If you are a subscriber to my e-newsletter, The Gluten-Free Gazette, then you already know that I spent 4 days in the hospital the first week of October. My biggest fear as a celiac has always been a hospital stay. You may ask why, well it stems from when my husband had his heart bypass surgery two years ago.
As a health coach, I didn’t like the food that they were feeding him. Especially after having heart surgery, but even more scary for me, was that anytime I went upstairs to the hospital cafeteria, there was nothing that I could feel safe eating except a salad. Even if I knew that the food was naturally gluten-free, they couldn’t or wouldn’t guarantee that it wasn’t cross contaminated.
So needless to say, when I was admitted to the hospital on October 2nd, I was more than a little worried about getting fed. Now, I need to preface all of this with as a health coach I eat pretty darn healthy 99% of the time. I have cut back on carbs and eat a lot of salads and vegetables. Yes I do eat meat. I enjoy salmon, chicken, and turkey, weekly, and pork and a good steak every now and then.
The whole entire time they were running tests on me in the emergency room, they wouldn’t let me eat. Finally, after getting up to my room late Wednesday afternoon and a whopping 22 hours since I ate last, I got a call from the hospital food lady. She was wonderful and sent me up two salads, gluten-free cookies, mixed fruit cups and anything else she thought I might want, along with a gluten-free menu.
The gluten-free menu consisted of mostly carbs and heavy sauces. Not the kind of food I’m used to putting into my body. The breakfast menu was most grains and cereals. Gluten free waffles, Gluten-Free Cherrios, (which I question as being safe for celiacs anyway), Gluten-free Cinnamon Chex and Quaker Oats Brand Grits, the only protein on the breakfast menu was a hard boiled egg. :p I suppose I could have ordered all the fruit cups I would have wanted, but there again, loaded with sugar.
Lunch and dinner menus were the exact same sellections. Chicken tenders, G-Free breaded of course, Chicken Fettuccine, more noodles than chicken, a gluten-free cheese pizza, that literally fell apart upon trying to pick it up, baked potato, garden salad, made up of iceberg lettuce and a few carrot shreds, and red cabbage, and the only vegetables on the menu?…carrots and green beans.
In my opinion, it is a disgrace what they are feeding gluten-free patients. I have a friend with a celiac daughter who told me when her daughter was in the hospital, the only thing that they had gluten-free to offer her was Amy’s Bowls. Not the most healthful food on the market.
I’m curious. What has been your experience with gluten-free hospital food? Let me know in the comments below.