Sunday, May 31, 2015

Jamie's Thoughts: What to do When You're Sick on Paleo

Comfort foods you normally eat when sick and have a fever aren't Paleo.  Saltine crackers.  Nope. Chicken noodle soup.  Nah.  Not that either.  Even orange juice and ginger ale don't work on Paleo. While bacon might be wonderful for adding flavor to so many dishes, it isn't something you'd want to eat when you are in the throes of a raging, appetite -suppressing fever.  So, just what should you eat when you are sick and trying to stay Paleo?    
Last summer I came down with the worst fever I've had in years.  I was home alone (except for the kitties, of course) because my boyfriend was working.  The fridge was empty.  There wasn't even any fever reducing medication in the house--so, Paleo or not--I had no choice but to just deal with it and await my boyfriend's return.  

I forgot what it felt like to have a fever.  And it feels like crap, folks.  Fever, especially a high one, comes with an all-encompassing sense of discomfort. Existence itself is difficult.  Food is repulsive.  It can be hard to keep down fluids, though it is a necessity.  A fever that climbs high enough may even cause vomiting.  

When my boyfriend returned home, he brought me advil, and I happily swallowed the pills, looking for some much needed relief.   When the fever subsided a bit, I began to realize I needed food, having consumed nothing that day.  Saltines were the only thing I could stomach, and so, Paleo or not, that's what I ate.  Chicken noodle soup hit the spot too.  What a bummer that my sick-girl comfort foods are not Paleo-friendly.  

Last year, fever caused me to stumble off the Paleo wagon. It didn't last for long.  When I felt recovered enough to cook, I jumped right back on. But that experience made me wonder:  Is it possible to stay Paleo when you have the flu?  

Nearly one year later, I got an answer to that question:  Yes.  Yes, it is possible to stay Paleo when you're sick.  But you need to be prepared.  

You see, last week I came down with some weird fevery, chest cold thing that's been going around the Bay Area. Fortunately, this time I had done my weekly cook up the day before.  Bone broth--check.  Plenty of fresh veggies in the fridge, including some purees--check.  

Fully stocked and prepared is the place you want to be when you're down for the count.  I'll admit that I did take an advil to help with the fever because I had some work that needed to be done. After that wore off, I waited out the fever.  I was so very thankful that the kitchen was fully stocked with tea, honey, bone broth and veggies.  One big difference is that this time, I never lost my taste for Paleo-friendly fare.  Eating a saltine cracker wasn't even something I craved.  

Reflecting and comparing both experiences, I do believe that the fever associated with last year's illness was worse than this year.  All things considered though, I know that my preparedness really helped make things easier on me this time.  

I guess the moral to the story is to try to be prepared, but just do the best you can.  If you need saltines to feel better, go for it--without any guilt.  

I hope that I caught the tail end of that virus and that everyone is looking forward to their Summer plans.  



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