Categories: Kristin's Earlier Blogs, About Kristin
The menfolk of my family FINALLY got around to sending in their secretor test samples and so far we have only received my husband’s results... Type A Non-Secretor it is. Which I knew it would be. For months now, whenever he has some sort of health complaint I always retort with, "That’s because you’re a non-secretin’ celiac". The gluten intolerance he could wrap his brain around but with the non-secretor suggestion I would get the compulsory spousal eyeroll. Now there is no refuting it. And he is not a happy camper.
We were shopping for groceries shortly after he received his test results. He asked me what types of food he should be focusing on now. So I ran off the litany of flesh foods that he would be wise to incorporate into his diet that were beneficial for him, and that he’ll need to decrease grain consumption... really eating more towards the O side of a Type A. Being that he has been a grain-loving vegetarian for the past 30 years this is a particularly bitter pill for him to swallow. He looked at me and said,"How about some food suggestions where I won’t have to change my world view."
Ahhh, yes.... there’s the rub, isn’t it?? We want to improve our health, minds, spirit, but when doing so challenges all that we have come to believe to be true... there is the tendency to hold on desperately to our precious beliefs. Even when it comes to our health. Especially when it comes to our health.
For years, we have talked about the possible need for some dietary changes as he ages; he might need to add some meat, and especially fish, to his diet and now with the knowledge of his non-secretor status, even more so. He does agree with this notion... in theory. But putting it into practice will be a difficult challenge for him, a letting go of a long-held version of himself to make way for a new one. He has not had the best health and energy in recently. This, he knows. But that his health and energy may be impacted by being vegetarian for most of his life??? ... very difficult for him to come to terms with.
So we are taking baby steps. The last flesh food he relinquished (at age 12) was sardines. He used to love sardines. So I bought some extra sardines with the hope that he has the willingness to try them and see how they react in his body.
Willingness... that is really all it takes when confronted with a challenge to our world view. Willingness to see a new perspective... willingness to challenge what we hold to be true... willingness to let ourselves evolve in line with our direct experiences of the world... willingness to at least try.
And the boys??? Well, since they both know they are half-way to being non-secretors, the A is hoping beyond hope that he is a nonnie and looking forward to all the foods he will be able to add back into his diet (like lamb, shitake mushrooms, tomatoes). And the O is praying that he has only the one non-secretor gene.
Soon now, we should know...
Sure is the grilling time of year here in the northern hemisphere. Waaay too hot to cook inside, or outdoors for that matter. But... there is the issue of meat consumption, and not something I like to experiment with in the raw foods department. And with an O in the house, I still feel the need to prepare meat for our evening meal.
But, I have noticed something. We no longer use buns for burgers, buffalo brats, turkey dogs and the like. I used to use the organic wheat ones for awhile... then went the way of spelt and sprouted wheat and now... nothing. And the funny thing is that no one seems to notice that we are a sans buns household. I just have a side of brown rice with my burger if I feel the need for a carb with my meal as do my kids and of course we have veggies, veggies, and more veggies. But... no complaints from the bun kings yet regarding our current bun-less status. A new milestone.
Tonight I was in that certain kind of mood for something to eat and feel guilty about later... y’all know what I mean... OK... all you of the female persuasion know what I mean. I complained to my husband that we have no junk to eat in the house. I then saw a carton of heavy cream in the fridge... poured a little into a small bowl, added a splash of vanilla and teeny bit of powdered sugar and hand-whipped the cream to a nice consistency and used it as a topping for fresh sliced peaches. Ahhh... instant decadence... and with only a tiny bit of guilt.
Sometimes... you just can’t help but love being a B...
This year, for the first time as an adult, I have not planted a garden nor a single plant all season. This was not a conscious decision on my part. I turned the garden over, began weeding, bought vegetable seeds that were beneficial or neutral for all members of the family and... suddenly it is July... and no garden...
I began to ponder this action in my life. Even in years of severe drought conditions with minimal watering allowed I still planted at least something. I love to garden. What is going on inside of me that I let the gardening season pass me by?
Ah, yes... there was the clue... my garden this year is an internal one. I’ve been stripping away the layers to expose the fertile soil of my belly-earth, making way for new growth, new awareness, new possibilities. And as I clear away the debris that no longer serves, I wonder... what seeds shall I be sowing now? How do I prepare the soil so that what I want to manifest comes to full harvest? Will my garden be able to survive the inevitable earth-shaking storms that are such a potent part of midlife?
These are the questions I am living as I tend to my inner garden.
Today, I walked around the yard to the cottage-style border gardens I have growing alongside our house. I have not really taken the time all season to see any of the flowers and herbs growing there... and quite surprised there was anything growing at all. And I realized how I have missed the beauty of the flowers... the first green push through the soil, slender stalks reaching toward the sun, soft, yet firm buds poised for the burst into blossom. And the splay of full-bloom color that always lightens a B’s heart.
Yes, I will surely make space in my garden for full-flowering in all its glory.
It is so sad... our little European mart of a health food store was sold recently... It was such gem of a little store. Owner-operated, quaint, friendly, BTD knowledgeable with people who genuinely cared about the health and wellness of their customers.They researched the companies/distributors with whom they conducted business and chose to only do business with those of high standards and ethics. They also supported other local owner-operated businesses in the HF market and had some of the best and freshest local organic produce available from an orchard/farm on the Western Slope.
And... being long-time patrons we were treated like family. Many times, they would set aside specialty items for us that were limited in number but they knew we would enjoy. Plus... being BTDer's themselves, they stocked the shelves with little known brand names that were BTD friendly... many wheat-free, corn-free, olive-oil-only items, and almost everything in the store was organic... and ALL of the produce was organic.
But the best part about this little store was that all items were priced between 18 and 23 percent above wholesale. You do realize that in the US, most HFS's have a 50 to 100 percent mark-up. So what a treasure this store has been to us and our growing boys who consume enormous amounts of food, as they most definitely will both be well over 6 feet tall. It helps to keep our grocery bill from being totally outlandish. Even with the low mark-up, those of you who have been purchasing organic, whole foods know how expensive good food can be.
So, every week now we notice the changes... the shift away from a more whole food selection to the standard fare of pre-packaged convenience food marketed for a "health" conscious consumer and poor produce selection and quality. I have been making more and more trips up to Whole Foods Market, and believe me, that is a painful choice for me to reconcile. But don't get me started on Whole Foods... that is a topic for another blog.
All of us regulars at the store keep wondering... when will the prices increase? We have been assured that they will stay the same... for now. I can't help but wonder how long "now" will last.
We made it through another whirlwind month of May. I don’t know what it is about May, but it is always the busiest month for my family. I just turned the calendar to June yesterday and... very relieved to see a month with lots of space, and a wondrous lack of time and energy commitments.
Now is the time for slowing down, reorganizing, prioritizing...
I do feel something of a letdown after too much busyness when I have to make a conscious effort to structure my time. It does force me to look at what I value, at how I want to spend my time, rather than wondering if I have enough of it. With too much busyness, I rely on external factors to structure my time and lose my internal sense of the rhythm of my life and my relationship to it.
So taking time for a couple of deep breaths and looking at where I am at... healthwise, quite good. I just had some bloodwork recently and everything is within range by the lab’s standards, and almost everything is within range by my naturopath’s standards too (she has more narrowly defined ranges of normal)... only calcium was a tiny bit low, and monocytes slightly elevated. Since starting the BTD 7 years ago, my lab work results have been excellent. Tangible proof positive.
My food choices have been good, too. Although never perfect, I continue to refine and incorporate the BTD principles more and more into my life. I eat almost no flour-based products anymore, preferring whole grains to refined ones. I started eating shitake mushrooms again a few months ago as several HFS now carry them fresh in bulk and have been greatly enjoying their flavorful addition to many meals. I am also making a conscious effort to increase my intake of beneficial greens and that most wonderful of elixirs... water. Yes, yes,... with much of our focus on food, let’s not forget the importance of staying well hydrated as we slide into summer here. My true nemesis in the food department continues to be... olives... especially the sun-dried black Moroccan ones. I don’t think life is worth living without the occasional olive (or two, or...).
Exercise... well yes, I have been hiking, hiking, and... did I mention hiking? What can I say.. I love it, probably do too much of it, but there you have it. Click here for pictures of a recent hike with my Type O son. I have always been a mover, a kinesthetic learner, actually. I understand myself and the world through movement. So getting enough exercise is rarely a problem for me. Add to the hiking... dancing, Pilates, weight training, yoga... you get the idea. I’m a mover at heart.
The rest of my life... well, change is definitely in the air. My oldest son will be a senior (!?!) in high school this fall, and the youngest begins middle school. Big transitions on the horizon for them and seems to heralding in a period of restlessness for me as well. I am looking forward to the”dog days” of summer... space to just B for awhile as life unfolds...
And I will be sure to remember to breathe through it all.