I have been suffering from lingering congestion for weeks now. This is very unusual for me. I knew I wasn’t sick… the trees were yet to begin pollinating… what could it be from? I was clueless. I decided to take a stab in the dark and eliminated cow’s milk from my diet. The congestion was gone in 24 hours. Yep… that’s right… gone. Completely. It was the first time in almost 2 months that my voice sounded normal.
Whooooa… hold on there cowboy… it was the… milk?? Nah… how could that be? I am a B secretor! Milk is beneficial for me! It is my trump card when the rest of the family has miso soup (I absolutely LOVE miso soup) and I make some extraordinary rich creamy something or other to quell the yen for the miso. But…there you have it. Try as I may, there was no denying the evidence. So I stayed away from cow’s milk for a few days, and then began testing to see if a more sporadic consumption would produce the same results. It did. The day after, I notice an increase in mucus production. Sometimes only a very slight increase, sometimes more than that, but almost always noticeable. Sigh. Then I remembered that when I was 6 months old and weaned from the breast, I had severe reactions to all formulas. My parents had to special order acidophilus milk from Chicago. Perhaps this cow’s milk sensitivity is something unique to me… even with being a secretor.
Time to stock up on the yogurt and kefir... and I'll work on coming up with something super-duper creamy rich-like with cultured dairy.
Yeah... let them their eat miso...
I must admit… I was a bit floored when my father mentioned recently that he was seeing an acupuncturist for pain treatment. And…. He was taking a slew of supplements that she recommended… some really good ones, too, like CoQ10, bromelain, quercetin… I couldn’t believe it! And my father was actually taking his supplements! Wow. A big step.
Like many families, my family is steeped in the allopathic medical tradition, plus my mother is a nurse. Anything alternative is viewed through a very skeptical lens. But, Dad is also a B and so I like to think a little more versed to trying something new and perhaps against the grain.
He began the acupuncture treatments to help cope with residual pain that he was told was due to a bout of shingles brought about from a round of chemotherapy a while back. After many months with no improvement, my father spoke with a woman who had great success with an acupuncturist for treatment of shingle pain. As he described the treatments to me, I had a sense that he was enjoying them. He had a few sessions and was feeling much improved.
However… that pain did return. My father finally convinced his doctor to “allow” him to have an MRI on his shoulder where he felt the most persistent pain and guess what? It was a torn rotator cuff that was causing him pain all these many months… not shingles as he had been led to believe. But even with the torn rotator cuff, the acupuncture (and supplements) did give him some relief from pain, where nothing else would.
* * * * *
In reading my son’s middle school newsletter, I found out that one of the 7th grade students and her science project research involving the effects of Myxococcus Xanthus secretion on melanoma cells helped to win a grant for continued research. From a 7th grader!!! Then my son told me about a science project that an 8th grade student at his school did in regards to Echinacea and the effects on cancer progression. This boy’s family dog had cancer, and the dog began going to the family’s garden and eating their Echinacea flowers. Once the dog began this behavior, the progression of the cancer slowed considerably. This 8th grader formulated his science project around the effects of Echinacea slowing the growth of cancer. My son was very excited about this project as he has known that Echinacea has many healing properties.
Old dogs and young pups… they do give me a bright ray of hope….
This past weekend I spent with relatives for my aunt’s memorial service. I arrive in Seattle, walk into my aunt’s condo, and within in 5 minutes, hear this phrase echoing from somewhere in the kitchen:
“We Know You Don’t Eat Chicken”
Wow. Great. OK. I see my mother has been regaling the relatives on the quirkiness of her only daughter. I don’t think she fully understands, nor comprehends WHY I don’t eat chicken… but it’s a start. Since I had missed lunch, I am given some Thai leftovers of white/brown rice (cool!) beef with vegetables (not bad… probably some corn derivatives in the sauce but I scrape off what I can) and herb tea. A decent lunch for a beggar. I’m thinking this weekend might not be so bad for me food-wise. Until dinner arrives…
Since… “We Know You Don’t Eat Chicken”, dinner was lasagna… tomato/wheat lasagna. I felt my stomach do flips at the mere thought. Plus, one of my aunts had made her signature dinner rolls. I felt I had one of 3 choices… 1) I could not eat and feel miserable 2) I could rummage around and try to find something suitable to eat and risk making others feel bad for not “providing” adequate food for me during our family’s time of mourning, or 3) enjoy sharing food lovingly prepared by my family and feel grateful that I had food at all. I went for option 3. Plates were full enough already without me making a fuss. And I did survive.
The next day I fared a little better in the sea of avoids. There was lots of fresh fruit at breakfast and… organic yogurt!!… along with a few other lovingly prepared avoids. But the yogurt and fruit certainly helped make for a good start to the day. And later, at the reception, since “We Know You Don’t Eat Chicken”, roasted turkey breast was served, along with deviled eggs, beet and Brussels sprouts salad, raw veggies and a few other B friendly items. I began to feel myself returning to more of an even keel, and I slept fairly well that night. In the morning, I made oatmeal for breakfast, with raisins and raw almonds… a wonderful beginning for a day of travel back home.
Interesting to note that although I felt some discomfort from some of the avoids, I didn’t notice any lasting effects. Maybe it was because they were prepared with love. I’d like to think so.
At least I didn’t have to eat any chicken!
I love the New Year. It is a potent moment in time… ripe with possibilities, new discoveries… a melting away of the old and embracing the yet-to-be. Every New Year’s Eve, it has become my tradition to set goals and affirmations for myself and my life… to look at what I desire to create in my life in the upcoming year. What path’s do I trundle down? What rocks are left uncovered? Can I see the horizon? …
But, not this year… not yet…
In keeping with “the season that wasn’t” theme, the New Year came and went with hardly a notice from my inner self. Strange. I wondered why for quite some time. And made no movement toward any new goals. I didn’t even know where the ground was, let alone the horizon.
Today, I had a realization about this unusual lack of inner guided focus. Last year was a whirlwind year for me… so many changes, transitions, joys, sorrows and such an expansion in how I view myself and my place in the world that I somehow forgot to integrate all the newness. So much has happened but it still is not yet a part of me. And until it is, I can’t possibly make room for anything more… no matter how wonderful. And out of all this comes my first goal for the New Year…. To fully integrate the changes, lessons, and experiences of the previous year to make room for new growth and awareness that will bring the rich fullness of living to each and every moment.
I have also been sick. For quite some time. A long time, actually. I had a bout of flu at the end of November, which transpired into a sinus/ bronchial infection that is just now beginning to clear. It has been ages since I have been sick for this long… certainly long before I started the BTD. And it has been a difficult journey for me through this illness. I was in denial about it for a long time. It wasn’t until I slowed down… and I mean
r e a l l y * s l o w e d * d o w n, that I began to recover. Now I tend to feel that I live my life at a snail’s pace as it is, albeit somewhat reluctantly… so going slower still was challenging. But it was what I needed.
However… this morning I felt back in the shroud of illness again. How could it be? And then, I remembered. Yesterday, I had a late evening meeting to attend. I didn’t have time for dinner so at the meeting, I ate some wheat crackers with brie, plus some fruit and veggies thinking the wheat wouldn’t bother me as I hadn’t had any wheat for quite some time. Wrong Sherlock! I woke up this morning in a complete mental fog that I just couldn’t shake, had a runny nose, a congested and stuffy head. Through my cloud of forgetfulness, I suddenly realized about mid afternoon it had to be the wheat. Wow. I had never had a reaction to wheat like that before. Probably because I am still not completely well yet. But it was a good reminder that I do need to be especially careful about what I eat now as I continue to recover.
And also a good reminder that taking the time… yes, the time… to integrate my experiences of the last year is so very important. I did feel like I was in a dense fog through some parts of it. I am ready to feel the sun now. And with time… I know that horizon will soon be in view.
It has been a quiet season of deep reflection for me this holiday time. My aunt did pass away a couple days before Christmas. But this was only one of several deaths that have touched our lives in the past few weeks... two of which were rather freakish accidents to young, vital people. And although tragic, it is a vivid reminder that each moment really does count.
So this year has really been more of a subdued Christmas for my family, and myself in particular. I felt the need to make a nurturing, yet simple meal for our Christmas dinner. I roasted a leg of lamb, with only garlic and olive oil for the seasonings. So simple... and yet perfect. And with the new knowledge that the A’s in the house are non-secretors, all were able to enjoy the lamb, well, all could enjoy the lamb, that is. My husband is still a die-hard veg-head. Sigh.... at least he has the knowledge of his blood type and secretor status. We also had a winter squash/cranberry dish, scalloped potatoes, (... OK... those were just for me...), brown rice, steamed broccoli and a green salad. A very simple meal, stress-free to prepare, and oh so nurturing. Oh... and I made a spelt-crust pear/ginger pie for dessert. Delish!!
One of our holiday traditions is what my brother-in-law fondly refers to as the Arctic Death March, which usually takes place on Christmas Day but this year it happened on the day after. We bundle up my Californian brother-in-law, and drag his oxygen-deprived body up the foothills for a hike in the white stuff (snow... that is). He appreciates this tradition oh so much! Ahhh... it’s what he gets for visiting Colorado in the winter... we just want to make sure he gets the “full’ experience. But this year he was rather lucky, as the weather here has been downright balmy. There is still snow in the high country... a little slushy... but still snow. And certainly enough snow for my monkey-boys to frolic about. I had to dodge many a snow missile launched in my direction.
Yes.. that is my life with boys... but also uplifting to experience care-free moments in the midst of difficult times.