Never have I needed Spring more than this year. I have been silently watching the branches outside my window, eagerly awaiting the new leaf buds bursting, the fresh blush of green amongst the dried, brown grasses. But I do live next to the Rockies and our Springs are generally punctuated by storms of heavy wet snow in and amongst the warm sunny days, and this year is no exception. And after a winter colder than I can remember… in so many ways… I am so ready for the warmth to slide in and rest amongst the new buds for awhile.
So while I wait for the warmth to return on the outside, I find myself on many a cold morning returning to the comfort of warm cooked oats for breakfast. There is something so elementally satisfying about oats… whether using rolled oats, steel cut oats, or oat bran…. that warms from the inside out. I usually cook my oats in water, with a little grey Celtic sea salt. And instead of adding maple syrup or honey, I like to top my plain cooked oats with prunes that have been stewed with a small slice of lemon and a few crushed green cardamom pods or a small stick of cinnamon if I am feeling decadent. So easy to make stewed prunes… just place the desired number of prunes in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a small boil, then reduce to barely a simmer for about 20 minutes. Adding the spices and lemon make the prunes taste more like a special treat and a far cry from the “grandpa” food association. And a hefty sprinkle of lightly toasted or raw walnuts gives the oats just enough protein-ness to assuage that sleepy, hollow feeling that can sometimes accompany a morning bowlful of oats.
I like to cook steel cut oats in a mixture of water and goats milk. Sometimes I toast the oats in the saucepan before I add the liquid. With steel cut oats, I make a topping of dates, vanilla and a pinch of ground cardamom made just like stewed prunes, only adding the spices after the dates have been taken of the heat. Stir in the spices and the dates turn into a paste like consistency. Wonderfully fragrant with just the right amount of sweetness. Or instead of the date topping, I add chopped apples, ground nutmeg, a drizzle of maple syrup and dried blueberries in to cook with the oats. Warm cooked apples with oats are so delicious!
I also eat oats on occasion in the evenings, just before bed if I have had an especially stressful day. I cook them up and eat them sprinkled with a flavorful salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Relaxes me like nothing else.
Ok Spring… take your time… my oats will keep me warm and peaceful until you’re ready.
I have had this image floating through my brain for some time now...
I am at the edge of a swiftly flowing river, afraid of being swept away in its powerful currents. There is a tree on the bank of the river and I am clinging to one of its branches that extends out over the water. I can feel the river rushing beneath me as I cling to this branch for dear life. But the branch is not strong… it is old and brittle and about to break. It can no longer support me.
These past few months have brought a host of major changes in my life. And although these changes have been a long time in the making, they finally culminated into the action phase on the physical plane. My marriage of almost 20 years came to a definite close. And although the marriage itself had long been over, we had been living in the same house for the past couple of years trying to figure out how to move forward. It was like that carton of milk in the back of the fridge that begins to sour and you aren’t quite sure if it has indeed gone bad so you keep it… just in case… until you notice that it has definitely curdled and no use to anyone any longer. I don't mean to be flip or disrespectful here... that is just what it felt like. And we had our children's lives to consider as well.
I glance down the river and see that the current is not as swift as I had believed. I see it bend and curve and disappear in the distance. I become curious as to where the river will lead. And I have grown tired of clinging to that which no longer supports…
So here I am in a new phase of life, living on my own for the first time in over 20 years, and going through a career change as well. And in the midst of all this, The Genotype Diet is released. I was very excited and wanted to jump right into nomad land but my initial dietary changes did not produce such favorable results. Mainly, I noticed my blood sugar levels crashing which had been my Achilles heel prior to the BTD. That did freak me out a little and gave me pause…. Perhaps on top of everything else my diet changing rapidly was not the best thing for me. Some things we have no control over. But others we can take our time with. I decided to take my time and see how best to incorporate the Genotype Diet into my life in a way that works for me.
And I am one of those that tests to be better suited to the BTD. But I do feel that certain aspects of the nomad diet, like gluten intolerances, are spot on for me. I have cut all gluten out of my diet… except for spelt flour which I combine with rice and/or oat flour for baking the occasional treat. Most of my recipes have happily adapted to just rice flour. That was a pleasant surprise! And my body will no longer accept spelt bread nor Ezekiel bread… just doesn’t want it. I started replacing sugar with honey and brought back memories of baking only with honey many years ago. I do need to be a little careful regarding my blood sugar… especially when hiking as it is not yet as stable as I’d like it to be. But I’ll get there… I am getting there….
I reach down and feel that the water is not as icy cold as it looks. I decide to let go of the branch before it breaks completely. And so with a deep breath, I relax…. and let go.
I am in the river now.
I was thrilled to see the phrase “full genetic potential” associated with the GenoType Diet, and it is certainly one of its core principles. It is a favorite phrase of mine. I first heard this phrase back in the early 90’s when I was studying midwifery. I remember a midwife working in my community explaining over and over again that the organizing principle of the practice of midwifery… from the emphasis on healthy maternal nutrition, extended prenatal care, support for the birthing mother and family, creating a safe and gentle birthing environment, as little as possible intervention during birth… all this was to provide the opportunity for the soon-to-be newborn to reach their fullest genetic potential. I would often think about that phrase when I was at a birth, and how I could support this new life coming to the planet in a way that would give them that opportunity.
And so it was doubly thrilling to see the importance of good maternal nutrition and a healthy growing environment as a way to maximize the genetic potential of not only our immediate offspring… but for generations to come as a part of the GenoType Diet. A female newborn has the most ova in her ovaries that she will ever have at birth. The egg that became you was formed during your grandmother’s pregnancy with your mother. I remember thinking about that years ago and wondering what my grandmother had experienced during her pregnancy with my mom and how that impacted the person I came to be. And so it is with all of us….
How wonderful that we now have a way to take that even further… no matter what our age. When my boys were young, I felt that proper nutrition was so important for their growing bodies and was abhorred at what some parents routinely fed their children. It was a priority for me to feed my children the best way I knew as they were ‘growing’ a body which would need to support them for the rest of their lives. But until I read The GenoType Diet book, I never thought about that as adults, we are continually ‘growing’ our bodies too. We replenish our cells constantly. And that we now have a way to maximize, and alter, our genetic destiny beyond the womb. What a concept!!
I’m looking forward to the journey.
If you haven’t gotten Dr. D’ Adamo’s new book, “The Genotype Diet: Change Your Genetic Destiny to live the longest, fullest, and healthiest life possible” then … what are you waiting for?? It is a very interesting, exciting, and new body of work to explore.
Dr. D’ Adamo now takes us beyond blood type to explore our genetic heritage and its interplay with our own individual physiologies and how to further maximize our genetic potential in all the right ways. This new paradigm incorporates the basics of The Blood Type Diet at its core, and adds 6 new GenoTypes that refine and incorporate Dr. D’ Adamo’s interest in epigenetics: the study of how environment impacts which genes are engaged and which ones are silenced. Your own GenoType is easy to determine. If you know your blood type, Rh type and secretor type, then all it takes is a few simple measurements and you’re there!
Of the six Genotypes , persons with blood type B can be one of 3 types: the Gatherer, the Explorer, or the Nomad. I am a Nomad. And I must say that from the very beginning, my journey through the Blood Type Diet, and now the GenoType Diet has been a fairly easy one for me to integrate. When I began the BTD almost 10 years ago now, I had already been eating so-called “healthy” foods… it is just that some of them were not healthy for me. I knew what millet, spelt, quinoa, tamari, etc. was so it was just a matter of… ‘Oh, I should be eating more of this and less of such and such’ for optimal health. And I was also eating organic whenever possible and free-range/grass-fed meats. Adjusting to the B diet was not that big of a change for me. But the beauty of the B diet was not the “permission” to eat dairy. For me it was that for almost every avoid there was a suitable replacement… for chicken there was turkey, for cinnamon, nutmeg, for tomatoes, red and chili peppers, etc.
And now with the Nomad diet, I feel doubly blessed because of the 6 GenoTypes, it seems to be the closest to the B Secretor diet which I had been following. Yes, there are some changes… some very interesting changes that I am excited to explore further… but I’ll get more into that in another blog. For now I will just say that the some of changes I had already begun to shift toward intuitively. And I think that is the real gift of Dr. D’ Adamo’s work… giving people the knowledge of what real health feels like, the tools to get there, but most of all permission to “go with their gut” (pun intended :-) and trust their inner knowing in matters relating to their own health and wellness.
I’ve been struggling with eczema once again, as I have since I was a teenager. It cleared up considerably shortly after I started the BTD about 9 years ago. Since then, it has only come back in a mild form on rare occasions. This time though, I have had it for several months. I think that stress plays a big role in its recurrence. I tried to find out what food was aggravating my system since eczema can also be linked to food intolerances. In the past, it was tomatoes that was the trigger. But I couldn’t find anything. I cut out almost all dairy as that also has been a mild trigger but to no avail. I decided to return to the membrane fluidizer cocktail, or membrosia as it is called in the SWAMI program… a much more appealing name, I think. I haven’t done the membrosia for several years, preferring to use flax meal ground fresh daily in my yogurt rather than flax oil which has such a high rate of rancidity. Plus… I am not a big juice drinker and having fresh juice on hand was a chore. Ideally I would juice a small amount daily… I do have a juicer and maybe someday I will incorporate fresh made juices into my daily routine. But for now that is just a dream…
So I prepared and drank the membrosia daily. I had a gallon of pear/apple juice that I had bought before Thanksgiving and which (thankfully!!) did not spoil. I put one tablespoon of flax seed oil and one tablespoon of lecithin in an old jelly jar that I poured half full of juice and the other half with water. After shaking vigorously, the lecithin begins to dissolve and emulsifies the oil. I did this for about a month and experienced a huge improvement. Yea membrosia!!! But I still could not get my skin to heal completely.
I then read on the forums about the zinc connection and eczema. Ah yes…. zinc! I even recommended zinc to my aunt about 15 years ago for eczema that was troubling her. How easily we forget! I looked around the house for zinc and saw a considerable amount in a mega-flavonoid supplement and began taking 2 tablets daily. In less than a week, the eczema is now almost completely healed except for a faint pinkness. An added benefit is that my skin overall is looking and feeling much better. Perhaps the flavonoids helped as well… sometimes intuition works wonders that way.
Returning to the basics is often highly beneficial. :-)