I hope you're settling into an enjoyable evening at home. As promised, I'm gonna do a short post (ok, I'm going to try to do a short post lol) about how to get in some good nutrition when you just can't seem to keep anything down *sorry, TMI* or have no appetite due to illness.
DISCLAIMER: I'm simply giving you some suggestions I've found to work well for me through my illness and some suggestions my transplant dietician gave me. When you're sick, please consult your physician and make sure you follow their orders. What works for me, may not work for you or be in your best interest. I am NOT an MD, just someone with a lot of personal experience.
Ok, now that I have that out of the way, we're on to our regularly scheduled broadcast lol
Throughout the past 6 years, there have been many times when I can't eat or keep food down due to severe nausea or no appetite. That's what I've been going through since they started me on this super, heavy duty, kills your entire system, antibiotic when I was in the hospital recently. Luckily, my last injection is Sunday and hopefully, this will go away and I'll be able to eat again (although I'm not going to lie, the numbers on the scale have been great-if only it weren't just a tease!!) When I went into kidney failure in 2006, I was assigned a dietician and she was wonderful in helping me figure out the best way to be able to eat and get in some good nutrition at the same time.
- Eat what sounds good. Ok, yea "Thanks Captain Obvious" (This is the phrase of the moment with my teenagers who would be completely mortified if they ever knew I said that out loud because I'm sooooo un-cool LOL) If you have a stomach bug or an extended illness that makes you have absolutely no appetite but every once in awhile something really sounds good...eat it! Even getting in something that may sound weird is better than nothing so go ahead and eat it (as long as you aren't on a restricted diet-again, consult your Dr)
- The colder the better. For some reason, its easier for people to get colder foods down and keep them down. I am one of those people. Luckily I learned this early in the game and have put it into play many, many times. Some of my favorites are:
- Fresh fruit and yogurt smoothies
- canned fruit that's been refrigerated
- cottage cheese (plain, with canned fruit or with a little splenda and cinnamon)
- regular cheese
- frozen popsicles (store bought or homemade)
- frozen yogurt
- cold hard-boiled eggs
- grapes and frozen grapes(one of my personal favorite!)
- fruited yogurt or even just plain yogurt (regular or Greek) Be sure there are Active and Live Cultures in the yogurt as these can help to regulate your stomach's pH. Here is a great blog post from one of my favorite blogs about this: http://www.3fatchicks.com/why-yogurt-with-active-cultures-helps-the-gut/
- fruit juices, lemonade, gatorade, Special K protein drinks and V8 Splash or Veggie juice
- Ginger Ale or Ginger added to hot or cold tea *Ginger has been found to help with nausea due to illness or morning sickness*
- Other carbonated beverages-diet or regular-but it's better to stay away from caffeinated beverages
- Dry, bland foods such as:
- Toast-no butter but can progress to putting a little peanut butter or nut butter on as your stomach starts to feel better. This will give you a little added nutrition instead of just adding extra fat with butter. Could also eat it with a little bit of jelly or fruit spread.
- Soda crackers (Saltines) or other dry crackers. If your dr says its ok, eating the salted or lightly salted crackers helps give you a little sodium which tends to help you feel better, especially if you're a little dehydrated. *Please make sure this is ok with your dr*
- Cashews, Almonds or other nuts-again, salted or lightly salted
- Plain rice. Even a few tablespoons of plain rice can help settle an upset stomach.
- Dry cereal. Usually milk and other dairy products are harder to digest but dry cereal ( my favorite is Mini Shredded Wheat with the fruit in the middle!!) can be a great way to get in some vitamins and minerals.
- Pretzels-again, with a little salt
- Dry pancakes or waffles
- Soups-especially Chicken Noodle or other broth based soups. Try to stay away from cream based soups because they tend to be harder on your stomach. Unless something's really calling to you, then obviously, give it a try!
- Adding a little protein powder or dry milk to yogurts, soups, ice cream, cottage cheese etc Again I will say, make sure this is ok for your particular diet and with your dr but, this way, if you've been unable to eat much for a long period of time, you're able to get a little protein into your body which helps with healing. Here's a great article from Women's Health Magazine that talks a little about this: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/foods-that-help-you-avoid-colds?page=1
Eating small amounts, frequently throughout the day is also the best way to go. If you're used to eating only 3 meals a day with one or two snacks, you may want to try just eating a little bit every 2 hours. This is easier on the stomach and won't overwhelm it with large quantities of food. When you're sick or have a stomach bug, if you try to eat large volumes, your stomach's response is to get rid of it...that's what you're trying to avoid! lol
When I was in the hospital, I tried to make the best choices when ordering my meals-luckily my hospital has a great food program. They have tons of food choices, including low fat, low sodium, heart healthy, gluten free and vegetarian options. They have a "room service" type plan. You order your food from their menu when you're hungry and they deliver it to your room. Gone are the days of someone coming in the day before with 2 or 3 options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and make you order everything you're going to eat for the following day. Ugh I hated that!! lol
This was a staple on my daily menu this last time:
Since I've been home, I've been relying on some old standby's in very small amounts. Things like:
|Greek yogurt with granola and berries (pic taken for an earlier blog post)|
|Frozen grapes (pic taken for an earlier blog post)|
|Greek yogurt (pic taken for an earlier blog post)|
|Yummy hard boiled eggs I made this morning. A great way to get a little protein in!|
|Fresh fruit (pic taken for an earlier blog post)|
Ok, I think this is long enough so I'm gonna wrap it up lol Hopefully this post isn't something you'll need to worry about any time too soon but, it's good to keep in the back of your mind if you ever do. It's important to stay hydrated and get some nutrition in if you're sick and hopefully some of these tips will help you out a bit.
Have a great night!!
Until next time...