April 11, 2012

My Father's Diet: Building Awareness

My Father's Diet kicks off a nutrition series and highlights the beginnings of my journey to feed myself and my family better.

Growing up, my father never seemed particularly fashionable, but when it came to diet fads, he was the king. He would try a diet for a few weeks, lose several pounds, plateau on weight loss and quit. Then a new diet would take it's place. I never really participated in a diet by choice. However, as a kid, I ate whatever my mom made for dinner (all my purchasing power went to penny and nickle candy) so each fad did affect me somewhat.

The only diet I know by name is Atkins. This meat and dairy medley mixed with lots of fat was one of my dad's favorites. He'd do it every year for a month at a time. I don't know if it was meeting his weight loss goal or my complaints about his bad breath that got him to quit. Maybe my insistence that fruits, vegetables and grains are divinely appointed for the use of man is what finally changed his mind. I don't know. What I do know is that as the weight crept back, the fastest way to take it off again was Atkins.

There were others, too. My favorite diet to hate was the one that restricted which foods you could eat in combination with others. You had to drink water an hour before meals...so you didn't dilute digestive juices at meal times. Fruits should be eaten a half hour before other foods because you can digest them faster than other foods and you don't want to mix those things. Vegetables should be separate from meat.  Gravy was not allowed. It brings a tear to my eye remembering naked mashed potatoes. But whatever. I'm over it.

We could handle the restrictions on regular days. But shouldn't we draw the line at Thanksgiving? No one should be on a diet when we have a huge family get-together. No matter how much my siblings and I begged them not to, that year, the parents declined our invitation to attend the Great Family Feast.

Instead of going to my cousin's, my mother prepared us a simple meal at home...toasted French bread and cheese fondue. Just the six of us. We drank water an hour before the main meal. And set the timer to make sure it was exactly an hour.

After dinner we went bowling. Yes, you read that right. Bowling. On Thanksgiving. Who does that? We could have spent a fantastic day playing with our cousins and forging family bonds. But instead we were all by ourselves rolling gutter balls and getting excited at our high scores of 65 and 70. Don't get me wrong. It was fun. Just a little unconventional.

Sometime after we got home my brothers (aged 10 and 15) went missing. I'm not sure what was more terrible ... thinking that they had been kidnapped ... or my mother calling her sister and finding out that my brothers were there. I'm sure my older brother was hoping he wouldn't be pulled over driving without a license. It was only two miles to my cousin's house. And then they could get dinner. He was afraid of being caught by the wrong people. Parents can be lots more frightening than police. Ha ha ha.

Stay tuned for My Father's Diet: Lifestyle Change, the next installment in this nutrition series.

3 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. lol is this cuz i was asking bout the heart diet?

  2. I think you're remembering that Thanksgiving dinner wrong. We had cheese fondue with toasted french bread (highly nutritious meal, huh?). And we liked going bowling, although we did miss spending the day with our cousins.

  3. Amber, I actually have no idea what the heart diet is about. I've been meaning to post about nutrition for a while but have wanted to do it in a way that doesn't make me look like I'm so far out there. Ha ha ha.

    Kristal, I couldn't remember what we ate that night. Just that it was not what I wanted or expected. I've edited the post to include your memory of the meal. I'm sure it's accurate. My memory was hung up on not being able to go because of the evil mashed potato/gravy combo, while you focused on what we had to eat instead. Is that an optimist/pessimist perspective? Maybe. Though I wouldn't categorize myself as a pessimist, it's clear that I was on this day. :o)


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