Getting started (long post)

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Posted by Bob Trent on May-25, 1998 at 16:11:53:

In Reply to: new posted by Glenn Smith on May-25, 1998 at 10:28:00:

This is another one of the more frequently asked questions here, but one that we are always glad to see because it means more people are on their way to better health. You'll find a lot of questions already answered on either the active boards or the archived ones, so learn how to search them. There should be an FAQ posted sometime in the near future and I assume "Getting started" will be included. In the meantime I'll try to give you a few suggestions.

First of all, note the fact that the opinions that are expressed on this site are just that - opinions. You have to make the final decisions about what you and your family does.

In getting started, there are several issues that seem to come up regularly: 1) overall health/medical conditions, 2) going cold turkey vs gradual, 3) strictness of adherence, 4) supplements, 5) herbal stuff, 6) food substitutes, 7) exercise, 8) combining with other diet plans

1) Overall health/medical conditions - Your general state of health will affect the response to all of the other issues. If you have any unusual or severe health problems make sure that you continue consulting with a qualified health professional regarding that condition. If he/she is reluctant to go along with your decision to follow the ER4YT dietary guidelines, consider finding one who will go along with it. This is a particularly thorny issue for type Os because the high protein/low grain recommendations of the type O diet flies in the face of several decades of dietary thinking.

2) Going cold turkey vs gradual - Unless your health is very bad and every minute counts, you probably don’t need to go cold turkey. You’ve been eating a lot of the ‘avoid’ foods all your life and it hasn’t killed you yet, so a few months of tapering off won’t likely kill you. It may also make the changes seem more like a lifestyle change and less like a prison sentence. Start by removing the worst foods (wheat, corn, dairy) as they do the most harm, then work up to other changes.

3) Strictness of adherence - This seems to be of greater significance for folks with severe medical conditions. Note in the book where Peter suggests 70% adherence is sufficient for most of us. Strict avoidance of the ‘avoids’ and eating mostly only ‘beneficials’ is all but impossible for most people. Try to get extra helpings of the beneficial foods and try to minimize the ones to be avoided. An occasional slip up or a small amount of an ‘avoid’ in a recipe is nothing to panic over. Eating a small piece of aunt Gertie’s birthday cake isn’t either and it will keep Gertie happy.

4) Supplements - You can burn up a lot of money on supplements, and for most of us it isn’t necessary. The B complex and calcium should probably be considered necessary and maybe the C, but most other supplements are more appropriate for people with specific conditions or deficiencies. The calcium is especially important for the kids because of the absence of dairy foods in the type O diet.

5) Herbal stuff - As with vitamin/mineral supplements, they may not be necessary. However, some of them are great substitutes for things you should avoid such as coffee, soda pop, and some spices. There are also some good herbal substitutes for common medications such as pain killers, sleeping pills, sedatives, ritalin, and many others. You may find though that some of these medications are not needed very often after you’ve been on the diet for a while, so herbal remedies may become a moot point.

6) Food substitutes - This is where you’ll get a lot of help from the people on this web site. They can suggest all kinds of good substitutes for the ‘avoids’ that you eat the most, thus making the transition easier; E.g. rice milk and/or soy milk instead of cow’s milk, Ezekiel and Spelt bread instead of white/wheat, sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, rice cereal instead of wheat/corn cereal, maple syrup and molasses instead of corn syrup, arrowroot instead of corn starch. The list goes on and on so do a bit of searching through the archives.

7) Exercise - Some people are put off by the vigorous exercise recommendations for type Os. Don’t let it phase you. If you aren’t into the running/aerobics/treadmill/stairmaster type stuff, just pick something that you really enjoy. Go for a regular brisk walk, join a hiking club, take dance lessons, tune up the old bicycle and take a regular ride, shoot hoops with the kids (but watch those joint injuries), take up horseback riding, try crew racing (rowing), discover gardening, join a softball/soccer/bowling/etc. league. The list goes on and on, but make it something that you can stick with. Do several of these things if the variety helps keep you going.

8) Combining with other diet plans - There are lots of other diet plans out there that people want to combine with ER4YT. If you really want to do that, use ER4YT as your ‘food selection plan’ and then fit that into the other diet plan. The other diet plan may specify certain times to eat, supplements, food ratios, calorie counts, or a number of other eating criteria. Just try to avoid the ‘avoids’ as per ER4YT and get a fair amount of protein, even if its all vegetable protein.

That’s my slant on some of the issues that seem to come up most when starting the type O diet. I’m sure others here have different ideas. You’ll be surprised at what a difference just 6 weeks will make. Good luck, good health, and come back to visit us here again.

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