Archives for: December 2011, 14
Following the Blood Type Diet is a challenge, especially for families with more than one blood type. Keeping kosher is another challenge all by itself. Both restrict some food choices and can be more expensive. Combining the two may seem impossible- but I’ve been doing just that for years, and on a tight budget.
Kosher is the term for the Jewish dietary laws. The laws of kashrut (kosher-ness) are complex, and involve the non-mixing of meat and milk products, a specific list of meats, sea foods, and poultry that can be eaten, and special rules about how foods can be processed. The laws of slaughtering animals are especially complex. All raw meats and processed foods must bear a kosher symbol, to certify that they’ve been handled properly at all stages. In some cases, this certification increases the price of the food. Kosher meats in particular are much more expensive than non-kosher meats, because the slaughtering and processing of the meat is labor intensive.
There are many foods available in the stores that don’t contain any non-kosher ingredients, but are nonetheless “not kosher” because they’re not available in a certified kosher brand. Often times, “healthy” and “kosher” are mutually exclusive in packaged foods. Some of the more natural packaged foods don’t bear a kosher symbol, while the kosher packaged foods often contain a host of unhealthy ingredients.
Meanwhile, fresh raw eggs and produce don’t require any special certification at all. Many “basics” such as dried and canned beans, spices, and uncooked grains are already certified kosher, at no extra cost. Plus it’s much cheaper to buy fresh ingredients and cook your own food, rather than buying prepared foods.
Cooking from scratch is the key to making this all work. I can accommodate kashrut, blood type diet compliance, as well as personal likes and dislikes. Family dinners contain foods we can all eat safely, while breakfasts, snacks, and lunches may contain foods that are only good for the one person eating it. Sometimes dinner will include a side dish that only one person can have, and often contains condiments for only some of us. For example, I might make potatoes just for my Type B son or tomato sauce for my Type O daughters.
It’s still a challenge. Making one meal that’s mutually compliant is fairly easy, but a full-time menu is harder. We need to rely on the more economical foods, such as ground beef instead of steaks, and produce only when it’s in season. But we don’t want to get bored from eating the same things all the time. Besides dinners, I need to figure out breakfasts, lunches, and snacks that my kids will actually eat and that will provide balanced diets for each of them. Plus I can’t forget to nurture myself!
Even though I get overwhelmed at times, it’s still worth it. My children are much more even-tempered when they’re well fed, and they don’t get sick as often. Without Blood Type Diet, I might have an easier time with food preparation, but my kids would be harder to live with. I think they’d say the same thing about me!