We read more and more often on the internet, and on Facebook, the countless recipes for well-being and optimal health. Countless diets – the Paleo, low-fat, high-fat, low-carb, high-carb. Some years ago it was the Atkins, and CSIRO and countless others. Vegan, vegetarian, protein, animal or vegetable.
And I have tried some of them. The main one I use, though not to any great degree or consistently, is the blood group diet, from the book Eat Right for Your Type. The premise of this book is that each blood group does better with certain types of food.
The main reason I like this book and its way of eating, it that it bears in mind that certain blood groups can have certain anomalies and needs, and that it is good for us to keep these in mind if we decide to change our diet.
I am blood group O. There are three things that stand out about blood group O – we are true meat-eaters, we can have a gluten intolerance that is not coeliac’s disease but can still affect us in a similar way, and we can have a form of haemophilia. This type of haemophilia is recognized in haematology, but is not diagnosable, we just know we have a bleeding tendency, it is also not treatable with any of the Factors usually given to people living with heamophilia – Factors 8 or 9, von Willebrand’s Factor and so on. This kind of haemophilia is like being on a constant low dose of aspirin or Warfarin – both blood thinners. Women are often affected in their menstrual cycle and childbirth, and men and women alike might notice unexplained bruising, usually on their arms and legs or excessive bleeding especially in dental procedures.
I have been a meat eater my whole life but in 2013 I intuited very strongly that I needed to largely cut meat and grains out of my diet and eat mainly vegetarian. I knew that psychically and spiritually my body needed a huge cleanse. I was clearing energetic blocks and undergoing changes, and my body needed to be in optimal condition to allow those changes to happen.
But I would eat fish, and still et red meat every three months or so – because my body told me I needed it. My body needs animal protein to cope not only with the haemophilia of my blood group, but also another blood disorder that affects my red blood cells. Unfortunately, protein sourced from plants alone does not do it for me in the long-term.
I would also love to take supplements for optimal health – anti-oxidants, vitamins, co-enzyme Q10, and so on. But I can’t – I have a tray full of bottles from the vitamin shop that I can’t take because they thin the blood. Within days of taking multi-B vitamins I have bruises on my arms and legs. Anti-oxidants are little understood by doctors and alternative health practitioners alike – doctors often underestimate the effectiveness of supplements and they discount the real medical effect they can have on the body and the blood; and even after explaining to a naturopath in the vitamin shop why I can’t take a particular mushroom blend, he recommended Olive Leaf for me. It wasn’t until I got home that I read, in big letters – Anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants thin the blood. B-complex vitamins thin the blood. Many of the things readily available in health food stores thin the blood.
In my career in dementia education and aged care I was often asked if supplements would help people with the early symptoms of dementia. I would always tell them – you can certainly give it a go, but understand that they only thin the blood, and that is what makes us feel better. When the blood is thinner, it flows more easily through our brain, and that is what makes us feel better. And I would always give the warning – don’t take them if you are already on aspirin or Warfarin, it will thin the blood too much. And seek medical advice.
This blog is about knowing our bodies enough so that we can eat what is right for us, not what a particular diet or book tells us, not what a particular spirituality tells us, or the latest fad. Please listen to your body when you are reading the latest and best thing in health and well-being. Know how your body operates, understand the little things that can be big things and how supplements can affect your body. Listen to your body – if it tells you be cut out meat, or grains, or dairy, do it, but if it tells you to begin eating them again, do that.
Trust the wisdom of the body to tell us what it needs. I will probably write another blog, another time, about how to tell if we shouldn’t be eating something – how cravings can be the sign of allergies to certain foods.
I would love to be vegetarian, or even vegan. I would love to honour the animals of this world by not consuming any of them. But I have been given a particular body that I need to honour first. Years ago I told my dear vegan friend that I wanted to become vegetarian, she said – don’t do it, listen to your body and what it is telling you – it is telling you to eat meat.
After being vegetarian for about eighteen months, and once all the changes had happened to my body and I was able to accommodate the new Lightbody I was to carry, I began to add more meat to my diet. I still don’t eat it a lot, mainly fish, and red meat only once every three or four weeks. Every time I do, I give thanks for the sentient being that has given its life for my well-being, to support my body and its needs.