Hi all! I am currently working as an RN, and as I have opened my mind to the amazing world of veganism, I find my work more and more hypocritical and challenging. I work in a clinical hospital setting, where the focus on diet with disease is non-existent. How sad is that?? My question to you all is, how can we change this? How can we change the focus of popping pill after pill to mask the torture we are putting our bodies through with these hideous diets? I have tried to spread education about nutrition to my patients, physicians, my colleagues....and I nearly always get ridiculous eye-rolls and the "oh, you sweet little hippie girl" response. Help!
Hi Julia, I also work in a hospital (OR surg scrub nurse) and it makes me sad to see so many patients come in for procedures that are related to lack of proper diet and exercise issues (diabetes, smoking). My cafeteria is the worst - fried foods, cold cuts, soda - the healthy stuff is minimal to non-existent. It is also crazy expensive for this junk. I bring my own food everyday. If someone asks about my food, I try to educate them on a veg diet, and in the end I also get eye-rolls and giggles (like I'm an idiot for caring what I put into my body and want to help the eco and animals). Then they go on and on about how they don't feel well and how they are gaining weight, etc. - all the while shoving meat, sugar, dairy into their mouths. So I roll my eyes!!! I have no idea how to reverse this mindset in patients, physicians, and colleagues . . . I just thought I would share that you are not alone in this, it's all over the place. *On a side note, my personal physician is the one who told me to eat veg and I have ever since to control iron deficiency and hypertension issues. So that's at least one who knows what's going on! :) Jess
When I asked my doctor about nutrition that could help me stay well, he recommended that I read The China Study. He does a lot of research in his field and likes the book because it's all research based information. My husband and I took the leap and we love the way we feel on this vegan diet. And we love the food we're eating! Could you leave a copy of the book in the waiting room?
it's so very frustrating - especially when there are documented studies out there like The China Study that are largely ignored by the medical community. When my dad had a quadruple bypass 15 years ago, the first meal he was served in the hospital after surgery was a hamburger on a white bun! He did not eat it, we brought in every meal for him and he has eaten healthy since with no other heart issues. When my mom had double knee replacement surgery (rheumatoid arthritis that was in remission for over 15 years from diet changes I may add) we again brought in her food - the hospital was close to our favorite vegan restaurant, Candle Cafe, and so she was totally vegan in recovery and no one could believe how fast she was up and walking, how quickly she healed. I really feel for you, being in that climate on a daily basis and having to confront all of this, seeing things you know are making people unhealthy and no one doing anything about it - I can't imagine how frustrated I would be!
Oh, the cafeteria is the worst! And I'm amazed at what people consider "healthy" foods - i.e. "grilled" chicken (laying in a pan of grease/fat/salt). Frustrating! I have been using a line in Alicia's book lately, though - every time someone teases me at lunchtime for noshing on yummy veggies, I simply point to the piles of meat on their plate and state "That was alive. Now it's dead. And it's in YOU."
Makes them stop chewing and THINK (even if only for a few seconds) every time ;)
Hi - Its is really frustrating at times. Watching people eat terrible food then complain about their health is difficult! Why do they not get the connection? Its like watching someone bash their finger with a hammer repeatedly, then wonder why they have a hurt finger! They take pills to ease the finger pain, but they keep hitting themselves! Isay, give up the pills and stop hitting yourself with a hammer!
What works for me is to get folks' own mental energy flowing. Here's how I do it. After they get done laughing at me and making girlie jokes (I am a 45 yr old man), I explain that I was in their shoes not long ago: overweight, tired, unhappy and on 5 prescription meds for high BP and cholesterol. I explain that I realized there had to be a better way then pills, so I did research on diet. That will usually prompt a question, like what research. Then I tell them I read the China Study (and a few others, but the China Study is pure science from "real" scientists) and decided that animal based foods were the root of my health issues and unhappiness. At this point they may still roll their eyes, but then I hit them with my results: I say, it really has worked for me. Since going vegan on 1/1/2010, I have lost 25 lbs, my BP is now normal, my cholesterol is down 40 points and I AM OFF THE MEDS COMPLETELY! And this is where I plant the seed (pardon the pun) to get them to think: I say, "life is choices. I made a choice to research my diet and made the choice to change based on my findings. It worked for me. But maybe cheeseburgers, chicken wings and coca cola work for you - you have to decide what works" Then there is usually a long pause cuz they know what they are doing is NOT working for them.
That usually ends the teasing and many times they start asking me more questions on how to go vegan! Show them the results I say. They can't argue with that!
I think education is the key. Sooner or later someone's light will go on and they will realize that what they're doing isn't working for them and hopefully be prompted to make healthy choices that do. People can only live in denial for so long!
This will take time and witnessing the results of people taking control of his/her health choices. I have been vegan since November and the last couple of weeks I flirted with animal foods, just to see how my body would respond, and finding that vegan is better for me. however I am still having difficulty as missing cheese, and yogurt. Please do not be too hard on vegetarians as this is a beginning to leading a much healthier lifestyle. The Dietitians need to work closely with Doctors/patients and allow patients a choice of types of meals eaten during recovery.
There are several different ways to address a health problem. We assume that the best place to take our health problem is the doctor's office. For much of the world population or for anyone who lived 50 or hundred years ago, this was not an option.
We all are aware of what to expect when we present our health problem to our personal physician. They may prescribe medication or wish to conduct tests. They may refer us to a specialist or even admit us to the hospital.
A large proportion of the world population does not have a local doctor to visit. For these people, their most trusted authority might be grandma.
A stomach ache makes a very good example.
A person with a stomach ache that does not go away after a few days goes to their doctor. The doctor commonly orders a surgical procedure where a tube is placed down the patient's throat so that the doctor can look at the lining of the esophagus and stomach.
A person who lives in another part of the world does not have access to these procedures. They may or may not want to ask Granny for help, they probably already know what Granny is going to say.
She says :
" I saw you drinking all that beer last night. I told you not to drink all that beer and eat all that pizza. No wonder your stomach hurts!".
Granny does not order endoscopy or prescribe medication. Granny simply tells you what you did wrong that caused your stomach hurt.
These two different approaches come from disparate points of view. It is just as unrealistic to expect your physician to tell you why your stomach hurts as it is to expect granny to order medical tests.