No one can take care of you, except you

Sorry I’ve been a Food Babe slacker this week. When I started this blog, I had every intention to post something useful or meaningful every few days – but I’ve been a little sidetracked. I am currently spending Father’s Day today watching my father get better in the hospital. It’s the fifth day that he has been here and is the last place I thought I would be celebrating with my father today.

Touring India is my favorite trip I have ever taken with my Dad.

At the Taj Mahal in amazing Agra - Thanks for taking this photo Dad!
Beautiful Temple in Chennai

My father is the most loving and selfless person I know. For most of his life, he tried to spend every waking moment helping other people. My father never cared about what he put in his body or keeping up with his health. If you know him, you know this – he will help anyone before he helps himself.
I love him so much for all the things he does for me and for other people, but this is the reason he is here in the hospital today.

Seeing this and experiencing what can happen to you if you don’t care for yourself and don’t make your health your number one priority can be an eye opening experience, to say the least.

I’ve learned a lot about the health care system through my own experiences but this week has really been the turning point in my realization how things are so f%$ed up.

This was horrible. Somewhere on day 2 they somehow forgot my Dad was diabetic - See "regular" circled on the dietary sheet above. I didn't find this out until this morning. His sugar count was through the roof the last couple of days! Instead of figuring out the root cause of why his sugar spiked, they gave him a shot of insulin before each of his meals.
Breakfast choices - I wouldn't offer either to a diabetic! Can you believe this?
The syrup served with my Dad's french toast that made me realize they had been serving him the wrong meals. Unbelievable.
This was lunch one day - Do you see anything GREEN?!
My mom requested a green vegetable be added to his meals - we got green beans last night :)
Why don't they just serve real butter - come on!
Ice Cream Truck for Father's Day - It's a nice gesture, but the ingredients in this stuff is horrendous
Can you believe they serve this "Coffee-mate" in the place of milk for your tea and coffee?
At a special request they brought us milk not treated with Growth Hormone - Why don't they just serve this to everyone in the first place?

Watching what can happen to you has made me even more passionate about taking care of myself and the people in my immediate surroundings. No one is going to take care of you or your family unless you do. If you have control over what your family eats or do the grocery shopping or the cooking, it is absolutely paramount that you take this responsibility seriously and educate yourself about what food can do to help the body and to harm it.

If you don’t buy the bad food, the food industry, restaurants, fast food joints, etc will start to realize this. The more you line their pockets full of money, the more they are going to feed you chemicals. A lot of people feel helpless and don’t realize the control they have in this matter. You must vote with your dollars, everyday and every time you eat.

Here are some of the books & movies that I hope you will check out if you already haven’t to help you and your families become educated about Food. This is no where near a comprehensive list of the books or movies I’ve used to educate myself – if you need more recommendations on a specific topic, please feel free to email me or send me a message on my Facebook page.

Food Rules by Michael Pollan
In the Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
The End of Overeating by David Kessler
The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O’Brien
Master your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels
Spiritual Nutrition by Gabriel Cousens
Living Foods Revolution by Cherie Calbom
Juice Lady’s Guide to Juicing Health by Cherie Calbom
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

Forks over Knives
The Future of Food
Food Matters
Food Inc.
King Corn
Super Size Me

Now I need some reader feedback. Knowing what I know today has left me with a lot of ethical questions in my mind.

If I have food in my house that someone else brought over or I bought by mistake and it has harmful chemicals in it…Do I donate it or just throw it away? There are a lot of starving people in the world, I feel bad wasting food. And its even more difficult for me to donate it, knowing that I am feeding the the less fortunate dangerous food. What would you do?

What if I see my family or friends eating something harmful, do I say something or just leave it alone? My brother already calls me the food police. Have you experienced this? How does your family react?

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74 Responses to “No one can take care of you, except you”

  1. TJ. S.

    I found this product, Liquid Hope, months ago…seems like an appropriate time/place to share this info.

  2. Stephen Taylor DC

    Very good article full of passion. I had a personal experience after a diagnosis of heart failure due to congestion. I asked for a lower sugar and processed sodium diet and I got a totally fiber free diet, I guess they wanted to give me an impacted colon to go with the rest of the problems. I called 2 times a day to talk to the nutritionist with no return call, I believe that they think that they are doing something good
    but that term is over stated. It appears that they are merely ignorant about what good is. The only choice is to stay away from the hospital. Eat healthy food only and exercise regularly. I am using your advice about dandylion tea, now I advise no one to do it at night.

  3. Vicky

    This happened with my father as well, but this was up in Canada where the health care is free to all… but should you be native american, well you’re treated way differently than the regular canadian. For lack of better word, I did go on the warpath… as I was livid they were feeding my dad such crap… and with him also being diabetic, it was all foods that were starchy and cheap, no salads, no greens… I ended up bringing in half of his meals for the time I was up in Canada.

    Your story did remind me of those times… definitely things need to be changed in the health care systems as well. Glad you posted. :)

  4. cathleen

    No I will not donate dangerous food (I would toss it; I buy and donate healthy nonperishable items or cash to the food bank). Yes I will say something to family about food choices. I’ve been teased a LOT but I reply, “I wish I didn’t have to be all organic and gluten free. If our FDA did their job I wouldn’t have to be so diligent!” I’m sick due to unknown causes (immune disease, etc) my current doctor and I are convinced it’s due to the crap in our food, meds, etc and some people, including myself are more sensitive to such poisoning. Your website teaches me, I pass it on to my family and it has caused them to take care and changed the way they eat.
    Hospital food- My stepdaughter gave birth last week and the ONLY choice of food for her for a day post surgery at Baylor Hosp in Ft. Worth, Tx was green jello! I brought her fresh fruit but they forbid her to have it. For “health reasons” she had to have Green jello!!! What we pay to stay in hospitals the nutrition should be there and should certainly be monitored.
    Keep spreading the word! Especially For our aging parents who trust the food companies and for the very young who need us to make changes so they have a healthy chance!
    Good thoughts for your dad!

  5. cathleen

    If you take on the healthcare system, the food babe army will be behind you, I’m sure! And would probably quadruple in size, or more!
    And where can I get Dr Shana’s info?

  6. Anna

    I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to be hospitalized for a disease I can’t control (ulcerative colitis) even though I have tried through diet change… When I was so ill and at deaths door and was finally allowed to eat in the hospital they brought me sugar, more sugar, dairy, instant and canned vegetables, processed meats (before the hospital I had been on homemade broth, no sugar or dairy) and they wondered why I nearly became diabetic in the hospital? Why on earth would a nutritionist feed a person with ulcers in their colon these things? And icing on the cake : the hospital didn’t know what gluten free was. Something has to be done. :(

  7. Deena

    Liquid Hope does look really good if you can’t swallow food and are on a feeding tube. Many hospitals are starting to allow patients to have this instead of junk they put in feeding tubes. I definitely just throw the so called “Fake Food” away because I feel really guilty letting anyone eat it. Many people know how I am about the food and I think underneath their comments really respect me alot because I have a special control over myself with what I will and won’t eat while many people are just not caring or self disciplined about their own food choices because unfortunately they are physically and mentally addicted to the poisons in the food they are eating. Health is true wealth in my opinion!

  8. Laurie SH

    My heart goes out to you Vani. I went through the very same “House of Hospital Healing Horrors” with both of my parents. We brought in food- that helped- and got out as fast as possible.

    I believe you may have just discovered the tips of other icebergs. Don’t despair, we do what we can do when we can do it.

    Spend time with your precious father while you have him. We FoodBabeNationals will keep the faith without you for awhile.

  9. Sim

    It was interesting to read all the replies as I have the exact same questions in my head all the time. It is a toughie. So many things to consider. And, it’s a bit discouraging at times getting called things like ‘the food police’ when you really want to help your loved ones get healthier. Thank you for this personal article. It is nice to know that even ‘the food babe’ has similar issues. :)

  10. Kristi

    Vani, check out the practices at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in West Bloomfield, MI which creates meals using organic produce and has an on-site greenhouse. They have begun to shift how people think about health care and how wellness and food help in healing.

  11. Shiva Steve Ordog

    Good observations on the food. I experienced this myself a couple years back. I had a brief hospitalization for a flesh eating bacterial infection in my leg. I identified myself as a vegetarian, but was still brought a cheeseburger. With pushback, they saw the mistake and brought me a veggie burger but still the same crappy bun and limp toppings. My home fare of fresh green smoothies was cited by the internist as helping me fight the infection well and recover quicker than meat eaters. No real help from the hospital kitchen. Love the picture of the “gray” green beans you posted, I think I was served the same ones. I could not get smoothies at the hospital. I could not get large salads with a good variety of fresh, local veggies. I got a lot of processed foods, sugars, additives, chemicals.

  12. Pauline Dean

    HI Food BAbe,
    Tho I myself eat only organic, juice, etc., if I found myself and I have, with gmo foods, I could not toss it. I would pass it on to whoever. Because I see thousands buying these poisonous foods every time I go shopping ! We try our best to educate people and be a good example when we serve others, but it its their choice to eat bad, we are just passing our judgement on them to was “like we do”. We cannot let them starve if they are needy. cause we know if they were able to get their own, it would be gmo regular junk off the shelf.

    What would happen if we suffered a catastrophe ? We would all be eating gmo foods as that would be all we could get. But we would take it as we would have to survive until the proper food was available to us again.


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