This blog got its start with a comment from Luis. He is Type O, a little older than my son, living alone, weight training, and trying to make the Blood Type Diet work. He said two things that caught my interest because my son will be facing the same challenges when he goes back to college in the fall.
Luis wrote, "What kind of recipes would you recommend; do you know any quick ones?" and "I also find it very expensive to eat right. I know it helps in the end but ruins my budget." I know there are others trying to make the Blood Type Diet work in a simple and inexpensive way. Here is my answer to Luis, a little better organized and with a few additions. I plan to print a copy for my son and put it in the box with his skillet and silverware.
The easiest way to shop and cook is to emphasize single meats, fruits, and vegetables, minimally processed, the way God made them.
I roast or bake lamb, cod, beef, salmon etc. They are delicious just with seasoned salt. I get fresh salmon, but cod is almost always frozen. Leg of lamb, brisket, and eye of round roast are economical. When I roast beef or lamb I set the oven temperature at 425 F. for about 30 minutes, then I turn it back to 325 and let the meat cook until a meat thermometer says it is medium well. When I buy ground beef I go for 90% lean 10% fat. That seems like a good balance between price and quality. Ground beef patties or ground beef sprinkled over vegetables are both good. Canned tuna, salmon and sardines are quick, inexpensive meats. Eggs are good for any meal.
I steam a lot of vegetables (broccoli, parsnips, asparagus) and eat them with olive oil or butter and salt. I bake sweet potatoes. My son and I find them very filling and cheap. I can find collard greens, turnip greens and spinach in the frozen food section at my grocery store. They are inexpensive and easy to fix with just a little water and butter. Black eyed peas, English peas, and okra are also available frozen. Fresh squash is good and inexpensive. Zucchini and yellow squash I cook lightly with a little butter and water in a skillet. Acorn and butternut squash I bake in the oven. I often sautÃ© an onion in butter and add it to vegetables, especially to yellow squash, collards and turnip greens.
Salad greens and raw carrots go well with any meat. Instead of salad dressing I use olive oil and a few shakes of seasoned salt. For lunch I often throw lettuce, leftover vegetables, and leftover meat in a bowl, and top it with olive oil. I buy fresh fruit in season and frozen berries year round. Fruit is a great salad, dessert, or breakfast mixed with nuts.
If you try to buy bread without avoids, that can get expensive. But rice crackers and rye crackers are low priced. Rice and oatmeal are easy to cook and very inexpensive. Os don't need much grain anyway.
While I like to cook sauces, casseroles, breads, and desserts, I could get along quite happily and healthily with the basic foods described here.
Last week I was all excited about a gluten free bread book. Yesterday I started to bake bread, and found that I could not use the recipes in the book - too many A and O avoids. To get her breads to rise without gluten, the author uses such things as garbanzo bean flour (Type A avoid), whey (A & O avoid), potato flour (A& O avoid), and gelatin (Type A avoid). The purpose of the bread project is to find bread beneficial for my As. The book was not a total waste of time. In the introduction it says when bread starts to rise then sinks in the middle it means too much water. It suggests using an egg to add spring. My spelt-kamut-rye bread was better yesterday using some of the author's suggestions. When it is really good, I'll post my recipe. In the meantime, the gluten free bread book will get swapped for another used book at Half Price Books.
I read a novel yesterday by an author I have enjoyed. It was advertised as a love story, and is soon to be released as a movie. The theme turned out to be that the love of your youth can give life meaning when you are facing cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, and arthritis in a nursing home. It left me feeling bummed out. I am not naÃ¯ve enough to think that eating right will prevent aging; indeed my world view assures me that death and dying are inevitable on this earth. I do however hope that the effort I put into nutrition and exercise will give me a better quality of life than the misery described in the book. While I love my husband dearly, we would agree that at the end of lives we hope to see more purpose than just our love for each other.
Following two disappointing books, I needed something uplifting. I found it in a quote from Corrie ten Boom. If you are not familiar with her, she survived a Nazi death camp. She said, "If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you'll be at rest!"
My daughter is babysitting. My son is life guarding at the pool. My husband is at his office. I'm happy to be home alone. During the school year I have the house to myself most mornings before I go to teach. During the summers I rarely have a moment to myself unless I stay up late at night.
I pulled yesterday's leftovers out of the refrigerator for lunch, and didn't even warm them up: salmon, asparagus, pumpkin, and jicama fries.
After I finish writing this blog, I will turn on the stereo and tackle accumulated paperwork and necessary housework. I'm hoping the weather will permit a swim tonight. We've had thunder showers pop up every evening for days, canceling lap swim and preventing running. I've done one kind of exercise or another at the house, but it doesn't make me feel as good as a long run or swim.
I know I abused the original meaning of the song title that I used as the title of this blog. But it does feel natural to be alone after a satisfying lunch anticipating a productive afternoon. And it will be exciting when everyone comes roaring home with noisy tales of their adventures of the day.
Call me a snob, but I used to think of generic or store brand products as being inferior in quality to the highly recognized, big brand name products. That opinion was reinforced in my early young adult years when I bought generic strawberry preserves and found the leaves still attached to the strawberries. Not appetizing! Since starting the Blood Type Diet, however I have found to my surprise and delight that some store brand products contain fewer additives and fewer avoids than name brand products.
For instance, all of the nationally advertised cooking sprays contain avoids. However the low priced Hill Country Fare generic contains only Canola Oil, soy lecithin, water and propellant. I now use it for all my baking.
I had never looked at the ingredients in salt until Heidi's column mentioned that most salt contains a Type O avoid - dextrose. Even the health food store brands contain dextrose! But my store brand generic salt contains no dextrose, only two anti-caking agents.
I have written before that the two Type As in my family are not ready to give up tomato products. One of the reasons is pizza and another is sloppy joes. After I started the Blood Type Diet, I was going to make sloppy joes with ground turkey instead of ground beef, and put my sauce on a large salad while the As had theirs on bread. I know I should make my own sloppy joe sauce, but the main advantage of this meal is that it is fast, so I was using the nationally advertised brand. I looked at the label and the #2 ingredient was corn syrup. No more sloppy joes for me! Yesterday my daughter had a friend over and they wanted sloppy joes for lunch. As I was picking up a can of sauce, I noticed a store brand next to the name brand. There is no corn syrup! Sugar is the #4 ingredient and there are no chemical additives. Sloppy joes for me again!
Not all store brands are better. The store brand of black-eyed peas contains as many chemicals and avoids as the big name brands. Bush and Eden are the best canned black-eyed pea choices in my stores.
It's not that I was having second thoughts about the four avoids I ate at my parents' house over the weekend, but I was wondering if there would be any noticeable consequences. The avoids were: breading on a chicken entrÃ©e, Â½ of a corn on the cob, 2 pieces of cheesecake (on two different days - shame on you if you thought I ate two pieces at one time). So there was a small amount of wheat, some corn, some milk products, and some refined sugar (sugar is officially neutral for O, but I do not believe an excess of any refined food is healthy for anyone)
My weight did not change at all. That was good news. I have observed that sometimes after a meal in a restaurant my weight will be up 2 - 3 pounds for several days. This always happens if I eat the sauce on beef & broccoli at a Chinese restaurant, so I now order Chinese without any sauce.
My stomach was fine. Too much wheat can make my stomach feel unsettled or bring back my indigestion. There was a time when I would have felt even the small amount I ate over two days, but this time it did not push me over that threshold. That tells me that some base level of inflammation or sensitivity is improving.
I rode my bike for 45 minutes last night, and I did notice an ache in my right knee. That's the second time I've had an achy knee following a weekend trip. I'll have to watch that.
Both of my parents grew up out in the country, and both of their parents had huge gardens. I asked if they ate collards, kale, or turnip greens when they were children. My Dad made a face and said, "Oh yes, but as little as possible." My Mom liked cooked greens, but remembered her mother washing and washing and washing to get all the dirt off the leaves. Hurray for modern produce methods so I only have to wash and wash.
Cute quote from Adrian Rogers, "A little girl was overheard praying â€˜Dear God, make the bad people good and the good people nice.'"