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In the past almost three plus months I've written a lot about my mother's health issues. And as I've said in the last few Diaries, she is doing so well. Not full recovered, but near there (and I talk to her daily). But what worries me is her diet (as it did before her health issues). It isn't changing, even though she almost died.

I asked a ton of question about how to move her to change her diet here and got a TON of great suggestions.

I got my mother to try a meal today and afterwards she broke down and cried. Openly joked maybe my "healthy living" might not be such a bad idea.

More below the fold.

I before I went to college was raised on fatty food. Every meal was some fried meat. Potatoes (often fried). Veggies out of a can. Milk. Whole milk and wonder bread with butter.

I actually kind of like that food, but alas not the best for you.

After I left my parents household in the late 80s I lost almost 100 pounds down to 132 (I am 5'4). I think that food I ate was maybe part of the cause :).

Now my parents come stay with me for a few days and I offer to cook every meal. Maybe a veggie omelet. Some fish. Rice. Heck one time my father was over and he openly said to me you have not cook me meat in two days. I need meat. They make excuses to go eat at a fast food place, which hurts cause one I think I can cook a little and two I'd like them to live a long time.

My mother's favorite thing is fresh strawberries, whole cream, and whip cream on top.

Mom was saying her taste buds were not coming back. Hot food wasn't helping, so she was eating a lot of ice cream. I was like WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I ordered her a protein, pretty organic mix to make a smoothie. Told her to buy some strawberries. Some high quality yogurt. Throw it in a blender with ice. Hit mix.

She said it was like the best thing she'd had in recent memory. She couldn't stop drinking it. It was better than the McDonalds shake she had the other day (don't get me started).

I was like "I am not making shit up mom."

She seems open to other ideas.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Am Not Much Of A "Cold" Food Cook (13+ / 0-)

    outside of the above and salads (she is not a fan .... but I will work on that), so any other things like this my dad could fix her would be very welcome.

  •  Depends on the ice cream. (13+ / 0-)

    If she's going to eat it, then she should have the best, like Talenti or some other organic variety. Brown Cow if it's out there in your neck of the woods.

    •  Breyers. I Don't Think That Is Organic :) (4+ / 0-)

      I am this strange dude that doesn't like ice cream so much other than vanilla and doesn't like chocolate (I actually dislike it).

      •  Breyer's is crap. (6+ / 0-)

        Get her some good stuff.

        •  My Mom Is 150+ Pounds Overweight (6+ / 0-)

          and has been for years. Just spent more than a month in the ICU. I am not getting her ice cream. I actually want to drive to my parents house and throw it all away.

          Not your problem clearly, but I am still working through how this just isn't acceptable and how to deal with it.

          •  I've been thinking lately that perhaps people (7+ / 0-)

            over-eat because their sense of taste is not strong or even missing. So, perhaps they eat for the texture and what goes down easy. Also, what looks "good." Fast food food is sold mainly by appearance -- the pretty pictures on the menu and on the walls. That's why they wrap the actual food so people don't see it until they start eating. Fast food satisfies tactile sensations, also. Eating with the hands, rather than utensils, satisfies the sense of touch, as does smoking cigarettes, btw.

            There is now a question about low fat milk being unhealthy because, to make it more palatable, they add sugar.

            Chinese cooking, in addition to being healthy, focuses a lot on texture and appearance. I particularly like the recipes in

            http://www.amazon.com/...

            and have discovered that the texture of Jasmine rice is really pleasant and it looks pretty on the plate.

            We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

            by hannah on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:21:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This has become a recent urban myth (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BlackSheep1, slowbutsure
              There is now a question about low fat milk being unhealthy because, to make it more palatable, they add sugar.
              Sweeteners (sugar, or aritificial) are added only to flavored milks, like chocolate.
              http://www.snopes.com/...

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:37:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What it says at snopes-- (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sunspots, slowbutsure
                (The petition also asks the FDA to allow similar changes for a variety of milk and cream products not commonly consumed by school children, such as whipping cream and sour cream.)

                The FDA has not yet ruled on the petition: on 20 February 2013 that agency issued a 90-day notice requesting comments, data, and information about the issues presented in the petition, an action which brought the issue to public attention.

                The petition has been met with public opposition from those who believe artificial sweeteners to be unhealthful and those who believe that vendors of milk (and other products) should not be allowed to include such ingredients in their products while obscuring the presence of those ingredients through changes in FDA labeling requirements.
                Read more at http://www.snopes.com/...

                We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

                by hannah on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:01:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  breyers has become crap, sigh. they still make one (4+ / 0-)

          or two of their old "clean" flavors -- including one vanilla, I think? just read the pkg!

          "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

          by chimene on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:45:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Oh I Should Have Said This (11+ / 0-)

    started using the Google. I know the town my parents live in pretty well cause my family has lived there since like 1870. I found an organic greenhouse by them I didn't know was there.

    Now bear with me for a second. My mom couldn't make it to the second biggest event of the town today.

    It is called "Corn Day." You go to the 4H Center and for $9.99 you get some fried chicken, ice tea, and as much corn as you can eat. And when i say as "much corn as you can eat" I mean they walk around with corn in buckets and pour it on our plate.

    Total corn on the cob gluttony.

    It isn't that they can't get better food where they live. I just have to ensure I don't seem to force them (as I might have in the past) to eat better.

  •  The best thing you can do is try to get (14+ / 0-)

    her to eat the highest quality foods possible. Hummus is a good and nutritious food.

    Try getting her hooked on hummus and salsa and guacamole. She can eat those on lettuce or pita or chips. Hard boiled eggs are good too. Crudite and chopped up fruit salad is good.

    Don't totally deny her some ice cream, or she may not go along. Combinations of foods are more filling.

  •  you can also look into granitas and gelatos... (6+ / 0-)

    other ice-cream-like substances that may be better for her, but without the milk/cream/eggs of even the best ice cream?

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:47:32 PM PDT

  •  It's easy to make ice cream. (9+ / 0-)

    I mean, seriously easy. You buy an ice cream maker (Cuisinart makes good little inexpensive ones). Then YOU have total control over ingredients.

    Make sorbet. Make frozen yogurt. Make soy ice cream. She wants regular ice cream? Make it with less sugar.

    She wants it sweet but needs to use weight? Ask her physician which fake sugar product is best for her. Maybe you use half real sugar/half fake stuff.

    Once you get a basic recipe that works for you, you can tinker around with adding more healthy ingredients like whey powder for extra protein, for example.  I add ground flax seed to most berry ice creams where a bit of extra grittiness won't be noticeable.

    The most time-consuming part is macerating berries for berry ice creams. Make several batches ahead of time and leave in your refridge or freezer.

    The nice thing about little inexpensive ice cream makers? They're little. So portion control is built in. The ice cream tastes rich and creamy. So you don't want as much. But there simply isn't a lot.

    We keep our freezer section of the ice cream maker in our deep freeze all year. We don't make ice cream that often. But we NEVER buy it. When we really want ice cream, we make it.

    Amazon, Costco, all the usual suspects sell them during summertime.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:22:53 AM PDT

    •  typo: "needs to LOSE weight" (4+ / 0-)

      we'll wait to have her "using" weights for a little while, eh?

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:24:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and for those of us who cannot use sweeteners? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slowbutsure, worldlotus

        I've got a friend who goes into anaphylactic shock with SweetNLow, Equal, and Splenda, either the brand-names or the generics.

        Something in them is poisonous to her.

        I get migraines with SweetNLow or Equal. I can do Splenda, but it tastes nasty -- it's bitter.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:47:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  webranding, you are such a good son! (5+ / 0-)

    To mix things up for your mama re the smoothies- add a banana, use orange juice (I do mango-orange) or add other berries.  

    Something easy for your dad to make is either quinoa or tabbouleh.  A little can go a long way & aside from cooking the actual grains, all he has to do is chop some fresh veggies to add to either for a cold dish.

    If they like cucumbers,tomatoes, olives, (drained)garbanzo beans-these go into the cooked tabbouleh with a bit of olive oil, garlic & lemon-then chill.  Sometimes I use cooked lentils instead of garbanzo.

    Quinoa-just add chopped onion, avacado (if they like avacado), black olives, corn, garlic, black beans or lentils.  Protein packed & filling.  Can use a bit of olive oil to bind together or maybe a fave dressing.

    Salt to taste both dishes.  Nice with whole wheat flat bread, pita or naan.

    I haven't tried it but I imagine a bit of cheese diced would go into either.

    Speaking of cheese, your dad could make whole wheat pasta salad & toss in all sorts of things like diced cheese, diced meats, onions.  Easy to make & just put in fridge.  

    I usually make a plain pasta salad & add stuff as the days go by if I have too much left over.  I'm not an egg or meat eater but I have added both to pasta salad for others to eat.  Diced hard boiled egg or some diced ham/chicken/bacon/roast beef.  I love mine made with ditalini pasta with just a few sliced green olives, onions, & tiny cubed smoked gouda & just a teeny tiny bit of mayo to hold it together.  Some like it with oil & vinegar.

    If your folks like yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant-your dad could slice or dice these up & stir fry in bit of olive oil with onions, garlic & cold packed (in a jar) julienne sun dried tomatoes.  Fast & easy.  Can add drained beans for protein or not.  Bet it would be great with corn on cob & whatever meat he likes to grill...

    An easy spinach salad is made with fresh spinach, lettuce, diced onions, crumbled bacon (or real bacon bits), hard boiled eggs, shredded cheddar cheese.  The dressing is equal parts mayo & sour cream but you could use plain yogurt & mayo or low fat sour cream instead.  Very very picky mid west relatives like it so maybe your folks will too.

    Easy fruit salad: sliced bananas, drained mandarin oranges, sliced strawberries, pineapple (or not) held together with a can of peach pie filling.   Chill.  Some also like this on slice of angel food cake or ice cream.

    Baby steps in changing one's food choices, eh?  Maybe just think about what they love to eat & incorporate it-but just changing how it is prepared or the amounts?  Like making it about lots of veggies/fruits with a meat & carb as a tinier side.

    Since your mama loves ice cream do you think she would like frozen yogurt?  They could make the smoothies with frozen yogurt too.

  •  maybe weight watchers? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, slowbutsure

    would your mom consider trying weight watchers?

    there's 2 ways- online, or meetings. I like the meetings. if you do the monthly pass, you can go to as many meetings as you want, so I go to 2 a week instead of just 1.

    if you pay for each meeting as you go, then it would be crazy expensive to go to extra meetings each week. also, w/ the monthly pass you get e tools, so you can use your computer and phone to track what you eat. there's lots of recipes and articles online, too.

    the meetings are great- you get encouragement, ideas, etc. sometimes I don't want to go, but after a meeting I never feel like I wish I hadn't gone- i'm always really glad I went.

    I don't buy any ww foods- the only ww thing I've bought is an "activelink" activity tracker. it clips on to your clothing or can hang off a necklace. it keeps track of how much you move around. I love it.

    it's my 3rd time doing weight watchers, and I love it this time. it's very different from how it was even just 7 or 8 years ago. I've got 25 pounds or so to go.

    "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

    by thankgodforairamerica on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:38:01 AM PDT

  •  in the last year of my mother's life (5+ / 0-)

    i was trying desperately to put some weight on her.  she just wasted away in front of me.  but my problem was not very different from yours, strange as that may seem.  i tried to get her to eat better and brought her special food items to tempt her.  i even had the man at dairy queen put double protein powder in her tiny blizzard.  but our parents can be very difficult to move into new eating habits.  i hope you have some success in helping her to improve her health now that she has come through this harrowing ordeal.  my heart to you and her.

  •  good start (4+ / 0-)

    Next step: make this easier on your dad since he  is the one preparing most meals for her at the moment.

    So, you get in your kitchen and cook up some healthy meals in batches big enough to freeze , then reheated in the microwave at meal time in their house.

    Choose meals with a sneaky eye at slipping it past both of them that this is healthy eating ... use some organic meats as flavoring  or portion controlled meat course since your father is old-school and expects meat on his plate, whole grain pastas and/or brown rice/quinoa etc and lots of good wholesome veggies that are in season.

    Just show up with a weeks worth of frozen meals ... Since I think I am recognizing your parents in myself, I am pretty certain they will be inherently unable to throw out food that is not spoiled, meaning they will at least nibble at this more wholesome stuff on their  plates. ;)

    You could also show up with a new blender plus the ingredients you used for that smoothie and offer to teach Dad how to do it.  Might work .  :)

    •  if you're going to try to get weight off parents (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus

      go to gluten-free substitutes for bread, cereals, pasta &C.

      Oat flour, or rice flour, or even corn flour, instead of barley, rye, or wheat.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:50:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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