2

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I believe that I (i.e my diet) is a direct influence on my mom's choices. is this bad (I'm a teen)?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 27, 2013 at 4:50 AM

Ever since I was 11, I have been very interested in health/diet. Now, 3 years later, I have noticed that my mom, who knows almost nothing about health or diet, has been (possibly subconsciously) following my lead.

All through the stages of (before 11) donuts, bread, sushi. Then from FF greek yoghurt, chicken breast, and oatmeal. Then to mainly paleo.

But I'm kind of scared. My mom saw me drink a vitamin water a couple days ago (it was Vitamin Water 0) and then another one a couple days later. And now she has started drinking them (except not the 0 versions)--and she thinks that since I'm eating "lara bars" that all "bars" are "healthy"--so she's taken up Cliff Bars.

However, she's been brainwashed against eggs and fattier meat. I don't know what message to send her about these foods because I too have seen convincing studies against them, and honestly, she won't really take verbal advice anyway--she has to see it led by example, hence following my dietary decisions.

What should I and her be eating? Are our needs different? My mom has suffered heart-failure in the past, and, while in her critical recovering stages she did walk every day, now she does nothing at all because the heart failure is "not bad/there" anymore. I on the other hand have been an edurance athlete for 3 years. This year I have significantly cut back on my training because of fatigue and possible metabolic damage. I am slightly afraid to eat things in front of her that are not optimal for someone in her condition/age/habits (she is nearing 60 and has a lot of stress from work). Though I don't know what those things would be/are!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 27, 2013
at 09:15 PM

Hmm, I don't even have a paragraph 6. ?? Um, there is a game plan for what to do. When parents can't be grown ups it is incredibly stressful for children, robbing them both of the chance to just be a kid, as well as holding them back from developing independence when the appropriate time comes. A major part of the therapy for children caught in that situation is to become aware of the stress as the child and start refusing to feel inappropriate responsibilities, and focus on their own development and well being. The parents are usually not able to change, thus the focus on helping the kid.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on April 27, 2013
at 08:36 PM

Thanks for elaborating. I agree with you in part. But I do think it's ok to help her learn those boundaries, even if she can't enforce them right now.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 27, 2013
at 02:15 PM

Telling the kid not to feel responsible isn't going to change the fact that the parent is imitating the child's behavior and bestowing responsibility n the child. That paragraph might be good for the parent to read but it does not help the kid.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 27, 2013
at 02:14 PM

I disagree with number 1 because I feel like the family unit is an integral part of success and well being in life. Also, as much as it might suck that she's in that situation telling her that it "shouldn't be her responsibility" doesn't change the fact that in her world she does feel responsibility for the situation for better or worse. I feel like you point out a problem in that paragraph, agree its a problem and then fail to offer a solution.

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on April 27, 2013
at 01:33 PM

+1 because of the first paragraph alone, if you had said nothing else, THAT needs to be stated...

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on April 27, 2013
at 01:01 PM

Stephen, how can you disagree with paragraph 1? Rose is 14 ... I have a 13 yr old, and I can't imagine her feeling this kind of responsibility. For better or worse, grownups gotta be grownups.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 27, 2013
at 12:41 PM

-1 I disagree with parts of paragraphs 1,2,4 and 6.

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3 Answers

best answer

1
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on April 27, 2013
at 01:16 PM

Rose, yes your needs are different. In a way. You both need the same basic foods. However, you are still at a very active growing time of life, where you can get away with (maybe even need) some extra calories (especially carbs) that you should easily burn off. Your mom, on the other hand, is entering the time of life where she is going to have to start cutting back on calories naturally (esp carbs) assuming she has gone through menopause and is a sedentary person.

Also, even though she does need some fat, again, you are going to need more fat than she does.

I think a good book for you guys would be the Perfect Health Diet. They are super paleo friendly. However, they are a good transition for people raised in the "low fat" generation, bc they are scientists, and they focus on "nourishing food" rather than "paleo food." Here is one blurb from their blog:

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/02/perfect-health-diet-weight-loss-version/

best answer

1
10121ac7b6beb99c0fbfbf1522c50adb

on April 27, 2013
at 07:40 PM

It seems to me as if you two have a perfectly healthy mother-daughter relationship: you're the mother, and she's the daughter.

4
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 27, 2013
at 08:06 AM

Sorry you feel like this is your responsibility, that's gotta suck. That's a lot of stress for you to take on. She's a grown up and can make her own choices, it shouldn't be your responsibility to be her role model. Her health and happiness are ultimately her own decision, even if her choices make you want to bash your head against a wall.

That said, every family is dysfunctional in its own way, and it is up to us to make the best of whatever hand we've been dealt. If you don't mind being saddled with effed up responsibility of beina a "parenting child", it could be that you have the ultimate in accountability partners there if her actions mirror your decisions so closely. I guess keep your days off out of her line of sight, and stay super on top of your game at home.

If she is completely sedentary, she probably needs fewer carbohydrates than you do since you are both growing and athletic, but she can still probably still have a serving or two per day of root veggies and a piece of fruit or bowl of berries without issues. So when you make something like mashed sweet potatoes, give yourself a larger serving than what she gets. Maybe hide the Lara Bars in your room.

The best bet to sneak around her fat phobia is probably to start making soups and lots of fish, and use those as vehicles for loads of veggies, and even people who are freaked out by fatty meat often overlook that soup bones are full of marrow, and fish is full of fat, just better fat. You can use the marrow fat that floats to the top of your broth to cook food in after you skim it or remove it after cooling from the top of the broth.

Same thing with sea food, it usually gets a pass from fat-phobic types. Coconut milk too.

Here are some thoughts right off the top of my head:

Coconut milk lemongrass curry soup like Tom Kha

Salads with shrimp, salmon, or tuna

Vegetables cooked in marrow fat, with diced turkey or chicken

Steamed carrots cooked with butter topped with a pork chop

Salmon cooked with butter and dill and broccoli drizzled with lemon juice and soy sauce (if you cook this combo in a microwave open a window, it is stanky)

If you really want to set a good example get her hooked on liver and onions, or chicken hearts (they taste a lot like hot dogs when pan fried)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 27, 2013
at 09:15 PM

Hmm, I don't even have a paragraph 6. ?? Um, there is a game plan for what to do. When parents can't be grown ups it is incredibly stressful for children, robbing them both of the chance to just be a kid, as well as holding them back from developing independence when the appropriate time comes. A major part of the therapy for children caught in that situation is to become aware of the stress as the child and start refusing to feel inappropriate responsibilities, and focus on their own development and well being. The parents are usually not able to change, thus the focus on helping the kid.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on April 27, 2013
at 08:36 PM

Thanks for elaborating. I agree with you in part. But I do think it's ok to help her learn those boundaries, even if she can't enforce them right now.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 27, 2013
at 02:15 PM

Telling the kid not to feel responsible isn't going to change the fact that the parent is imitating the child's behavior and bestowing responsibility n the child. That paragraph might be good for the parent to read but it does not help the kid.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 27, 2013
at 12:41 PM

-1 I disagree with parts of paragraphs 1,2,4 and 6.

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on April 27, 2013
at 01:33 PM

+1 because of the first paragraph alone, if you had said nothing else, THAT needs to be stated...

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 27, 2013
at 02:14 PM

I disagree with number 1 because I feel like the family unit is an integral part of success and well being in life. Also, as much as it might suck that she's in that situation telling her that it "shouldn't be her responsibility" doesn't change the fact that in her world she does feel responsibility for the situation for better or worse. I feel like you point out a problem in that paragraph, agree its a problem and then fail to offer a solution.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on April 27, 2013
at 01:01 PM

Stephen, how can you disagree with paragraph 1? Rose is 14 ... I have a 13 yr old, and I can't imagine her feeling this kind of responsibility. For better or worse, grownups gotta be grownups.

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