Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chemicals, Nutrition, and the Human Mind

I've been busy at my new job as a cook for a transitional group home for psychiatric patients. I'm buying, preparing, and serving meals to a group of up to 10 clients with diagnoses from depressed, suicidal, addiction, psychosis, schizophrenic, to highly paranoid. These people are in crisis and need all the help they can get. They are often on medications that aren't right but are what they can afford or what Medi Cruz decides they should have. The effects of these chemicals wreak awful havoc on their digestive and immune systems. I'm working within a budget, getting things from the food bank and shopping at the stores with cheaper prices. I feel that they should have the best quality but it needs to be affordable too. I'm hoping to set up a system with the local farmers to be able to get directly from them any surplus or donations they may wish to make, we are a non-profit. But for now it is frustrating trying to nutritionally treat my people in an intensive/emergency kind of way while getting food from Costco and Safeway. Luckily most of the donations to the food bank are organic locally grown vegetables and we've had some great Kale, Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, and Collard Greens lately, not to mention the steady stream of baby greens and baby spinach from Earthbound Farms. But it's the meat and dairy that is killing me inside. These are the last people who need to ingest more chemicals through their food. But they also do need meat and milk. Many clients are coming from the street where all they have eaten for weeks is processed sugar filled corn products. They need minerals and iron, and vitamins. They need healthy fats and proteins.

I don't know what I'm really trying to say, but I needed to say it. It's been awhile since I've had the energy to address this blog in any way and I just needed to put out there to the universe at large where I'm at.

Oh yeah and I'm endlessly frustrated at the fact that by the time I get home from work I'm so tired of making food and cleaning up kitchen that I don't want to go near my own until the next morning, which means that my own family is eating things like frozen fish sticks, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, and peanut butter and jelly for dinner. At least I've shopped well and all these things are as healthy as they can be, but that really just isn't as much as they need or deserve.

At least we can afford groceries now that I'm working.....