Tag Archives: blood type A recipes

Guest post: Patient, heal thyself (part 3)

Greek-yogurt-blueberries-maplesyrup-walnuts

I had intended to continue sharing my recent benefits from switching in April to the ‘Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type’ plan, when last weekend put my intentions on hold. However, there was the added benefit of an experience important to all of us who need to watch what we eat, so I will share some of what occurred in this post.

While helping my partner erect an aluminum (aluminium, for those northwest of here) and plexi winter garden house, I suffered what appeared to be the beginnings of a heart attack. Germany has one very important aspect to their health care which I applaud: if the call is of a serious nature, an ambulance with a doctor on board is also dispatched to the scene. I won’t take you through the hooking up of a colourful assortment of tubes and such, and just say that after Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride through the German countryside, I arrived at a hospital with a highly-regarded cardio unit, where I spent several hours on monitors and bleeding into little glass tubes, on demand.

Upon determining that I was not in immediate danger, I was sent upstairs to a room, where they brought me the evening’s repast.  Before continuing your digestion of this post, I suggest making certain that you are in a comfortable chair, as what I am about to share will stagger the imagination of most, and might even cause one to stagger in a literal sense. A caution has been made.

Dinner, for a person who has just arrived in the hospital’s cardio wing, and was under strict monitoring, was: two slices of bread, a slice of Emmentaler cheese (like Swiss cheese), three assorted slices of cold cuts, including salami, bologna and one that was unidentifiable, to me, and three tablespoons of watery yogurt.  There were also two packets of mustard and a small cube of butter.  No, I didn’t miss anything and I even looked under the tray, to be certain of this.

If you are a Type A person and you have already started the program, and know what the dos and don’ts are, you would recognize only the yogurt as being of any benefit, while the rest of the lot are absolute ‘don’ts.’  I mentioned this to the night nurse who remarked, ‘Everybody gets the same. No special treatment.’  Having passed two very elderly women in wheelchairs, as they were bringing me to my room, I wondered how they expected these two souls to be nurtured back to good health on such a meagre and very unhealthy diet.

Serving the least amount of food, with no regard to nutrition, is endemic in German hospitals and I have personally witnessed this in three other medical establishments. I have also asked physicians how they expect their patients to heal without proper nutrition, but they just shake their heads in a ‘it’s not my problem’ way. It is not a German attribute to rock the boat, so it is likely the insurance plan most patients are subscribed to determines costs for such things.  It goes to prove the point that when bean-counters enter the picture, all compassion disappears. But, I digress.

Due to many issues, I had a sleepless night, one of which was being denied a sleeping pill, because, as the night nurse put it: ‘You are asking too late.’ Had I known my roommate could rattle the rafters with his snoring, I might have asked when I came to the room. But, unarmed with such important information, I was left without the necessary tool to overcome this obstacle and spent the night awake.

In the very early morning hours, nurses came to take blood and chose to poke a new hole in my other hand, although all previous blood samples had been taken from the hand with the nifty accoutrement that had been attached to me in the comfort of my best chair, the day before. Then, a young male nurse came to take my blood pressure, after which he presented a needle.  When I asked what it was for, he told me it was to prevent thrombosis’ to which I replied: ‘No.’  I saw no need to have this additional toxin in my body, when I was still ambulatory and was not bedridden. He was perplexed, but he didn’t force the issue.

Later in the morning, one of the cardio doctors came to see me and spent some time telling me that I had not suffered a heart attack, stroke or anything severe enough to leave a telltale message in my system.  The numbers they were giving me were the same as I had received from my cardio specialist, during my annual checkup in June, so I breathed a sigh of relief, and told her I wanted to go home. I was immediately counseled on the possible ‘consequences’ of such a decision, in view of their desire to keep me for observation and further tests, all of which I had experienced in June, and passed with flying colors. I then told her about my sleepless night, which seemed to go right past her, without reaction or comment.

The young doctor was adamant that I stay put, so I shared with her the details of my morning meal, which was: a slice of what looked like a mixed deli meat, two bread rolls, two packets of processed jelly, a cube of butter and three tablespoons of yogurt. I then continued with a description of the all important mid-day meal that had been brought to me, which was a vegetable consume, including remnants of carrots, potatoes and beans with a long, beef sausage placed in the middle of the bowl, a packet of mustard and two pieces of stale bread.  After sharing these details with her, I told her about my eating plan and how it had cleared up two issues for me, which all of the ingredients the hospital had offered were sure to bring back to the fold. She shrugged in a kind of ‘what do you want me to do about it’ way, although I surmised that she was already thinking in her mind that there had to be some prescription that would do the trick rather well, in place of nutritious food.

When I asked her how she felt about serving the kind of food that was presented, to a person presumed to have a heart issue (after all, the did want to keep me for observation), she changed the topic back to the issue of ‘the possible consequences of going home.’

I thought about it and came to the realization that if I stayed there for the recommended period of time, taking the drugs they wanted me to ingest, in spite of showing no symptoms requiring drugs, and eating their food, I would have other serious issues returning to my life. I opted to leave, after telling her that I would much prefer to expire at home, eating healthy food, rather than in a hospital’s cold, dispassionate environment, while slowly being poisoned.  She was not amused.

There were forms to fill out, more cautions expressed and then I was able to step outdoors, in the cool, dark afternoon, accompanied by my partner, who had brought one of our fun cars as a treat, in which to bring me home.  The first breath of fresh air was rejuvenating and I continued to feel better during the ride home, in spite of my lack of sleep.

For that first meal upon my return to our home, I chose a breakfast meal of freshly chopped walnuts, Greek yogurt and blueberries. I also added a small dollop of maple syrup, which has been my sweetener of choice for more than thirty years. In the photo, you will see that I used frozen blueberries, as we are out of season for fresh, here, and I rather like having them year round. Frozen also allows me to vary the types of berries I use during the winter months, and allows me to thaw just what I need to avoid any spoilage, as well as providing a sugar-free juice from the thawing process.

I did see my GP this week and he reviewed the information about my adventure and came to the conclusion that, since this was a one-off event, that I should take it easy, lessen my work load some and give stressful situations a boot in the behind. I do have a tendency to work like I am still twenty-three, which is not to my benefit, now, and I had been overdoing it for a couple of weeks, even though I was experiencing a cold. My instinct tells me that it was just overloading the system with commitments and physical stress that caused my body to stop functioning at its optimum. When pressed for a reply, my GP begrudgingly admitted that leaving the hospital was a good idea, in this circumstance.

The point of sharing this experience is to demonstrate that in all cases, we will be responsible for our own health, even in an environment that is supposed to consider all aspects of our health its foremost concern.

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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.

Guest post: Patient, heal thyself (part 1)

poachedeggs

Today I would like to welcome KJ. KJ has been unflaggingly following the ‘eat according to your blood type’ plan, reaping quite substantial benefits. Here is what he has to say:

A couple of months ago, I was wandering around the interweb and came upon the portion that Fiona has carved out of the virtual world for her blog. At the time, I was attempting to regain some control of my eating pattern and, to abbreviate what could become a long and not-very-noteworthy tome, I read her section on ‘Weight Loss,’ wherein she described her own bout with nature’s disagreement regarding her preferred eating pattern, the outcome of which was that surprising weight-gain that happens when we get older and are still eating the ‘good stuff.’ I was also looking for a natural means of repairing a medical condition for which doctors had provided no relief, other than chemical. Within her weight loss topic, she has listed several options that she employed, including Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s suggested method of eating according to one’s blood type.

After a few messages back and forth between Fiona and myself, I ordered two books from Amazon, related to Dr. D’Adamo’s method and, possessing some aspects of a Type A personality, as well as having Type A blood, I implemented the plan immediately. I stayed within the list of ingredients in the ‘Eating for Blood Type A’ book, but, temporarily lacking the cookbook for blood types, I was left to devise my own menus. As a result of many discussions with – and much guidance from – Fiona, she has asked me to contribute some of the menus that I have developed over the course of the past few weeks. As I have been carefully adhering to the plan outlined in the books I received, anything I contribute will be related to my specific blood type. If you are reading this post carefully, you will already know what that type is. Or, you can start at the beginning of the alphabet and select the first letter. Whichever method produces the best results for you will enable you to follow my notes.

Fiona has respectable credentials in her field and has established herself as a credible source for solid information regarding proper nutrition and healthy living. Not to mention that she combines ingredients that, at times, appear almost sinful and, for my blood type, many of her tasty morsels are just that. So, Fiona suggested that maybe we should share some of what I am experiencing and cooking to benefit others who are on the same path as am I.

Before progressing further, one might wish to learn what credentials I possess in this field, and it is a fair question to ask of me. After all, I will be suggesting that you place some ingredients on a fork, raise it to your lips and then slip this concoction between them. A wise person would require that, at the very least, a smidgen of trust be established beforehand – a premise with which I am in complete agreement. So, here are my credentials: Zip. Nada. None. Reason enough for me to confine my contributions to what I cook and my experience with this eating plan. Did I mention that this portion of Fiona’s enterprise would be for folks with blood Type A? And, while I may appear to have one hand on the rudder in this undertaking, Fiona will be at the helm to make certain that I do not poison anyone.

I will admit to spending several years in hotel food/beverage and I learned table-side flambé service as a young lad, although I have since noticed that very few of the talents I learned during these early years can provide any support for my eating patterns to date.

Pan-poached chicken salad for Type A: I begin this dinner dish by sautéing garlic and chives in olive oil, adding raw chicken breast and when the ‘spittle’ from the pan is embracing the walls for one second, I add a generous dollop of Chardonnay. I should mention that one must be careful about the cooking temperatures for oil. I only sauté for a few seconds and do not use a large amount of oil. I will leave it to Fiona to discuss in depth how best to cook with oils. If I had worked the garlic and chives in the oil for a longer period, and then fried the chicken in the remnants, I would have had the makings of a rich and tasty concoction, which I am not supposed to eat, and which reminds me of an experience I had when living in south Texas, many years ago.

A wonderful cook of distinguished years (older than my grandmother), gave the leftovers in the pan a name. “You see, boy,” she remarked, with an accent rich in Southern US culture, and while stirring the darkened remnants of oil and spices left in the pan from cooking a hefty slab of beef, “this here drippin’s is what we all call fixin’s. It’s what you gots to have, to make a good gravy, or sauce. You can’t make no good gravy without the fixin’s.”

My partner would have knelt at her altar in supplication, had he had the opportunity to make her acquaintance. It is his belief that the ‘fixin’s’ are a basic food group and all meals should begin with this foundation. Although I am working diligently to disengage him from this mindset, a satisfied look of vindication takes possession of his countenance, when he sees me sautéing garlic and chives in olive oil – no matter how short the time span is in which I am performing this task.

Another experiment which made fast friends with my taste buds was spinach pasta with roasted garlic and chopped broccoli in walnut oil, topped off with feta cheese with herbs. Accompanied by a chilled glass of Chardonnay, it was a very good meal, from my point of view, until the cooking book for this eating plan arrived and erased my smug look of self-satisfaction. The reason for the alteration of mon visage, you might well ask? Spinach pasta is a no-no, according to the cooking book, whereas it received no mention in the first book. It shows that you have to have all of the tools to be successful at any undertaking and ordering both books at the same time would have allowed me to avoid this mistake. Fortunately, I did not fade away and the meal was fantastic.

What this demonstrates is that we can poke a pin hole in the hull of this craft, without sinking it. I had no immediate, overpowering reactions to the spinach pasta and now that I know it is not ‘allowed,’ I will substitute a more appropriate pasta for this dish. What still surprises me during this process, is just how easy it is to stay within the structured parameters of this eating plan, while still enjoying a meal that even causes my partner to glance over at my plate with some curiosity. Believe me, that is a rather significant development.