Getting My Family Onboard
I have been on this journey now for 7 months, and I am down almost 50 lbs. I am no longer obese -- just at the very top range of overweight.
When I started this WOE, I was very skeptical. I didn't know what would happen with my health, etc. I knew proponents said good things would happen, but I have been raised with a low fat/whole grain mentality that was just too difficult to totally give up. Because of this fat phobia, I did not bring the rest of my family into this WOE.
However, 3 out of the 4 of us are overweight. My youngest is the only one without a weight problem. My oldest is 13. She is tall (abour 5'6"), but she weighs almost 200 lbs. She started putting on weight years ago. In an effort to help her, we restricted her fat intake, and now she is addicted to carbs. My dh also can't imagine life without bread. I have slowly been getting the grains and sugars out of the house, but my dh will buy treats for him and the girls. He would go and buy stuff to make pancakes for breakfast or fries for dinner. He also likes to eat out, so there are lots of fries there, too.
Anyway, last night he told me that he has become really concerned about his health and that of our oldest daughter. Since LC/HF is obviously working for me, he wants the whole family to adopt this way of eating. Now, I am thrilled, but wondering how to go about it. I have not been subbing low carb foods for higher carb ones. For example, I have not been making Oopsie rolls or breads out of almond meal, etc and subbing that for bread. I have just been foregoing the bread. I haven't been making treats with sweeteners. I've just not had treats. Things like that. Now, my oldest really does not like many meats and cheese. She LOVES bread, pasta, and rice, so this will be hardest for her. How can I help her? How can I make this easier for her? I really don't want to start making bread and other substitute foods. My reason is because when we are out (or when they grow and leave home) I don't want them thinking they can eat the higher carb versions of the food they've been eating. I want them to be able to take this with them when they leave home. However, I am willing to try making the bread, etc, if need be.
Another concern is my dh's job. He is an airline pilot, so he, obviously, travels a lot. He has seen me order burgers and sandwiches without the bread, so I think he'll be fine on most layovers. However, it is difficult for him to bring food on board and impossible for him to heat it up. If he has 2 or 3 days of several high carb meals, would a higher fat intake on those others meals have a negative effect on his health.
Finally, I try to limit my carbs to around 25g a day total. Should I set those same limits for the family? Should they (esp my dd) ease into it and start at maybe 100g/day. It would still be less than they get now. I would think they would still benefit from that. Regardless, we are cutting out all grains and sugars for now. My oldest does like nuts, so that is where I think she would possibly overindulge. Also, if I do make things with almond meal, etc, we would quickly surpass a 25g/day limit.
Anyway, I'm sorry for the novel, and thank you if you made it through. I am excited about bringing my family onboard, but I know it will be tough going for a few weeks. (A planning trip to Italy in May won't make it any easier either.)
Thank you to for any advice and input you can offer.
Congratulations on getting your family onto a better nutritional path. Eliminating wheat and sugar are the best things you can do in my opinion.
It is of great importance that people understand the how and whys and your husband may want to read "Why We Get Fat' by Gary Taubes. He may find himself finding eating while away from home not that difficult once he understands the importance. Your daughter is probably old enough to appreciate some of the science as well. It should be couched in a healthy way of eating rather than for weight loss.
There are tons of recipes for low carb entries that are not meat heavy. Things like soups, quiches, casseroles and salads come to mind. Why not check out the food porn thread for ideas...
When it comes to 'substitutes' there seems to be a bit of a prejudice around them. In my opinion, they are improvements on the originals and are useful for long term success.
I am going to Italy in May too! I don't anticipate any problems with food. I have been to both Spain and France while low carbing and it was not a problem at all. In fact it was great - so many fabulous meats, fish and cheeses to try - believe me - no deprivation! I expect Italy will be no different. The biggest challenge is the actual travel. Airplane/airport food can be difficult and I make sure to travel with my own snacks.
I'm been on board with low carb only since mid December but jumped in with both feet after Dr's visit and an A1c number of 6.1 (pre-diabetes). I'm a Flight attendant so can share with you a few ideas that have been working for me as far as traveling. I carry an insulated cooler bag with me and take as many items as I can pack in. Canned salmon, tuna, chicken. Deli meat and cheese for roll-ups, low carb protein shakes, string cheese, sm. pks of nuts for snacks, cut up veggies and ranch dressing. Also pre-plate on oven proof dinnerware or tin foil packs, meals consisting of meat entree and steamed veggies. If he has access to airplanes ovens or microwaves in crew rooms he can re-heat as he goes. I generally pick-up salads throughout the different airports during ground times that have chicken on them. It does get expensive buying in airports and hotel dining rooms but it works. Hope this works and good luck. My hubby is supportive in my new diet but not on board himself just yet even though in my opinion he needs to be.
I've gotten my family mostly on board. It takes more effort, though, especially since my daughter who is most onboard is a vegetarian.
We've reduced the temptations by pulling most of the crap out of the house and not buying more. I make a low-carb focaccia-like bread that uses flax seeds for my daughter to use for egg salad or PB and sugar-free jam. I also make breakfasts in advance using low-carb "McGriddles", low-carb biscuits, or mini-quiches that can be popped in the microwave for thirty seconds.
Finally, I will use Atkins bars sparingly for convenience. I consider this a literal way of life, especially for my kids, so I worry more about making it reasonable than making it perfect. To that end, I also don't helicopter over their food choices. I educate and make sure I provide good choices, but if they are going to slip something that I wouldn't touch in, I let them enjoy it and do more educating later. The movie Fat Head has been invaluable in this, since it isn't just dad prattling on some more.
1. My vegetarian daughter has schizophrenia, which multiple studies have show evidence ketogenic diets help, sometimes drastically. That is pretty good motivation to find a solution for the vegetarian. :)
IN MY OPINION, they key to bringing family on-board is NOT to make them go strict LC without any of their favorite foods.
For example, if we make pancakes, we substitute nut and seed meals (usually almond and flax) for all the flour, and skip adding any sugar. And then we DISCUSS how much more satisfying they are, and how good they taste. ("I can only eat 3 of these, and I'm STUFFED! I remember I could eat stacks and stacks of regular pancakes, and still not feel like I'd had enough.. and I'd be hungry again in an hour.")
I also make things like this: http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/lo...tein-bars.html which I'll either use as low-carb "meal" bars, or as "treats". My son (8) likes this, because he can enjoy it like a cookie, taste-wise, and get the same benefit as if he'd eaten a handful of nuts. (He started showing hypoglycemic tendencies about a year ago. At that point, I started making sure he got enough fat each meal, and nuts are his "go-to" food if he feels like he's on the edge of losing control, or just slipping into that HG "place".)
We talk, CONSTANTLY, about our food and food-choices. We talk about foods being nutrient-dense. We talk about the benefits of healthy, high-fat foods, and the dangers of sugars and carbs.
On Christmas day, we took the kids to "Winter Wonderland". They had cookies... Ice cream... S'mores... I'm fairly sure there was some real food in there, too, but as we left, my son's comment was, "Well, THAT was a carb-o-rific day!" When I asked what he meant, "Well, there was lots of stuff to eat, but it was all sugary. Nothing filling or satisfying, and when you were done, you felt worse than before." My son, by the way, just turned 8, and we hadn't INTENTIONALLY taught him any of this. It's what he's picked up from living in a house where Mom is strict Atkins, and she and Dad TALK ABOUT FOOD all the time. (Dad eats a lot of junk, still, but he's AWARE of the junk... And when he's eating HEALTHY, he eats LC.)
I make the LC bars, as I said -- which can be made to look/taste like cookies, just by altering the shape an amount of stevia.
We make pancakes on occasion (and waffles when we had a waffle iron!)
I make LC crackers.
I make LC cheesecake.
For my son's last birthday, I made LC chocolate cupcakes for his class, since he specifically asked me to make his "treat" gluten-free, so a classmate could eat it.
Now, for myself, since I'm trying to lose, I limit the almond-meal. For my children (who are 5 and 8, and NOT overweight), I don't. However, some of the almond-meal goodies might be good for your husband. We recently (Sept. 18) flew from California to FL. (That was our move.) From the time I woke up that day until the next morning, I had almost no access to "real" food -- it was all grabbing something FAST while we raced to the gate for our flight. And of course there wasn't a SINGLE THING served on the airplanes that came close to food. Luckily, I had a few bars with me -- saved not just me, but everyone. (That, and some macadamia-heavy nut mix!)
High-fat is key. Make sure they're all starting the day with enough fat... For me, bacon and eggs isn't enough. (Although leftover alfredo sauce stirred into the eggs works.) Try bacon, eggs, and avocado. Something, anything, to get those fats up.... Starting the day this way makes it SO much easier to get through the rest of it.
The fries-habit and soda-habit can be hard... but you know, yourself, it can be done.
With my husband -- who doesn't really need to lose weight -- we put him through Induction the first time, just to help break his addictions (sugar, starch). When he started thinking he might divorce me just to get a LiL Debby chocolate cake (he doesn't even LIKE Lil Debby!), we introduced flax-meal, and "poof" -- he was good.
But in my opinion, Induction is good for both cleaning out the body, and as a learning-experience, even if someone doesn't want to follow the plan as "tightly" once they're established. Because let's face it: eating this way is a rich and rewarding experience (not to mention a delicious one)... but there IS a learning-curve with it! Learning what foods to eat and what foods to avoid. Learning how to manage eating out. Learning what to do when something "goes wrong" (hungry, head-achy, etc). Induction teaches you MOST of that, right up front and quick.
Yep, bravo LiterateGriffin for that post.
I can't get my husband 'totally on board'. And...when you have the hubby who can eat just about 'anything' and not gain an ounce...it's kind of hard.
So...I kicked out all transfat, I try to make almost everything from 'scratch, he isn't a 'sugar and bread' eater a lot..and he loves veggies. He gets taters, I get broccoli...I make our ice cream for treats...and he has no idea it's sugar free.
There's just no way he'd ever go whole hog like me...and he's 61 yrs. old, and just the fact that I can 'monitor' his food and know what's healthier and can substitute the healthy for non...well...better than him eating junk.
I would think the "carbohydrates addict' approach may be a good way to ween then into this...if you can read the book...it is low carb with lc carb snacks during the day and then for one hour at night(dinner time) you eat a meal that consists of a salad, a veggie, a carb, and a protein, followed by a reasonable dessert. If you want more of a carb serving or dessert you have to eat more of the veggies o salad...please check my info it may be a lil off since I read this book long ago.
I do know a lot of people who have been successful doing this and it kind of gently brings them into our way of eating.
What a great thread. I have been thinking recently of trying to get my kids (3 and 5) away from so many carbs and sugar. It will be tough, this is most of what they consume unfortunately. My husband too is resistant even though I try to show him how bad the carbs and sugar are. He says he can't live without bread! so silly, he sees me do it every day.
Anyway, I have been toying with the idea for the kids at least. Just not sure where to start...
I would START with making some LC "treats", and allowing the children to eat them -- as much as they want.
The protein bars I reference up above? Instead of making them bar-shaped, roll them into little balls, and call them cookies. (What's your kids' favorite cookie? Doctor the recipe so it tastes like their fav!) Let them eat "cookies" for snack, instead of the usual carb-y snack.
I bet you see a mood-improvement! ;)
Really, so many of our kids' carbs come in the form of "healthy snacks", that I find replacing those with "good junk" (something that tastes like a cookie, but is full of nuts, seeds, and other health-food) does SO much to improve both their mood and their diet. (Kids DO get low blood sugar after too much sugar, same as us! This leads to the grumpies.)
Heck -- you might even get radical and offer them 2 cookies for breakfast if they eat their eggs and promise not to tell!
See if you can sneak some mashed cauliflower (esp. doctored up with butter, cream, and a little cheese!) into the mashed potatoes... and gradually decrease the potatoes you use (down to an ideal of 0).
If you do the grocery buying, I suggest letting the bread run out, and not making it to the store immediately. "Guess we'll have to do without till tomorrow." Force everyone for ONE DAY to find something else to eat. As this becomes less of a crisis, you can extend the time...
Yes, I'm sneaky and subversive. The "forgetting" bread actually reflects real-world events in my house. I started baking our household bread last March, to control the ingredients. My daughter was the bread-addict. Right now, I don't think I've made bread since Thanksgiving or so...
Literate - thanks for the good advice. I actually think my kids will transition better than my husband! I will have to educate our nanny if I decide to go through with it. I know it's the right thing to do long term.
I worry about my husband's health - he doesn't need to lose much weight (maybe 20 pounds), at least not compared to me. But he eats so much bread!! He has at least 4 slices with his eggs in the morning and can eat a whole bag a cous cous or mashed potatoes that is meant for 4 people. I try to be nice when I make comments, and tell him I am only concerned for his health. I don't think I will get through to him, but at least I have control over what the kids eat.
Seriously, then, start with "Faux-tatoes"!
Start initially with SOME potato if you like... Steam cauliflower and then mash like potatoes with butter, cream, and parmasean. (Use LOTS of these!) Sprinkle a little garlic, chives, or whatever in, to make it extra-yummy. And use LOTS and LOTS of butter!
And let him pig out.
POOF! One big source of empty carbs replaced with something nutrient-dense and FILLING. Don't tell him -- just cook it.
For the past 7 weeks my husband and I are both LC. My 7 year old is not overweight and actually is very lean (5th %) However, with that said... She eats what we eat. Before when we pretty much pigged out on whatever we wanted, I was probably killing her slowly letting her eat Chicken McNuggets, Pizza, ice cream, french fries...etc. Now, when I prepare our meals she eats the exact same things.
Now I will add a slice of whole wheat toast to her breakfast of eggs and a slice of sausage or bacon. We do also keep some good whole grain cereals or oatmeal for her. She loves Tuna Boats! She hasn't even asked where the Mashed Potatoes and rice went. So I think we have managed to balance her diet adding a few things that kids need extra. But didn't make a big deal about the things that she wont be getting anymore. She hasn't even asked me about McDonalds in all this time when it used to be at least once a week!
With that said, your daughter is older...and might not be as easy to silently transition without her noticing. :)
I wish the best of luck to you!
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