Monday, March 16, 2009

You're Doing It All Wrong!!

Dave and I went last night to have an Iridology session and blood typing done to identify our ailments and get advice on dietary supplements and changes that need to occur to achieve optimum health. I've taken an interest in Chinese medicine over the last few years and have been keen to try out new things to see what interests me the most. I really like Iridology!

Turns out that the photo the lady took of my eyeball was extremely telling--there's lots of stuff wrong with me (surprise, surprise). She was able to identify all sorts of things that I'd never have really believed possible, such as my hypoglycemia, knee problems, and constipation, among many, many other things. She recommended a whole host of things to take like B-6 for my carpal tunnel, B-12 for improved memory, iodine for my knee troubles, zinc to help keep my insulin levels regular, and magnesium for my heart, as well as things like journaling to relieve some pent-up resentment and jumping on a trampoline for 5 minutes a day to get my lymphatic system moving. Lots of things that were tailored just for me based on her findings.

Then she pricked my finger, did a quick test and pulled out a sheet of recommendations that are tailor-made for people with my blood type (you can find out more information here, if you know your blood type). Here's where the news got a lot harder to hear.

For those of you who don't know, food is my life. I love to eat, not eat to live. Its part of the culture I grew up in and its a huge part of my relationships with friends and family. Food is how people show love. At the start of this trip, I "joked" that part of my motivation for traveling was to eat my way across Asia. And it turns out that for my whole life I've been doing things all wrong for my body.

I was kind of a picky eater and grew up practically living on chicken fingers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pizza, soda and sweet tea. What picky kid doesn't stick to their favorites? On this trip I've also had a few staples including hummus with pretzels, chicken, canned tuna, pasta, pizza (when I can convince Dave to go out for dinner), peanut butter and fruit. We've both been light on the veggies because we've had no way of refrigerating things to make them keep for longer than a few hours. Not the healthiest way to be, but we're doing the best with what we've got.

Last night I found out that I can't eat chicken. It contains a blood agglutinating lectin, which is bad for my blood type. And then it got worse. According to the good doc, I'm a meat-eater who should eat veggies (Dave is the opposite--a vegetarian who should eat only chicken and fish). I'm reduced to eating mostly red meats, which I've severely cut back on in the last 7 years as a personal choice, and fish. But I'm not supposed to eat ANY shellfish. I was crushed!! I LOVE crab, shrimp, oysters and lobster!!

I'm supposed to eat nuts (which I don't really like), just not peanuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (the only kinds I like). I'm encouraged to eat beans too, just not lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, pinto beans or black beans. Hummus is essentially only garbanzo beans and I've been subsisting largely off it for the last 2 months. UGH!!! I'm not supposed to eat tomatoes, corn, avocados (which largely rules out Mexican--BUMMER!), artichoke, olives, tofu, coconuts, distilled liquor or soda. All of these things are absolutely precious to me! But!! It turns out I can eat all white bread and white rice I want. And I can still drink lager beer. Go figure.

The plus side is that I can still eat all the fruits, veggies, and dairy I want with very few exceptions. I adore cheese, so this was at least a bit heartening. And if I stick to eating only the things my body wants, I know I'll start feeling quite a bit healthier. I always do when I start cleansing and cut loads of things out of my diets for weeks at a time. This will be similar, just much more tailored to my personal needs.

Its going to make the rest of the trip quite interesting because my dietary needs are almost the exact opposite of Dave's. I'm still mourning the loss of the foods I love and know that its going to take quite a while before I can entirely cut out hummus, chicken and popcorn. I'm determined to give it a real go once I get back to the States and I'll happily follow up to let you all know how I'm faring. Wish me luck! I'm going to need it!

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