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Every day that I go to work, I nearly go crazy…and here’s why…
The food. Nursing home food. It’s the same everywhere, so I‘m not picking on my employer. In my 15-year career as an Occupational Therapist, I’ve worked in at least a couple dozen Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF). Hospital food is no different- I’ve worked in plenty of them, too.
The food at all of these places for sick and functionally impaired folks is abysmal. Can we really call it food? Make no mistake- this is a system-wide “healthcare” (i.e.- “keep you sick”) problem. Shall we thank our government and the USDA?
Here is an average diagnosis list for the typical patient I see in rehabilitation every day: HTN (high blood pressure), Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), CAD (coronary artery disease), DM (diabetes), OA (osteoarthritis), and dementia.
Many have a history of CVA (stroke) and/or cancer. Also, recurrent “antibiotic resistant” urinary tract infections are all too common ( MRSA – Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).
This week I met a relatively rare specimen. She’s a “younger” woman (i.e. 70 years old) who fractured her leg while pruning a garden tree. She said to me, “I eat organic. I juice my vegetables. I eat kale.” She was “horrified” (her words) to have been served a hot dog and french fries for dinner on her first evening (with cake for dessert!) I truly felt her pain.
Now, let’s say you were admitted to the SNF with a CABG x 4 (a four-vessel Coronary Artery Bypass Graft) at mid-morning that same day. What did your nurse’s aide bring you for lunch?
“Beef Pot Roast, Baked Potato with Sour Cream, Green Beans and Strawberry Bavarian Cream with Whipped Topping.”
Lunch: beef, white potato, dairy, vegetable, white flour, sugar/HFCS, and oil/trans fats.
Dinner: high-sodium/high-fat/high-Nitrite animal trimmings, fried white potato, refined flour, and refined sugar.
The menu comes from “Dietician Consulting Service.” I guess these would be the Dieticians who promote chronic illness and death? Gee whiz, I must be naive to assume that a Dietician’s JOB is to develop menu plans with good nutrition.
I still have a menu from last summer, when the residents/patients were served grilled cheeseburger, french fries, and a root beer float for lunch, and then 3-cheese macaroni and cheese, peas, dinner roll with margarine, and an ice cream bar for dinner. I kid you not!
Can you believe that the daily meal plans consist primarily of meat, dairy, refined flour, white potatoes, refined sugar, unhealthy fats, and a very little vegetative matter? This is a healthy, balanced diet?
Not according to my lady patient with the lower leg cast. She must go out of her way to secure her own nourishing food. Your new coronary artery graft doesn’t have a prayer. There’s a very good chance you’ll become “vegetative” if you eat these non-nutritive substances.
Got fiber? Nope. Add your pain medications into the mix, and you’ve got some serious constipation. (No problem- you can rely on Milk of Magnesia, enemas, and/or manual fecal extraction.)
Veggies- WHERE ARE YOU?!?
The “Dietician Consulting Service” menu is devoid of nutrient density. It’s critically low in whole fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, beans, whole grains, and nuts/seeds. It’s critically low in fiber, phytochemicals (“phyto” means plant), anti-oxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. It’s disease-promoting and death-promoting.
I haven’t even mentioned the fact that the animals eaten every morning, noon and evening of every day, of every week, for every meal on this menu come from the worst of the very worst of the Hell holes called factory farms.
Now…are you surprised that going to work makes me nearly go crazy?