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ID-100277565When you’re sick or have a bad cold, the last thing on your mind is sticking to your diet plan (you just want to feel good, right?).

But you don’t have to completely throw in the towel on your diet. Here are some tips to help you nourish your body while you’re sick and stay on your plan:

  • Ask for help. First and foremost, don’t be afraid to ask for help with any shopping and food preparation. Explain to those who live with you how important your health and your weight loss are to you.
  • Have certain staples on hand. Keep specific staples around in the event you may get sick: frozen veggies, which can be made into a quick and nourishing soup by adding a bouillon cube and your favorite seasonings; Shirataki noodles, which can be added to soups or made into “pasta” dishes; miso soup packages, which are available at Whole Foods and some grocery stores; frozen or pre-cooked protein sources, like chicken or fish.  (Ask your health educator about grocery store GreenLite-friendly soups, too.)
  • Make your own soup. Mix your favorite veggies in a basic broth and season as desired. Use pre-shredded cabbage cooked briefly with parsley, onions, and celery as one option. Or try one-half of a cauliflower head, onions, and an ounce of organic tofu or a triangle of lite laughing cow cheese for creaminess (blend until creamy and adjust seasonings; this one freezes well too). You can do this with other veggies, like zucchini, asparagus, and broccoli. Shirataki noodles with chicken broth and your favorite veggies make a nice soup, and you can also add other protein sources like chicken, turkey, tofu, or a small amount of beans (1/2 cup of beans or lentils is a protein but do not do it more than one time a day.)
  • Make chicken. Rotisserie chickens are available at Trader Joe’s and most grocery stores. These can easily be made into soups and omelets. Most omelets are quick to prepare and easy to digest while you’re sick.
  • Snack smart. Snack smart with some Greek yogurt or cottage cheese (these come in ½-cup size containers for convenience) and fruit. Add sweetener or low-sugar jam, if needed, and top with almonds or walnuts. You can heat up the cottage cheese for just a few seconds in the microwave if it’s too cold.
  • Have a pre-made protein shake. Proti drinks from Greenlite or Premier from Costco are good options for a quick meal. Consume at room temperature without adding ice. Unrefrigerated fruits like bananas, persimmons, and oranges could be blended as your carbohydrate unit.
  • Comfort food. Health Wise oatmeal, hot chocolate, or our high-protein soup packets are comforting and soothing while you’re sick – just add hot water and drink.

If you absolutely have to eat something “carby,” try:

1. Alvarado Essential Flax Seed Bread (1 protein, 1 carb, available at most grocery stores)

2. Mission Carb Balance tortilla, available at most grocery stores, or Sonoma Carb Cutting Tortilla ( ½ carb, available at some grocery stores)

3. Healthy Hemp Sprouted Bread (one slice is one carb and one protein), or Men’s Bread, (one slice is one carb and one protein), both available at Whole Foods.

Remember to take your vitamins (always with adequate food) and consume enough fluids (128 ounces/day) while you’re sick. Avoid all fruit juices and processed carbs as much as possible; viruses and bacteria literally breed on these types of foods.

 Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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