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Dad is interested but has an inflexible schedule


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Wondering if anyone has run into a similar issue: I've done very well on the Whole30 - lost 26 lbs since July 1st and I'm continuing to eat this way for maybe 80-90% of my meals at the moment.  My parents are impressed with my progress and my NSVs and they would like to try!  But - my dad is a bus driver who sometimes has to take his break on the bus, which means no microwave access, no table, etc.  Also, his hours are unconventional: leaves for work at 11:30am and gets home around 9:30pm.  He likes to get up early (6am?) but my mom likes to make his meals and she gets up later (8am?).

Anyone have any thoughts about how they could make the Whole30 work for their schedule?  Things I've thought of:

1. Mom makes breakfast around 9am, then lunch at 11am, then Dad brings a salad or something he can eat cold on his break.  (But really - eating twice within 2 hours?  Not great.)

2. Mom makes a meal around 11am as they do currently, then Dad brings two meals on the bus.  (But one would need to be finger food he can eat while he's driving.)

3. Mom makes a meal around 11am, Dad brings a meal on the bus, and Dad eats again when he gets home - but he would be going straight to bed afterwards and he hates doing that.

At some point I know they're just going to have to choose the bad option that they like the most, but I'm just curious if anyone has succeeded with the Whole30 in a similar situation... appreciate any insight!

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If your dad gets up at 6 am, we'd really recommend he eat a meal within an hour of that. So if he gets up and eats (your mom could precook a breakfast casserole he could reheat, or he could scramble some eggs and saute or microwave some vegetables, or they could plan for him to eat leftovers from supper the night before), then by 11, he'll be ready for lunch (aiming for 4-5 hours between meals). If he's eating lunch at 11,  he'll want to eat again at around 3-4 pm -- he can take a salad or whatever he's okay with eating cold (this is going to depend on him, I'll eat cold meatballs, chicken, steak, roasted vegetables, most anything really, cold food doesn't bother me -- but not everyone feels that way, so he'll have to figure out what he's okay with. They could also get him a thermos to take soup or stew or other hot foods in.) For the first week or two, as he's getting used to this way of eating, he may want to take more food than he really thinks he'll need for the day, just to be sure that if he does get hungry, he has something he can eat.  Once he's been eating this way for a while, he'll probably be able to go from the meal at 3-4 pm until the end of his work day without any problem, but at first, it might be a bit of a stretch, and he may find he needs to eat something either before he gets home, or just a little something once he gets home, probably not a whole meal if he's had three full meals already, but maybe just a few bites of something if he feels hungry. 

It's really sweet that your mom wants to cook for your dad, so he waits to eat breakfast until she does, but that may just be something they have to set aside most days. Maybe on a weekend or his day off, she could make a really special breakfast/brunch type meal to make up for it. 

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Thanks Shannon for the advice!  I think I can suggest that to my dad - I just asked my mom for her thoughts and she thinks reheating dinner might be a good choice for them.

He is pretty used to eating dinner at about 4 (maybe 4:30) but then he munches throughout the night to keep himself awake.  Normally I'd suggest he drinks more water to stay awake but he won't have easy access to a restroom.  This leads me to two followup questions:

1) Does anyone have advice about how to stay awake when mindless munching and drinking more water/coffee aren't options?

2) What are your favorite go-to meals to eat cold?

Thanks in advance!

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