Archives for: September 2005, 27
Last winter there was a thread on the Forum about what to eat if you had an intestinal virus. I didn't participate, because since I had been on the Blood Type Diet I hadn't had any problems with unhappy intestines. Now I suddenly I have quite a bit of experience, so I feel qualified to write about the issue.
I came home from with from the hospital with two problems. First my intestines were completely out of whack. How shall I say this delicately? If anything went in one end, within 30 minutes an equal amount came gushing out the other.
Second I was on two antibiotics. Both of them had the potential side effect of upsetting my stomach. (No, that is not a joke) I was told to take one with lots of water and the other one with lots of crackers. I wasn't happy about the antibiotics, but remember, something inside of me had snipped that shouldn't have been snipped. For two weeks I am at risk for infection or ulceration at the site.
I thought a lot about what to eat. I remembered that when my children were little the recommended diet for upset stomachs was the BRAT diet - bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. It is a binding diet. If you're not familiar with that term, it was best explained in an article I once read about apples. Apples promote intestinal balance. If you are constipated apples will get things moving. If you have diarrhea, apples will slow things down. All of the foods on the BRAT diet are easy to digest and binding.
Toast was out. Manna bread would have been ok, but I didn't have any. Ezekiel bread was to coarse for a digestive system as damaged as mine. Bananas I had on hand, as well as apples and rice crackers.
The first order of business was to take the antibiotic that called for crackers. I remembered reading on this website that the butyrate in ghee was good for intestinal health. I put ghee on two rice crackers. The ghee tasted and felt wonderful.
The article about apples that I mentioned earlier, had said that instead of eating commercial applesauce to make your own raw applesauce. You peel and grate a raw apple, then leave it exposed to air until it turns an unappetizing brown. Then eat it. I had tried this successfully several times before the BTD for intestinal viruses. I hoped it would work as well this time, and it did.
I had read an article that said very soft cooked carrots were also binding. They were delicious with ghee.
By Saturday it was obvious that the binding foods were working, but I was eating a lot of fruit and grain. I needed to get some protein. I had cans of chicken and beef broth as well as a chicken and rice soup that contained no MSG. They were good, but seemed very salty. I wished I had saved some left over broth in zip bags in the freezer.
Still searching for protein, I mixed egg white powder with cherry and pineapple juice. The first time I did this I made it in a container with a straw like spout. I found myself drinking as greedily as a hungry baby. The next stage was scrambled eggs. Yum
Sunday I was continuing to improve. I desperately wanted meat, but every instinct warned me it was too heavy and too hard to digest. I thought of baby food, and went to the store. I bought pure vegetables - sweet potatoes, peas, and squash. I read the label on the meat and my face fell - cornstarch. It was a minor ingredient, just an additive to make the meat look tasty. I weighed the pros and cons, and bought baby beef, veal and lamb. The first bite gave me strength.
If a family member were ill, I could make my own baby food - cooking the foods soft, running them through the food processor, and straining them. But I was still low on energy. Standing to cook was an oppressive thought.
Today I am ready to move away from the baby food. Canned salmon with olive oil is on my lunch menu, and I am looking forward to it.
So - here is the list of foods that have restored my digestive tract and my strength.
apples pealed and grated
carrots cooked very soft
cherry and pineapple juice
egg protein powder
chicken and beef broth
rice in broth
baby food meat
baby food vegetables