Being a vegan in a hospital - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-14-2013, 01:50 PM
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I'm expecting a possible 9 week stay in the hospital. Already been here 3 days. The food aspect is challenging!

 

I've been having people bring things to me, but without a fridge or microwave, there isn't much I can do. I've been eating apples, power bars, and nuts and stuff. The people bringing me food are being very nice I get some dinners, but I can't wrap them or keep them for lunch or breakfast.

I had the nutritionist come up to discuss things with me, but he was kind of a jerk. They have no "vegan' accommodations, so when I call to order anything (the 5 things on the menu I can eat that aren't mystery meat or mystery pudding) I have to specify no butter, etc and so far my experience is that they don't really come through with that. I got butter on everything so far.

 

I know it sounds impossible, I was kinda going to throw it out there to you resourceful folks and hope for suggestions!

 

Sincerely,

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#2 Old 02-14-2013, 02:11 PM
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I'm sorry you are having a rotten time of it. For future reference, look for an Adventist hospital next time. Their religion encourages vegetarianism so their kitchens serve many vegetarian options. This could translate into more vegan options for a patient. I was worried when I had to go to a hospital in 2004 and accidentally ended up in an Adventist hospital. I was able to eat almost everything on the menu. The food was excellent.

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#3 Old 02-14-2013, 02:19 PM
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Wow different system over there! Different religions have different hospitals???????!!!!!!  We have normal NHS hospitals for everyone where treatment is free, or private hospitals that you have to pay for.  I don't imagine outside the big cities that veganism would be well catered for.

 

My sympathies for your situation.  9 weeks in hospital is tough enough without there being insufficient food.  hug.gif

 

How about bananas, bread and peanut butter.  The former will keep for many days and the latter, months.

 

Or how about packets of food where you just have to add boiling water - e.g. couscous or noodles.  Baked beans are nice cold.  Maybe the odd tinned soup.  

 

 

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Originally Posted by Amira23 View Post

I'm sorry you are having a rotten time of it. For future reference, look for an Adventist hospital next time. Their religion encourages vegetarianism so their kitchens serve many vegetarian options. This could translate into more vegan options for a patient. I was worried when I had to go to a hospital in 2004 and accidentally ended up in an Adventist hospital. I was able to eat almost everything on the menu. The food was excellent.

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#4 Old 02-14-2013, 02:24 PM
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That's just awful *hugs* I hope you get better <3

 

I heard that hospitals are also giving kids MCDONALD'S FOOD. Do they WANT to keep kids sick?? How does this NOT compute??? It's so obvious and right in front of everyone's faces, they just don't notice it!

 

I despise people who have an "attitutde" with their job. It's like, don't become a nutrionist, if you really don't want to work with helping people, and better yet, don't become one if you aren't veg*n yourself!! So many things backwards!

 

Their meals sound suckish of the suck. Not even a healthy vegetarian meal option that can possibly be altered for you? Lame.


Can you ask that lazy nutritionist if he would be so kind to maybe go down to the shops they usually have in the hospital, food or otherwise, and see if he can get anything for you? Nuts, fruits, veggie chips, soymilk, vegetable sushi rolls? If this jerk really cared about people and being passionate with his job, he would.

 

If I was around, I'd bring you some delicious and hearty vegan meals <3 I really wish I could :( 

 

I also agree with Amira, adventist hospitals I hear are awesome with their food. Someone needs to give them a medal for getting it "right"


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#5 Old 02-14-2013, 03:01 PM
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how about salad.i've been there done that and it was really hard.so sorry!they ended up bringing me some decent salads,fruit,rolls,and soy milk.You also might ask if they can add beans to the salads.Good Luck!


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#6 Old 02-14-2013, 03:40 PM
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Here's an article on the topic that my mom wrote: http://www.vegansoapbox.com/institutional-eating/

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#7 Old 02-14-2013, 03:44 PM
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If you are an antepartum patoent, they might let you bring a small refrigerator in there. They do that at my hospital for long-term pregnant stays. And we have dietary vegan options for our patients!!! Jeeah.
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#8 Old 02-14-2013, 03:44 PM
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Thanks!

I had no choice of hospital, I had my water break at 25 weeks pregnant and was admitted to the hospital with the best NICU. I could deliver at any minute, but they are hoping I make it to 34 weeks where the baby has a better chance of survival. I'm basically just on bedrest and constant IV medications, fluids, monitoring, and ultrasounds. I'm just an incubator siting here waiting for the ball to drop :/

 

Yeah, the nutritionist sucked. But the menu here overall sucks too. Not much to really choose from anyways. I want to stay as healthy as possible and cleanly eat so that I can grow this baby better with the little time I have left. I like the suggestion of nut butters, maybe I can get bagels and crackers and that will be a great source of protein- I love almond butter.

I just worry about getting complete meals and have no way to have any "milk" or yogurts or veggies that hold. No cooked rices or grains. I will inquire about boiling water maybe then that expands my options- like being able to have oatmeal with dried fruit, etc.

 

Keep the suggestions coming! Thank you
 


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#9 Old 02-14-2013, 03:52 PM
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Can your friends/family locate small cartons of soya milk (or rice/almond etc) ?   Say, 500ml or smaller?  If so you could use the whole carton in one go, so no need for refrigeration.  Packets of cereal/muesli etc keep well without a fridge.  There's certainly a breakfast there - muesli/soya milk/banana - for example. Any soya milk remaining you could just drink.

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#10 Old 02-14-2013, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post

If you are an antepartum patoent, they might let you bring a small refrigerator in there. They do that at my hospital for long-term pregnant stays. And we have dietary vegan options for our patients!!! Jeeah.


I asked about a fridge, once I'm a bit more stable I *may* get to move to another floor where they have a shared fridge on the floor. Keeping my fingers crossed for that! That would change everything :)


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#11 Old 02-15-2013, 10:08 AM
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Wow I can't believe they don't accommodate vegans at a UK hospital. My advice:

1. If the dietician is not helpful, ask to speak to his or her supervisor and explain that you are a vegan and follow a plant-based diet. I'm sure the NHS's corporate supplier has some vegan option. In the US the big institutional food service firms like SYSCO supply most hospitals and offer veg or vegan diets.

2. Ask to review the menu. When I was in a hospital the diet they gave me, after a lot of haggling and explaining, was rice and beans, veg chili, veggie burgers, soy milk, imitation chicken, vegetables, potatoes, bread, and fruit. I would think any hospital would have these items...
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#12 Old 02-15-2013, 10:20 AM
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I'm so sorry about your situation too that must be very emotional. I wish you the best.

As for dry goods, these whole foods protein bars are amazing, moist and chewy, doesn't taste like a processed food. Here's amazon uk links but might have better luck buying direct from the company. My fave's are the wild blueberry, greens, and omega 3 but the protein has 22 grams from almonds and brown rice, not bad. The only one that isn't vegan is the original bec it has honey.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Organic-Food-Bar-OFB-Green/dp/B00BD37HHC/

INGREDIENTS
Organic Almond Butter, Organic Dates, Organic Premium Blue Agave Nectar, Organic Brown Rice Protein, Organic BiodynamicTM (Demeter) Raisins, Organic Bio SproutsTM – Flax, Organic Bio SproutsTM – Quinoa, Organic Wheat Grass Juice Powder, Organic Barley Grass Juice Powder, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Spirulina, Organic Blueberry, Organic Raspberry, Organic Broccoli Sprouts, Organic Beet Juice, Organic Carrot Juice and Lots of Love!

Good luck! I would ship you a few cases myself if I could afford it right now...
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#13 Old 02-15-2013, 10:41 AM
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Hope things improve for you mollycakes. If I need to go into hospital (in the UK) and the food is not ok, I'll be keeping a very visible diary of what is going wrong and letting the dietician, the catering people, the doctor, the nursing staff etc know that I am sending my full diary details to the Prime Minister, the Health Minister, my MP and to local and national media. This wouldn't be 'overkill' when a vulnerable patient is facing a serious health issue and a couldn't care less attitude.

 

Leedsveg thumbsup.gif

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#14 Old 02-15-2013, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
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Quote:
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If you are an antepartum patoent, they might let you bring a small refrigerator in there. They do that at my hospital for long-term pregnant stays. And we have dietary vegan options for our patients!!! Jeeah.


I asked about a fridge, once I'm a bit more stable I *may* get to move to another floor where they have a shared fridge on the floor. Keeping my fingers crossed for that! That would change everything :)

Ugh i am sorry your water broke so early! Have you been febrile, infection is the worry.

I would talk about the food with your doctor. He can write diet orders, and that might include 1) your getting a fridge 2) Them finding and serving you vegan food 3) something else he can think up. Tell him you don't have enough to eat in the hospital, and he will likely pitch a giant fit.
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#15 Old 02-15-2013, 11:21 AM
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Ok maybe I was doing the NHS a disservice.  I've Googled and it seems things have improved somewhat with relation to special diets but it's hard to tell whether every hospital is as accommodating as some which specifically detail the vegan menu they have available.  Re your examples veggie burgers aren't always suitable for vegans and imitation chicken will usually have egg in, I'd have thought.

 

Here's the vegan menu for Harrogate hospital (Harrogate not a big place - population 70,000 ish).

 

 

VEGAN MENU

 

 

Soup of the day

 

 

Fruit juice Orange /Apple/Pineapple

 

 

Vegetable cottage pie

 

Or

Butternut squash curry with rice

 

Or

Oven baked ratatouille

 

Or

Sausage casserole

 

 

Selection of vegetables

 

 

Potatoes of the day

 

 

Jacket potato

 

 

Green salad

 

 

Selection of fresh fruit

 

 

Rice pudding

 

 

Yoghurt

 

 

Ice cream

 

 

 

I'd be amazed if every UK hospital was as good but who knows.  My local one, much bigger town, doesn't seem to give any info about vegan diets, although that doesn't mean they won't do them.  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelbny View Post

Wow I can't believe they don't accommodate vegans at a UK hospital. My advice:

1. If the dietician is not helpful, ask to speak to his or her supervisor and explain that you are a vegan and follow a plant-based diet. I'm sure the NHS's corporate supplier has some vegan option. In the US the big institutional food service firms like SYSCO supply most hospitals and offer veg or vegan diets.

2. Ask to review the menu. When I was in a hospital the diet they gave me, after a lot of haggling and explaining, was rice and beans, veg chili, veggie burgers, soy milk, imitation chicken, vegetables, potatoes, bread, and fruit. I would think any hospital would have these items...
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#16 Old 02-15-2013, 12:28 PM
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What about meal replacement bars/ energy bars/ sports bars like Joel suggested? I know that's not exciting or anything but it seems like it would work for your situation. I'm thinking Vega, Cliff, BumbleBar, etc.

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#17 Old 02-15-2013, 09:29 PM
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Ugh i am sorry your water broke so early! Have you been febrile, infection is the worry.

I would talk about the food with your doctor. He can write diet orders, and that might include 1) your getting a fridge 2) Them finding and serving you vegan food 3) something else he can think up. Tell him you don't have enough to eat in the hospital, and he will likely pitch a giant fit.

I have been pumped full of IV antibiotics for infection daily, and steroids and magnesium for the baby. They keep me on constant monitoring and are looking out for infection, If I get one, they have to deliver the baby. I made it to 26 weeks today, every day that goes by is a blessing and increases this baby's chance of survival and/ or outcomes. I have a big calender I put on the wall- I x out the days and have a goal of April 12- I will be 34 weeks. They won't allow the baby to go past that.

 

I did get a fridge! It took my mother and her loud voice to get me one. lol. Its small but it changes everything. I've arranged for my husband to stock me up on vegan deli meats, cheeses, bread, tomatoes, and cucumbers. I got vegenaise and EB butter so that I can accommodate the not-so-vegan menu for myself. I spoke to another dietician, and they have 3 things I can do- I can take the pasta and ask it to be prepared without butter, and order steamed veggies without butter, or rice. They have juices and fruit, but it is in fruit cups and kids corn syrup juice boxes. I got my own juices and put them in the fridge. Thing is, I think they are disorganized, because half the time I get something with butter on it even though I requested it not. So its hit and miss. I am going to just avoid the menu and use the tiny fridge as smartly as I can. I also have been dropped off some meals so far by some vegan friends of mine-I can't heat them, but I hope they keep them coming- I don't mind.

 

I'm not in the UK- I don't believe we have a national health service or anything like that. I'm in a private hospital- they run it how they want to -I think. My city is super vegan-unfriendly to begin with, so I expected the hospital food to suck. I didn't have much for expectations.

 

I do have a box of Luna bars. I am trying to increase protein, healthy fats, and any hydrating nourishing foods for the best possible outcome for this poor little baby. Thank you for all your well wishes. Just keeping as optimistic as possible that the baby stays in there as long as she can.

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#18 Old 02-20-2013, 03:48 PM
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I'd love an update, mollycakes - how are you? how is the baby? Thinking about you!

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#19 Old 02-20-2013, 07:16 PM
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I'd love an update, mollycakes - how are you? how is the baby? Thinking about you!


We are okay today. Its been hairy the past few days, the baby keeps compressing her cord, and causing her heart rate to drop. My heart rate has been really high too. They increased IV fluids and put me on more constant monitoring, and we were hoping she didn't get worse. She has been stable today, and I'm more stable as well. So that is good news for now, just hoping to keep stable through the night and as long as I can!

I am 26 weeks, 5 days now. Each day increases the chance of babies survival just a small bit, every day is a miracle.

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#20 Old 02-20-2013, 08:02 PM
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i just wanted to say i'm thinking about you and your baby. i hope she'll be ok
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#21 Old 02-20-2013, 09:00 PM
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Best of luck to you and your lil baby!!!!
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#22 Old 02-20-2013, 10:08 PM
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Good luck to you and the little one!

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#23 Old 02-20-2013, 10:31 PM
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Oh, Mollycakes, I'm so wishing you and your little one good luck and God-speed. Will be thinking about you. smiley.gif


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#24 Old 02-20-2013, 11:15 PM
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I'd love an update, mollycakes - how are you? how is the baby? Thinking about you!


We are okay today. Its been hairy the past few days, the baby keeps compressing her cord, and causing her heart rate to drop. My heart rate has been really high too. They increased IV fluids and put me on more constant monitoring, and we were hoping she didn't get worse. She has been stable today, and I'm more stable as well. So that is good news for now, just hoping to keep stable through the night and as long as I can!

I am 26 weeks, 5 days now. Each day increases the chance of babies survival just a small bit, every day is a miracle.

Close to 27 weeks! Hang in there, you guys. <3

Your heart rate could be high due to the steroids, (still no fever, right?) Your blood sugar may go up from the steroids, too. Since the amniotic fluid is likely low because of the leak, the cord compression isn't uncommon. Sleeping on your left side can help avoid that, as can drinking a lot of fluids.

Best thoughts to you both. And yay about the refrigerator, go mom. grin.gif
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#25 Old 02-20-2013, 11:23 PM
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I'm thinking about you too! Good luck! Keep that baby in!!!

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#26 Old 02-22-2013, 05:04 AM
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My thoughts and good wishes are with you both.

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#27 Old 02-27-2013, 07:16 PM
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Does anyone talk to Molly outside of VB? I was just wondering how things are going.

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#28 Old 02-27-2013, 07:35 PM
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Does anyone talk to Molly outside of VB? I was just wondering how things are going.

The baby didn't make it, molly requested some time and space to process. :-(

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#29 Old 02-27-2013, 07:37 PM
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So, so sad.

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#30 Old 02-27-2013, 08:32 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear that. :(

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