely earmarked for his children's future; his liquidity was gone. The children went from being privileged progeny of the nobility to responsible and enthusiastic pitchers-in: "Aren't we lucky, Georg", said the real Maria, "that we lost that money! How would we ever have found out what fine fellows the children are?"
She began to experience a strange elation. "What's the matter with you?" exclaimed her husband. "You act as if you had made a million dollars!" "Oh, much more" [she] said. "I have just found out that we were not really rich; we just happened to have alot of money. That's why we can never be poor. I'm so happy to know that we don't belong to those for whom it is so hard to enter the Kingdom of God".
Georg was tense and angry throughout the early days of their austerity, and Maria only upset him more with her insistence that he was, in fact, fortunate: "For all the money in the world, you couldn't have found out who your real friends are, and now you know". This made him, finally, laugh heartily, as, indeed, his aristocratic "friends", distancing themselves from him, wanted nothing to do with him, dreading his need.
The summer following Anschluss, Maria was ill and pregnant, refusing, against the Munich (Nazi) specialist's prescription, to have an abortion; he'd told her assuredly that the baby would certainly not survive and that her own life, too, was in grave jeopardy (as, for political reasons, her husband's was about to be)... The Doctor ordered "a very strict diet" (ALAS: I don't know of what it consisted!), to bring down her blood pressure. The whole family observed a "diet" of constant prayer, as well.
So: Here was Maria, in Munich, entering her "second trimester", ordered to rest, take it very easy, and maintain a rigid, specialized diet. She and Georg left the Doctor's office and strolled to the nearby Nazi Art Exhibit, which all schoolchildren would be required to attend. The display being very upsetting to them, they afterwards retired for refreshment to an adjacent Biergarten, where, to their shock, one of the men at the next table was: Der Fuhrer.
- On that same day, Georg opened a letter from the Reich, commissioning his service to establish a submarine base "eventually" in the Mediterranean Sea.
- On the same day (!), his son Rupert (who had graduated from Medical School two days before the invasion) also received an official government letter, offering him a prestigious medical position in Vienna.
- Later that week came this announcement: The Family had been chosen to represent the "Ostmark" (Nazi appellation for Austria), singing at Hitler's birthday party the following April.
Each of these "opportunities" meant huge financial rewards, not to mention restoration to social prominence, after several years of being poor, shunned, and humiliated.
The family conferred:
- "Will we have to say 'Heil Hitler'?"
- "Will we have to sing the Nazi anthem?"
- "Will we be forbidden to sing any songs with 'Christ' in them?"
- "Can we remain anti-Nazi while we accept their money and praise"?
Georg concluded: "You can't say no to Hitler three times -- It's getting dangerous". And here are his words, as quoted by his wife, when, days later, the Archbishop counseled the family to flee Austria AT ONCE: "We have now the precious opportunity to find out for ourselves whether the words we have heard and read so often can be taken literally: 'Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His justice; and all these things shall be added unto you" [Matthew 6:23].
The VERY DAY AFTER the family had fled over the Italian border, the Austrian borders were closed: No one could leave the country anymore.
From Italy, the Von Trapps went to England, where, in September, they obtained tickets, as an advance against promised vocal performances in the US, to sail to New York. The Atlantic passage was choppy and uncomfortable. The pregnant Maria, on no diet in particular, dedicated herself to learning the most basic English.
Once in America, the refugee family immediately went on tour (via bus - and I don't mean "Air Conditioned Motor Coach"!). So much for "rest...diet...". They consumed plenty of insipid American "coffee" and diner food.
Again, Maria learned: "It was even beautiful at times to be regarded as poor, because one discovered such riches in one's neighbor's heart, and there was so much genuine love around".
Insisting on a home-birth (as, in Europe, hospitals were only for the seriously ill and wounded, nor would an American hospital permit her husband to hold her hand throughout labor, nor -- get this -- the entire family to sing chorales and to pray in an adjacent room!), Maria gave birth to Johannes Georg (10 lbs, 2oz), the first American Von Trapp, at a new friend's house in Germantown, Pennsylvania, during Christmastide: The Doktor in Munich was WRONG: Mother and baby had survived an UNIMAGINABLY stressful pregnancy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Especially for spiritual reasons, I love these, and other, stories, taken from Maria's book, The Story of the Von Trapp Family Singers [NY, Dell, 1949]. Her faith was great enough to entrust her life, and that of her unborn child, to God, rather than to endanger this huge and principled family's liberty and moral integrity by following doctor's orders and staying put.
The American food Maria ate during the last months of her pregnancy was...pretty junky. And perhaps at times our own dietary decisions can and should be based on MANY, or OTHER, considerations. Often, in real life, we cannot afford to scruple about diet at all and must bow to more urgent priorities; in these cases, we mustn't be afraid to "let go and let God":
"Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" [Matthew 6:25-26].
And, a few verses down from these (v.33), we find the verse Baron Von Trapp decided to test, on the day he, his precariously pregnant wife, and their children, fled Austria with, literally (can you IMAGINE?!), only the (Tyrolean hiking) clothes on their backs:
"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you".
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Our Father: "Give us this day our daily bread"...and may it be blessed to our nourishment, as we receive it with thanksgiving:
"For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer" [I Tim. 4:4,5].
He fed John the Baptist in the desert, on locusts and wild honey; Elijah had to subsist, in the wilderness, on whatever was miraculously brought to him by ravens! If we depend upon God, and He provide us with food, any food, in Him it is utterly pure, and nothing to be..."Avoided"!
Je suis le régime GS exactement, "Niveau Un": Normalement, je ne mange pas les "à éviters". Quant aux "Eviters" majeures (poulet, cecis, cacahuètes, lentilles, tomates, sésame): Je ne les mange plus; je ne les achète jamais, Tout Simplement.
Hier, lorsque je crevais de faim (Mme La Sauteuse-De-Repas, encore), on m'a présenté un déjeuner presque tout-à-fait anti-B. Voilà ce qui était sur l'assiette:
A éviter: Poulet, tomates, cecis et hummous, sauce sésame.
Autrement: Salade, pain pita, épinards, fromage feta...etc.
Je regardais ce plat, étonnée, et je riais à haut voix! Ayant une faim radicale, je l'ai tout mangé avec un coeur reconnaissant, et c'était bon.
A dix heures ce soir, chez moi, j'ai décidé de prendre mon dîner/souper: Quelque chose de typique: Un petit morceau de saumon grillé et 2 ou 3 asperges (les restes d'hier soir), un "mini-bagel" grillé au beurre, et un demi verre de vin rouge (Shiraz australien).
Dessert: Un petit bol de "fromage-de-fermier", avec les canneberges et une tranche d'ananas. Comme digestif: Du thé au gingembre.
Ahhh. Que cela me va!!
Je ne suis pas un de ces gens qui tombent malades après avoir mangé les "à eviters". Mais, j'admets que je me sens uniquement contente, satisfaite, après un repas "bénéfique"!
Je n'ai pas pris du café aujourd'hui. Je commence à me coucher plus tôt le soir.
Et , oui, ça fait presque 3 semaines depuis mon débranchement de la télé. C'est ainsi que je complète pas mal de projets à la maison recemment. Il est remarquable, et je le recommande comme jeûne. (Oui, le Carême est presque passé - mais - une bonne idée pour ceux qui diffèrent face à de grosses tâches!)
Autrement: La semaine dernière, j'ai commandé, à emporter, les côtelettes d'agneau tandooris à un restaurant indien voisin. Elles étaient formidables, pleines de parfum fumé: Je les ai plongé dans le raïta, accompagnées du pain naan, avec des oignons. Mmmm....
Je suis reconnaissante cette semaine - comme toujours, grâce au Seigneur - pour l'Agneau de Dieu, oblation et sacrifice acceptable à Dieu, en odeur de bonne senteur: La Véritable Nourriture (Le Suprême Bénéfique, si vous voulez).