The Beauty of 70% Compliance
By Javier Caceres
I have been a follower of the BTD for over 11 years. My first (and very short) career was in Archeology. When I picked up the Eat Right For Your Type Book, Dr. D’Adamo had me at the first chapter. His theory fit perfectly with what I had studied, and quite simply, made sense. I already knew my Type, O+, and I was happy to find out that I could eat steak and lamb guilt free. I was sad about the cheese, or the lack of it. However, we are allowed 30% of non compliance. I can fit cheese and other avoids in while being able to claim 70% + compliance. When I am sick, I quickly go to 100% compliance and this has worked for me all along.
I used to try to convert all my friends and family to the BTD but I would always get the same replies, “It is too hard”, “it is too expensive”, “it is too time consuming”. Is it really that hard or is it that we are not creative and flexible enough? I am not saying it is the easiest diet out there, especially in a world that is rich in wheat, corn, and sugar. However, it is the healthiest and most rewarding because it works.
How do we do it? By ‘we’ I am including my A- wife and my two O+ kids. You probably could not have more opposite diets and yet, there is a lot in common. Luckily, I enjoy cooking and I do improvise a lot in the kitchen. I am going to make the case that it is not so hard, nor expensive. In part, this is thanks to the power of wholesale buying, and it is not as time consuming as anyone may think. Make no mistake, we will never beat the microwave dinners.
The following is a description of our weekly routine which keeps above the 70% compliance rate required.
This is the easiest meal of all in our household and a quick way to accomplish 33% of compliance with minimal effort and creativity. I say 33% because 3 main meals a day at 33% each equal the 100% for the whole day. We consume more eggs than what the book suggests on a weekly basis but it beats having other grains or avoids. I have always loved eggs and I prepare them in different forms, the best part is that they are easy to combine with vegetables, turkey bacon, chicken sausage or neutral cheese for both O & As. We purchase spelt bread and this makes the typical breakfast bill more expensive than a regular breakfast. However, we often have rice instead of bread or spelt noodles if we had any leftover from the previous night. Rice is very affordable and when you average out the cost of rice with the cost of spelt bread, we end up at about the same price point of a regular non-compliance breakfast.
We often have spelt pancakes. I simply mix spelt flour, soy milk, eggs, butter, salt and honey. They have more of a crepe consistency than a pancake but they taste great and my kids love them. Buying spelt flour in bulk minimizes cost and it does not take that long to blend those five things in a regular blender. We often have them with fruit, honey or make them into a crepe filled with Feta and Spinach or a burrito with refried adzuki paste, lettuce and pulled chicken. This protein in the AM allows me to feel full throughout the morning until lunch time.
I am at work and restaurants around here don’t cater to us. I have to brown bag or go to an Asian or Latin restaurant. If I want to minimize cost, I have to avoid restaurants so brown bagging is the best option to keep it within the parameters. Back in the day, we tried making lots of foods on Sunday and freezing them. It didn’t work. I got bored easily and my palate demands different flavors after two days or more of having the same foods. Plus, who wants to spend all day cooking while you could be doing more enjoyable things. This is why we now cook for six every night in a household of four. This tactic addresses the time factor plus it offers the benefit of eating fresh every day. Besides, leftovers are often more enjoyable than the original meal.
This is the key. If you get this one to work everything else falls into place. Remember, I said you have to be flexible. I do cheat a little bit or a lot at dinner time and it is OK as I am still within the 70% a day compliance rate. For example, even if my dinner is 50% avoid, and the one that comes to mind is grilled cod fish over fried plantains and avocado sauce. The cod was the only beneficial but there was as much fish as there was plantain and avocado on my plate. This is how I arrive to the 50%. Did I weigh it? Of course not, dinner is not supposed to be stressful. For my A- wife, the avocado is beneficial so for her this dinner was within the 70%. In my case this is only 16.5% of no compliance for the day, well below the 30% threshold. Yes, I am having it for lunch the next day. That means that the next day’s dinner should be a lot more compliant than the previous one. Let’s assume that it wasn’t the case. That would put me at 33% compliance and that is ok. I did the best I could, had a fabulous dining experience, kept it within the budget, and I had fun doing it.
I am writing this blog because I truly believe in this way of eating as the path to optimal health. I see how many people around me are in need of the right diet but they pick the wrong approach because it seems “easier” or agrees with what they want to hear. The Blood Type Diet makes a great deal of sense and it is as easy to follow as any other diet out there. In fact, it is even easier because moderate “cheating” has been accounted for and allows people to fit into social environments where beneficial foods may not be available. This wiggle room allows casual or hardcore followers to navigate the food aisles with less hesitation or frustration.
In the meantime, if my words and future recipes can encourage you to keep trying, I would be thrilled. More importantly, if I can show you that you can dine royally and still be compliant, I would be most satisfied.
Image: William Merritt Chase, ‘Still Life with Fish’, 1905
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