I am Type B, 42 years old, and clocking in at over 6'1" tall, I am living
proof that Type B's are indeed the tallest of the blood types. I have been
married for 15 years to a wonderful man (Type A) and we have two sons; our
oldest is 15 years old (Type O), and our youngest is 10 (Type A). I moved to
Colorado 20 years ago to attend graduate school and for the first time in my
life I felt like I had come home. I haven't left since. I enjoy hiking in
this picturesque state, playing tennis with my husband, reading anything I
can get my hands on, and attending as many arts events that I can drag my
family to. I also sing, dance, and play music with my family. I would love
to form a music group for the purpose of singing and playing Finnish folk
music. Any takers?
My professional life has been varied and assorted in typical B
non-conformist fashion. My education and training is in dance/movement
therapy and I worked as a dance therapist for several years. Then I
transitioned to midwifery and attended homebirths with local lay midwives.
How I wish ER4Y Baby was around back then! Currently, I have entered the
lucrative field of arts non-profits and am the program director for a small
arts education organization that is operated out of my home. My husband is
self-employed and also works at home, well, in the garage, doing specialty
printing on antique letterpresses.
I first heard about ER4YT through a naturopath. I had, at the time, made
some dietary changes due to the results of allergy testing to resolve some
long standing sinus problems. She suggested I combine the results of the
allergy testing with the ER4YT prescription for Blood Type B. I thought,
"yeah, right" and went on my merry way. Six months later, not only had my
sinus problems still not resolved but a whole host of other health problems
ensued: extreme fatigue, blood sugar swings that I could not control,
eczema, insomnia, and the sinking feeling that something was terribly wrong.
And then one day, while shopping at our local health food store, I saw ER4YT
and somewhere deep inside myself I knew I needed the information in that
book. The first realization was the allergy testing results had me
emphasizing the major avoids for B's and avoiding most of the highly
beneficials. No wonder I felt so crappy! Then I saw how many ailments that
had plagued me since childhood are associated with Type B - and all those
years of eating stewed tomatoes and corn on the cob just made matters worse.
Needless to say, I started following the lifestyle recommendations for B's
and haven't looked back since. That was almost seven years ago and I can't
imagine living any other way. My family follows the blood type diet as well
which is challenging with three blood types under one roof! It is definitely
worth it; we enjoy greater health and vibrance each year.
But, alas, we are not perfect and over the years I have realized following
the blood type recommendations is really a process that has many
fluctuations of compliance and non-compliance. I used to stew about
"slipping up" on the LR4YT lifestyle but I don't so much anymore. Perhaps
that is just how life is.
I have been trying for several years to acquire a taste for goats milk products. But no matter how or what I tried, all goat products just tasted… well… goat-y. I didn’t like the taste, no matter how I used the product. Just couldn’t stomach it. But I kept trying…
And now I am happy to report that something finally shifted for me. I bought some really fresh goat cheese at a farmer’s market awhile back and I was surprised at how mild and creamy it tasted. I began testing out different varieties of goat cheeses and realized it was the aged cheeses that had the too strong taste for me. My favorite is goat feta… the fresher the better… but even older goat feta I now enjoy, as well as some of the more aged goat cheeses, although I use those only on occasion.
But the biggest shift came when I decided to try using goats milk in place of cows milk. I was prepared to be disappointed… but surprise!! I like that now too. And goats milk has the same amount of protein as cows milk with a little less fat and carbs. But it tastes so much creamier… and seems thicker as well. I love the opaque, almost bluish bright white color. And goats milk makes the absolute best hot cocoa I have ever tasted.
I even tried making goats milk ice cream last Fall when my parents were visiting, although I did use cows cream in the recipe too. Everyone loved it… even my parents with their typical midwestern palates. I did a pure goats milk version for my son’s birthday party last month and the kiddos ate every last bit. So easy to make too…. Just 2 eggs, (I always clean the eggs shells very thoroughly when using raw eggs in a recipe), about a half cup of sugar, 3 cups of goats milk, and a nice dollop of vanilla. That’s it. Just put it in your ice cream maker and follow the instructions. Easy. And you can do a myriad of variations from that basic recipe… different sweeteners, flavors… adding fruits like fresh chopped peaches of raspberries and a little bit of lemon. And the best part is the control you have over the ingredients… no avoids like added gums or other emulsifiers…. or the dreaded corn syrup… horror!!
I am happy that I have finally made my peace with goats… and kicked the cow out of my fridge. Now… if I can only find a compliant goats milk yogurt I will really be in heaven….
My apologies… I realized it has been almost 2 months since I wrote a blog. Mea culpa. But I haven’t forgotten… I think about writing often but sometimes the words just don’t make it out of my head and onto the page!! I am thankful, though, that today they have…….
Recently I woke up in the morning, drenched in sweat. There is no masking it any longer. I am most definitely at that perimenopausal stage of life. And at 45, I am at the very beginning of the journey. But I do feel like I am being turned inside out … not only wearing my heart on my sleeve but all my other organs as well. As much as I feel the impulse to, there is no hiding from this. Everything in my life is being laid bare…..
I went to one of my favorite winter hiking spots today. I like this canyon in the winter as it has a wide path that snakes steeply upwards in a meandering way… actually, it is a one-way dirt road that is closed half of the year. Over the weekend, the canyon must have received well over a foot of snow that banked high along the sides of the path, shrouding all the boulders, rocks, logs, sticks and trees. It changed the entire landscape of the canyon. No longer were the distinct elements of the forest visible. The canyon was now a plethora of softly mounded shapes, each one molding into the next…. and into the next,…. and into the next... gentle sweeps of curves thick in the snow. Truly something to behold. And I noticed in walking the same path I have many, many times how familiar, and yet different the canyon felt immersed in snow.
As I walked along the packed powder of the trail, noticing the softness that has blanketed the land, I realized that my own body is just like this canyon today. It is transforming into softly mounded shapes… a softening that only I can notice. But it is there. Familiar… yet different. I began to feel that internal struggle most women feel… the struggle and efforting to hang onto a youthful body image that is beginning to fade. As my mind toyed with what I needed to do to keep from getting, too soft, too matronly, I heard, with each step I took, from deep inside myself the words, “let it go….. let it go…… let it go…”
I love the smooth softness of the snow… how it transforms the land and makes for a completely new experience of place. Why do I not love this transformation beginning in myself? Why do I keep myself tethered to an image of what I am supposed to be rather than welcoming the changes of life washing over me? I started to look for myself in the surrounding terrain… ah yes… that arc of snow hanging from the rock is just like that soft spot on the back of my hip… the lip of snow nestled on that branch… looks like my inner thigh…
And so I begin my journey of acceptance into my own shifting 'experience of place'. May I always remember the beauty of the sweeping softness of the rippling snow, and the patterns of light and shadow that dance across its surface … being reflected in my own changing shape, my own softening landscape.
Driving up along the front range the other day… it was a hazy day, and the settling of the late afternoon sun seemed to mask my depth perception. The layers of foothills stacked one behind each other looked flat, volume-less… like a collage of torn pieces of paper in varying hues of deep purple against the endless backdrop of sky. I am always struck how the light shifts in the turning of the seasons… particularly noticeable from fall to winter. The angle of the sun striking solid objects casts a softly spilling glow to everything…. as if the sunlight was imbued with the most marvelous colors. And the sunset was unlike any I had ever seen! As the sun began to ease below the line of mountains, in the east above the prairie was a swarm of cool muted pastels… blues, violets, and pinks sweeping into the sharp delineation of form in the west… bright orange clouds planted against deep turquoise blue above sharp contours of rock and stone. The contrast was amazing and created a spectacular painting of line, shape, and color across the deep canvas of sky….
The sense of space here in the west permeates everything but for me most keenly in the space above. I always notice the sky this time of year. After the leaves have fallen it seems the sky comes down to hover close to the earth, nestling in to give fingers of blue around the leafless branches that hold me throughout the gray-brown winter.......
As I sink into the still, full space of winter, I also begin to crave tea. Hot tea. Tea to warm me gently from the inside out. Tea to keep my own inner fire alive. Searching through my cupboard of tea one evening I stumbled across an old love…. red raspberry leaf tea. Ah… yes… red raspberry and I have been through many a journey together… gently brewed nourishment through each pregnancy, strong decoctions to stoke the fire of contractions during childbirth… a tea that for me represents balance and wholeness at its best. There was a time when for months on end I drank several pots of red raspberry leaf tea each day. My naturopath told me that if I continue to drink red raspberry leaf tea, it will also help to ease the transition through perimenopause. Such a wonderful herb for women through all phases of our life.
I do love the taste of red raspberry leaf tea. I drink most teas without sweetener… the only ones that I feel the need to add sweetness to are tea blends; single herbs brewed are wonderfully rich tasting to my palate and need nothing more. But red raspberry leaf is a deep, rich brew of greenness… a little like green tea but so full and round. And chock full of nutrients like calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamins B, C, and E. No wonder my body sings when I drink it! And as a B, I can fully enjoy all the benefits of this humble herb, red raspberry.
So if you have yet to try red raspberry, or think it is only an herb for pregnancy and childbirth (it is wonderful for men too!!) do give it a try. I think you will be as pleased with it as I am.
And may it help to bring you back in balance… and into wholeness… as it does me.
It seems that as soon as November 1st rolls around, winter begins here on the front range. And I don’t mean with snow… we’ve had snow all autumn. The fall into winter begins in the cañons. Without my noticing the transition, suddenly the ground is frozen hard, and light seems to skirt across the cañon rather than enter into it. In November, there is a noticeable chill to the air in the cañon… like a tunnel of frozen breath. The branches that hang by the stream now become coated with ice and a new world of ice sculptures opens to be seen after the leaves have fallen. Today I saw blades of slender grass arced over the stream and coated with ice as if candles dipped in beeswax………..
My parents were out for a recent visit… each visit they make more precious and dear as they are surely getting on in years. I am amazed that they are still willing to drive across the country to visit me and my family. My mother called unexpectedly one night before they left from home. I unconsciously brace myself when I receive a phone call from my parents that is out of the usual pattern. Prepared to hear bad news from the other end, I instead hear my mother ask, “Would you like us to bring you some apples?”. Hmmmm…. I think…. she is calling me now to ask if I want any apples???? Knowing that my parents always buy their apples direct from the orchards I say, “Sure, you can bring us some apples” She asks what kind of apples I want and I try to think of apple varieties that I grew up with that aren’t available locally where I live… like Jonathon and McIntosh. Then my mother says, “Your father says you eat beets”. Yes, I respond. “Shall we bring you some beets too?” Sure Mom… you can bring me some beets too. I end the phone call a little befuddled and not sure why she was calling me at such an unusual hour to ask me these things, but decide to just let it be.
Well… not only did they bring a plethora of apples with them…. but also freshly picked peaches, nectarines, lemons, homemade peach and black raspberry jam, and yes, fresh beets. And only 2 jars of home-canned peaches. I thought how it used to be that they would always bring us jars and jars of peaches in that thick sugar syrup, and stewed tomatoes galore! I’m sure there was sweet corn that I am forgetting too. I know they really don’t understand fully why I eat the way I do, but it was heartening to see that they do accept it now. And both of them have incorporated at least some BTD principles into their own lives as well.
While my parents were visiting, we drove up to the Hayman burn area in the high country…. the scene of a very large wildfire several years ago. I had not been to this region since the fire happened. As we were driving through, I noticed that in spite of the devastation, there was a strange beauty to the map of the fire. Yes, there were many charred sticks poking out of the ground that were once Ponderosa pine and Doug fir…. miles upon miles of charred sticks… but there was now a lush undergrowth growing up and around the burnt trees that softened the harshness of that reality. And clearly seen were the patterns of wind and fire sweeping through the forest like giant brush strokes where the fire skipped over some hillsides only to consume others across the way. But what was most amazing to me was to see the topography of the land that is not visible in a forest full of trees; all that lays hidden by the trees was now laid bare. As if I could now see the skin of the forest. It was breath-taking.
And it reminded me of perspective…. a clear view. A reminder that there is always so much more than is directly visible. As I enter a period of deep change in my life, I hold this image of the forest regenerating itself close to my heart, and the perspective one gains when looking through the charred trees to the lay of the land that was always there.
Perhaps it is sometimes it is necessary to strip away, maybe even burn away, to truly see the forest through the trees.