Hospital food’s not so bad, if you’re in the right hospital!

Things have been a bit quiet on here recently, as I had to plan a visit to the hospital a couple of weeks ago for some surgery. I’m feeling a lot better now, but one of the things I was worrying about prior to being admitted was that I wouldn’t be able to get any decent vegan food. I could not have been more wrong!

I was greatly heartened to see that they actually had an option listed as vegan on the printed menu!

tray holding plate of rice and curry and bowl containing an orange.

My first meal was chick pea and sweet potato curry, served with rice. For pudding the vegan-suitable options were either a piece of fruit (orange, banana or apple) or a little cup of tinned fruit salad in fruit juice. Not the most exciting desserts in the world, but the fibre and vitamin content are surely helpful (anyone who’s been confined to bed for a while at the same time as having to have an anaesthetic and pain meds will know you need all the fibre you can get)!

I think there might have been some coconut milk in the curry, as it was listed as a calorie-dense meal. It was very mild, but well-flavoured and I enjoyed it a lot.

When the next meal-time came, I wasn’t keen to have the same thing again, even though I’d enjoyed the first one. Although there was only one item specifically marked as vegan, there was also an Asian Vegetarian section on the menu. All the meals were basically a vegetable dish, a pulse-based dish, rice, chapati and yoghurt, and there was a choice of about 7 meals. I asked the lady who had given me the menu whether the meal was milk-free without the yoghurt and confirmed they were all egg-free. She didn’t know about the milk, but I asked her if she could find out, and with a little insistence on my part I got her to agree to bring me whichever of the meals did not have milk listed on the allergens box (all the meals were pre-prepared and bought in from an outside company). The chapatis were somewhat disappointing on these meals, but apart from those they were excellent and I think I enjoyed them a lot more than my neighbouring ward-mate liked her meal – she told me the shepherds pie was okay, but “not how you’d make it yourself”. Since she seemed a very polite lady I took that to mean it wasn’t actually that nice, but was edible!

I also enjoyed the many tea rounds that occurred throughout the day. There were biscuits I could eat (chocolate bourbons), crisps, and fruit juice on offer. I got through a lot of little tubs of pineapple juice. I also liked the cheery demeanour of most the staff members who pushed the trolley, especially one who kept trying to tempt me to a cake because “they’re from Marks and Spencer”! I’d prepared a box of snacks in advance in case there was nothing I could eat, but I ended up barely touching them.

So, in conclusion, I’d like to congratulate the catering team at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust on their menu choices for vegetarians and vegans, and I loved the blurb at the front encouraging people to enjoy their food as an integral part of the recovery process!

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November ninety – day seven

Nothing needed doing to my teeth, so although I’m £18 worse off for having someone peering into my gob for five minutes at least it means I stay on my decent NHS dentist’s books, when I know they’re not taking more NHS patients at the moment, and I don’t have agonising mouth pain, and hopefully won’t in the near future. Hurrah.

I’m doing extra work tomorrow, which will involve a walk through Victoria Park. Even with the cuts the council is having to make they still seem to be doing a good job maintaining public spaces for now, and even though it was raining yesterday when this picture was taken they still managed to get out to clear the fallen leaves off the pathways and stop them turning into a squelchy mess.

Park and yellow truck on pathway, open back has fallen leaves collected in it

while I was waiting for my appointment today, I had a phone call from a site I’ve never worked at before, offering me an extra five and three quarters hours work on the weekend. I quite like working at lots of different venues, it makes a change, I get to meet new people, and I have a good excuse for not knowing what I’m doing! In light of this extra work but corresponding reduction in leisure time I may treat myself to a drink later at Pizza Express. For anyone who has a Tesco Clubcard and doesn’t already know this, you can get £10 worth of Pizza Express food vouchers for every £2.50 in clubcard points. B has £20 in vouchers so is going to treat me later, but drinks are not included in the vouchers so I was just going to have tapwater, but heck, I might just treat myself to a pink lemonade.