Five fast fig facts:
1. Although considered a fruit, the fig is actually a flower that is inverted into itself. The seeds are drupes, or the real fruit.
2. Figs contain a proteolytic enzyme that is considered an aid to digestion and is used by the pharmaceutical industry.
3. Psoalens, a chemical found in figs, has been used for thousands of years to treat skin pigmentation diseases. Psoralens also promotes tanning in the sun.
4. Figs have many nutritional benefits. They are higher in fiber than any other common fruit or vegetable. A quarter-cup serving provides 5 grams of fiber, which is 20% of the RDV. Figs are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure. They are also a fruit source of calcium (79 milligrams per 8oz serving).
5. Figs have an opening, called the "ostiole" or "eye," which is not connected to the tree, but which helps the fruit's development by increasing its communication with the environment.
According to Typebase 4, dried figs are beneficial for all types except B secretors.
For years I have heard other people rave about dried figs, but I never tried them because, honestly, they don’t look very appetizing. They are brown, shrivelled, and ugly. But, they are so tasty! Now I am addicted. Yesterday I received my order of five pounds of beautiful figs! I buy my figs through a co-op group at school which orders them from this website.
For more information about figs, check out:
World’s Healthiest Foods
I am efficient. I like routine. I like to plan things and track things. I like consistency and accuracy. I have three planets in Virgo to explain all this… Most of all, I like to possess information – that one comes from my ascendant in Scorpio!
I am an information collector. For example, I know the birth signs or even exact birth dates of most people I have come into contact with, including people on the BTD forums that I’ve never met! I even know this stuff about many celebrities that interest me. This is literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of people! Somehow, it enters my brain and I remember forever. I am an information collector on myself too. I keep receipts, I track my income and spending (good little business student), I track my menstrual cycle, I track my exercise, I track my health history, I even track the prices of groceries I buy so I can remember what the best price is. This combination of information gathering (and remembering) and tracking has made me a good student and highly efficient. I can’t even count how many people have told me that I am the most efficient person they know. OK, enough bragging…
One of the (many) things I track is what I eat every day. Not the exact foods, but the grouping (veggies, fruit, water, etc) so that I can monitor how I am doing using the BTD portion/frequency guidelines. Years ago when I was still learning the BTD and trying to resolve several health issues, this was very helpful to me. Because I was accountable for what I was eating, I made better choices. I noticed trends (like overeating nuts, which I still do!) that I could then try to change. In 2004 I noticed that although I never had potatoes in the house, I was still eating at least one serving per week (usually more) at restaurants. This surprised me, so I decided to experiment by resolving to cut out potatoes in 2005. Doing this convinced me that potatoes actually are an avoid for me and once I stopped eating them, I didn’t really want them anymore. I have also used this information to increase my vegetable intake, again with great benefits. In the nearly five years since I started the BTD, I have accomplished most of my health goals, which I had never thought possible previously.
However, after many years of tracking this information, I feel that it may be time to take a break. I am really good at following the BTD now and maybe I don’t need the accountability anymore? I am very busy and have so little time that I am looking for things to cut out. I am also on a quest to become less “regimented” as one of my roommates calls me. I live to a standard that is simply not attainable by most people around me, which has caused me frustration most of my life. For many years now I have been learning that I need not be in control of as many things as I try to be. I don’t need to know everything (but, oh, how I want to!) and I can relax my observation of the world around me and still be OK. I will always be this way to some degree, but I’ve made major changes to my life and outlook along these lines and have learned so much from doing so.
Therefore, starting tomorrow (mid-month even!), no more tracking food. This makes me a bit sad, since this is part of my daily routine now and I derive some satisfaction from being able to “give myself credit” for making healthy choices everyday. But I think I can continue to do that without the little pat on the back. Wish me luck!
Type O exercise
February 3, 2007
Late last year I wrote a blog about how I gained some weight by ignoring some of the key aspects to living a healthy type O non-secretor lifestyle. I am happy to report that I have committed to a few key habits that have me back in “fighting” form and feeling energized physically and mentally.
1. Exercise. So important for type Os!!! Can’t be emphasized enough. And for me, not just any exercise will do – I definitely need a good aerobic workout, but weights are the top priority. In December I joined the YMCA and have been consistently exercising there 2-3 times per week since. I have a pretty simple routine that is working for me now:
- Warmup for 3 minutes on elliptical (I’d love to warmup longer, but I am time-strapped).
- Weights, either upper or lower body (or a whole-body circuit). Upper body work is focused on strengthening my upper and middle back to counterbalance my otherwise seated (in class or studying) lifestyle.
- Running (time determined by physiotherapist) while studying.
- Elliptical for 20-30 minutes, both backwards and forwards, while studying.
- Abdominal exercises followed by stretching.
I have honed this process so that I can leave school, workout (while studying!), return to school, heat up my lunch, and get my butt into my next class in just over 2 hours! This works great because I have 2 days each week with a 2 hour break in the middle of the day. Sometimes I have to stay at school for one of those breaks (to attend seminars, club meetings, whatever), so my backup plan is to head to the gym on Tuesday evenings, since that is the only day of the week that I am finished school earlier than 6 or 7pm. I try to fit in a 3rd workout either on Friday afternoons or Saturday or Sunday morning (on days I’m not working). It’s all about planning!
2. Limited grains. Pretty much out the picture now. I no longer buy Ezekiel buns because they are too tempting and I end up eating them too often. When I do this, I get a weird feeling in my gut the next morning. I will probably eat more in the summer (BBQ season). I use some puffed rice in the chocolate I make sometimes and I have a few rice crackers in the cupboard, but now that I’m not eating the Ezekiel bread regularly, they don’t call me like they used to. Instead, I am eating sweet potato fries with dinner sometimes and having other crunchy things, like almonds or pumpkin seeds.
3. Different kinds of sugar. Rather than eating packaged bars with rice syrup (some of which I still have in my house!), I have been indulging in more fruit, like figs (beneficial!). I have also started adding avocado to my morning smoothie. I just got a case of the new and improved Unibars and they are amazing! A lot better texture and nicer taste than previously. I am still having some issues with my ears, but not as bad as before and I am going to make it a priority to work with my naturopathic intern to get that resolved by the summer.
4. Sleep is good. This is a constant struggle. I’ve been doing alright, but I could do better. If I could just finish writing this blog, study some more pathology, and get to bed, I will be well rested for work tomorrow…
5. Stress reduction. Go figure, the increased exercise has helped my stress levels a lot… So does meditating nightly, good time management, a positive outlook, and taking Catechol.
In addition, I continue to learn to accept myself. In my life, I have spent an inordinate amount of time and energy worrying about how others perceive me. I am highly intelligent, hard-working, organized, independent, and emotionally mature and I have succeeded in accentuating these qualities in creating my external “image”. However, I am also sensitive, goofy, nerdy, and even naïve and it is these qualities that I have protected most from the view of others for fear of being judged “uncool”. So, I continue to work on being comfortable with my own unique likes and dislikes and less concerned with “fitting in”. Socially, I am coming to accept that my interests are just not the same as the majority of people around me. I don’t mind staying home on Friday nights to watch movies, play games, or just read (even if this makes me lame). When I go out with friends, I don’t care who is going where, what the hot club or bar of the night is, or how many men I can meet there. I like to be on time, rather than fashionably late. I would rather eat than drink if I have to choose. A fun night does not require that I am hung-over the next morning. Embracing myself helps with the stress reduction…
6. Meals and snacks. I’m doing WAY better at not eating out of stress or boredom during the day. I always take lots of food with me to school (I have long days this semester), but I try to have a small snack in the morning, a set lunchtime, and then another snack if I am at school late. I try not to eat in class, but there are some days that this is inescapable if I want to eat lunch when I am actually hungry. Eating is way more enjoyable this way!
I’m sitting here sipping my liquid magnesium (mmm…), relaxing my muscles before bed and I feel like writing a blog… However, I also have about a million other things to do before I watch Gilmore Girls at 10, so this is a quickie.
Scar update #1:
Back in November I wrote briefly about using rosehip oil (aka rosa mosqueta) on a nasty scar on my elbow. I am pleased to report that my scar has continued to improve! Now the scar is barely pink at all and it has shrunk down so that it is hardly raised anymore, only bumpy in a few places. I have barely used the rosehip oil since the summer (I never remember) and I hardly ever massage it either! It is possible that there is another explanation for the sudden healing of this old, old scar since I have done a few homeopathic cleanses since the summer and have had some constitutional acupuncture (although not to that area).
Back/knee/foot update #2:
Back pain = 0, knee pain = 0, foot pain = working on it.
Back in October I gave an update on my back pain and there have been many changes since then. In November I started seeing a physiotherapist (who also performs manipulations) because although my back pain was nearly totally gone, I still had it after running and I continued to have pain in my right arch while running.
The back pain was easily taken care of with exercises to improve my gluteals (I guess I had a flat butt? Not anymore!) and a manipulation to realign my sacroiliac joint (between base of the spine and the pelvis). Immediately my back was fine and has remained pain-free since. My foot is another issue…
I continue to have pain in my right arch while running, and we have worked on this with manipulations to my foot to correct reduced range of motion in some of the joints and now with some stretches. I have been able to increase my running time to about 12 minutes (at the end of which I have moderate pain) slowly. Running in my old, worn out shoes is better than my new shoes and I am running with my orthotics, but not using them day to day. My right foot has felt stiffer and less springy that my left for a long time now and I can already feel improvement since I’ve been seeing the physiotherapist, but I don’t feel that we have finished investigating this mystery yet…
I’m feeling frustrated about it at the moment because it is hard to see other people being able to run freely (and sometimes with horrendous form and other bad habits), but know that I am restricted. I feel that there is something deep to this issue, something on the emotional plane and that this symptom is an opportunity for me to finally resolve it. I just wish it were easier to figure it out! Wish me luck.
Courtesy of Embryology class…
Approximately 50% of all spontaneous abortions are caused by severe chromosomal abnormalities. And often mothers are not even aware of a pregnancy because a miscarriage occurs so early due to abnormalities.
Unfortunately the older the mother, the more likelihood there is of some form of chromosomal abnormality because a woman’s ova are already partially developed at birth and at puberty they complete most of their development. Then this pool of ova is drawn upon over the next 40 years or so for ovulation. So what happens to all those ova while they wait? They are affected by their environment and therefore can be degraded and damaged by what women do to our bodies willingly and what we are exposed to in their environment. We women can’t get away with the same choices as men, who can make new sperm from puberty until death. Yet another reason to care properly for oneself and to be aware and vigilant about the toxins that surround us every day…
Chances of having a baby with Down Syndrome (a less severe chromosomal abnormality) are:
1 in 2000 if the mother is 25 years or younger
1 in 300 if the mother is 35 years or older
1 in 100 if the mother is 40 years or older
Considering that I am turning 27 this year and will not graduate until I am 30, I will most likely fall into the middle bracket above. I want to get married and have babies. I want to have a strong, stable, and fulfilling marriage. Ideally, I would like to be married for several years before having children, but I am also aware of the risks I face for every year after 25 that I don’t have a child. The proverbial clock is ticking! It’s hard to meet my future husband attending a school that is about 15% men (not all of whom are straight!)…
So, my ideal timeline is to meet my match before I graduate, get married soon after, and have babies a few years later (before age 35). All while starting a successful career as a naturopathic doctor… I recently watched the movie “The Secret” which taught me that while I can’t control my destiny, I can request what I want from the universe and by visualizing and believing in what I want to happen, I can attract it to me. However, I am also a firm believer that planning the nitty gritty details of life causes you to miss the unexpected opportunities and does nothing to increase the likelihood of making your “plans” reality.
Changing gears a little…
Babies conceived via using assisted reproductive technology (eg: IVF, GIFT, ZIFT, etc) are at higher risk for prematurity, low birth weight, and infant mortality, often due to increased incidence of multiple births (cost-benefit of IVF dictates the implantation of 4-5 fertilized ova, for example). However even singleton births face risks of low birth weight and malformation, probably due to degeneration or defects in the ova or sperm that caused the conception difficulties/miscarriages in the first place.
Who are we to decide that it is a right to have our own biological children, not a privilege or even just plain luck? Is it wise to assume that we are in the best position to determine and even control our own path or should we accept responsibility for the consequences of our life events and choices (controlling our hormones, marrying later, exposing ourselves to toxins), therefore accepting our “destiny”?
I don’t know the answers to these questions and I don’t presume to judge anyone’s choice except my own. I don’t know what my choice would be if I were unable to conceive a child. I do know that my life choices will have consequences and that there are many options for becoming a parent that are as admirable and valid (perhaps even more so?) than bearing biological children. I’m thankful for being able to read extensive discussions about adoption on the BTD Forums because they have confirmed for me that fostering or adopting are options that I would consider.
Just some food for thought.