I have been busy this summer with a few clients, each an Individual.
I'm perpetually wondrous over the sheer uniqueness of each precious, faceted gem that is a new mother. Each woman traverses the raging river of this transition in her own way, according to the particular configurations of her own psyche and setting; I am the sherpa who takes her by the hand and assures her she is okay and that, together, we will arrive on Terra Firma. And we do! (Only because I am guided can I guide. Only because I am loved can I love).
The babies themselves are Individuals too, but simple and unpolished as yet: All the easier for new parents to cope with, as the latter attain their own footing. "But they're NOT easy!", a client might protest. "He was easy LAST week when he was sleepier!" I remind her that last week the baby was difficult to rouse and underweight, or jaundiced and wrapped in "bili-lights", etc., as the case may be.
Week by week, the dual-career, egalitarian, childless relationship morphs into a family, with its division of labor and its sometimes bitter sweetness. Selfishnesses are confronted, grieved, attacked by not-always-cute bundles of pure need.
Eventually, the cocoon of the "fourth trimester" bursts, and the woman undergoes social re-entry as a mother, the couple as a family.
Santé_j waves bye-bye, and our city's population is enriched with yet another citizen who's gotten a Good Start. The earth may quake here in San Francisco, but I do what I can to solidify the ground under its families.
PART ONE: The Camerooni Cabbie
A couple of weeks ago I said to my driver, "I'm going home and I'm gonna cut up some fruit." He told me, "I eat ALOT of fruit."
Me: What's your blood type?
Me: Blood type yadda yadda, etc.
CC: Is O the type most people are?
Me: Well, more people in the world are O's than any other single type.
CC: Let's say I'm O. What does that mean?
Me: Basically, dietwise, you need to eat yadda yadda and stay away from blah blah blah. It's also important to get some pretty vigorous exercise to be at your best, both physically and mentally. In fact, you might have problems with anger and its management if you don't get the appropriate workout --
(Screech of brakes)
CC (craning neck to face me): That's ME. You're talking about ME. Who ARE you? How do you KNOW this?
Me: Keep driving, and I'll tell you. Yadda, blah, etc.
CC: Give me your card! What do I DO?
Me: dadamo.com [...] ER4YT [...]...(scribble, scribble). Here.
CC: I'm 50 years old. My blood pressure is high. I want to stabilize it without drugs, but my doctor doesn't know a THING about nutrition - Why IS that?
Me: Too broad a question...[etc]. Check out that book.
CC: This is fantastic!
Me: First house on the left...G'night!
PART TWO: The Californiac Cabbie
Me: Is that your dinner?
CA: More like Breakfast; my day's just starting.
Me: Whatcha got there?
CA: Roast beef and blue cheese sandwich. No dressing or anything, so it's good for me.
Me: What's your blood type? Do you know it?
CA: O negative. Why?
Me: Roast beef -- an excellent choice for you ... blah blah, not the cheese or bread, yadda yadda. [PAUSE]
CA: This is VERY cool stuff. My new girlfriend's giving me so much grief because I eat meat, and I KNOW I feel better when I eat it. She's a vegetarian. It works for her, but not for me.
Me: O vs. A, for instance, blah blah. Stomach acid differential, yadda yadda.
CA: WHOA! So THAT's why I've had heartburn ever since I've been eating her cooking! It all makes sense! This is DYNAMITE! So: What else?
Me: Well, since you're O, you have less likelihood of blah blah diseases, but, for one thing, I find many O's have serious "anger management" issues --
(Screeching of brakes)
CA: OK, Lady. NOW I'm listenin'. NOW you got my attention bigtime. Look: I'm turning off the meter, 'cause I'm paying for your ride. Now what's this about anger??
Me: Well -- It's very important for O's to sweat, get a good workout every day if possible. Without it, you can itch for a fight, right?
CA: Incredible! I used to be a fire fighter: It was really intense physically, and I guess I needed it, because just driving around, it's true, I don't have time to build in the exercise. But I didn't realize that's why I'm so -- keyed up, wired or something --
Me: OK. So, Run. Go to a gym. Even hard swimming. Whatever gets you pumped. Kickboxing, I don't know. It's gotta be VIGOROUS.
CA: I NEED this information. Sh-t, I get angry and I get acid reflux bad. What else about O's?
Me: Well, it seems O's are often long-lived --
CA: Many members of my family have lived past 90, 95.
Me: I'm writing down a web address for you.
CA: Need paper? I'm ready. This is IT.
Me: And the name of a book.
CA: There's actually a BOOK on this?
Me: A best seller -- And more than one!
CA: Y'know what I'm getting? This is all about "Individuality", isn't it?
Me: BRAVO! You really DO get it! At this website, the homepage'll tell you at the top: "Individuals Welcome Here". That's just what it's about.
CA: Lady, you're changing my life. You realize that.
Me: OK. Make a right here.
CA: You got it. Hey. Can I ask you one more question? You mentioned No Wheat and No Dairy except the cheeses I actually like best [mozzarella, goat, feta, etc.]. Does this diet say O's shouldn't eat POTATOES? Because I like 'em, but somehow they don't seem to agree with me. Does that compute?
Me: You are SO right on. You'll do really well with this. Let me at least give you a tip: Take this (handing him a couple of bills).
CA: Keep it. You've given me all the tip I need. Have a great evening!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Note: I learned about the (Screechin') Anger/O connection straight from Peter D'Adamo's writings. And I have to say: Again and again O's are WOWED by my bringing it up as a blood-type-related characteristic due to the O's unique need for vigorous physical exertion, particularly "under stress". This is often the major factor that interests O's in D'Adamo's work and a diet they'd never heard of before. Second is the need for red meat, which many O's recognize. Here in California, that wins many over. Third, I'd say, it's a tie between Yeast/Candida, digestive complaints, and miscarriage. Fourth would be thyroid.
Another note: The two O Cabbies above are but two of many, many cabbies I've initiated into our ABO secrets. Improving lives, one ride at a time.
I recently saw a TV rerun of The Addams Family, a favorite program from school days. I think Gomez and Morticia were wonderfully B. Back in the 60's they fenced (as did I), did yoga (70's for me), Morticia played the shamisen (I plucked other strings), their butler played harpsichord (as did I!), they served exotic teas (ditto) and kept unusual pets (Nope.). Most of all, they shared my exquisite appreciation of Gloom. I think of Morticia every time I hear myself saying "delightfully lugubrious", which is how I define San Francisco's unique weather at its absolute densest.
This year's July 4th fireworks were visible from below for the first time in at least a decade. Normally I watch 'em from my hilltop place, whence I can see them exploding in the clear air above the fog that obscures the view from the crowd below. July 4th falls squarely within Fog Season and can usually be relied upon to be downright cold. But this year, the whole week was warm. Sunday dusk, I sat writing by the fanned window, when that deep low horn sounded long and loud, from the west, over the whole city. I actually audibly said, "Yay! Here it comes!"
The fog. The mists. (Do I belong on a moor? I have to say, the Scots are notably higher in B than are the English or Irish.) "Our natural air-conditioning", 'tis said. I'm a fool for it.
Spoken language, like wine, has "mouthfeel", and I intend to here rattle on about it.
American English, my native tongue, feels elastic -- perhaps because I can stretch it every which way. And French, my second language, is mellifluous on the palate. German is lofty, and Italian is chewy.
My "Tertiaries" first:
German is serious and "meaningful"; it can go unctuous, like Beerenauslese, or gossamer, like Spätlese Trocken. There is a melancholy streak in German, providing the structure for bouquets ranging from gloomy to joyful, its consonantal breadth and multitudinous cases, declensions, and genders holding interest and keeping one alert and intrigued...or wearing one out!
Italian, on the other hand, is engaging of romantic energy, not dark and mysteriously passionate, which is more of a (castilian) Spanish tone, but a youthful and less serious "Dolce Vita" sort of attitude, with the glorious chewiness of perfect pasta. Italian is, indeed, a highly textured language; it whines and poses and acts out, rages, demands, and seduces.
Castilian Spanish plays for keeps. It slowly creeps over mountain ridges, like fingers of fog; whispering, but making ancient and irrevocable statements. Spanish vines are often very old, but they can produce exquisitely fine and quiet sherry, for instance, as well as Priorat from Priorat, from the deepest chthonic earth: Tortured, twisted wines, crucified (for you) on their stakes, and yet: smooth, even gentle, kind...hushed...dry.
I have minimal experience SPEAKING, as opposed to, say, reading, other (quaternary?) languages, but I find one to be like dark coffee and another like pilsner, when I trip them across the tongue.
It's English and French which are hardest for me to describe, perhaps because of my fluency. It's tempting to say "French is like Champagne", but it isn't, really. There's a certain frontal consonantalness, yes, but those R's keep pulling one back to an ultrasuede soaveté more akin to a Viognier. The overall impression of the spoken language is, I think, elegant à la Bourgogne...(but the country can be Funny, like Beaujolais: Jolly. Some of the pinks and Loire chenins deliver this, but usually there's something UltraFine even there). The exquisite nuancedness of French is actually best related to a different palate altogether, that for experiencing fine perfume, leaving materiality almost entirely....
As I come to know a given language better and better, I distinguish its many regional dialects. Thus I'm rendered incapable of nailing down only one overall "mouthfeel" for that language. That's the problem with French. A small country (the size of Texas), with "infinite variety", not to mention its numerous "offshore" accents!
Speaking of variety, American English can be jazzy and snappy like CocaCola; it can be happy and down-home like a cuppa chowder. I don't know if American English has -yet!- the depth, the sheer maturity to be compared to wine. The language feels "youthful" (and the country invented phony chipped-oak flavoring methods to mimic barrel-aged winemaking. Cute, huh?). American English is the Imperial, global language of our day. And it's marketed to be drunk young: Go figure.
While British English(es) can be redolent of resinous Port or antique single malt Scotch (when deliciously pronounced), or swingier, like a pubby sort of brew, or even downright cream-y, American English is like punch, or (orange pekoe) tea...
For all that, it has no pretension, as a language. Though immature regionally, its venerable origins give it complexity that may very well be unequalled, at least in the Western World and perhaps globally. When those roots and its world role are factored in, we come up with something almost plaintive, wistful, Celtic, beneath the apparent soda pop - something more like Rain and the rolling, surging immensity of Ocean.
One of the things I so appreciate about Dr. D'Adamo's books is the supplement guides. The number of nutritional supplements available to us American consumers is truly staggering and can be overwhelming at the shops; D'Adamo's advice for supplements appropriate to each blood type for a given purpose is not only welcome but phenomenally accurate.
Indeed, one of the most convincing factors affecting my initial trust in his work was his touting Magnesium so broadly for Type B. I quote here what I then read in Eat Right 4 Your Type, p. 178:
"Magnesium is the catalyst for the metabolic machinery in Type Bs. It's the match head -- what makes Type Bs metabolize carbohydrates more efficiently. Since you are so efficient in assimilating calcium, you risk creating an imbalance between your levels of calcium and magnesium. Should this occur, you find yourself more at risk for viruses (or otherwise lowered immunity), fatigue, depression, and, potentially, nervous disorders. In these instances, perhaps a trial of magnesium supplementation (300-500mg) should be considered."
I had, solitarily, "discovered" magnesium at least a dozen years before I'd heard of Dr. D'Adamo, and was already using it as my own, idiosyncratic, nutritional tonic. P. 178 of ER4YT almost singularly sold me on D'Adamo. But there was more.
On the following page he names Licorice first among phytochemicals appropriate for B. Again, many years previously, I'd discovered Licorice tea in a tea catalogue from which I'd thereafter ordered it by mail and enjoyed it as my (quirky) herbal beverage ever since...
Well, since discovering and adhering to the BTD, I've had occasion to discover other supplements -- and weed out options inappropriate for my type -- as well as to find my personal preferences repeatedly confirmed by Dr. D'Adamo as of great medicinal value to Type Bs. More examples of his prescribing, for B, my own established preferences:
- Epsom Salt Baths
- Evening Primrose Oil (fem. balance for all types)
- Ghee (Likewise, for all types)
ONE such confirmation might have been deemed a coincidence. But NINE?? (I've also since benefitted from supplements I only discovered FROM Dr. D'Adamo, including Larch and elderberry...)
And then I added his confirmations of my practice of SINGING and my choices of tennis, walking, t'ai chi, and dance for stress reduction and exercise, and I knew that my many years of selecting and self-prescribing components of my lifestyle and "program" had brought me to where I could consider his work an extraordinarily excellent fit, and, indeed, marvellously accurate and trustworthy.
I can say that over the past several years, I've seen this excellent fit between D'Adamo's contribution and my friends, family, acquaintances, and clients numerous times. In fact, a current client, and her husband, and her mother, are all downright amazed to learn from me just how D'Adamo's work jibes with what they know to be true about their own diets, diseases, constitutions, and practices. They have visited the website and, yes, ordered his book(s)!
It's this Confirmation of the established intuitions and practices of health-conscious adults in my orbit that is so convincing and satisfying. It's but one of the reasons I don't usually view the acceptance/adoption of the BTD as a "conversion". All too often, I hear, "I KNEW that!" and "Incredible! I already eat that way!"