I am slightly out of breath as I type this blog, but I am smiling, because I rode my bike for almost an hour this afternoon and I didn't have to walk up any hills. I blogged a few weeks ago about my disappointment that I had run out of energy and had to walk my bicycle up the last big hill before I got home.
I had lots of excuses. We were out of town a lot last fall and I hadn't had time to ride. Early winter was unusually cold, and I wimped out about riding in the chilly wind. Of course, it's always easy to blame my age. Women nearing 60 lose muscle every year because of hormones, and it's a struggle to exercise enough to maintain the muscle I have, much less to build more. Whatever the reason, I had obviously neglected certain muscles in my legs.
I've ridden several times since that blog. Every time I have ridden farther and faster and up more hills. But today was the first time since last summer that I have ridden straight up the last hill.
I am smiling because I achieved a goal. I am smiling because I feel physically good after that kind of strenuous exercise. Most of all I am smiling because I have proved to myself that I can still build muscle. Now - I need to concentrate on building more of it!
On an entirely different subject, I made Kasha last night. I asked myself as I ate it with chicken and steamed vegetables, why I don't make it more often. Buckwheat is a good neutral grain for Type Os. Despite its name, it isn't wheat at all, and it is gluten free.
If you just cook buckwheat, it turns out with a texture sort of like oatmeal. But if you follow the Kasha recipe on the package and brown it first with an egg, then add boiling water, it turns out fluffy like rice. It takes less time to buckwheat on the stove than to cook rice in the rice cooker.
This afternoon I had Kasha with black currant preserves. It was as good as dessert.
It was late in the week, I was at the grocery store, and I hadn't tried a new recipe for the week. I was in the mood for salmon.
Though salmon is a good choice because it is beneficial for us both, salmon is not my Honorable Husband's favorite fish. Truth be told, his favorite fish is catfish, which is an avoid for him. I don't hassle him about catfish in restaurants, because I feel like any kind of fish is better for him than most meats. However, I don't buy catfish to cook at home.
I decided to buy salmon and see if I could find a different recipe when I got home. There was a long line at the fish counter. While I was waiting my turn I started looking through the complimentary recipe cards on display at the counter. The name Lemon Herb Salmon caught my eye. I especially liked the total preparation and cook time of 25 minutes.
The recipe called for olive oil and lemon pepper. I didn't think I would like that. This is how I made it:
Large salmon fillet with skin
2 Tbsp rosemary
juice from one lemon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the salmon in a baking dish. Crush the rosemary in your fingers to bring out the flavor. Sprinkle over the salmon. Pour the lemon juice over the salmon. Cover the baking dish with foil. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes.
HH said it was the best salmon I had ever fixed. I'm definitely keeping this recipe.
It has been a long time since I have had really sore muscles.
I think I'm in pretty good shape. In fact, I think I'm in above average shape for a woman my age. After spending the first 23 years of my life sitting on sofas reading books, I discovered that I liked to run and swim. When I found the Blood Type Diet in 2003 and read that Type Os need "intense physical exercise" I could identify.
I exercise between 45 minutes and an hour 5-6 days a week. I let my body rest one day a week. For me it is a good Biblical principal, but I find it interesting that every physical trainers agree. Women my age are prone to lose muscle mass and replace it with fat. I fight that tendency continuously.
For all of these reasons, it has been a long time since I have had really sore muscles.
Saturday I photographed 17 basketball teams. I had been hired by a children's basketball league. The players were aged 5-12. I shot pictures from 7:30 in the morning until 4:30 that afternoon.
If you want good pictures, you do not stand when you photograph children. You get down on their level. So I was up and down; up and down; up and down all day long. While I was working, I felt great. But, oh my! Sunday morning when I got out of bed, my quads were screaming. I hobbled into the bathroom. I had trouble getting dressed. I walked around all day like an old lady.
Monday was a little better. If I had been sitting for a while - at the computer or in a meeting - when I first stood up my quads were stiff and painful. However, once I started moving around, they loosened up. Today is a little better, but still noticeably painful.
I'm disappointed and dismayed. How could someone who exercises as much as I do have muscles this sore? I know the answer, while I exercise up to an hour a day, I don't work my leg muscles all day the way I did on Saturday.
What I have learned from this experience is that the exercise I'm doing is not pushing my muscles anywhere close to their limits. I may be in better shape than most women my age, but there is a lot of room for improvement.
This week was our Strong Son's birthday. As I planned his birthday dinner I wanted to cook some old favorite foods, and I wanted to try a new recipe. The old favorites were chicken breasts with broccoli, butternut squash soup, and egg custard made with almond milk. I served the egg custard over blueberries to make it festive, but truthfully, I like it better plain.
SS is a Type O who loves pasta, so I wanted to try a new recipe with Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta. I have bought many neutral grain pastas over the year, and Tinkyada is the only brand that is as good as traditional pasta. If you can't get Tinkyada in your local health food store, you can order it from VitaCost.
SS also likes Mexican food, and I wondered if anyone had tried Fajita Pasta. There was nothing close on the Blood Type Diet Recipe Center . Though I did see some other intriguing pasta recipes that I want to try. When I Googled Fajita Pasta, I found several recipes, but none of them were BTD friendly, and almost all of them relied on packaged seasoning mixes. I chose one recipe that came close to what I had in my head, and made a lot of adjustments.
Bell peppers are avoid for Type As, but they are neutral for non-secretors. There are several things that make me suspect my Honorable Husband is a non-secretor. Someday I need to get him tested, but I did not worry about his eating the peppers in this recipe.
Here is the recipe I came up with. I served it as a side dish without chicken for the birthday dinner. I'm going to make it again next week with chicken for a ladies' luncheon. My family gave it rave reviews.
8 oz Tinkyada Pasta spirals or elbows
2 Tbsp light olive oil
1 white onion, sliced into strips
1 Green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 Red bell pepper, sliced into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup black beans
Optional additions: chicken breast cubes, chopped tomato, guacamole,
How to make it:
Cook pasta according to directions
Stir fry onion, bell pepper and garlic. When vegetables are soft, add seasonings. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes to blend flavors. Mix pasta, vegetables and beans together. Add chicken if desired. Top with tomato and guacamole if desired.
Saturday I took a friend who lives in San Antonio out to lunch for her birthday. I had read on the internet about a Hawaiian restaurant called Aloha Kitchen. It is a tiny restaurant in a strip center; probably more of a café than a restaurant. I had expected to find lots of tropical fruit and coconut on the menu. Instead they serve a variety of meat and rice dishes with oriental sauces which celebrate the blend of cultures in Hawaii today.
I ordered a combination plate with Huli Huli chicken and Draggin' Meat. I chose mixed squash and a spring roll for my two sides. Everything was delicious.
I had told our server that we were celebrating my friend's birthday. They hung leis around her neck and sang Happy Birthday in Hawaiian, accompanied by a ukulele, of course. Then they brought her a piece a guava pie. I ordered a slice of mango pie. What a perfect way to end an unusual lunch.
On the drive home, I turned on the radio and listened to a show about GMO foods. I confess I was ignorant about the subject. The two things that caught my attention were a list of ingredients to avoid if you wanted to stay GMO free and a list of ailments that some research associates with high intake of GMO products.
The radio guest said there were eight foods on the GMO watch list. Corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets are almost always GMO. In addition some papaya and a small percentage of zucchini and yellow squash are also GMO.
I really don't eat the first five on the list. Corn is avoid for Type Os. Soybeans are toxic for Hunters and Gatherers. There are so many beneficial oils, that I don't waste my time with canola or cottonseed oil. I sweeten with agave, honey, or turbinado sugar, not beet sugar.
The radio guest was particularly concerned about high fructose corn syrup. I agree with her about avoiding any product with corn syrup on the ingredient list, though our reasons are different.
The radio show emphasized a French study that was released in the fall of 2012. I read some more about it when I got home and was disappointed. They fed the rats in the study GMO corn, and gave them water mixed with Roundup herbicide. The rats developed lots of problems particularly breast tumors and organ failure. The results lost their impact on me because two potentially dangerous variables were used.
Making rats drink water mixed with herbicide is cruel, and I'm not a bit surprised that it led to health problems. How am I to know which problems were the result of the GMO corn, and which were the result of drinking herbicide?
As a Christian, I believe that the closer we eat our food to the way that God created it, the better off we will be. So I am skeptical of GMO in the same way that I am skeptical of any processed food.
I'm glad to have a short list of GMO foods to watch out for, and glad that none of them are foods that I often eat. But I do not approve of the scare tactics used by the French study or the radio show guest.
Since Aloha means both hello and goodbye, I'll say hello fun Hawaiian food and goodbye GMO.