My Dad — A Peatarian Avant La Lettre

Discussion in 'Logs' started by Isadora, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Isadora

    Isadora Member

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    I want to tell you how my father, who is 90 years old, is handling his food intake.

    I used to think he was insane, although his perfect labs were silently questioning my “diagnosis” of his mental prowess. I put those on sheer luck and astounding genes which I secretly hoped would protect me from harm's way, too. You see, with his living example in front of my eyes, I was way too permeated by the “common wisdom” to recognize that, in fact, he was doing the right thing. I didn’t have the courage to contradict all those experts in nutrition and all the food pyramids the “authorities” were throwing at us!

    And that is also why when I first read about Ray Peat’s protocol, I instantly clicked and it all fell into place for me!

    Because, my friends, that’s pretty much how my Dad is eating.

    You see, as a WW2 veteran, wounded on the Russian front, he is a survivor. And so is his brother, now 92.

    I am 45 and already cannot possibly hope to live his long healthy life. Not even my mother’s, who died two years ago, at 81 - but whose health was not as great as his, as she battled high blood pressure and a form of diabetes in her final years. But her food intake habits differed from my father's, who was a lot more careful with the quantity of what he ate. My Mom gained weight after giving birth and never managed to lose it... On the contrary, as years went by, she put on more and more...

    My parents didn’t have it easy. Theoretically, their circumstances were a hell of a lot worse than mine. Romanian communism in the early 80's meant things like waking up at 4:00 AM in order to stand in line to have a chance at buying the rationed milk -- we had 4 quarts allotted to our family. But they did it. There was never a day without milk at our house -- as that was inconceivable, you see...

    Still?.. How come they raised five kids and lived to be so old, and I was infertile (without a clear diagnosis, nothing was technically wrong, but I could not conceive) and I have so many autoimmune ailments at such an early age?

    It is, of course, the environment, stupid! Including the cultural environment.



    Three years ago, my parents came over for a two months stay in France.

    I was running around chez les traiteurs, bringing them the best I could find in terms of food. Or what I thought was best.

    They were polite for a couple of days.

    Then my Dad couldn’t take it anymore.

    “What is this?”

    In his plate, a fancy sauce with pieces of chicken and pasta and precious mushrooms — un vrai delice, I tried to "educate" him.

    “This is not food!”

    I assured him it was, and it came from a wonderful chef everyone appreciated, and it was fully nutritious and controlled and…

    He wanted to hear none of that.

    “Your mother takes a whole chicken, a beautiful chicken, and she boils it and she puts it in the oven with potatoes and she makes broth and nice roasts.”

    Of course I knew that, I had been raised on her wonderful broths. I don’t think there was a day in our lives, growing up, when we didn’t have broth. Romania is a country of broth addicts and its entire cuisine is pretty basic. Also, widely seen as “unhealthy” in this day and age and people over there are trying hard to avoid living like their parents.

    So, for the next couple of weeks, I kept the stove on, rather amused at this turn of events, boiling meat and bones and feeding my parents the "primitive" way they were used to eat.

    I should also mention that none of the food raised to my Dad’s standards, even when I cooked it exactly like Mom. You see, meat didn’t taste right, and milk didn’t taste right, and cheese wasn’t OK either. My Dad’s palate would not be fooled. The final days he ate mostly rice and milk, too upset at the low standard of living one can have over here. And I kid you not, everything was top quality, organic.

    I was amazed at the amount of sweets my Dad would gobble. And sweet drinks. He doesn’t do orange juice, he does Fanta. And lots and lots of milk. Sugary milk. A bit of chocolate. Liver pate. Eggs. The daily broth with meat in it. Some roasted meat, some potatoes. He loves rice and milk. And, well, that’s about it. He will have a shot of liquor with his lunch. His favorite is Baileys Irish Cream, it figures…

    Upon examining him, a wide smile came upon my French doctor’s face.

    “We should ask him how he does it, we have a centenarian before our eyes!”

    So when I read Ray Peat, I understood that my father’s instincts had been spot on, all along. And that one should listen to one’s parents.

    Or, at least, I should have.
     
  2. j.

    j. Guest

    Yeah, SOME people should listen to their parents. There are plenty of parents who from a young age inculcate in their children the belief that sugar is evil.
     
  3. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    Isadora, that was a fantastic read! Thank you so much for sharing!
     
  4. coffeerc

    coffeerc Member

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    Isadora, what a beautiful post! I too had the AHA moment when I started to read RP, when AHA moments occur to me I recognize it as t
     
  5. coffeerc

    coffeerc Member

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    sorry computor glitch - I recognize those moments as eternal truths, a warm fuzzy feeling, my thyroid feels happy and my body relaxes!

    Organic is the answer but true organic is HARD to find. Small organic farmers are battling big food!

    Since finding RP I have been comparing the differences in food quality, I went to costco sunday and felt like weeping at all the trash food there. But will persevere in seaching for real food! Again Thanx for the great post
     
  6. OP
    Isadora

    Isadora Member

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    You guys are too kind -- I tend to overwrite, it's hard for me to keep posts short...

    Yes, coffeerc, true organic and good quality food is way too hard to find... At least you have the "grassfed" label in the States for meat -- here, in France, we don't even have that! I visited a farmer and I saw how he raised his cows. Of course they never went on a pasture! It was too easy to keep them inside and feed them grains. So when we get organic meat here, it's from cows that ate... organic grains, but they may have never seen the light of day! I find that infuriating. As to the veggies -- no wonder my Dad didn't like them, even I don't like them. They have nothing to do with what I was used to, growing up. And in a country like Romania, they still have many things right -- but that's disappearing, "progress"-ively... Farmers over there discover how easy it is to add hormones and chemicals and the taste of veggies has gone way down in the last couple of years. But at least their cows are still out in the fields, they find it is cheaper that way. For how long?
     
  7. Dean

    Dean Member

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    What a great post...welcome. I have the same problem with overwriting, but you had a great story to tell.

    My grandmother, of German descent, lived into her 90's and was very active physically and mentally until the last year or two. I never saw a green vegetable pass her lips. She always ate the fat on her meat and often she'd eat the fat off the grandkids plates after a meal. When she was younger and kept enormous gardens, she used to grow all different kinds of grapes, especially.

    Being the silly kid I was I'd never eat them because they had seeds. And being the silly adult that I was I more than once suggested to her that the lack of vegetables in her diet were the cause of the constipation problems she had in her last 20 or more years. I don't remember her ever drinking milk though and she wasn't on the gluten-free bandwagon...and, to be honest, if she was still around to make her schmaltzy chicken egg noodles, I'd have major problems staying on that bandwagon too.
     
  8. gretchen

    gretchen Member

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    Great story. I wish my dad would go Peat. He has used Metamucil for as long as I can remember and hopped on the exercise bandwagon in the 80s. I'm not sure I've ever seen him eat sugar or any sort of dessert. My mother is similar.
     
  9. OP
    Isadora

    Isadora Member

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    Thanks, Dean and Gretchen!

    My father has no gluten issues. He does eat some white bread and he enjoys biscuits and cakes. No vegetables, like your Grandma, Dean... Except for those that go into the broth making or the sauces, etc. Fruits are also totally devoid of interest to him in their regular form -- he only eats them as jams or liquor ingredients. He is very nimble and has great flexibility, but was never an active guy. No rheumatic pain, sleeps like a baby, takes no medication -- except for the multivitamins I send him. He actually likes medication (!), he is a hypochondriac. Whenever something is "off", he runs to a nice pharmacist in town who would break the law and give him what he asks without a prescription: Ampicillin, his cure-all. But most of the time he doesn't need anything, so he is very religious about the vitamins he is "entitled" to. He has been complaining recently about one side of his body getting colder than the other and some hot flashes. I am thinking this might be his thyroid, I am going to have him do a check-up -- but I wonder if hormones would be advisable at his age?.. He'd be thrilled to have some extra daily meds, otherwise! :)))
     
  10. chris

    chris Member

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    Thanks for sharing Isadora, a good story. I hope I can reach that age one day. :)
     
  11. OP
    Isadora

    Isadora Member

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    I hope you will, too! :) You seem on the right track and you started what I hope is doing it right early enough, so why not?

    I hope my Dad will live longer than his mother, who died at 105. She was fully functional, but she got bored with living. So, maybe something in her head wasn't quite right, or... who am I to judge, eh? She stopped eating and drinking water and let herself die of her free and (overly strong) will.

    And I can't even decide if that's a sad or a happy ending...

    But, honestly, looking at all her grandsons and granddaughters and even grand-grand-sons, etc. -- nobody seems in such an excellent shape. And it can't be all our fault, and our elders can't have been all that bright in their choices, compared to us. There must be environmental elements we cannot control at play, unfortunately...

    How much can we control, then? I think many answers are in Peat's writings and lifestyle.
     
  12. Beebop

    Beebop Member

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    Amazing story (both your father and your grandmother), it could be a film :)
     
  13. burtlancast

    burtlancast Member

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    The answers to your dad's good health lie in the findings of Max Gerson.

    Romanians, even during Ceausescu's reign, continued to eat exclusively the products of their gardens. Cows ate herb, not grains.

    So all the food was basically ancestral, not affected by modern manipulations, and the nutritious quality was high. This is why your father finds the food in France tasteless, compared to his country.

    It's when people start consumming processed foods, preserved, congelated, contaminated with pesticides, conservants,... and grown in an earth overcultivated and who lost it's minerals that deficiencies start to appear.

    If you're a medic, i warmly advise you to watch a few Max Gerson's doc freely on youtube, and read his books.

    Once you have assimilated his knowledge, wou'll regret having spent so many years in medic school to learn exclusively patented chemical drugs who cannot cure.
     
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