Guest post: Patient, heal thyself (part 2)

Chicken_broccoli florets_chives_garlic_goatcheese

Following on from his previous post, I welcome back KJ to share more of his ‘eating according to blood type’ journey.

To begin our trek through my experiences of late, Fiona suggested I share some of the challenges I was facing before beginning the Type A eating plan. To begin, I feel compelled to mention that, for nine years before I moved to Europe, I was under the care of one of what I believe to be the greatest naturopathic physicians of the last and current centuries, Dr. N. V. Tyree, who has since retired. He never prescribed a drug for my ailments and his treatments were everyday ingredients found in most homes. I also might add, just to see those eyebrows rise up in unison, he and I never met. The breadth of ailments he treated for me are numerous and his diagnosis was never flawed, no matter how many ‘carrots’ I threw into the soup. However, the details of this history are better suited for another topic, so I shall get back on track.

After several experiences with physicians on this side of the pond, I came to realize that my personal health was just that: personal, and if I wanted to maintain my health, it was going to be up to me to do so. We could spend hours on this topic, but the most recent events that were left hanging were my inability to get a skin condition properly diagnosed, a sleep pattern that was erratic, the need for a cane when walking (three years after my second hip replacement – on the same side), which was having a profound impact on my attempts to exercise to lose weight. I was significantly overweight, at the time I began the Type A plan, but my heart, was apparently, as the cardiologist said, ‘perfect.’ He also stated that diabetes was not in the cards, which was a relief. This good health report I attribute solely to eating properly. I believed that I had the basics down, from my previous experience with Dr. T.

So, with Fiona’s assistance, I began the plan with the hope of tackling at least one of the issues at hand: the skin issue. This problem was where my skin became inflamed by reasons other than mosquito bites (to which my body responds very negatively). In one instance, my skin was so red and began to swell, that the doctor who was looking me over called for an ambulance. This issue was present for a year, off and on, before ‘specialists’ prescribed a fourth-generation antihistamine and high doses of cortisone, which I took for a year. Anyone who has experienced cortisone knows that it is a soul-altering concoction that can cause even the most saintly among us to metamorphose into a Beelzebub with the ability to invoke unknown levels of terror. I sorted this out when I realized that the cat was spending an inordinate amount of time hiding in the flowerbed at the end of the patio. My partner just retired to his den, while shaking his head. His natural instinct for survival comes in handy, on occasions such as this.

When I began the plan, I vowed to follow Fiona’s advice: ‘if you call it a diet, you are doomed to fail.’ She’s right. Following a plan such as this will require a lifetime of commitment, not six months to make ready for the bikini season (they don’t wear well on my body type, anyway). During the first week, I was surprised by how much the Type A plan paralleled the very information that Dr. T. had suggested for me, years ago. It goes to show that truth is truth, no matter when and where you find it. I took this as confirmation that I was now on the right track.

What I learned from the Type A eating plan was that I had some of the basics, but there was much more to address and this plan provided the necessary information for me to expand my knowledge and increase my self-reliance.

Within two weeks of beginning this plan, my skin appeared to lose some of its sensitivity to heat and the small red spots began to disappear. Within four weeks, my skin was almost normal, and by the sixth week, the redness had all but disappeared. Within eight weeks, I began to gradually – and continually – reduce my intake of cortisone, until I could stop it altogether. Within ten weeks, I was able to cut my intake of the antihistamine down to half. Within twelve weeks, I was able to cut it down to weekly doses, or as-needed, depending on how sinful my cooking was at the time. Fiona may appear to be an angel, by most accounts, but she does prepare concoctions that would tempt most of us to sin.

My current physicians – all of them, specialists included – say that this change came about by time and good medicine. When I explained to them that this was a new eating plan, and had nothing to do with their prescriptions (which I would still be taking, if not for this eating plan), they scoffed and – to the man (and woman) – they discounted the eating plan as having any direct benefit. I should have screamed in the face of such ignorance, but it caused me to only shake my head in disbelief. One has only to understand that students of medicine in Germany are taught: ‘natural medicine does not work.’ This was told to me by a recent graduate from medical school and it explains much about the current attitudes in medicine. If you take up an eating plan that is based on the blood-type eating plan, you will have to prepare yourself for this reaction from your physician.

However, one should keep in mind that eating according to one’s blood type is not a ‘medical treatment of an ailment,’ but a change in what we take into our bodies for fuel. The reality that it just might help diminish some of our health issues is a bonus – although not an unexpected one, for those who have experienced this change.

One aspect of this new direction (no, it has nothing to do with those singing lads from the UK, sorry) which causes me to smile to myself – and my partner to frown with worry, that this might finally be time for the white-coat-brigade – is that the food I am preparing is simple, easy and rather tasty. From looking at the photos of my meals you may question this, but don’t be put off by the imagery. The food is very tasty. Case in point:

Dinner tonight was chicken breast sautéed in walnut oil with a clove of minced garlic, an abundance of chopped chives and poached for a few minutes in Prosecco, before draining out the remaining liquid and then gently browning the meat. The broccoli florets were steamed and then dressed with the liquid drained from the chicken/chives/garlic and then topped with finely grated (and aged) goat cheese, while the chicken was topped with the sautéed chives and minced garlic. A sprinkling of sea salt on the lot added just a bit more flavour to the meal. A glass of chilled Prosecco was a necessary complément, of course. While the photo may not be complimentary, I assure you my taste buds thoroughly enjoyed the event.

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