“There is no ONE GIANT step
that does it,
It’s a lot of LITTLE STEPS.”
To date, I’ve been experimenting with food as medicine for a solid year and a half.
In a recently published post, titled: My Hernia, I described my experience with an umbilical hernia, and by the end of the article I commented on the fact that some exercises can be useless. Which triggered another thought…how certain foods can actually be useless too.
There are a lot of fancy exercises that are in vogue these days, that fall into the useless category causing more harm than good. Now, this is assuming we know better but keep on repeating them, regardless. However, because it’s unlikely that doing the occasional useless exercise likely won’t cause much lasting damage, it begs the question, then WHY would we do them in the first place? What is our motivation behind doing things that are useless? Our best bet is to stick with the basics, but also to work with an expert who can identify which basic exercises will actually be beneficial for our specific needs. (Collaborating with an RMT trained in Rolfing [Structural Integration] or KMI / Myofascial Release is my first choice). Sure, we can go ahead and do exercises, which are not appropriate for us and survive…(clearly, there are worse things we can do!). But, from my perspective, if we’re going to bother in the first place, doesn’t it make sense to at least try to do it right? Getting to the point of doing it right can take a lot of trial and error and a lot of research; if we’re too busy to learn and grow, then what are we here for? I have come to have this same opinion about food as a result of exploring which foods actually support my health. We can go ahead and eat anything for energy, but if we’re going to bother, doesn’t it make sense to do the research and fuel ourselves accordingly to actually enhance our health?
…Prescription Food, as I’ve come to think of it.
I met Sandrine at my daughter’s school about three years ago. Our daughters have been in the same class over these few years and so naturally, we have had many opportunities to chat. And as parents often do, we talk about our daughters; their talents, milestones and of course the challenges: the sleepless nights, the food sensitivities/ allergies, which doctors 😉 or finding THE magical balm to soothe irritated skin, etc. – You get the idea.
Sandrine went the distance like no other to help both of her daughter’s with their skin issues. She had eliminated certain foods from her girls’ diet in the hopes that that would help. She would go so far as delivering fresh homemade meals to her girls everyday at lunch so they could stay true to their program. This kind of effort puts tremendous strain on a parent; anyone raising a child with allergies or food sensitivity knows only too well what I’m talking about.
Six months into my experiment with ER4YT, I happened to be chatting with Sandrine at our girls’ first chess tournament. Since Sandrine and I share a similar interest in following current news regarding health, our conversations often revolved around comparing notes on such topics. I told her about ER4YT and my suspicions about gluten causing my joint inflammation. She considered looking into it as a possibility for her daughters. Sandrine is a researcher…she will leave no stone unturned. Months later, once back to school in September, I sidled up to her to get an update on the skin issues…because when I greeted her daughter, it was quite evident the skin issues were no more.
“Soon after my child was born, I knew that it was food which contributed to her rashes and other issues. The skin tests did not reveal food sensitivities, but food allergy. However, avoiding the foods my child was allergic to did not bring relief, in fact, it got progressively worse over the years. When I asked for their advice, Allergists and Dermatologists talked about elimination diet and its challenges. Recently, after almost nine years and two kids later, I discovered ALCAT testing. ALCAT and our naturopath transformed my children’s life and naturally mine. With ALCAT, we are confident in what they can and cannot eat. The recommended rotation diet along with the ALCAT test meant no more rashes or eczema, bleeding wounds from scratching, thick dandruff on the scalp, sleepless nights due to scratching, respiratory congestions, fatigue and failure to thrive. Today, my kids are not only doing well, but thriving, all without the need for medicated ointments and medications.” -Sandrine
This is an incredible story, and yet, elements of it are universal.
I know most of you reading this don’t know me and at this point are genuinely wondering if I am advertising for ALCAT or ER4YT. With all sincerity, I promise you that this is an information sharing website only. I do not have any affiliate codes associated with any of the links found on my site and am not receiving and discounts or support from the practitioners with whom I consult.
Any pop-up advertising you may see on my site from time to time is generated by WordPress, my host, who benefits from it in order to keep the operating costs down.
Sandrine did her research and took the blood type philosophy to the next level by actually having both her daughters and husband’s blood tested by ALCAT. Seeing her success with the program I am considering trying ALCAT testing for my family too. Right now, however, we are going to go the distance with ER4YT because we are still in the infancy with our exploration. My husband and I have done the Secretor Test, which helps to fine tune our beneficial food lists (I am blood type O+, Non-Secretor, my husband is AB-, Secretor). My kids will be taking the Secretor test next week – we are all curious for the results. My kids are becoming more and more interested in taking care of their health, now, and beginning to understand the significance of NOW, and the impact it will have on their adult health. Many people falsely believe that children can eat and drink whatever they want. They believe that kids will figure it out for themselves like so many of us did. I say, look around…there is an entire population plagued with an inability to figure it out for themselves. Our health will not fix itself. Raising kids on candy and sugar and processed foods is damaging, period. There is absolutely nothing beneficial or nutritious found in those products. But what if you’re like Sandrine or myself, who make every attempt to nurture healthy habits by introducing nothing but whole foods to our babies, to then being completely mystified that those supposedly healthy, super foods are not tolerated.
Yes, we can eat anything. We can drink anything. Most of us know of, or may even be related to people who do not espouse a healthy lifestyle in the least, but are still living- against all odds. You know, like James’ uncle who each day smoked half a pack of cigarettes, drank like a fish and never exercised, but lived to be 102. Mind you living a long time and living well for a long time is a horse of another colour. I often wonder what the longevity might have been for people like James’ uncle had they taken care of themselves?
I know a man in his mid-seventies who has been Diabetic (type 2) for thirty years. For many years when he had kept his Diabetes ‘under control’, his weight had stabilized at 200 pounds, which seemed like an acceptable weight for a man at a height of six-feet. He is currently sixty pounds over that weight. It seems like his weekly schedule is busy with regular check-ups with his doctors or advisers. When I ask him how he’s doing, he tells me that his doctors tell him that he’s doing OK. This frustrates me, so I ask him gently, “How can you be OK, when you are 1) Diabetic and 2) sixty pounds overweight? You are NOT OK. This is unacceptable.” He continues to do the same thing he has always done, which rewards him with the same results he’s always gotten. No change to his health; just a slow decline. He tells me, “Well, we’ve all got to go sometime.” This is true, none of us is getting out of this life alive.
But there is a huge difference between accepting our fate and having the belief that there is no fate but what we make.
“Since the dawning of the Age of Genetics, we have been programmed to accept that we are subservient to the power of our genes. The world is filled with people who live in constant fear that, on some unsuspecting day, their genes are going to turn on them. Consider the masses of people who think they are ticking time bombs; they wait for cancer to explode in their lives as it exploded in the life of their mother or brother or sister or aunt or uncle. Millions of others attribute their failing health not to a combination of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual causes but simply to the inadequacies of their body’s biochemical mechanics. Are your kids unruly? Increasingly the first choice is to medicate these children to correct their “chemical imbalances” rather than fully grappling with what is going on in their bodies, minds, and spirits.
Of course there is no doubt that some diseases, like Huntington’s chorea, beta thalassemia, and cystic fibrosis, can be blamed entirely on one faulty gene. But single-gene disorders affect less than two percent of the population; the vast majority of people come into this world with genes that should enable them to live a happy and healthy life. The diseases that are today’s scourges – diabetes, heart disease, and cancer – short circuit a happy and healthy life.
These diseases, however, are NOT the result of a single gene, but of complex interactions among multiple genes and environmental factors. “
Bruce H. Lipton, PhD – author of Biology of Belief (quote from pg. 20 -21)
I understand that our doctors only have about 5 – 30 minutes with each patient (the upper number if you’re lucky!) and it is equally frustrating for health care practitioners, because as much as they want to eradicate disease, their hands are tied. Patients MUST help themselves and be more than a willing participant who accepts pharmaceuticals as their cure.
There are so many websites promoting miraculous cures, from natural supplements, water purification systems to products or equipment. It’s easy for any consumer to be charmed by all the claims often accompanied by glossy photographs of eye-catching perfection. All these advertisements remind me of the traveling-snake-oil-salesmen from the 19th century – Are we still being duped? Clearly, the only way to know for sure is to experiment for ourselves (with caution!).
Having said this, most of us are skeptics and require a lot to convince us to buy a product. But isn’t it interesting that when we finally do decide to jump in, and put our whole belief into something, we become a self appointed spokesperson for said product. As if, because it might work wonders for us, we think everyone else should try it too.
Listen, I don’t know exactly what works for me. I’m still figuring things out. And it seems to always be that once I get a handle on what seems to work my body goes ahead and ages, bringing on new changes and challenges. We are in a constant state of change. I believe we have to stay alert to these changes and adapt to them.
In writing this post it is my hope to encourage others to consider that: because none of us know anything for certain, that we have to try and keep trying and not sit back accepting our ‘fate’.
For those interested in exploring Prescription Food for Our Individual Health, I have imbedded the links to the sites that I have personally explored. I have done Dr. Mercola’s Nutritional Typing questionnaire, which pegged me as a Protein Type (which is very similar to ER4YT, just without the blood typing). One thing that I took away from Dr. Mercola’s site that I have been experimenting with is: the order in which I eat my beneficial food.
Dr. Mercola says:
“In addition to eating the right foods for your body, believe it or not, we discovered that it is not enough just to make the right food choices…It is equally important to eat your foods at each meal in the right order!
- Many leading protein types should eat their meat first.
- Carb types should eat their vegetable first.
- Mixed types should eat their meat and vegetable together.
When your food is consumed this way, digestive and nutritional efficiency will improve dramatically, shown by:
- Improved meal satisfaction.
- No need for snacks between meals.
- No more food cravings.
Dr. Mercola has a basic Nutritional Typing Plan. Click here to view Dr. Mercola’s Nutritional Typing.
ALCAT Testing Website: ALCAT
Eat Right 4 Your Type website: Eat Right For Your Type
ER4YT: Secretor/ Non-Secretor Information page
ER4YT: Salivary Secretor Test Kit
In addition, this 5 minute video presented by HU Medicare Local, Australia talks about Understanding Pain. There is a lot we can do for our own self-care. Whether we live a long or short life, I think that we can all agree that the best choice would be to live out our days at a healthy weight, without pain or debilitating disease.
This goes out for anyone struggling with mental, physical, emotional or spiritual challenges…I care about your well-being and hope that the information in this post will be useful for your exploration. Just try and keeping trying.
Mostly because of you, I looked into the ER4YT (last summer? I don’t remember) and began slightly following it, and then *totally* following it…I’m still waiting to see if it can make a difference for me (my weight is fine, my abs are visible…but I’m exhausted and depressed/irritable all. the. time.). The biggest overhaul has been as of two weeks ago when my husband finally remembered to ask his mother what his blood type is and we discovered that many of his regular meals needed massive change. I am exactly the same as you: O+ non-secretor, and he is B.
I am currently drowning in the stress of the overhaul and trying to find recipes for what we can eat, and I am overwhelmed and feeling defeated. The last straw was a huge batch of turkey chili with ‘approved’ ingredients for my husband’s lunches (with lots of ‘avoid’ ingredients for me) and he HATES it, so it will be thrown away :-(. All I do all day long is search for, acquire and prepare food.. and when I encounter massive failures, it takes away my will to live (sorta kidding, sorta not!).
A GLIMMER of hope came in the form of this article I found completely by accident (I clicked on the wrong message forum heading on some web-site or other), and I’d LOOOVE to hear whether you’ve heard of any of this information/diet/philosophy/etc. and specifically what she says about gelatin. http://www.westonaprice.org/thumbs-down-reviews/eat-right-4-your-type
I’m almost never a person who can follow just one philosophy, but take wise and proven-in-my-own-body ideas and create my own blend. I’m just latching onto the idea of gelatin, because for a long time I feel like all the miraculous and healing and ‘super’ foods and homeopathic remedies I’ve been taking just don’t “get in there”…and having mostly an “absorption problem” makes the very most sense of my experience.
Anyway, I wanted to at least make you aware of this school of thought (I’d never found it before, even though I feel like I spend ALL my time reading health and nutrition things online!).
Thanks so much for always sharing your findings and experiences with such thorough care. I probably don’t even realize how many of my own thoughts and “wisdom” are directly stolen from you!
When you say ‘gelatin’ did you mean ‘agglutinate’?
Let me know.
Just briefly, I would suggest your husband do the quick $7 home blood test just to confirm his blood type.
But I can completely empathize with you in regards to spending the day trying out recipes that just don’t work. The more I play in the kitchen the better skilled I’m getting at making things turn out. I stick with simple and try not to replace things. For example, I experimented with making a tomato-less tomato sauce for my quinoa or rice pasta. Instead of the tomatoes you use roasted beats. It looked good and tasted good to me but did NOT pass the kid test! Instead, we make a great homemade tomato sauce maybe once or every two months and just eat a small amount of it. As a result, I find that I’m not bothered by any negative reaction.
Ok, but get this. I don’t live by ER4YT, I use it as my template. For example, I wasn’t much of a spinach eater, I’d have it when at restaurants but I mostly steam other greens at home. Because Spinach is on my beneficial list I started having it with my breakfast, often, OK, every day for over a year! Faulty logic: Greens are beneficial so eat them often. Probably our biggest mistake that we make over and over.
I go to an MD who consults in homeopathy and he was able to test my compatibility with some foods. I will write an article about this down the road, but in the short term, it turns out that Spinach and Beets are toxic for me. Not sure if it is because I was over eating them or if they just are. Maybe I can eat them three times a year at most and not have a problem. I have been avoiding them for the last two months and will avoid them for another two months and then go and get tested again. This test by the way is not 100% accurate but what is?
At least it gives me something to work with which also confirms my instincts. Sometimes it is difficult to believe our “gut”, no pun intended! 🙂
I’ve been thinking about how ALCAT recommends a rotational diet, eating certain foods for four days and then a different list of foods for the next and so on. An interesting concept that I will look into. But just as I was ready to go and take my ALCAT test my friend Sandrine (who has done the ALCAT for her daughters and husband) told me about another food sensitivity test that she thinks is even more accurate that doesn’t require blood being drawn. She is a reliable source and will explore that and report on my findings.
At the end of the day, the point is not about saying “what I’m doing is right, you should do it too”, it’s about being well and healthy in our own body. Like you, I believe in exploring and not subscribing to just one philosophy. There is a lot of arrogance out there.
“Don’t be arrogant, because arrogance kills curiosity and passion” – Mina Bissell 2012
Oh wow! Thanks for responding so quickly!!
In the linked article, yes I mean “gelatin”…sorry the article is so long; my glimmer of hope is drawn from the last ten paragraphs of the article regarding how blood type/etc. diets can be rendered nearly unnecessary IF the digestive system and lining can function how it supposed to. That is, food ISN’T supposed to get to our blood, period! Reaction, intolerance, sensitivity, blah blah…food is supposed to be broken down to its smallest components so that our blood doesn’t care what it is; so fix “leaky gut” and then worry a lot less about small moderate amounts of foods that maybe don’t act as “medicine.”
Sally lists a string of things that “almost always” improve this digestive issue, and then goes on for several paragraphs extolling the virtues of making your own bone stock (etc.) and getting that wonderful gelatin.
Here is the string of links (I follow rabbit holes…it’s just who I am!) that gave me back some sanity regarding ER4YT:
Now, I take these things with large buckets of salt too…but it helps me fill out the other side of the coin. Thank you so much for sharing about your spinach and beet experience! I feel so similar about many of my “beneficial” items but also my avoid items (e.g., I have always *hated* bananas with total passion (it’s a “beneficial”), cannot even *make* eggs for others because I hate them so thoroughly (“neutral”), but I feel like some things in my body have been majorly improved by taking coconut oil, supposedly “toxic”. AND it says soy is AOK, but I’ve never been able to digest a single type of soy *anything* my whole life).
ALCAT sounds interesting, but unfortunately it looks a little “money-grubbing business” to me (sorry! I know it helped your friend!). However, the rotation idea sounds correct for the phenomenon of any food becoming toxic to us if it is repeated too often.
Thanks again so much YAAM. I came here to see one of your food logs because I knew you were O-non and I was absolutely stymied for what to eat for breakfasts (!). Knowing that you’ve also ‘moved beyond’ ER4YT just gives me hope that the journey continues and doesn’ stop in this hopelessly dark place. Incidentally, I also believe that the sheer stress and panic about “I’m hungry! NOW what do I DOOOOO???!?!?!?!” can cause just as many problems as a few “toxic” foods.
I’m very thankful for you and your blog. 🙂
I’m going to need some time to read the links you gave me in order to write back properly. But in the meantime, one thing I did learn from my friend about ALCAT was that even the foods that might be beneficial for us can cause problems for us when they are paired with another (beneficial or not pairing). The fascinating bit is that both could potentially be beneficial, but not when eaten together. At which point some might argue that ignorance is bliss and life is or was so much easier when we “didn’t know so much”. Personally, I like knowing and I think it is pretty exciting chasing rabbit holes. When I think about how far I’ve come on this adventure and what I used to believe so whole heartedly…ha! “Any fool in error can find a passage of scripture to back him.” – Shakespeare
Talk to you soon!
interesting, my father just encouraged me to look at ER4YT. I’ve been eating healthy and exercising for a long long time, mostly as a vegetarian and sometimes vegan. I’m having some health problems, serious allergies popping up and such. According to my o+ blood type I’m a meat eater – I’m researching more and trying it out but I feel that reading your post was a nod that I’m going the right direction. Will be looking forward to your updates
Thanks for letting me know this. I would love to know how your experiment goes.
Dr. D’Adamo published some mini-pocket books hosting each blood types list (for secretors only). I bought the mini-Type O quite a while back before I found the App (which is hugely helpful, by the way – When shopping or preparing food I can quickly assess all four lists for my varied family!)
Anyhow, at the front of the Type O book are some testimonials from Type O’s. I’ve copied one testimonial in particular because your comment reminded me of it. I know so many people who live a strict vegetarian or vegan lifestyle but are plagued with so many health issues.
Here is a link to the pocket book:
Quoting Page xii – xiii
Steve S., 42
“Twenty-one years ago, my father died from a heart attack. Nine years ago, hoping to avoid that fate, I became a vegetarian. My diet consisted primarily of organic whole foods, and was grain based. Four years ago, I developed a potentially fatal autoimmune disease called pemphigus, in which my immune system attacks my skin. After being hospitalized, given 180 mg/day Prednisone, and released, I spent the next year and a half trying numerous traditional and naturopathic treatments. I remained a vegetarian, and I continued to take 30-40 mg per day of Prednisone. I underwent allergy tests, hair analysis and numerous blood tests. I eventually became a raw-foods vegetarian.
I got sicker. Since there is very little research done on pemphigus, I was forced to read about other autoimmune diseases. A common manifestation of chronic disease is a phenomenon known a “blood sludge”, or erythrocyte aggregation. Simply put, the red blood cells clump together, as if they are stuck together with Velcro. It was noted, by one of my doctors, that I too exhibited this phenomenon, but he didn’t know what to do about it. Dr. D’Adamo explains why blood sludge happens, and explains why it is food choice that causes it to happen. In short, a food that is healthy for one person can be detrimental to another, based on solid chemical reasons. So, it appeared that while I was doing everything right, I was not doing it right for me! Two months after deciding to choose my foods based on his plan, I started going into remission. I did this as a vegetarian. Seeing the positive results of these food choices, I reluctantly began to eat meat. That was a year ago. I am now in remission, taking no drugs or supplements, and getting healthier every day. I owe my life to Dr. D’Adamo.”
oh my gosh! Thank you for the reply and the testimonial…it seems things keep leading me to this. I’m totally going to download that app too! I’ll keep you posted. I love reading your site
Look forward to hearing back 🙂
Thank you for this informative blog posting. You really do what you say you will by helping us – learn to help ourselves. Your positive and encouraging manner is indeed helpful. You must be a great mom….because you do keep gently reinforcing us to continue to keep trying. Trying to better our health and live longer lives in wellness even when you don’t have all the answers (every body is different and our bodies keep changing, along with our changing emotions and motivations too). Never give up on us… your readers… we are listening even if we’re slow learners. (P.S.: May I propose a toast in honour of Canada Day…with a glass of water “Cheers! To everyone, May you continue to believe, be inspired, and actively choose to live a happy and healthy life daily…and encourage your family and friends to do so as well”.) L
Thanks Lorraine for your comment and letting me know that you are listening! 🙂
Cheers! (I like your choice of libation – works for me! 🙂