Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Eat Right 4 Your Type

I've been reading "Eat Right For Your Type" by Dr. Peter DÁdamo and it has some interesting advice regarding food choices, exercise, and how to deal with stress based on a person's blood type. 

At first, I was like, "Me? A meat eater?" I mean, I'm not vegetarian but I'm certainly not a meat lover either. As I read though, I began to ease up. I do enjoy fish, and all the fish I eat is listed in the allowed or beneficial columns. Something else he stressed was that the meat should be grass-fed and organic but I'm not too concerned about that at this point. 

Then I got to dairy. Minimal to restrictive dairy? I balked. 

Then nuts. Peanut butter acts as a poison to my blood type? WTH? 

And then finally in beverages. Steer clear of coffee and beer. Oh I was reeling by that point. I was fighting this logic. I've been drinking and eating those things for years with no problems! 

I didn't feel like doing the research to validate or refute his claims though. Then I got to the 'Common Questions' portion of the book. Basically, the level of intensity recommended for following this diet is in relation to how you feel. As long as I am not always tired, having indigestion, experiencing insomnia, noticing a lack of concentration, always feeling cold, or experiencing muscle and joint pain then I'm basically okay. Or if I start having medical problems (high cholesterol?). 

At this time, my only real symptom of my current diet is the high cholesterol. So while I will try to incorporate some of these guidelines into my diet, I don't think I'm to a point yet where I need to be strict about it. Should I eat cheese or yogurt every day? No. But I don't think the occasional casserole with cheese or the dish with cream sauce is going to break the bank at this point.

The exercise portion indicated that Type Os benefit from strenuous exercise and use physical exertion to relieve stress. Bingo! 

I copied a chart that someone online put together which hits the highlights of the food portion for Type Os.
Each of the food groups are divided into three categories: Highly beneficial ( food that acts like Medicine), Foods allowed (food that are no harm to the blood type) and Foods not allowed (food that acts like a Poison)

Characteristics of Type O - Best on High Protein Diet
  1. Thrive on intense physical exercise and animal proteins
  2. Do not do well with dairy and grain products
  3. Hardy digestive tract
  4. The leading factor in weight gain for Type Os is the gluten found in wheat germ and whole wheat products.
  5. Type O have a tendency to have low levels of thyroid hormone and unstable thyroid functions, which cause metabolic problems and weight gain.
  6. Type O have high stomach-acid content, can digest meat easily.

CommentsMost BeneficialFood allowedFood not allowed

The more stressful your job or demanding your exercise program, the higher the grade of protein you should eatBeef, Lam, Mutton, Veal, Venison

Type Os can efficiently digest and metabolize meats
Any meat except for those listed not allowedBacon, Ham, Goose, Pork
Cold-water fish are excellent for Type Os. Many seafoods are also excellent sources of iodine, which regulates the thyroid function.Cod, herring, MackerelAny fish or seafood except for those listed not allowedBarracuda, Pickled herring, Catfish, Smoked salmon, Caviar, Octopus, Conch
DairyType Os need to severely restrict the use of dairy products and eggs
Butter, Farmer, Feta, Mozzarella, Goat cheese, Soy MilkAll other dairy products and yogurts
FatType Os respond well to oilsOlive Oil, Flaxseed oilCanola oil, Sesame OilCorn oil, Peanut oil, Cottonseed oil, Safflower oil
NutsThese foods should in no way take the place of high-protein meats, and they are high in fat especially if you are overweight.Pumpkin seeds, WalnutsAll kinds except those listed not allowedBrazil, Cashew, Peanut, Pistachios, Poppy Seeds
BeansType Os don't utilize beans particularly well. They tend to make muscle tissue slightly less acidic and inhibit the metabolism of other nutrients.Aduke beans, Azuki beans, Pinto beans, Black-eyed peasAll kinds except those listed not allowedBeans - copper, kidney, navy, tamarine. Lentils - domestic, green, red.
GrainsType Os do not tolerate whole wheat products at all.Essene Bread, Ezekiel BreadAmaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Rice, Kamut, Kasha, Millet, Rye, SpeltCorn, Gluten, Graham, Wheat (Bulgur, Durum, Sprouted, white and whole, Germ and Bran) farina, Oat, Seven-grains, or any products such as flour, bread and noodles made with these grain products

These vegetables inhibit the thyroid function for Type Os

Brassica family: Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mustard greens
These vegetables help blood clot, Type Os lack several clotting fractors and need vitamin K to assist in the processKale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli, spinach

These vegetables irritate the digestive tract and the high mold count can aggravate Type O hypersensitivity problems.

Alfalfa sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, fermented olives
These vegetables can cause arthritic conditions in Type Os

Nightshades: eggplant, potatoes
This vegetable affect the production of insulin, often lead to obesity and diabetes for the Type Os.

This fruit agglutinate all blood types but Type Os.

Artichoke, Chicory, Dandelion, Garlic, Horseradish, Kale, Leek, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Parsnips, Red Peppers, Sweet potatoes, Pumpkin, seaweed, turnipsAll kinds except those listed not allowedavocado

Dark red, blue and purple fruits tend to cause an alkaline reaction the digestive tract, and therefore balance the high acidity of the Type Os digestive tract to reduce ulcers and irritations of the stomach lining.Plums, prunes, figs

These fruits contain high mold counts which can aggravate Type Os hypersensitivity problems (allergies)

Melons, cantaloupe, honeydew
These fruits are high in acid content which may irritate the acidic stomach of Type Os
Grapefruit, most berriesOranges, tangerines and strawberries, blackberries, Rhubarb
Fruits are not only an important source of fiber, minerals and vitamins, but they can be an excellent alternative to bread and pasta for Type Os
All kinds except those listed not allowed
Type Os are extremely sensitive to this fruit.

coconut and coconut-containing products
Rich source of Iodine to regulate the thyroid glandKelp-based seasonings, iodized salt

Soothing to the digestive tracts of Type OsParsley, curry, cayenne pepper

Irritants to the Type O stomach

White and black pepper, vinegar, capers, cinnamon, Cornstarch, Corn syrup, Nutmeg, Vanilla

chocolate, honey, cocaoKetchup, pickles, mayonnaise, relish
Seltzer water, Club soda and teaWineBeer, Coffee, Distilled liquor, Black Tea

Monday, April 25, 2011

Edit to timeline

After quite a bit of discussion, moping, more discussion, then finally the realization that I was setting myself up for a rough time for potentially no reason, I came to the decision to revise my timeline on steps to lower my cholesterol results. 
Basically what Ashley pointed out was that if my cholesterol goes down after following a restrictive diet for 3 months, I won't know if I would have had the same results with fish oil capsules. In short, I *might* not have to change anything if the fish oil brings it down. She also pointed out that I don't eat horribly. I have oatmeal for breakfast and salad or lean meat for lunch. It's a small portion dinner with cheese, cream sauce, red meat (any or all of the above) - and that's the worst of what I eat. I don't drink soda, I don't eat fast food or even junk food like chips, cookies and cakes. At least not often. So here's my revision:

April 25 through July 25: eat like I have been, healthy but not restrictive - and take fish oil capsules - get blood tested at HyVee
If results are still high:
August 1 through October 1: eat like I have been, healthy but not restrictive - and take fish oil capsules - exercise - get blood tested at HyVee
If results are still high:
October 3 through December 3: low cholesterol meals with exercise - get blood tested at HyVee
If results are still high:
December 12 through March 12: low cholesterol meals with exercise and fish oil capsules - get blood tested at HyVee

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Low Cholesterol Diet

I was looking at the suggested foods allowed/to avoid list that I got from the doctor for a low cholesterol diet. Apparently, when I thought I was eating within the guidelines this last year, I wasn't. At least not for dinner. My breakfast and lunches have fit into the guidelines perfectly. My agreement with Ashley was that I would fend for myself for breakfast and dinner so that I could eat better, then she could make whatever she wanted for dinner and I would adjust my portion size to stay within a reasonable limit. 
I guess the more I justified each meal, the more I truly believed I was still within the guidelines. Unfortunately though, that was not the case. So starting Monday, I'm going on a strict guideline-only diet for 3 months and then getting my blood checked again. Ashley is NOT happy about dinners but I really want to find out if I can control this.
Here's my timeline plan:
April 25 through July 25: low cholesterol meals only - get blood tested at HyVee
If results are still high:
August 1 through October 1: low cholesterol meals with exercise - get blood tested at HyVee
If results are still high:
October 3 through December 3: low cholesterol meals with exercise and fish oil capsules - get blood tested at HyVee

I went into a bit of a bender when I got these recent test results showing I was still high. I felt helpless and frustrated. I decided that if I couldn't control what happened with my cholesterol then I'd just go ahead and eat whatever sounded good. This morning though, I took a real hard look at that food list and realized I wasn't really trying as hard as I could have to control the outcome. I am not typically a person who allows that helpless "fate-like" thinking to settle in and I'm surprised really that I let it take over for even that short week. That's over now. I realize that I can still put forth a real effort to change things and I can do everything recommended to lower cholesterol within 9 months. If after that time I'm still testing high, then I'll go back to the doctor with my outline of what I've done and see what he recommends then. I'm really thinking I won't have to do that though. Genetics or not, I don't believe humans were designed to evolve with predetermined health issues. I think the closer I am to living as a human was originally intended to live, the closer I will be to my perfect health. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Well, I got the results of my blood test back and cholesterol is still up. In fact, it has RISEN! I changed my diet, cut back on eating fast food, beef, excess fats. I ate steel cut oatmeal, quinoa and a salad with fish for 8 days prior to this test! I've been eating better in this last year than I had since middle school and my levels have gone up?!
The only positive spin I can see to put on this is that if I had continued to eat the way I had been prior to the last test, these numbers would have been even higher. As it stands, the doctor doesn't think the numbers are high enough to be concerned about CHD and he doesn't recommend medication but I should start taking fish oil capsules since the diet change didn't yield results. He also said to up my exercise as he's seen that work for people as well. I'm supposed to get another test in 3 months. I won't be getting back into a workout routine until late July so I probably won't get another test until 3 months after that. Or maybe I'll just wait until next April - seems to work either way.
I'm so freaking frustrated right now.

Lab Results 04/2011

Reference Interval
Cholesterol, Total
HDL Cholesterol
LDL Cholesterol
Desirable range <100mg/dL
for patients with CHD or diabetes
and <70mg/dL for diabetic patients
with known heart disease
0.0 - 5.0

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lab Results 04/2009

TestResult-unitReference Interval
Cholesterol, Total215mg/dL100-199
HDL Cholesterol52mg/dL+39
Comment:According to ATP-ITI Guidelines,
HDL-C >59mg/dL is considered a
negative risk factor for CHD
VLDL Cholesterol Cal45mg/dL5-40
LDL Cholesterol Calc118mg/dL0-99
Comment:If initial LDL-cholesterol
result is >100mg/dL, assess
for risk factors
LDL/HDL Ratio2.30.0 - 3.2

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hidden Exercise

Saturday I trimmed the hedges along our property line for about 30 minutes. Technically, these are our neighbor's bushes but they don't maintain them so they've become overgrown and are all scraggly looking as well as in our lawn. Mowing around them proved difficult last summer so this year I decided to take matters into my own hands and go hack at them until I was satisfied (with the side that faces our lawn anyway). On Sunday, I felt a little soreness in the muscles in the back of my thighs, a bit in my upper arms near my armpits, and some cramping in my hands. Today it's even worse. I have to wonder if it would be any different had I still been doing the Insanity workouts (or any workouts for that matter). Is this just my body saying WTF? I am SO looking forward to July when I can truly dedicate myself to the fitness portion of this goal.

Saturday morning I had leftovers from dinner out the night before: half a pork chili tamale and about a quarter of a spinach & cheese enchilada. After trimming the hedges, I had another big plate of salad with tomatoes and a baked Swai fillet breaded with Andy's fish breading. When I got hungry later, I had another big plate of salad with tomatoes but was still hungry after that so I had some leftover farro with mixed veggies. Ashley grilled hamburgers for dinner (a small one for me by request).

Sunday I had more salad w/ tomato and another piece of fish for lunch. We were invited by friends for frozen yogurt around dinner time so I had that. Since it was dinner time and I was hungry, I ate more than I usually do. If I remember correctly, my cup was almost 11 ounces! Then on the way home I stopped at Chipotle and we ordered a burrito to split.

So up until Sunday night, I was doing pretty good at staying on track with eating better. I need to get in and get my blood re-tested and would really like to be on an ideal diet for a week before doing so. This way, if the results come back better, I know that it's related to my diet. If the results are still high (cholesterol is what they're concerned about), then I know it's not just diet and will probably need medication to help. So I got through the week and blew it at the end. Going to post a note in my car this week to remind me not to cave so I can get my blood tested on Monday. Maybe I can make myself a reward of getting froyo for lunch that day.

I forgot to weigh myself on Friday, but judging by how my pants are fitting, I'm going to assume I've gained quite a bit...

Friday, April 8, 2011


Sweetie called me the other night to say she was out of soda so I offered to pick some up for her. Of course I ended up splurging on myself as well, as I cannot seem to go to a grocery store and buy just one thing! While in the checkout line at HyVee, I had a revelation: At some point I became the person who splurges on veggies, lettuce and fish instead of cookies, chips, and ice cream. Wow.

HyVee has had their big tubs of lettuce mixes on sale for about 2 weeks now so I've been on a salad kick. This has to be an improvement in nutrition over my pizza/fast food/ice cream bender I'd been on for about a week. I'm blaming it on hormones!

Included in my splurges was Swai fish and Andy's fish breading. Andy's fish breading is SO TASTY! I wasn't sure it would do as well in the oven but I followed the package directions and it turned out just as fabulous as it is when I sample it fried! I always take a sample when they have it at HyVee but I've never been weak enough to cave into the high priced seasoning and fish. Menstrual hormones are a curious thing.

Quinoa with ground turkey, peas & salsa
I've also started eating farro. It's a grain that's cooked like rice, looks kind of like barley, has a texture similar to al dente pasta, and has a taste I can't quite define. It is very tasty but I like quinoa much better.

Oh, and has anyone else ever tried oatmeal made with steel-cut oats as opposed to instant? I've never really cared for oatmeal because of its mushy texture and bland taste. I had a friend practically spoon feed me a bit of his steel-cut oatmeal to prove how different it was. I'm a convert! This stuff is SO GOOD! I add and 1/8 cup each of raw walnuts and dried cranberries to a cup of oatmeal. It fills me up for about 4 hours and is really good for keeping my cholesterol down.

And contrary to the package directions, you don't have to spend a half hour getting it ready every morning! Here's how I make it:
  1. 1 cup water to every 1/4 cup oats (serving size) - I make 6 servings at a time
  2. Bring to a boil for one minute
  3. Remove from heat and cover
  4. Leave overnight on the counter
  5. In the morning, portion into servings.
  6. Leftover servings reheat in the microwave just fine. (I cook on high for 1 minute with berries. They leak their juice and it's like a sweet sauce. No need for maple syrup!)