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TOPIC: Ideas for eating healthy while visiting my parents?

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May 22, 2012 2:39 PM
Here's my situation - I'm staying with my parents next week. I'm 28, and luckily we have a great relationship. I told them I've been trying to be real healthy and they are supportive of that. However, their idea of healthy eating and mine diverges quite a bit. They are from another generation, they are Italian, and they are Midwesterners. Healthy to them means 4 pats of butter (yes, butter) instead of 6 pats, or chicken instead of meatballs in pasta (nevermind that the pasta is soaked in cream sauce). They already recommended a big plate pasta place to eat the first night I'm there. And my mom notoriously gets her feelings hurt if you turn down her cooking (which is usually delicious baked goods, pasta, and mayo-thick salads).

I love my parents, and I don't mind being a little pushy with them, but I would rather not be all 'high and mighty' regarding this, and eating is a big part of our family culture, so I want to recognize that too. However, my health goals have to be prioritized. Five days off a plan could seriously lead to a backslide in my healthy eating patterns.

Has anyone experienced a similar situation and does anyone have pointers for navigating these family situations?
May 22, 2012 4:27 PM
Can you take some of your own food, or go shopping once you are there? Maybe if you eat really well all day and fit in some exercise you can eat a small portion if whatever your mom cooks at night along with a big salad?

Or just put your foot down and say you are not eating the high fat/calorie foods. Or offer to cook. Not sure what else to suggest.
May 22, 2012 4:45 PM
All of the above plus try to get in more exercise than usual so you have the extra calories to indulge a bit without blowing your plan.
May 22, 2012 4:49 PM
My parents are very similar to yours.

1) Eat what your mom makes. Just eat much smaller portions and make steamed veggies on the side or a healthy salad.

2) Exercise a little bit more to compensate for the eating out and unhealthy meals.

3) Offer to make a meal for them that is healthy.... your mom cooks one night, you the next, etc. Or you fix a healthy breakfast for the family, etc.

4) Order healthier at the restaurants. You can go there with your family (as a ritural) but order marinara sauce, skip the breasdsticks, order a kids portion, order a salad with dressing on the side, etc. Think of it as how you would eat out at home. THAT SAID, if there is a FAVORITE restaurant of yours that is different from anything near you at your house, just go eat, enjoy, have fun.

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