Sick Day

I remember sick days as a kid. I’d feel so guilty if I felt better after a shower and wasn’t at school. Nowadays I just feel plain guilty taking a day off from work and making my coworkers work harder even if I feel like absolutely crap. I woke up Saturday morning with a sore throat around 2am so I popped some ibuprofen and felt better upon waking, but still not 100%. Since then I’ve only felt worse as time goes on, but luckily today I may be on the upswing since I at least can stand up without feeling exhausted.

My mom thinks I may have the flu. Body aches and fatigue are signs, she says. I got the flu shot, though. But so have others whom I know and they have gotten the flu too. So what’s the point of getting the flu shot if you still get the flu? Less severe symptoms. Protecting others who may not be able to get the shot for a whole variety of reasons. I can’t tell you to be vaccinated, but I can tell you that I certainly don’t want to feel worse than I have these past few days and I would never wish these feeling on anyone else, either.

Besides feeling terrible, I have to laugh at myself My mom told me she thought I was getting better since I was eating and another sign of the flu is poor appetite. Well, I don’t have an appetite, but I love food and look forward to a reason to eat toast or frozen waffles or cereal on the regular. I also know that my estimated energy needs (aka calories) increase when my body is sick so you better believe I’m going to fuel my body even if I avoid fruits and vegetables for a few days. Being sick is about eating anything that sounds good just to fuel your body because it’s harder to come back from any illness or trauma if you’re undernourished. Half of my job as a clinical dietitian is encouraging people to eat high calorie foods to prevent weight or muscle loss.

Like I said above, I’ve been eating all the carbs and don’t feel bad about it at all. Saturday I ate the same two things: peanut butter and banana for breakfast and a snack and then leftover mushroom pasta with chicken and goat cheese for lunch and dinner. Since I ran out of leftovers and had ZERO energy to cook, I used Amazon Prime delivery to get some things from Whole Foods: juice, seltzer, mac and cheese, frozen waffles, and cereal. The staples. I probably won’t use delivery that often because I live very close to a Whole Foods, but when you can hardly walk to and from the bathroom it’s helpful.

My staples over the last few days were:

Peanut butter oatmeal.

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Waffles and peanut butter. 

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Cereal and yogurt/milk.

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Mac and cheese.

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Toast and eggs.

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When you’re sick it can be so hard to identify hunger and fullness or even to know what your body needs. Most people eat less or skip meals and that can be okay when your body is working so hard to get better, but ultimately you should try to eat something. Anything. Ditch the food guilt or feeling like you “should” eat a fruit or vegetable. I’m still alive and I only ate carbs for three days.