Today I ordered a home kit for self-blood-typing from North American Pharmacal (1-877-ABO-TYPE or right4yourtype.com), taking advantage of the Free Shipping special. At $9.95 it's a great buy!
This is far from the first time I'm mid-wifing someone's initiation into blood type medicine; this one is for a friend, long familiar with my approach, but other times it's been on behalf of friends, yes, and clients. I've even stabbed their fingers for them if they were afraid to do it themselves. Apparently many people can not bear to see blood on their fingers; they might even feel faint if they do.
For my part, I stabbed my own finger in seventh grade Science, back in the 1960s. It was our first "lab". I discovered my B-ness then. When I was in college, as a preMed student my first job was at a hospital blood bank. It was my responsibility to screen potential donors - take their histories and vital signs, blood samples, and perform the hematocrits. My supervisor, a medical student, wanted to train me to draw the pint, but I was at that point reluctant. Instead I monitored post-donation status, restored fluids and nutrition, and sent the donor on his/her way.
As for modern self-typing kits, the new lancets, in their little casements, are very user-friendly. Somehow not seeing the actual weapon renders its use more benign. And within - oh - ten minutes of opening the package, you know your blood type. At a doctor's office, the ABO test can add seventy or more dollars to your lab bill, and you won't know the results right away.
Knowing your blood type grants you entry to the marvelous world of Blood Type Medicine pioneered by Dr. D'Adamo. I am personally more a Blood Type- than Genotype-follower (there's a quiz on his website that might help you decide which model would be most appropriate for you), but even the Genotype teaching is informed with blood type principles. Know your blood type - yes, even you, fellow American! Find a friend willing to perform the test on your finger if necessary, but order it and do it! Free shipping, $9.95 the pop. What's your excuse?
The other night at Whole Foods Market: This B was RAVENOUS. It was 8:30 and I hadn't eaten all day. I raced (Really. Imagine about 15 mph) my cart to the Prepared Foods section for a hot meal:
(1) All 8 soups contained, as major ingredients, either chicken, tomatoes, lentils, chick peas, or corn: PASS
(2) The Indian Food bar: All dishes contained either chicken, tomatoes, lentils, chick peas, or tofu: PASS
(3) The Chinese Food bar: All dishes contained either chicken, tofu, or tempeh, with plenty of soy sauce and sesame products: PASS
(4)(a) The full-service counter offered: Brisket or Lamb shanks in a tomato-based sauce; lasagna, enchilada, etc, and included 6 tomato-sauced pizzas: PASS
(4)(b) Cold foods: Chicken 6 or 7 different ways: PASS. Meat Loaf with Tomato Sauce: PASS. Cold roasted turkey breast: HIT.
(I'm getting pretty speedy at this, BTW. Then I bought an oven-fresh warm foccacia from the bakery, a small jar of Italian roasted red peppers, and a slab of Humboldt Fog (local goat cheese). Rushed home and made a sandwich, with red onion and romaine on it. Great.
But my frustration at the Hot Food Counter did not go unnoticed. Here's how the Pro's do it:
At the counter, I'd muttered, "Why does EVERYTHING have chicken or tomatoes?? AARRRGGHH!"
A man standing nearby said, "Tell me: Is there something wrong with chicken and tomatoes?"
Me: Well, for me. I'm avoiding them, because I eat according to my blood type. B's do best to avoid these. [Pause]
Him: REALLY! I've never heard of this! Fascinating!
Me: Do you know your blood type?
Me: Well, have you ever wondered why some people do well on, say, a vegan/macrobiotic diet of beans and rice and veggies and low key exercise, while others thrive on a lot of meat, more fat, maybe even Atkins, and a heavier workout? And they BOTH seem to be onto something?
Him: Well, I'm doing Atkins, actually, and it's fantastic for ME, but not everyone agrees.
Me: Great. Congratulations. [Pause]
Him: But yeah: Some people say Atkins is all wrong for them: Why IS that?
Me: Yadda, yadda yadda Type A vs. Type O blah blah Individuality. [Pause]
Him: This is really SOMETHING! Why have I never HEARD of this before?
Me: Go see David in "Whole Body". He buys the books here. Tell him to show you ER4YT by Peter D'Adamo.
Him: But I don't know my blood type.
Me: Tell Dave to show you the self blood-typing kit: It's 12 dollars and is a 5-minute test you do at home. Instant results: Tonight.
Him: WOW - I'm REALLY glad I ran into you! This is something I need: I have some health problems that I think are beyond the scope of Atkins.
Me: Good Luck!
A couple of nights later at Whole Foods Market:
(Conversation with WFM employee -- "Team Member")
Me: Hey Nance! How was the wine-pick I gave you last week?
N: Great! It went over really well – even though I prefer RED wine.
Me: Do you have Type A blood by any chance?
N: No. O positive. Why?
Me: Blah blah French Paradox, Type A beneficial, yadda yadda. [Pause]
N: REALLY?? What does it mean, then that I'm O?
Me: If you're in pretty good health, you might just think in terms of animal protein: Meats, poultry, fish, seafood, and curb your intake of dairy and wheat products.
N: Hmmm. Not bad. I don't eat cheese anyway...NO! (whines): Ohhh my cottage cheese! I make this fabulous breakfast with blah blah...
Me: Sounds great, Nance, if you make 2 substitutions: Ready? Farmer's cheese –
N: What's that?
Me: blah blah, and your rye bread should be 100% rye–
N: We HAVE it in the store. I've seen it.
Me: Or you can try manna bread.
N: Frozen? Several flavors?
Me: Right. [Pause]
N: Will I look and feel great if I make all those changes?
Me: Couple it with good, vigorous exercise, and you should notice changes for the better. Sometimes people say, "Y'know, I never realized I had (say) chronic postnasal drip before, but since I've been following the BTD, I realize I'm finally free of it". Things they maybe didn't even–
N: Like my sinuses?
Me: O's are, indeed, prone to allergies–
Me: OK, well, start with dropping blah blah: Tweak that breakfast dish, yadda yadda.
N: Y'know, we HAVE this book in the store: I can go look it up right now!
Me: You're on your own, kid.
Last Weekend at a Favorite Restaurant:
We're being seated, the couple next to us is paying their check.
Me (to the other couple): What'd you have? Any great specials?
Woman: Actually, I had the grilled salmon burger and HE had the blah blah pasta. Everything was great. But I'll tell you, we've seen the special "Beef Medallions" go by a couple of times, and it looks like "the winner".
Me: Great tip. Thanks.
Minutes later: We've ordered. My dinnermate and the woman's dinnermate are using the restroom.
Me: Thanks for the tip: I ordered the Beef.
Woman: The Fried Chicken also looked excellent.
Me: Oh, it's WONDERFUL! I used to order it here all the time, when I used to eat chicken. [Pause]
Woman: (after a LONG pause) Excuse me: You don't eat CHICKEN, but you ordered the BEEF? Are you - I don't know - worried about Avian Flu or something?
Me: Oh, no. I try to eat according to my blood type. I have type B, so I stay away from chicken. Beef is fine. [Pause]
Woman: (Long pause again): WOW! Y'know, I've never heard of this! Is it OK if I ask you: I think I'm A. What does THAT mean?
Me: Well, if you are really A, you probably blah blah semi-vegan yadda yadda low impact types of exercise. [Pause]
Woman (nodding): That is SO ME. (To her returning dinnermate): Listen to this woman. Have you ever heard of BTD and lifestyle?
Woman (leaving): Hey, thanks for that book title. I'm definitely calling my doctor this week for my blood type. Bye!
My returning friend (to me): At it again? You crack me up.
Me: Hey, it worked for YOU!
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Interesting notes from the above:
1. The man at the Prepared Foods counter is ALREADY dealing with his diet and has health concerns he'd like to address pronto.
2. Nancy, a vital young O, ALREADY avoids cheese, though she really likes animal protein: Meats, fish (she only really pouted when I said, "Pretty much anything but HAM/PORK products"). Her sinus problems might clear up when she drops the Avoids.
3. The woman in the restaurant thinks she's A and ALREADY avoids red meat, she'd told me, and likes taking walks and doing yoga.
See? Many people are halfway here. Whether they become "more compliant" or not, they sure do like being educated if THEY choose to break my characteristic "minding-my-own-business, finding-something-else-to-look-at/focus-on, la dee dah" PAUSES. I absolutely NEVER push anyone. I let others do ALL, not some, of the asking.
Note how I dismiss the bulk of the spiel, above, with "yadda yadda" and "blah blah"; we all know the Right Content. That's NOT what greases the rails, my friends. Most people appreciate being permitted to absorb what they've already heard AND to be left alone until they're ready to pursue further information, if ever. Ergo: The Pause.
Imagine this on you inner screen: "Wanna Know More? Click here." Absolutely REFUSE to push your own buttons: Let others decide, at brief and regular intervals, whether to "click on" your further spiel by asking a question, or end the discussion. And thus:
Become an Adept at The Art of the Pause.
Re: BTD. Re: Politics. Re: Religion. Re: Ideological/Philosophic hobby-horses. Re: Everything. People will appreciate rather than dread hearing you start talking.
Above all, be such a shining example of "The Disinterested Altruist" that people will crave your input, and of "The Balanced View" that they'll want what you have. This begins with YOUR DECIDING what you're really after: The Health and Well-Being of Others, If They Want It (or) Debtors.
If "Disinterest" and "Balance" aren't your style, try clamming up. It works, too.
There's currently a thread on the Forum entitled, "Have You Converted Anyone Yet?" I'm somewhat bothered by the very notion, and even moreso as I read some of the posts. And I realize it's because I don't see the switch to using Bloodtype science, to one's health-benefit, as a "conversion". It was not such for me.
If there ever was a dietary conversion for me, it was the one that removed me from an unprincipled, "whatever", upscale urban American diet over 20 years ago (via macrobiotics). After a couple of years outside the mainstream, I never really returned to it, as I was now permanently aware of the gulf between nutritional unconsciousness and optimal health. As for my adoption of bloodtype-related dietary principles, it wasn't a "conversion", but, rather, a refinement of thinking that has created some new parameters and, definitely, broadened my understanding of Individualized Health practice.
"Why quibble about semantics?" you ask. Because when I share of my knowledge and experience of bloodtype science, it's not with "conversion" in mind. And usually I don't congratulate myself when someone with whom I've shared the knowledge begins to actually practice according to D'Adamo's guidelines: I have, frankly, no interest in creating a community of souls who "strictly follow" the Blood Type Diet! My long experience in health fields has afforded me the longitudinal perspective whence individuals' journeys are respected, and timing is, indeed, Everything.
I'm particularly grateful to Peter for his Tier One/Tier Two brainstorm, because people tend to seek out a new way of eating from two broad angles:
1. Those who are gravely ill and are ready to follow a diet/lifestyle to-the-letter as if a prescription medication, and who call themselves "compliant" or "non-compliant" according to the degree to which they conform to an Absolute Decree – as well as those not at all ill but whose personalities manifest somewhat of a compulsiveness, whereby they are unable to take on a new item/phenomenon/phase/program with anything other than utter punctiliousness. All of the above are candidates for "Tier Two", and understandably so.
2. Those who are relatively healthy and/or whose previous experiences have been broad enough to contribute to an expansive, progressive approach to health. These are those who are delighted to receive the New Medicine, and to adopt a way of life that, practically, makes good use of it, and takes into account perhaps several other sources of solid input culled from a lifetime of health awareness. These are your "Tier One" adherents, of whom I count myself one (This tier would also be appropriate for those who've attained health-goals on Tier Two and are ready for a "lifetime maintenance" plan.)
When I share various bloodtype teachings with others – clients, friends, family – I am careful to fully respect the integrity of the whole personhood behind the otherness of their lifestyles. Numerous and profound are the determinants driving dietary choices, consumer choices, and eating behaviors: I DON'T MESS WITH 'EM.
I do share bloodtype science with, for instance, clients, in three ways:
1. As one factor in the postnatal recovery and optimizing of breast milk production.
2. As a guideline for the type of exercise/fitness program that will facilitate good, individualized "re-entry" into a public identity from the postpartum, as well as sound psychological adjustment to parenthood
3. As an intriguing means of understanding:
(a) health issues that have arisen in their own or their families' history
(b) the anthropologic connections implied by blood type.
Most often, I find that clients are particularly interested in SOME aspect from among the above. And I'm happy to introduce them to the literature that can guide them more deeply into their own fascination. But, if the client doesn't show interest, I'm not at all inclined to press it upon him/her (Bear in mind that my very rich and varied background provides NUMEROUS angles and bits of information for my clients, beyond and in addition to Bloodtype Medicine.
--Sometimes a client has had a miscarriage in her past; we examine this in light of Blood Type science, and this revelation can be sufficient to launch her into an intense study of Dr. D'Adamo's work.
-- Sometimes a client's home and/or library displays keen interests in particular cultures or geographical regions; when I explain the blood type associations, the client is usually fascinated to learn of a possible biological link and often demonstrates a vigorous interest in the dietary/fitness guidelines as well, though not always or, at least, immediately.
I don't get "bogged down", however, with BTD-as-Answer-to-Everything, because, as with my clients, so with everyone else: It may be neither the appropriate time NOR THE RIGHT APPROACH, when all circumstances are taken into account, circumstances I simply haven't the utter hubris to assume I know or understand or even have any right to examine.
Having said all of the above, the reality is, I am experiencing constant feedback from friends, family, and clients, to the effect that they now use/follow the BTD, having learned of it first from me! I'm immensely gratified, because I'd spoken this truth at only its opportune moment, and they were grateful for the "hands off" respect I'd shown them in my enthusiastic sharing of my own personal knowledge and experience. I've "converted" no one, really. Yet the percentage of those with whom I share of the science who end up pursuing it in some fashion is high.
Finally, friends: If the messenger is simply (and knowledgeably) enthusiastic, the message runneth over. If, on the other hand, the messenger's ego is invested in the nature of audience-reception, the message is resisted. No one can teach a messenger FAKE nonchalance: You're either manipulating or sharing, and each has its characteristic scent. So: Cultivate a genuine permissiveness, a liberal acceptance of sheer Otherness, and thus evidence your true understanding of Dr. D'Adamo's work's very raison-d'être: Individuality.
This blog originally posted on 4 April 2006, was somehow deleted from my archives, and posted again on 10 May, 2006. Again it is missing from my archives. So let's try again!
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I read Mike Staffieri's recent blog about his company picnic, where he, as an O, found so little he could eat. He shares with us his fantasy of a BTD-showcasing, catered menu for next year's picnic, and I enjoyed the imaginary repast. In the real world, however, one must expect to be BTD-limited at these types of functions. When it comes to using such occasions as mass experiments, I wouldn't.
Just as Mike felt limited, people tend not to appreciate being forced to eat this or that way, in a circumscribed setting: Mike doesn't like there being only wheat (and not spelt) buns for his burger; well, in his fantasy, if you want a bun, it's spelt or nothing! For me, it's too in-your-face an approach. I don't think "ticking people off" is the way to endear myself, or my ideas, to them. I prefer the "we're-all-in-the-same-boat" approach. To wit: Twenty years back, in macrobiotic days, I used to fly coast to coast. I'd pack lunch and open it on my tray while everyone else was dealing with whatever was served. My meal would inevitably pique neighbors' interest, and I'd practically have to fight off the whole section's demand for a full lecture!
In non-macro days, I've packed my own meal(s) for air travel, and, no matter what it is/was, my less foresightful co-passengers would clamor for a peek, an explanation, even a taste! Once, from Fort Lauderdale to LaGuardia, a guy two rows back stood up and exclaimed, "Twenty-five bucks for whatever SHE's eating!" (I had a second sandwich and sold it to him!) We were all in the same boat/plane. I'd found the solution to our shared dilemma, and the others were both jealous and educated.
Why not just do what you need to do in life, to get by as you choose? Interested parties can be counted on to enquire. If you want the company identity of "Weird Food Guy" or "The One Who Put Us Through That Ridiculous Picnic", fine. It's one thing to be the oddball (your choice, no victims); it's another entirely to enclose others in a space and deprive them of their expected chow -- Whoa!
From my restaurant days, I learned this: People are just-so about their food. They have expectations. If you want happy customers (office-mates), you'd better offer 'em what they EXPECT. If the crowd loves dogs 'n burgers with their three-legged-race, don't surprise 'em with "Vegan this year" or even an amazing (catered) variety that changes the whole theme/tenor of the picnic to something less down-home and more precious/rarefied. Even a diverse (great for all blood types) salad bar-type presentation could vex those expecting their annual BBQ ribs! If you're okay with others' less-than-thrilled reactions, fine; if one of those disappointed folks happens to be your supervisor, don't say I didn't warn you!
Meanwhile, thanks for sharing your picnic fantasy with those of us who'd appreciate its realization!
I have a blind neighbor, Vicki, with whom I shared coffee the other day at a local café. Vicki is a remarkable woman who has her own radio show and is between guide dogs (they retire after 4-6 years, I think). I've known Vicki through 3 of them now.
The subject of diet came up, and I asked her her blood type. "O", she said, as she munched her scone, one hand on her "latte". It turns out that this woman, age 53, is yet another Californian intuiting the BTD in many ways.
1. She knows she needs to eat plenty of red meat and fish/seafood, and enjoys these regularly and heartily; poultry, too.
2. She knows she needs to "get pumped" every day, and already does, on her Nordic Track at home. But -- get this -- she also cross country skis for real. And she's already well aware of the anger and mood connection to aerobic fitness (cf. 8/10/06: "Two Screechin' O Cabbies") and has it under control.
3. She loves her leafy greens and berries, and avoids orange juice.
4. She's aware that wheat is problematic for her (though she hasn't yet given it up).
She still drinks coffee with cow's milk. Doesn't like soy milk at all.
I got her very jazzed about our way of life, and she plans to visit dadamo on line, via her fancy equipment/software-for-the-blind so she can fine-tune her diet (Are D'Adamo's books available in audio format?).
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Oh, and I asked her (cf. my 3/24/06 Blog: "Infantile-Americans") what she thinks of the term "visually-challenged" (or "sight-challenged") as the politically-correct replacement (euphemism?) for "blind". Suffice it to say, there was howling laughter at our table.
I just love it when she says, "Great to see you!" and "See ya later!"
Ah, the human spirit.
And, if you're reading this, Hi Vicki!