Follow
Share

OK... this may sound a bit superficial... BUT Before I brought Dad to live with me I did fitness competitions! I hiked, I lifted weights... I was in the gym at least 5 days a week. At first, I would try to prepare multiple meals but that got old very quickly. Once I put him in IL / AL I never really got back on track. Well, NO MORE. This leaves me in a slight pickle, however. Since Dad moved to my city, I started taking him to a local, greasy spoon diner. It just so happened to be my "cheat day" so I didn't think a pancake or two would hurt. Well, I don't know if it's dementia (routine) or Dad just likes the place, but I get up every Saturday morning and drag him to this diner. The thing is... it's a DINER. I have tried to find a healthy option or two on the menu, and no go (processed turkey sausage... egg white omelet drenched in butter...no oatmeal on the menu). Dad gets testy if I just have coffee (although I'd prefer my Starbucks to whatever weak concoction they are selling), and he eats better if I eat with him. The 25 pounds I've put on can't take the diner anymore, and honestly, I'm SICK of that food. I remember when I visited the diner when I did a cleanse last year, and the waitress rather rudely informed me that my green tea bag and green juice were NOT allowed, so I'm thinking it may not even be an option for me to bring my own food. I don't want to be rude to the staff, and I want Dad to be happy. Any suggestions on a happy medium?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
This was my dad and I for two years every weekend.
THE diner. He would have poached eggs (that took 30min because it was 'special' ) and a glass of red wine YUCK!
I could never figure out what to eat because it was all fattening and tasted the same. I would have my 'cheat' beer and....... gee I cannot remember what i had.....
he died a few months ago...i miss my friend and my weight didnt change so i guess the diner wasnt the reason.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Well, if you are regulars at this place and if you are diplomatic about it you can probably get the kitchen to accommodate you in time, especially if you come in when it isn't crowded. If this is a busy place items like the veggies may have been prepared in bulk in advance so asking for them to be made differently may be more of a problem than you might think, but an egg white omelette should be easy enough. Understand though that the yolk is half the egg, so you either need to be satisfied with less or pay for more, it's a diner, not a charity. As others have pointed out, one egg, (fried or not won't break your diet) and dry toast are the easiest option.
And yes, I cooked breakfast in a "diner" for years.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks for the input everyone. So, last week I tried to put some of the suggestions to use... AND

Dad would not even consider going somewhere else Narcissism + Dementia = choosing my battles so I continued to suck it up and off to the diner we went.

I scoured the menu for healthy options I may have missed. The verdict: They do not serve oatmeal (only greasy grits - which are AWESOME but not in line with my fitness goals). I asked for an egg white omelette with veggies cooked in light (preferably NO) butter and you should have seen the stares. In fact, it took the waitress two visits to the kitchen and a manager visiting the table to clarify what I meant. Even then I felt like the "food snob" AND they ended up charging me twice as much for all of the substitutions!

I get it. A DINER isn't really geared towards healthy foods, so me coming in there all high and mighty with my egg white and green tea preference doesn't go over well.

...and I'm not completely rigid. I do enjoy cheat meals. I would just rather forego greasy breakfast for a burger and a beer later that evening, and in my world, dessert is WORTH the wait.

Sometimes I am challenged by essentially leaving behind everything I had before taking care of Dad for the sake of his happiness (translation - avoiding his angry outbursts). I feel like I've lost enough of myself in this journey... I would like to at least keep breakfast.

Final decision: Forget about the slice of chocolate cheesecake I really want and spend MY cheat day calories on a meal I want...for Daddy :(
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

PCVS: I suggested McD's because she wanted oatmeal and they sell some really oatmeal there.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

McDonalds is not a healthy alternative to diner food. Is there perhaps a better diner you could try? Diners are not all created equal. In any case, choose a low carb alternative such as 3 egg omelet without potatoes and only one slice of toast if you must have some carbs.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Most of the diners we took dad too, and hubs still loves them,, offer some sort of fruit (as was said above).. I often get a scrambled egg and wheat toast. Or an english muffin?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Tell your father the "little white lie" story, e. g. "Dad, I can no longer afford the diner, so how about we go to McDonald's?" I know that they serve oatmeal and it's quite good. I always stop there when I have an early doctor appointment and don't have time at home to fix breakfast. I, too, would be angry if made me gain 25 pounds!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I would still take your dad to the diner; enjoy this time with him while you have it. Don't they have healthy choices on the menu?

Drink water and eat an apple before you go out; that will curb your appetite. Go for a brisk walk or work out after your meal. You have to burn more calories than you take in to lose weight.


Good Luck
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Some of us really can't skip meals either as a solution. That happens to be my most consistent migraine trigger - either being late for lunch or just eating way less than I am hungry for. I have to pick filling foods and not high calorie low-fiber or I'm in trouble.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

To the folks who say one bad meal a week is not going to wreck a diet...well, here
is the math - 500 extra calories x 7 meals = 1 pound. And high fat high sugar foods give you a "taste" for more. And some of those places do not even have skim milk, or they maybe have 2%. I would hope that maybe a talk with the management at Dad's favorite diner would let you sneak some of your own stuff in. Henry used to bring his own turkey sausage to a couple places that did not stock it so he could get a better breakfast and they would put it in a sandwich for him.

They say that one of the best ways to lose weight is to get all the higher-calorie temptation foods out of your house - and if you have ever been unable to do that because someone else in the house needs them, you know they are totally right! This is not easy to watch others to eat "regular" food while you try to eat what you really need to eat, and I think there really are better solutions than asking our poster to just suck it up or calling her selfish just for wanting some better ideas too!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

That's a great idea PhoenixDaughter, I never thought of that.
Good on You Girl.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I appreciate my contribution is going to be a bit late but then again a small lie won't kill you either. I would pop into this diner in advance and ask to speak to someone and explain that your 'doctor' has advised you against x y and z and that you need to eat a b and c and that you 'love' coming here because it settles your dad who has m n and o wrong with him. You appreciate they have a set menu but could they accommodate you for just one meal?

Honey rather than vinegar seems to work well when talking to people and it might just work. Failing that hunt out another diner that WILL accommodate you and take him there
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Tinyblu Your post is extremely well written. The most important thing here is to keep Your Dad happy. If You can't get porridge, try a cup of coffee and a pancake, and skip Your next meal, just drink lots of water instead. Don't worry too much about the weight gain as You will get back into shape again quick enough when You get back into training. That is the big killer of being a full time Carer since We never get time to go for a run or long walk. Enjoy the time You have with Your Dad Tinyblu, and make beautiful memories because it will all end much too soon. I did this when I was Caring for My Mom for three years and suddenly like a flash of lightening without warning Mother was gone to Heaven. Memories are all I am left with now, but It is soothing to My Soul and I feel fulfilled.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Tinyblu, one time I lived a couple of years in New Jersey and just loved the diners. See if the diner has cold cereal, maybe a small box of corn flakes wouldn't add a lot of calories. Or a small bran muffin. Let Dad enjoy that one special morning eating at the diner, it's like going to Disneyworld for him.

I use to be a gym rat, too.... but once I had to concentrate on helping my parents, after 7 years of not going to the gym I had gained 20 pounds. Lot of it was stress, too, as I wasn't eating anything more.... it was the lack of exercise, as one doesn't get much sitting in doctor waiting rooms every other week :P
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Eat the diner c**p for breakfast then skip your next meal and it should even out. You don't even need to eat everything you are served. They probably have diet soda to wash it all down.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Yes, it is rude to bring your own food into a restaurant. The exception might be a birthday cake, but I always call the restaurant before showing up with a cake (and of course we all order meals). They are in the business of selling food.

You've gotten some good advice already.

Yes, you want to give Dad a little happiness. He loves the diner. But might he love another place also? What if you each choose every other week. He might always choose the diner, but maybe he'd like one of your choices. Can he understand the concept of taking turns and is he in a frame of mind to want to please you, too? (I mean he's not narcissistic, is he?) It might please him to be able to do something to please you.

It must feel really, really awful to have gained 25 pounds after being trim and fit. Good for you for being so conscientious about getting fit again! Are you back at the gym 5 days a week? Taking care of your health is understandably important to you, and it is something we tend to let go of as caregivers. So, really, good for you! But as others have said, this is only one meal out of 21 in the week. Since their food doesn't really appeal to you, restraining yourself shouldn't be hard. A poached egg on toast. A banana and dry cereal with skim milk. A salad with dressing on the side. You can figure something out so you are eating with Dad but not the same food he is.

I wish you success in meeting your goal!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Take your father where he wants to go the one time per week. Eat OATMEAL. It's healthy (unless you smother it in sugar), it's good for your heart - throw a few blueberries on it for extra nutrition.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Good points from everyone, I especially like Katiekate's advice. Tiny can enjoy a healthy breakfast before picking up dad and then order something to keep him company without feeling the desire to eat unhealthy. And asking take home her "leftovers" for later should appease him so he doesn't get upset that she isn't cleaning her plate.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

When I was working in pre-sales support...I got taken to lunch with prospects every day. I used to claim my job was to eat lunch.

I learned the art of pushing food around so that no one really noticed I wasn't eating it. (Same with drinks). There are ways to do this and watch your own health too.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Eggs on toast sound good to me. And even if they do creep over the ideal calorie count, at least you're getting some real nutrition with it.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Whole wheat toast with the butter on the side? How about a poached egg? Most diners have cottage cheese and places that serve breakfast usually offer a fruit - like grapefruit. If you don't like the coffee is tea an option? However, I have to agree with JessieBelle - one high calorie and/or high fat meal a week is not responsible for weight gain.  In fact - a few years back I lost 60 pounds going the no carb route. I ate so many eggs cooked in butter, that I was practically growing feathers!
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Actually, I was thinking just what janerides was. It is just one meal out of a whole week. I guarantee that it will not make or break a person if they live healthy the other 6 2/3 days of the week. We do things like this for our parents because they enjoy it and it doesn't kill us.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Do you think that dad would mind going somewhere else? This may be his treat meal of the week, so, I'd try to find a place that he enjoys. You can try another place.

You can get a Egg White McMuffin at McDonalds that is 250 calories. Not the best choice, but, better than it sounds you're having at the diner. Wendy's has a breakfast menu too, but, even their oatmeal is higher in calories than the Egg While McMuffin. Of course, it's possible that one egg over easy with one piece of whole wheat toast plain, at the Diner, may have less than 250 calories.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

They don't want you to take up space and not order something, so order food and discretely supplement/replace it with your own healthier options. Yes, it is a waste of food and money, but it may be the price you have to pay to keep everyone happy.

And sorry I accidentally clicked the above post as helpful, it is anything but.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter