Posts Tagged ‘fast food’

And while you are waiting you can get a (not so healthy) bite to eat

October 29, 2011

A few weeks ago I had to have some diagnostic testing done.  Nothing major – but there was a wait time involved and the tech said to me I could grab a bite to eat while I waited.  Since I actually was hungry (and had lost the paper that said if I could eat before or not…), I went to grab something at the Souper Salad located at my favorite HUB area teaching hospital.  I don’t know if it’s a city law (or state – things I don’t pay attention to in this area) but the calorie counts were posted and a full nutritional disclosure was available.  From their website, the restaurant claims  “Since 1976, Souper Salad has been satisfying Boston’s appetite with a healthy and delicious menu  filled with the freshest Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, Wraps, Pita Pizzas and our signature Walkabouts.”  Healthy? As in Carol Brady healthy.  I was stunned.  Normally this isn’t a blog worthy event: although I’ll admit being a bit surprised that all of the breakfast options had over 25 grams of fat and the sodium count is out of this world (I mean, we are IN a hospital people! In all fairness the other option is Starbucks which isn’t much better and is a privately owned chain.).  Thankfully, I found a Luna bar at the bottom of my bag and grabbed an over priced bottle of water.

I was thinking this was some wacko anomaly until I ran across the following post on Fooducate.  3 major children’s hospitals in this country have a McDonald’s on site.  Yup, you read that right: Children’s of San Diego, Children’s of Los Angeles and Texas Children’s.  According to Fooducate, the one at CHOP closed because of space needs.  Ok, let me think this through: you have a child at a major teaching center, chances are it’s not for putting in ear tubes.  S/he has some thing seriously wrong or (let’s face it) because of the teaching status of the hospitals, you might be on some form of Medicare/Medicaid.  What does it say about the hospital to rent out the space to a known purveyor of garbage? junk food as one of the options?  How do doctors/nurses/dietitians look patients in the face and provide advise on overcoming obesity, eating healthy with limited resources, and providing tips on foods that are better choices than fast food when down the hall sits the golden arches?

Look, I’m the first to say hospital food (for the most part) sucks.  But the one thing hospital foods (and eateries in a hospital should be) is nutritious.  Perhaps as part of their well needed awareness on the food choices people make, the medical community should examine the food available within the four walls of their institutions.  In times of need, stress many people will eat: perhaps not encouraging bad nutrition by what is available would be a good first step.

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Taking a month of …. for now. The No Grocery Challenge

July 30, 2011

So, a friend of mine posted this blog a few weeks ago on Facebook (seriously, how did I live before smart phones and social networking!).  I chased a few links and found what might be one of the original blogs.  (Eh, who knows …).  The rules are pretty basic: don’t go to the grocery store except for what cannot be sourced otherwise.  There are few challenges floating about in the locavore world.  I was immediately interested and agreed to this mad cap challenge. Hey, it’s just me, right? I mean, aside from the sous chef and the prince.  And then I decided to step it up a bit.  I am keeping the basic challenge: buying everything at farmer’s markets, stands with a short exception list (below) and then only $30.  And no, I didn’t stock up on Coke Zero or ice cream!

A lot of the people involved have kids.  I can hear some people in my life now “of course it would be easy for you, you’re single.” (uh, yeah, i also have an hour commute and work roughly 50 hours a week but that is a different blog).  Yup, I live the life of a singleton.  That also means, that if I worked 12 hours that day, there is nobody I can call to say “hey, can you toss on some pasta for me” (well, that and being gluten-free also).  I’m also working for a company that is facing an audit probably in August.  ACK!  So, I know August will be insane.  So why not kick it up a step?

For August, I will not only avoid the grocery store (except the list below), I’m also skipping caffination stations.  Not giving UP caffeine (that would be a danger to others) but avoiding the fast food life style of the mornings and sometimes evenings that have fueled me during early morning commutes or late nights because I’m too lazy to cook something.  I realized how horrific my eating habits (despite some canning adventures) had become when I realized that one day I consumed (seriously) a package of pop tarts from a vending machine, some carrots and a tomato (probably a few thousand miles on those), ice cream with strawberry jam (ok, I made the jam) and 2 dill pickles. Why? It’s what I had either in the house to eat without cooking or had for the vending machine. Seriously.

When the challenge was posted, I realized hmmm. It would probably be good FOR me to do this: I despise chain stores, I try to be a locavore (but let’s face it … some mornings hash browns and coffee from Dunkin Donuts do hit the spot), I believe in local businesses well and the entire menu I listed earlier.  The thing is, to some extent this will already be easier for me than many: I buy my meat from the fantastic 8 O’clock Ranch (which probably means I’m not a locavore FOR meat but since they are a small ranch in upstate NY … I’ll stick with them), I get most of my fruits and veggies from Old Nourse Farm’s CSA.  My issue is more that while I’ll can/freeze food, I forget to USE that food in my I-must-eat-now mode (that and I don’t own a microwave).  So with a bit of planning, I’m going to go free from caffination stations, grocery stores, chains . . . what I do need to buy I will buy from family owned groceries.  This will be interesting.  I’m sure I won’t save money (one of the original bloggers is in Hungary. $2 wine? Ha.) The obvious benefit is breaking myself of this pop-tart diet I seem to be on!

So, with that … my August grocery list is limited to: vinegar, yoghurt (don’t tell me I can make it … epic fail), half&half, cat food (they do like to eat), salt, sugar and olive oil.  The greater adventure … figuring out what I’m going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner now that I’m avoiding chains and the cafe at the office. If you see me, and you love me? Please hand me Diet Coke.  I’m sure I’ll need it by mid-August.