I am not a person who can just “not eat” when sick, waiting to get better. Even when I’m really sick, I don’t completely lose my appetite. Not only that, but as soon as the worst symptoms are over, I often find myself ravenous, probably an effort by my body to replenish depleted nutrients.
I’m not sure if that’s strange, but it can really pose a problem for me during the rare times when I’m sick and my body just isn’t ready for the food I try to feed it!
As you guys know from earlier this week, I came down suddenly with a stomach bug Saturday night, and spent Sunday and Monday recovering. The first time you get really sick as a Paleo eater, it can be strange. Most of us are used to eating dry cereal, saltines, and chicken noodle soup when we’re sick, and all of a sudden we wonder how to eat paleo while recovering from an illness!
I decided to show and tell you about my meals on Monday for this WIAW, so you can see how I modified my typical meals as my system was still settling down and recovering, but I was also super hungry and needed the extra nourishment to replenish what I’d lost.
My Paleo Meals on a Sick DayBreakfast – My stomach was that unpleasant combination of starving and still sick-feeling – I wanted to eat everything yet KNEW that would be a bad, bad idea. I stuck with a combo that is probably the most digestible for me – eggs and plantains.
I left out the meat (for now) and cooked everything in coconut oil. I had a little bit of spinach with this too – veggies are often the toughest thing to reintroduce so it wasn’t as much as usual. Diana would tell you that I must have been cooking 3 things at once, since I burnt my plantains. I only burn breakfast when cooking too many different things at once.
NO COFFEE. As much as I love it, there is just no good reason to drink coffee when your goal is to get your body re-hydrated and re-nourished. I sipped on water during the morning instead. Lunch – I had a very simple lunch – sweet potato and ground beef hash, cooked in coconut oil with a little salt, no spices. Skipped the green veggies here and chose meat instead. It felt like eating both at once would’ve been overkill at that point. If you don’t normally drink kombucha, I definitely wouldn’t start right after an illness – it can be harsh if you’re not used to it. I normally drink one bottle a day (16oz) but drank only half on Monday to get the benefits of the probiotics without overloading my system. In an ideal situation, I would’ve drank some both broth in the afternoon, but I haven’t been making it over the summer and wasn’t prepared! Last fall/winter, I made both broth in my slow cooker regularly and plan to do the same this year, since it’s great for strengthening the immune system and healing the gut. You can also use it in tons of recipes, so it’s practical and healthy to have on hand. Snack – Not my typical, but I wanted something very digestible! This was supposed to be my pre-race food on Sunday, so I figured I might as well not waste it.
The banana was fine, but the apple sauce tasted so sweet to me. One thing I don’t crave when my stomach is off, is sugar. No harm done, however. Dinner – My theory here was just more of what worked during the day, plus a bit more of the green stuff since I was feeling more normal at this point.
Excuse the shape of my burger, it must have been a long day 🙂 My whole family had burgers and mac and cheese, I cooked up plantains in coconut oil for myself to sub for the mac and cheese, and my kids and I shared an avocado too.
Very basic, plain stuff you’re used to = a good idea when you’re not 100% yet. Green veggies of all kinds are the last thing to come back into my diet fully since it just doesn’t feel right for me for a few days. The meat works for me since I eat it all the time and I think my body craves it more than anything else. Dessert – If you can call this “dessert” – it was really just a small portion of strawberries.
I drank a lot of water at night since I was still feeling dehydrated and was finally thirsty enough to drink a good amount. No chocolate, for the same reasons no coffee was consumed. Just not helpful for what I needed.
And…that wraps up my day. Luckily as of Tuesday I’ve been nearly back to my normal meals and portions, plus I’m running again!
Sending happy, healthy germ fighting, gut healing vibes out to everyone 🙂
Do you completely lose your appetite when sick?
What foods do you first introduce back into your diet?
Have you made bone broth?
Reader Reviews & Comments
Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says
This post reminds me how much I hate being sick due to my appetite being off! I know the feeling of being hungry but not really able to handle food yet- so tough! The last time I had a stomach bug I ate crackers and really bland soup for the first day, then I started adding toast in. Bananas are usually ok for me too. I am always so sad when I can’t drink coffee when I am sick (between knowing it won’t help plus not really wanting it) so I usually stick to tea instead.
The first day I didn’t eat at all for a while, then it was plain eggs and banana, then a sweet potato. Today is finally completely normal, but I still didn’t really season my food. Yeah, being sick with that really sucks.
The Cookie ChRUNicles says
The last time I had a severe stomach bug, I became vegetarian! lol. I swear, I take a long time to recover food wise after being sick like that. It’s the only time in life where my appetite is nonexistent. It is a weird thing though, as I experienced last month with a stomach thing, to not eat what we are used to. I couldn’t do vegetables for weeks and when I tried, I was in so much pain. It’s odd when I have to live on bagels and processed crackers and stuff – luckily oatmeal and banana always saves the day. Really easy on my stomach. Glad you are feeling better.
More veggies finally today, and they were missed! Slowly though, not too much. I think fiber is tough to digest in general and when your gut is wiped out it has to build everything back up. Bananas save me in so many ways too!
SuzLyfe (@suzlyfe) says
Glad that you are feeling better! Obviously our diets are totally different, but I usually go for a lot of white flours and soups that are chicken or vegetable broth based. When I was sick last November it was attack of the white/tan/yellow food!
Broth and soup is awesome, wish I’d had some on hand! Slow cooker just came out after a summer in hiding.
I don’t completely lose my appetite when sick either. I find myself eating pretty similar to when I am not sick, maybe more smoothies packed with greens since there isn’t much chewing involved, but I really try to pack in the nutrients because that is what the body needs MOST when sick!! So sorry you caught the stomach bug and hope it’s gone for good!!!
Quality over quantity when we need to get better, very true! I’m just about back to normal today, thanks!
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious says
I don’t completely lose my appetite, but I do crave less food and easily digested food. Like you too much fiber or veggies can irritate my stomach. Hope you’re having feeling better now!
Agree, fiber is the last thing that comes back, finally eating veggies today and I think it’s okay. Thanks!
awww i hope you feel better! I hate the feeling of being extremely hungry when your sick but you know you shouldn’t eat what you normally eat, in my case, veggies! I usually have to stick to bland and carby foods.
The blander the better, and ease back in slowly!
Emily @ My Healthyish Life says
I don’t lose my appetite either. Plus, who wants to go a day without eating good food? Life is too short 😉 I normally stick with plain oatmeal, chicken, sweet potatoes and minimal fruits and vegetables. Glad you’re feeling better!
That sounds about right! I want sweet potatoes always 🙂 And thank you!
Thank you so much for this post. This is exactly what I had asked you a few months ago when I asked what you eat when your stomach is off and queasy. I just went through a similar bout and eating while on the mend can be tricky when paleo. I eat that way, but my husband doesn’t which makes it that much harder to buy and use up things as one person. Remember we are empty nesters so it’s only the two of us. I just can’t throw out food, it goes against everything I believe in. Is your husband strictly paleo? I know he loves and eats what you prepare, but I mean breakfasts and lunches during the weekday. I know you are cooking for a family so my issue is non-existent for you. I am traveling in two weeks, when we get back, I will send you a few dates and you pick what’s good for you guys. We are flexible. Have a good holiday.
Adam only eats paleo at home, I never waste food though since my kids eat a ton! If anything we always run out – constant eating around here. And thank you, same to you 🙂
Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
I never really lose my appetite when I’m sick either. Wait no that’s not entirely true. If it’s some sort of stomach thing, then I definitely don’t feel as hungry. But if it’s a cold or throat thing, then I’m usually ravenous. And it’s saltines, pretzels, toast, and white rice for me 😆
Stomach thing definitely is tough to eat through, I’m finally back to normal today. With a cold though I want to eat more, very true!
I don’t ever totally lose my appetite even when sick (it might be better for me sometimes if I did…) I try to stick to digestible foods. I used to get sicker, before finding out about my wheat allergy, when I would just eat toast and crackers and have my stomach go funny even if I started with a head cold – now I know why. I usually go for oats, plain chicken, potatoes, and such now.
The plainer the better. The one thing I really avoid is spices, finally back to a little seasoning today.
I’m glad you went with the banana even when you were feeling down and out. Hooray for potassium.
I eat when I’m sick too. It’s even more important to get nutrients in when you’re ill.
Happy WIAW and thanks for linking up.
Definitely important to replenish whatever you can manage, we get well sooner that way I think 🙂
When I’m totally under the weather I lose my appetite, but for colds I am usually ravenous as well – I typically stick to vegetable broth and carbohydrates (Cheerio’s and oatmeal) since it’s easiest for me to absorb. I’m glad you’re feeling better and back to running 🙂
I remember subsisting on cheerios whenever I got sick when I was little. I’d nibble on them all day 🙂
Strength and Sunshine says
When I just have a cold, I am sooo hungry! My body needs the fuel to fight!
I’m the same with a cold, what you said plus trying to get rid of the gross “cold taste” 😉
Arman @ thebigmansworld says
OH God, I think I’m the opposite- I get ravenous when I’m sick and cannot stop craving butter. lol. But I hear you on the coffee thing, I found that the hardest to cut out.
Butter, ha! And no place for coffee when trying to get better, sadly.
I haven’t been sick like that in a long time. I’m so glad you’re feeling better! And back to running, too! That’s awesome. You’re obviously doing something right with your nutrition.
Thanks! I rarely get sick, when I do I almost forget what to do! Not sure if it’s nutrition or all the kids germs finally strengthened my system 🙂
I definitely head straight for the white carbs when sick. Rolls, cheerios are definite staples as well as broth and bananas. I typically will crave greens but know better than to indulge!
Lots of bananas, they’re good for so much!
I almost never completely lose my appetite either.I do tend to crave more carb sources when I’m sick. A plain baked potato, sweet potato, bananas, and oatmeal are usually my go to sick foods.
I’m glad you’re feeling better!
Thanks! Sweet potatoes are always my craving no matter what it seems 🙂
ugh stomach bugs are by far the worst kind of sick! I’m glad you’re feeling better. I haven’t made bone broth, but thats on my list/fall paleo pinterest board so I’m excited to try it soon.
It’s great for so many things, recipes and health wise!
When I’m sick, I always crave oatmeal, bananas, and eggs!
All the basic good stuff 🙂
I don’t lose my appetite completely when I’ve sick, either. I really enjoy bone broth when I’m sick – I always try to keep some in the freezer for cooking or for sick days. It’s so soothing and has so many nutrients! Greens and fiber-y vegetables are the some of last to come back into my diet after I’m sick. I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling better and running again!
I really need to make some broth – just hauled out my slow cooker, it was in hiding for the summer 🙂
It depends on the type of illness. When I have a fever, yes, I completely lose my appetite and live on soup. If it’s a cold, I might or might not be hungry.
I do try really hard to eat well when I’m sick, but you’re right, I often don’t crave veggies which is kind of weird because I really love my veggies.
And I know it wouldn’t float your boat, but I swear by matzo ball soup when I’m sick. 🙂
Matzoh ball soup is good stuff! Colds don’t affect my appetite at all, although I think I tend to want to eat more to cover up that “cold taste” 🙂
danielle saucy smith says
yummy! i’m a bit envious, lol. honestly i have not been able to keep anything down since last friday. my stomache bug must have been more of a beast! i actually got a hip injury sitting on the toilet. you think i’m joking? ask my chiro. lol! i finally ran a very slow 4 today and took it easy, nothing came out so that’s good. can’t wait to eat real food again! <3
Oh gosh sorry it’s been so rough for you! Real food soon enough, that’s one bad bug 🙁
Happy Fit Mama (@happyfitmama) says
I very rarely lose my appetite. When it’s a stoamch thing, I usually go for the bland. Crackers for breakfast, lunch and dinner usually is my go to!
Bland is better, for sure. I’m finally back to everything normal!
I am definitely the same way- even when I am sick, I wanna eat! 😛
I would think that’s healthier!
I can’t get enough meat especially when I’m sick too…it’s crazy how much I get meat hungry when I don’t have it.
Do you brew your own kombucha? I just started and use the exact same bottles (I found mine at IKEA) to bottle mine up.
Hope you’re feeling better!
Yup, I started brewing over the summer and it’s awesome!