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Old 10-15-2007, 11:43 AM   #16  
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LOL! I think I'm going to change my sig to read "I agree with GirlyGirlSebas". When I cook, they have a choice. Take it or leave it.

But I will also try to help you meet your DH and his dad where they

You're gotten some great ideas for changing up meals to make them healthier. What are some of the things you are making now? Maybe we can help you "stealth-healthify" your current menus. But even if they want mac and cheese out of the box, you can still broil salmon or turkey burgers and keep your own portions reasonable. A bowl of cut up fruit would be great for everyone (triplets too!)

I'm proud of you for seeking help over this lil speedbump on your road to health!
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:01 PM   #17  
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I agree with cooking ONE meal for dinner. They can all learn to eat things a little differently, that accommodate your needs as well as their wants. I'd do this by making some known changes ("we're having whole-wheat bread from now on"), and then making some unknown changes here and there, as well (using fat-free cream-of-mushroom soup and not telling them).

Some ideas: switch from 2% to 1% milk, start buying whole-wheat pasta or half-wheat-half-white pasta, as Colleen suggested sneak in a percentage of Quorn/TVP to ground beef, making fresh steamed or raw vegetables a side to every meal, choosing steaming and broiling over frying and sauteeing. When you serve meat, grain, and vegetable, you can choose the smallest cut of meat, a reasonable amount of grain, and a TON of vegetables, and let them do what they want.

IMO, in this situation, you're better off asking forgiveness than asking for permission.

Also, I'm sure if you post some family-favorite recipes, we can help you find a way to healthy-ize it.

Can you work out when your husband is around to care for the children, instead of your mother?

Last edited by phantastica; 10-15-2007 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:17 PM   #18  
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Originally Posted by GirlyGirlSebas View Post
Okay....after reading everyone else's answers, I feel like Cruella Deville. But, I really have to go with my gut reaction to your question. Monica, if you are doing the cooking...then, you should decide what to cook and they should just be grateful that they don't have to do the cooking and eat what is put in front of them!! Cook two meals....absolutely not! If they don't want what you cook, then tell them to get in the kitchen and cook their own meals. Eating healthy benefits everyone and they should be supportive of your attempts to get healthy. I despise cooking. My hubby loves to cook and he cooks wonderfully(as you can tell from my ticker!) I would never be so rude as to complain about anything he puts on my plate. Your husband and father should be ashamed. Stand up for yourself.
Normally I would have said exactly the same thing. But I had the feeling from the original post that the cooking was kind of a trade for being allowed to live with Mom and Dad while they save up for the house. I think that kind of negates the moral high ground where you can say "eat it or cook your own", at least in regards to the parents.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:30 PM   #19  
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My husband is supportive but at 5'11", 135 lbs or so, I don't expect him to eat the same things as me. I make a lot of things that we share but I also make him things that I don't eat like rice, PB sandwiches and I buy him things I don't eat such as cereal and nuts (I eat small quantities of nuts though).

So I make myself lots of veggie based foods with limited amounts of calorie dense items while I give him some calorie dense items because he needs the extra calories. I know you say that you are concerned about costs but good tasting, healthy food can be cost friendly as well. Increase the amount of veggies you eat even if your family won't eat them and decrease the amount of calorie dense foods that your family wants to eat.
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:10 PM   #20  
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Originally Posted by Robin41 View Post
Watching triplets four times a week so you can go to the gym is a pretty cool thing for your mom to do. Extra points for that.
Absolutely! I don't know what I'd do without her.

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Old 10-15-2007, 01:18 PM   #21  
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Originally Posted by Robin41 View Post
Normally I would have said exactly the same thing. But I had the feeling from the original post that the cooking was kind of a trade for being allowed to live with Mom and Dad while they save up for the house. I think that kind of negates the moral high ground where you can say "eat it or cook your own", at least in regards to the parents.

Yeah, this is why I'm trying to be sensitive to what they like. I could just make my meals and expect them to eat them or go hungry, but I really want them to like what they are eating. The big rub for me is that I honestly (especially with my dad who has weight-related health issues of his own) want to influence them to eat better as well. And then it does make my journey tougher when they go out and buy ice cream, brownies, etc to eat in front of me when they know how hard I'm trying to be good. That's my own issue, though. I know that.

They like a lot of pasta-type dishes (DH is Italian) and casseroles that include no-no's like potatoes, lots of sour cream, cheeses, butter...good old Southern fatty stuff. I'm not sure how I'd ever make appropriate substitutions. I've tried some WW recipes that they did like (didn't know they were WW) and maybe I just have to keep doing that trial and error thing until I compile a good list of things we all can/do eat.

I'm just feeling very alone in this right now and needed to vent more than anything. Living here is helping us soooo much financially. Conceiving and birthing and caring for the medical needs of our triplets has been incredibly expensive and exhausting. But living here is tough for us, too. DH and I get no privacy and there is a ton of intrusion into our parenting decisions. There's also a lot of guilt and my cooking is part of my way to alleviate that for myself. It's not expected of me, but it helps me feel like I'm contributing.

Thanks for all the feedback.

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Old 10-15-2007, 01:27 PM   #22  
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I totally feel your pain about the boundary-blurring of trying to parent while LIVING with parents. Ugh, I don't envy that. Hopefully you can get into that house as soon as possible so you don't strain your relationship with your parents. The great part about this is that those little kids are getting opportunities to bond with grandparents, which is an awesome thing.

Yeah, I think you could start with doing 50% "real" sour cream mixed with 50% fat-free sour cream, and I bet they wouldn't know the difference. I do that with a lot of fatty-type foods - cream of xx soup, whole wheat and white flour, etc.
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:39 PM   #23  
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Monica, check out the Oprah website and look for the report on the show with Jerry Seinfeld's wife, Jessica. She did a whole thing on how she adds "camaflouged" vegetables in the form of purees in a lot of dishes to fool her kids, perhaps this would work for your "menfolk" too. And I agree that 4 times a week at the gym is great - don't put yourself down for that, you're way ahead of lots of folks on that one.

Also I just want to add a little moral support to this message - I am a very private person, and I think it would be excrutiating to live in someone else's home and have so much of my "space" invaded! With all the things going on in your life, I admire you for continuing to try so hard, and for making progress, even though it is a bit slower than you might like. You're doing better than you think - just hang in there!

Last edited by Miss Lili; 10-15-2007 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:19 PM   #24  
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Living with my folks just for two weeks while visiting is a strain (on both sides). Wasn't it Ben Franklin who said "Fish and houseguests start to stink after 3 days"?

Living in someone else's home is tough, not only when you're dieting. And right now, you are the only one wanting to make these kinds of changes, so in a very real way, you are alone. It's great to have an ally in the home, but when you don't, you have to find allies elsewhere. If you need in-person fellowship, you can try TOPS if you can afford it, and it suits your schedule and personality (about $25 for the annual membership and usually under $5 per month in dues. You can visit any meeting at least once free, and if there are several chapters in your area, you can visit them all).

And of course, there's always us.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:52 PM   #25  
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You definitely have got a difficult situation on your hands, but it is by no means insurmountable.

I DO have a supportive family, fairly supportive that is. There's only so far that family support can take you.

Nobody I know, not a single solitary person is into this "weight loss" and healthy lifestyle like I am. My family was quite good in the beginning of my journey with not bringing home the junk. Once they saw me lose a little weight - that's it, all bets were off. The truth, is I have found this whole weight loss thing to be a completely SOLO act. I'm the one planning, shopping, cooking. I'm also the one resisiting temptation day in and day out, all day long. I'm the one that is doing all the exercising. Although my family has been my biggest cheerleaders, having never been overweight, they really can't understand what a struggle it has and will always be for me. This is just one thing that I need to tackle on my own.

And on that note I will say - THANK GOODNESS FOR 3FC.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:09 PM   #26  
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I think that the key is coming up with tasty, low cal foods. You really CAN be a low calorie gourmet and create filling, delicious, nutritious dishes that aren't high in calories. There are so many great ideas here, and more coming in every day. I make a broccoli-cheddar-chicken-pasta bake that is 400 cals for a good sized serving, and even the picky three-year-olds in my life will eat it.

Another thing that can help get those who aren't quite on board singing your praises is going UP a level in gourmet-ness and making things that are DIFFERENT than what they have eaten before. Lets face it, fat and starch and sugar do TASTE good, so to just remove those from your cooking, but make the same recipes, is going to make some people reluctant. On the other hand, if they've never HAD the dish you cooked before, they don't have a full-fat comparison, so it might be worthwhile to try some new things. Sure, you might get some clunkers, but you might find a new recipe you and the family all adore. Cooking Light magazine is great for this...all manner of interesting, exotic recipes, as well as some made-over classics that are lighter than the originals.

There are also ways other than making your total portion smaller to cut the calories on what you serve yourself. For example, lets say the meal-du-jour was spaghetti and meat sauce. I'd serve everyone what they choose, and for myself, take a tiny bit of pasta and a heap of cooked peppers and yellow onions, and top that with the sauce. I get my big plate of food, along with extra nutrition, and hey, maybe some of the other folks at the table will dish themselves up some extra veggies too. Serve that with a salad and you've got a meal!
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Old 10-16-2007, 06:54 AM   #27  
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Thumbs up

Three things I have learned in my life are:
1)If I can't find the support in one place, then I look for it wherever I can get it. We can be your "supporters" here---I live in Georgia
2)If Plan A doesn't work, go to Plan B, etc. If Grandma can't watch your 3 active little ones, then include the kids in activities for all of you that will still give them and you an outlet plus you will burn calories in the meantime---walk to the playground, ride bikes together, play chase in the back yard.
3)Sneak nutrition in your meal planning. As a mom you are going to be resorting to this eventually any way and get creative in how the others will be eating as well. I have made nutritious meals and other people didn't even know it unless I mentioned it to them. Usually, they are surprised. Plus, think of how much good you are doing for them too. They'll thank you later.
4) P.S. Keep all of this to yourself for the time being. Granted, they may need to lose weight but no one likes to be "told" they do until they are ready to hear it.

Good luck!
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:03 AM   #28  
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Hey Monica.. Your triples are adorable (my 4 year old now wants to be a monkey for Halloween)

I googled "Low calorie Italian recipe" and got back 1,620,000 hits. Maybe that will help!

Good luck!
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:09 AM   #29  
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You've received a LOT of good advice here. I'm going to sum it up in minute, but first I wanted to say that cooking is like any other approach to a problem. You have various tools in your toolbox, and the more options you have the more flexible you can be to whatever situation occurs. It's like dieting. If all I do is count calories, that's only one tool... and when all you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail. *grins* But we have lots of tools in our dieting toolbox -- more veggies, choosing whole grains, eating leaner meats, exercising more -- all of which lead to the goal of "fewer calories".

Cooking is like that, too. The goal is to feed them well, with things they'll like, and not totally blow you off your dieting path.

Here are some of your options (many of them outlined in more detail by other posters above):
  • Cook the same foods you have been, and the same recipes, and alter your own intake. Eat small portions of the rich food.
  • Cook the same foods you have been, but alter the recipes to be healthier. You can cut the fat, stretch the meat, add more veggies, etc.
  • Cook the same main dishes you have been, but add healthy side dishes. This worked REALLY well for me when I was on a strict vegetarian diet and my husband was not. What was a side dish for him was my main dish. And he found that he really liked some of it, but there was no pressure on him to make it the only part of his meal.
  • Introduce some new, healthier main dishes. This will be REALLY easy if your family likes Italian food. It's not all pasta and cheese. Get an Italian cookbook from the library (so you can see the pictures), and find something that looks like it would be a good fit for your family. Get them involved with the choice, if you can. This is how I get my 6-yo picky eater to participate in cooking -- she picks a new food every week or every other week from my collection of cookbooks (most of which are low-fat, ethnic, or vegetarian) and we make it. It's helped introduce new foods into our repertoire. (Turkey wrap sandwiches are our newest favorite.) My only caveat on this one is to do it gradually. A new dish every week or so should be enough. People tend to only eat about ten dishes, really, so new ones are not always welcomed with open arms.
  • Don't overlook the amazing potential of soups and stews. Especially as it gets colder out, soup can be a great start to a meal, and will cut down on how much of the main dish you want to eat. By the same token, stews can be a really great meal, and don't have to be all that fattening. Chili is usually a crowd-pleaser, and you can hide a jumbo-jet's worth of veggies in that brimming bowl.
  • When everything else fails, supplement. Eat what they're eating, but make sure you have a variety of healthy side dishes. Eat a big salad or bowl of soup, or have more veggies. Even the richest food won't break your calorie count if you eat only a small portion. (This is how I get away with cheese fondue once in a while. It's one of my husband's favorite meals, but it's SO fattening. And it really can't be made less rich without losing its "fondue-ness." So I limit how much fondue I eat, and instead of eating it just with bread, I have only one slice of bread and then lots of broccoli and apples for dipping.)

And if you have a favorite recipe that they love, that you want ideas on how to lighten, bring it here and let us look at it. I'm sure we could help.
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Old 10-16-2007, 02:19 PM   #30  
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You are all amazing! Thank you so much for a great advice. I talked to Mom about the menu planning and she came up with a great idea. I surfed the 'net for some (mostly WW) recipes that sound like things our family likes. I put full meal combinations (entrees and sides) on index cards. I'm going to try each meal and make notes on the back of the card as to who liked which dish. We'll keep the ones that are well-liked (ditch the others or maybe try to make modifications) and will do a rotation of these meals. I'm also going to try some of the substitutions (FF sour cream, ground turkey vs. ground beef, etc) that you all suggested for family favorites.

I talked to the trainer at my gym this morning and she printed out a 4-day/week workout schedule that works all the muscle groups. I can do weight training and then cardio each of those days and get a full workout while I'm there. I'll try to get the kids out and moving with me on another couple of days a week. I also ordered a dvd to use with my medicine ball for a toning workout I can do at home while the kids are napping.

Thank you again. This site and the support it offers...FABULOUS!!!

{I think the fact that my size 18 jeans felt loose this morning (I was in size 24's a few months ago) put a little spring back in my step.}


Last edited by triplettummy; 10-16-2007 at 02:21 PM.
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