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  1. #1
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    82 year old going primal?

    Primal Fuel
    Any thoughts on the following would be greatly appreciated:

    I have an 82 year old friend, Kerry Anne, who isnt in the greatest of health, and very frail. She is on a multitude of medications, pills for high blood pressure, and calcium pills for osteoporisis. She was on a pill that enabled her to be able to tolerate all the other pills, but it made her sick in the mornings, so they have taken her off that pill. Trouble is she is now suffering terrible heartburn, which is making her feel so sick she can hardly get out of the bed. Her diet is not very good, she eats cream crackers in the morning, and not much else all day. I have been trying to convince her to go over to a primal way of eating for a couple of months now, but she is a bit reluctant, but she really is desperate to get off her medication because of the side effects.

    Would it be ok for her to go primal at her age? My thought was that we get her to go primal for a couple of months, then maybe she could try to get off her meds. Any ideas on what I should get her to eat? She doesnt have much of an appetite, and is probably very underweight, so need to get lots of nutrients into her in not very much food!

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    paleo-bunny's Avatar
    paleo-bunny is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, I believe it's never too late. A sweet potato cooked in the microwave with a bit of butter would be much more nutritious than crackers, for example.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

  3. #3
    Saoirse's Avatar
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    yes but go very slow and easy, and make sure that her doctor is aware of the dietary changes. don't frame it as "primal" which has high-fat, meat-heavy connotations. instead frame it as "protein-sufficient" and vegetable-based. the docs will be more accepting of it that way.
    if you have the time, invite her over for a regular meal (once a day? once a week? depends on what you can manage) make it a regular thing. it's possible that she can't make the switch because she can't afford it, or because food preparation is too energy-consuming for her.

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    billp's Avatar
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    Healthy eating is good at any age. Make sure she doesn't go low-carb though. Replacing vegetable oils with healthy lard and good quality (ideal organic) meat and fat and not eating too much fiberous food is good at any age. Reducing grain and having more rice and good starch like sweet potatoes also seems unfaultable to me too. The main thing is her getting enough to eat by the sound of it.

    I would not suggest going grain free. Most old people love their cakes too much, and don't want to give up bread. It is probably impossible to change the habits of a lifetime, and unless she is getting bad consequences I wouldn't bother trying.

    Sounds like all those medications are doing more harm than good. I suspect that the heart keeps the blood pressure at whatever the body needs, and trying to reduce blood pressure by medication is more likely to kill than help. Bone broth is a better source of calcium than dairy anyway, AFAIK.

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    Thanks for comments. Cost of produce is not an issue, lack of interest due to general lethargy and weakness is. I already cook for her, nutritious soups and stews and stuff, it's what she eats in between. She buys these packaged meal that are targeted at older people, I am trying hard to break that habit! She also suffers from irritable bowel syndrome. So is rice ok for her? Should it be white rice or is brown better? She is reluctant to give up bread, but she is desperate to get off the pills. I can take over cooking for her to make sure she is getting what she needs, so meal ideas are greatly appreciated.

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    activia's Avatar
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    White rice is better because the bran is removed
    Primal since March 2011

    Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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    Saoirse's Avatar
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    what kinds of food does she like? maybe you can get her reminiscing about dishes family or friends used to make and use that as a springboard. does she belong to a particular heritage or ethnicity? a lot of the older folks around here come from a German background and love foods like kuchen (uh-oh), sausages, fermented kraut, etc.

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    I would start cooking for her, starting with very simple meals in flavor profiles that she likes.

    It's all good, honestly. My great grandmother ate primally/traditionally until she died of lung cancer somewhere around age 9,000. (I think she was 97, actually). She simply couldn't let go of her pink beans (which she ate twice a year) nor could she let go of her traditional bread at easter. But the rest of the year -- garden produce, more produce, and some meat (and usually bone broths too). Woman was an ox. A chain-smoking ox, but an ox none the less.

    Until the lung cancer got her, at which time she said "it's about stinking time." LOL She was a pistol!

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    Oh, this sounds just like my mom. Sorry to hear it.

    I like the idea of making her a meal, kind of showing her how it can be and that it really is quite simple. Not to stereotype, but I think some people who were raised pre-WWII can find the pace of changing information to be a bit overwhelming. Showing them exactly what it entails can ease their fears somewhat.

    I tried doing that with my mom, but she sometimes likes to wallow in her confusion and just throw up her hands in defeat. Part of that is her upbringing and part of it is that she is now malnourished and just plain doesn't have the energy to put up a fight.

    I would definitely take it slow. Changing diet like that can cause temporary digestive problems that a younger person wouldn't find difficult but can be pretty huge when you're not as active and don't heal as easily.
    My sorely neglected blog - http://ThatWriterBroad.com

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    There are two free e-cookbooks available on this site that you can get by signing up for the newsletters, those have a lot of good ideas. Also the other two cookbooks available for purchase.

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