About three years ago we adopted a Yorkshire Terrier from a family in the Bronx in NY. The family we adopted the dog from had 5 small children and a pitbull. The owner of the dog said they were moving and could not keep the dog. Mocha as the dog was then named, was not all that attractive. She was scared, scrawny and had a scraggly haircut she was quite a pitiful sight. I was a bit leary of the whole thing, what if the dog was sick? What if she was a biter? My husband Jeff believed it would be alright; I had faith in his confidence, so we took the dog home. She remained a very frightened animal for about 6 months. If you raised your voice she would cower, if you raised your hand she would run to a corner, she wouldn't go down the stairs and she didn't bark.
I have often wondered what her life was like, with 5 kids and a pitbull to torture her. Why did she cower in the corner? Did the kids chase her and mishandle her? Was she put in the same pen as the pitbull? I will never know the answers to her early life. I just figured she had a few internal emotional scars that would heal over time. We all are not unlike my Yorkie (who I renamed) Molly, we all carry our own personal scars, our past histories, that effect how we respond to the world.
I was raised by a Polish father and an Italian mother. Their culture influenced what I ate as a child. My mom was raised in a home where pasta was the meal of the day, rarely did her family have fresh vegetables or fruit. As a result of this her mom died of diabetic complications early in life. When my mom finally had a family of her own; she made sure we had fresh vegetables and fruit in the house all the time. She knew the evils of sugar, fatty meats and canned vegetables. She tried her best to commit herself to helping us eat healthy. She took her food history, her personal scar and used it to improve her families life.
Repeating our past is easy, it takes very little thought. We do it when we pull the same box of crackers off the shelf in the supermarket or make the same mac and cheese meal we have been making for our families. It takes thought and patience to change our food histories and heal the scars.
I have scars from my past beliefs about food that I will always carry with me. But like my mother I don't want to repeat them in my children and like with Molly (the dog) I know they take time and patience to heal. For me the GTD heals my past food history by providing a way to navigate the future. I know when we change the pattern of the past and heal our scars that we give the greatest gift to the future both for ourselves and families.
Slowly Molly (my dog) began to come out of her shell. It has been 3 years from the day we brought her home. Now she is a happy, wonderful dog, who loves to alert us with her barking, her hair has grown, she has gained weight. Her scars have become less visible.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost
I love peanuts.. no I mean I really love peanuts!
Peanuts are also known as earthnuts, goobers, goober peas, pindas, jack nuts, pinders, manila nuts and monkey nuts. Cool names don't ya think?
I discovered how much I loved peanuts as I followed the BTD and was glad to see that diamond on my GTD list. I was buying whole peanuts in the supermarket that were not organic, they gave me indigestion. I suspect something about the oil that was on them did not agree with me. The organic ones do not give me indigestion.
I eat them just about everyday, even if it is just a handful.
One of the things I like to make is Peanut Sauce Gado-Gado. I fry tempeh in ghee till lightly brown and dip it in the sauce, I put the sauce on top of rice or quinoa, I add it to tofu (even if the tofu has sauce already).
Cook Right for Your Type, page 330.
Here is the recipe:
1 clove of Garlic crushed and peeled
2 scallions (can use a bit of onion, or omit it)
1/4 cup of cilantro or parsley
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/4 cup of Tamari (wheat free)
2 TBS lemon juice
1/2 cup of water more will give you a thinner sauce.
1 tsp fresh ginger (you can use ground, fresh is always better)
I just put everything except the water into the food processor and pulse till blended.
Once it is blended I add the water a little at a time till I get the right consistency.
If you haven't made this yet you are missing out on something delicious.
I encourage you to give it a try this week.
I have always admired Julia Childs. Having failed out of cooking school in France she didn't let that stop her from achieving her goals. She is well known for her light airy voice and the glass of wine she always drank while cooking, a little for the food and a little for her.
Her husband was her first fan and did the initial photography of her cooking in their home. I recently took one of her early VHS tapes out of the public library and was very surprised to find her cooking on an electric stove, with a non stick teflon pan and a plastic spatula in her hand. The kitchen is very primitive, she stands with her back to the camera, as her husband manuvers around her 6 foot 2 inch frame. It is just her on the camera, no audience. The tape is very simple, Julia cooking, and talking about cooking, the raw chicken laying on the counter. She is all about the food, her love for her work is evident. I am energized by her "can-do' attitude. I repeat to myself in true Warrior fashion "If Julia can cook in that kitchen with those tools, I can do the same!"
When the Geno-type diet came out in December, it took me a bit to get my self sorted out. Three new food lists to learn, rather then two blood type lists, I struggled for a few weeks with the ideas in the book.
Just a month prior to the GT book being released, I had been toying with the idea of becoming a "full vegetarian". I even posted on the forums that I was considering being a vegetarian I got mixed responses, regarding the need for animal protien. I really felt like my body was asking me to be a vegetarian, I kept refusing. I have always eaten a lot of chicken, considered the healthier meat it was easy to justify. With a family of four (two O's and two A's) chicken was the one meal I could make that my whole family would eat peacefully and it filled in all the meals when I didn't know what to cook. It also is the one food that is easy to get while dining out. Giving it up was not an easy choice; I have sympathy for all the BT B's, that do not eat chicken.
So I will admit it came as no surprise to me when I read the list of poultry items with the words "none recommended" and turkey being neutral. I knew giving up chicken was what I needed in order to enter middle age and continue feeling fit. Seeing it written down in the Genotype book made all the difference for me. Once I saw it in print I was ready to embrace my Warriorness and become a vegetarian (I do continue to eat fish). I just needed the push forward towards my conversion.
For years I have had chicken cutlets neatly stacked in my freezer, they are all gone, replaced with turkey for my Gatherers and Teacher. The fridge now has about 5 packs of tempeh and tofu ready for a quick meal. I feel good, I even lost 5 lbs without even knowing it. I feel settled both physically and emotionally, amazing how food can do that to you. I think I am the most contented I have been in years. With this change has come an ability to move forward and believe in myself. I am taking on new challenges, that I would not have thought of a few months ago. Like Julia my husband is my biggest fan.
Julia Childs didn't get married till 1946 she was 34 years old considered old for her time. Then it wasn't till she was 40 that she brought French cooking to the United States. She demonstrated to a generation that they can cook like pro's in their own kitchens. She had a true "can-do' attitude.
Julia Childs has a famous quote in regards to when she first tasted fine cuisine and knew it would be her destiny "an opening up of the soul and spirit for me" (Julia Childs). I'll bet Julia felt very content once she discovered her destiny.
In the last few weeks I have been working on my vegetable garden. It is in my front yard.
It is the only place we get a reasonable amount of sun. None of my neighbors have a garden in their front yard so it is sort of an oddity here in suburbia.
In order to make it look somewhat respectable we had brick layed in what is called a potager style, four beds symetrically placed in the corners and a birdbath in the center. It looks very attractive against my brick house.
My neighbors beinging the curious types came over to survey the project. "I see you are trying to attract aliens to the neighborhood." Micheal (my neighbor) said. I just smiled, feeling a cringe in my gut. You see I have felt like an alien most of my adult life. I always seem to chose the unpopular thing and then go at it with full force.
I can think of a few things in my life that this has been true of. When I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom, when I decided I would home school my two kids, and when I chose to follow the BTD/GTD.
Home schooling here on Long Island is unheard of, we live in one of the best school districts in the nation, so you can understand when I say the words home school eyebrows get raised. Being a stay at home mom and giving up a second income has meant we live without the extras in life. Watching the homes around us get renovationed while mine stays the same has not been easy, but a choice we have lived with.
Following the BTD/GTD is just another one of those things on my list, that makes me feel like an alien. When talking to people they will often ask me "Well, are you a vegetarian?" "Sort of but not really, I don't eat beef or most poultry, but I do eat turkey and some types of fish". I see the dumb-founded look on their faces, as they try to put me into their "diet box". I don't follow any of the well known fad diets, Atkins, the Zone, or Ornish. I try again "I eat alot of vegetables, but I don't eat wheat, or corn, or any bread for that matter, except flax meal bread which I make myself." They still look puzzled. Suddenly I get this feeling that my face has turned green and the spaceship is hovering over me ready for pickup. It lands a few feet from me I get in and am transported back home to the land of the Warriors.
I still remember the day my husband and I first went to Peter's office in Stamford Connecticut in 1990. I was married 2 years, my daughter Megan was six months old, I was a youthful 28 yo, and my husband was 90 lbs.
When my husband first saw blood in his stool we rushed off to a Gastroenterologist. After diagnosing him with IBS and perscribing him a large dose of Flagyl Jeff then lost 36 pounds in just 16 days. Having loose painful bloody bowel movements 15-20 times a day the gastroenterologist told him to have a low residue diet, but never talked any further about diet. Jeff was exhausted, out of work, and had no idea what to eat. Everyday was a struggle to get him to eat something, because everything that went into his mouth came out within 10 minutes.
I was at my wits end to make him something that would not bother him. Someone older and seemingly wiser suggested we see a holistic nutritionist. So off we went to a women's house who counseled us about diet and took our money. Things were no better.
At the same time as this was happening, my Uncle, only in his 60's, was struggling with a diagnosis of HIV. My uncle had lost his lifelong partner to HIV only a few years before, so he was well versed in the course of the disease. My uncle had been living a wonderful life, as an Italian immigrants son he had worked hard and building by building bought up a block of Long Island City, in NY. He was well aquainted with working hard to achieve a goal. Willing to try anything to get well, he had come across Peter D'Adamo's work. Peter was known in the HIV circles because he was trying to boost the immune system to get the body to fight the infection. My uncle had a large network of friends and he probably got Peter's name from them.
My mother (his sister) was very close to my uncle, they spoke everyday. When my uncle heard Jeff was sick he sent along one of Peter's early patient books. Self published and spiral bound, Peter used a highlighter to emphasis the beneficial foods. I was certainly intrigued, someone actually thought food had a role in our health. Just from the description of blood types Jeff came to the conclusion he was an O and 20 minutes after a high protein meal his coffee pot stomach was quiet. After three days of a much more peaceful bowel we made an appointment with Peter.
I will never forget sitting in Peter's office a picture of Martha directly in front of him, and two chairs in front of his desk. His manner was casual but optimistic. That first meeting was a breathe of fresh air. He told Jeff that in a year he would feel much better but before his turnaround he would lose over 70 lbs.
So here we sat in Peter's office, Peter says to Jeff, "Take lentils if you eat them they will make you feel worse". Jeff nearly fell off his chair. How could Peter know this? Jeff had experienced this first hand just a few days before. Being at a loss as what to cook for him, I had some lentils in the cabinet. Thinking these must be "ok" to give him I made him a dish. He ate the whole bowl. What a mistake, his stomach hurt, and he spent the whole day in the bathroom. I looked at the ingredients on the can, what was in there that caused that. I was puzzled. So it made Peter's statement much more astounding.
Peter prescribed Jeff a bunch of supplements and we got our own spiral bound book for BT O highlighted in green and yellow. We had a direction. I wasted no time learning how to cook for him from the little book. Jeff had 10 years of better health before he had another severe episode of Ulcerative colitis. He and I have Peter and his confidence in his work to thank.
I find my surprise at Dr D'Adamo's work no less astounding today. Everytime I read any of his books I am amazed at the details he knows about my body. I feel so privilged to be part of Dr. D's world. My uncle died over 10 years ago but I will always be indepted to him for sharing that little spiral book.