Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Food Fight

Today my parents and I met Alicia and Scott for lunch at Cattle Baron.  No, it is not anyone's favorite, but we know that my father is going to get the protein he needs.  He's a diabetic.  He is dealing with blood pressure problems.  He needs to be fed.  He is incapable of cooking for himself.  This is a dirty little secret that cannot be blamed on his age or current condition.  He's not capable of opening a can of beans and tossing a hot dog in it.  He can make coffee and toast.  That's it.

I noticed that he only ate half of his French Dip.  I mentioned that.  Alicia quickly informed me that there was quite a bit of meet on it.  There was, nearly an inch thick of it.  So, we let up on him.

One of the things we began noticing with my father is that he wasn't eating.  Since December he's lost about 10 pounds.  When he was in the hospital several weeks ago, they ran a full battery of tests.  We were told if we were looking at Alzheimer's, then it was his mind, forgetting to eat.

Scary stuff, that.

While he was in the hospital he ate like a little piggy.  He ate everything put in front of him.  We knew something was going on with his eating habits.  I think the real problem is that we have been so concerned about his memory that we began to forget some of his life-long eating habits.

My father is an opportunistic grazer.

He lives by his stomach.  When traveling, he's almost a little tyrant, demanding meals, fed me, constantly.  So, when he my mother began battling him over his eating, everyone was concerned, terrified!

It was time to start observing what he was actually consuming.
  1. He was drinking lemonade with meals. No one needs 27g. of sugar!
  2. He was eating "salads" - thick with dressing, and all those mayo based goodies
  3. He was eating soups for appetizers
  4. Then there were the appetizers
  5. He was tanking up on bread
  6. Then there was the dessert
It soon became obvious that the problem was not his lack of appetite, but his excellent appetite for everything but the things that are good for him!  We also discovered that, at home, he continued his career as an opportunistic grazer of anything related to candy, cookies, lemonade, cake, ice cream...get the picture?

There is a simple solution:
  1. No lemonade
  2. No appetizers
  3. No soup when he go out
  4. Limit the bread intake when he is dining out
  5. Stick to a high protein based entree
We do this and he does just fine.  There is no prompting to get him to finish his steak.  He gets desert if he wants it.  When this happens his blood sugar is under control.

My mother did solve the problem of all those Christmas cookies she made.  He ate 'em all - and she agonized over his lack of appetite for the things he should be eating.

It's an ill wind, right.  My father doesn't really like salads.  He's not allowed to have that many now, in order to make him eat his meal.  He doesn't like a lot of veggies.  When you are trying to get someone to eat protein, the veggies go out the window.  At 87, why worry about that little food pyramid.  

The moral of the story - my father is no longer harassed about eating his broccoli. He hates broccoli, so he can life with it.

All rights reserved, SJ Reidhead

My friend Mark sent this to me. It is quite funny, and way too true, for all of us!

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