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Old 08-12-2019, 12:57 PM
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Food affecting your health


How much does diet affect your health? My ex eats only omelet sandwich for breakfast (with mayo), grilled cheese for lunch, and either grilled cheese or chicken sandwich with mayo for supper. that's IT.
He is on a bit of prescriptions, one for cholesterol (he had a stroke last Nov).
Hes 5'7" and 180. When I met him, he was 130.
Would just like your informed opinions.
Myself, I have yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, broccoli, spaghetti and meatballs.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:05 PM
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I'm pretty sure you know the answer.

Based on his diet I'd say he's anesthetizing himself with food, like a drinker or drug addict. All the stuff he eats I would expect to make him dopey and sleepy much of the time. So I suggest therapy to find out what he is hiding from. This is my unsolicited armchair (well, task chair) diagnosis, informed by a lifetime of overeating experience.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:17 PM
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he used to be an addict, and only started ballooning when he got on his proper meds instead of illegal ones.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:59 PM
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It does sound like he may have switched his addiction from illegal substances to food. As Roderick Femm suggests, it would probably be worthwhile for him to seek therapy to deal with the underlying issues, or raise them with whoever is supporting him in overcoming his previous addictions.

Addiction issues aside, the diet you described is closely linked to your ex's health problems.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:00 PM
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The only healthy thing he's eating is, possibly, the chicken. And I'm guessing that in addition to the cholesterol, he's probably consuming quite a lot of sodium.

Last edited by panache45; 08-12-2019 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
I'm pretty sure you know the answer.

Based on his diet I'd say he's anesthetizing himself with food, like a drinker or drug addict. All the stuff he eats I would expect to make him dopey and sleepy much of the time. So I suggest therapy to find out what he is hiding from. This is my unsolicited armchair (well, task chair) diagnosis, informed by a lifetime of overeating experience.
That seems like a leap. Personally, I don't eat well, I've never eaten well, but I'm most certainly not hiding from anything and/or attempting to stay sleepy. I'm just a picky eater, I know what I like and I tend to stick to it.


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Originally Posted by SpoilerVirgin View Post
It does sound like he may have switched his addiction from illegal substances to food. As Roderick Femm suggests, it would probably be worthwhile for him to seek therapy to deal with the underlying issues, or raise them with whoever is supporting him in overcoming his previous addictions.

Addiction issues aside, the diet you described is closely linked to your ex's health problems.
Do you know something I don't? I didn't see anything in the OP about substance abuse/addiction.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:38 PM
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Diet (and exercise) affects your health, but the true root cause of death is aging.

Healthy diet adds something like 2-5 years to life expectancy.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:39 PM
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Do you know something I don't? I didn't see anything in the OP about substance abuse/addiction.
Third post, she said he used to be an addict.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:50 PM
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What was he addicted to? I'm not convinced he's addicted to food per se, but the problems he has may be making it harder for him to make good food choices.

Or he may just not be interested in/up to eating healthily because of mental health problems.

There's certainly plenty of research that says in general, that eating lots of fruits and veggies and a variety of food reduces your chances of having cardio-vascular disease, cancer, and similar issues.

However, I'm sure he's gotten these messages from his healthcare providers. Do you think we will be able to provide some sort of information that would convince him to improve his diet when they haven't been able to?

Last edited by Zyada; 08-12-2019 at 03:51 PM. Reason: ninja'ed
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:51 PM
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Third post, she said he used to be an addict.
Ahh, see that now.
In that case, I'd ask what drugs he was on while he was an addict. If he was doing cocaine or meth (or even way too much adderall/ritalin etc) for years, then it's more likely to be getting clean than bad eating driving up his weight. And even then, it's not so much that the bad diet is causing him to put on weight as the drug use was keeping his weight down. Uppers give you a lot of energy and ruin your appetite.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:55 PM
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Has he discussed his food choices with his doctor? It certainly doesn't sound like he's eating "heart healthy" foods, but maybe it's worth it to him anyway.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:06 PM
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That diet looks seriously vitamin-deficient to me.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:13 PM
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If his medication is for schizophrenia, then it's perfectly typical for him to pack on weight.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:12 PM
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If his medication is for schizophrenia, then it's perfectly typical for him to pack on weight.
But antipsychotics make you gain weight because they increase appetite. How many omelet sandwiches, grilled cheese and chicken sandwiches is he eating a day?
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:53 PM
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That diet looks seriously vitamin-deficient to me.
Yeah, that occurred to me, too. I don't see any mention of fruits or vegetables.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:16 PM
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I'm t1 diabetic. You bet my diet effects my health. If he keeps this up he's heading toward t2 diabetes.
OTOH, I get on food fetishes. My diet is quite restrictive. When I find something I like and I can have I go into full on craving mode. I eat properly 95% of the time. But I will get my desired food(corndogs, baby!) anytime I can. I'm scrawney so I can handle fattening stuff as long as my carbs and sugars are ok.

ETA, I'm not a health care provider or any kinda of medical person. This my opinion only.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 08-12-2019 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:19 PM
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That diet looks seriously vitamin-deficient to me.
And fiber-deficient.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SuntanLotion View Post
How much does diet affect your health? My ex eats only omelet sandwich for breakfast (with mayo), grilled cheese for lunch, and either grilled cheese or chicken sandwich with mayo for supper. that's IT.
He is on a bit of prescriptions, one for cholesterol (he had a stroke last Nov).
Hes 5'7" and 180. When I met him, he was 130.
Would just like your informed opinions.
Myself, I have yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, broccoli, spaghetti and meatballs.
Diet affects health. Everyone should go to the doctor to discuss their diet and get their blood checked. Many people with healthy diets still have deficiencies and will be surprised at what is found. For instance, I found out I have a B12 deficiency; the doctor wanted me to get injections, but it turns out I just need to swallow large B12 pills.

Unfortunately the discourse around health is confusing and often aggressive. For instance, eggs are protein-packed. But they contain cholesterol. They're healthy. They're deadly. No, they're healthy. No, a new study says they will kill you. Cholesterol isn't deadly. Yes it is... ... RAGEQUIT!

I looked up which foods provide complete protein on Wikipedia last week, and was surprised to see that beef does not provide complete protein! (It's missing one amino acid, which cattle don't use but humans do.) Everyone should eat a variety of foods, and it seems OP's ex is not doing that.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:44 AM
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Unfortunately the discourse around health is confusing and often aggressive. For instance, eggs are protein-packed. But they contain cholesterol. They're healthy. They're deadly. No, they're healthy. No, a new study says they will kill you. Cholesterol isn't deadly. Yes it is... ... RAGEQUIT!
Time Travel Dietician
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:02 AM
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Diet (and exercise) affects your health, but the true root cause of death is aging.

Healthy diet adds something like 2-5 years to life expectancy.
This guy has already had a stroke. A high cholesterol diet - for example, too much cheese - could literally kill him.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:34 AM
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How fiber-deficient it is will depend on what kind of bread he's using for those sandwiches. Though I've a hunch that it's probably Wonder Bread or the equivalent, in which case, yeah, basically no fiber.
Quote:
Quoth Kimera757:

I looked up which foods provide complete protein on Wikipedia last week, and was surprised to see that beef does not provide complete protein! (It's missing one amino acid, which cattle don't use but humans do.) Everyone should eat a variety of foods, and it seems OP's ex is not doing that.
That sounds like Wiki vandalism by an ideological vegetarian. I can't find any reference that says that beef is not a complete protein, and plenty that say that it is. The closest I can find to what you're saying is one study on amino acids in beef that says that their methods didn't look for cystine.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:10 AM
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He used to be on crack. Before his stroke, he only ate Egg McMuffins and KFC sandwiches.
Hes in rehab right now since he fell last week and they are trying to help him walk better. A dietician came yesterday while I was visiting, and I told her all he ate (plus the coffee all day and night), she didn't seem concerned.
Yes, its white bread, pepper jack cheese.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:46 AM
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But antipsychotics make you gain weight because they increase appetite. How many omelet sandwiches, grilled cheese and chicken sandwiches is he eating a day?
It was one (sometimes 2) fried egg sandwiches for breakfast, 2 grilled cheese for lunch and 2 sandwiches for supper.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:50 AM
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A dietician came yesterday while I was visiting, and I told her all he ate (plus the coffee all day and night), she didn't seem concerned.
Well of course she wasn't concerned—it wasn't her health he was affecting by what he ate. (Meaning, does he care about his health?)
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:51 AM
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He claims he doesn't like vegetables.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:37 AM
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He claims he doesn't like vegetables.
How about fruit? That would add some fiber and vitamins.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:04 PM
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When depressed, people tend to eat lots of carbs, which can have a calming effect. I'm guilty. Your ex seems to be doing this. He needs to discover poke bowls and the like.

Suntan, question for you? Is this all he can afford to eat? Bread, eggs, and processed cheese are fairly cheap. Veggies tend to cost more unless he grows them. Or is it possible this is simply what he knows how to make? Are their any good cooking classes in the community that can teach him how to add a little variety, such as chicken soup and hot dish (casseroles)? Those are both ways of sneaking in some veggies because they are part of the flavor of the dishes.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:15 PM
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How fiber-deficient it is will depend on what kind of bread he's using for those sandwiches. Though I've a hunch that it's probably Wonder Bread or the equivalent, in which case, yeah, basically no fiber.

That sounds like Wiki vandalism by an ideological vegetarian. I can't find any reference that says that beef is not a complete protein, and plenty that say that it is. The closest I can find to what you're saying is one study on amino acids in beef that says that their methods didn't look for cystine.
My go-to for information about nutrition is nutritiondata.com, which pulls data straight from the government and prettifies it.


And yes, beef has all the essential amino acids, and all but one of the non-essential amino acids - maybe that's what wiki was thinking but the one it's missing is one our body can make.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:54 PM
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When depressed, people tend to eat lots of carbs, which can have a calming effect. I'm guilty. Your ex seems to be doing this. He needs to discover poke bowls and the like.

Suntan, question for you? Is this all he can afford to eat? Bread, eggs, and processed cheese are fairly cheap. Veggies tend to cost more unless he grows them. Or is it possible this is simply what he knows how to make? Are their any good cooking classes in the community that can teach him how to add a little variety, such as chicken soup and hot dish (casseroles)? Those are both ways of sneaking in some veggies because they are part of the flavor of the dishes.
He gets food stamps now, he decides to buy this because he prefers to eat it. Hes not able to stand for long enough to cook for himself so I do it.
Yes, I would like to sneak in vegetables, didn't Jerry Seinfelds wife write a book about that?
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:07 PM
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He claims he doesn't like vegetables.
I don't really like vegetables. But... it turns out that I like some vegetables some of the time.

If you are cooking for him, you could try introducing a couple of fruits and veggies around the margins. Grilled cheese is really good with a slice of tomato. A roast sweet potato is dead easy to make, and is sort of comforting to eat. I literally put the whole yam in the oven on an easy-to-clean surface (or a disposable one) and just leave it there until is is soft all through. Then I peel it and eat it with a fork and knife.

Many vegetables are tasty when they've been sauted or grilled, and slightly charred.

If you eat with him, you could treat him like a child, and cook enough to share. You eat your share and encourage him to just taste it. I think common wisdom is that most people are shy of unfamiliar flavors, but will learn to like new foods if they taste them 7 times (or some such number.)

His diet isn't great, but honestly, it sounds like it may be low on the list of stuff he needs to deal with. Moving gently towards a better diet in baby steps might be the best option.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:33 PM
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Yeah, that occurred to me, too. I don't see any mention of fruits or vegetables.
A lot depends on what is in the breakfast omelet - some are loaded with vegees, some have none. It would not surprise me if he comes down on the "none" side, but you don't know until you ask.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:59 PM
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He gets food stamps now, he decides to buy this because he prefers to eat it. Hes not able to stand for long enough to cook for himself so I do it.
Yes, I would like to sneak in vegetables, didn't Jerry Seinfelds wife write a book about that?
So.... in part his diet is crap because it was crap during his active addiction.

In part his diet is crap because he's recovering from both addiction and a stroke.

Wow, you know, his diet may be the least of his problems in one sense, although eating better would probably help him a great deal.

I have a few notions to throw out since you seem to be volunteering to help him (which is good of you, really, because not everyone would do that for an ex). You'll want to introduce this stuff very slowly, not just because he's not used to it, but also because his system needs time to adjust to additional fiber and what not.

I'm assuming most of what he's eating comes in a box and gets reheated in the microwave, but if not, let me know.

As I mentioned, omelets can contain vegetables. Get a bag of frozen, diced vegetables of some sort - ask if him there is anything he likes. If he's already eating pepperjack cheese he might like a "southwest" mix of bell pepper and onion. Start with adding a few dribbles of the vegees, think "garnish" to start. This works best if you're making the omelet/scrambled eggs from scratch but it can be rolled up in/on top of microwave items. If you can get him to eat the "wrap" version of omelets/eggs sandwiches you can sneak them in, too.

As others have mentioned, a slice of tomato on a grilled cheese might work. Or you could offer a slice of tomato or orange with the breakfast.

The dinner sandwich has possibilities, too, starting with lettuce. At this point any lettuce would be a plus, even iceberg, but if you can get him to eat something like red romaine or red leaf lettuce that would pack a bigger nutrient punch. You can add thin slices of, again, tomato but also cucumber, zucchini, carrot shreds, spinach, etc. DON'T pile all that on at once. Start with lettuce then add another item. Do lettuce+1 one day then lettuce+a different one the next.

Food stamps does complicate this, but if you can get him to make his own breakfast (or if you're taking that on anyway - not sure how involved you intend to be, or should be here) then raw eggs are cheap. cheaper than pre-made stuff. Ditto making the grilled cheese instead of buying it pre-made. That should leave enough for a bag of frozen vegees (just one to start - you don't want to scare him off!) that he won't have to eat all of in a hurry, they'll keep in the freezer. Add a tomato and lettuce.

Is that great nutrition? No, not really - the important things is that it is an improvement. This might also be a case where a multi-vitamin makes sense, as he's probably deficient, but that might be something to discuss with a dietitian or doctor.

If you could get him to start eating potatoes or sweet potatoes that would be a major plus. I do my "baked" potatoes in the microwave these days - 1 large potato, stab a couple times with a fork, nuke on high for 8-10 minutes, let it sit for another 10 minutes, then eat. He might be more comfortable doing them in the microwave than in the oven. There are a lot of toppings you can put on those, too - his pepperjack cheese, for example, and maybe some diced bell pepper and onion...? Or serve with a tomato slice.

(I'm assuming he likes tomatoes. If he doesn't then, of course, ignore that bit.)
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:46 PM
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When depressed, people tend to eat lots of carbs, which can have a calming effect. I'm guilty. Your ex seems to be doing this. He needs to discover poke bowls and the like.

Suntan, question for you? Is this all he can afford to eat? Bread, eggs, and processed cheese are fairly cheap. Veggies tend to cost more unless he grows them. Or is it possible this is simply what he knows how to make? Are their any good cooking classes in the community that can teach him how to add a little variety, such as chicken soup and hot dish (casseroles)? Those are both ways of sneaking in some veggies because they are part of the flavor of the dishes.
This is exactly what I was thinking, plus he may just plain old be a picky eater.

How long did it take for him to gain those 50 pounds? 130 pounds on a 5'7" man is borderline underweight, and 180 pounds is not obese, unless he's not getting regular exercise. And you mentioned that he drinks a lot of coffee; how much is "a lot"? Too much caffeine can cause the same heart problems that crack does.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:49 PM
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If his medication is for schizophrenia, then it's perfectly typical for him to pack on weight.
Bipolar meds are also notorious for this, with Zyprexa (olanzapine) being the worst culprit.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:06 AM
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The meals themselves would bore the hell out of me, but merely eating those meals wouldn't raise his weight: he's eating a lot of those things. Does he actually enjoy the food, or merely stuff it in?
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:05 AM
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I think his P.C doctor could refer him to a nutritionist or dietician. They could maybe help him to take charge of his diet and change some things.
Good luck, it sounds like he's had a tough go.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:31 AM
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The omelets are homemade, with peperr jack cheese in them. Yes, hes on anti anxiety meds.
He only started gaining weight after he got off of his drugs, and got on prescribed medications.
At home, he had three 24 ounce coffees a day, at the rehab, hes requesting a pitcher in his room and it looks like hes having more than that, even at night.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:37 AM
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We used to live together, it didn't work out, I now live pretty much across the street, he thinks he shouldn't have to compensate me for all this cooking etc, but he at least says if I need something, he would buy it.
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:21 PM
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Diet (and exercise) affects your health, but the true root cause of death is aging.

Healthy diet adds something like 2-5 years to life expectancy.
All true, but there's quality of life, too, and diet and exercise have a big effect there. People who are too weak and sick to do much anything are kept alive for years these days.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:40 PM
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Dang, that's alot of coffee.
ETA, i bet he'd eat less if you didn't cook it. You know a 'tough love' type thing.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 08-15-2019 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:18 PM
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Are you doing the cooking for him? Can you sneak some veggies into his food? Like a little onion and/or tomato into the omelet?
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:47 AM
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Diet (and exercise) affects your health, but the true root cause of death is aging.

Healthy diet adds something like 2-5 years to life expectancy.
2-5 years? Pfft. Not worth it.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:51 AM
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Are you doing the cooking for him? Can you sneak some veggies into his food? Like a little onion and/or tomato into the omelet?
Yes, thanks to this thread, I suggested he might want onion and peppers in his omelet and he agreed.
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:54 PM
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That's a really good start. If you can get him used to that, it's a victory! Wait until that becomes a habit then try another small step.
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:57 PM
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Woohoo!
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