This is a follow-up to my 1 November 2010 blog, "BTD or GTD?"
Then and there, I wrote, "The jury's still out."
Well: It's back.
For this gal, it's BTD all the way.
Nor did I ever get with the SWAMI program (the computer program for individualizing one's plan according to Dr. D'Adamo's post-Blood Type research).
Back in 1996-97, I was excited - nay, galvanized - by D'Adamo's bloodtype teaching. His 1996 groundbreaking book,Eat Right 4 Your Type, is still a best-seller - Number 212 in sales at Amazon, almost 15 years post-initial publication! - for a reason. It resonates, and works, for millions of us.
It's more than diet: It's thinking. It's a cohesive way of seeing human life, gene-groups and migrations. I've always found the Genotype classifications to be hazier. On D'Adamo's website's forum, Genotype-SWAMI adherents admit that their classifications keep changing, over time, with all sorts of variable conditions. It's a program that defies group classification, and that's fine - even preferable - for many who desire to keep monitoring those factors.
Even the title of Dr. D'Adamo's last book has changed - from The Genotype Diet (the one I bought in 2008) to Change Your Genetic Destiny. While Dr. D'Adamo is of course not claiming to be able to alter anyone's genes, he is linking diet to the possibility of facilitating or hindering susceptibilities to illness and "premature" aging that are genetically sourced. There are those who enjoy learning and knowing about glycation and methylation, but nowhere near as many as believe the Blood Type model appropriate for their needs.
Eat Right 4 Your Type is readable and understandable - and followed - by people all over the world. It isn't for lack of grey matter that I am more comfortable with it than with the mutable computer program. Among bloggers at D'Adamo's site, I can be counted on to espouse, promote, and guide in Dr. D'Adamo's Bloodtype teachings, with the occasional foray into the Genotype diet, perhaps just to mention my use of or reaction to a component of the "Nomad" program from time to time.
The ER4YT/LR4YT bloodtype system stood me in good stead for nine years before I became a blogger here, and continued after I bought The Genotype Diet two and a half years later.
I still assist newcomers to Dr. D'Adamo's bloodtype work. And the beat goes on.
What goes into the experience of being a chef? Depending upon whether you work privately or at a restaurant, many skills beyond simply "knowing how to cook" are required. Many TV reality shows that feature cooking spotlight some of the elements of the chef's panoply of skills / talents. I thought I'd outline many of them here, for easy reference.
First, there's The Kitchen.
Equipment: Knowledge / Familiarity; Use / Maintenance; Placement / Organization.
Layout / Flow Pattern: Pantry, Walk-in Fridge; Reach-in Fridge; Freeze; Deep-Freeze; Prep Stations; Garde-à-Manger / Service; Front of the House; Washing. ...etc.
Health: Product sealing / storage of foodstuffs.
Economic ordering; Seasonal ordering; Meal Planning with leftover-processing in mind; Date-marking of all foods.
Safety (High Hazard Potential)
2. Fire / Heat
3. Spills / Spatters
4. Emergency measures
Kitchen Comfort / Ergonomics / Mood:
Special flooring, stool(s), Music/sound, height/other adjustments. Special attire.
Teamwork: Roles, tasks, strengths/weakness
Supervision of employees: Many of whom are young, novices to work force/ethic.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING: Getting it all out at the same time and the right temperature:
Computing starting time, employee arrival time, delineating and assigning all prep tasks to right staff and at the right time. Proper estimation of execution time, knowledge of cooking methods' time requirements and ingredients' responsiveness to those methods. Different service requirements of a meal's various components. Warming and waitstaff issues.
FRONT OF THE HOUSE: Psychology Will Take You Far.
Understanding that there is a particular psychology with respect to Restaurants.
You're dealing with Hunger, which affects the mind and behavior and feelings. You're dealing with Taste, which is a very personal matter. You're dealing with style and aesthetics of presentation of that food. Then there's atmosphere. A well managed Front will be flexible to time of day (differences between, say, a Rush- and a Fringe- hour) and will be staffed by sales people (wait staff) that are well-educated about the menu. A good chef must take the time to offer waiter tastings and explanations.
Plus: Here in America, "The Customer Is Always Right" is the order of the day. You want a manager on the floor who abides by that, ensuring that customers walk out happy, even enthusiastic. This requires a commitment to the Whole Experience, from the welcome greeting through Food, Drink, Music, Mood, Service to Farewell.
THEATRE: The curtain goes up. The front door opens. The door between Front and Back of the House is thin but ever-present. The audience is "out there", though every now and again a customer will want to see the chef. One must be ready and happy to interact with him/her.
I'm not addressing the Food itself here. But having backup dishes and knowing how to materialize great food under urgent conditions, should these arise (and they will, they will) is a priceless skill to have. Think: Readiness to feed the 5000.
Restaurant Psychology stands the chef or restaurant manager in good stead for just about any interpersonal challenge life can hand one. Expectations around Food AND Retail AND Theatre are very, very high; people can be intense under the combined circumstances.
Restaurant work is stressful for the chef: Too much so for many. Some of us found certain areas wherein we tended to be blessed with miracles time and time again. For me, every night was full of these.
There are a number of those Reality Shows on TV. Chefs and ex-chefs watch them with a certain amount of relish and/or nostalgia for the crises and challenges we've faced and surmounted as a matter of course, as part-and-parcel of the job.
That said, we are still artists and care most of all about the food and - for me - the soulful, human enjoyment of it.
I hope this has conveyed some sense of what professional cooking entails. Kin'a makes you glad you're in your own kitchen, creating beautiful, healthful (diet-compliant?) leisurely meals for yourself and maybe a few others?
Over the past week I've had occasion to counsel a couple of different O people on getting started with the blood type diet. One of these was a 55 year old male with Rx-treated health problems; the other a 41 year old female in good health but overweight. Following is my basic prescription:
1. Understand the O Type.
Get the overall lay of the land. I like Dr. D'Adamo's book, Eat Right 4 Your Type, for a general introduction to blood types, the medicine and the anthropology. But, if you only buy one book, I suggest diving right into his Live Right 4 Your Type. I like the latter's numerous charts, showing health strengths and vulnerabilities and offering so many helpful tips for different age groups and conditions. It also treats of "secretor status", which you may or may not choose to investigate.
2. Take a look at those O potential weaknesses:
The general list includes: Inflammations, allergies, arthritis, ulcers. Depression/bipolar illness, anger management problems, impulse control problems – addictions, alcohol abuse; thyroid problems, Parkinson's disease, osteoporosis. O's can get a pretty good sense of their general health by noting which, if any of the above, affect them noticeably.
3. Look at D'Adamo's food recommendations
See the overarching shape of D'Adamo's recommendation for your type. For the O, this means emphasizing animal protein – especially red meat, your highest octane fuel. It means de-emphasizing dairy and grains/starches and liberally using green vegetables and beneficial fruits, e.g., berries. Analyze your current practice, and compare it to D'Adamo's model.
A note on meat for the O type: This is my own particular image, but I see the O stomach as a piranha, hungry for animal flesh. My favorite childhood TV sitcom, The Addams Family, featured a pet piranha in a fish tank. A whole fish would be dropped into the piranha's tank; the water would be intensely roiled by the feeding, and the complete skeleton of the piranha's meal would be ejected from the tank within seconds! Consonant with that image, I tell O's: Feed your stomach acid! Give it something to do! Employ it, so it doesn't eat your stomach! The stomachs of those who are not of type O do not produce this abundance of protein-dissolving acid. You've got it: Use it. Toss it some red meat to keep it docile!
4. Look at D'Adamo's fitness recommendations
For the O, this means a daily sweaty workout! I've found that many O's notice more even moods and less anger-outbursts when they work out hard at the outset of their day. They seem to enter the fray with equanimity and balance, less likely to be addled by annoying circumstances. Obviously there are many other benefits to the right program, too, but the evenness of temper is often quickly and dramatically appreciated.
5. Prioritize your Beginner Program
(a) Add Beneficials
With Dr. D'Adamo's program, I like to think: Lifetime maintenance plan from the get-go. I do not recommend "hitting the ground running": Choose one suggestion such as "eat more lean red meat" and focus on that for at least a week, noting any changes in overall health or well-being.
Choose easy things first. Adding red meat portions. Then adding leafy greens. Then adding berries. Increasing the rigor of morning workouts. If you don't work out at all, then adding a weekly intense workout, or doing some yoga or stretching for ten minutes every day for a week. (Obviously your health and age must be factored-in)...that sort of thing.
(b) Subtract Avoids
Once you've gotten used to bennies and workouts, lighten up on the avoids. Usually the practice of (a) results in improved morale and motivation to drop bread or pasta somewhat. Switching from bread to crackers is an interim step many O's have found helpful in the weaning process. Look at your dairy consumption and switch from avoids to beneficials/neutrals where that's most comfortable for you.
6. One-at-a-Time Food Category Focus
Look at, e.g., your beverage consumption habits. How compliant is it? Switch types of tea or wine: That sort of thing. Oils? Drop sunflower and go with olive. Easy stuff first!
I do not recommend shooting for "100% compliance"; it is far less likely, with most relatively healthy people, to eventuate in an enjoyable lifelong practice. When in doubt, choose the easy way over the difficult one. At the beginning, do not necessarily obsess on minors such as spices or even individual fruits and vegetables. Three to four weeks thus, at a slow pace, will usually yield positive results, boosting morale and preparing for the next phase. These can be improved by knowing your secretor status. I explain what this is/means.
7. Learn about/take into account Secretor Status.
Approximately 80% of the population secretes blood type antigen in body tissues other than on the red blood cell surfaces, and this secretion is a boon, increasing immune defenses. The non-secreting minority is more susceptible to health challenges and is likelier to have a number of hard-to-diagnose or -to-treat ailments. Begin with the assumption you are a secretor, however, unless you identify with my description of the non-secretor. Live Right 4 Your Type will offer somewhat different dietary recommendations for the two groups. The secretor test is based upon a saliva sample (to determine whether you are secreting blood type antigen in your saliva). It is available for home-administration through Dr. D'Adamo's website.
The foregoing represents a general introduction to practicing Dr. D'Adamo's guidelines for the O newbie. If your blood type is not O, take a look at the doctor's books and look up your own type, taking the same overall approach. There are cases in which I'd advise greater stringency, but in most I recommend what's more enjoyable.
Last night, the 41 year old woman said to me, "I really appreciate your attitude: I tend to go to extremes. I get overly serious and harp on the details." She was relieved by my permission to lighten up.
"If you want to lose weight quickly, only to put it back on again," I said, "go with some other diet. If you want to really live right for your type, however, for the rest of your life, learn about this way, and take it up gradually."
On Tuesday (March 21st) a “rosary” of earthquakes occurred here in the San Francisco Bay Area, centered 4 miles outside of the suburb of Moraga, consisting of 14 minor quakes and aftershocks. Here in the city, about 15 miles away, I only felt the first one, a 3.7 on the Richter scale; the rest descended in magnitude.
When most people think of earthquakes, they’re media-spectacularly programmed to picture great devastation, such as was experienced exactly 100 years ago here (“The Big One”: 7.7). But the very vast majority of quakes (about 850.000 per year WORLDWIDE under 4.3 magnitude) go undetected by most of their respective local populations. Earthquakes of such minor intensity are very frequent occurrences in these parts. Indeed, when I lived in the geysers-region of the northern wine country, about 2 hours north of the city, I’d feel them a few times a week.
Other unusual geologic phenomena there are the hot springs, heat fissures and fumaroles – the latter being not-quite-geysers, but areas over which steam is emitted from the earth. My “driveway” was actually a steep dirt road about ¼ mile long, and when I’d walk up at the end of the day or after dark, I’d cross many “hot spots”/fissures. I equate the feeling to that of swimming through areas of warmth in lake water, perhaps due to greater reflection of sunlight from the bottom. It was just a normal fact of life to walk across fissured ground every day and “feel the heat”.
People who live far away from earthquake-prone areas wonder how one could possibly choose to live within them. I can’t speak for residents of other such zones, but, here in the Bay Area, they’re usually no big deal.
When I lived on West 86th Street in Manhattan, there was a bump in the road just before the turn onto Central Park West, over which flatbed trucks would thunder in the middle of the night and rattle the windows; now THAT was a heart-pounder, nothing like the, frankly, very gentle rocking of a minor quake in the Bay Area.
“What does a minor quake feel like?” Working with newborns as I do, I’d equate it with what a secure infant feels in its mother’s arms when she gently and ever-so-slightly changes position, whereas those New York flatbeds and their flopping cargo would equate to Mom’s suddenly standing up and dropping a clock radio.
Earthquakes of greater magnitude here are very rare. The last “big one” was 16 years ago (“Loma Prieta”, 10/89, Richter 7.0) and, even so, it was nowhere near as devastating as the hurricanes that frequently ravage the gulf states, or the fires that annually lay waste the Santa Ana region, or the swelteringly humid heat waves that afflict most of the US every summer, or the tornadoes of the Midwest (now THAT’S scary.)
I was in Sonoma County at the time of that “biggie”, sitting on the floor, when it began to move, rolling in gentle, undulating waves for about 5 seconds, and ending with a somewhat sharper jolt. Light fixtures were gently swinging in the house. I said, “SOMEWHERE this was very big.” We went outside and watched the power lines swing between their poles for about a minute. Then my friend turned on the TV and watched that repetitive footage seen by all a thousand times.
“How can we live here?” Are you kidding? We’re spoiled here! It’s common to hear locals say, “I’m ruined for any other climate.” In San Francisco, the temperature is 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit virtually year-round. We have two “hot” weeks per summer (temps 75-80 or slightly higher, with NO humidity).
Here’s the overview: The “Mediterranean” climate here consists of two major seasons: Dry and Sometimes-Rainy. During the Dry Season (approx. April to November) there is absolutely no rain, and this is normal. We put our umbrellas way up in remote closet corners and bring ‘em down in November to keep handy for the showers that may or may not pass through, a couple of times a week, during Sometimes-Rainy. Granted, this region is, for some reason, not nearly as equipped to deal with rain as New York was to cope with blizzards. But we have no “snow days”; there’s no sidewalk- or driveway-shoveling.
And then there are the three subseasons into which the Dry season is divided: Spring, Fog, and Summer.
Spring (March/April through June) is pretty much blue skies and sunshine nonstop, with mild temperatures of 65 to 70. For me, it can get quite boring, as there’s no “weather” to break up the monotony (unless there’s an earthquake). Spring quakes are often accompanied by what many here call “earthquake weather”: A strange (unsettling) balminess in the air. When I get “that Florida feeling”, it’s usually followed by a mild quake, somewhere in this region.
Then, comes July 1st, in rolls the fabled Fog: For many locals (including myself), July/August is the most special time of year here. Having grown up in a temperate clime, I was accustomed to “seasons”. So, after 3 months of beautiful-day-after-beautiful-day, I’m grateful for July’s bracing fog casting its more melancholy mood. It’s called our “natural air-conditioning” and is due to the coastal interruption known as “the Golden Gate” (for which the Bridge is named), through which the entire desert heat basin of the state of California is refreshed from extreme summer heat by ocean-cooled air. July and August in San Francisco and on the Bay can be a full 50-60 degrees cooler than inland! Delicious! And, at this time of year, it can be cooler in San Francisco than at any other time: As low as 50 degrees! BRRRR.
And then comes “Summer”, around Labor day: Six to eight weeks of what other regions consider “Indian” summer. The Pacific High moves off our latitude, the fog lets up, and it’s warm: Pleasantly so, with the stray HOT (over 75) day. At this time of year, the sun is low and strong; exposed south-facing residential windows in the city are often blacked-out in he afternoons, to keep the non-air-conditioned homes behind them comfortable. Summer (“Autumn” in the rest of the hemisphere) is another time of year for the odd quake; indeed our last “Big One” in ’89 occurred in October. As for “Fall Foliage” forget it in San Francisco.
Back to the “Big Ones”: It does depend how far one is from the epicenter. San Francisco damage from the ’89 Loma Prieta quake was surprisingly light. There were a few pockets of serious damage affecting the city, but, compared to the effects of a similar-intensity quake in other world regions’ cities (in Mexico, South America, central Asia, Philippines, etc.) there was a startlingly low death-toll. The news media had a field day/week portraying the city’s one fallen house aflame, the one fallen Bay Bridge section, and, of course, the collapsed section of freeway in the East Bay – over and over and over and over…
My Quake Protocol: When I feel a quake (it lasts a few seconds), I call KCBS radio (“All News All The Time”) and report it, and then I tune in and listen to the reports: There’s usually a quick response on the part of the US Geological Survey in Berkeley, with the details. Tuesday’s 14 quakes (from 3.7 down to 1.0) occurred on the Hayward Fault, and my SF high-rise (“high on a hill”, as the song says) shivered ever-so-slightly. Mama rocks her babies.
It sure beats shoveling!
Thank you, Lord, and, again than you, Lord.
In earlier columns I've demonstrated, with respect to food, my concern with both the distinction and interface between:
Physical Life: What we eat, how we exercise, where we go, our state of health, how we support ourselves, gestation-birth-maturity, unto death: That which in Greek would be signified by the word βιος (Bios), hence our word "biology": The study of physical life, and
Spiritual Life: That which infuses the heart, mind, and spirit of the human, rather than the animal, and which is granted through means other than physical, signified by the Greek word Ζωη (Zoé), whence our English word "zoology", actually erroneously signifying specifically animal, as opposed to more general life forms.
Let me state at the outset that the Blood Type Diet cannot bring you any closer to spiritual life (Zoé) than can any other diet, whether "kosher" or "halal" or vegan or raw or whatever else. Nor can fasting entirely, i.e., deliberately countering Bios, serve as one's "ticket to heaven". So if anyone following Dr. D'Adamo's teaching fancies him/herself a more "evolved" spiritual being than those outside this particular fold, s/he is in dire need of an understanding of this very distinction: What, for the sake of the English reader, I'm here calling Zoé vs. Bios.
In our Western tradition, we are familiar with some key Bible stories treating of diet:
1. The almost unrestricted diet permitted Adam
2. The fateful disobedient act of eating that brought about the Fall of humankind
3. The vegetarian diet prescribed Noah
4. The dietary guidelines delivered to the Hebrews via Moses on Mount Sinai and recorded in the Pentateuch
5. The miraculous bread (מנה "Manna": Hebrew for "What is it?") supplied from heaven to those Hebrews for their 40 years of desert sojourning (of which their later Levitical pre- and pro-scriptions said nothing)
6. Food offerings in the Jerusalem Temple, restricted to all but the priests (except for David and his men, as Type of the Messiah and His followers)
7. The food miracles of Jesus (5 loaves and 2 fishes feeding 5000 men plus women and children, and other events like it), as recorded in the Gospels, and
8. The True Bread from heaven, as Jesus called Himself in John 6 and as He explained more fully at the "Last Supper" and as the Apostle expounded later, etc.: The spiritual food to remove the curse that had fallen upon all descendants of Adam (partaker of the Forbidden Food) and to bestow Zoé, the life of the Spirit.
Jesus said, "Labour not for the food which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto Life (Zoé) of the Age, which the Son of Man shall give unto you." And, "The Bread of God is the One descended out of heaven and giving Life (Zoé) unto the world."
He explains, "I am the Bread of Life (Zoé): The one coming to Me will not hunger, and the one believing in Me will never thirst."
BOTTOM LINE: To the religious leaders, He said, "Your fathers ate Manna in the wilderness and died", and, "I am the Bread of Life (Zoé) giving Himself for the Life (Zoé) of the world."
The religious leaders couldn't understand: "How can this one give us [His] flesh to eat?" Such an earthy density of understanding was that also of a specific religious teacher named Nicodemus, who earlier had visited Jesus privately and who could not understand how someone could be "born a second time of his mother's womb". Christ had explained to him, "That born of the flesh is flesh, and that born of the Spirit is spirit...everyone believing in [the Son of Man] shall not perish but have Life (Zoé) of the Age." He spoke of a heavenly food - affording Zoé, Life of ANOTHER (non-Bios) ORDER entirely. The Bios-focussed could not, and cannot, taste of it!
* * * * *
Ah, diets come and diets go.
Are we "majoring on minors" when it comes to reaching out to others and to judging ourselves? If others ask us questions specifically about diet or physical health, sure, we can share of what we believe and practice. If others mock our ways of eating, we need not retaliate or even respond. Why?
Because Diet pertains to the oh-so-fleeting Bios, the animal life and lifespan of that which returneth to the dust: Not a one of us will perfect a physical body that shall live more than, approximately and at best, one lousy century.
For my part, I would sooner, on a diet of DOG CHOW, uplift the spirits of others and help to turn one soul from cruelty or despair to the Light of Truth and Zoé, than live (Bios) to be 150 on a micro-compliant, Tier THREE, B-hypersecretor Diet at the top of my Ivory Tower. As I wrote last month in another column ("Vers Une Santé Totale: Les Maladies, Amies de l'Esprit", 2 January 2006)[Reprise on 23 November 2010]:
(English translation): "The knowledge of BTD science serves a purpose. And the health of all the world's population, were it possible, would serve this same purpose."
Think about that purpose! If everyone on earth "ate according to their type", we'd perhaps have a biologically healthier species: Better (and, dangerously, more prideful) Bios.-----------------------SO WHAT?
If we need to be healthy, WHY is that? To use our good health unto the goal of...a more just world? Well? Do it NOW! Be there NOW! or never. Perfectly healthy people perfectly proving their perfect health would not necessarily constitute that perfect, just and peaceful society: Do you see it? In fact, legal self-righteousness in hyper-refined Bio-dietary obedience ran absolutely counter to, and blinded many against, Zoé two millennia ago (Its very Temple was ground to dust!) BTD notwithstanding, it still does today.
"For the mind of the flesh is Death; but the mind of the Spirit is Life (Zoé) and Peace." (Romans 8:6)
"If there had been a law given which could have given Life (Zoé), verily righteousness should have been of the Law." (Gal. 3:21)
Remember the Manna: It temporarily ministered unto the needs of Bios, the physical organism, about which Christ had this to say: "Your fathers ate Manna in the wilderness and died." (John 6:49)
Is the BTD, or any Diet whatsoever, more evolved, more spiritual than the Manna sent from God? Will it bring you at all closer to Zoé, True Life?