November 30, 2013

And What Would You Like With That...?

Edit: Reading back this post, it's a bit of a rant. Sorry.

How many of the general population get exactly 2000 calories I wonder?

How many of them get exactly 40g of protein?

And 24g of fiber?

And 90g of sugar?

And 20g of saturated fat?

To be honest, I doubt any one person does. Especially not when you put in vitamin C, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin D, iron, folic acid and selenium. 

So why am I expected to? 

Just wondering, because what makes me different to every single person on this universe? Apart from the general I'm unique, no one else is exactly like me yada yada yada. 





Giving you plenty of time to think...







Have you thought of anything yet? 

No, you haven't, have you?

That's because there is nothing.

There's no reason why I'm different to everyone else, why I should be expected to get every number right. I mean, how is that humanly possible anyway? It just isn't going to happen. Not ever. But I feel like the expectation for me to manage the impossible is there. 

And okay, so I've got cancer and I'm undergoing chemotherapy treatment. So I should be careful. So I should eat as well as I can. So I should think carefully about what I'm putting in my mouth. But within reason. Let's not go crazy people. You'll give me an eating disorder, make me a calorie counting maniac. 

My mom made me Google the amount of calories in a Fruity Pop lolly. No joke. I was trying to make a point, "Oh, and are you counting the 10 calories in my lolly" kinda thing, so she actually made me Google it. 

Cause that makes me feel like I'm a "normal" human being, whatever "normal" is. 

And that's where the problem is, it's not at hospital, when I'm all hooked up. It's at home. I'm not blaming Mom and Dad, it's just... yak.

At hospital, whatever I want to eat, that's fine, as long as I'm eating. They're big on cocoa pops. They have a cupboard full of Heinz tins. Soup, spaghetti, beans. They have ice cream in the freezer. They are big on toast. Very big on toast.

If it's cheese and onion tart for lunch (again) and I don't want it (I don't), that's fine and dandy, spaghetti on toast coming up. If the broccoli's a bit overdone, I can leave it, no griping about eating all my veggies. Who cares about broccoli, after all? If I don't fancy eating when the tea trolley comes round, sure thing, we'll get you some rice crispies in a couple of hours. If I snack on Starburst's all afternoon, no ones scared I'm going to ruin my tea. If I don't fancy the meal, they're happy to do combinations. It's cauliflower cheese and wedges. Have wedges and baked beans. And if you really don't fancy eating right now, oh well. Chemo, you'll have a better day tomorrow. 

And by the way, chips are better dipped in tomato sauce, not soup.

I mean, the dietitian is all for high protein foods, but kind of as long as I'm eating, it could be worse. She makes lots of suggestions, and she'd prefer it if this happened and this happened, but most of the time it doesn't, and she's not angry or annoyed. And as Dad's fond of saying...

"chocolates better than nothing"

Which is quite possibly a good thing. After (another) stressful visit from the district nurses, I pulled a face at Dad and declared that I wanted chocolate, so he brought me some Maltesers, and then I had some Celebrations that my brother got given for his birthday...

Sssh!! Don't tell.

But it's hard. Because at home, there's no bad hospital food as an excuse for eating a completely balanced diet. So.... What do I want with those potatoes? (Soup didn't cut it) What am I going to have with protein? I can't have more stuffing, because that will fill me up and then I won't eat the other stuff. No, noodles have no nutritional content. I have to have that much Quorn mince in that amount of sauce because of the protein, even though that is way too much mince in the mince sauce ratio (I always found Quorn portions a bit generous). No, I can't have frosted flakes for breakfast, I have to have porridge (my brother has frosted flakes and a chocolate cereal bar for breakfast Every. Single. Day. unless we have something more interesting like pancakes for a weekend treat).

But it's inconsistent. I'm not aloud diced potatoes and soup, but then they offer me chippy chips a few days later. With what- tomato ketchup? No noodles because of minimal nutritional value- but then I'm offered toast as an alternative. Okay- brown bread, slight nutritional value, but what if I preferred white bread not brown? (which they started getting because I asked for it.) Why couldn't I have noodles then. Mom went through weeks when I was only allowed porridge for breakfast, then got me one of those variety packs, which included Coco Pops. It's from one extreme to the next.

And when we had pizza, I asked for salad to go with it, but my parents decided that they couldn't be bothered eating salad, and so didn't get any.

And it's hard to think of appetizing protein filled meals for one when you're a veggie. Or it's not- but it is when it's someone else cooking. My parents don't get the concept of scrambled tofu. Why would they? They've never had it. And it's not that I'm terrified of my Dad cooking me Quorn or anything, but I can't explain to him that Quorn is NOT TVP. He knows what he knows about cooking veggie alternatives. And most of that knowledge is outdated. The world's moved on. But he's been taught how to cook veggie alternatives to the best of their advantage. Hes right- what do I know about cooking? How do I explain that you can put dried fruit in a savory dish with this that and the other, and that in the end it comes out quite nice. But it's a weird combination, so they try and make it more "normal". And it just doesn't work.

And Mom doesn't fancy hummus, so hummus on toast is out. Yeah, it's just like hummus in pitta breads. But on toast. Yeah, I know, it's not "traditional". Yeah, it's not "normal". But it's protein, don't diss. But Mom doesn't fancy hummus, and I can't eat a whole tub to myself.

Don't get me wrong, I like food, I love cooking. I just like eating what I want to eat. Who goes into a restaurant and orders the food that they like, but like the least?

Looking right, looking left, no hands raised.

And the worse thing is, now I've got cancer, people assume I'm no longer veggie. Which just hurts. It's not because they're worried about protein intake (unlike Mom and Dad), but because why not? I'm ill. Why bother, don't I just fancy...

Yeah, now that I'm ill, I'll suddenly think that it's okay to kill animals for food. Because everyone knows veggies all eat bacon butties whenever they've got the flu. It's not a brain tumor, it's not effected my mind. I'm still me people.

You know - most people expect students (whether veggie or not) to live on beans on toast and cornflakes.
What makes me different again?

Oh yeah...


No comments:

Post a Comment