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Old 12-26-2007, 09:43 PM   #1
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Hannifan1 HB User
Family needs nutrition makeover

Hello, My family is in need of a healthy diet makeover. I thought maybe someone on this board or another board could help me. My husband has tried 3 different cholesteral lowering meds for his high Triglicerides and he has not done very well on any of them. They each have raised his liver enzymes. So our DR is saying diet and exercise is his best option.

I have twin sons who are 9 1/2 years old. Nathan was sick a lot last year and they thought he had mono at one point. Finally, they dertermined he had low potassium levels and we started including more potassium rich foods and juices to his diet. Well, his twin brother Noah had a sudden onset of seizures in September and he has started anti-seizure meds. They have seemed to work but then on Monday he had 5 seizures in one day. After a trip to the ER we found that he had low potassium and that probably caused the seizures.

My health issues started around 3 years ago with hyperthyroidism. I did the radioactive iodine uptake and now basically I have no thyroid left. I am on natural thyroid replacement now and doing a little better but I am constantly retaining water with abnormally swollen feet and hands almost every day. Not to mention I am about 50 pounds overweight.

As terrible as all this sounds, we are very grateful that things are not any worse than they are. However, I really feel that our diet and eating habits could help heal some of our medical issues. So, does anyone out there have any suggestions. I called our PCP and asked about a nutritionist with our local clinic and they said that provide no care like that. Over 30 doctors but they have no preventative nutritional help for a family in need of some assistance to live a healthier life style! How and where do I get started????

Please write back any suggestions or comments.

Thanks for your help, Debbie

 
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:30 AM   #2
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Re: Family needs nutrition makeover

Hannifan1,

I am sorry that you had to have health problems, but, as you say, this is an opportunity to make some changes in your life.

First, I would make a "rule" that there has to be a piece of fruit at breakfast (and at other meals as well, but at least at breakfast), and veggies at lunch and dinner. Every day.

A piece of fruit is better than fruit juice, because you are getting fiber along with the fruit, and it limits the amount of fruit sugar and calories that you get. One serving of fruit in the form of fruit juice is about 1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 to 120 ml), which isn't very much. It's so easy to drink a large glass or two of fruit juice because you're thirsty. Fruit is good. Too much sugar is not.

Veggies serve a couple of purposes. One, is for vitamins and minerals. Two, is for filling us up so that we don't have as much room for other calorie-dense foods. It might be fun to explore, with the family's help, what veggies might be tasty to them and how to prepare them. And of course, there are all sorts of ways to disguise them in other foods, such as meat loaf.

If you start with these two things -- real fruits and veggies -- then you've made a great start on getting the minerals (including potassium) and vitamins and fiber into your family's diet.

I have to admit that Im not a great fan of veggies. But I realized that, except for slimy mushrooms, I don't really hate veggies. I merely find other foods tastier. So, I just make it a "rule" that I have to have veggies at both lunch and dinner, and I eat them first, so that I can then enjoy the parts of the meal that I like better. I have also found ways to put veggies into all sorts of things so that they're not so apparent. I chop mushrroms very fine and cook them in spaghetti and risotto -- that way they add goodness and flavor to the dish without my having to chew on their sliminess. Let your kids be involved in creative ways to hide veggies. And let them give creative names to things -- it's a lot more fun to eat "leprechaun trees" (or whatever) than to eat brocolli.

It sounds like you have the opportunity to explore some new culinary adventures with your family.

--Rheanna

 
Old 12-27-2007, 07:48 AM   #3
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Re: Family needs nutrition makeover

Keep it simple for the most part. Changing everything about the way you eat would be tough, but here's a couple of simple changes.

Look in your pantry. Find all the grains (bread, rice, cereal, pasta, etc.) Check which ones are white and which are whole grain. The next time you go shopping, replace as many as possible with whole grains. Be careful about reading labels. "Wheat" or "Made with whole grains" isn't good enough. You want "100% whole wheat" or something like that. Whole grains have the kind of fiber that can lower cholesterol.

How often do you eat beef? Try replacing beef with fish or turkey sometimes. In fact, many nutritionists recommend fish 2 nights per week. If you don't usually eat fish for dinner, you might need some good recipes, so ask around. Just go easy on the thick sauces, try some garlic instead. (Mmmm, steamed fish with fresh chopped ginger and garlic...)

Oh, and watch the portions on all meat products. 3-4 ounces for dinner is enough for you, the boys need a little less than that.

If you check out the USDA website, you can get a personal food pyramid for each member of the family.

 
Old 12-29-2007, 07:22 AM   #4
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Hannifan1 HB User
Re: Family needs nutrition makeover

Thank you so much for your replys Rheanna and Jane. These are both excellent ideas. I think this is a great place for me to start. I can do that....And honestly, I had not thought of visiting the USDA site! Great idea!

Rheanna, I can't believe you dont like mushrooms. I LOVE mushrooms. Have you ever tried fresh mushrooms sauted in a little olice oil with onions and nutmeg? They really are wonderful. My husband loves them too.. but he wants it WITH meat and mashed potatoes. I am a southern cooker so meat and starch is at every meal. That will be the biggest change.

I think I could use a good cookbook with well balanced diet suggestions. Are we allowed to talk about specific recommendations on this board? I would love to hear of any if you can...

Thanks again and I will let you know how it goes. I am also going to take some time to look back at older posts to get more ideas.

Thanks, Debbie

 
Old 12-29-2007, 11:31 AM   #5
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ricenbeanz HB User
Re: Family needs nutrition makeover

Speaking of veggies, I have learned to love them. Luckily, my family loves them too. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, I combined broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and brussels sprouts (our personal favorites) in a roast pan, drizzled them with olive oil, a little salt, and just roasted them. You would not believe how really good they taste, and it's so easy. Any combination of veggies will work, just try to find the ones everybody likes. Once you get used to eating them, a meal without them just doesn't feel right, lol.

 
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