Our church is joining many other churches in a 6 week Bible study called 40 Days of Purpose. I had never thought about how many times the Bible uses the word purpose or a synonym for purpose until this study. For example, Proverbs 16:4 says, The Lord has made everything for his purpose.
Rick Warren, a California pastor, has identified five things that give meaning and purpose to life. We are to study one of those purposes each week. This week it was "You were planned for God's pleasure." Psalm 149:4 says The Lord takes pleasure in his people.
Of all the illustrations used to explain this, my favorite was that of a father and his children. When my husband and I thought about having children, we wanted to hold them and watch them grow and be with them. Thinking of our children makes me smile. It is fun sometimes just to watch them sleep, and a hug from them is the greatest gift in the world.
In the same way, God created us to love him and be with him. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment," said Jesus quoting Moses.
One of the ways God shows his love for us is the abundance in the world he made for us. He could have arranged for us to get all the nourishment we need from one power packed, blah tasting substance. Instead he gave us an amazing variety of foods that give pleasure to the tongue and strength to the body. When I sit down to a meal and give thanks for the food he has provided, I am worshiping him.
In honor of the Kentucky Derby, my new vegetable of the week is - horseradish. My Mom loves horseradish. But when I was little and she would eat it, she always commented about how hot it was. This did not inspire me to try it!
Last summer (when I had been on the Blood Type Diet for about 6 weeks) we went on vacation and stopped to visit friends in Ohio. Pam had a variety of meats, cheeses, and breads, and she told everyone to make their own sandwich to take on a picnic. When I picked roast beef, Pam said "Oh, I have horseradish to go with that." I knew horseradish was a Type O beneficial, so I tried it. I liked the flavor, and it wasn't nearly as hot as I had feared.
However, when I got back home and tried to buy horseradish, every brand I could find was mixed in a dressing made from soy oil (Type O avoid). I gave up on horseradish, until this week when I found plain horseradish root in a bin in the produce department.
I asked the produce manager, "How do people eat this?" He said that they usually chopped it and mixed it with mayonnaise. We started brain storming, and came up with the idea of chopping it fine and mixing it in olive oil. The produce manager thought that would work.
I've written before that collard greens, turnip greens and kale don't excite me unless they are well seasoned. I had some left over ground beef. I tossed it in with turnip greens and seasoned it all with the horseradish/olive oil mix that had been marinating over night. It was very good: spicy but not too hot.
This has been a stressful week. My journalism class published the April issue of the school newspaper, AND prepared to ship the second third of our yearbook pages to the publisher. That has meant a lot of proofing and a lot of late hours at the computer. It has also meant a lot of extra adrenaline.
There is no doubt that "intense physical exercise" is the best for me as a Type O.
On Monday I rode my bike. To tell the truth there was no time for exercise, so I jumped on the bike and did two errands. I rode hard and felt great. Tuesday I did stretching exercises with a video tape. I'm sure my joints benefit from the stretching, but it didn't work off the tension in my muscles.
Wednesday I ran two miles. I usually run about a mile and a half in a hilly area. Because I ran on a fairly level path near my house, I ran two miles. I was energized! I not only felt great physically, but I had the satisfaction of breaking through a barrier. It was the first time I had run 2 full miles since before my son was born.
Thursday I was a little sore from the 2 mile run, so I gave my muscles a rest. The right decision for my legs I'm sure, but I could feel the build up of stress in my shoulders.
I just got in from a hard swim. I feel wonderful. All the tension was left behind in the water.
I had my annual physical yesterday. It was 14 months ago that, after trying everything I knew to do, I complained to our family doctor about increasingly painful indigestion. He put me on Nex-ium. Two months later, when I wasn't feeling significantly better, he sent me to a specialist. When the specialist could not find a reason for the inflammation in my stomach, providence led me to the Blood Type Diet. Sometime I will write those details, but today's blog is about yesterday's appointment.
My doctor noticed immediately that I had lost 15 pounds. I told him that when the specialist had nothing to offer, I read that Type Os were the most likely to have stomach and digestive system problems. He raised his eyebrows. I said that as I read about the Blood Type Diet, I realized that I was eating the wrong foods first thing every morning. I told him I started following the Type O diet and was off the medication in less than two weeks.
He asked what I ate, and I told him lots of protein and lots of fruits and vegetables, very little grain*, and no dairy. He said, "If you don't eat wheat, do you eat corn?" I said no, that rice, kamut and oats were ok, but that I didn't really eat much of them. He wanted to be sure that if I wasn't eating dairy that I was taking calcium. Other than that, he didn't have a single negative thing to say. He totally approved of the quantity of fresh food I eat. He looked over my cholesterol report and said it looked great
He has been our family doctor since 1979, and he has not always approved of some of the vitamin programs I've tried. However, he did not in any way discourage me from continuing to pursue the Blood Type Diet.
* No longer grain free. click here for more info
A comment from Joan and a line in Catherine's blog got me thinking about how I make practical decisions about living life on the Blood Type Diet.
I've condensed a paragraph from Catherine's blog. "A big chunk of my money has gone on health supplements and foods. I can't help feeling resentful about that sometimesâ€¦There are so many different approaches and brandsâ€¦Practitioners and manufacturers are also trying to make money so how do you know who to trust?"
Joan's comment (after I wrote about my daughter taking protein bars on a mission trip) was: "What soy protein bars did she get?" I could imagine Joan thinking - "Suzanne has found a blood type friendly protein bar!!!"
My store has an entire shelf of protein bars. They cost as little as 75 cents and as much as $3. To be honest, I didn't read the ingredients and I don't remember the brand name. I had my daughter pick soy bars that sounded good to her and were a dollar or less. The way I looked at it - if she chose it herself she would eat it. If the first ingredient was soy protein, it would be infinitely better for her (Type A) than chips, candy bars or other vending machine snacks.
I could have read the labels and picked something expensive that she didn't want. What would be the point of that? I walked a fine line between being strictly on the diet and being practical.
I face the same sort of decisions at the grocery store. Organic carrots cost about the same as regular carrots, so I buy organic. Organic fruit is way too expensive for my budget, so I buy regular. At the meat counter, I can choose between cheap commercial chicken, moderately priced no-hormone chicken or expensive organically fed chicken. I go for the middle. In supplements, I choose capsules over tablets because they are better absorbed, and I buy moderately priced, respected brands at a health food store.
I have to be practical. How long would my family go along with the Blood Type Diet if I spent so much money on rare foods and supplements that we had to disconnect the satellite TV or buy generic tennis shoes? Not Long!!
Some of you are horrified at what I just wrote. Most of you are breathing a sigh of relief. Like Catherine, your budget won't allow you to buy the best all the time. Don't be resentful, and trust your own good judgment. Maximize the beneficials; minimize the avoids. You will feel better, and you will be less stressed.