Vegetarian for Life

Life After Retirement? 2014 – The Year of the Horse

Posted by Guest on 15/01/14 in

As I sit here with my broken wrist and hip I realise how important positive thinking will be to my recovery. Luckily, 31 January is the beginning of the Chinese year of the Horse, and since I’m a horse this will definitely be a good year for me. I will be up and running in no time. Although Ipswich Hospital was not on my December list of places to go, I found more of true value there than I would have Christmas shopping. Everyone was praiseworthy – from cleaner (a beautiful, serene lady who made mopping the floor into a Zen art form) to consultant (who rather disappointingly did not sing, ‘Dem Bones, Dem Bones’ as he did his rounds). In my last blog I foretold a mention of hospital catering in this one. So, here goes: I was asked about diet preferences. I’m not that keen on dairy so I said vegan plus eggs. However, when the trolley came round it was clear that a vegan would have very meagre pickings. Mediterranean lentils made one welcome appearance, and baked beans were sometimes available but that was about it for vegan protein. Often the veggie option for lunch and supper was cheese-based, and most desserts were dairy-based, although fresh fruit was available sometimes. However, that said, I am not vegan and really the food was of a very high standard considering cost constraints. I do wonder, though, why they ask about diet preferences if they’re not available anyway. The other aspect of hospital catering I’ve been chewing over (remember, I am a horse) is desserts. Are they healthy or necessary? I heard the anesthetist pointing out to one lady that her obesity made surgery so much riskier. Shouldn’t healthy eating be part of the hospital culture? OK, that one is contentious and had I been a little plumper I might have done less damage to myself when I slipped. I am determined to get over this injury as quickly as possible, so I’m throwing everything into my recovery. Bring on the crystals, Reiki, visualisations etc. But on a more practical level good nutrition has to be top of the list. I was very lucky to get a juicer for Christmas. Juice with spirulina (highly nutritious dried algae) is now breakfast mainly vegetables, though, to avoid the fructose rush from fruit. Kale seems to be one of the top calcium-containing vegetables, so plenty of that. Fully organic next? Unfortunately, broken bones are common in the elderly and we become less effective at absorbing minerals the older we get, so good diet is essential. I tried Googling to find the best vegetarian and vegan meals for bone repair, but I’m hoping that Amanda, who has real expertise in nutrition, will post something far better on this website. Getting back to being a horse: despite everything, I’m not ready to be put out to pasture just yet. Willow, the guide dog puppy, has had to move on to pastures new, of course: the ‘puppy walking’ job description does not include ‘puppy hopping on a ‘gutter’ frame’. (The delightful description of my mobility aid pictured below.) I’m hoping though that when one door closes, another opens…
Helen's mobility aid, the ‘gutter’ frame'
Helen’s mobility aid, the ‘gutter’ frame


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