Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hospital Food--it could kill you

First of all, I have no idea what's in our CSA share this week, as I'm on complete bedrest now. I think there is some bibb lettuce, some zucchini, more garlic curls, and potentially some lemon basil but I haven't seen for myself yet. I guess this week will be a big week of food surprises from my husband.

I spent 2 days in the hospital this week, and who would have thought that my awesome diet would be completely thwarted by hospital food. I mean, I understand that it's institutional food, but must it be so completely bad for you?  

While I was still laying in triage, heading into my fifth hour, I begged for some food, and the nurses brought me some snacks from the maternity snack fridge. A banana, some graham crackers, and a ginger ale. All but the banana were sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup, which I haven't had any of in months. Boy was that a shock to the system.

After they admitted me, most of the meals were mystery meat smothered in gravy, vegetables that had had the life cooked out of them, and desserts that undoubtedly were again made with HFCS. Even when I started requesting iced tea, what came was some kind of industrial blend of tea-like substance. Even the juices were sweetened with HFCS--as if fruit juice needs to be sweetened at all.

The most remarkable dinner that I had, and by remarkable I do not mean that in a good way, was the "chicken pot pie." I figured, ok, institutional food. TONS of frozen food companies make perfectly decent chicken pot pie. How bad could it be?

What came was what appeared to be semi-condensed cream of chicken soup with a biscuit thrown in the middle. It was mostly broth, about 4 small chunks of chicken, 5 peas, and 2 carrot slices. I kid you not. I had ordered spinach on the side as a choice that was not mashed potatoes, and it was, of course, cooked to death. 

It's a recipe for disaster. And constipation. If I'm going to eat this crap, I thought, I may as well let my husband bring me a whopper. 

I later remembered the advice a nurse had given to my dad when he was in the hospital ten years ago--always order the sandwich. Haha! It's apparently really hard to mess up a sandwich, and because of health regulations it has to be made much more freshly than, say, a "chicken pot pie." I'll keep this in mind when I am in the hospital next time (I'm not being pessimistic. This baby does in fact have to come out and I will be in the hospital for it!)

Meanwhile, some real food should be had tonight! Yesterday my husband had to go into work and he left me a cooler of food--veggies, fruit, yogurt, a yummy sandwich, and a pitcher of lemonade. Much better :)

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