In the last few weeks I have been working on my vegetable garden. It is in my front yard.
It is the only place we get a reasonable amount of sun. None of my neighbors have a garden in their front yard so it is sort of an oddity here in suburbia.
In order to make it look somewhat respectable we had brick layed in what is called a potager style, four beds symetrically placed in the corners and a birdbath in the center. It looks very attractive against my brick house.
My neighbors beinging the curious types came over to survey the project. "I see you are trying to attract aliens to the neighborhood." Micheal (my neighbor) said. I just smiled, feeling a cringe in my gut. You see I have felt like an alien most of my adult life. I always seem to chose the unpopular thing and then go at it with full force.
I can think of a few things in my life that this has been true of. When I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom, when I decided I would home school my two kids, and when I chose to follow the BTD/GTD.
Home schooling here on Long Island is unheard of, we live in one of the best school districts in the nation, so you can understand when I say the words home school eyebrows get raised. Being a stay at home mom and giving up a second income has meant we live without the extras in life. Watching the homes around us get renovationed while mine stays the same has not been easy, but a choice we have lived with.
Following the BTD/GTD is just another one of those things on my list, that makes me feel like an alien. When talking to people they will often ask me "Well, are you a vegetarian?" "Sort of but not really, I don't eat beef or most poultry, but I do eat turkey and some types of fish". I see the dumb-founded look on their faces, as they try to put me into their "diet box". I don't follow any of the well known fad diets, Atkins, the Zone, or Ornish. I try again "I eat alot of vegetables, but I don't eat wheat, or corn, or any bread for that matter, except flax meal bread which I make myself." They still look puzzled. Suddenly I get this feeling that my face has turned green and the spaceship is hovering over me ready for pickup. It lands a few feet from me I get in and am transported back home to the land of the Warriors.
I still remember the day my husband and I first went to Peter's office in Stamford Connecticut in 1990. I was married 2 years, my daughter Megan was six months old, I was a youthful 28 yo, and my husband was 90 lbs.
When my husband first saw blood in his stool we rushed off to a Gastroenterologist. After diagnosing him with IBS and perscribing him a large dose of Flagyl Jeff then lost 36 pounds in just 16 days. Having loose painful bloody bowel movements 15-20 times a day the gastroenterologist told him to have a low residue diet, but never talked any further about diet. Jeff was exhausted, out of work, and had no idea what to eat. Everyday was a struggle to get him to eat something, because everything that went into his mouth came out within 10 minutes.
I was at my wits end to make him something that would not bother him. Someone older and seemingly wiser suggested we see a holistic nutritionist. So off we went to a women's house who counseled us about diet and took our money. Things were no better.
At the same time as this was happening, my Uncle, only in his 60's, was struggling with a diagnosis of HIV. My uncle had lost his lifelong partner to HIV only a few years before, so he was well versed in the course of the disease. My uncle had been living a wonderful life, as an Italian immigrants son he had worked hard and building by building bought up a block of Long Island City, in NY. He was well aquainted with working hard to achieve a goal. Willing to try anything to get well, he had come across Peter D'Adamo's work. Peter was known in the HIV circles because he was trying to boost the immune system to get the body to fight the infection. My uncle had a large network of friends and he probably got Peter's name from them.
My mother (his sister) was very close to my uncle, they spoke everyday. When my uncle heard Jeff was sick he sent along one of Peter's early patient books. Self published and spiral bound, Peter used a highlighter to emphasis the beneficial foods. I was certainly intrigued, someone actually thought food had a role in our health. Just from the description of blood types Jeff came to the conclusion he was an O and 20 minutes after a high protein meal his coffee pot stomach was quiet. After three days of a much more peaceful bowel we made an appointment with Peter.
I will never forget sitting in Peter's office a picture of Martha directly in front of him, and two chairs in front of his desk. His manner was casual but optimistic. That first meeting was a breathe of fresh air. He told Jeff that in a year he would feel much better but before his turnaround he would lose over 70 lbs.
So here we sat in Peter's office, Peter says to Jeff, "Take lentils if you eat them they will make you feel worse". Jeff nearly fell off his chair. How could Peter know this? Jeff had experienced this first hand just a few days before. Being at a loss as what to cook for him, I had some lentils in the cabinet. Thinking these must be "ok" to give him I made him a dish. He ate the whole bowl. What a mistake, his stomach hurt, and he spent the whole day in the bathroom. I looked at the ingredients on the can, what was in there that caused that. I was puzzled. So it made Peter's statement much more astounding.
Peter prescribed Jeff a bunch of supplements and we got our own spiral bound book for BT O highlighted in green and yellow. We had a direction. I wasted no time learning how to cook for him from the little book. Jeff had 10 years of better health before he had another severe episode of Ulcerative colitis. He and I have Peter and his confidence in his work to thank.
I find my surprise at Dr D'Adamo's work no less astounding today. Everytime I read any of his books I am amazed at the details he knows about my body. I feel so privilged to be part of Dr. D's world. My uncle died over 10 years ago but I will always be indepted to him for sharing that little spiral book.
My husband is a list maker. He makes lists of things to do, to buy, to not do, and a million other things.
Usually I find his lists everywhere in my house in his pants pockets, on his dresser and on the kitchen table. I read through them and throw them away because they are either outdated or completed
In September he had life changing abdominal surgery, after of years of struggling with the pain of Ulcerative Colitis. It was a very difficult decision for both of us. We sat down at the kitchen table together and wrote a list pros on one side and cons on the other.
Last week while cleaning his dresser I found our list. I read through it and placed it in my bedside drawer. This is one list that I will keep.
I'm a blood type A secretor Warrior, the last of four children, born to a BT O Polish father and a BT A Italian mother. I'm married to an O Gatherer and have two teenage children, a BT A Teacher daughter and a BT O Gatherer son.
I was introduced to the ideas of Peter D'Adamo in 1989 when my husband became a patient of Peter's. Then reaquainted with his ideas when he wrote Eat Right for Your Type. I have been excited about the BT way of life for over 15 years.
I currently live and work in a suburb of Long Island as a registered nurse in both an emergency room and an Endoscopy unit of a local hospital.
When I am not at work I am passionate about gardening, my family, food science, Chat Right for Your Type, interesting conversation and converting people to blood type dieting.