Vacation Recap; Chatting about nutrition and Lou Gehrigs disease

As I mentiond in my prior post my July 4th vacation didn’t go as I planned, since I didn’t create any beaded jewelry. *sighs*

I did get to spend time with family, we visted a lot of folks. One of the last stops we made was to visit one of my mother’s first cousins. She was recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Some of you might know the other name Lou Gehrnigs disease. My cousin was always thin but now, she’s skin and bones. She’s about 5’7″, and only weighs 85 pounds! When she left the hospital she weighed less, so it’s nice to see she’s improving. However, since I haven’t seen her since Thanksgiving 2009, it still was a shock.

You want to know something? We talked about nutrition. Although it’s something I read about several times weekly, It’s not something I always talk about. I try to get a feel for the environment, before I chat about it. Let’s face it, at times some people can get very defensive about their eating lifestyles and although I don’t have a problem making people think about their eating choices, I’m not the type to be constantly shoving nutrition religion down anyones throat. I led by example.

Ok back to the cousin and nutrition… My father drew me into their nutrition conversation, since he knows I’m a health/nutrition fanatic. I’m proud to admit over the past few years he became really interested in his health, sought me out, pestered me with questions, he got fired up and did additional research, but that’s another story. Now this cousin and I’ve always chatted briefly before but never at this level. She wanted to know where she could get protein (besides meat and dairy.) I told her a few ways; greens, lentils, soybeans, quinoa, peas, almonds, broccoli, spinach, sunflower seeds, Those are only a few non meat sources. We already know that too much protein isn’t good either. I’ll name two; thing, too much protein can lead to kidney problems, and it can be a cancer risk. When I chat with people I try not to preach. I did mention briefly the politics behind food, and the importance of educating yourself about what you put into your body too.

Regarding the fresh vegetables, she has a garden (yep has soybeans too) so it would be easy for her to get protein from vegetables. Granted she’s not actively working her garden anymore, but she has her husband at the house, and a few daughters that live at home. They’re being supportive which is fabulous! Since she’s trying to gain weight I suggested some calorie rich smoothies also. I tend to make those for myself when I’m hitting the gym hard. I’ll be sure to post some of those recipes since I’ve been doing that over the past few months.

Regarding my cousin, I’ll be working up a meal plan (complete with recipes) for her over the next week, and sending it on to her. Although I’m not expecting her to follow it 100%, she did ask my advice on it so I thought it would be ‘ok’ to follow up with her, not to mentione she asked me too. Besides, the drop in weight, her speech has slowed down considerably.

Although I had seen the movie about Lou Gehrig and had an general unerstanding of the disease it wasn’t until I did a few hours research after arriving home today that I got a better understanding of it. Quoting from one

In layman’s terms, Lou Gehrig’s disease is basically a situation or condition (disease) whereby the nerves become degenerative due to lack of nutrition and the muscles of the extremities atrophy or waste away. The disease was named after famed New York Yankees slugger, Lou Gehrig, who died of the insidious disease in 1941. Most who develop lou gehrig’s disease are between the ages of 40 and 70 years old.

The article goes on to say that highly acidic diets are formed by consuming foods high in animal products, meat and dairy. Yep definitely describes my parent’s family, especially my mothers. From the neck to the feet (chicken) they ate it. They did what they could to get by. This was back in the 1950’s. My moms parents, doing the best they could. They ate how their parents ate. A cycle, that can be broken. As we get older, we can make a change if we choose, right? As they became adults, the majority of their diets consisted of animal foods. Think of ‘Black soul food’, that’s what my mothers’ family eats. I’m definitely the odd sheep. I stand out.

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So sorry to hear about your cousin, we will remember her in our prayers. I am glad you got a chance to talk to her about nutrition, you know so much about it. I think you could really offer her some great advice!

We eat meat but I always make sure to add in veggies to balance things out. I think I could really go veggie one day, my son and husband would not be so willing LOL.


@kaozz – Thanks for the prayers. You can be healthy even if you include animals in your diet too, it’s all about making healthy choices. đŸ™‚