There’s a good bit of irony in the fact that hospital menus aren’t exactly filled with the healthiest fare.
Not only will they supply the obvious demons of soda pop and dessert at every meal, but finding white bread is easier than whole wheat, and nitrate-laden cured meats more prolific than whole, unadulterated baked meats. There’s plenty of salt and not nearly enough healthy fats.
My first meal after having John was breakfast, and if you’ve been in a hospital lately, you probably know that although most hospitals do have the quite lovely feature of allowing patients to choose their own food, the first meal is a shot in the dark.
The tray arrived in the morning filled with French toast (white bread), bacon (carcinogenic nitrates), Frosted Flakes (where do I start? Extruded grain, and oh, so much sugar), a banana (hooray!), coffee, milk, and orange juice.
I had yogurt with local raw honey.
(And one piece of bacon. Shhhh. I’d done a lot of work the day before.)
We didn’t ask if we could bring in our own food; we just did it. Just in case, I figured I’d use this cooler and maybe it would masquerade as vital organs for a transplant.
My real food is vital to my health.
All that said, it was difficult to pack enough to really sustain a person for two full days without being able to heat anything up, so I did order a number of things from the cafeteria menu. I sought out the real food over the fake, the choices that would bring nourishment instead of compromise and constipation.
Hospital Food a Real Foodie Ordered
- No grains – if it was going to be white flour, it wasn’t worth my bite (except for the hummus and pita points…which I regretted anyway).
- Things that would bring butter to my mouth – I wanted healthy fats for good energy, and breastmilk is over 50% saturated fat as well. And I made sure it was REAL butter (green beans, broccoli, baked potatoes – I got extra butter from the nurses’ station, but wished I would have brought my own healthy salt!).
- Whole meats – no deep-frying or breading (fish – really yucky, and baked chicken – ok)
- Fruit cups instead of dessert, once with cottage cheese
- No drinks – I brought my own Berkey filtered water bottle and drank right from the tap. I was proud that I only had to throw away three Styrofoam cups the whole time (two were sitting in the room when we entered at midnight), and we even reused two of those for my husband to have yogurt.
And I absolutely didn’t go hungry!
I was extra glad that I had food with me when my breakfast was missed until 11:30 a.m. on day two (not their fault, really).
Food We Brought to the Hospital
- A big travel mug of raw milk, and my husband brought more the next day – couldn’t have hit the spot more!
- Egg salad with homemade mayo (delicious breakfast on day one!)
- Homemade “power bars” (like a Larabar) from Healthy Snacks to Go, pictured in easy-to-grab ball form above (total lifesaver to have on the table next to the bed)
- Homemade soaked coconut granola (also from the snacks eBook)
- Jar of homemade yogurt with local raw honey, blueberries
- Quinoa cooked with coconut milk to go in the yogurt (pictured below)
By the way, there’s a free webinar on Cultured Dairy at Home tomorrow, 9/9 at 1 p.m. PDT. Register HERE and you can download the mp3 even if you can’t make it. Everyone also gets a free recipe PDF download!
- Sliced raw cheese (post delivery midnight snack –yum!)
- Orange juice – to replace potassium and liquids right after birth
- Jar of peanut butter and a spoon…heh, heh, heh
- Salad with leftover Vital Choice salmon, lots of veggies, and homemade Caesar dressing – happy to have the garlic to keep possible infections at bay
- Crispy nuts and dried fruit from Peeled Snacks
- Homemade “Laborade” to replace electrolytes and hydrate
Have you experienced hospital food lately? Would you bring your own?
Pleased to participate in Real Food Wednesdays!