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!
I've been on Blood Type Diet (BTD) since February 2009, switched to SWAMI in January 2010, and found out that I'm a non-secretor in August 2011. I found out my children’s blood types in spring 2010, and my oldest daughter got a SWAMI in October of 2011. My daughters are both O’s and my son is a B. I'm a single mom on a tight budget, but I'm still doing my best to feed my 3 kids BTD appropriate foods. We're Orthodox Jews, so we keep kosher, an added culinary and shopping challenge, and the Jewish calendar is a big part of our lives. I'm always thinking ahead to what I'll cook for Shabbos (the Jewish Sabbath, from Friday evening until nightfall on Saturday) or any upcoming Jewish holiday. We often have guests for Shabbos or holiday meals, and I like showing people that BTD isn't about deprivation.
I came to BTD because I have fibromyalgia, and while I've improved greatly on this diet plan, I still have a lot of healing to do. I've always had "good days" and "bad days" and that hasn't changed. But now I'm off all pain medication, I have more "good days" than ever before, and even my "bad days" aren't nearly as bad as they used to be. They might even be about the same as the "good days" I used to have. But I'm still hoping for the time when I never wake up in pain.
I'm on SSI (disability payments) due to the fibromyalgia, so I'm able to be home with my kids. Most of my time and mental energy is devoted to taking care of others as well as trying to nourish and heal myself. I'm still trying to find that balance.
My kids are overall healthy, and I mainly have them on BTD to prevent future problems. However, I've noticed that eating right for their types does have some short-term benefits, particularly in terms of their moods and general resistance to infections.
I enjoy being a blogger because I think I can offer a unique perspective on BTD living. I'm successfully preparing foods for 4 different food lists. We're doing all this on a very tight food budget, in spite of the misconception that "BTD is expensive and only the rich can afford to eat this way." As an Orthodox Jew, I'm combining kosher with BTD compliance, as well as preparing traditional holiday meals in a compliant way.