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A visit with my mother: SAD + STRESS! help me pre-hack!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 03, 2011 at 7:48 PM

So I'm visiting my mother for five days, and it's my first real "vacation" since going Paleo in Sept. This will be the first time I haven't had complete control over my diet since then. It's stressing me out a bit, as is the visit itself.

My mom isn't particularly healthy, nor is her sverely obese, pre-diabetic boyfriend. I'm hoping to make a grocery store trip as soon as we get there to get as much of "our" food as possible. We'll also be spending a day at Disneyworld.

Can you please help me out? I'm nervous about stepping out of my food comfort zone, as well as being completely stressed out by my mother. We've had drama over this trip for the last two weeks, and we haven't even left yet! Thanks!!

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 12, 2012
at 01:30 AM

"I remind myself that I spent my entire life eating that way, and that I'm going to spend the rest of my life eating this better way. A few days of of some extra carbs aren't going to hurt me more than they already have. The wonderful thing about paleo is that it's self-sustaining - almost easier to get on the wagon than to fall off!" THANK YOU for your voice of reason. I think you certainly CAN stick to Paleo if you want to (buy/prepare your own food), but if you slip up here and there, it's not going to kill you. It's not a full-on return to SAD...don't think *any* of us are going there!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 13, 2011
at 05:22 PM

ouch - I need at least 15 characters so I'll say it again: ouch

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 06, 2011
at 02:06 PM

Too funny, CaveRat. Melissa, your Mom does sound exactly like mine. It's weird, isn't it, how people can see the results right in front of their eyes, and still cling to their original ideas? I'm sure much of it's control (I have a whole theory about why we humans care so much about what others eat -- ask me sometime! :p), but some of it's got to be just plain refusing to admit they could have ever been wrong about anything. Barg.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 04, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Caverat: LOL @ hiding the extra meat! ;) I always worry my husband is going to see me eating the butter.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:17 PM

@SherpaM. - My mom told me I was a bad host at Thanksgiving for not making anything she could eat: veggies, meat, sweet potatoes with no marshmallows (gasp!). She busted out a 2 liter of ginger ale and the canned cranberry sauce.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 04, 2011
at 03:56 PM

uh, make that 'my daughters' (still have problems with the family structure thing!)

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 04, 2011
at 03:54 PM

I wonder if you two are my nieces and we're talking about my wife here? Every time she sees the jar of coconut oil around she comments about "all the saturated fat" I eat and that "it can't be good for you!" even though I've lost almost 30lbs. I literally have to hide the extra meat I bring home (and only cook it when she's working late), I make sure she doesn't see me add cultured butter to my eggs, and she thinks the sauerkraut and kefir I make are going to kill me. Sheesh - having an affair would be simpler.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:33 AM

Cheers! At the end of the day, all that matters is that you feel good and you're happy with yourself.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:15 AM

Hahaha Todd. That totally wouldn't work at my mom's, but you got my upvote for "Winning". :)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:14 AM

Hey Rose, Are we secret sisters? My mom is seriously one of the hardest things I have to deal with. She loves that I've lost weight, but doesn't like to deal with my "weird eating habits".

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:13 AM

Honestly, MY MOM, would totally be offended if I tried to bring my own food to her house. Yes, she's nuts, but it's just not worth it to ruin an entire visit arguing with her! She told me at Christmas, I was going to eat her lasagna and like it. Yep.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on May 04, 2011
at 12:33 AM

"Gluten sensitivity" covers a lot of ground--breads, pastas, cookies, cakes, etc. The best thing is that you're not lying, because it's true. Just don't tell your mom that EVERYONE is gluten-sensitive.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 03, 2011
at 08:51 PM

That's a nice suggestion! If her mom's anything like mine, though, she won't take a bite, or if she does, she'll immediately develop "stomach cramps." Hmmm. Are mother-daughter power struggles paleo...?

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6 Answers

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2
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 03, 2011
at 09:55 PM

Erin, indulging isn't a major problem: just do what you can on the trip and go back to paleo when you can - it might be when you get home.

While I primarily try to avoid high-carb foods at friends' houses (if 'paleo' is too much to wish for), I remind myself that I spent my entire life eating that way, and that I'm going to spend the rest of my life eating this better way. A few days of of some extra carbs aren't going to hurt me more than they already have. The wonderful thing about paleo is that it's self-sustaining - it's almost easier to get on the wagon than to fall off it!

If I'm concerned, I'll bring along some nuts (even though not 100% paleo-kosher according to some) and a jar of coconut oil to protect from getting too hungry/distracted/vulnerable. Sardines are good except rather obvious (I stopped eating sardines at work for that reason - and the oil from the can was splattering on my white shirt...)

At meals I take extra veggies or meat. If I have rice/potatoes it's just enough to avoid "discussion" - and most of that gets left on the plate anyway. I put lots of olive oil on everything.

What I mostly get is lots of questioning because I lost a bunch of weight and "look great" :-)

As an aside, I find it interesting to see what happens when I DO eat carbs (for me the most dramatic shift - the paleo angle is a more recent icing on the meatloaf). Birthday cake is a great example: If I'm celebrating with friends/family, I usually have a small slice, and am surprised at the sugar rush which is for me a wave of heat and a hyper feeling. I don't feel inclined to have more (this is huge for me - I used to sneak four or five or six big slices after the first one!) But if it's a not-special office party and someone leaves out a cake for self-serve, I don't indulge (actually, the end of my cubicle desk is the office pastry spot - and I have zero problems with that).

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 12, 2012
at 01:30 AM

"I remind myself that I spent my entire life eating that way, and that I'm going to spend the rest of my life eating this better way. A few days of of some extra carbs aren't going to hurt me more than they already have. The wonderful thing about paleo is that it's self-sustaining - almost easier to get on the wagon than to fall off!" THANK YOU for your voice of reason. I think you certainly CAN stick to Paleo if you want to (buy/prepare your own food), but if you slip up here and there, it's not going to kill you. It's not a full-on return to SAD...don't think *any* of us are going there!

3
Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on May 03, 2011
at 08:40 PM

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 04, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Caverat: LOL @ hiding the extra meat! ;) I always worry my husband is going to see me eating the butter.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 04, 2011
at 03:56 PM

uh, make that 'my daughters' (still have problems with the family structure thing!)

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 04, 2011
at 03:54 PM

I wonder if you two are my nieces and we're talking about my wife here? Every time she sees the jar of coconut oil around she comments about "all the saturated fat" I eat and that "it can't be good for you!" even though I've lost almost 30lbs. I literally have to hide the extra meat I bring home (and only cook it when she's working late), I make sure she doesn't see me add cultured butter to my eggs, and she thinks the sauerkraut and kefir I make are going to kill me. Sheesh - having an affair would be simpler.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:14 AM

Hey Rose, Are we secret sisters? My mom is seriously one of the hardest things I have to deal with. She loves that I've lost weight, but doesn't like to deal with my "weird eating habits".

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 03, 2011
at 08:51 PM

That's a nice suggestion! If her mom's anything like mine, though, she won't take a bite, or if she does, she'll immediately develop "stomach cramps." Hmmm. Are mother-daughter power struggles paleo...?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 06, 2011
at 02:06 PM

Too funny, CaveRat. Melissa, your Mom does sound exactly like mine. It's weird, isn't it, how people can see the results right in front of their eyes, and still cling to their original ideas? I'm sure much of it's control (I have a whole theory about why we humans care so much about what others eat -- ask me sometime! :p), but some of it's got to be just plain refusing to admit they could have ever been wrong about anything. Barg.

2
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on May 03, 2011
at 08:52 PM

Were I you, I would make sure you either pack, or make a list of some non-perishable Paleo friendly snacks, for getting you through longer periods if need be, or in case of emergency - break the glass, type scenarios. This way, you can relax knowing you won't starve.

There are numerous lists on here, but off the top of my head: Jerky

  • Jerky
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Dried fruits (no sugar added)
  • Coconut treats
  • Dark chocolate

After that, I would print out a few of your favorite recipes with the intent on cooking them regardless of whether they want to eat it or not. Offer to cook enough for them, then the ball is in their court. I have found (personal experience) it's not worth putting yourself through angst (stress, weight, digestive, etc.) on someone elses account. Be proud of your choices, be proud you are doing what you feel to be the best for you and your health. Own it.

At the end of the day, look yourself in the mirror, smile and say....

"Winning."

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:33 AM

Cheers! At the end of the day, all that matters is that you feel good and you're happy with yourself.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:15 AM

Hahaha Todd. That totally wouldn't work at my mom's, but you got my upvote for "Winning". :)

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 03, 2011
at 08:05 PM

I think we have the same mom! We have never been on the same page with diet or exercise or happiness. She's one of those people who enjoys being a hypochondriac and derives pleasure from the attention she gets for being "sick". Here's what I do when I'm at my mom's house and on vacation. Hope it works for you:

There is no reason you can't have control over your food on vacation. There are plenty of options from bringing your own to DW to doing some research and mapping of healthy places at the park. The DW site has a tool you can use. I did this for Disneyland and it worked well. I packed jerkey, veggie sticks, hard-boiled eggs, water, and nuts. Helped a ton in the long lines.

Buy your own food for her house and tell her it is because you developed a gluten/lactose sensitivity. Offer to make dinner one night but don't go on and on about why it is healthy.

Indulge one day. It won't kill you. Don't consider it a cheat as sometimes, eating a treat can actually be good for your mental health.

I think you'll find it is much easier eating paleo on vacation than you think. And dude, have FUN!!!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:17 PM

@SherpaM. - My mom told me I was a bad host at Thanksgiving for not making anything she could eat: veggies, meat, sweet potatoes with no marshmallows (gasp!). She busted out a 2 liter of ginger ale and the canned cranberry sauce.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:13 AM

Honestly, MY MOM, would totally be offended if I tried to bring my own food to her house. Yes, she's nuts, but it's just not worth it to ruin an entire visit arguing with her! She told me at Christmas, I was going to eat her lasagna and like it. Yep.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on May 04, 2011
at 12:33 AM

"Gluten sensitivity" covers a lot of ground--breads, pastas, cookies, cakes, etc. The best thing is that you're not lying, because it's true. Just don't tell your mom that EVERYONE is gluten-sensitive.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 13, 2011
at 05:22 PM

ouch - I need at least 15 characters so I'll say it again: ouch

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 03, 2011
at 08:44 PM

Eat what she offers you within certain boundaries. Also offer to cook something or, if and when you can afford it, take her out to eat. Don't be a pain in the butt, fretting over every detail of the food. A little bit of poison every now and then can do you good and the anxiety you are allowing yourself is doing you more harm than a little bit of un-paleo food will do you over the course of five days.

Please do not haul a bunch of special foods with you to your mother's house and turn your nose up at everything that she (lovingly, I guess) offers you.

1
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 03, 2011
at 08:33 PM

I'm also trying to prep for a trip, I'll be flying internationally and i never can eat on planes in airports etc. I'll pack stuff in my suitcase like crunchy nuts, coconut, pre made primal protein bars and whatever else I can think of even some nut breads if I get to it. I'll also have a good stash in my purse for the trip.

I plan on hitting the grocery store as soon as I get there but just remember, basics!! eggs, chicken, meats, cheese if you do dairy, fruits and veggies. Worse case scenario you'll be eating pure proteins and hoping for fruits and veggies.

don't stress too much, its only food!! have fun and enjoy yourself!!

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