Saturday, June 27, 2009

Creaky joints inc.

I may be a 21st century being, living in a world of convenience food and computer inactivity but, as yet, my soul does not live in a bio-jar. My body, so says Dr Adamo, is full of ancient genes that prefer to get up in the morning, hunt down breakfast, gather a few bits of grass on the way back to cave and then do it all again later. Failure to live in tune with my caveman DNA will cause my body to rebel with decreased immunity, stress related disorders, increased fatness and other problems, such as stupid arthritis.

A month or so ago, I started off with a hiss and a roar on the Arthritis - fight it with the Blood Type Diet book. The force was with me. When I studied Psycho-cybernetics a few years ago I learned that human motivation basically boils down to pleasure and pain. We are wired to gravitate towards pleasure and away from pain and out of the two, the drive to avoid pain is the stronger. As a food related example, when I had kidney disease, eating or drinking certain foods, or too much of any food, caused intense pain. For the six weeks before surgery I ate practically nothing but veges and eggs, no motivation required. It's an aversion reaction. Now, I've got the same thing with the arthritis diet. It's easy because I have a strong motivation - avoiding arthritis pain now and in the future. And besides that, it's just not a hard diet.

The idea is, basically, to avoid foods which can cause a negative reaction with my blood group, which is type O negative. This includes most grains (especially wheat) and legumes, acidic fruits, most dairy products and certain random veges like cauliflower and potatoes. I'm not exactly sure how this blood sensitivity has been determined but I'm looking into it. It seems to be some sort of serology, testing blood plasma against antigens. As long as the whole thing is not based on dodgy 'muscle testing' then I'm ok with it. It makes some sense in my pea-brain that blood type is important to individual biochemistry. Look at how strongly the human system reacts if, for example, transfused with the wrong blood type! I also discovered that Dr Adamo has gone further into the new field of Nutrigenomics with The Genotype Diet and had to investigate it. The Genotype Diet refines the four Blood Types into 6 Genotypes and it's a slightly complicated procedure to figure out which one you are. You have to measure your body parts to figure out such things as which is longer, torso or legs? upper leg or lower leg? index finger or ring finger?. You examine your fingerprints, the shape of your head and your jawline for clues and then at the end, you may or may not know which Genotype you actually are. In the end, I was confused, still not entirely sure if I'm a 'Hunter' or an 'Explorer', so I decided to go back to the standard old Blood Type Diet. At least I know I'm a type O negative. In my opinion, if you are thinking of discovering your Genotype, then it would be helpful to get some lab tests done first. In particular, you should know your rhesus and secretor status. Secretor status refers to whether your blood type can be detected in your saliva. 20% of us are 'non-secretors' and this becomes important when nailing down your Genotype.

After a couple of hairy weeks adjusting to the lack of carbs and caffeine, I'm beginning to feel quite perky. I had to brainstorm how to make this work in the real world, or at least, in MY slightly crazy little life. My next post will be about the nitty gritty of daily life as a wheat-free, nightshade-free, dairy-free, potato-free healthnut (nuts are ok). I've invented some compliant snacks, which consist primarily of rice protein and nut butters, and embraced food substitutions all-round. I have not been counting calories because I knew that in order to tighten up the food options, I'd better let something give or my brain might short-circuit and I'd find myself inside out and living in the freezer because that's where the icecream is. In terms of results, I'm quietly optimistic. I was not expecting to notice anything for at least three months, but there has been early progress. Certain movements that were painful, such as lifting my leg into my jeans, are now painless and that makes me say bwahahaha to stupid arthritic joints. Also, the scales have finally made it off my blacklist by telling me nice things like 'you look great, Sara. Have you lost a kg? Why YES you have'. Perhaps they want to be my facebook friend?

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