In his Live Right 4 Your Type, Dr. Peter D'Adamo expounds briefly upon the few standout social/emotional qualities he has noticed, among patients and those around him, while emphasizing that these are not hard and fast rules.
As a B, I find it noteworthy - and remarkably true - that the other three bloodtypes manifest interpersonal reactivity when stressed, where B might experience only fatigue, for instance, or, at "worst", some fleeting internal discouragement or disgust.
We Bs represent only about 10% of the world population. According to Dr. D'Adamo, we are remarkably [emphasis mine] able to relax ourselves and reduce our own stress. When maladapting, we simply "become extremely tired, depressed and lacking in motivation". We are "unconventional thinkers...easygoing...able to take upsets in stride, keep [our] priorities in perspective, and understand [our] limitations, [be] less driven", and we "make sure to find time to relax". Unique to our blood type's description among the four, there's nothing here about social acting-out, venting against others, obsessing about how to deal with others, feeling defensive or anxious, desperation to please or to appear right.
What Dr. D'Adamo doesn't deduce, or express, however, is that Bs, therefore, are utterly surrounded by those who manifest complex and incomprehensibly emotionally-driven behaviors in their relations with others and with us -- people who blow up, melt down, act out, "play games" -- and these explosions, dramas and maneuvers can baffle us because our behavior is not similarly subject to unfathomed depths and motives, not similarly oriented toward manipulation of the other person's reaction. (Note that the Japanese Bloodtype Personality theorists link B to careers in Psychiatry - a career that would be dangerous, perhaps, for non-Bs to pursue!)
Even during my days of close work with postpartum women, the B client's most intense emotionality was generally a relatively quiet/retreating non-anxious and non-agitated depression, with a markedly evanescent and easily-dissipated course, when treated with adequate education on the part of a patient, calm teacher. O and A women were far more likely to experience complex transferences with the counselor, for instance.
You other types: Be jealous, perhaps, of the easygoing B. And understand that we often truly have no idea what you are churning or ruminating about (if you expect us to) by identifying with it or with you. We do not identify with that state, but we (a tiny subset of society) are expected to accept that those around us can be subject to numerous hot-buttons, pet-peeves, expectations and demands that drive symbolic, convoluted reactions.
Many's the friend who has told me my insights are uncanny. One MD friend had unsuccessfully consulted 3 psychiatrists in 3 different cities, for a life-wracking problem she explained to me over a snack one day, which, in less than a quarter hour I, in her word, "nailed". Do all Bs have this honed a skill? Only if we're observant in the relevant sphere. But I think we, to some extent, do all tend to see the world and its, ahem, realities, from something of a distance.
Perhaps we frustrate you with our equanimity. Would it help to view our "[discomfort] with rigid rules" (per Dr. D'Adamo) as a trait of a mysteriously alien Type amongst you, as if the Addams Family or the Solomon Family (from TV's Third Rock from the Sun) inhabited your world?
We're here, and we can actually help. Tap us and find out. Don't hate us. And if you decide to see a shrink, maybe you should choose a B!
Have you used Farmer's Cheese? I know you have no Beneficial dairy foods, but this one is very nice, and most aren't familiar with it. It's like cottage cheese, only the curds are minuscule. You can sweeten it and use it like blintz/Danish filling. Et cetera.
Kefir is a fermented dairy product that serves as a lovely liquid base for smoothies.
Don't throw out that butter! It's indeed an "Avoid", but Ghee, clarified butter, is Neutral and easy (and cheaper than store-bought) to make on the stove-top.
Tamari is good to use, if you're A, boosting your soy intake. It'll help you develop your fermented soy tastebuds and is softer than salt. It's a beneficial, so consider experimenting with it as your "salt" with a meal or two every week.
Another one to begin to use, if you're not already, is Miso. It comes in a number of "flavors" (compositions/strengths), and I think it'll surprise you with its many uses.
One important factor is: It's fermented. Since you oughtn't use vinegar, you'll really appreciate that somewhat sour/yeasty element - especially in the less heavy formulae, such as Genmai (Br. Rice Miso) or Red, as well as the lighter ones: Yellow or White.
It's good in sauces/condiments, such as mayos/mustards or dressings.
It's extraordinary in a roasting baste, such as over fish or roasted vegetables.
For an introduction to Tofu and Tempeh, see my blog archives.
Here's another vinegar substitute: Umeboshi Juice (sometimes called Umeboshi Vinegar). Lovely berry color, very gentle sourness that is a bit sweet.
Finally, lucky A, enjoy your beneficial red wine. I've blogged on this, too, particularly with respect to low-tannin wines that are easily enjoyed with food and less likely than structured wines to give you a headache!
The recent headlines about the death of Joan Rivers - in particular the alleged role of her otolaryngologist unauthorized to operate at the GI Endoscopy clinic where Ms. Rivers went into cardiorespiratory arrest - feed the theory that pursuing a career as an MD has transformed dramatically in our lifetimes.
I can remember meeting with many a doctor of my own generation, back in the late 1980s and 1990s, who said, "I'm getting out." Either early retirement because of their unwillingness to participate in the New Paradigm with its curbs on autonomy and excellence, or, perhaps for the less scrupulous, seeking employment/consultant positions with biotech/pharmaceutical companies.
For all the jokes, it may be fair to say that we were better off when, in and of itself, a clinical practice could be as lucrative as an ambitious physician desired. Thus it could attract those who enjoyed clinical work, interacting with people, sleuthing diagnoses, keeping abreast of the latest medical breakthroughs and research, paying careful attention to medications, and supervising assistants and office staff. Medical doctors could look forward to excellent remuneration for the tremendous responsibility.
Today (with third-party-hands on more of that remuneration), if Lucre is still an MD's objective, the name of the Game is: Gimmick.
"Procedurists" (seeing patients on Mondays - routing them into Procedures Tues.-thru-Fri.)
A Little Business On the Side (co-owning ambulatory "procedures" clinics with colleagues)
Competitiveness: "Be The Only One In Town Who..."
Celebrity photos on the wall
Performing procedures "backstage"
Administering anaesthesia at the patients' homes (remember that one?)
Taking unauthorized photos of an unconscious patient, with impunity (Doctor as Paparazza)
Waltzing into a surgery center with NO OPERATING PRIVILEGES and being treated like a star oneself
...Normal medical cautions be damned.
The phenomenon figures into the growing conviction of many that naturopaths and osteopaths, as well as other "alternative" practitioners, are safer to life and limb, which is 180º from the old saw that they were the Snake-Oil salesmen! Among this population, there could be not only increased safety, but greater health and educated participation.
In the PME (Pre-modern Medical Era), I had some very lovely Old School doctors with many famous clients. They were wealthy, but they were humble, careful, and friendly in the examining/consultation room. They were well-informed and gave very considered and conservative counsel to this non-celebrity. If a "procedure" were required, they had attending privileges at reputable hospitals they did not own. Never a soupçon of Conflict of Interest.
As the song said, "Those Were The Days, My Friend".
PS. Interesting: Two days after this blog posts, the following appears in The New York Times:
"The Famous Can Present a Minefield for Doctors: Joan Rivers' Treatment Seen as Possible Example of V.I.P. Syndrome".
Fall-out from some of the Gimmicks I describe.
It has been estimated that the US distribution of blood types is in the neighborhood of 44% O, 42% A, 10% B, and 4% AB. The combination most often paired in couples in my files/ experience is: O with A. I won't speculate as to why that is, but I have found that a brief explanation of the differences in health profile, diet, fitness needs and temperament, go a long way toward piquing O and A interest in Dr. D'Adamo's work. As I did last night, I tell folks:
You're O / Honey is A:
Honey expects you to cut back on your red meat and eat more rice and pasta than you'd care to. Honey might even be a vegetarian and thinks Dean Ornish's or macrobiotic dietary guidelines are Best for Everyone. But A's cooking and choices don't work for you; you feel sluggish after one of A's meals, as if you need higher octane fuel.
Honey's stress threshold might be lower than yours. S/he doesn't seem as hardy a specimen, as if there's something more delicate or high-strung about him or her that requires your protection and sensitivity. Your idea of a fun day together includes far more aerobic exertion than A would like. S/he enjoys golf or yoga - these bore the heck out of you. When you try tennis as your happy compromise, you may find yourself trying to work up a serious sweat while A focuses on perfecting strokes and self-competing, perhaps stressfully. If you two decide on a bike ride, you say, "Cool - Let's ride across the bridge, brunch in Sausalito, and come back," while A would be more comfortable with a leisurely ride around the neighborhood.
Sometimes you feel you're carrying all the weight of the household/family/relationship, but you admit your A is responsible, though not necessarily obviously passionate or energetic.
You're A and your Honey is O:
Honey drives you hard - can even seem a nag or taskmaster, but wears it well, and you're often grateful for the challenges and inspiration. O can give you the "kick in the pants" you need, spurring you to greater career engagement and satisfaction -- or can wear you out trying to reach ever higher, even beyond your capacity.
Honey has a temper. It can shatter your peace, and you just might take to occasionally tuning it out. S/he might appreciate your even keel, but you must consciously explore ways to deal with O intensity.
Honey is more naturally, constitutionally competitive out there in the world; it's more important to O self-esteem to make a splash, and s/he loves knowing the ropes and the right names. You're more comfortable in a somewhat more circumscribed domain, wherein you're happy to keep to your schedule/ routine and work out the fine points. You may be more mental where O is physical. You may fancy chess or puzzles or crafts where O has little patience for these.
Sometimes you may wish your O would relax, act more like a yogi or Buddhist. But if you read Dr. Atkins instead of Dr. Ornish, you'll see what works better for Honey than for you. It's not that s/he really despises Veganism or tofu-eaters; it's just that O can't relate to a way of eating that makes him/her feel unwell. Don't take it personally or ply your O with literature and references versus Meat, or with soyfoods. Rather, read Eat Right 4 Your Type ...and Vive la Différence.
Once O and A understand the intrinsic constitutional differences, this is a complementary pairing that runs the gamut of personality, interest and style, modeling a variety of approaches for any children born to it. And, Good News for the O/A couple: Any biological children will be O or A -- no additional types to consider in the household.
O/A relationship guidelines can be applied to parent-child and sibling-sibling relationships, too.
"Sheesh - you're just like your father!" might find some explanatory foundation in blood type.
Some version of the above Diversity Explanation has interested many I've told in the bloodtype work. It brings a practical, real-life solution directly to points of curiosity and even vexation in the actual day-to-day lives of many couples, and individuals. Where the D'Adamo work is thus brought down to earth for someone, s/he is not likely to easily scorn it where it is derided, but might instead say, "There may be something to it."
Try it out.
Tony Bourdain has a serious bone to pick with this town, characterizing it as a hotbed of veganism rife with "crunchers". This colored his 2009 program with a bitterness I as a carnivore found depressing and hinting of Personal Vendetta. Sure enough, the name Alice Waters was mentioned; there's a feud so wrenching for him that he misses the boat on what makes San Francisco a great place to eat. I generally enjoy Bourdain's programs, although the Pre-No Reservations, younger-Tony shows were more interesting for his being less angry, jaded, self-conscious, and more bright-eyed.
A forty-four minute program is long. To find it wholly devoted to an anti-vegan diatribe was, frankly, boring. It led him to scarf down low-quality meat at greasy dives for a third of the program and to pursue a manic meat-mission at unexciting places for much of the rest. When the San Francisco show was over, I wondered why I was so vexed by it and tried to imagine how he could better have used his time here.
Neighborhoods and ethnicities are the essence of this sprawling, diverse city. For a New Yorker, especially, to devote forty-four minutes to culinary San Francisco and not mention Vietnamese cuisine is downright negligence; the foodiest of New Yorkers are often completely unfamiliar with Vietnamese food, so common here, and truly spectacular examples can be had at all price points.
Another interesting difference between New York and San Francisco is in the Italian cuisine department, New York's tradition being rooted in Naples and Sicily, and San Francisco's in more northerly regions such as Tuscany. As North Beach's former Italian predominance disappears, some focus on the Italian history of culinary San Francisco would have been apt if not important, not to mention colorful and fun.
Views – restaurants with views from decks and heights – of the bay, of the ocean, of the city, would have provided visual excitement for the TV audience and acquainted it with a unique neighborhood or two. Countless visitors to our city are drawn by this very feature, and there's just no denying the romance and thrill of al fresco dining here. Many establishments have charming small patios and gardens. Why not show one? As for our local people, the camera was pointed at a variety of homeless street persons and toothless beggars.
One wondered why Bourdain, in his one foray outside the city, drove all the way to Oakland for a $2 taco from a fast-food truck, and ate it sitting on a parking lot ledge. Was this the (Eureka) clue: Program as dig at nearby Berkeley's "Chez Panisse"?
Sante's Rx: One heck of a delightful, self-ridiculing segment deliberately integrating soy foods into his palate, with his characteristic vulgar humor saying something like, "I've come to San Francisco to lose my soy virginity." This town would have obliged him, sending him to the moon with creativity. There are Thai and Chinese chefs who would have incontrovertibly proved that tempeh and tofu are "Not Just For Yogis" but actually components of an exciting meal. But then he would have had to drop his beat attitude and let himself walk around stunned thereafter, muttering, "I stand corrected."
I agree that the Anti-Meat lobbyists can be annoying, and I personally do not fancy meatless meals. But I also recognize that restaurant patrons are often looking for tasty examples of meatless cookery, and Western chefs are not cooperating. Our culinary schools are not demanding that chefs master soy, for instance, in order to graduate. Over a quarter century ago, I was offering tofu and tempeh dishes to the meat-accustomed palate on a meat-dominant menu at a resort attracting its share of vegetarians and vegans, and this my innovation kept guests on the property for dinner. Omnivores on vacation would experiment at such a place, opting for Tempeh Piccata over Roast Chicken on a given night, to discover its possibilities beyond Asian expressions. Many a customer complimented and thanked me for both accommodating their health needs and inspiring their own experimentation. There are chefs far more talented than I who could expand their clientele catering to this market. Not that Anthony Bourdain need ever be one of them, but the guy's act is just crying for a shattering, silencing sexy night with soy, and I hear him.