Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gluten Free Eating When You Are Under the Weather

I have been sick since last year. I am on round two of antibiotics for a sinus infection and ear infections. I've missed days of work. I've miraculously taken flights I needed to without feeling too terrible, but I'm sure the dehydration of being in the air hardly helped my sickness. Being so down has given me a greater commitment to taking the best care of my body, quirks and all.

It started on our Christmas trip, which was delightful. We made a trip of Reno's Haven on Earth dedicated gluten free bakery, and got some chocolate chip cookies for good measure. I have great appreciation for folks who will open up a gluten free bakery - and so many of their items were casein free as well, making it very easy for the husband and I to navigate. We went sledding, played at the children's museum, and even got to decorate a homemade chocolate zucchini cake shaped as a 3-D Christmas tree, covered in green frosting that was lightly lemon flavored. How do you compete with that face? (And that cake?)

I also read Brittany's post about having the flu with an autoimmune disease. Celiac disease is often connected with other autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease and more.

Here's a few things to try:

- Hydrate as much as possible. Keep drinks around that you like, and also focus on the water as much as possible. Slices of lemon and lime, or frozen berries, are great if you are getting bored.

- Try Oscillo if you are interested in a natural remedy (to relieve flu-like symptoms). Try to keep your vitamin intake as high as possible. Take Vitamin D drops if you are concerned about Vitamin D or have issues keeping your levels where they need to be. Take a multivitamin if it's something you normally do. Drink green smoothies if you have fresh veggies on hand, or can get some nice soul to help you with this. It's very healing for your body, and you'll notice a temporary perk in your spirits, too. Take probiotics to help strengthen your body.

- Take pain reliever (such as Tylenol or naproxen) sparingly, but it can really help keep the inflammation at bay. Inflammation is particularly fiesty with an autoimmune disease, Celiac included. I know that I felt marked relief after some naproxen during the worst parts of the sinus infection.

- If you are generally in charge of preparing meals, keep some easy foods on hand to eat. For me, this includes Glutino pretzels, cereal for the husband, some frozen meals including taco meat and beef brisket, extra gluten free bread in the freezer, and a good stash of fresh fruit. Try to limit or cut out dairy and sugar while you are down, since they help us easily create mucus. Limiting sugar while I'm sick is a challenge for me - it can feel like such a comfort!

- Don't compromise on eating gluten free, even if that leaves you with wilting spinach and some Glutino bars. It is so incredibly worth it to allow your body to heal by supporting it with your best effort toward gluten free eating. If you can, ask a friend, family member or neighbor for help. Give them a shopping list with brands and store names and they will love the chance to help. Seriously.

- Do your laundry. I found that washing my pillowcases and any blankets I used to snuggle on the couch will help my husband stay well. And having a well husband while I am sick is probably the best thing for me!

Overall, pay attention to your body. Try to make good choices with food and rest while you are well and it will pay off in prevention. Wear a mask if you are sick and going in public. Wash your hands when you come home from your day's errands. What's made your sick days easier this winter?

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