As I mentioned in my last post, I have been ill with stomach flu. Monday night/early Tuesday morning was awful, I got very little sleep and lost most of what I had eaten the day before.
You will notice that Tuesday’s diet was very high in sugars and simple carbohydrates, and fairly low in protein and fat. This is not an attempt to improve my mood and energy levels after a sleepless night, but a targeted eating strategy . Basically, simple sugars are the easiest thing to digest. Not only do bland carbohydrates like porridge sooth an upset tummy, but they are digested very quickly and easily. Protein is much harder to digest – in fact the reason stomach juices are so acidic is to break down protein. So are fats (so no eggs at breakfast). Fibre can also be problematic as it broken down by the bacteria in the gut. If you’ve had a bad bout of flu with diarrhoea, then you will have fewer bacteria to deal with the fibre in your food. What’s more, the muscles around the intestine contract to move fibre through, so if you have stomach cramps, you really don’t want to encourage further contractions. So to give my overworked digestive system a break, I was avoiding protein, fat and fibre.
The other reason to stick to simple carbohydrates is they help with rehydration. Any diarrhoea or vomiting will lead to dehydration, as we lose a lot of fluids when this happens. What’s more, if you’re running a fever you’ll sweat more, which dehydrates you further. Dehydration can quickly become a serious problem when you’re ill and if nothing else will delay recovery. As I’ve discussed before, the problem is if you simply drink a load of water all at once, the body responds by increasing urine production, to prevent the salt concentration in your blood from being diluted.
The solution is to add some simple sugars and electrolytes to your drink. As they need digesting, this slows down the rate at which the water reaches your bloodstream, so your body has time to adjust. Plus adding salts makes the concentration closer to that of blood. In other words, having some simple sugars along with water will help you to rehydrate more quickly than simply drinking water alone. Which is why I spent the morning on the couch with a large pot of tea with sugar and milk (lactose sugars and electrolytes).
You can tell I was feeling somewhat betty by the evening as my appetite had returned and I felt well enough to try some cheese!
The Score for 21 March:
|Calories burned through exercise:||0|
What I ate:
|08:00||Centrum Multivitamin, Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg|
|Free From pure oats||50g||171||6.40||30.30||0.60||4.30||2.70||0.50||0.00|
|made with boiling water||250mL||0||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|topped with sultanas||25g||74||0.68||17.35||17.35||0.50||0.10||0.03||0.00|
|and ground flaxseed||10g||45||2.21||0.30||0.18||2.37||4.00||0.45||0.00|
|8:00 to 11:00||Decaf black tea||900mL||0||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|with skimmed milk||160mL||56||5.44||8.00||8.00||0.00||0.16||0.00||0.00|
|12:00||Tesco pressed apple juice||200mL||98||0.60||22.40||22.40||1.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|12:30||Tesco butternut squash soup||300g||82||1.20||7.50||7.50||4.50||4.20||0.30||0.00|
|Nairns gluten free wholegrain crackers||28g||128||2.97||16.49||0.50||2.13||4.70||1.85||0.00|
|Yakult light milk drink||65mL||27||0.80||8.80||2.90||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|13:30||Tesco Twists cheese and onion||40g||161||3.96||27.72||1.32||2.24||3.32||0.52||0.00|
|14:00 to 17:00||Sleep|
|17:30||Newburn Bakehouse by Warburtons gluten free crumpets||131g||218||5.20||43.42||1.95||1.82||1.82||0.65||0.00|
|and St Dalfour Raspberry fruit spread||20g||47||0.10||11.20||11.20||0.40||0.16||0.00||0.00|
|Plums, two medium||148g||62||0.89||13.02||13.02||2.37||0.15||0.00||0.00|
|Decaf black tea||450mL||0||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|with skimmed milk||100mL||35||3.40||5.00||5.00||0.00||0.10||0.00||0.00|
|19:30||Tesco finest vine ripened tomato and lentil soup||300g||182||7.80||19.20||8.40||4.50||7.20||0.60||0.00|
|Tesco finest raspberry jelly||120g||73||0.96||14.76||14.40||1.32||0.84||0.24||0.00|
|21:30||Nairns gluten free wholegrain crackers||28g||128||2.97||16.49||0.50||2.13||4.70||1.85||0.00|
|Applewood smoked cheddar||15g||61||3.75||0.02||0.02||0.00||5.16||3.24||0.00|
|Mature cheddar cheese||20g||83||5.08||0.02||0.02||0.00||6.98||4.34||0.00|
|Black seedless grapes||100g||66||0.40||15.40||15.40||0.70||0.10||0.00||0.00|
|Baxter’s Albert’s Victorian chutney||13g||19||0.13||4.58||4.19||0.23||0.04||0.00||0.00|