Ohhh Monday. Good old Monday. Mondays are actually my Sundays, so while many of you are at work, already looking forward to Friday, I am eating bacon. Sorry, but I just had to share that.
Today I’d like to share a little story with you. On Thursday while scrolling through Facebook and creeping through comments I noticed a reference to the Blood Type Diet. I had never heard of it before and figured it had to do something with eating specific foods suited to your blood type, but I didn’t give it much more thought and continued with my creeping ways. Then while out for dinner with two of my friends that evening one of them mentioned the Blood Type Diet. Again, because it was only briefly mentioned, I didn’t think much of it and figured this was just a new diet fad and was just a weird coincidence. But then by Friday afternoon I had heard of it 8 times in total. This freaky shit always seems to happen to me.
Now I’m going to rewind a little bit here and go to what seems completely off topic, but trust me it all matches up in the end. A little over a month ago I decided to stop tracking my food intake. I’ll delve into the reasons why in another post a few weeks from now, but one of my main focuses was to STOP focusing on getting so much protein from animal sources, and just consume a variety of plant sources like lentils, beans, quinoa, and rice. Now the rest of my eating hasn’t been spot on, but aside from the week after I was able to start chewing again, it hasn’t been total shit either. I’ve been having treats I didn’t need here and there, but I did when I was tracking my food intake as well so it shouldn’t have made that much of a difference. But my stomach has been one unhappy camper. I’ll spare you most of the details, but the bloat that has accompanied all of this has made me really uncomfortable.
So now fastforward back to Friday evening with my stomach still upset from my lunch of rice and lentils. I told Jordan how I feel like my body responds better to my previous diet with lots of animal protein and vegetables and fewer grains. I still had digestion issues here and there, but not to this extent and not for this long. I had decided I was going to let my inner carnivore run wild again. An hour or so later I decided to look up what my “optimal diet” should be according to the Blood Type Diet, just for shits and giggles. And lo and behold, according to Dr. Peter J D’Adamo, those with Type O blood fare best with a high-animal protein, high-vegetable, and low-grain diet. Beans and lentils were listed as some of the main offenders for digestive issues. As I read through the personality descriptions of Type Os the weirdness just kept on comin’.
Back in grade 12 when I was really interested in the concepts of Buddhism, Alex Grey’s artwork, the music of Tool, and psychedelic drugs, I had one of those “woooahh man. It’s like everything is connected and the Universe is trying to tell me something” moments. I had discovered that all of these things I had a separate interest in had some sort of connection to one another, and it like, totally blew my mind man. Well I had one of those same moments on Friday evening, except I was high on excessive quantities of almond butter coconut bars instead of mushrooms, and instead of feeling the need to delve into my subconscious to understand the meaning of life, I thought that maybe by cutting the things out of my diet that I knew made me feel like shit, maybe…just MAYBE I would start to feel better. Crazy revelation, hey?
Among all these things that cause me digestive upset, wheat is something I’ve known I should give up for a long time. Nothing gives me that pregnant belly look quite like a few thick slices of a delicious white baguette, or one of my monstrous bowls of puffed wheat cereal. But these are things I love and enjoy, so I’ve continued to let them sabotage my guts. BUT NOT ANYMORE. I’m not going to go crazy and go on this Blood Type Diet thing. First and foremost, it said I can’t eat bacon. Fuck that. It even said things like apples and bananas should be eaten in moderation, at most 1 or 2 times per week. Not cool. I’m also not going to do the Paleo thing. Rice doesn’t upset my stomach and neither do oats, so why should I give us things I enjoy eating that cause me no harm? But what I am going to do is make a conscious effort to avoid beans, lentils, chickpeas, and wheat. Which is unfortunate, because all of my favourite Indian dishes have lentils and chickpeas, and I have a huge box of Multigrain Cheerios that I just bought last Thursday in my kitchen. I know I shouldn’t eat that shit, but I love it so I do.
I always talk about how it’s important to step out of our comfort zone to see changes and get results. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” is one of my favourite quotes and it often pops into my head when I’m debating what my next step in life should be. Now all feelings aside, I’m going to be 100% real here. While feeling like crap after eating a bowl of puffed wheat definitely sucks, its my constant puffy tummy despite my fairly balanced diet and intense yet smart exercise program that really pisses me off. So I’m going to stop the insanity of continuing to eat the things that make me feel gross and bloated, hoping that maybe this time it won’t happen, and just cut that shit out.
This applies to anything in life. Is there a person in your life that drags you down whenever you spend time with them? Do you feel miserable about yourself after an afternoon together, but continue to make plans because maybe this next time it won’t be so bad? Do you continue to skip workouts and eat like shit, hoping that the guilt won’t creep up on you at at the end of the day? Do you continuously put yourself out at work, going above and beyond and putting insurmountable pressure on yourself, in the hopes that maybe this time your boss will notice? Just like beans and wheat aren’t going to change their chemical compositions and magically make me feel spectacular, chances are your friend isn’t going to change, your boss isn’t going to change, and neither are those feelings of guilt for doing things that aren’t conducive to your goals.
Making a change is difficult and at some point you’re going to slip up. I’m going to try my hardest, but I know here and there these things that make me feel shitty are going to make their way into my life. It doesn’t mean I’m weak and lack willpower. It means I’m realistic and am prepared to pick myself up after these setbacks and keep pushing. The worst thing you can do for yourself is set your mind to something, make a mistake, and then immediately give up. I’m going to save you the “If Walt Disney gave up….” bullshit and tell you that good things are waiting for you on the other side of change! Whether it’s a less bloated tummy, a happier relationship with a friend, or a happier relationship with yourself, with hard work, consistency, and a healthy dose of realism, these things can be yours. It’s time to get excited about the things you want and go get them!
Now if I’m going to eat less of the things that make me feel like crap, I’m also going to eat more of the things that make me feel good, aka VEGETABLES. Time to take the veggie game up a notch, so I came up with a dressing/dip/veggie smotherer that’s super easy to make and free of oil. Not that oil is bad or anything. But have you ever taken a container of an oil-based dressing in your lunch bag? It didn’t end pretty, did it? I don’t really know if this can be called a dressing, as it’s much thicker than most dressings. You could play around with the amount of tamari you use or maybe add another liquid. But this suits me and my thick veggie-smothering sauce needs just fine.
Sunflower Seed Veggie Sauce
PS. To those of you that are brave enough to try to re-create my recipes despite the
pictures, kudos. I know that is some scary lookin’ shit right there. But trust me.
You Will Need:
- 2 tbsp sunflower seed butter
- 1 tbsp tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
- 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp honey
Whisk it all together and voila! Use it as a dip for raw veggies, as a thick salad dressing, or just dump it all over stuff.