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  • In-laws x2 visiting. Help?

    My in-laws are coming to visit. They are northern mid-westerners and love their heavy grains, pasta, bread with every meal and lots and lots of cheese/dairy. They aren't exactly couch potatoes, but don't really exercise at all either. They are just like how my husband and I used to be.

    In the past when they've come to visit I would pull out all stops and make incredible multi-course dinners complete with appetizers and cocktails before eating and wine or beer pairings with the meal and desserts which I felt were where I really excelled. When I wasn't doing that, we would go to restaurants or pub crawl complete with lots and lots of drinking and deep fried goodies.

    Now, my husband and I have made a complete 180 in the way we live and I'm looking for some ideas to blow them away. I have a few ideas, but I've got them for two weeks. Actually, my mother in law and her husband are coming for a week and then we have 2 days before my father in law and his wife come for a week. So, I'll have a total of 4 people instead of 2.
    I want to prove to them how great Primal is and how easy it is to live this way without proselytizing too much. I did that with my family and it just backfired. I've never felt better and their son looks and feels amazing as well.

    They all have health issues such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, several gut issues--the first time I met my mother in law she had to go into the hospital and have part of her intestine removed and now has a few things such as nuts that she can't eat.
    My step mil has Meniere's disease which I had been diagnosed with years ago before going Primal. I haven't suffered from any of the tinnitus or dizziness in months. It was sometimes so bad that getting out of bed was impossible. I would love if she would make the connection between my way of life and lack of symptoms. She's an RN and pops a pill for any little thing.

    Any ideas of what to feed and what to do with these 4 people without reverting to our old ways out of desperation to keep them entertained? We only see them about once a year so I'm not that close to them. I've always gotten along with them really well, but since they met me 7 years ago they've always thought I was a bit of a kook and I really don't want them to think that this way of living is just another kooky thing I'm doing. Their other 2 sons are married to, in my opinion, rather normal (whatever that means) and boring women. Certainly nice enough, but would never ever question the status quo.

    Any ideas, tips, stories or commiseration would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by kiss; 10-24-2011, 08:05 AM.
    kiss = keep it simple, sister!

  • #2
    you must lay down the law with an iron fist

    you must not sacrifice your integrity for their stupid, stupid ways of living.

    feed them the meat, take them to hunt some big animals maybe

    they must adapt, you must force adaptation

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't know kiss, If I were in your situation I'd inform them before they came to our house:
      "This is how we eat and this is how we will serve you. If you'd like, I can give you the addresses of places you can eat if you'd like something else."

      It may be harsh but hey, it's our house. The people who live in it go by our rules.
      52 year old Male
      Goal: 185lbs
      April 10th: 220lbs

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by paleopenn View Post
        i don't know kiss, if i were in your situation i'd inform them before they came to my house:
        "this is how we eat and this is how we will serve you. If you'd like, i can give you the addresses of places you can eat if you'd like something else."

        it may be harsh but hey, it's our house. The people who live in it go by our rules.
        do no such thing!!

        Iron fist does not give warning ahead of situation

        iron fist says "hello, you eat this now" when they step in door, that's it!

        Comment


        • #5
          Serving delicious gourmet meals should be no problem! They might miss pasta, bread, etc but they're guests & hopefully they'll be polite. Last night we had non paleo family over & served baked squash with mustard beef & kale (from Everyday Paleo cookbook) & fruit salad for dessert. Everyone loved it & nobody was hungry after; they declined when I offered ice cream. Sometimes one of my sons brings bread when he comes for dinner-he eats it, we don't.
          If you don't have Everyday Paleo cookbook you could buy it & do your menu planning with many choices for appetizers, main meals, desserts. Red wine, paleo margaritas.

          Comment


          • #6
            Don't make it a big deal. No need to talk about it beforehand. Just do a Ms. C. said and cook them a lot of really great meals. Check out Modern Paleo Warfare for some crazy good ideas. If they can't live without the bread, tell them where the nearest bakery is -- you don't see them enough to get bent out of shape if they bring some bread into your house.

            There must be some fun places in your town to go that require walking. A botanical garden, maybe? A beautiful hiking trail? If they resist that, just take a walk every night and invite them to come along. If they don't, go anyway without making a big production of it. Be nice. Be healthy and energetic. Let the results speak for themselves. When they ask why you look so great, tell them. You catch more flies with honey.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dado View Post
              you must lay down the law with an iron fist

              you must not sacrifice your integrity for their stupid, stupid ways of living.

              feed them the meat, take them to hunt some big animals maybe

              they must adapt, you must force adaptation
              Yes, I have a big gator hunt planned for my in-laws. It will be quite a shock to their systems since they're pushing 70 and don't respond well to heat or humidity, but dammit, we'll have a mighty swamp feast. Care to join?

              Originally posted by PaleoPenn View Post
              I don't know kiss, If I were in your situation I'd inform them before they came to our house:
              "This is how we eat and this is how we will serve you. If you'd like, I can give you the addresses of places you can eat if you'd like something else."

              It may be harsh but hey, it's our house. The people who live in it go by our rules.
              They're aware of how we eat and live now. I'm just looking for ways to make it enjoyable for everyone. Not that it wouldn't be, but I'm really hoping to lead by example and show them that it can be fun, easy and just as good, if not better than the old way. They would never insist that I make or serve something I wouldn't eat myself. Whenever we go the non-drinking vegetarian brother's house there's never any fuss. We share our meals and laugh around the table like any family would.
              I suppose I'm just stressing myself out for no reason based on my past performances when they visit.


              Originally posted by Ms.C View Post
              Serving delicious gourmet meals should be no problem! They might miss pasta, bread, etc but they're guests & hopefully they'll be polite. Last night we had non paleo family over & served baked squash with mustard beef & kale (from Everyday Paleo cookbook) & fruit salad for dessert. Everyone loved it & nobody was hungry after; they declined when I offered ice cream. Sometimes one of my sons brings bread when he comes for dinner-he eats it, we don't.
              If you don't have Everyday Paleo cookbook you could buy it & do your menu planning with many choices for appetizers, main meals, desserts. Red wine, paleo margaritas.
              I do have Everyday Paleo as well as lots of other cookbooks (I collect cookbooks, Primal and Non). Of course, they'll be polite guests, they're family after all. Oh, wait....
              kiss = keep it simple, sister!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Yvonne PHX View Post
                Don't make it a big deal. No need to talk about it beforehand. Just do a Ms. C. said and cook them a lot of really great meals. Check out Modern Paleo Warfare for some crazy good ideas. If they can't live without the bread, tell them where the nearest bakery is -- you don't see them enough to get bent out of shape if they bring some bread into your house.

                There must be some fun places in your town to go that require walking. A botanical garden, maybe? A beautiful hiking trail? If they resist that, just take a walk every night and invite them to come along. If they don't, go anyway without making a big production of it. Be nice. Be healthy and energetic. Let the results speak for themselves. When they ask why you look so great, tell them. You catch more flies with honey.
                I live right on a 2 mile boardwalk on the ocean. We'll definitely be taking walks. Unfortunately, it's also a very touristy place so the boardwalk is full of bars and restaurants. I live in an apartment above a restaurant and if the wind is blowing right I can smell whatever it is they're deep frying. There's also lots of ice cream stands, too. During tourist season, which is quickly approaching, there are always price wars on pizza and pitchers of beer. It's one of the reasons my husband and I moved to this apartment. Not because we can be swimming in the ocean in a matter of minutes or walk on the beach whenever the mood strikes, but because we could get a pitcher and a pie for under 15 bucks. Yipes!!! We don't do that any longer, but it's a huge temptation when I'm feeling extra lazy.

                I really think I'm just worried that they're going to think we're onto yet another of my kooky ideas. I guess if we keep it up until we see them again, they'll know it isn't another fly by night fad.
                kiss = keep it simple, sister!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Most people respond well to grilled steak and veggies. Go to the trouble of finding first rate beef and make them a steak they will remember a very long time. I have also had a lot of success cooking for others with big grilled pork chops. If you find a great butcher, see if you can get the cut known as an "Iowa Chop". Slow cook it with some hickory.

                  In a similar vein, I'd be sure to go for quality in my veggies. You can do excellent prepartion...and it sounds like you have the skills to do so...but quality is huge in veggies IMO. Just bought some really nice broccolli that reminded me of the importance of this simple truth.

                  I also thought that recipe last week for zucchini pizza boats looked like fun. That could be done on the grill as well if you are so inclinded. We are going to try it on the grill soon.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    First things first, I would stop worrying about the in-laws health. Take that completely out of the equation. Do not take this as an attempt at converting someone or looking down at them. If they come into your house, cook for them the food you keep in your house. It's that simple.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tplank View Post
                      Most people respond well to grilled steak and veggies. Go to the trouble of finding first rate beef and make them a steak they will remember a very long time. I have also had a lot of success cooking for others with big grilled pork chops. If you find a great butcher, see if you can get the cut known as an "Iowa Chop". Slow cook it with some hickory.

                      In a similar vein, I'd be sure to go for quality in my veggies. You can do excellent prepartion...and it sounds like you have the skills to do so...but quality is huge in veggies IMO. Just bought some really nice broccolli that reminded me of the importance of this simple truth.

                      I also thought that recipe last week for zucchini pizza boats looked like fun. That could be done on the grill as well if you are so inclinded. We are going to try it on the grill soon.
                      I've made pizza inspired stuffed zucchini boats and they are super good. I'm thinking of getting some little squashes (pattypan? maybe) to try it that way as little appetizers.
                      You've also reminded me that there's no way that I can find the quality of meat and vegetables where I live compared to where they live, BUT I do have lots of seafood available to me that they don't as well as some more tropical vegetables and fruits. I'm just going to have to keep it fresh and local.
                      I'm really jealous of where they live because of the wonderful farms and farmer's markets they have available to them. I think the fil buys his beef from one of his neighbors. I do know they both get eggs from a farm stand.
                      I'm a born midwesterner and it saddens me when I food shop where I live now.
                      kiss = keep it simple, sister!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kiss View Post
                        You've also reminded me that there's no way that I can find the quality of meat and vegetables where I live compared to where they live, BUT I do have lots of seafood available to me that they don't as well as some more tropical vegetables and fruits. I'm just going to have to keep it fresh and local.
                        Sadly, it is hard to find quality meat in big cities these days in general. It took me years to locate a butcher that I trust. As I seafood lover, I can tell you that I'd love to have access to fresh seafood. Don't know if I'd give up my beef and pork in exchange though.

                        That is a great thought for the squashzzas. Makes total sense as an appetizzer.

                        I had another thought after I submitted. I had this simple dish at a restaurant last week of marinated tomatoes in olive oil and balsamic vinegar...it had been reduced just a bit. There was some fresh seasoning in it too...probably basil and rosemary. So simple and so good! I'm going to work on my own version when I get a chance. I think you could serve that with fried chicken skins and it would be to die for.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Honestly, I'm getting pretty excited about revealing some new dishes. I've always been primarily a comfort food and southern cook so this is a bit of a fun challenge for me on the food front.

                          Once I worked on a yacht and had to cook a combination of things for the husband and wife who owned the boat. The husband was a newly diagnosed diabetic looking to lose weight. The wife was pescatarian and kosher. Talk about stretching culinary skills!

                          My big problem is going to be avoiding falling into old habits. I'm pretty certain my husband has already decided his 20 of 80/20 is going to be 2 straight weeks of bad food and lots of drinking and then spending the rest of the year adhering 100%. I'm mostly kidding, but there will definitely be a stretching of the 20.
                          kiss = keep it simple, sister!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kiss View Post
                            My big problem is going to be avoiding falling into old habits. I'm pretty certain my husband has already decided his 20 of 80/20 is going to be 2 straight weeks of bad food and lots of drinking and then spending the rest of the year adhering 100%. I'm mostly kidding, but there will definitely be a stretching of the 20.
                            i think indulging in a few old habits isn't the worst thing in the world. far better to have fun, be a good host, and enjoy time with family than to make anyone feel like they're missing something. i doubt anyone will say no to a kick ass primal meal...so don't so no to the brownie sundae they want for dessert.
                            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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                            • #15
                              Look for tinkyata brand rice pasta and feed it to them unknowingly, they will never know!

                              Also make some sausage stuffed, bacon wrapped, bbq perppercini peppers on the grill and they will howl with delight. Like these:

                              Spicy Chicken and Bacon Poppers | Mark's Daily Apple

                              Cedar Plank Salmon, sweet potatoes and a huge green salad! Winner!!!

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