T Nation

Strangest Diet Restrictions Ever?


#1

I've got a family member that I've been trying to help out with dietary issues. His doctors are stumped and don't know what to do. Trying to get him to eat certain things is almost impossible.

He has OCD/OCPD (rare to have both?), allegedly has a "high functioning" form of autism. He's 6'2, over 230lbs, and hasn't consumed green vegetables in over a decade. He also refuses to eat nuts, fish, shellfish (he calls them seabugs) or meat directly off the bone. The nearest I can gather is that he has some sort of anxiety issue regarding certain foods, an "aversion" if you will. He's fine cutting out bad carbs and sugars, he doesn't eat out (though his diet is bleak, boring and repetitive from what I've seen) but we're still concerned for his health.

I've been living with him for about 11 months now after a brief time in jail. I work out regularly Mon/Wed/Fri and have found that if I let him work out with me exercising seems to help calm him down and get him "centered". His anxiety decreases, he takes an active interest in it and he says more than one word every hour (he doesn't get super talkative, but progress is progress I suppose). The only thing I can't get him to do is eat vegetables. Fish I can understand , i hate it too, nuts...whatever. But there has to be a way to introduce vegetables into his diet right? I figured I'd come to the experts and ask.

According to his parents it doesn't matter if it's ground up, how it's prepared, whether it's cooked or raw. If you even tell him that there are vegetables in something he's eaten he'll have a panic attack and start vomiting. I took him with me to a friends house and they had purchased a papa murphy's pizza and it had some tomatoes and onions etc on it. Even AFTER they were picked off (before being cooked) he paced around nervously for a half hour before agreeing to eat any of it.

I don't know if it's worth it to try to help him, he exercises, I've convinced him to either completely eliminate or severely reduce HFCS, he's completely eliminated caffeine, very little sugar in his diet. He eats lean beef, chicken, and pork, but in all my life I've never seen a diet so devoid of...green. He'll eat ketchup and BBQ sauce, tomato sauce and tomato paste, but not tomatoes. He'll eat peanut butter, but not peanuts. I'm seriously considering juicing as an alternative, they've had bad results with V8 in the past, but maybe?

Any help would be appreciated. He's a great guy, quiet, very absorbed in whatever catches his fancy, astonishingly intelligent. I just think some of his health complications might be resolved with a healthier diet.


#2

find a new ketchup or bbq sauce that he hasn't tried and mix in Biotest Superfood without telling him , you could do this with a protein shake as well after you finish training and loads of foods and drinks.
dont try convincing him to eat greens youll make things worse infact dont evan mention it. go with the flow and sneak in Superfood whever you can .


#3

or dont tell him youre feeding him veg


#4

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#5

Have you tried convincing him to start eating just one type of a vegetable? Taking baby steps might be helpful if you haven't tried it.

Also, tomatoes suck. I have to admit they're the only vegetables I have complete aversion to in non-processed form.


#6

tomato's are not a veggie they are a fruit. also what did he go to jail for?


#7

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing that you shouldn't put one in a fruit salad.


#8

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#9

That's the classification for botany, not for culinary or nutritional purposes...this is not a forum for botanists, so who cares.

Tomatoes are vegetables.


#10

B-Nation?


#11

Lolz


#12

I work in education and used to spend some of my time working with Autistic and Aspergers kids. From my experience it's not very likely that you will be able to change his behaviouri f it is something that he seems set in stone about. If you want him to eat Veg then being deceptive is probably the way to go unfortunately.


#13

Is he very curious? I'd start him off as said prior - with one vegetable at a time.

Next time he's around, And hungry (important), Eat some baby carrots with ranch dip. Make sure they're fresh and cool and wet. They look more appetizing this way.

Eat them in front of him and Over-exaggerate the response. Like, oh my god these are the best carrots I've ever had, especially with this dip.

Shit like that, if he's curious he might 'try' one.

Good luck.


#14

Yeah that's probably the way we're going to have to go. I haven't introduced him to work out shakes yet, but that sounds like a fantastic idea to get him to ingest something he is leery of. I won't tell him "all" of what's in it, I'll just tell him it's like a strawberry or chocolate milkshake. Play it off as a reward for doing so good with the exercising, he can only have one if he completes his exercises etc He's not a moron though so I'm going to have to show him the packaging or the informational stuff posted online so he can reassure himself that it's fine. I'll have to get creative with the preparation and if I add vegetable juice I'll have to make sure it's when he's doing something else.

Noooo, definitely not curious. He's had a long time to get the idea into his head that all vegetables are to be avoided. He's incredibly intelligent when a topic interests him and he knows more "facts" than anyone I know (and tends to blurt them out when he hits what his parents call a "trigger"). Generally he spends all day sitting at a computer just doing...research I guess. He reads science articles, stuff that MIT, Harvard, Stanford etc put out. He just has a bit of a problem with some things that make him anxious or nervous. He avoids boats going into the ocean, but will happily float around on a lake. The best comparison I can think of off the top of my head, if any of you had to see the movie Dear John with your significant other, Johns Dad seems to have the same kind of thing going on. He can be convinced to leave the house, but if something makes him anxious or nervous he will try to get back there as fast as he can while trying to manage a panic attack. He really is a great guy, just different than I'm used to.

Nope, his mental faculty/acuity is keen enough that he knows what the different vegetables etc are. His diet is very...obsessive...he doesn't get a lot of variety at all because he eats what he's comfortable with. He doesn't eat out and doesn't eat at other peoples houses very often because people get tired of trying to manage his strange dietary restrictions and it makes him nervous trying to explain to people whats going on. I really wish this was something that was better understood, there are a lot of patient people around but if someone gets frustrated with him he thinks its his fault and it causes him to retreat even further. The first few months here were tough getting used to it and he stopped talking to me more than a few times before I dedicated more time to reading up on this stuff and talking to people about it.

LOL!

I'm Ok with the ethical part of the whole thing. I think your suggestion is the one that has the most merit. He is fine with taking pills, I can make up a list of stuff for his parents to buy. He's not hugely mentally handicapped, just a bit different. I'm certain I can find a way to pass off a smoothie or post work out shake as a reward. I haven't been drinking them myself and that'll be a good way to get him going with it too. I'll look up the Superfood stuff and see what I can come up with.

So far as introducing him to exercise, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I do my own physical therapy stuff every other day and he was interested. At first he just watched (stared), then he asked questions (obsessively detailed), and then asked if he could try it. I guided him through basic movements and exercises with the limited equipment I have and now it's something we both do together.

He didn't, I probably worded that poorly. I'm the one that went to jail. Long story, it was for something I didn't do, someone else was looking to avoid a burglary charge and accused me of assault, local PD didn't follow procedure and for some reason the state took the case anyway, 8 months later during the trial in the local supreme court the officer admitted that he didn't do his job, the "victims" were caught lying on the stand and I was acquitted.

Want to thank everyone for the help and the suggestions. It means a lot to know that there are understanding people out there that are willing to help out.


#15

Deception? Really? Did this site become V-Nation while I was gone?

-Sab


#16

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#17

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#18

Reverend Sin,
Good luck and keep us posted on the progress!

B.


#19

Sounds like he could maintain a bodybuilder contest prep diet pretty well.

Try to at least make sure he's taking vitamins if he's not eating veggies.


#20

We've resorted to lying to a grown man to force him to eat veggies against his will. That's the most un-Testosterone thing I've ever heard. Besides, the rest of his diet is top tier. Leave the dude alone.

-Sab