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Trying to educate the In-Laws. Please help!

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by PolarBear81, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. PolarBear81

    PolarBear81 · Member

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    I've been diagnosed as prediabetic (it started as GDM 3 years ago) and it is not weight related as I am a healthy size and weight.
    I'm a semi-expert on diabetes having grown up with a parent with it and studied it for my dissertation at uni. I've been told that I have a 75 - 90% chance of developing full diabetes as it is genetic and not weight related, it's just a matter of time when it happens. I was advised to go on a low carb diet to prolong my pancreas, which I have been for over a year now. I have a very low tolerance for carbs for most of the day, less than 2 slices of bread and it doesn't matter how low GI the grain is, I still get high BG levels.
    However, I'm having trouble trying to educate my in-laws on what is and isn't a carb. I've been trying to tell them in different ways for over 2 years and I'm now at a loss as to how to proceed (other than never to let them cook for me and take my own packed lunch). It's got to a point where I'm just being rude, even my husband has tried and failed to educate them.
    Over the years they have somehow misinterpreted a carb to be meat (therefore making me a vegetarian meal, loaded with potatoes) and only added sugar to drinks. They've served me up rice, toast, ice-cream (as it's not a potato they said) and made me many sandwiches which are made, it seems, with half a loaf of bread. This is only a few things in recent weeks.
    I also don't think they understand the consequences of diabetes but that's another rant on another forum.
    I would really like any input on if anyone else has had this problem and how they got around it.
    I had thought about giving them a leaflet on carbs but I don't actually think they'd bother to read it or wouldn't remember it.
    Please help, I'm going hungry at family meals (although my lovely husband has given me all of his veg while he has toast for pudding).
     
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  2. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Oh, how have I ever been there! They got exactly all the wrong things, tropical fruit, bio shop cakes filled to the brim with dates, ("But it's biological!", "Yes, but it's still sugar!"). I went so far as to write a complete leaflet myself. If you've put effort in, they're kindof obliged to read it. But even that didn't stick because it was just too much information to retain if you're not dealing with it yourself. Know what did the trick? A simple do's and don't list. It was easy to reference and can even be stuck to the fridge. You don't have to mention absolutely everything. I'm making a little assumption here: They feed you, so they are trying to be good hosts. It's a bit of a leaping deduction, but alright. Good hosts tend to want to get stuff their guests can eat, and just a simple little grocerylist could help so much. Something a little like this:

    Do's:
    Above ground vegetables and leafy greens
    Meat/Poultry (without a coating or marinade)
    Fish (see meat)
    Cheese
    Cream
    Hummus
    Olives
    Extra dark chocolate
    Full Fat Greek Yoghurt
    Eggs
    Avocado
    Walnuts/Pecans/Almonds

    Don't's:
    Potatoes
    Underground veggies
    Rice
    Cereal
    Pasta
    Corn
    Fruit
    Cookies/cakes etc, anything made with dough
    Anything sugary

    Just keeping it simple, something that can be quickly referenced when groceryshopping or planning a meal, could help. I sure hope it'll help, because it's not nice having to be rude... I had foodintolerances that made me hurt like a MF, but I didn't have the heart to refuse any of that stuff. My inlaws version of hospitality cost me a lot of sleepless, achy nights and more pain than I care to remember. By the time the flare-up'd gone, we were due to visit them again. Aaargh! With T2, I just can't dance around their feelings anymore. I had to make a point and stick to it. And when the little guide I wrote them didn't help, the Do/Don't list certainly did. And I flog this horse to death on social media, which I know they read, even if they don't comment much. They know about Keto and what it's doing for my bloodsugars. Now, when my MIL offers me a huge cookie, I just have to look at her and she'll remember. (I don't even have to say "Are you trying to kill me? I thought we got along?!" anymore. She really is a very good friend of mine, but a bit scatterbrained. ;) ). We just laugh and she gets the extra cookie, unless our husbands are present... The cookies'll be gone at the end of the night no matter what. ;) All in all... Keep it simple. And if people still don't get it (Like my sister in law...), make sure you have something to munch on in the car. I always carry a packet of BitesWeLove nuts to tie me over till we're home when we visit them, and if I'm really ravenous we'll stop at the McD's on the way for a bunless and thus low-carb burger.

    Good luck!
    Jo
     
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  3. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Moderator
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    It's always tricky, but in your shoes, how about having a look round here, and seeing if there's anything useful to you: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diet/low-carb-diabetes-diet.html

    Alternatively, I might have a look at the Diet Doctor site and see what you can find there. There are loads and loads of graphical resources, and lists you might be able to print off as a reference piece for them?

    https://www.dietdoctor.com/

    I think this is rather natty: https://www.dietdoctor.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Low-carb-for-beginners_folder_1803.pdf They mightn't need the first page, but the second is a very simple reference guide?
     
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  4. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    I would suggest that you make it very, very, very simple.
    Just say:

    ‘I can only eat meat, fish, green vegetables, butter and mayo.’

    I have noticed that when people don’t believe in allergies/intolerances/special diets, they develop astonishing powers of passive aggressive sabotage. o_O
     
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  5. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I tend to go for a "show and tell" approach where possible.
    If possible, could you offer to cook one day?
    Then they can see the sort of things you eat.
    They might also be struggling to understand how you can be full with less carbs. If you cook a filling low carb meal, they may understand better and be more willing to do something similar in the future.
     
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  6. PolarBear81

    PolarBear81 · Member

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    Thank you for that. I'm glad I'm not the only one having to deal with this.
    A do's and don'ts does sound the best thing to do in the hope something sticks in their minds but I couldn't do anything stuck to a fridge as their house is a show home and it would be out of place and end up in the bin. lol
    I've had a few conversations of telling them not to feed me XYZ and then in the same conversation them offer me an orange to eat. Then having to explain that it has sugar in. I can't understand how something natural and sweet doesn't raise a flag to them that it must have sugar in. Maybe they just don't have any tastebuds. I am liking the "are you trying to kill me?" quote and might use that to see if it makes an impression.
     
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  7. Mel dCP

    Mel dCP Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I’d make a laminated list with all the things you do eat in green on one side and all the things you don’t in red in the other. I wouldn’t bother with an orange “I can have a little of this” list, make it as black and white (or green and red ;) ) as possible. They can keep it in a cupboard and refer to it if they feed you. I’d also put a note on it of the consequences of you/they are risking by straying from it.
     
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  8. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    Offer to take them out to dinner next time and pick a venue where you have good low carb choices. I often check menus on line before arriving at the restaurant.
     
  9. PolarBear81

    PolarBear81 · Member

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    Thank you all. It's been very enlightening to see all the suggestions and I hope to use some and find that they work.

    Helensaramay: The trouble is when I cook I still cook them the carbs as I never hear the end of "roast dinner with no potatoes?" or "chilli with no rice?" and then I also cook extra vegetables for me to make up for the lack of carbs but as they're happily loading up on potatoes or naan they probably don't notice my mountain of broccoli etc..

    I see Brunneria mentioned a very simple list including butter and mayo, but the trouble with my ILs is that they can have a stupid sense of "humour" in that I'd get given a bunch of celery to dip in my jar of mayo for dinner. I've had to put up with similar wit in the past and I've had to bite my tongue not to give a comeback.

    I've also checked out the low-carb diet area and that's why I've posted on here as there didn't seem to be anything specifically aimed at those that don't have DM or those that don't understand what it is about e.g. never heard of the terminology. I really needed one leaflet that wasn't too scientific/medically written, just the basics like carb=potato:too many=blindness. I think more than one leaflet would lead them to not bother to cross reference any of the jargon and I'd still be being fed potatoes.
    I know that's a bit of a drastic way to put it but it cuts out all the middle information that will switch them off from reading and remembering.
     
  10. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Expert

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    How often do you see them?
    Just tell them you don't feel like eating and fast instead.
     
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  11. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Hmmm well I had this problem with my in-laws too. I wasn't diabetic at the time, but expressed a wish not to have meat because I don't enjoy it a lot. Looking back they were just picking on something that made me different and not respecting me as their son's wife. They made it clear I was being awkward when I never once asked for anything to replace the meat, I was happy with just the same dish as everyone else but without the meat.

    Years later when out for a meal with the extended family, I was amazed just how picky and awkward they themselves were being, far worse than me, no medical reasons for it, just a case of taste preference. I guess it was really about disapproving of their son's choice of wife and nothing to do with the food at all.

    I think your in-laws are being just as awkward, I am not sure it's got anything got do with educating them re diet, more about being difficult towards you for the sake of it. Just my opinion, but I refuse to believe that this family are so stupid they don't understand, and therefore it's more a case of 'won't understand'. Maybe get your hubby to explain how hurt he feels that they are giving you carbs when you have requested not to have them.

    I would do as bulkbiker says and fast while you are with them if possible. Why should you eat something that harms you just to please them? That's the ultimate in control and you need to stand against it.

    Oh and I should have said...Welcome to the forum. :)
     
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  12. PolarBear81

    PolarBear81 · Member

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    I see them once a month but we stay with them for 2-3 nights (so about 2 and a bit days worth of meals). They live a fair distance away hence the staying with them.
    I don't usually have breakfast or lunch there as they are a cereal and toast for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch family. So by dinner time I'm starving. I can't fast for that long as I'll shake and get bad headaches. I do however take a bag of nuts with me just to keep me going. Lately I've been going shopping whilst there and filling their fridge with edible stuff.

    Zand it sounds like my ILs must belong to the same club as yours. I had a few meals like that where they seem put out when I say I don't want something (actually I can't have it). We've also gone out for meals and had the most pickiest eaters at the table that then put a miserable face on for the whole meal as the dish didn't come with carrots but swede, or the gravy was not how they make it or some such silly thing.
    I don't think they're as bad as yours but they just can't seem to understand change for the better, whether it's DM related or an upgrade on a washing machine.
     
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  13. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I am a low carbing type 1 and my in laws cook high carb meals even though my father in law has neuropahty and a quadruple bypass after 20 years + on the EatBadly plate and keep taking the tablets type advice.

    I do seem able to avoid the rice and scrape the potatoe off the shepherd's pie plus dodge the sticky pudding. I never justify or explain unless asked to but do pile my plate with veggies and enjoy the cheese and red wine! Breakfast can be eggs or my own chia seed pudding (imported from home) or a bulletproof coffee plus almond butter.
    Also if a bit of potatoe or pasta slip in then your in laws should n't be made to feel that they've poisoned you. The humour sounds a bit like a defense against your apparent rejection of their food with your 'faddy' ways.
    To me the beauty of low carb is that I can eat out or with a bunch of high carbers and find a low carb path through it.
    If you choose to offer them a clear guide then click on the link below for the excellent Diet Doctor visual guides. I do think you need to tackle the vegetarian thing thoough otherwise you may be doomed to a life of pasta bakes! Food is love though so I think it is important to state that you do love being with them (hopefully since you are there a lot!).
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/20-50-how-much this also links to further visual guides about the specturm of different foods.
     
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  14. Geordie_P

    Geordie_P Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    That's the best idea: I would expect a complicated list will raise hackles as 'fussy'. If they just think you want bacon and eggs when you come round, it will probably be accepted much more lightly
     
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  15. Canvaspic

    Canvaspic Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Most of my family/friends are shocked when I cook a fry. But most people can understand what a fry up is. So maybe thats an option for morning.
    Maybe Steak and salad, or chicken and salad for lunch. doesn't require much explanation.
    just a thought.
     
    #15 Canvaspic, Oct 26, 2018 at 4:32 PM
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  16. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    do you not get the shocked voices and barrage of condemnation when you eat a fry up? or full fat milk? or anything containing fat?

    along with the weight related comments, of course.
     
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  17. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    lol I get those comments every week with an Aunt of mine. :hilarious:
     
  18. Canvaspic

    Canvaspic Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Their is definitely a very a very strong link with fat and diabetes amongst the general public. And a big look of disbelief if I tuck into a full fat Greek yogurt, but wont eat a scone.
    My kind neighbor, brought up a special bread for me with NO FAT, NO SUGAR, NO SALT, a tiny bit of butter. I accepted of course, didn't have the heart to explain that it was loaded with carbs. I tasted a morsel, and it was very nice.
     
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  19. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Yes it's very hard to go against the flow isn't it?
     
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  20. PolarBear81

    PolarBear81 · Member

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    NicoleC1971: Oh wow, Thanks for that link. I'm printing that off and leaving it on their pillows for a bit of bedtime reading.

    I'm not too fussed about breakfast as I've never been a fan of eating when I've just woken up but opt for eggs when I do have it, they never have them in though.
    I do try to load my plate up with vegetable but they have only grasped the request of "cook more vegetables please" once (this past weekend) where my husband said to them cook double the amount for everyone, not just double for one person.
    They were all eaten except for 1 cauli floret and they were surprised that that was the only bit left over.
    So I haven't been able to pile my plate high and have just gone hungry while they then tuck into pudding, oblivious that they've eating more than me and are still eating. After months of saying cook more veg, maybe they've taken note. I actually think all these months and years they've been cooking more potatoes and adding stuffing on because it has onion in so it must be a vegetable, but lets ignore the breadcrumbs as that's not bread.
    I do refer to roast dinners when they cook with the occasional other piece of meat and 2 veg type meal, or home cooked curry. Unfortunately the home cooked curry means I eat a small piece of chicken (it's usually 2 breasts between 4 adults! and 2 children) with some sauce, and the vegetable dish is Bombay Aloo?! With a side of naan and rice.
    Eating out for me has never been an issue I can figure out what I want and can have. It's the ILs that need sorting out with their pickiness. lol
    I don't think the vegetarian issue will ever resolve, that's been going on for 18 years without the DM issue too. I said I didn't want any beef one time, just the one time, and before you could blink the message was around the family that I'm a vegetarian and don't do meat and need special gravy etc.... I've given up with that argument.
     
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