Blood Type Diet and Modified Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe

When I found Paleo I thought it was the holy grail for health and EVERYBODY should follow it.  Yeah I was “that guy” who wanted to convert everyone to my newfound way of eating.  Over the past 7 years I’ve of course learned that eating right for your body is a very individualized thing.  Even though I felt SO much better after going Paleo, over time I’ve made some other discoveries and tweaks that are helping me zero in on whats best for my body.  I expect it will be a continuing journey, but these changes have all been for the better.

Also its not like I can’t EVER have these foods and sometimes I indulge anyway.  I’ve decided not to feel guilty when I do since that causes stress and we know how bad that is for your health, but to just enjoy the moment.  Since I feel better when I choose the right foods for me, I do that the majority of the time and don’t worry about what others think of my preferences.

Someone mentioned the Blood Type Diet to me a while ago, but I thought Paleo was still the way to go.  Then I saw a repost of a blog article from my Naturopathic doctor about low stomach acid and how people with Type A blood (which is my type) have low stomach acid.  I’d been noticing some things weren’t quite optimal with my body, so I started cutting out some foods like beef and pork and not eating eggs every day (in truth you should always eat a variety of foods, and not the same things all the time but I’m such a creature of  habit, especially at breakfast).  Also I was finding that coconut milk made my ankles and feet swell up and now seems there might be a reason why!

A month after making these changes I had my annual wellness blood draw and my cholesterol dropped 25% after being stable for many years.  Wow!  The results also highlighted an issue likely related to a low level of stomach acid.  Hmmm….

They say that when something presents itself to you three times you start to pay attention.  So it occurred to me that perhaps this blood type diet theory has some merit, at least for me.  Before we jump to the “this is the answer for everyone!” conclusion, my main point again is that diet and good health is an individualized thing.  As I’ve mentioned before, working with a good Naturopathic or functional medicine doctor really helps in figuring it all out and prescribing the right diet and supplements to tackle any issues.

The downside of all this?  Even fewer foods on my ok to eat list.  The upside is feeling even better.  Plus there are so many fantastic recipes on the internet for every need as well as easy modifications that can be made to your favorite recipes without sacrificing the taste.  For example, I just made one of our favorite soups, Paleo Zuppa Toscana and switched coconut milk to almond milk, butter to olive oil, pork hot sausage to turkey hot sausage and potatoes to turnips.  Still tastes fantastic, is better for my body and the roasted garlic always smells amazing!

Modified Zuppa Toscana Soup:

  • 5 heads of garlic
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 cups almond milk (easy to make to avoid additives found in commercial milks)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lb Turkey hot Italian sausage (I remove the casing)
  • 1-2 cups kale
  • 1 medium turnip, diced into small pieces

Roast the garlic:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel away any of the outer layers of skin that are no longer intact.  Avoid pulling off too much, as you need the bulb to remain whole.
  3. Cut off the very top portion of the bulb, about 1/2″ so that most of the individual cloves are exposed.
  4. Place the bulbs on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle each with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  5. Close up the foil around the bulbs and crimp to seal.
  6. Place foiled garlic on a baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, until the garlic is tender when pierced with a fork.
  7. Remove the garlic from the oven, open the foil immediately so that the heat escapes and it begins to cool.
  8. Once cooled you can easily pop each individual clove out.  Disposable gloves are a great idea for this step.

While the garlic is roasting:

  1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.  Saute onions, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and translucent.
  2. Add thyme, oregano, basil, salt and pepper and saute for 2 minutes longer.
  3. In a skillet, heat a little olive oil and brown the sausage, breaking up into small pieces and set aside.
  4. Remove the stalks from the kale, wash and chop into small pieces.  Massage a bit to tenderize before cooking.

Finish the soup:

  1. Add the roasted garlic cloves and chicken broth to the onions and bring to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for 15 minutes, cool slightly and carefully puree in a blender or food processor (in batches if necessary).
  3. Return soup to a simmer,  add the turnips and almond milk and cook another 10-15 minutes until turnips are tender.
  4. Add the sausage and kale and heat through.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

I am grateful each day for wellness, happiness and the opportunity to share with you.