eat right and enjoy it

moving away from GERD to surviving and thriving on a plant-based diet: follow me and learn from my challenges and as I take this journey


Leave a comment

What Had Happened Was . . .

I have been suffering with GERD which is short for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease for several years. Gastroesophageal refers to the stomach and esophagus. Reflux means to flow back or return. Therefore, gastroesophageal reflux is the return of the stomach’s contents back up into the esophagus.

In normal digestion, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and closes to prevent food and acidic stomach juices from flowing back into the esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the LES is weak or relaxes inappropriately, allowing the stomach’s contents to flow up into the esophagus.  The symptoms I have been experiencing because of GERD are:

  • a very sore and painful throat (like someone hit me in the throat feeling) this was constant
  • numerous sinus issues (2 very bad sinus infections in the past 3 years) itchy nose, post nasal drip
  • slight cough and throat clearing
  • sensation of having a lump in my throat
  • constant burping
  • pain in my chest
  • feeling like my stomach was taking too long to digest my food
  • at night I could feel the acid gurgling in my throat, every night

All of these symptoms were ongoing – they never stopped, despite the fact that I was on prescription medication for GERD for over 5 years – this was prescribed my Gastroenterologist.  Twice within a 2 month period, my severe sore throat sent me to the doctor, one was an Internist the other a specialist, an Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) doctor.  Both prescribed a one-week course of antibiotics – I took this medication and there was no improvement either time.  Two months later I went to a different ENT who ordered a scan of my sinuses and the scan came back showing that I had nothing to be concerned about.  That confirmed that the GERD was causing my sinus problems.  By now I was sick, tired, and fed up.  I was sick of the sinus issues and the feeling the acid in my throat at night, I was tired of not finding any relief, and I was fed up that the medication that I had been taking for so long was no longer working and I’m not sure if it ever did.  On top of all that the last ENT I visited said that the medication I had been taking was found to cause dementia in patients with long term use and that I should consider surgery – I was done.

I immediately made an appointment with my Gastroenterologist because the last time I was there I did not have the throat issues I have now, so I wanted to have an Endoscopy (a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract) in order to find out the condition of my esophagus and stomach. I made my appointment 6 weeks away because I wanted to take time to try a few things on my own. 

I did some research online and came across this: Until the Thin Lady Sings – I-cured-myself-from-gerd-acid.html, so I decided to do a detox and then after the detox I would tweak my diet so that I was not just eating right for my blood type but for me more importantly for my GERD.  I went to the book store and found a book on an Acid Reflux Diet – Dr. Koufman’s Acid Reflux Diet.  In this book there was a section on doing an Acid Reflux Detox.  I bought the book and did the two-week detox.  During this detox I used the Dr. Schulte’s intestinal cleansing supplements formula’s 1 and 2, and I basically subsisted on fresh vegetables that I juiced each morning and ate as salads for dinner and I also a vegan lunch.  Some details for those 2 weeks:

  •  I juiced a wide variety of green vegetables
  • I avoided any vegetable that was or might be a trigger for acid reflux such as:  garlic, onion, tomatoes, peppers (whatever was listed in the book)
  • or course no caffeinated or carbonated beverages or alcohol or tobacco
  • no animal foods or by products such as dairy or eggs
  • If I wanted fruit I only ate bananas and melons (per the book), and I did not eat them with anything else and preferably an hour before or after anything else I ate
  • I primarily drank highly alkaline water PH9-10 and I drank a lot of it (get the book and you’ll find out why)
  • I used Manuka Honey  – this is a medicinal type of honey to soothe my irritated throat (it costs a lot more than regular honey but I didn’t care if it was going to help)
  • I did not eat anything after 6:00 pm – even  if my last meal was at 3:00
  • I elevated the head of my bed and slept in a semi sitting position

Note:  2 weeks before the detox I had already starting reducing the amount of meat I was consuming, If I ate meat at all, it was just on the weekends, so it made it easier to do the detox.

Results:  immediately after the detox my throat felt a whole lot better, I no longer had the pain in my chest, I felt a lot better in general and I lost 10 pounds.  I am still suffering with the post nasal drip and sore throat but they have both definitely improved.  I have an upcoming appointment with my Gastroenterologist in the meantime I will continue my plant-based diet avoiding meat, dairy, sugar and processed foods. I am still juicing my vegetables in the morning, drinking the alkaline water, using the Manuka Honey, not eating past 6:00pm (this gives my food at least 4 hours to digest before I retire for the evening) and sleeping with my upper body elevated. I know there is some controversy as to whether O positive blood types should be vegan/vegetarian or not, but I try to take the best from both worlds with an emphasis on doing whatever helps my GERD.

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Delicious Caramel Apple Tart

apples

Apples: can be eaten twice a week

In the past I have looked forward to the Fall because I love caramel apples.  My mouth waters thinking about the juicy apple, the sticky sweet caramel and the crunchy peanuts.  I can easily eat 2 or 3 in one sitting.  Unfortunately, peanuts are on the avoid list for O Positive dieters of the “Eat Right for Your Blood Type Diet”.   It is okay, however, to have apples twice a week on this diet so I had to find something to satisfy my caramel apple craving.  Happily, I found this easy and delicious upside down caramel apple tart recipe from Sandra Lee.  Of course I had to make a few adjustments so that I did not offend my diet too much.

My Adjustments:
1).  I used quartered apples or even smaller slices rather than apple halves, (just my preference).

walnuts

Walnuts: one of the beneficial nuts for O Positive dieters.

2).  I added a cup of chopped walnuts on top of the butter/sugar mixture in the skillet before placing the apples in the skillet (to get that nutty crunch).

3).  I used a ready made spelt or gluten-free frozen pie crust.  These crusts usually come 2 in a package.  I allowed the crust(s) to thaw so that I could mold it on top of the apples.  Depending on the size of the crust you may have to use one crust then half of the other.  If you try this recipe please let me know what adjustments you had to make.  Enjoy!

gluten_free_piecrust

Gluten-Free Crust: Try to find one that is least offensive to your diet. I have also used a spelt crust!

apple_tart

This tart does not disappoint and it does satisfy my caramel apple craving!


Leave a comment

The Mighty, Mighty, Meatball

I was not a big fan of ground beef before the Eat Right for your Blood Type (ERBT) diet.  Now I cook ground beef on a regular basis, about once or twice a week.  Meatballs are my favorite thing to make with this type of beef, because they are so versatile.  I do not have a particular recipe to share with you, but I hope my tips will help.

uncooked meatballs

My Tips:

1).  Use the leanest ground beef you can find or use grass fed beef. I use beef that is 6% fat and 94% lean.

2).  The basic meatball recipe is about half meat and half bread crumbs – I use gluten free seasoned bread crumbs.   seasoned_breadcrumbs

3). Avoid the dreaded dry meatballs by adding unflavored almond milk.  I do not soak my bread crumbs in the milk because it makes the overall texture a little weird.

4).  If it doesn’t offend your diet use an egg it helps to bind the meat and other ingredients.

5).  If it doesn’t offend your diet add grated parmesean cheese to your recipe.  This adds so much flavor to your meatball.

6). Add your favorite vegetables such as onions, garlic, green bell pepper, and chopped garlic.  I do not always add vegetables to the meatballs beacause I add them to my sauce. Don’t forget your favorite Italian seasonings, I add parsley, oregano, and basil, usually 1-2 teaspoon of each, salt and pepper.

7). Make sure your meatballs are cooked thoroughly.  I have cooked my meatballs in my homemade sauce which gave the sauce so much flavor, but also made the sauce a little greasy.  If you choose to do this do not disturb the meatballs for the first 30 minutes, this prevents the meatballs from breaking apart.

I have also cooked my meatballs in the oven, which gives the meatballs a nice crust and allows the meatballs an opportunity to release it’s grease, then I add them to my sauce.

8). Before rolling out your meatballs, make a small patty and fry it to make sure you are satisfied with the flavor.

9). Use a melon scoop to make the size of your meatballs uniform.

Enjoy the mighty, mighty meatball as a main dish, with homemade red sauce or barbeque sauce.  The traditional way on top of pasta is always a big hit, or on a gluten-free bread roll for a fantastic meatball sandwich.   meatballs with homemade sauce

My basic sauce (better than the jarred stuff)

1- Onion

1- Green Pepper

1- Grated Carrot (for sweetness)

Chopped Garlic ( to your taste)

2lbs Ground Beef

2- 28oz cns peeled tomatoes

1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese

add the following items to your taste:

parsley

basil

oregano

salt

pepper

ENJOY!!!


Leave a comment

How We Eat – Now

The eat right for your blood type diet is pretty easy and straight forward – there are 3 types of foods:  the beneficial, the neutral and the avoid foods.  The beneficial foods speak for themselves, they benefit the body and can be viewed as medicine.  The neutral foods are to be viewed as just food, (not medicine or poison) and are to be enjoyed in moderation.  Of course the avoid foods are to be viewed as poison to the body and should be avoided as much as possible.

I try to focus on the beneficial foods, using the neutrals as needed to support the beneficial foods, and I try to avoid as many bad foods as possible, but I’m not perfect.  If I have to use an avoid food I do so in moderation with the full understanding that I am not helping my body by eating that particular food.  For the most part I love this diet.  I have lost weight and some of the stomach issues I have been dealing with have gotten better.

 A big component of this diet is that it is gluten-free.  I would eat so much wheat everyday – I even put wheat germ on my salads, cereals, and desserts.  Becoming gluten free has been a big change for me, but feel a lot better now.  No more bloating, and the scale has moved in the right direction.  Here are some of the foods I would eat on a regular basis and now I have to avoid them:  pork, corn, oats, wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts and coconut.  Here is a list of the beneficial foods, the neutral foods, and the foods to avoid:  http://www.drlam.com/blood_type_diet/blood_o_chart.asp 
This diet is not that difficult. I do not think of this as a diet anymore it is how we eat now.  I will not be going back to the way we ate before, eating this way suits me just fine!


Leave a comment

Gumbo

It’s the weekend and I’m feeling a little like GUMBO.  Gumbo is a great dish because essentially you can add whatever you want to it.  I made my roux using buckwheat flour, olive oil and a little butter to give it a rich depth of flavor!  This dish is a lot of work but it’s worth it.

i gumbo_4 gumbo_3 gumbo_5

I used turkey smoked sausage, and I seasoned the salad shrimp with Old Bay seasoning.  Delicious!

 

gumbo_1