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#1 Old 07-10-2014, 04:14 PM
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Angry The Enabler

Today I'd like to talk about my Grandpa. A wonderful man who, unfortunately, has several horrible illnesses thanks to his weight. Now, I've been living with my Grandparents since January. I was already a pretty big health buff by the time I moved in, so when I saw their cabinets were filled with nothing but spam and fried chicken, I knew in my heart that I would be battling to survive. >>> Fast forward a month. My stipend from my scholarship came in and I was finally able to bring groceries of my own to the house. I was immediately made fun of for eating "non-traditional" foods. This upset me, but I stuck to it all the same. >>> Fast forward a few months. Grandpa is diagnosed with a disease that has the whole house in an uproar. The doctor says he has to eat healthy. Nana always complains about how Grandpa doesn't eat healthy and he never will despite her efforts. I figured this as true and moved on with eating my glorious foods. >> A month later, I'm eating a spicy green bean and berry stir-fry with a glass of tomato juice. Nana was going to be gone for a week so it was just me n Gramps. He asked what I was eating and I told him. He wanted a taste so I gave him a fork full. He liked it so much he wanted me to make him a batch. That whole week I cooked for him and he ate nothing but organic vegetarian food. Nana came home and she went back to cooking for him. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Lets skip to the end. Grandpa likes everything I cook, he's fallen madly in love with tofu and loves to sit and listen to my fooducation and wisdom. He even brought up today that he wants to go to the new vegetarian store down the road and switch all our food over to the good stuff! I was ecstatic! Grandpa was serious, and wanted to go forward with this. Even his buddies comment on how much weight he's lost! I didn't think anything could be better. Then, when I walked into the kitchen to make him and me some black-bean tacos, I was shocked and horrified at Nana! She was fixing him a plate of that nasty velveeta and chicken casarole she keeps trying to get me to eat! She also makes him cakes and pies and buys him honey buns! IT WAS HER THE WHOLE TIME!! She's the reason he's over weight, how DARE she! Shes always complaining that he wont eat healthy and here she is fueling him. I have someone here who is one step away from vegetarianism and she wants to kill everything. Grandpa wants to change, but I think Nana won't let him. Why? I don't understand this. I wish I knew what to do. I guess I'll just have to beat her to the stove, I want grandpa to live and beat the disease, but he cant do that when Nana is shoving crap down his throat. UGH!! Thanks for listening guys, I know I don't comment whenever you msg me but I only have the computer for very limited amounts of time. What should I do guys? Last time I tried to stand up to Nana she cried. I feel like I can't do much.
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#2 Old 07-10-2014, 05:17 PM
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<_< i know ive been posting alot guys and i'm probably agrivating the shkizz out of you, im sorry, i'll leave yall alone u-u
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#3 Old 07-10-2014, 05:33 PM
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<_< i know ive been posting alot guys and i'm probably agrivating the shkizz out of you, im sorry, i'll leave yall alone u-u
Not at all, VC. This is what the boards are for!

You and Grandpa need to ally with each other and work on Nana together. Also, if you have access to Grampa's doctor, try to recruit him into talking to Nana too. Explain the situation to the doctor and see if he'll give her a call. She clearly needs to change.
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#4 Old 07-10-2014, 06:01 PM
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Not at all, VC. This is what the boards are for!

You and Grandpa need to ally with each other and work on Nana together. Also, if you have access to Grampa's doctor, try to recruit him into talking to Nana too. Explain the situation to the doctor and see if he'll give her a call. She clearly needs to change.
Thank you friend, I appreciate the support. And maybe I can convince the doctor. Maybe Gramps can talk to her too. He already said to me "Nana's just gonna have to get used to it"
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#5 Old 07-10-2014, 06:46 PM
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#6 Old 07-10-2014, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVeggieCat View Post
Today I'd like to talk about my Grandpa. A wonderful man who, unfortunately, has several horrible illnesses thanks to his weight. Now, I've been living with my Grandparents since January. I was already a pretty big health buff by the time I moved in, so when I saw their cabinets were filled with nothing but spam and fried chicken, I knew in my heart that I would be battling to survive. >>> Fast forward a month. My stipend from my scholarship came in and I was finally able to bring groceries of my own to the house. I was immediately made fun of for eating "non-traditional" foods. This upset me, but I stuck to it all the same. >>> Fast forward a few months. Grandpa is diagnosed with a disease that has the whole house in an uproar. The doctor says he has to eat healthy. Nana always complains about how Grandpa doesn't eat healthy and he never will despite her efforts. I figured this as true and moved on with eating my glorious foods. >> A month later, I'm eating a spicy green bean and berry stir-fry with a glass of tomato juice. Nana was going to be gone for a week so it was just me n Gramps. He asked what I was eating and I told him. He wanted a taste so I gave him a fork full. He liked it so much he wanted me to make him a batch. That whole week I cooked for him and he ate nothing but organic vegetarian food. Nana came home and she went back to cooking for him. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Lets skip to the end. Grandpa likes everything I cook, he's fallen madly in love with tofu and loves to sit and listen to my fooducation and wisdom. He even brought up today that he wants to go to the new vegetarian store down the road and switch all our food over to the good stuff! I was ecstatic! Grandpa was serious, and wanted to go forward with this. Even his buddies comment on how much weight he's lost! I didn't think anything could be better. Then, when I walked into the kitchen to make him and me some black-bean tacos, I was shocked and horrified at Nana! She was fixing him a plate of that nasty velveeta and chicken casarole she keeps trying to get me to eat! She also makes him cakes and pies and buys him honey buns! IT WAS HER THE WHOLE TIME!! She's the reason he's over weight, how DARE she! Shes always complaining that he wont eat healthy and here she is fueling him. I have someone here who is one step away from vegetarianism and she wants to kill everything. Grandpa wants to change, but I think Nana won't let him. Why? I don't understand this. I wish I knew what to do. I guess I'll just have to beat her to the stove, I want grandpa to live and beat the disease, but he cant do that when Nana is shoving crap down his throat. UGH!! Thanks for listening guys, I know I don't comment whenever you msg me but I only have the computer for very limited amounts of time. What should I do guys? Last time I tried to stand up to Nana she cried. I feel like I can't do much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVeggieCat View Post
<_< i know ive been posting alot guys and i'm probably agrivating the shkizz out of you, im sorry, i'll leave yall alone u-u
You aren't aggravating anyone, that's why God invented message boards. Back on topic, both you and Grandpa need to go after Nana, nicely. Offer to do the cooking while you live there. Give the $h..uh Spam and stuff to the food bank or something like that. (I know, I know, but I hate for food to go to waste, even if Spam isn't food.

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#7 Old 07-10-2014, 09:12 PM
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Hi VC,

This kind of situation sucks, doesn't it? But I think you need to tread somewhat carefully. I don't know what circumstances led you to live with your grandparents, but the fact remains that you are a guest - you are more or less there at their sufferance.

Also consider that there is probably some psychology at work here. I don't know how old they are, but a lot of the older generations of women are sadly ingrained with the idea that they have little to no intrinsic value on their own merit, and they live to serve their men - as long as a man "needs" them, they are earning their place in the world. Therefore they "have" to prepare "good" food for the men in their lives - or else! My own mother, an otherwise smart woman with a master's degree, told me once that Dad would divorce her if she did not cook meat for him. Yeah, right - that man would no more divorce her than he would cut off his own arm. But that is the mentality, and my grandmothers were both the same way. So, yes, they would - unconsciously - create situations that increased the neediness of their men. Do you see where I'm going here? If your grandfather started to prefer your food over hers, then why would he need her at all? Let alone if he gets over his illness and no longer needs her to fetch his meds and take him to the doctor!!

So, you might have better luck if you go about this in terms of you helping your grandmother (and not so much your grandfather) by taking the burden off of her sometimes - see what I mean? And don't try to make it seem like your way is the better way that will solve all the problems (even though it probably would). And when you do prepare healthy food, if you can find a way for Grandma to think it was her idea, so much the better. I think you may have better luck if you approach it like this.

-Rocket
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#8 Old 07-11-2014, 09:03 AM
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I realize you're upset because you love your grandparents so much, but you can't blame his health on anyone else! She's cooking what he's been eating for YEARS. He's an adult, if he wanted to make a change and eat healthier he very well could've. He's not chained to a table and force-fed her food, and he's not a kid. She probably spent tons of energy learning what he loved to eat and cooking it for him. She also was raised with VERY different information on what's healthy and what we "need to eat." I remember one of my grandmothers discovering that Velveeta was unhealthy... it was epic and there were like 30 phonecalls to different family members involved. She just literally was clueless before that.

Rather than "confronting" her or spending time laying blame, I'd create a situation where you can all get together and be constructive together.

Sit down with her and your grandfather and start the conversation with something along the lines of "Grandpa's doctor has said he has to make changes in his diet to get healthier, and I want to help us do that as a family. Specifically we need to xyz (reduce meat, eliminate meat, increase veggies, eliminate processed foods, etc) for his health. I'd like us to make a meal plan for the next week together." Maybe mention that you'd be happy to help with some of the cooking as well, or show your grandmother how to cook. Be sensitive to the fact that that the kitchen's been her domain for years (probably one of very few), and you (a grandkid) are changing that entire world (and she probably secretly blames herself as well now that this is happening).
I'd come prepared with a blank chart and a list of ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I'd make the list out of things that he's enjoyed that you've cooked him, and out of at least a few options that your Grandmother cooks that are healthy (or variations that are healthier). Add to it with them if they're receptive- ask what their favorite vegetables are. Ask if they prefer rice or beans. Have them do most of the picking and choosing of what to eat.
This way you're including her in fighting his disease, you're not laying blame, and they can both have input. It might totally not fly, but if she's open to it and you approach it the right way it will probably be much easier than a huge fight and bring you together as a family.
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#9 Old 07-11-2014, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anole View Post
I realize you're upset because you love your grandparents so much, but you can't blame his health on anyone else! She's cooking what he's been eating for YEARS. He's an adult, if he wanted to make a change and eat healthier he very well could've. He's not chained to a table and force-fed her food, and he's not a kid. She probably spent tons of energy learning what he loved to eat and cooking it for him. She also was raised with VERY different information on what's healthy and what we "need to eat." I remember one of my grandmothers discovering that Velveeta was unhealthy... it was epic and there were like 30 phonecalls to different family members involved. She just literally was clueless before that.

Rather than "confronting" her or spending time laying blame, I'd create a situation where you can all get together and be constructive together.

Sit down with her and your grandfather and start the conversation with something along the lines of "Grandpa's doctor has said he has to make changes in his diet to get healthier, and I want to help us do that as a family. Specifically we need to xyz (reduce meat, eliminate meat, increase veggies, eliminate processed foods, etc) for his health. I'd like us to make a meal plan for the next week together." Maybe mention that you'd be happy to help with some of the cooking as well, or show your grandmother how to cook. Be sensitive to the fact that that the kitchen's been her domain for years (probably one of very few), and you (a grandkid) are changing that entire world (and she probably secretly blames herself as well now that this is happening).
I'd come prepared with a blank chart and a list of ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I'd make the list out of things that he's enjoyed that you've cooked him, and out of at least a few options that your Grandmother cooks that are healthy (or variations that are healthier). Add to it with them if they're receptive- ask what their favorite vegetables are. Ask if they prefer rice or beans. Have them do most of the picking and choosing of what to eat.
This way you're including her in fighting his disease, you're not laying blame, and they can both have input. It might totally not fly, but if she's open to it and you approach it the right way it will probably be much easier than a huge fight and bring you together as a family.
Thank you! I really apreciate this advice I agree and will work on this situation using this advice. Thank you friend
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#10 Old 07-11-2014, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anole View Post
I realize you're upset because you love your grandparents so much, but you can't blame his health on anyone else! She's cooking what he's been eating for YEARS. He's an adult, if he wanted to make a change and eat healthier he very well could've. He's not chained to a table and force-fed her food, and he's not a kid. She probably spent tons of energy learning what he loved to eat and cooking it for him. She also was raised with VERY different information on what's healthy and what we "need to eat." I remember one of my grandmothers discovering that Velveeta was unhealthy... it was epic and there were like 30 phonecalls to different family members involved. She just literally was clueless before that.

Rather than "confronting" her or spending time laying blame, I'd create a situation where you can all get together and be constructive together.
You're not annoying anyone here! Post as much as you need/want!!!

I was gonna say the same thing above. Unless a parent is serving a kid crap food all the time, in which case I WOULD blame the cook, you can't blame one adult's diet on another adult.

Adults, unlike most kids have the ability to shop, cook and eat what they want. I think targeting gramps - in a nice way will work better than targeting grandma.

~ Jennifer
 
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#11 Old 07-11-2014, 12:14 PM
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I'm not annoyed! I also doubt you're the only person facing this sort of issue.

Other posters have reiterated that your grandparents are adults who should take responsibility for what they eat. I really like Anole's idea of talking with your grandma and designing a meal plan. Cooking together is a social activity that might bring you closer together.
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#12 Old 07-11-2014, 05:38 PM
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I was all over: nice to see a positive post for a change...and then...
Well. Food is rarely about one person. It is a family, a culture, a country. The whole idea of personal choice in food is still in the dark ages. Undermining a marriage is not our goal. Why not ask if you three can see a nutritionist together? Maybe find one with vegetarian sympathies? Look, if anything, one fish meal a week, low fat medeteranian diet will save their lives.


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Last edited by Gita; 07-11-2014 at 05:42 PM.
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#13 Old 07-12-2014, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Rocket View Post
Hi VC,

This kind of situation sucks, doesn't it? But I think you need to tread somewhat carefully. I don't know what circumstances led you to live with your grandparents, but the fact remains that you are a guest - you are more or less there at their sufferance.

Also consider that there is probably some psychology at work here. I don't know how old they are, but a lot of the older generations of women are sadly ingrained with the idea that they have little to no intrinsic value on their own merit, and they live to serve their men - as long as a man "needs" them, they are earning their place in the world. Therefore they "have" to prepare "good" food for the men in their lives - or else! My own mother, an otherwise smart woman with a master's degree, told me once that Dad would divorce her if she did not cook meat for him. Yeah, right - that man would no more divorce her than he would cut off his own arm. But that is the mentality, and my grandmothers were both the same way. So, yes, they would - unconsciously - create situations that increased the neediness of their men. Do you see where I'm going here? If your grandfather started to prefer your food over hers, then why would he need her at all? Let alone if he gets over his illness and no longer needs her to fetch his meds and take him to the doctor!!

So, you might have better luck if you go about this in terms of you helping your grandmother (and not so much your grandfather) by taking the burden off of her sometimes - see what I mean? And don't try to make it seem like your way is the better way that will solve all the problems (even though it probably would). And when you do prepare healthy food, if you can find a way for Grandma to think it was her idea, so much the better. I think you may have better luck if you approach it like this.

-Rocket
Every one here has some good insights.

One other thing that might be a factor, (I don't know how old your grandparents are), is that as people get into their 70's 80's and up many of them have more difficulty assimilating new ideas and changing their habits even when they understand that they must for one reason or another, (health or financial). The habits and thought patterns of a lifetime are very difficult for them to break.

It may help if your grandfathers doctor has a talk with her about what he can now eat and not eat. A lot of people from the older generation seem to believe that doctors are an absolute authority and tend not to question them. My own mother is a perfect example of this.
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#14 Old 07-12-2014, 08:32 PM
 
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Good thing your grandfather is sticking to his gear of loving this lifestyle. Have a family night of watching "Fork Over Knives"
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#15 Old 07-13-2014, 05:57 AM
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Veggiecat -

Good for you on introducing healthy foods to the household!!!

I would sit down with them and gently talk about the US diet, and its ramifications on health. Tell them that they have the power to change their eating habits and level of health. Maybe watch FORKS OVER KNIVES if they don't get it.

All you can do is hope that they can realize that bad food has bad consequences. Take it slow, cuz they have been eating this way a long time. Maybe try meatless Mondays, or Veggie Wednesdays to start things off.

GOOD LUCK!!!
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All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#16 Old 07-14-2014, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVeggieCat View Post
I have someone here who is one step away from vegetarianism and she wants to kill everything. Grandpa wants to change, but I think Nana won't let him. Why? I don't understand this. I wish I knew what to do. I guess I'll just have to beat her to the stove, I want grandpa to live and beat the disease, but he cant do that when Nana is shoving crap down his throat. UGH!! Thanks for listening guys, I know I don't comment whenever you msg me but I only have the computer for very limited amounts of time. What should I do guys? Last time I tried to stand up to Nana she cried. I feel like I can't do much.
You want to know why your grandmother might be trying to get him to eat her food, instead of yours?

Consider the fact that your grandmother, is also your grandfather's partner in life. I imagine that it must be hard for her, to see him enjoying food that she doesn't know anything about making him. If I were in her shoes, I'd feel a little useless and very, very scared.

The best way to try and fix that, is get her in on the cooking! Make her part of the team! Ask for her help in the kitchen when you're preparing things. Let her know why you're feeding your grandpa one thing and not another. Give her the skills to cook the food as well.

And maybe get your grandpa into it too! I don't go in for this "can't teach an old dog new tricks" claptrap. Nor do I think "But it's WOMEN'S work" is an appropriate response. Your grandfather can be plenty
capable of cooking something from time to time.


Good luck with it all. And NEVER worry about posting too much on here. Your questions and problems are things we've either all had to deal with, or will deal with, in one way or another.
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#17 Old 07-14-2014, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
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You want to know why your grandmother might be trying to get him to eat her food, instead of yours?

Consider the fact that your grandmother, is also your grandfather's partner in life. I imagine that it must be hard for her, to see him enjoying food that she doesn't know anything about making him. If I were in her shoes, I'd feel a little useless and very, very scared.

The best way to try and fix that, is get her in on the cooking! Make her part of the team! Ask for her help in the kitchen when you're preparing things. Let her know why you're feeding your grandpa one thing and not another. Give her the skills to cook the food as well.

And maybe get your grandpa into it too! I don't go in for this "can't teach an old dog new tricks" claptrap. Nor do I think "But it's WOMEN'S work" is an appropriate response. Your grandfather can be plenty
capable of cooking something from time to time.
I think all of this is awesome advice. I've found that the older the person, the harder it is to help/make them change (self included). It took me forever to get my aunt to try any vegan food, because she was convinced it would be horrid based on a lifelong diet of non-vegan foods.
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