Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hospital Food and an Update

I don’t have the time to do my normal food posts, but when I find a chance, I’m going to try to write about what I’ve been thinking about instead. It takes a lot less time to do that. Hopefully hubby’s Dad will start improving very soon! As of last night, he was about the same but had some pockets of fluid in the surgical area along with a temperature. He’s still on the ventilator. We are just waiting, waiting, and waiting—wondering when this will improve. Thank you for your continued thoughts.

In the past week, we have eaten a lot of hospital food. I find myself shocked when I visit the cafeteria in the hospital. While there are healthy options available, you really have to look for them. I would say there are more unhealthy options available than healthy ones. In a HOSPITAL, nonetheless. A place that should be top of the line when it comes to health and wellbeing.

For example, one day they served deep fried chicken wings. They serve pizza everyday. Lots, and lots of sweets. Pies, cheesecake, an ice cream sundae bar, candy, pudding parfaits made with candy and cakes, brownies, cookies, you name it. They have deep fried foods available everyday, like fried mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and even french fries. For breakfast options, they have sausage gravy over buttermilk biscuits, bacon, greasy sausage patties, donuts and plenty of pastries.

This doesn’t seem quite right to me. I’m sure there are plenty of people in that hospital being treated for obesity related diseases and here they are serving up the food that gets people to that place. It’s quite scary.

But there are plenty of healthy options. And I don’t know what kinds of foods hospital cafeterias served twenty years ago, but I’d like to hope they are improving and the healthy options available are a result of that. But I don’t know that. They have a salad bar with plenty of healthy options. You can make yourself a sandwich on a sandwich thin or bread along with some veggies. There are cheese sticks, low fat milk, and fruit cups in the coolers. They have boiled eggs and plain oatmeal on some days. Otherwise, they have those packs of oatmeal that are loaded with sugar. They have a yogurt bar that you can add, what looks like, frozen fruit to or granola. They also offer Well-Being meals that are less than 500 calories. I ate one of those last night and it really did seem like it was healthy. It was served with steamed veggies.

But honestly, the hospital cafeteria is just like walking in to any other restaurant these days. Healthy choices are available just about anywhere. It’s like walking in to McDonald’s (which by the way is also in the hospital—along with a Starbucks). You can either buy a salad and drink water or unsweetened iced tea, or you can buy a greasy burger, fries and a Coke. You just have to make the choice. Healthy options are available but those other options can be too tempting sometimes. But I have to say, I expect more out of our health systems. They should be models for healthy eating and well being.

I try my best to eat something that is healthy. I’ve eaten a grilled chicken sandwich, plain oatmeal and a boiled egg, soup and salad, and whole wheat pasta. I always try to pair my meal with at least a side salad. But the sweets are very tempting to me and I have to admit I have indulged in more than one throughout this past week.

It’s been a bit of a balancing act. I’m kind of seeing this as what it will be like when I reach goal. What habits have I formed? What knowledge have I gained that influences my eating decisions? I am happy to say that I would never buy fried chicken or a burger and fries. I am making better choices, even if I am still tempted by those sweets!


  1. Sending continued healing, get well thoughts to your FIL, and warm wishes to you, your hubby and my MIL! Take care Alissa!!!!

  2. You know, I think you are doing great. With the stress you are dealing with and being away from home, it's understandable that you may have a few obstacles.

    Hang in there. Sending warm thoughts your way for you and your family.

  3. I'm new to your blog and can't wait to catch up on it! I'd love for you to follow mine :)

  4. Hang in there...I know being out of your typical situation is really touch. Good job trying to stay on track!

  5. With all the stress your family is facing sometimes food choices aren't so easy to find but your choosing as good as you can at the hospital!
    I'm still keeping your family in my prayers and I hope things take a turn for the better soon.

  6. I work in a hospital, and I've been a patient in it too. I have first hand proof that the food available in the cafeteria, is not always available to the patients if its not part of the diet order written by the MD. I agree that Its sad to see so many highly processed, nutrient deficient, foods being offered to people who are visiting. Its certainly improved (at my employer), but as one of the managers said..."we have available what people ask for and what we know they will buy". This same manager is a member of my at work weight wtchers and recently inplemented WW Wednesdays Entrees. Hopefully it stays popular enough to continue.

    Keeping your family in my thoughts...hang in there the best you can and try to stay positive.


  7. Is your FIL in the ICU? This sounds so similar to what happened to my dad a year ago. Despite how impossible it might seem, people do get better. I just wish there was someone to tell me that last year. I don't know you but wish your family the very best. Have hope, people do get better. My dad did.

  8. I hope your FIL will show improvement soon. Maybe it would be a win-win for you to pack a cooler of your own foods from home. You would have healthier fare and it would give you some some control over life when life must seem very out of control. Thinking of you, Alissa.

  9. You would think a hospital would have better options than that, but that just means there unfortunately is still a big market for crap food items. Sort of like fast food places that keep popping up, I would love more healthy food options, but as long as people still want fast food, it will still be around and prevalent. You're right on, it's ALL about the choices that WE make each and every time!!!


  10. ((Hugs)) to you will all of the family stress you've been dealing with. I agree about hospital food. I hate that in a HOSPITAL, it's hard to find healthy options as you rummage through the chicken fried steak and potatoes, right? Geez.

  11. Hang in there. Sounds like you have so much on your plate right now. As for the hospital food....I work in a hospital and I'm less than impressed with the options to choose from at the cafeteria. I mean you would think that they'd encourage healthier eating being a hospital and all but apparently not. About the only thing I'll spend my money on in that cafeteria is the salad bar. While overpriced, it is delish, and I don't have to feel like I'm clogging my arteries one bite at a time.

  12. Ugh, how awful, that they put places like McDonald's in hospitals. People visiting or staying are already dealing with untold amounts of stress, and that kind of emotional turmoil will send even the healthiest person straight into the arms of a waiting cheeseburger or french fries.

    Hang in there, Alissa. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way.



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