Recently I received a call from a skeptical blood type A friend. She had been visiting the museum of Natural History with her children when she became overwhelmed by a swarm of people and had to move to a more open area. Then she remembered having read on my face book page some information about A's and how they do not do well in crowds. Although she connected with this bit of information it has not been enough to get her to actually try the A diet. Baby steps I guess.
I remember reading Eat Right For Your Type when first published and seeing Dr. D'Adamo's list of blood type stressors. At the time I didn't really give them much thought, but now as I examine them further I find they are very accurate. Where he digs all this good stuff up from amazes me.
Here are some Type A stressors I recently encountered in my life.
Crowds of people — My daughter’s college graduation was a day of long ceremonies amplified by large crowds of people. Although I sat the whole time I felt exhausted from just being in a mass of humanity. At the end of the day I just wanted to go home, sit on my couch, and have a cup of tea.
Loud noise — I am definitely sensitive to noise. Noise that will not bother my O husband will drive me crazy! When we first moved into our home we had a teenage neighbor who played music a few decibels too loud. The music would come through the wall of my bedroom and I remember lying in bed, getting more and more irritated, while Rip Van Winkle lying next to me contentedly sawed wood. Ooh, he can make me jealous sometimes. I can’t stay mad at him however, because with his installation of new windows and a white noise machine to drown out any extraneous noise I currently sleep fairly well. Now, if only I could stifle his snoring…
Negative Emotions — This is one of those situations I don't realize I’m experiencing until I am in the midst of it. Sometimes the negativity comes from within me, while at other times it may come from an irksome relationship. I notice it often occurs when I am fatigued or after conversations that focus on people's problems rather then the joy in their lives.
Smoking- Strong smells or perfumes — A few weeks ago my husband and I attended a concert. Good music, good company; it would have been a great evening had it not been for the people seated in front of us. They were smokers. The smell of the cigarettes permeated their clothes and the air around them. I could not focus on the music, all I kept thinking about was the smell. Every time it crossed my nose I could feel my blood pressure rise. I get this same reaction when I encounter heady perfume or any strong aroma I can’t get away from. Whether I’m at a concert, movie, or in church, odors make me stressed.
Violent TV and movies — Ok, so I watch America's Most Wanted every once in awhile. No one else in my family will watch it with me. The violence and the criminals in it are real, which makes it even scarier. While I watch it I feel my heart pound in my chest and I feel unsafe in my own home (thankfully I have a yappy little dog who’s not afraid to tear the biggest cohunes off any intruder). I then have trouble falling asleep and often will be haunted by an episode all week long.
Extreme weather conditions (hot or cold) — I tell my husband often that I would be very happy to live in a warm climate. I would not miss the snow and ice that accompanies winter on Long Island and I love when I come home to a fire burning in our wood-stove. As a child I remember feeling too cold to get out of bed in the morning and ice on my windows, these where the days of the energy crisis when thermostats where turned down to 60 degrees. I used to put my clothes inside my bed to warm them up before I got dressed.
Not only has this work helped my with my diet but it also has helped me know myself better. When my husband and I go out he knows that if I smell cigarette smoke we will need to move our seats or that when I say it is time to go home it is because I am beginning to get stressed. This has translated into greater self-awareness and confidence. I encourage you all to embrace who you are, according to your blood type.
I will admit that I have the most difficult time with the exercise portion of my SWAMI. Over the past 10 years I have fooled myself into believing that as an A I don't really need that much exercise. I figure since Dr. D'Adamo put that part in the back of the SWAMI, how important could it be? ( I am not listening..)
So it has taken me quite some time to come to grips with the fact that I need to exercise, that the exercise needs to be on a regular basis, and that walking the dog is just not enough. In addition, I turned 48 this year and that's close enough to 50 for me to know that I needed to have a serious discussion with myself about physical fitness.
Over the summer a yoga studio 2 minutes from my house ran a special, $40 unlimited classes for one month. It was hard to resist the introductory price, so I signed up. My goal was to get to the early morning, 6:30 am class at least 3 days a week. From yoga I would go home, eat breakfast and be at work by 10:30 am. It worked out pretty well. However, once the month was over I didn't sign up again, partially due to the expense but also because of, well... laziness. So, rather than sign up for more classes, I spent the last 4 months having a conversation with myself about exercise and how to balance that into my already busy life.
My usual routine in the morning is to walk my dog for about 20 minutes. I have a Yorkie she doesn't require much exercise (some people don't even walk them). I feel however, that for her overall health it is best I take her on some short jaunts around the neighborhood. I decided if I walked her 4 times a week, that would leave 3 days for me to get to a yoga class in the morning. But alas, this is easier said than done and I can always think of a few reasons why staying in bed is the better choice (especially when you're married to a nice warm Pillsbury Gatherer and it's cold outside.)
To better understand my reluctancy to exercise I guess you need to know a bit more about my inadequacies. For as long as I can remember I have been stiff. As a child I remember how other kids could touch their toes, do back bends, even do simple things like grab their hands behind their back, but I never could. I can't remember ever being flexible, I think I came out of the womb in a tight ball and have spent the last 48 years trying to unwind. Only recently I have found that I transfer all my tension/emotions into my muscles and probably have been doing this since childhood. One manifestation of this is grinding my teeth during sleep which resulted in my needing a root canal a few years ago. So the exercise element of this way of living is not only to keep me healthy physically, but emotionally as well.
One morning during my short month of classes, I had the opportunity to be the only student to arrive. The teacher, rather then cancel the class, gave me a one-on-one session. In the middle of the session I began to cry. I don't recall feeling any emotion in particular, but I did wonder about the connection between my overall lack of flexibility and my emotions. Being the wonderful teacher she is, she gently encouraged me to continue. After the class I did some research on yoga and the release of emotions. I found out that some forms of yoga are designed to release emotions, Qi Gong is one of them. Dr. D'Adamo recommended this type of yoga to two of my A friends when they visited him at University of Bridgeport. He even printed out the exercises separate from the SWAMI report for them, which means he really thought it was an important element to their health.
Blood Type A's tend to hold emotions inside. I have often wondered what that meant, but now I understand where I have been storing mine.
So for this new year I have signed up for yoga as a birthday present to myself, 6 months unlimited classes. My hope is that I can move forward both physically and emotionally.
I am continually thankful for this work that Dr. D'Adamo has done.
My wish for you all is that you would dig deep into this way of eating, living and thinking.
In the next few months I hope to be happily touching my toes ( of course without bending my knees).
Peace and joy to you all.
My husband bought me a GPS system for the car because I am somewhat directionally challenged. Although I like the GPS and how it can get me from here to there in almost a mindless manner, I still find that I need to know where I am with a map. So I need both the GPS and a map to navigate to places that I'm unfamiliar with.
The last time I needed to get to an unfamiliar place I ended up being detoured due to road work. As I approached the detour I could feel my heart quicken thinking, " How the heck will I be able to manuver this new obstacale?". Like most GPS's mine takes awhile to compute a new route so I slowed down hoping it would find a signal quickly before I had to decide to go left or right at the fork in the road before me.
I headed to the right praying I had made the right choice. Finally the GPS found a signal, and that annoying women with her British accent informed me that I had made the wrong decision. Thankfully I was able to easily turn around and correct my direction. As I drove in the car I thought about adaptability and how, over the last year, I have made a consious effort to be more adaptable. To be willing to change direction even at the last minute. Being adaptable has made a big difference in my life.
When I began the blood type diet it was very simple, I was an "A" and my diet was clearly outlined in Eat Right for Your Type. I figured like every other diet "guru," Dr. D'Adamo would write one defining book for people and I would follow this the rest of my life. How wrong I was! Not long after Eat Right was published, Live Right for Your Type came out and introduced the idea of secretor status. Finding out I was a secretor didn't change my diet much but I know that for those who discovered that they were non-secretors (nonnies), it did. Dr. D'Adamo then went on to write The Health Series books, which target specific diseases, changing once again the food choices of some who suffered from these diseases. Then the Genotype diet hit the shelves. I think this was the hardest to adjust to. I was now an A Warrior and lost some of the foods I was eating weekly. I had already experienced the shifts in my diet over the years and trusted each step Dr. D'Adamo had taken me on. Though it took me a few days to understand my Genotype and the changes in my diet, I knew that Dr. D'Adamo had figured something else out in regard to my individual needs and I needed to pay attention. I have taken things even further with a computerized diet plan called a SWAMI (Serotyping With Advanced Modifying Influences) which generates a diet designed specifically for me. This personalized plan is based on some interesting measurements, family information and personal health history.
I read the forums on a regular basis and I see people constantly struggle with the issue of Dr. D'Adamo changing the status of foods with each diet even though the person is the same blood type. People come to the forums confused about how a food can go from a superfood to an avoid, within the same blood type.
If you have trouble, think about it in this sense: As a baby you had certain diet requirements, as a teenager you had another, then as you age and your stomach acid decreases you need yet another. I think most of us can see that each stage of life requires an adjustment in calories, fat and vitamins. As people age you can even see how they chose different foods, your grandmother does not eat the same diet as she did as a teenager.
Now apply the Genotype diet/SWAMI to the same person, and you will begin to understand that the SWAMI is dynamic and adaptable. It will move you through your life and change as you grow older.
I realized this as a friend of mine and I discussed her pregnancy. She has a professional version of SWAMI that is available through practitioners. She had one SWAMI for getting pregnant, another while pregnant and yet another while nursing the baby.
Each time some of her food values changed, and she adjusted knowing that the baby was getting the best she could give.
I have not rerun my SWAMI in a few years but wonder what changes it would reveal. I am now entering perimenopause and my body will have different needs. What a wonderful thing it is to know that as my body changes all I need to do is rerun my SWAMI to meet those needs. Amazingly, adaptable.
Mind Over Fatter
It’s funny how things work out. About a week ago I wrote a blog and then accidentally deleted it. Ugh, I hate when that happens but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. While trying to recreate it I received this email, which took me in another direction.
Rather than just send this person an email I thought I would respond here.
First, thank you for reading my blog I am honored. Like you, my friend Sharon finds it particularly interesting that I did not come to this lifestyle because I was sick or overweight. Though I was introduced to it through my husbands battle with ulcerative colitis I chose to follow simply because it made complete and utter sense to me. My acceptance of Eat Right was not in blind faith but was an intelligent choice. By that I mean unlike all the fads out there this was an individualized approach to good health with the science to back it up. Looking back I guess I have to credit my parents for fostering in me an open mind to all things health related and which helped me to see things past what I’d already been taught, eg. Standard American Diet, Food Pyramid, etc.
I lived in a home where wellness was something my parents strived for. They used all sorts of methods from vitamins to special diets (macrobiotics was popular at the time). My mom died from a chronic lung infection, a condition that kept her from doing so many things her whole life. My dad become a diabetic in his 60’s and though he lived to be 89 he was obsessed with his blood sugars and spent his final days checking them constantly. He was really unable to enjoy life.
I do know that none of us escapes this world alive, I am certainly not that idealistic, but our quality of life, our self-expression is directly linked to how well we feel. Being able and ready to experience the world, to take on new challenges and grow, stems from good physical and emotional health. That is what keeps me eating this way. When I sit down to a large meal and eat my fill, I walk away satisfied not bloated. I go to the bathroom regularly and without discomfort. My mind is sharp and clear and I have more energy. Why would I want to eat any other way?
Each person has a story, their own motive for adopting the Eat Right lifestyle. For some it is fear, others weight loss or chronic illness, and a few have been instructed to do so by their doctors. The hardest adjustment is the mind. Getting your frame of mind into perspective is key, not just for you but for anyone. I have heard Dr. D'Adamo tell people that they have to care about themselves, that they have to be a bit narcissistic in order to live this way. Your individualized diet may seem difficult in the beginning but I assure you it does get easier. Your brain functions better and you become able to make the right choices for yourself. You gain confidence in your decisions, and challenges that you thought were impossible suddenly become doable. This is how I have stuck to my diet, by caring about myself.
This way of eating has enhanced my life and at this point it is as much a part of me as breathing. Funny thing is I wonder if you thought this would be a long lecture on "eat this not that"? Follow a list? I know you can do that, that’s the easy part. The mental/emotional part, your frame of mind is the larger issue for most of us. The bottom line is you’re not going to pull easy weight loss out of a box or get good health from a pill. This is a diet of self-responsibility something most people are not accustomed to. Presently healthcare in this country is not about self-responsibility, it is about the doctors who “know best”, and whose solutions usually come in the form of a prescription.
I never get tired of hearing about the transformative power of this way of eating. I am particularly impressed with the vegetarian O's who begin to eat meat and find out how good it makes them feel both physically and emotionally. To go from being a vegan or vegetarian to eating meat takes a great deal of courage. Vegetarianism/veganism is not only about meat but usually about a worldview as well. I have a personal experience with this, I have a sister who is a type O and has chosen to live as a vegan. My only hope is that one day she will understand this way of eating and embrace it. I love her dearly and over the past few months she has experienced some health challenges, that I know the type O diet would help.
I like to read the results database here on the website because these are people who wrote something because they wanted to, not because they had to. All these quotes are from blood type O's who were vegetarians and converted to a Type O diet which includes meat. It gives me hope to read their stories.
I was a former vegetarian and told my husband that I would give the diet six months - if I didn't see any improvement it was back to vegetarianism for me! I very gradually started adding meat back into my diet and decreasing grains (especially pasta). I started noticing a definite improvement in my energy levels within two months.
I have gradually worked my way into this diet. Before I began, I was an overweight, fatigued vegetarian, and constantly coming down with various illnesses. After hearing and reading a bit about the diet, I began eating meats (particularly lean reds and fish), and modified my other eating habits according to the plan. Over the past year and one half (when I began modifying my diet), I have had no significant illnesses, I've lost weight, I have constant energy, and I have a better sense of well being. I have even felt a greater hormonal drive. My life has really taken a 360 degree turn since I began the diet.
After being a vegetarian for 10 years I noticed a boost in energy and a better sense of what foods cause positive or negative results in physical or mental/emotional states. I also noted that my hayfever symptoms and morning stuffiness has been diminished or eliminated completely.
"Eat Right For Your Blood Type" is amazing! I have tried vegetarianism for a while and, until now, never understood why my health failed to improve norwhy I failed to lose a significant amount of weight. I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic about a year ago and controlling my blood glucose level has been a struggle, to say the least. Having tried just about everything else, I decided to purchase the book and give Dr. D'Adamo's dietary advice a chance. At first, I must admit, I was skeptical because "After all, all humans have the same digestive system, don't they?". Nevertheless, I was intrigued. Now, I'm excited to experience more energy and lower blood glucose levels after following the Type O diet for a mere few weeks. Also, I have eliminated indigestion, heartburn and flatulence by simply avoiding wheat and corn products. I now eat small amounts of grains such as spelt, kamut, barley, quinoa, buckwheat, rye and brown rice
I have followed the diet for 16 months, I'd say 13+ months quite rigorously. I'd like to add the "more energy, well-being" catagory as well, but not sure if you can select more than one. I'm 42, and had been a vegetarian for 30 years (absolutely no meat, did do small amount of fish, eggs, and lots of cheese.) I've always been athletic and lean,(no weight loss was needed) and into healthy eating. I can't hardly describe the change I have experienced! It is very near the top of the list of most important things that have happened to me in my life. I am in the same body, look about the same, but FEEL COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. I constantly have the thought, "this is amazing, so this is how (some) other people feel. I wonder what I would have done in this last thirty years had I felt like this?" I recently visited a woman (now 79) who has known me since I was 12 (when I became a vegetarian), and she could definately see the change. She said I had been "the most ethereal person she had ever known" and she used to worry about me- "that I would just float off." As the months go by I continue to BE AMAZED by the new territory in my psyche, GROUNDED, FIRM, CLEAR, ABLE, with lots of SPACE to move around in and OPPORTUNITY for CHOICE. It's like having a new brain or an expanded being. I wasn't at all a basket case before, but this is a GIFT of EXTREME GRACE. I am a total advocate and I CAN'T THANK YOU ENOUGH! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
I realize you must be swamped with mail, but I wanted so badly to thank you for how you have helped me. I have suffered from anxiety & depression to the point that several years ago I lost the ability to work, and was hospitalized for a short time. I was able to get back to work thanks to lithium & welbutrin, which I took for years, but though I was very grateful to be able to function again, I noticed that even on antidepressants I never really was happy to be alive, mostly just dreading the long, long life that I figured I'd probably have to "get through, somehow." Because of this, I never really considered myself really back to full health, & kept trying everything from homeopathy to supplements to feng shui. The only of those that seemed to have some positive effect was flax seed oil. Then I read your book & was very dismayed, as a long time preferred-(non-rigid)-vegetarian, that I was a type O! It really rocked my world for a while, but I had so many of the other problems you mention O's usually have that I determined to tryit & see, since I am nothing if not open-minded. The first thing I noticed was that I was not constipated in the morning if I'd eaten beef the day before (something loads of metamucil could not even guarantee.) To my surprise the morning aching in my hands went away within weeks as well all my colon problems (gas, generalized abdominal pain, previously diagnosed as all kinds of things, IBS, & occasional bloody diarrhea.) I also notice that I do not have the "drowsy" spells after lunch that I used to have. After a few months I realized I hadn't had any attacks of the fibroyalgia in my calves that I usually have on the colder, damper days of winter (I'd always considered these things minor because it was the depression which affected my ability to earn a living.) I now feel "all the way back" from depression, and then some, because not only do I now look forward to the rest of my life (finally!) I feel so much stronger & enjoy physical exercise in a way I never did before. I actually feel exhilarated by it. I am still taking about 1/2 the dosage of St. John's wort that I used to require, & I know you don't recommend it for O's, but with all I've been through, I'm a bit chicken to go off it just yet. I've been following your diet pretty strictly for 5 months now & I think before the summer sun becomes intense this year I will let go of the St. John's wort & see if I still feel fine. One of the best results is that for the first time since I was 18 I have not had hayfever in the spring. It used to be quite severe. I am hoping that I will be less allergic to poison ivy this summer as well. I am taking quercetin also. Recently I noticed that I really do seem to be physically stronger & have more endurance. For example, I could never do a single chin-up & now I can.One rather strange thing I noticed is that when I started eating meat my voice changed from very clear to a bit gravely & has never changed back. (The week I started the O diet I got a bad, week-long case of laryngitis & maybe the voice change is more from that.)When I try to spread the word about this great book of yours I sometimes encounter fear & hostility because it seems so many of my type O friends are vegetarians. Some people would rather keep their long cherished beliefs than their health. But I thank you from the bottom of my heart because your father's & your work has helped me so much. By the way, I am 43 years old, & ate primarily vegetarian for the last 24 years.
Dedicated to all the blood type O vegan and vegetarians, may you find health and wellness.