I have been trying to convince my parents to try a paleo'esque diet. My parents are both in their mid to late 60's and are very active. My dad works out daily at the local YMCA, they golf, ride their bikes, sail, and host and attend more social events than I do! They are very "young" to me.
I want them to stay young as long as possible. Whether they like it or not, I have plans for them! I want them to not only be around for when I start a family...I want them to be active participants in it! I think we all want this of our parents...FOR our parents and family members.
My dad had a heart scare last Christmas. It kept them from travelling as they usually do in the winter. They are "snowbirds" who like to escape the Canadian cold and head south for sun, tennis, the beach and golf! (Did I mention I want to BE my parents when I grow up!) So last winter they were forced to stay home so my dad could figure out what was wrong, find the proper dosage of his medication, and go to regular check ups to monitor his progress. He got a clean bill of health and is free to continue with his happy retirement. However, he now has to keep an eye on his blood pressure and cholesterol...something he never had an issue with previously.
My mom suffers from arthritis and gets flare ups of diverticulitis. This is basically a digestive disorder - inflammation of the large intestine. When it acts up she gets flu-like systems and terrible stomach pains.
Regardless of all this, they refuse to take on my "crazy" diet...even for just 30 days. I have become like a paleo evangelist. I stand up on my soap box and preach the goodness of meat, veggies and healthy fats. I beg them to kick the sugar and grains. They are Irish...oatmeal and potatoes are their religion so it's no easy sell. I grew up with family sit down dinners that weren't complete unless there was a meat, a vegetable and a healthy serving of a starchy side. I truly believe if they change their way of eating they would see huge health benefits.
I am not saying they are leading unhealthy lifestyles. In fact, they are very healthy, look great, and have an extremely active life. BUT, they are starting to get those "aging" sicknesses. I feel like we accept that as we get older we will natually suffer from aches and pains, less than perfect blood tests and cholesterol scores. I for one, am not gonna just sit down and take this. And I don't want my parents to either.
I have seen first hand the positive effects a dietary change can make. I have seen sick people become healthy...and seemingly fit people become even more fit. I have seen a co-worker avoid surgery, chronic pain sufferers wake up pain free, incredible body composition changes, and huge strength gains...all from eliminating processed foods, grains and sugar.
So what's the battle? Why would someone question this way of eating? Why would someone resist even giving it a try?
Because I am not a doctor! And as much as I hate to admit it, no matter how much my parents love and trust me...they can't take my word over the advice/prescription of a professional medical practitioner. I can't blame them really. I mean I didn't go to medical school, I don't have all the scientific knowledge or vocab to back up all my paleo claims, and much of what I tell them is based on articles I have read and internet blogs.
It's a battle I am not going to surrender to. I do think I will have to change my strategic tactic though. My mom has a love for inspirational stories...while my dad is pratical, rational and a lover of good food. (I blame him for my horrendous sweet tooth!). Instead of preaching like a cult member and abolishing their grains and sugar, I will start slow. Focus on the delicious foods they can eat. The benefits of whole foods, the ease of preparing and enjoying these foods.
It is my mission to get them to commit to 30 days. It may not be a paleo perfect 30...but I will take and rejoice in any small improvements they make. Sometimes we have to slow down and try baby steps instead of over-whelming with a blast of "do nots."
For my mom...I will start with this video. It's an incredible story of a girl who had the courage to challenge conventional wisdom and take matters into her own hands. It has a happy ending...and that's sure to get mom on-board! And once mom is on-board, dad's resistance is futile! :)
Weekly Warm Up: 5 mins free-style/roll out
Then 2 Rounds:
- 8-12 Walkouts/Inch Worms
- 12-16 Scapular Push-ups
- 8-12 Lateral Split Squats/side
- 8-12 Broad (long) Jumps
- 12 Groiner Circles/side/direction
Strength: NEW Q's - Back Squat 3 x 5 (add 5-10 lbs from last time) VETERAN Q's - Back Squat 4 x 2-3 - rest 3 min
Metcon: 4 Rounds - AMRAP
- 90 seconds of Max Kettlebell Swings
- 30 seconds of Max Burpees
- 1 min rest