How To Make The Sick Sicker

Hi! I’ve written a few important posts lately, so if you haven’t caught up yet you can start here first, then here, and finish here.

Today’s post is all about a very serious aspect of staying in the hospital.

The food.

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Now, I know hospital food is notoriously bad, but I feel like the stuff they serve at the Moncton Hospital is exceptionally bad. I’ve never seen anything like it. Me, who will eat pretty much anything, won’t even go near some of these dishes.

As a long-term patient, I get to choose my food in advance from a menu. On paper, it looks like some pretty decent options.

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But then it arrives and it’s the worst piece of shit I’ve ever seen. Most of the time unidentifiable and empty of any taste, texture, or nutrients.

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These are the scrambled eggs I got on Sunday. Made in a cup maybe? The were really spongey and I didn’t eat them. My sister Jane says it looks like it came from a can. Is that possible? If it is, the hospital would probably do it.

The serving sizes are also incredibly small. I think it’s because they are geared toward the sick and elderly. I mean, I know I am a 25-year-old who still has the metabolism of a personal trainer, but I also know my 88-year-old Nana could not survive on these portions.

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Saturday, my sister whipped the lid off the plate to find one lonely boiled egg. A piece of cheese and orange on the side. We laughed and decided the hospital must be trying to starve the cancer out.

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This is what I get for coffee with my breakfast. About 50ml filled in a 125ml cup. A splash of coffee, essentially.

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Thankfully, they offer unsweetened hot cereals, but the cream of wheat is more like cream of wheat soup.

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Yesterday’s supper: I’d ordered a sub sandwich and received unidentified lunch meat on a white bun. At first I thought it was bologna, and then I tried a nibble of it, and I think it was spam!!! Barf.

Sometimes though, something edible will come up.

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My jaw dropped when I saw fresh vegetables on the plate. With a little scoop of egg salad, a piece of bread, a little bit of (gross) potato salad and some (good) apple crisp. It’s hit and miss. 97% of the time a miss.

Thankfully, my family has been showering me with food everyday. To the point where I’ve had to order them to stop bringing me food, because I am only one person and can only eat so much! So far, I’ve just been picking at the edible stuff on the hospital food trays, and supplementing it with food people bring me.

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Soupy cream of wheat made better with fresh blackberries.

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Homemade veggie pizza from good family friend Mary (who will also be acting as my advocate).

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Dad’s been bringing me big tupperware containers of greens and I throw random things on top with balsamic or hummus.

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Homemade red quinoa salad with black beans and asparagus from a family friend.

Now that I know I’m sick, I’m taking extra extra care to eat better. Nothing that will feed the cancer. It’s an issue we all take seriously after my uncle had brain cancer.

I’m cutting waaaaay back on processed sugar, no artificial sweeteners (byebye Diet Coke), and washing my fruit really well. I’ve upped the anti-oxidants with things like green tea, goji berries, acai, etc etc.

And yes, I’m giving up coffee for green tea.

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Okay, so I’m still drinking one cup of coffee a day. But going from 3-4 cups to 1 cup is huge! I only had one day of really bad caffeine headaches, but now seem to be okay with just the one cup. And then 15 cups of green to compensate for the caffeine ;)

Honestly, I am kind of horrified by the kind of food sick people are served here. It’s not even food. The ingredients are canned, frozen, or come from a powder. All high in sugar and salt, low in protein and whole grains. Eating good quality food so far has been key in keeping my energy levels up, I can’t imagine how sick I’d feel if I was left to subsist on just what’s available at the hospital. The Globe and Mail just this weekend had an article on changing the way hospitals serve food. I couldn’t agree more.

Of course, there are some things I must ingest that I have no choice over.

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A giant dye smoothie for a cat scan. It actually wasn’t too bad. I mean, compared to some of the other things the nurses have brought me ;)

Bone marrow exam and meeting with my oncologist again today. Scared for both but keeping happy thoughts!

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Posted on June 27, 2011, in Cancer, Health and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 99 Comments.

  1. Oh no! That food looks awful. WHy don’t they realize that people in the hospital have enough to deal with and should be able to enjoy a tasty and healthy meal?? I am glad people are bring you wholesome food to supplement that crap!

  2. When I’ve been in the hospital after having babies…the food above pretty much resembles the food I got. Of course, I ate it because I nurse my babies and couldn’t keep asking my hubby to run out to get better things. (I’ll remind myself to make sure he does next time…this lifestyle journey has changed me.)

    I have to admit…when you went from your menu picture to the egg picture, my immediate thought was, “Oh my God, that CAN’T be the turkey she chose!!!” Thankfully you clarified immediately after that those were scrambled eggs. ;)

    I am not sure why, with all of the money those hospitals make, they feel it’s okay to serve food like that. I mean, think about it…they have these healthy choices. Eggs, green beans, whole wheat toast, turkey, etc…so people think they’re getting what they need when they’re there. Hi, it honestly looks like they put that stuff in a nuclear reactor! Everything’s spongy, everything’s bland…and healthy food is NOT bland. Grrr. They zap the goodness out of all of it. Sad.

    Thank goodness you’re surrounded by people showering you with good health via food. Otherwise, I might have to start a blog “fundraiser” geared toward shipping food to you.

  3. Heu if you’re not gonna eat those eggs, feel free to send them my way.

  4. The Saint John Regional Hospital food may actually be worse. When Judy was in there were a lot of things she refused to eat because “that looks gross!”.

    I will be making some frogs (macaroons to some people) today and some banana bread too. I’ll do you up a little good box if you’d like.

    -Elisa & Geoff

  5. Christine Richard

    Hi Susan,

    I’m really happy to hear that your family is bringing you some real food and taking care of you. I remember being at the hospital in Halifax and saying to myself “what the hell would I be eating if my family wasn’t here” It’s horrible.

    This is a quote I live by and absolutely love from Dr. Wayne Dyer: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”…unfortunatly it didn’t work for the hospital food lol!!!

    Keep up the positive outlook…thinking of you lots

    Christine

  6. Yikes, I knew hospital food was bad but honestly, I didn’t think it was that bad. :( It is really disappointing to see, you’d think that a diet of clean, non-processed foods would be a must in a hospital setting.

    You’re fortunate to have family/friends bringing you healthy foods. :)

  7. Unfortunately I know exactly how bad hospital food is, Brad’s dad is a chef at a hospital and I use the word chef very loosely – he went to chef school and started working at the hospital when he was like 20 years old and used to cook everything from scratch, now he just heats food that gets ordered in.

    Very sad :(

    • Yup, I definitely think this hospital food is made off site then heated and portioned here. Although, by the time it gets to the sixth floor it’s pretty cold and sad looking.

  8. That stuff doesnt really qualify as food. I can’t believe they’re touting those cake eggs as food!

  9. Susan’s giving up coffee? I can hardly believe my ears!

    You’re in the hospital and your food photos are STILL making me jealous (minus the hospital meals). Nicely done.

  10. I just googled “ship marshmallow fluff to Canada.” I’m not even kidding.

  11. Stay strong Susan. Honestly how can they expects anyone to eat some of that?

  12. Ew. I want to come be your personal chef. It really is appalling that they feed patients such awful food. When my mom was in the hospital for her heart surgery, they served powdered eggs that in no way looked or tasted like eggs. You make a really good point. What we eat has SO much to do with how we feel, it’s a shame the hospitals don’t focus on that. Glad you have lots of people bringing you edible stuff! All I have to say is the hospital better offer waffles on Wednesday.

    • Waffles were an option on the breakfast menu for today! Or, I should say “waffle.” Which I guarantee would be one lonely, soggy eggo waffle on a plate.

  13. Yikes I’ve seen better plane food than some of those meals. Glad you have some real food coming in.

    I’m sure you are doing this but if you aren’t please check with the medical staff that the food people are bringing in is ok for you to eat with the medications you are on. Sometimes hospital food is so boring because certain foods can interact with medications and make them less effective. You probably have to eat tonnes for something to have a serious effect but it’s better safe than sorry.

    • I’m only on blood thinners now, so I’m on a “full diet.” But once I get my diagnosis and treatment figured out, I’ll be meeting with a cancer nutritionist. Apparently there are a lot of whacky restrictions depending on what kind of chemotherapy you’re on!

      • Yeah there are a few things you wouldn’t think would be any trouble but really are! I work for a company that develops cancer drugs so knew some foods can be off limits. Unfortunately most of them tend to be fruits and veggies which most ill people would want to fill up on.

  14. That is nasty on so many levels.

    You should give them the book Crazy Sexy Diet (if you haven’t read it, you should!) All those meals are 100% what it says to avoid. I’m so glad you have awesome family that brings you real food. A great food for you to have there might be the Vega Shake and Go smoothies – it’s a healthy powder that you add to water or juice and it contains greens and fruits!! I’ve tried most of the flavors and they are awesome! Just a thought if you are feeling stuck.

    Good luck with your tests today. Will be thinking of you.

    • Yes ,Crazy Sexy Diet (crazysexydiet.com)is a great book-highly recommend it.It
      is written (with other contributors) by Kris Carr, cancer survivor
      who started with her film Crazy Sexy Cancer
      see crazysexycancer.com to read more about her documentay),then the website crazysexylife.com …and then this bestseller book this year.

      The Craxy Sexy Cancer documentary looks amazing,but the book
      Crazy Sexy Diet is a really good and easy read too.

      Sheesh, sounds like I am promoter! Ha!

      I can never understand how hospitals can get away with serving
      complete tasteless,salty mush as food to people who need to eat
      well to help their health issues.It really is a crime.I know they
      are trying to mass produce foods for many cheaply,but that is just
      ridiculous if the government really cares at ALL about healthcare,
      especially now that we know nutrition is crucial for us all.

      Thank you for sharing your rant Susan-now I just wish we could
      make this change for the better!

      Wishing you a calm Monday -may good things come your way today.

    • Vega is a great idea!! I wanted to get my hands on some “sea vegetables” and Vega is probably the best tasting way to have them ;) I watched the Crazy Sexy Cancer documentary a couple years ago. Definitely need to watch it again.

  15. That’s nasty. You’re so lucky to have family around to bring you in delicious supplements to those gross meals! And congrats on giving up coffee – I’m a tea drinker but I understand it’s really hard to make the switch. Best wishes!

  16. I’m shocked at that food. It’s appalling. I’m from UK and a man in a hospital here blogged photos every day of the appalling food they served him. Every meal. His blog went massive and then suddenly the hospital manager started to come to talk to him about his food, and plates of nice food arrived and then he blogged his food v the other patients near him and THEIR food improved.
    Your family and friends should not have to feed you….but its great that they do.
    Take care
    Dawn

    • Ah, maybe Susan should try this!
      I can just picture her also getting a
      triumphant result too.
      What a great story!!

    • I love the idea of blogging food from the hospital every day. I bet a lot of people would be shocked by what they’re feeding people who need healthy food the most.

      • Oh my goodness…you should SO do this!!!!!!! Or at least email a link to your blog to the hospital admin so they know how viral their shitty food is getting… i’m sure they’d make a few changes!

        • Yes- I double dare you to do it Susan!! ;)

          (Wishing you a better day every single day-
          we are sending positive vibes your way…)

  17. Sista Sara editorializing here….Sus’ camera is so good it actually makes the food look nicer than it appears in real life. Do not be fooled by her camera artistry! I heard someone in the hospital hallway say those peas were so bad he’d rather eat his own #$%!….and not even I would have eaten that spam-like thing…

  18. That food does look pretty dismal! My best friend has been in the hospital a lot during her life and I always make a point to bring her a few good meals! No one could get healthy eating what they serve! I’m so glad you have some nutritional knowledge and can make/suppliment better choices, some people really wouldn’t know better! I’m keeping you in my prayers!

  19. That is disgusting. I understand that hospitals are starved for money and I can see how maybe the food seems like a good cutback. But maybe instead of the food seeming like an afterthought they should consider it as part of the care. Even if they don’t think of the food as part of the medical treatment (which they should) it should be considered as part of the over all well being of the person. When you get a plop of eggs like that, does it make you feel like you’re getting the bes care around?

    Good luck with the tests today and I’m so glad your family is bringing you some nutrients!

  20. i also want to be your personal chef! that is seriously sad, and i couldn’t agree more – isn’t serving patients good, wholesome food essential for recovery? seems a bit ironic, dontcha think? if us to canadian customs weren’t so horrendous, i would happily send you salads, sandwiches + snacks. good luck with the tests today – love youuuuuu!!!

  21. I know it is industrial food because they have to serve a lot of it, but schools and hospitals really need to get their acts together on good nutrition! Thank goodness you have someone bringing you supplemental nourishment.

  22. Eek. Hospital here is notoriously bad- for some reason, I thought Canada would be better. A guy here was in for a long time and started a blog and did a huge expose about it- was all over the media not long ago. Considering people often have low appetite anyway, it’s shocking the stuff they slop up to help people when they most need good food! Am really glad your family are able to bring stuff in for you- have you asked about Kosher or Halal meals? They are often way better since they are brought in from outside…ditto on airplanes, for future reference ;)

    Thinking of you lots- is the mail strike over?

    • Mail strike ends tomorrow! You are the second person to mention this english hospital blog, I will have to check it out. That article I linked to said that 40% of hospital food in Canada gets thrown out. I wonder if that’s because people are too sick to eat or because it’s too gross to eat?

  23. Oh I wish you could come to Iowa to the hospital where I had my baby – the best food in the world – if you went away hungry it was your own fault. Looking at the pictures of what you’ve been served is enough to make a person sick.
    Good luck with your tests! Kick cancer’s a$$!!

  24. YOU POOR THING! That food looks horrendous!!!!! Thank god you’re family is feeding you. You need your strength!

  25. Food is generally pretty bad in hospitals, which is too bad. In an environment where people already start feeling a little more sick, it certainly doesn’t help. I’m glad your family and friends are helping to make the food experience a little better for you! Good luck today on all your tests:)

  26. Hi Susan, I’ve been reading your blog for the last year or so. But hadn’t been to it lately. So I’ve just read about your diagnosis now. I want to let you know that, even though I don’t know you, I’m stunned by this news. Please know that I’m thinking of you and sending you big vibes of courage, strength and wellness.

    There’s no way around it: cancer is an asshole (pardon my French). I lost my brother to non-Hodgkins lymphoma 29 years ago (he was 14, I was 12). But it is sooo different now. Cancer can be beaten. It is beaten all the time. All. The. Time. I am looking forward to reading about your journey of recovery and what lies beyond for you. You’re gonna nail this. You are bigger and stronger than the disease. It pales in comparison to you. You are gonna leave it in the dust as you blaze on with your beautiful life.

    God Bless,
    Susan

    p.s. Man, why is hosptial food such crap? Why is someone important not on top of this?!

    • Yes, as soon as I was told it was cancer I just had to say to myself “cancer in not a death sentence.” I grew up hearing horrible things about chemotherapy and radiation, but it really has come a long way even in my lifetime. We need to shake that old way of thinking!

  27. I hope your tests go REALLY well today- I’ll be keeping you in my prayers. :) I think the health care system has the treatment of food completely backward. Food is a crucial element of how we feel every single day and yet the nutritional component of a patient’s treatment is generally considered an afterthought. It’s really unfortunate, but I’m glad you have family and friends nearby to bring you REAL food!

  28. All I can say is that I am so amazingly sorry, sick, stupified, anguished, not well, sad, worried, and a thousand other adverbs. I don’t comment much and haven’t written my blog or to you in a bit, but I read yours pretty faithfully and I care about you. I hope that doesn’t sound too silly. I’ve followed you on your adventures and with your sweet family and your move and the poodle! God, I am so sorry this is happening with you. If I were not in Atlanta, GA, I would personally cook for you and bring you things. Good things. Living Dilbert can shockingly cook and tries to be healthy.

    Please know that I’m thinking of you, caring, sending healing energy your way. I truly think you are the most amazing personality I’ve met through my blog adventures. You write so well, your food is amazing, your food pictures are MORE amazing and you are an inspiration. Words are lacking right now, but please know I have a chin quivering for you just because you have to go through this. YOU will overcome this – i know it. Wish I could help, but know I’m rooting for you 1,000 % from Atlanta. You are an amazingly good person.

  29. Blech! Wow! I was hospitalized twice at the QEII in Halifax and had a pretty decent experience with the food and the food at the IWK (maternity) was really decent too. I’m really glad that there are people providing you with decent healthy food because DUDE that’s what you NEED right now and shame on the hospital for serving imitation nutrition!

    *Thinking of you during your oncologist appointment*

    • Can’t remember which hospital it is, but the G&M article mentioned one in Halifax as one of the few hospitals in Canada making real strides to serving healthier food. At least there’s one on the East Coast!

  30. It’s crazy shameful isn’t it!!??!?

    I know fruits and veggies are more expensive than mechanically separated meat products but that’s still no excuse. Healthy foods are where it’s at – particularly if someone is terribly ill.

    You should totally do a tumblr or something of the food. Go all Jamie Oliver on them and embarrass them into changing!

    Oh and you should TOTALLY read Crazy Sexy Diet. I have it and it’s really good!

  31. Susan…my heart goes out to you. I know exactly what it feels like to hear the dreaded ‘C’ word. I heard it at age 31 when diagnosed with breast cancer. Just ran a marathon and was in the best shape of my life. Please know that it is not a death sentence. It absolutely is not.

    It has been 10 years since diagnosis and I’ve had a child since then too. Life couldn’t be better and I thank cancer for entering my life and changing my outlook forever. When it’s all done and over, I hope you have the same outlook. But it is a tough, long road but family, friends and laughter will get you through.

  32. Umm, yuck. This is why I don’t understand why people think its a good idea for people recovering from eating disorders to be put into normal hospitals (specialized inpatient treatment centers, okay–but regular hospitals, no.) The nutrition AND the taste are awful!

    Good luck today; you’re so brave. :)

  33. Booooooo to that food! Thankfully you have some well trained friends and family! If I was near by I would be bringing you healthy treats in abundance : )

  34. You need some Jamie Oliver up in there. For both a food revolution and because, well, he’s Jamie Oliver. Swoon.

  35. Yep, hospital food sucks ass – not only for the patients, but the doctors and nurses as well. When my husband was in the hospital for his colon cancer in February, occassionally I couldn’t get home to bring food in and would head down to the caferia. What did I find? Burgers, fries, chicken fingers, greasy tacos – it was awful. Thank goodness for family and friends bringing you delicious food!

    Hang in there!!

  36. I have been thinking of you today ( you don’t know me) but was directed to you blog from another. Sounds like you are keeping your spirits up! I truly believe that will help your recovery. So glad you are having people bring you healthy food. I am sure that will help you kick this cancer’s butt.

  37. oh my goodness. what terrible food. :/ the pictures me so sad. glad to hear your parents are on top of it all.

  38. Hi there Susan – momma b here. Janetha sent me your first emergency post while we were out of town….tears dripped down my cheeks as I read your brave day one post. You have incredible insight and strength and I can tell you also have a wonderful family for great support. I for one know first hand what this awesome blogging community can and will do for you!!

    Yes, the breakfast I got was off the charts bad, but surprisingly the lasagna dinner wasn’t too bad and I was only in over night. When I mentioned the powdered eggs and asked for oatmeal I got it quickly :)

    I totally agree we are what we eat, if you are interested I could send you a link to one woman’s site where she changed her eating habits and styles and kicked her cancer in the butt and out the door!!

    I also agree with your wonderful positive attitude, I’m certain that helps a great deal with the outcome. My hat’s off to your mom for nagging you to the doctor – my line to my kids is “hey it’s just a co-pay go get it checked out”!

    Will be sending tons of love and prayers your way sweetie!!

    xoxo

  39. Ick! There was a really interesting article in the Globe a couple days ago about the food in hospital and how hospitals/ administrators have forgotten that healthy, tasty food is a public health tool. I think you’ll appreciate it.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/new-health/health-news/toronto-hospital-chef-team-up-to-find-a-cure-for-the-common-hospital-meal/article2075519/

  40. good family friend Mary (who will also be acting as my advocate) = glad you have her!!

    And when i had skylar, after not being “allowed” to eat or drink while in labor or delivery which can be 12-24+ hrs and you push out a baby, you’re hella hungry afterward. And they serve you the WORST food ever. I checked out of hosp 8 hrs after giving birth so i could actually 1. get some uninterrupted sleep from the staff and 2. eat some real food :)

  41. Okay Susan, I have to tell you this story. I will never forget when I was in the hospital for 2 weeks with a massive attack of my Chron’s. I was on a liquid diet for an entire week and the day that the doctor walked into my room to give me the “okay’ to eat solid foods again, I could have kissed him. Well, the ONLY thing I wanted was a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. Really, this sounded like the utopia of all foods at that moment in time. I called down to order it and I said, can I please have a Peanut Butter and Jelly. No lie, 20 min later, a tray arrived by my bedside with one little cup of PB and one little cup of jelly. I looked at the nurse and said “is this some kind of sick joke??” Hospital food SUCKS but at least you have wonderful friends and family to rescue you! :)

  42. Hope the bone marrow exam and meeting with your doctor went well today Susan.

    Not sure which was worse: the can-o-eggs or the spamified club. Seriously? :(

  43. oh honey pie. that food…i don’t get it. how do they expect people to recover?
    good luck with the tests…

  44. Your attitude is amazing hun. It can be so easy to get trapped in the negative. but you have such a light to you and your post. I know you will pull through this, and we are here for you!

  45. You are a true trooper if you can end with the fact that you didn’t think the CT goop was that bad. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and have actually been in a similar situation to yourself. Hospital foods all over, I’m in NJ, are absurdly horrible! I can’t imagine the people who don’t have loving family to bring them something edible. Good luck with everything, you’re in my thoughts!

  46. Oh my gosh. That food in unbelievable bad and how sad that is what they are feeding sick people. I’m so happy your family is bringing you healthy food.

  47. I so wish I could be your personal hospital chef! And If I could, I’d bring a hot chef like curis stone to provide some eye candy too.

    Hugs, and still crossing my fingers, toes, ovaries for the biopsy results!

  48. The food looks so sad! It reminds me of when I was admitted to the hospital a few years ago after having some complications with a colonoscopy. I was in the gastro-enterology ward at one point, with 8 other beds around me. I couldn’t eat any real food, so I was served clear jello, apple juice and tea. The other patients were only offered the choice of ham or egg salad on white bread! That’s it – no sides. I just kept thinking…isn’t diet especially important when you are having gastrointestinal problems??? Same with cancer. I know they are constrained by many things that I probably don’t understand, but there’s got to be a better way to treat sick people. On the upside, I went to a private hospital yesterday for another colonoscopy and was served a veggie sandwich on whole wheat when I was done. Maybe there is hope! Of course I won’t hold my breath for the public hospitals to catch on…

    I’m very happy that you have family that’s keeping you well-fed. It’s certainly important, both mentally and physically!

  49. This is so appalling! Susan, I have a very important request for you, please email me gilliankyoung(at)gmail.com , with a list of your favourite health food items, snacks, books, ect. that can be found in Toronto along with where to send. You mentioned Vega? The Shake n’ go’s could be handy! Lemme know. x

  50. You aren’t kidding. That hospital food is beyond the normal not appetizing. Glad you have the support system bringing you options to help it out!

  51. Hello again Susan!
    It sounds like you are a Globe reader as well,
    so you may have already seen this….

    Yesterday there was a letter to Editor
    regarding that article-I’ll paste it here….

    “I was just released from the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance this past week and was subjected to “re-thermalized” – reheated, zapped, nuked – high-sodium meat entrees and overcooked, mushy vegetables – until I asked to see a nutritionist.

    After she took note of my likes and dislikes, I began to receive good, healthy food, much lower in sodium and fat: fresh salads; fresh fruit; yogurt; salad plates; savoury broth soups. It’s a matter of advocating for oneself and asking politely.”
    Paul Bélanger, Chatham, Ont.

  52. I think it’s sweet that they gave you a piece of slate next to your egg. They probably assumed that you need a hot-plate at home for when you leave. Awwww!

    THat quinoa salad looks amazing! And please get your fill of raw fruits and veg now just in case you have to go on a neutropenic diet after chemo. (nothing unless it’s cooked, and other rules- depends on the doc as to how strict they are about it).

    Hugs to you- good luck with the test!! Glad your ‘smoothie’ wasn’t toooooo bad.

  53. Wow Susan, I’m so sorry you’re stuck being served with complete garbage for your meals. That’s completely ridiculous! If the people at the hospital aren’t sick enough already, food like that is NOT going to be doing them any favours. Proper nutrition is such a huge part of being healthy and of RECOVERING. How can they expect people to recover and get better on food and portions that would make anyone sick in the first place? I’m so glad you have wonderful family and friends keeping their eye out for you everyday and bring you much more delicious eats to brighten those dull white hospital plates. Hope today was okay!

  54. So thrilled that your family and friends are bringing you food that will help you, rather than hurt you. Hugs to you and yours.

  55. I found your blog through Caitlin @ Healthy Tipping Point and I just wanted to say how brave you’re being. It might sound trivial to some people, but if I was sick in hospital and being served food like that, it would really get me down. I’m so glad your family and friends are looking after you – it’s so important to eat well in order to get better.

    Positive thoughts xx

  56. I was hospitalised for 4 days last year and I was astonished at the “food” that was served up to people. I had my mum bring in things like fruit and whole wheat bread – everything was fried or slathered in butter and creamy sauces with it seems no consideration for dietary preferences.
    When there is so much information about the positive effects of a good diet, it still saddens me to see what patients are being served and with budgetary cuts things won’t improve any time soon.
    I am glad you have food smugglers bringing you in edible options & wish you all the very best.

  57. Praying for you & hoping for good news today. I can tell by your writing that you are brave & ready for the battle.

  58. I just caught up and I’m at a loss for words, but you are in my heart!

  59. Horrid hospital foods. But I am so glad your appetite for food is commendable. And of course, your wonderful spirit! Keep it up with smiles :) Sending loads of hugs!

  60. HTPCaitlin mentioned you this morning, and I wanted to drop a note. I’m a young cancer survivor (I was diagnosed at 23), and still vividly remember the kinds of emotions you’re going through right about now. Know that you have people thousands of miles away sending good thoughts your way, and that you WILL come out the other side of this.

  61. When I was in the hospital last summer the food was similarly horrendous. I mostly survived on bags of trail mix and fruit that friends/family brought me. There was one day where we had some semi-edible salmon and green beans, but that was the only decent meal. I even wrote a letter to the hospital while I was there explaining that the food was making the whole experience of being, well, in the freaking hospital, much worse. I outlined several reasons why the food was nutritionally inadequate. Of course, my little letter-writing campaign didn’t do anything, but it was nice to at least voice my frustrations. If you’re bored and/or very frustrated you could try writing a letter to the hospital’s nutrition department! I hope the visit with the oncologist went well. I know you can get through this. :)

  62. I saw that ‘scrambled egg’ was mashed potato, and even that didn’t look appetising! In case I didn’t feel for you enough already, you’ve just tripled it! I seriously hope you get home soon – lots of happy thoughts! :)

  63. Wow that is nasty stuff! When I was in the hospital after my kids it was a good thing I brought my own snacks or I would have starved!
    I’m a very new reader. I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you and wishing you the best!

  64. crystal h reed

    That’s awful! The hospital my mom works has pretty decent food (Lobster tails on Friday!) so I never realised how bad it is some other places. eww.

  65. Firstly, you’re amazing for continuing to blog the way you are – such an inspiration.

    Secondly, this kind of thing makes me so angry! How can they get away with stuff like this? There’s been so much research into the ways that diet can affect health, even at the most basic level, so how can the medical profession simply disregard this as soon as they actually start treating people? I can’t understand it. I’m so glad that you’ve got friends and family to bring you the kind of foods that will help you fight this disease, but not everyone does, which makes me so sad. We have a right to health care and I feel like serving up this kind of crap as form of nourishment almost goes against it.

    But (despite this!) you are doing incredibly. I wish you all the love, hugs and best wishes in the world. Keep laughing, it makes all the difference. Thinking of you.
    Alex x

  66. I wish you could taste the food at the hospital where I work. The food is very fresh and delicious. They really go the extra mile to change people’s mind about hospital food. I sware Im not saying it just because I work there!!

  67. I’m sending positive thoughts your way. good luck! You’re in my heart : D

    BTW: hilarious post on hospital food. I used to be a nurses aide and I would have to give people that food…. I had a little old lady say to me “Would you eat this shit?”. That about sums it up.

  68. Ummmm this looks like the food from my college dining hall

    :D

    It must be great to have family bringing you fresh fruit and pizza though :)

  69. Just found your blog thanks to Caitlin and wanted to thank you for blogging so honesty and openness! In terms of the hospital food, ss someone who works in a hospital I can understand and appreciate where you’re coming from about the food! I could never understand why in the world they would feed people who are ill and trying to get better such horrible food…talk about wellness and preventative measures? Looking forward to following your blog, thank you :)

  70. I work in a hospital food and nutrition department, and I wish you were at my hospital! That food look awful!! Sure ours might not be 100% restaurant gourmet (I mean, the cooks DO have to cook it in bulk, and it DOES have to suffice for low sodium patients as well), but it’s actually pretty good! And we have delicious desserts ;-)

    Stay strong!!!

  71. Octopusgrabbus

    Best wishes on what lies ahead.

  72. Gah… I work in a hospital and (luckily) our food isn’t quite that gross looking. But the eggs are still made from powder and the choices are pretty limited. I am SO SO SO glad you have such wonderful family members bringing you healthy ‘REAL’ food!! As you obviously know, nutrition is key!!! I’ve worked with cancer patients (I’m a registered dietitian) and getting people to eat antioxidant rich foods and to avoid processed foods and added sugar is VERY difficult! People just don’t understand the importance of good nutrition!

    I think its AWEsome that you are sharing all of this with us!! The first step to change is to spread the word and to get people interested–> I vote ‘Jaime Oliver to take on US hospital food’ next!!

  73. I am now officially addicted to your site! loving your recipes. I live in Toronto but much of my family lives in NB. My step mother works at the Moncton hospital and I’m sad to say….serves you that frightening food. It’s not her fault :) I’ve always found it shocking that at a place where people need the best food possible…they get the worst. I’m happy to see that you’re family is making up for that crap. Truly wishing you all the best.

  74. Ugh. I am shamed of how terrible the food is in your hospital. I’m a registered dietitian, and the few hospitals and long term care facilities I’ve worked serve nutritious and tasty foods – these foods are trash! I’m so glad your family is bringing you decent food – you need to eat!

    Take care, dearie!

  75. Hi there,
    I’m a new blogger on WordPress and just happened upon your blog this evening and read this post… I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. What a terrible shock. I’m pulling for you to get through this and come through the other side happy and healthy (and balanced!), ready to live a very long and very fulfilled life.
    Something struck me in this particular post that I wanted to comment on from a clinical perspective (I’m a pharmacist by training and worked in a Coumadin clinic for a spell, helping to manage people’s care after they had suffered from blood clots, usually resulting in pulmonary embolism or stroke.) You might have already been told this by now, but you’ll want to be careful with overdoing green tea. It actually has quite a lot of vitamin K in it, and as such, can increase your clotting risk. Everyone with cancer has a higher risk of blood clots compared to others, but especially since you were already diagnosed with them, you’ll want to be extra careful. It’s good to avoid excess caffeine, and it’s good to increase your dietary antioxidants, but you’ll want to do everything in moderation. Sometimes even the good stuff like green tea has a bit of a dark side.
    Best of luck to you. Take good care.

  76. I remember when I was in the hospital 13 years ago to have my son. Birthing center patients are the healthiest in the place, but the food service girls just hollered in the doorway ‘beef or chicken?’ no other descriptions or details about sides. We did get a decent amount since my roommate and I were both nursing, and the did get my some lactose free milk, but the service there wasn’t well thought out.

    I recently have had 2 hospitalizations (in a different state) and this Fairbanks hospital has pretty good food. As long as I could tolerate it post-op, they were at least serving real food. I always ask for grain bread, but at least it is available.

    Wishing you well for your recovery!

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