Archives for: April 2011
I have a friend who is very interested in healthy eating, but is soon to be married to a Type O man who would rather eat mostly carbs and sugar. She asked how she could influence him to change. In my answer, I told three anecdotes about my own husband. Two of them I have written blogs about, but one came from the early days, and I thought I’d share it in today’s blog.
More important, I tried to give her sound advice about how to gently change a loved one’s diet without letting it become a point of conflict. I thought that some of you are probably dealing with similar issues with a spouse, a child or a parent. All of us want the ones we love to be healthy and live long. These are a few things I have tried over the years that have worked.
Do not try to change someone you love overnight. I have tried that – it breeds resentment.
Gently bump him in the right direction. There are lots of good carbs for Type Os. Sweet potatoes and rice are good and inexpensive. Many legumes are good for Type Os. They provide fiber and carbs. If you cook them in your crock pot, they are very cheap.
Don’t try to get him completely off of wheat. Go ahead and buy rolls or French bread. But don’t put out the whole package. Divide it up and put it in the freezer. Serve dinner with one roll. Let there be plenty of meat, rice, and beans when he goes back for seconds.
Start with broccoli not something exotic.
Start with rice not quinoa.
Start with black beans not fava beans
Keep a few old favorite unhealthy foods available, but not easy access or unlimited supply.
Let him see that he has less pain and more energy
Use honey or real maple syrup on whole grain pancakes and waffles instead of the maple flavored corn syrup. No one wants to go back to fake after tasting real.
Don’t deprive him of desserts. There are many ways to have something special and sweet at the end of a meal.
Fruit pies are better than cake with icing.
Try a little ice cream with lots of fresh fruit on top.
Pumpkin or sweet potato pie rather than syrupy pie like pecan.
Oatmeal and carrot cake are full of fiber and nutrients.
I tend to use real sugar in reduced amounts rather than alternative sweeteners. I can reduce the sugar and oil in a regular recipe by 25% - 33% and no one notices. I did this with my children when they were very young, and I never got a complaint.
Go ahead and cook vegetables you like, even if he doesn’t like them. Two reasons for this.
1. If you deprive yourself, you will slowly build up resentment.
2. One day he might try it and like it. You never know.
Don’t push him to eat foods he doesn’t think he likes. Two reasons for this.
1. He may comply to please you, but it will slowly build up resentment.
2. Men like to think they are in charge. They don’t like being pushed.
I have found in that resentment is bad for digestion and bad for marriage.
The way my husband has slowly grown to eat more healthy is by discovering things on his own.
I did push a lot in the early years. He griped and complained about vitamins. One time on vacation he got into poison oak. He had oozing sores all over his back. We were in a strange town and didn’t know a doctor. I rubbed vitamin E into his back and he woke the next morning healed. He said, “Maybe there is something to those vitamins of yours.” Complaining was reduced by 75%.
He has gradually become committed to eating healthy himself. Not because I say so, but because he has seen it work in his own body, and has internalized the concepts. This is the goal.
Having Earth Day and Good Friday fall on the same day was interesting. Good Friday normally has me focused on the suffering and crucifixion of Christ on the cross. However I started today by reading Psalm 8, one of the creation Psalms, and I found myself focused on God as creator of the earth.
In honor of the day, I have an egg story and recipe for you.
While my sister and I were cleaning out my parent’s house, one of my mother’s best friends took us out to lunch. We went to one of her favorite restaurants called The Egg and I. The menu was wonderful because it listed the ingredients for all of the egg oriented dishes. I found just the combination I wanted under Mediterranean Frittata, but I had never heard of a frittata. Our server explained that it was a egg dish cooked in a skillet. It was sort of like an open faced omelet or a quiche without a crust. I tried it, and it was delicious.
Since then it has become my favorite way to cook eggs. My husband still prefers an omelet, so this works perfectly. I start my frittata cooking on one burner in a skillet, while I devote more time to watching out for his omelet in the omelet pan.
Here is my favorite frittata. I serve it with a sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon.
Spray a small skillet with cooking spray. Lightly beat three eggs and pour them in the skillet. On top of the eggs, put grilled onions and 2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach. On top of the spinach put 2-3 thin slices of mozzarella cheese. The skillet will be full because of the spinach. Put the lid on the skillet. Cook on medium high heat until you can hear the eggs cooking. Then reduce the heat to low and cook until the spinach is completely wilted and the mozzarella is melted. Slide the frittata out of the pan onto a plate.
Here is part of Psalm 8. See if you don’t agree it is perfect for both Earth Day and Good Friday mediation.
“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor."
This one Psalm praises God who created the earth as well as the “Son of Man.” one of the titles Jesus used for himself.
I have had as much drama and tension in the past two weeks as I normally have in a year.
My parents’ house has been sold. No more 3 hour trips to clean and sort. No more anxiety as the buyer negotiates with his mortgage company. A huge layer of stress was lifted. There are a few legal matters to clean up, but this basically finishes my duties as executor. Take a deep breath and let out a sigh of relief.
The day after the close on the house I had my annual physical. My confidence in my new doctor increased. She and I had a serious conversation about colon issues. In the fall of 2005, as long term readers of my blog may remember, I had a colonoscopy. The day after the procedure the doctor called me to come back to his office and said, “I have the pathology back on the polyp I removed. It wasn’t a polyp, it was something vascular. I think I may have perforated your colon. I want you to go to the hospital immediately.”
The tests to prove that he had NOT perforated my colon were tortuous. The three antibiotics I was on to make sure there was no infection threw my already unhappy digestive system into further disarray. It was a month before I felt normal.
At that moment in time I said I would never have another colonoscopy. That was not a practical position to take because my grandmother died from colon cancer and my mother had one pre-cancerous polyp removed. My new doctor wanted to verify the facts before she decided how to proceed. I have made numerous calls to the clinic that did the colonoscopy. I have relived the whole traumatic event in my mind. It has not been fun. I need to take a deep breath and be brave.
DD was notified that she would be receiving an award from the Business School at her university. My husband and I decided to attend the awards banquet. We were so glad we did. DD received not one, but two awards. Perhaps you are wondering what could possibly be stressful about a joyous trip like that. Well…the air conditioner in the car broke the first day of the trip. We were driving through West Texas dust storms with the windows down and hot air blowing in our faces. Not to mention we were concerned about having to replace a compressor in a relatively new car. Take another deep breath and smile as the repair shop says that the compressor is fine; the problem was something electrical.
This weekend we enter the Easter season. This morning a friend sent me a link to Max Lucado’s thoughts about Easter. As I read, I remembered the week before Easter 19 years ago. After a sermon about the Centurion who witnessed the crucifixion of Christ, our son made the decision that he personally wanted to accept the free gift of salvation. This memory made me take another deep breath with a joyful smile on my face.
If you would like to read about that Centurion who watched as Jesus died on the cross, here is the link. The Centurion at the Foot of the Cross
I have taken lots of deep breaths. I am relieved and relaxed. I am ready to move on to what God has planned for me next.
I had a great blog for April Fool’s Day, but life has been so busy and distracting. Here it is April 5 and I haven’t posted it yet.
I’ve mentioned that I’m in a hiking club. Our leaders came up with the idea of a “mystery hike" for April Fools. They sent out an e-mail telling us where and what time to meet. We were told to wear hiking boots and long pants because there were snakes and spiders. We were also told that we would be eating afterward at a restaurant which was not friendly to vegetarians.
You can imagine the conversation I had with my husband.
“I’m hiking with the club on Friday”
“Where are you going?”
“I don’t know.”
“When are you coming back?”
“Where are you having lunch?”
“I don’t know.”
There were 17 of us on this hike. Only the four drivers were given directions to our first stop - an ice house with lots of bathrooms. After our rest stop, we learned that we were hiking at Palmetto State Park. I had never been there before. It is a park along the San Marcos River. All of the nearby country is rolling ranch land with an occasional mesquite or oak tree. But along the river it is a tropical paradise with lush foliage and dwarf palmettos.
The trails were well maintained. We walked for a little more than two hours getting glimpses of the river through the trees. We have one birder in our group, and she pointed out many birds and imitated bird calls. The wildflowers were just starting to come out. It was a lovely hike – and we didn’t see a single snake.
After the hike we drove into Luling and ate at the famous City Market. Its barbeque is legendary and the line was long. The brisket was very good, but the side orders were limited: white bread, crackers, pinto beans and potato salad. I was happy with brisket and beans, but I probably wouldn't go back again. There are too many other barbeque restaurants with equally good beef that offer cole slaw, sweet potatoes, green beans and other sides.
All in all it was an April Fool’s Day I will never forget.