Yesterday was my first trip to the grocery store of the New Year, and two interesting things happened.
I was walking down the pasta isle, when I passed a cart and saw a copy of Eat Right for your Type. I looked around and saw a woman and her son studying the pasta. I said, "I've done the Blood Type Diet since 2003."
She said "I've just started, and I don't know how to shop. I'm supposed to get Ezekiel Bread. What is it and where to I buy it?" I told her that she could get Ezekiel Bread right there in the grocery store, in the freezer section. She was delighted.
She was holding a box of gluten free pasta and asked me if it was ok. I told her that I had never tried that brand, but that I had used several brands of wheat free pasta. Most brands required that you watch them closely, so that the pasta isn't over or under cooked. But I have found Tinkyada rice pasta to be tasty and very easy to cook. She put her box back on the shelf and asked where she could buy Tinkyada. I told her two local health food stores that carried it, or she could buy online.
She is a Type B. Her son is about the same age my daughter was when I started the BTD. He appeared to be interested in what his Mom was doing.
We all went back to our shopping. I passed them again in the produce department and said, "One more thing. Most of the granola in this store has wheat in it. But the Bear Naked brand does not have any wheat, and it is really good." She thanked me and headed back to the cereal aisle."
I did not tell her that I blogged, but I'm curious whether she will see this post.
I sometimes buy extra lean ground beef, and I sometimes buy ground bison. Yesterday I was going to buy bison. Surprise! Right next to the bison was grass fed ground beef. It is more expensive than the regular ground beef, but not outrageously expensive as most grass fed beef is.
I bought two packages to see what it's like. It is imported from Australia. Being a Texas rancher's daughter, I would prefer to buy Texas beef, but low cost grass fed will be hard to pass up.
Happy New Year to you all. I hope that your BTD shopping in 2015 gets off to as interesting a start as mind did.
I hope that you had a joyful Christmas Day. For my husband and me, Christmas was quiet and peaceful. In the 38 years of our marriage, this was the first Christmas that we have been alone.
We had all of the family except SIL at our house the Sunday before Christmas. SIL was off on a retreat with some of the high school students from his church. BC had taken his first steps the night before they came to our house. One day I was on the floor playing with him and he walked to me and gave me a hug. That was the best Christmas present ever.
But on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, our children were with other families - and that is a good thing. HH and I discovered that we love Hallmark Christmas movies. They are sweet stories with no bad words, no sex, no violence. They all have happy endings, even when they make us cry. We watched several during December including one on Christmas Eve and two on Christmas Day.
We ate simply; pretty much the way we always do. So there are no extra pounds to lose or false guilt feelings to deal with. On Christmas Eve, my husband read the account of Jesus’ birth from the Bible, just as his father did every Christmas Eve.
I promised you a great recipe for leftover Christmas turkey. Here it is,
Turkey with Bell Peppers & Onions.
Put enough light olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet to coat it - no more than 1/4 inch deep.
Slice 1 red bell peppers, 1 green bell peppers, and 1 onion. Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic. Put those vegetables in the skillet and cook until they just start to turn soft. Add cubed cooked turkey. Season with 1/2 tsp paprika and 1/2 tsp dried oregano. Salt to taste.
You may add a little water or broth if anything begins to stick to the bottom of the skillet.
Reduce the heat and simmer together for 5 minutes until the flavors have blended.
You can serve it over rice or Tinkyada pasta. Or serve it just like it is with a green salad.
Our Strong Son is just back from a medical mission trip to a Central American country. We had dinner with him this week and got to see his pictures and hear his tales. He was one of a team of 11 that included family practice doctors, a radiologist, a pediatrician, a local doctor, several nurses and several translators. SS was the physical therapist.
He worked in a mountainous region near the coast. The team did clinics in four farming villages and two fishing villages. He loved the culture, loved the people, and loved the food. The pictures he showed us were incredible. It is a beautiful country.
His description of locally available health care was interesting. Officially, everyone in the country has full health care coverage. It is a single payer system, and on paper it looks fabulous. So why was a team of American volunteers going there on a medical mission trip?
There are no doctors in any of the villages in the area where they worked. The nearest doctor is an hour away; the nearest hospital is 2 hours away. The people are poor and many do not have transportation. If they get to a doctor and need to see a specialist, an appointment is made in the capitol city. The wait for an appointment is about six months. Often when they made their way from their village to the doctor’s office in the capitol, they were told, “We’re sorry, your appointment has been cancelled. We have another opening in six months.”
Women and children can get this limited medical care, but working aged men cannot get a doctor’s appointment at all. If they are injured on the job and can get to the hospital, 2 hours away, they must go to the emergency room. There is no follow up care for young and middle aged men. The men who survive to senior adult status, can get the same type care as women and children.
This is why volunteer doctors from the United States team up with local pastors and missionaries to do medical clinics in rural areas in this country. SS said that there is a private medical care system that operates side by side with the government system. All of the wealthy people in the cities go to the private doctors where they get immediate care.
Our son saw patients with back, shoulder, knee, hip and ankle injuries. He evaluated the patients and gave them exercise sheets in their native language to show them how to do exercises that would improve their condition. The pastors promised to follow up on some needs that went beyond exercise. For instance SS saw a child whose legs were different lengths. Because of that she walked on her toes on the shorter leg. That put strain on her hips and back. Her problem would be easily solved with a shoe that was built up on the bottom.
The local diet sounded like the Type O diet. The people eat lots of fish with rice. They eat a good variety of vegetables with delicious seasonings. They have plenty of fruit. They get meat sometimes instead of fish. Local women prepared the food that the team ate.
SS told one interesting story of the unintended consequences of government policy. There was very little crime in the farming villages. The people were happy and the team felt safe. However, some time ago the government needed to raise revenue. They hired commercial fisherman to take in a huge catch of fish for export. Virtually all of the fish near the two villages where the team worked were caught. There were no more fish for the local fishermen to catch for their families or to sell for cash. Poverty increased. The drug lords saw an opportunity and moved into these villages. I’m sure the bureaucrats in the capitol never imagined what the end result would be of their money raising scheme.
Our son is back at work now. He gets a sense of fulfilment helping people at his clinic in Texas. He plans to save his money and his vacation days so he can do another medical mission trip soon.
Commercials for computer backup services always remind people that sooner or later they will have a hard drive crash. It’s been more than a decade since we went through a computer crash, but a week before Thanksgiving, the signs were unmistakable. The lifespan for our desktop computer was short. We wanted another Windows 7 computer, so we ordered online. Always thorough about backups, we became obsessive as we waited for the new computer to arrive.
If there is a BTD connection to my computer problems it is this - I protect my physical health by consistently maximizing beneficials, avoiding avoids and exercising daily. So when a “crash” comes my body is as well prepared to handle it as possible. A “crash” might be a virus, a physical injury, or a bacterial infection. Always be prepared, and during cold and flu season, it’s ok to be a little obsessive.
The computer arrived the same day our kids arrived for Thanksgiving. So for a few more days we limped along with a computer that took longer and longer to boot. After the holiday we began to move into the new computer - a process that is finally complete. That’s not a good excuse for neglecting my blog, but it’s the only excuse I have!
We had planned to have our big family dinner on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. This was our wedding anniversary. I fixed red snapper almandine - what we ate at our rehearsal dinner 38 years ago. With the fish, we had a relish tray, fresh green beans, sweet potato puffs, and rice. All of the dishes and serving pieces were wedding gifts.
However, we got a call from DD about mid afternoon. They had been in an auto accident as they traveled to our house. All three of them were fine, but their car was not drivable. By the time they had the car towed to a body shop, rented a car and finished the drive, it was 10:00.
We didn’t get to all have dinner together, but I’m thankful to God that everyone was safe.
Thanksgiving morning our neighborhood had a 5K Turkey Trot. SS, DD, and I ran. My two kids were first and second place. I finished respectably in the middle of the pack. HH bought Baby Cakes to the finish line in his stroller, so we were greeted with precious smiles as we completed the race.
I’m thankful that my children are all living healthy, active lives.
Because SIL does not like celery, and there would only be 5 of us eating dinner on Thanksgiving Day, DD and I decided to cook a turkey breast with millet. We had two big pans of roasted vegetables on the side. While it wasn’t a traditional meal, it suited us just fine. BC had his vegetables pureed!
The Pilgrims thanked God for His protection over their little colony at the First Thanksgiving. We thanked God for His protection over our country this year. Ebola has been contained; protests did not become widespread riots; terrorism has been thwarted. I take none of that for granted.
It was DD’s turn for a recipe in the Picky Eater Challenge. It was almost too easy!
She cooked a Butterball turkey roast in the crock pot for 8 hours on low.
The turkey was tender, juicy, and delicious.
I have a recipe for turkey leftovers that I prepared the day after Thanksgiving. I’ll post it next time. It will be equally good for Christmas Turkey leftovers.
First of all, the Picky Eater Recipe Challenge is still on. It’s my turn and I have taste tested my recipe, but DD is a week behind, so we took a week off.
In September I mentioned that I had been to the doctor for two symptoms that I hoped were unrelated. I wrote a blog about my abdominal pain and how it had been resolved by making myself spend less time sitting at the computer.
The other symptom was a little bit of spotting. My doctor sent me for a sonogram, suspicious that my uterine wall was thickening. The sonogram showed everything was fine. However the sonogram showed something else that both the technician and the radiologist identified it as a fibroid. I thought that was good, because fibroids are almost never cancerous. After menopause they don’t give any trouble.
My doctor’s assistant wanted me to have an MRI. “Why,” I asked. “Just to be sure,” she said. “To be sure of what?” I asked. “Just to be sure,” she repeated. This was getting nowhere, so I asked her to send me a copy of the sonogram report.
When the report arrived it seemed pretty clear. My uterine wall measured normal, and they found a fibroid. But at the end it said, “MRI can be performed to find out if clinically warranted.”
I had not had any further spotting in several months, and I decided not to have the MRI.
I believe that doctors today over test. (Just to be clear, this is my personal, non-professional opinion. I have no idea what Dr. D thinks.) It is wonderful that medicine has advanced far beyond simple x-rays. Far better to get a good image of what is going on inside than to have exploratory surgery. But I have heard too many stories from friends who work in the medical profession. Many times tests are ordered because the doctor wants to live a more lavish lifestyle. Many times tests are ordered because the doctor or clinic is afraid of lawsuits.
One friend who works in a medical office joked that she spent a Saturday at a seminar on how to increase profits. She was taught how to nudge patients toward additional procedures that they didn’t need which would increase the clinic’s billing.
DD had to find a new dentist after she graduated. At her first appointment they told her they were going to do 16 x-rays. She said, “No. I just want my teeth cleaned.” They told her that if she didn’t have the x-rays they wouldn’t clean her teeth. She walked out of the office. It turns out that her dental insurance pays next to nothing for teeth cleaning, but it reimburses for x-rays. The doctor makes his income from unnecessary x-rays.
One year I was called back for two unnecessary mammograms because the clinic had bought new digital imaging equipment. I wasn’t supposed to know that, but one of the technicians let it slip.
On the other side, we have a friend who works in a hospital emergency room. It frustrates him that even when he knows what is wrong with a patient, the hospital requires tests for related symptoms - sometimes as many as ten tests. The hospital has learned from hard experience that a patient may come into the emergency room for one problem and leave with that problem with resolved. However, if a few months later they develop another problem, particularly if it is life threatening, they will sue the hospital for missing the second problem.
My father needed surgery for skin cancer when he was 90. It was outpatient surgery, but the dermatologist planned to use general anesthesia. No one wanted the responsibility for approving the procedure, so for weeks he was sent from one doctor to another for one test after another. All of the tests came out normal, but he never did have the surgery.
All of that played into my decision to decline the MRI. However, when I got my flu shot, I learned that I was over my deductible. I realized that if I had the MRI before the end of the year, it would be fully paid for by insurance. If I waited and started spotting again, I would have to start over again on my deductible. I had the test...and got the results this week.
Everything is normal. It’s the week before Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for the good results and thankful for the closure. But I still think doctors prescribe too many medical tests.