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Hack my 4-week introduction to paleo for an elderly, sedentary overweight female (my mom)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 22, 2011 at 9:59 PM

So my mom's bloodwork came in, and her cholesterol is atrociously high by any metric. She acknowledges this, and would like to lose weight, something which she has struggled with for years. She expressed interest in paleo diet after my success with it. I'd like to give her a four-week introduction to paleo.

I made the following list as a simple guideline for her. Adherence is the goal, so it's not as strict as some would make an introductory diet. I'd like to hear if this is a reasonable goal, and what tweaks to make.

Her profile: in her mid-seventies, overweight (but not obese), willing and able to walk and swim for exercise. Is on psych and cholesterol medication. She's independent, lives with my dad.

Intro to Paleo for Sedentary Elders (v. 1.1 after input from Nance):

EXERCISE: Walk or swim for a comfortable distance at a pace which makes you breathe heavier, but you can still talk. Take breaks if necessary. Rest the following day. Walk or swim for longer time OR at a faster pace the next time around. [any other ideas to boil it down to basics?]

SLEEP as much as you want.

DIET:

EAT ONLY WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY!

EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Vegetables
  • Eggs [I know she won't overdo them]
  • Water

USE SPARINGLY:

  • Olive oil, coconut oil, butter
  • Honey, natural sweeteners
  • Coffee, tea

EAT 2 SERVINGS FROM EACH OF THE FOLLOWING GROUPS ON REST DAYS, 3 ON WORKOUT DAYS (eg. on a training day eat a sweet potato, a banana, and chocolate. On an off-day eat a serving of white rice and nuts):

  • GROUP 1: sweet potatoes, white rice
  • GROUP 2: fruit, berries
  • GROUP 3: nuts (but NO peanuts)
  • GROUP 4: chocolate (at least 80% pure)

DON'T EAT

  • Anything with gluten
  • Anything which is not a whole food, ie. foods which are pre-prepared by the store or is a brand name (Chiquita bananas being the exception)
  • Anything from a can, tub or a carton, including canned fruit, excluding tuna and salmon
  • Milk, yoghurt
  • Wheat, barley, corn, including any and all flours
  • Seed oils, including rape
  • Anything with soy in it, including soy sauce
  • Legumes
  • Sugar

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 23, 2011
at 12:02 PM

Lol definitely will be calling it "Improved diet for the best mom on earth" or something like that :P Yes, I'll be explainin serving sizes.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on December 23, 2011
at 04:12 AM

I would elaborate for her on the serving sizes for the four groups, and that seems like a lot of chocolate, but if the serving size is small then disregard that. Really good starting point! I think that once she's done this for a month she'll be so happy! But when you give her the plan I would leave out the title your mom might not like being called elderly, sedentary and overweight ;)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Yes, I'd definitely ban all commercial yogurt except plain and even that contains additives. I must confess many of the water kefir mentions here are probably from me. :-))

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:48 PM

And thanks for the blog invitation, but her English is rudimentary at best. I'll keep checking it; your water kefir posts seemed like a thorough explanation of it, and it's something that I'm going to try sooner or later since everyone seems to talk about it here (whatever it is).

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:46 PM

And thanks for the blog invitation, but her English is rudimentary at best..

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:38 PM

My guide is actually based in part on PHD. I don't have the book, yet, but have read their blog.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:36 PM

I think your plan is good. My thoughts on fat are informed by the Jaminets' Perfect Health Diet. If you haven't read their book, I'd highly recommend it.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:28 PM

High. The low on fat is mainly to limit her total caloric intake, although I'm more than happy to hear well-informed opposite opinions.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:27 PM

The idea of splitting workout and off-days is to reward exercise with the ability to eat more. Excellent point about eating only when hungry, I'll add that. I mentioned and banned yoghurts because she eats high-sugar "yoghurt" which has very little to do with actual yoghurt.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:05 PM

Is her cholesterol atrocious high or low? Walk-30 minutes a day. Why low on fat like butter and coconut oil?

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1 Answers

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:13 PM

First, the goal is to get through the first week then you and your mom should talk about the "highs and lows" and agree on a plan for week 2.

EXERCISE: Walk at her comfortable pace until she starts to feel just a bit tired. Rest for 2 minutes, then turn back. Okay to stop and rest once or twice on the way back if needed. Rest the next day--recovery is slower if you're older.

SLEEP as much as you want, but limit any day-time naps to 30 minutes or less.

DIET:

EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT:

Meat Fish Shellfish Vegetables Eggs [I know she won't overdo them] Coffee, tea, water USE SPARINGLY:

olive oil, coconut oil, butter, natural sweeteners EAT 2 SERVINGS FROM EACH OF THE FOLLOWING GROUPS ON REST DAYS, 3 ON WORKOUT DAYS (eg. on a training day eat a sweet potato, a banana, and chocolate. On an off-day eat a serving of white rice and nuts):

Answer to above: as she's starting at very sedentary, no pre-feeding or post-feeding is really needed. It's better to eat when you're hungry and eat what you want from approved foods.

GROUP 1: sweet potatoes, white rice GROUP 2: fruit, berries GROUP 3: nuts (but NO peanuts) GROUP 4: chocolate (at least 80% pure) DON'T EAT

Anything with gluten Anything which is not a whole food, ie. foods which are pre-prepared by the store or is a brand name (Chiquita bananas being the exception) Anything from a can, tub or a carton, except tuna and salmon Milk, yoghurt Wheat, barley, corn, including any and all flours Seed oils, including rape Anything with soy in it, including soy sauce Legumes Sugar

Answer: I eat full-fat yogurt and it's fine for me. While technically legumes, green beans and fresh peas or snow peas should be fine in moderate quantities.

She can browse my blog for older ancestral eaters and she may feel less alone.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Yes, I'd definitely ban all commercial yogurt except plain and even that contains additives. I must confess many of the water kefir mentions here are probably from me. :-))

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:48 PM

And thanks for the blog invitation, but her English is rudimentary at best. I'll keep checking it; your water kefir posts seemed like a thorough explanation of it, and it's something that I'm going to try sooner or later since everyone seems to talk about it here (whatever it is).

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:27 PM

The idea of splitting workout and off-days is to reward exercise with the ability to eat more. Excellent point about eating only when hungry, I'll add that. I mentioned and banned yoghurts because she eats high-sugar "yoghurt" which has very little to do with actual yoghurt.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 22, 2011
at 10:46 PM

And thanks for the blog invitation, but her English is rudimentary at best..

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