Monday, 28 February 2011

Cutting out negatives

To make things easier on ourselves, and most notably on me, we decided that the first step was to cut out  harmful foods from our diet. Harmful foods are to be considered poisons.

It's an easy way to start the diet. If you need to make changes gradually, this is a good way to do it. Just cut out one thing a day or so. As long as a food is beneficial or neutral, you're doing well. We decided to look at portion control later, since I don't necessarily agree with the nutrient distribution recommended for ABs. I am very carb sensitive and I don't eat wheat, and I find that eating starchier stuff in the morning (from fruit and veg sources) and more protein and fat-rich foods at night works well for me. I also eat at least two eggs a day from free-run chickens. It's the best breakfast ever, bar none.

For the past few years, I have started my day with at least two cups of coffee with a dab of milk. Guess what's on the harmful list for AB's?

That's right. You guessed it. Coffee. All types. Now, this information is not in the book. Rather, it's on the website. The recommended caffeinated beverage of choice is green tea. I like green tea and usually drink decaf green in the afternoon. I'm on cup of Jasmine Green #4 right now. I can tell you that it isn't the same as coffee. Not by a long shot. But, I do like that it gives a gentle jolt as opposed to a hard jolt, and I like that my breath doesn't smell and I don't feel so thirsty.

Trying to see the positive here, people. Work with me.

Next thing I eat on a daily basis to go: vinegar. Vinegar is harmful to A's and AB's because of our low stomach acid. Now, vinegar is easily replaced with any other acid, including citrus, so lemon and lime juice. I love me some citrus fruit, but I have to say, there are only so many citronettes a person can make without getting bored. I eat a salad at least twice a day (lunch and dinner) so that equals a whole lot of salad dressing. I haven't eaten a commercial salad dressing in years because they are made with all kinds of evil crap I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole (read: canola oil).

Many of the dishes I love eating have vinegar in them. I ate pickled veggies by the fistful when I was growing up because my Oma always canned her veggies. In my last post I talked about getting creative with my food. Well, this is one of the ways my creativity is being challenged: replacing fancy schmancy vinegars with more AAB-friendly citrus fruit. In some upcoming posts I'll go through the recipes I like and show how I have adapted them to the blood type diet.

You may be wondering why we don't just cut these dishes out of our rotation.

Where's the fun in that?

They are favourites for a reason: they taste good. They're easy. They're fast. And we both like them. Like any diet, if it's not sustainable and enjoyable, we won't stay with it.

Blood Type What?!

The blood type diet is something my husband introduced me to last year. He had heard about it and wanted to check it out. I hemmed and hawed and forgot about it and remembered it and forgot about it again, until one day I found a copy of The Blood Type Diet by Dr. Peter D'Adamo in a used bookstore near my house. I bought the book and brought it home. It sat on our shelf for awhile. Then, to shed a few pounds, we started (and completed) the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet by Joel Marion.

In our last few days of that diet, my sweetheart read The Blood Type Diet and proudly declared this was to be our next diet challenge. He is type A, which lends itself to a vegetarian diet. I am type AB and could remain an omnivore, more or less.

The name of this blog comes from our combined blood types. No, it isn't a weird hybrid type with three alleles instead of two.

At ages 29 (me) and 31 (him), neither of us have serious health problems, and our diet was already full of lean meat, raw veggies, and in my case, limited carbs, so there is nothing we really have to "fix". I look on this diet as a lifelong guide for healthy eating.

Our plan for the first two weeks is to stay true to the hard and fast rules of the diet. After that, we can relax the rules a bit. This will get us used to a new way of eating, and will get me more used to the foods we can and can't have. I do the meal planning and cooking in our house, and need to rethink the way I approach food. The adjustments to our diet are not that extreme, per se, but I am having to get, um, creative with our favourite culinary staples.

But more on that later.

To prepare, I read the AB chapter of the book and downloaded the iPhone app for easy reference. I used the recipe database on Dr. D'Adamo's website to construct my first meal plan, which I'll post in a few days.

Today is day two for us, and my second day without coffee. Aie!