Over the last few months I have been digging through the health section of my local library. It is hard for me to read these books because I can see so many flaws in the one size fits all approach they promote. Though I'm at odds with their contents I still force myself to at least take them home and browse their pages if nothing but to know the latest diet concept being championed.
This week one book caught my attention titled, Is It In Your Genes? The Influence of Genes on Common Disorders and Diseases That Affect You and Your Family By Philip R. Reilly. Reilly writes for the layperson, so his book is easy to understand. He is a graduate of Yale University and has credibility in the world of genetics research.
From the title I thought it might have something useful in it. I can't say I read the book cover to cover but I did find this little gem at the conclusion of the book.
"Nutritional genetics will be a central feature of wellness programs. Motivated individuals will adhere to diets and consume particular nutraceuticals based on compatibility with their genetic profile. The rapidly growing nutrition business will be based on far more credible scientific evidence than it is today. Nutritional counseling will be replete with genetic analysis. Much of the focus will be on using a combination of genetic information, dietary choice, and fitness regimes to pursue a robust wellness into the ninth decade. Current ideas about extending the human life span will lead to the creation of products that really do increase the chances of becoming a centenarian." pg. 243-244
I really liked this paragraph. It made me aware that although the rest of the world is far behind Dr. D'Adamo in their approach to diet and health the wheels are turning.
It's easy to get discouraged with the current health information promoted by mainstream media, but anyone who listens carefully and reads alternative view points will begin to hear a different perspective. One that promotes individual wellness and looks at knowing health risk factors as tools to enable us to decrease the risk of disease for generations to come.
If this were to become the norm, spending billions of dollars on health care would become unnecessary and perhaps enable us to focus the resources of our world in a more efficient manner.
I had one of those dreams again last night, the one where I am yelling at my sisters trying to convince them to at least read the information and try the GTD for a few months. I cry and rant in the dream and wake up in tears. Sometimes I am sweaty from the whole thing, I am always sad.
I know I have been through this more times then I can count, it is a constant thread in my life that seems to bother me over and over again. My dreams reveal my inner unresolved thoughts that circle around in my brain. I am never sure what triggers these dreams, something I ate, something someone said to me or even a movie.
During my morning walk with the dog I have these internal conversations, or more aptly talk to myself. I of course am both people, my sisters and myself, in them I try and come up with ways to gently convince them to give it a try. I recite letters I have written to them in my mind, I slip the book into their homes unnoticed or I am much more direct.
I always succeed in these private conversations with myself, but real life is not the same.
My sisters both think they eat well and right. One is a vegan and the other a SAD follower who is calorie conscious and leans towards the whole foods idea, both are O Gatherers. I believe, as Peter says, Gatherers ride a slippery slope in this world, of abundant calories. I see the future issues that may arise from the way they eat, one with not enough protein and the other who keeps excercising and cutting calories.
Food is a hot issue in my family, worse then politics or religion. It is one of the things that divides the three of us. It is one of the things we don't discuss.
I wonder why it is so important to me to help them understand this GT thing, am I in someway flawed?
I do believe that my sisters think my character is flawed.
I prefer to think it has more to do with the nature of Warriors in general.
The need for Warriors to be connected to a group and defend loved ones. My nature and theirs clashing, my A-ness and their O-ness.
This recurring dream only happens once every few months so it is over for now.
Till the next time.
Thanks for listening, again.
My mom was always cooking something when we were kids. She would get up early in the morning to make us a hot breakfast. In the afternoon when we would walk in the door from school, she would always have something for us to eat. I remember the smell of fresh bread or some sort of stew cooking on the stove. I never heard her complain about cooking, it was so much apart of how she expresed her love for us.
She grew up in an Italian immigrant family; a middle child with a twin sister. As a child, my mom had pneumonia which was probably caused by a combination of poor eating and less then optimal living conditions. She never recovered from it, so as an adult she suffered with bronchiectis, a chronic pseudomonas infection of her lungs. It eventually took her life.
Like myself and my older brother my mother was blood type A. I now suspect that she may have been a nonsecretor (nonnie), as is my brother. It would explain to me why she never recovered from that infection and why she spent her whole life trying to find a cure for herself. She long ago had given up on doctors and knew that she had to help herself. I remember her always trying something, from castor oil packs to macrobiotic diets, and exploring the teachings of Edgar Casey. We owned a juicer, had a cabinet just for vitamins, and ate things that my friends thought were gross.
Her illness directly effected me as a child because of how it changed her personality. I remember my mother being moody, angry at times, and depressed. As a child I had a hard time understanding what was wrong with her but now in retrospect I see a women who just didn't feel good and as such unable to behave any differently.
I forgive her.
While at the conference:
I had a curious conversation with Larry Nesbit. If there is one thing you should know about Larry, it's that he sees the world through "blood type glasses". Larry has a unique perspective on the blood type diet, he sees it from many angles but keeps it very simply. And after years of living and teaching it he has made quite a few interesting observations about people.
These reflections Larry is always willing to share, all you have to do is stand close enough to him and listen. I had occassion to do this while at the conference. Larry began by telling me to look at Dr. D. Then he stated that Dr. D is not like the rest of us. He has never had the irritation inside his body like the rest of us have experienced from eating the wrong foods, living poorly and being sick. That is why he is so calm and focused. I looked over at Dr. D, watched him a few moments and realized how right Larry was. Even when a crowd of people formed around him to ask him questions he exhibited a calm, gentle grace towards them.
Larry went on to make an analogy about having a posion ivy rash on the outside of your body. You can feel it and see it, so it's obvious as to what is wrong and it makes you upset. But if you have an irritation on the inside, you don't know what is wrong. Both directly effect your behavior. One you know about, the other you don't. This is how the world is, people are all twisted up inside and don't even know it.
My mom was one of those people, irritated on the inside.
/ˈɪrɪˌteɪtɪd/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [ir-i-tey-tid] Show IPA Pronunciation
1. angered, provoked, or annoyed.
2. inflamed or made raw, as a part of the body
As a family of home schoolers we were always looking to add something to our curriculum that was interactive. When my children were young, I used to like to buy science kits that we could set up in the house. One kit I used to buy every year was the butterfly kit. It was a paper house that you put chrysalis in and sometime in the spring out of the chrysalis would appear butterflies.
My kids grew tired of doing this year after year but I on the other hand found it amazing to see the butterflies appear out of the little sacks.
The chrysalis of butterflies are wonderous to me; they are little impenetrable sacks that weather the storms of winter and when spring arrives the butterflies appear unaware of the turmoil of the past few months. For the chrysalis to be so strong and at the same time soft is amazing to me.
When the conference in Crossville was over, I stepped out into the parking lot and felt a strange sense of loss. Don't get me wrong I really enjoyed the conference. The people, the food, hearing Peter speak were all highlights of the weekend. If you have never been I strongly encourage you to go, it will be money you will not regret spending. I am very glad my husband and I went, but once it was over I felt this intense let down.
This feeling traveled all the way home with me and ended with a good cry standing in my kitchen over the stove.
It has taken me quite sometime to unravel the feelings I had over the weekend. Since the beginning I have always had this intense feeling of gratefulness in regards to Peter's work on diet and blood types but attending the conference magnified those feelings even more. Being in the presence of all those people who I shared a comman belief with was intense and positive. I felt connected to them yet I had never met them. When I left the conference for the real world; that has a hard time merely understanding that your blood type and food are related; I was overcome with feelings of sadness. Sadness for myself that I had to return to a world where I feel misunderstood and disconnected from people because of this misunderstanding between us.
I am not sure if this sadness will ever go away or if it is just for a season in my life. Maybe it is all part of the process of emerging from the chryslis, after the storm.
I used to work with a Dr. Carl Costas. He was a great man. Generous with his time, he treated each patient with a unique kindness. Carl died a horrible death from pancreatic cancer and is missed by many. I wonder; if he could have seen into the future would he have made different choices with his health? Would he have thought more carefully about how he lived?
My first year working as a nurse was filled with many difficult moments that I will always carry with me. Once I was working with a patient that had terminal cancer. Unbeknownst to me her family did not want her to know her diagnosis due to its gravity. She was at the end of her days and the cancer was in charge of her body. I remember speaking with her at her beside and mentioning the word cancer. I recall seeing a strange look on her face as she processed what I said. As the word hung in the air I realized she didn't know her diagnosis. Later the family complained that I had gone against their wishes, as a result I had to have a talk with my supervisor regarding patients and how they don't really want to know the truth. That was many years ago but cancer still holds the same dread for many people. Why? Because deep down people are aware that conventional treatment has not changed much in the last 50 years.
Every blood type gets cancer in one form or another, however when A's/AB's get cancer they do not respond as well to traditional therapy. This is particularly true of breast cancer in blood type A's. When they get breast cancer, the treatment outcomes are not as successful as with O's. The answer to this lies in the immune system and the response of the ABO system to cancer cell death.
Our bodies constantly produce aberrant, or non-self, cells that our immune system finds and destroys. It is a very sophisticated response team, but we can simplify it, and think of it in terms of a war going on in our bodies. If you imagine that each side, like an army, wears a uniform so it can be easily recognized we know which side each person is on merely by looking at them and can take appropriate action based on the uniform they wear. The bad guys (non-self) get destroyed and the good guys (self) are recognized and left alone.
But what happens when the opposing side gets a hold of a few of our uniforms and looks just like us? Then it becomes much more difficult to tell which side is which.
This is exactly what happens with the A immune system in regards to breast cancer cells. The cancer cells look so much like the A host cells that they are never discovered. This enables them to go undetected for an extended period of time, growing and infiltrating the breast tissue. It seems the longer they go undetected the stronger they get.
Conventional treatments target these cancer cells in a number of ways, surgically, chemically and radioactively. These treatments are designed to destroy cancer cells, but invariably destroy normal cells as well. They cause plenty of harm as well as good. Presently this is all the medical community has to offer.
Thankfully the story does not end here and with a combined treatment plan the patient can benefit from an approach that includes foods that assist the body’s natural surveillance for cancer cells.
At the conference Peter shared with us something his Hassidic patients tell him,
"God does not give a disease without having already provided a solution."
This little saying is packed with wisdom. In other words the answers to the puzzle of how to get the A's immune system to destroy those cancer cells already exist we just need to find them.
What good news this is!
So here are a few foods that contain phytonutrients that enable A's to increase their ability to defend themselves against an enemy that is not easily recognized. These foods will in effect give the A’s immune system night vision goggles.
Soy: Reading the studies regarding soy foods would make your head spin. They seem to be at two ends of the spectrum. Some studies say don't eat soy it can cause everything from dementia to cancer and other studies say eat soy, it will cure everything from dementia to cancer. It is hard to get away from the controversy when discussing soy. Soy is one of those foods that is very blood type specific. It contains a lectin that agglutinates cancer cells in blood type A’s and sweeps them away. 10% of the dry weight of a block of tofu is this lectin, talk about a cancer buster.
Helix Pomatia: Escargot or more commanly known as snails are specifically effective in breast cancer. The lectin in snails is able to detect the hard to get breast cancer cells, the ones that are more hidden then the rest. Snails can be eaten once a week. Getting past the texture may be hard but for all the hard work they do, it is well worth it.
Fava beans: Fava beans are available year round both canned and fresh. Fava bean lectin has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth by getting the cells to revert back to normal cells. How miraculous this is, the bad guys join the good guys!
Peanuts: Peanut lectins bind with the T and Tn antigen, which is exposed on cancer cells. In normal cells the T/Tn antigen is suppressed but on cancer cells it is expressed. Peanut lectin binds with the cells that have the exposed T/Tn antigen and destroy them.
Green tea: Green tea will inhibit the invading capacity of breast cancer cells.
This means that green tea inhibits metatasis of cancer cells to other parts of the body.
So if you have stage 1 or 2 breast cancer using green tea as a preventative strategy to decrease the risk of metatasis would be prudent.
Blood type A’s will benefit from using these foods both in prevention and in conjunction with any traditional medical treatments. What I find interesting about this list, and this is by no means complete, is that the foods act on the cancer cells in many different ways. The actions of the foods mimick the approach of conventional medicine, which attacks from many angles in order to achieve success. Or does the conventional treatment mimic what happens in nature?