So the holiday season is over, phew! As much as I love it, I have to tell you as a private chef and caterer it is a very stressful time of year as my schedule becomes double and triple booked. Luckily the week of New Year’s Eve is usually a bit more relaxed (aside from the standard cooking on New Year’s Eve!). I was grateful that I had that week all to myself and was able to enjoy a bit of “vacation” time with my boyfriend and have some fun before heading back to work.
Well…. The beginning of my week back went just fine and then Wednesday came along. I had my coffee in the morning, went down just ok. Tried to eat a Lara Bar, only half made it into my body. Ate a full orange and then was done with work. Came home and spent the rest of the night on the couch praying what little I ate earlier that day would stay down! So it is now Sunday and I am beginning to feel like a human being again, thankfully.
But it made me think about how people eat when they are sick, what sort of flavors don’t make you feel even more nauseous than you already are and how to keep foods nutrient dense while feeling under the weather.
The way my eating pattern went was this- English muffin (sprouted grain would be preferred) for breakfast with a teeny bit of butter, a smidge of all fruit jam. An orange would be my midday snack and sparkling water (and the occasional Fresca, so good!) was about the only drink I could get down. Anything fizzy sounded good. Dinner was (sometimes) a bowl of chicken soup and a piece of bread. Towards the end of my sickness I started craving things like rice pudding (what?!) with frozen fruit on top and frozen kefir. Orange juice also sat well in my poor little tummy.
So, I have decided to make a list of the things that I found helpful and still nutritious while I was bed-ridden. I hope these will help you while you are sick to put you on the path of healing sooner.
-naturally sparkling water with lemon, orange, and fresh ginger slices. Drink with a straw, big gulps tend to upset tummies that are already unhappy.
-clementines and oranges. The fresh juiciness of the fruit helped quench my thirst and sat well with me.
-any broth based soup with noodles and maybe some veg. it’s important to keep your body nourished, so as long as you can stomach (ha!) getting those smells near your sniffer and those flavors into your mouth it can be very helpful with getting rid of that shaky weak feeling. If you can, heat your soup (low sodium, preferable) with some Kombu on the stove for about 30 minutes. Kombu is a kind of seaweed that helps impart some fantastic minerals into your soups and is practically flavorless. Score!
-sprouted grain English muffins, or at least whole wheat English muffins. A tiny pat of butter and some all fruit spread. Start with half a muffin, see how that goes. Some days it would take me half an hour just to eat that half….ugh. But I always felt better after.
-crystalized ginger pieces. Chew on these sugar coated candied pieces of ginger and your stomach is sure to be put at ease. It’s a natural remedy for an upset stomach. Sweet!
-oh, and if you’re a coffee drinker and you’re too sick to have your coffee….get ready for that mid-afternoon caffeine headache. You can help prevent this by drinking some Mate tea (I prefer cold beverages when I’m sick, so I drink the Mate-Lime bottled tea sold at Whole Foods) or prepare yourself to take some pain-reliever around 2 or 3.
Hopefully you won’t need to use these tips this winter season and you will stay nice and healthy. But if you do catch any sort of sick bug, try and use my tips to help your body bounce back as quickly as possible!