Gut bugs and viruses are going around, leaving us nauseas, achy and likely not very hungry. So you may be asking yourself, what should I be eating? We have a few tips for you based on your symptoms…
To Eat Or Not To Eat?
If you’re not hungry, feverish, and having gut issues, you may be better off to fast for a bit. Especially if you’re the kind of person that has regular hunger signals and while you’re sick nothing sounds good – then stop eating for a few hours at least, up to 24 hours. Your body may be trying to get rid of something, and/or your digestion may be backed up (especially if you’re constipated, bloated, or heartburn. When those things happen (paired with decreased hunger) your body likely needs a break to work on what it currently has, and then “clean shop”. When we add more food in, it can cause more back up or stress on the body and GI.
A Note on Metabolic Flexibility…
If you’re metabolically flexible, you may not feel any negative side effects from the lack of food. If you’re metabolically inflexible, you may feel low energy and a bit flu-like (aside from the sickness). This is where electrolytes come into play and can really help during this fasting period of time to keep you properly hydrated and somewhat energized.
Now, if you are looking to eat something, here is a list of ideal nutrient-dense foods to experiment with and try in smaller portions:
- Bone broth (the real stuff like Kettle and Fire or any refrigerated brand with visible gelatin)
- Soup with slow cooked veggies and meat
- Quality meat/fish and white rice
- Thoroughly cooked veggies with any protein that sounds good
We get asked a lot about how to get enough protein in while sick, and we recommend not worrying about it! Focus more on electrolytes, quality foods when you do eat, and resting! When you’re feeling better and have more of an appetite, then get back to your protein goals. You won’t lose your gains or progress in a matter of days or even a week.
Things to have if you’re only craving simple foods that won’t mess you up:
- Sprouted and slow cooked oats paired with a protein and fiber (protein powder and chia seeds, for example)
- GF toast with ghee, avocado, yogurt or nut butter (Base Culture or One Degree)
- Paleo (Birchbenders) waffles or pancakes (add eggs in the mix for protein)
- Overnight soaked white rice – (soak with water and a dash of apple cider vinegar overnight, rinse and cook with bone broth and/or water and coconut oil/ghee/olive oil)
- Fruit – with DF yogurt and protein powder if possible to help avoid a blood sugar spike
- Sprouted or GF cereal (One Degree, Three Wishes unsweetened)
- Protein shake (with stevia or sugar under 4g/serving) – our fave’s are Naked Whey or Amy Myer’s Paleo Protein depending on your dairy tolerance.
- Yogurt (dairy free ideally if you’re really not feeling well) – we like Forager Cashew Yogurt, or any that has minimal ingredients and additives.
- Homemade popsicles or smoothies (we like banana or berries, protein powder, yogurt or coconut milk, and water)
Things to Avoid While Sick…
- Sugar in excess – stick to fruit, honey, yogurt, or dark chocolate instead
- Seed oils
- Dairy (unless you know you tolerate it really well and you stick to quality – raw, grassfed)
- Highly processed grains
- Alcohol and too much caffeine (coffee, tea, etc)
- Too many omega-6’s (nut butters, nuts/seeds, seed oils, etc.)
- Environmental toxins – perfumes/scented lotions, cleaning products/sprays, candles, plastic bottled or unfiltered water,
Supplements to Consider…
- Magnesium Glycinate
- Vitamin C
- Desiccated Liver or Organs (for B’s, iron, copper)
- Probiotic or better yet, probiotic rich foods like sauerkraut, yogurt or kefir!
And others that may help lessen the symptoms if taken early on:
- Oregano oil
- Alkaline Silver
- Quality honey and/or propolis
Check out our Fullscript account to find the unlinked supplements at a high quality level!
At the end of the day, we are all different – our gut health, nutrient levels, and what we can tolerate – which is why we often say, “it depends” in response to questions like this one. Yet if you stick to mostly whole foods, and pay attention to how they make you feel, you can gain a lot of knowledge and then move forward with that to make choices that work best for you. And – prioritize sleep and hydration over ANYTHING else!