Sunday, February 6, 2011
Interviewing My Children - Interview Number 2
This child is 18 years old and came from Russia; she is an African-Russian girl who was in an orphanage until she was 9 years old. She has none of food related psychological issues of others in the family. She does not steal, hoard, or crave food in general. However, she has a very strong desire for sweets, particularly hard candies. It is interesting that most of my adoptees have few memories before they were adopted.
This daughter is very short - 4'8" but has no medical issues. She does not gain weight readily. She still likes tea with table sugar which was given at the 2nd orphanage for older children. She is slender and muscular and seems very balanced re: food and physiology. She maintains her weight at about 99 lbs. She has weighed as much as 105, but never more than that.
Question: What are your sleep patterns?
Answer: I need 7-8 hours. As you know, I have stayed up late into the night and then was able to get up in the morning and wasn't very tired. But I wasn't able to do my school work very well. I guess I need sleep. On the weekends I sleep longer if I can. I can sleep 9-10 hours if the house is quiet and I don't have to get up. So can everyone else in our family, except for our youngest who is always up early.
Question: What is your first memory of food? Think back as far as you can.
Answer: I remember being forced to eat honey from a big huge spoon. This was in the second orphanage where they raised bees. I still do not like honey. I remember eating oatmeal in my 2nd orphanage. I do remember eating pears at the 2nd orphanage. We had apples in the fall. We ate heavy black Russian bread. We did not have much meat. I don't remember being hungry. I remember going to the Black Sea for summer camp and eating lots of fish. That's why I love it so much. We should get fish, Mom. I still like sardines Mom. Get some.
Question: What is your first memory of food in the United States after you were adopted at age 9? Oh -- I promise I will get fish. I like it too. But I like fresh fish. We live near the ocean so I must be able to get fresh fish here somewhere. I am sure they have it at the store. I like fish with lemon. My Dad used to fish.
Answer: I remember eating Krasnodar borscht with you and Igor (the adoption facilitator) before we left Russia to return home to the United States. The borscht had sour cream in it and cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, beets and beef. It was delicious and I have never stopped thinking about it. I think it was the first thing like that I had ever eaten. Then when we came to the United States, you fixed tacos. They were made with corn tortillas, ground beef, onions, cheese, sour cream, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce and salsa. They were really, really good. You will never let me forget that I ate twenty tacos at one meal; I couldn't get enough of them. I still like them, but I don't eat twenty.
Question: What do you eat for breakfast now that you are 18 years old and have been in the United States for 9 years?
Answer: On school days I leave the house at 7 a.m. So I don't have much time, but I eat soup if you have it (I still love borscht-type soups). I am glad that you make enough soup so that I can have it when I want it. If there is no soup, I eat your home made muffins with whole wheat, nuts, an fruit or I eat sprouted wheat toast with natural peanut butter (no salt or sugar), or I eat a bowl of oatmeal with skim milk and raisins. I will eat that with strawberries, blueberries, or other fruit if we have it. Sometimes I eat an apple or a clementine or a pear on the bus. I like things that aren't too salty. But I like hot sauce and put it on some of the things we eat. I am a "spicy" girl.
Question: What time do you go to bed at night?
Answer: 10 on school nights and later on the weekends. But I get enough sleep. You know that you insist on that and weren't happy about me staying up.
Question: What do you eat for lunch on school days?
Answer: I eat a small salad and a turkey wrap with lettuce,onions, olives, tomatoes, meat, cucumbers and anything else that looks good. I don't eat it with any sauce. I don't like to be overly full. I am not a big snacker or muncher. 3 times a day is okay with me, but I do want sweets at night. If there aren't any, I will eat something that is more healthy.
Question: Let's go back to breakfast. What do you eat for breakfast on the weekend?
Answer: I eat more on the weekend, but usually I eat something when I get up and then something later in the morning. I eat oatmeal and sometimes my brother and I fix eggs or bagels. Once in a while we have bacon and eggs. We don't ever eat pancakes or waffles because they make us all tired. I just now ate cottage cheese and toast. It was good. I like the whole wheat bagels that you get that are sprouted and really filling.
Question: What do you eat for lunch on the weekends?
Answer: We eat leftovers or make sandwiches or we fix soup. We sometimes eat canned soups but have gotten into the habit of eating the ones we make ourselves. We all like them. We have everything in that soup except the kitchen sink in that soup. It smells so good right now cooking in the crock pot.
Question: Let's talk about snacks. What do you eat for snacks and when do you eat them?
Answer: I eat almonds for snacks and I like whole grain puffed cakes which we all like and I call, "recycled cardboard." I eat fruit. We all like fruit and can't keep enough of it in the house unless we get it gtwice a week.
Question: What about your craving for sweets? Tell me about that. When do crave sweets? When do you eat them? What do you eat?
Answer: I crave sweets in the late part of the day. I never eat sweets in the daytime. But at night I want them! I like hard candy and filled candy -- like Nips. I don't like chocolate very much. I am not crazy about cake, cookies, or ice-cream. In the summer I like ice-cream from a good place like "Cows and Cones." But I can eat alot of hard candy.
Question: Do you eat more when you are tired?
Answer: I don't think so. But I do notice that I want candy and sugar at night, so maybe it is because it's been a long day. I just run out of energy when I am tired.
Question: Do you worry about your weight?
Answer: No, Not at all, I don't eat too much; I know when I amn full and I quit.
Question: Are you active?
Answer: I like track but I have not been active this year. I like to dance too.
Question: Do you like vegetables?
Answer: Yes. I like cucumbers and pickles. I like carrots, tomatoes, celery, green beans, and steamed vegetables of all kinds. I love spinach (you and I are the only ones who do).
Question: Let's talk about dinner, What do you eat for dinner and like to eat?
Answer: When we go out which isn't very often, I like Gyro sandwiches. I love fish and wish you would make more of it. I am not a tuna lover. I like lemon pork chops with vegetables. I do NOT like sweet potatoes. I think I ate them in Russia and hated them, but I am not sure. I like steak and beef but not alot. I like salad and all kinds of green vegetables. I don't eat a big dinner. I love fish! It's expensive if we eat out. So please buy some. I like salmon and soft white fish.
Question: What else do you like?
Answer: I love watermelon. I like other melons, but mostly I like watermelon as you know. I can eat a whole watermelon by myself, but I don't do that.
Question: What do you eat if you are on a field trip and can buy food -- like at fair or an event?
Answer: Water bottles. I think I buy hot dogs once in a while. I don't really like burgers, I do like spaghetti. I am not crazy about sandwiches. I like funnel cake. I don't think I'm a big eater like so many people I know.
Question: What have you noticed about the way Americans eat?
Answer: They eat lots of food and so much fast food. They don't like salads and vegetables as a rule. They eat like they are starving. The only time I can remember eating too much was eating tacos at first. I can eat alot at Thanksgiving, but get full really fast. Other kids my age eat too much. I belonged to an African-America group in Illinois and almost all of the members were obese. They went to the corner store and bought chips, Twinkies or whatever you call them, and soda. I don't like soda; I've almost never had soda. I like tea very much -- all kinds of tea. I do like sugar in my tea, but have cut own on that. I'm drinking green tea this morning with no sugar in it. I have never eaten a Twinkie.
My Answer: Good for you. You have not missed a thing.
Question: Do you think about food very much?
Answer: No, not at all.
Question: What do you notice about your family and how they eat?
Answer: We eat pretty healthy most of the time, but I know that you and my brother have trouble eating too much. My sister who was hungry in Vladikavkaz still steals food and puts it in her bed. She must be afraid that she can't get enough food. She has never stopped eating apples. She would eat an entire bag in a day if she could. She eats really healthy things too, though.
Question: I did notice last night that you ate most of the carrots that you cut-up for the soup. Can you tell me about that?
Answer: (Laughs). I cut up one carrot for the soup and ate the rest. I just couldn't stop eating them. I ate 6 of them. So maybe that was like the tacos. I must have needed something in those carrots. I like the crunch and the taste. I like to do that with celery too. I love the soup we make with spinach and carrots and chicken and beef and everything in it! I can smell it cooking now (Laughs).
My answer: I am impressed. You are a really healthy eater. I wonder what we are going to find out about how kids eat and what a difference it makes. You had a friend here last month who was younger (15 years old) and was very obese. What does she eat?
Answer: I don't know what she eats. She doesn't eat much at school besides salad. I think she is poor and I don't know how she eats, but she is very heavy. She ate alot of potatoes and left-overs before she left out house. I think she eats alot of food like macaroni and cheese.
Question: Do you notice any difference between eating here and eating where we lived before -- outside of the family?
Answer: There were lots of big people in both places, but I have not seen as many really huge people as there are here.
Question: What about the high school?
Answer: Not many huge kids are at the high school. When I was in middle school in Colorado, I ate candy, but not every day. The middle school had a vending machine with candy in it. I think it would a good idea to get rid of vending machines. I don't drink soda and I don't like junk. Well, I don't like chips and soda. I do like candy, but not the big candy bars and stuff like that. I can make a box of Nips last a long time. You can eat a box in five minutes. (Laughs)
My Answer: I have to stay away from Nips. Chewy and sweet -- not a good thing for me. (Laughs)
My answer: You have the eating patterns of a "civilian". That means someone who doesn't eat addictively. Do you remember that you had rickets as a child in Russia? That is caused from malnutrition which means you weren't getting enough of the vitamins and minerals that you needed. But you didn't have any problems from that and it didn't affect your eating. Just keep eating the carrots and spinach. You are a good influence on me. I think I should follow you around and eat just like you do.(Laughs) You are a strong girl. What do you think about the health of our family compared to others you know.,
Answer: I think of us as very healthy. We don't have many colds. We don't get viruses or flu. We are strong and take good of ourselves. Sometimes I think we don't stop to think about how good we are about eating and health. I know we all to exercise more and that we going to do something today! (Laughs). But I think of us as a family that thinks about being smart about food choices but we are not crazy on the subject!
My answer: Thank you for this interview. I think I learned alot about our family through your eyes. Now I really am going to stop the interview. This was great!