Happy Birthday, Mom

      26 Comments on Happy Birthday, Mom

My mom made her first visit to our new home in Tennessee this week.  When I told the girls she was coming down, they bounced around the house on what appeared to be invisible pogo sticks, yelling “Grandma is coming!  Grandma is coming!”  My five-year-old also offered this observation:  “I know who she is!  She’s the lady with the wrinkles and the sweet voice!”

The lady with the wrinkles and the sweet voice turned 74 yesterday.  In my humble but biased opinion, she looks great for her age.  I’m sure some of that is due to her sense of humor and her natural optimism, which she’s maintained despite years of dealing with my dad’s Alzheimer’s. 

While witnessing his decline, she’s managed to improve her own health recently.  Her fasting glucose began creeping up towards the diabetic level during the past year, so of course her doctor sent her to a nutritionist, who of course preached the wonders of a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.  So of course, I told her to ignore everything the nutritionist said.  She did.

She finally read The 6-Week Cure for the Middle Aged Middle a month ago and was inspired to switch to a low-carb diet.  (Now, you might think watching Fat Head would’ve served as inspiration, but what can I say … Drs. Eades & Eades are more convincing than I am.)  She’s lost eight pounds, which is an accomplishment for a 5’2″ woman, but more importantly, she feels healthier and her blood pressure has dropped by 20 points. 

(My older brother also began reading the book while visiting Mom one afternoon and was similarly inspired.  He’s lost 13 pounds already and told her he hasn’t felt this energetic in years.)

Mom has always loved to cook — she’s very good at it — but thanks to some low-carb cookbooks, she’s learned that eating well doesn’t have to mean taste-bud deprivation.  To underscore the point, I spent Sunday afternoon making a huge pan of low-carb moussaka (you can find the recipe in the Carb Wars cookbook), which I served for dinner when my sister and my mom arrived later that evening.  Nobody missed the potatoes or fried batter that would be included a traditional moussaka recipe.  The stuff was delicious, if I do say so myself.

Mom told me yesterday she hopes she’s around to see what my girls are like in their twenties.  I believe she’ll be here, especially now that she’s bringing her blood pressure and blood sugar under control.  Genetics are certainly on her side.  Her grandmother lived to be 96.  Her mother is still alive at 93 — which, now that I think about it, may prove that optimism is overrated.  For the 51 years I’ve been alive, my grandma has been complaining about her health, imagining non-existent ailments, and predicting her own demise. 

Or she may just be a late-life optimist.  My grandma currently lives in a facility near my mom’s sister, who is only 65.  Mom and her sister floated the idea recently of moving grandma to the same facility where my dad now lives.  Grandma thought about it, then said to my aunt, “But Shirley is nine years older than you are.  If I move over by her and she dies before you, who’s going to look after me?”  When you’re worried about the consequences of outliving your senior-citizen children, I guess that’s a form of optimism.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  Here’s to 25 more.

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26 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Mom

  1. chuck

    Great to hear that about your family. It is nice that they have seen the light. I wonder if you are as frustrated as I am that they either totally ignored your success or totally dismissed it. I have to admit that I am frustrated as hell that the people close to me refuse to recognize and reproduce the success of low carb/paleo. What does it take? Hell, you did an extremely compelling and entertaining movie about the science and real world results of it and they just now get around to trying it after reading a book.

    Sorry for a negatively toned comment to a positive post but I am baffled as to why intelligent people keep banging their heads against the proverbial wall.

    Well, I talked them into giving up statins, so I don’t feel dismissed. But yes, some folks need to hear it from a doctor.

    Reply
  2. Your older brother

    Hey, Grammer Grump:

    Shouldn’t it be lower case if you’re describing a relationship…

    …dealing with my dad’s Alzheimer’s.
    — or —

    upper case if you’re using it in place of a name…

    …dealing with Dad’s Alzheimer’s.

    Cheers!

    You are correct. Off to fix it.

    I presume calling me a Grammer Grump instead of a Grammar Grump was a form of sarcasm …

    Reply
  3. chuck

    Great to hear that about your family. It is nice that they have seen the light. I wonder if you are as frustrated as I am that they either totally ignored your success or totally dismissed it. I have to admit that I am frustrated as hell that the people close to me refuse to recognize and reproduce the success of low carb/paleo. What does it take? Hell, you did an extremely compelling and entertaining movie about the science and real world results of it and they just now get around to trying it after reading a book.

    Sorry for a negatively toned comment to a positive post but I am baffled as to why intelligent people keep banging their heads against the proverbial wall.

    Well, I talked them into giving up statins, so I don’t feel dismissed. But yes, some folks need to hear it from a doctor.

    Reply
  4. Your older brother

    Hey, Grammer Grump:

    Shouldn’t it be lower case if you’re describing a relationship…

    …dealing with my dad’s Alzheimer’s.
    — or —

    upper case if you’re using it in place of a name…

    …dealing with Dad’s Alzheimer’s.

    Cheers!

    You are correct. Off to fix it.

    I presume calling me a Grammer Grump instead of a Grammar Grump was a form of sarcasm …

    Reply
  5. monasmee

    Happy Birthday MomNaughton and many more!

    Her natural humor in the film helps make Fat Head a rousing success.

    Reply
  6. Amy Dungan

    Happy Birthday to your Mom! Glad to hear she’s improving her health. Just shows it’s never to late to take care of yourself. My in-laws know all about low-carb from the years I’ve preached it, they’ve even tried it and were very successful several years ago, but they aren’t doing it now. And when they start complaining about their health or their weight, all I can do is say “you know what to do about it.” Then they’ll hear some “Dr.” on the radio or read an article and get all excited about something I’ve already told them a million times already. LOL

    If it weren’t illegal, I suppose I’d be a lot more convincing if I put an MD after my name.

    Reply
  7. Ramona Denton

    I have a similar experience… I told my sister about gluten grains for a long time, and she sometimes said she agreed with me (intellectually, I suppose), but kept eating bread daily. She stopped eating gluten grains after Mary Vernon and the other 2010 Low Carb Cruisers said what I’ve been saying for months or years. GLUTEN BAD…

    Some folks just have it to hear from a doctor. The shame of it is, most doctors don’t know diddly about nutrition … Eades, Vernon, Sears, Voleck, etc., all being very notable exceptions.

    Reply
  8. monasmee

    Happy Birthday MomNaughton and many more!

    Her natural humor in the film helps make Fat Head a rousing success.

    Reply
  9. Amy Dungan

    Happy Birthday to your Mom! Glad to hear she’s improving her health. Just shows it’s never to late to take care of yourself. My in-laws know all about low-carb from the years I’ve preached it, they’ve even tried it and were very successful several years ago, but they aren’t doing it now. And when they start complaining about their health or their weight, all I can do is say “you know what to do about it.” Then they’ll hear some “Dr.” on the radio or read an article and get all excited about something I’ve already told them a million times already. LOL

    If it weren’t illegal, I suppose I’d be a lot more convincing if I put an MD after my name.

    Reply
  10. Ramona Denton

    I have a similar experience… I told my sister about gluten grains for a long time, and she sometimes said she agreed with me (intellectually, I suppose), but kept eating bread daily. She stopped eating gluten grains after Mary Vernon and the other 2010 Low Carb Cruisers said what I’ve been saying for months or years. GLUTEN BAD…

    Some folks just have it to hear from a doctor. The shame of it is, most doctors don’t know diddly about nutrition … Eades, Vernon, Sears, Voleck, etc., all being very notable exceptions.

    Reply
  11. Trish

    There’s potatoes and batter in traditional moussaka? Granted, I haven’t had it in eons but I remember ground beef, eggplant, tomato sauce, bechamel and a little bit of cinnamon. Maybe my mom made it differently.

    And happy b-day to your mom! It’s never too late to make a change.

    Traditional moussaka has potato layers in addition to eggplant layers, and the eggplant layers are fried in batter first.

    Reply
  12. Trish

    There’s potatoes and batter in traditional moussaka? Granted, I haven’t had it in eons but I remember ground beef, eggplant, tomato sauce, bechamel and a little bit of cinnamon. Maybe my mom made it differently.

    And happy b-day to your mom! It’s never too late to make a change.

    Traditional moussaka has potato layers in addition to eggplant layers, and the eggplant layers are fried in batter first.

    Reply
  13. Sarah

    Happy Birthday Mrs. Naughton, you sure did raise one fathead son.

    And now my goal is turn her into a fathead mom.

    Reply
  14. Sarah

    Happy Birthday Mrs. Naughton, you sure did raise one fathead son.

    And now my goal is turn her into a fathead mom.

    Reply
  15. anand srivastava

    Happy birthday to your mom.

    Does your father have dental implants?

    I am reading about Mercury causing Alzheimer’s, it is horrifying. I have one, and I should get it out I guess.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller14.htm

    I don’t believe he does. My mercury fillings were replaced some years ago, mostly for cosmetic reasons, but I’m glad they’re gone.

    Reply
  16. anand srivastava

    Happy birthday to your mom.

    Does your father have dental implants?

    I am reading about Mercury causing Alzheimer’s, it is horrifying. I have one, and I should get it out I guess.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller14.htm

    I don’t believe he does. My mercury fillings were replaced some years ago, mostly for cosmetic reasons, but I’m glad they’re gone.

    Reply
  17. Auntie M

    Happy Birthday to your mom! Good job getting her on the healthy track. I’m trying to convince MY mother to quit her statin, but her response has been, “Well I’ll check with my doctor.” I’m linking some of your articles to her, and I gave her a copy of Fat Head to watch. Hopefully it will make a difference. In the meantime, I’ve got to check out that moussaka recipe!

    Reply
  18. Auntie M

    Happy Birthday to your mom! Good job getting her on the healthy track. I’m trying to convince MY mother to quit her statin, but her response has been, “Well I’ll check with my doctor.” I’m linking some of your articles to her, and I gave her a copy of Fat Head to watch. Hopefully it will make a difference. In the meantime, I’ve got to check out that moussaka recipe!

    Reply

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