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Primal for disabled?

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  • Primal for disabled?

    Can this approach to food work for a severely disabled person? I have a 24yr old who is stuck in a wheelchair and basically cannot do any meaningful exercise. She can and does move herself around the house with a one-arm drive wheelchair, but could not sustain that for any length of time -it would also worsen her poor right side which is damaged and muscles tightening up horribly. She loves her food and i suspect the signal to say she is full is missing. I try to keep her calories at 1500 per day but she's out and about with so many people i cant be sure its kept to. These care people won't do primal. We have been brain-washed with the pyramid!
    We have cut out as much wheat as possible and eat oat crackers for bulk.

    Is there anyone out there that can share any experience with people with major disabilities?

  • #2
    I don't have any research or experience, but I can't see that a whole-foods diet would hurt.


    • #3
      I've been in a wheelchair for the past 5 years because I don't have any cartilage in my hips. I have only been doing primal for the past week. I am all ready seeing noticable changes in my energy, strength, and moods, and my clothes are also a little looser. The "carb flu" everyone talks about has been mild with a slight headache. Hers may vary. I don't see how this way of eating could hurt her. Leaving grains out of the diet, and getting off the artificial sweeteners is doable, but her well-meaning friends may need to be told she can't eat them due to allergies.
      SW: 205
      CW: 205
      GW: 140

      Measurements as of 12/23 Measurements as of 12/29
      Neck 15.75 15.5
      Arms L/R 15/14.5 14.5/14.5
      Ribs 39.5 38.5
      Hips 49 47.5
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      • #4
        Does this person live in a group home or a family home? Does she get services through an agency or does she/family hire the care staff? If she has a care plan, the care staff are expected to follow it. I am not sure of her cognitive limitations based in the OP, but if she is game to try it, it should be pretty easy to modify her care plan to be more primal. Maybe you could even get a doctor to write out a nutrition plan. I think you could find a doctor on board at least with low sugar, no processed foods, lots of fruits/veggies, organic when possible, and maybe trying gluten free. If the care providers believe the diet is based on medical advice, they may be more likely to oblige. They work for the client -- it isn't up to them what she eats.


        • #5
          Also, I do have experience with people with severe developmental and physical disabilities. I know if they don't find a food palatable, they tend to spit it out. I've had the experience of a client spitting out food while simultaneously telling me she was hungry. I got the message quickly that the meal wasn't suited to her! In this case, I think it was a texture issue. They know they get hungry and need to eat, but to them, the nutritional value of the food doesn't really play into if they'd like to eat it or not -- taste, texture, and (sometimes) appearance does. One person I supported ate lots of meat, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. He said few words (probably less than 30 total), but when he got something sugary, he was so happy. He would so "yum" and "good" and "more" over and over while bouncing in his chair with a smile. 😊 Really made me understand how I need to remember to appreciate the small joys! Everyone is different, but I'd say if she isn't used to non-processed foods, maybe transition slowly and include primal treats to make success more probable.


          • #6
            There is nothing wrong with giving her natural whole foods. Wether you are disabled or not it isn't good to fill your body with chemicals and sugar.
            In his book mark states that it's 80% diet and 20% exercise. So going on that she should see progress even with diet alone.

            As you claim she does't have the stop signal I'd start with only ditching the pre-made foods, pasta's and bread. keep in the rice and potatoes so she does feel a little bit in her stomach and go heavy on the healthy fats.
            Just try to see what happen with the food change alone for 3 weeks.

            On the exercise, as you don't state what is the cause of the disability I'm going blind here. Let her do what ever she can but often with a lot of breaks. If she had a nerve related disability there have been positive results on repetitive therapy. doing difficult things often but not too long.
            Anything else, all movement is good now. Just try to make it a bit longer each time
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