4

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teenage boys, breakfast, school lunch, strength training: need help from young men/moms

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 17, 2011 at 9:28 PM

I'm steering my 17 yr old son toward paleo and need help with:

  1. Breakfast: He can only eat a bowl of cereal or he feels nauseous. He would probably skip breakfast if I didn't insist.
  2. School lunch: He takes sandwich/apple/cookie but would prefer to buy lunch. (I tell him we can't afford it!) I can't send anything weird in his lunch or he'll just toss it. When he buys lunch he chooses pizza and chocolate milk.
  3. Strength training: Are there any books/websites that are geared toward younger teens? Any that have a more paleo approach? He reads/comprehends 4th-6th grade level.
  4. Branched chain amino acids: Could this be an alternative to whey protein powder (which gave him terrible acne)?

He is 6'2", 165 lbs, size 15 shoes (doc says he's probably still growing). He loves veg, fruit, meat/fish/eggs and doesn't eat a lot of sugar (at home). I can substitute GF bread (Rudi's) for his sandwiches but just barely because it's kinda weird. Peer pressure rules his life outside the home and I need to be particularly sensitive to this because he has FAS and some pretty interesting challenges. He won't take vitamins because he thinks they're medicine and he's not sick. He'll take Emergen-C in unsweetened fizzy water.

I'm particularly interested in the strength training info. Like many teen boys, his new passion is getting strong and building muscles. He won't go to a gym (they're for weirdos). He believes everything he reads on the internet and thinks I am paranoid. For example, he recently did a genealogical search based on his birth last name and discovered he's related to Vampires. No - really! Actual, real Vampires, Mom! (When I told my older daughter this story, she said: Good thing he's adopted!)

I'm curious to see if there are any improvements in his behavior and academics on more of a paleo diet; however, I can't control everything he eats and when he's with his friends, it's SAD all the way. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated!

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 19, 2011
at 03:39 AM

Thanks, Glenn, we found a copy at the library.

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 19, 2011
at 03:36 AM

@Cliff - Ha! That is such a mom thing to do! I used to sneak liver into my kids' diet by buzzing it in the blender and adding it to soup. I will totally start pulling the vitamin capsules apart and sprinkling it into his smoothies! And GF pizza is inspired. I didn't think of this as I am steering clear of food like this myself and don't keep it in the house. He, however, can finish off a pizza in no time flat so no danger of me getting any. Thanks!

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 19, 2011
at 03:31 AM

Thanks, Orla K. I hope everybody doesn't think I'm just too lazy to research all this on the internet. I really don't have time and this site has been very helpful to me in other areas - that's why I asked for info from PHers particularly. I now have a list of books and sites to check out.

Db4ad76f6f307a6f577e175710049172

(2297)

on July 19, 2011
at 12:18 AM

@Glenn. I wasn't trying to be rude, that's just a myth that's been circulating a lot. One thing, I didn't say 60-70g, I said 50g minimum. In Symons et al., 'young' were people aged 34 +/- 3 years. This young chap we're talking about here is 17, and probably has a lot higher testosterone levels than a 34 year old. Anotherthing, there's this whole leangains thing people are excited about, and they report doing quite well on it (I've never done it, but there's plenty of buzz).

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:42 PM

Hey Bristlebeard, no need to be rude. The kid is 165 pounds. Having him consume 60-70 grams in a single pwo meal is silly and a waste of money. IF has its place but it's not _optimal_ for gaining muscle. Since you brought up "bro science" I assume you can access pubmed? Symons TB, et al. A moderate serving of high-quality protein maximally stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly subjects. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Sep;109(9):1582-6.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:27 PM

Yer mama, definitely. Just make sure that overall he is eating enough, he doesn't have to eat at any specific time.

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 18, 2011
at 03:26 AM

@everybody --Do you really think it's ok for him to eat nothing from 6pm to noon the next day?

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 18, 2011
at 03:23 AM

@Bristlebeard - didn't know there was such a thing as beef protein isolate. I'll check out Stronglifts - thanks.

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 18, 2011
at 03:22 AM

Thanks - I will check those out.

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 18, 2011
at 03:21 AM

@HeatherC - yes, FAS is fetal alcohol syndrome. He does not have a full FAS diagnosis because he lacks one marker so technically it's FASD - he's on the spectrum. I took him in as a foster kid when he was 5-1/2, adopted him when he was 8. He's growing into a fine young man and, apparently, is a vampire. Who knew?

Db4ad76f6f307a6f577e175710049172

(2297)

on July 18, 2011
at 02:34 AM

That's broscience, the human body can digest larger that 50g of protein at a sitting, and it's rather hard for the body to convert amino acids (protein building blocks) into fat. Otherwise IFing wouldn't work due to the inability to digest large meals at a sitting.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 18, 2011
at 02:32 AM

I would absolutely disagree, Glenn. If 40 grams is all the body "can process" what do you propose happens to the rest of that bolus.

351cbf133b44fb7a1b90781e148d28d7

(597)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:32 AM

I second letting him skip breakfast. I always do, and it hasn't had any impact on my health that I can see.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:11 AM

Also a +1 for the possible-vampire tag! lol

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:10 AM

Can I ask what is FAS? When I google that all I get is fetal alcohol syndrome and that can't be right.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:02 AM

These are good answers, but I think over 50 grams of protein at once is not optimal. There is some good evidence that 40 grams in a single bolus is about all the (average) body can process for hypertrophy and other metabolic use. Beyond that it goes to adipose storage (i.e. fat).

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on July 17, 2011
at 11:52 PM

it's got a little zinc and b vites...and this kid is active. if it's all he will take, it's not a bad idea. there is no way his zinc needs are being met by diet. Not that the emergen-c is doing much in that department but it's something.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on July 17, 2011
at 11:51 PM

I'd also talk to him (or find some good articles on the internet) about the role of zinc in the production of testosterone (and therefore strength and muscle mass). Growing at his rate, he needs a lot and unless he's willing to eat oysters a couple of times a week that could be tough. Do your best to get him enough zinc, A, D, K, saturated fat (butter, coconut oil), starches (bananas, yams, potatoes etc), protein (dark/bright - ie beef/bison, salmon, liver, sweetbreads). If he buys the zinc/nutrient role in the production of hormones/muscle mass, that could go a long long way...

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on July 17, 2011
at 10:42 PM

Let him skip breakfast!!!

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6 Answers

2
Db4ad76f6f307a6f577e175710049172

on July 17, 2011
at 11:16 PM

  1. Let him skip breakfast. As long as his metabolism is in good working order, he???ll be fine.

  2. For lunch, I don???t really know what you could pack that wouldn???t look odd to friends. You can still stick with a piece of fruit, but other than that you???ll want to get in some protein, and fats. Maybe some nuts, or pack in some cheese (if you do dairy, that is). If he???s really keen on the whole pizza flavor thing, you could make meatza, and pack that along, but that would be messy, cold (unless he can heat up his lunch), and maybe a little weird. I guess in short tell him to tell his friends to quit being such tools.

  3. I???m a particular fan of Stronglifts, mainly because it???s a good place to learn about building strength for beginners, and it covers a lot of from ??? the main thing starting out is to make sure you???re lifting with proper form.

  4. Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) would be one hell of an expensive way to get him aminos. Usually BCAA???s are used during a workout to supply energy to muscles. You might try a casein protein isolate (might not give an acne response), or an beef protein isolate. I???d suggest him just eating 50g (at a minimum) protein and 100g carbs (sweet potatoes) for post workout.

If you're having trouble convincing him to stick to paleo, you could tell him that in order to gain muscle, and do well in sports, etc., he needs to be different than everyone else. If he wants something, (being bigger than all the other kids), than he has to do things to get it done, and he can't expect something for nothing.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:27 PM

Yer mama, definitely. Just make sure that overall he is eating enough, he doesn't have to eat at any specific time.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:42 PM

Hey Bristlebeard, no need to be rude. The kid is 165 pounds. Having him consume 60-70 grams in a single pwo meal is silly and a waste of money. IF has its place but it's not _optimal_ for gaining muscle. Since you brought up "bro science" I assume you can access pubmed? Symons TB, et al. A moderate serving of high-quality protein maximally stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly subjects. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Sep;109(9):1582-6.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:02 AM

These are good answers, but I think over 50 grams of protein at once is not optimal. There is some good evidence that 40 grams in a single bolus is about all the (average) body can process for hypertrophy and other metabolic use. Beyond that it goes to adipose storage (i.e. fat).

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 18, 2011
at 03:26 AM

@everybody --Do you really think it's ok for him to eat nothing from 6pm to noon the next day?

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 18, 2011
at 03:23 AM

@Bristlebeard - didn't know there was such a thing as beef protein isolate. I'll check out Stronglifts - thanks.

Db4ad76f6f307a6f577e175710049172

(2297)

on July 18, 2011
at 02:34 AM

That's broscience, the human body can digest larger that 50g of protein at a sitting, and it's rather hard for the body to convert amino acids (protein building blocks) into fat. Otherwise IFing wouldn't work due to the inability to digest large meals at a sitting.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 18, 2011
at 02:32 AM

I would absolutely disagree, Glenn. If 40 grams is all the body "can process" what do you propose happens to the rest of that bolus.

Db4ad76f6f307a6f577e175710049172

(2297)

on July 19, 2011
at 12:18 AM

@Glenn. I wasn't trying to be rude, that's just a myth that's been circulating a lot. One thing, I didn't say 60-70g, I said 50g minimum. In Symons et al., 'young' were people aged 34 +/- 3 years. This young chap we're talking about here is 17, and probably has a lot higher testosterone levels than a 34 year old. Anotherthing, there's this whole leangains thing people are excited about, and they report doing quite well on it (I've never done it, but there's plenty of buzz).

1
03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on July 17, 2011
at 11:15 PM

I agree with personman. Your son is a perfect fit for the Mark Rippetoe approach. Buy Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training.

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 19, 2011
at 03:39 AM

Thanks, Glenn, we found a copy at the library.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 17, 2011
at 10:34 PM

The old-school recommendation amongst bodybuilders(or football players, etc.) was lots of butter and potatoes with a protein source(usaully steak/eggs/fatty meat). Check out 'Bill star' on the net or starting strength with mark rippetoe

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 18, 2011
at 03:22 AM

Thanks - I will check those out.

0
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:32 PM

Make gluten free pizza for his lunch and let him think its normal pizza.

Sneak supplements into his food, VIT A and K2 being the most important imo.

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 19, 2011
at 03:36 AM

@Cliff - Ha! That is such a mom thing to do! I used to sneak liver into my kids' diet by buzzing it in the blender and adding it to soup. I will totally start pulling the vitamin capsules apart and sprinkling it into his smoothies! And GF pizza is inspired. I didn't think of this as I am steering clear of food like this myself and don't keep it in the house. He, however, can finish off a pizza in no time flat so no danger of me getting any. Thanks!

0
94cef4c67be3c88ec0ba2765253bce4c

(237)

on July 18, 2011
at 12:24 PM

The main fitness proponents of the paleo diet are the CrossFit affiliates so I guess that could be a starting point.

Coach Dan John is/was(?) a High School coach and he has a couple of articles on coaching teens here: http://danjohn.net/?s=teenager which you or your son might find interesting.

Finally I love reading the blog of Strength and Conditioning coach Tony Gentilcore who is one of the owners of Cressy Performance in MA. http://www.tonygentilcore.com/blog CP is where some of the pro-baseball players go to train, apparently. Tony is not a 'paleo' coach or anything but he is a pretty funny guy and has lots of sensible advice such as 'eat real food'. Just try and ignore his obsession with Alicia Keys;-)

81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

(168)

on July 19, 2011
at 03:31 AM

Thanks, Orla K. I hope everybody doesn't think I'm just too lazy to research all this on the internet. I really don't have time and this site has been very helpful to me in other areas - that's why I asked for info from PHers particularly. I now have a list of books and sites to check out.

0
76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on July 17, 2011
at 11:34 PM

I believe Emergen-C is mostly fructose?

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on July 17, 2011
at 11:52 PM

it's got a little zinc and b vites...and this kid is active. if it's all he will take, it's not a bad idea. there is no way his zinc needs are being met by diet. Not that the emergen-c is doing much in that department but it's something.

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