Here are my nuts and bolts recommendations for how to do Bright Line Eating when you’re sick…
Tip #1: Eat breakfast meals.
Eat breakfast for breakfast, breakfast for lunch, and breakfast for dinner.
The Bright Line Eating breakfast has three components: protein, grain, and fruit. Breakfast proteins are gentle things like yogurt, eggs, soy milk, almond milk, nuts, ground flax seeds, scrambled tofu, beans, and cottage cheese. Grains are things like oatmeal, cream of wheat, oat bran, rice, quinoa, sweet potato, or grits. Really, any whole grain will work, so long as there’s no sugar or flour in it. And fruit is…well, fruit. Just whole, fresh fruit.
So a day of meals when you’re sick might look something like this:
- Breakfast | Oatmeal, Greek yogurt, and a banana.
- Breakfast 2 (a.k.a. Lunch) | Rice, scrambled eggs, and some strawberries.
- Breakfast 3 (a.k.a. Dinner) | Sweet potato topped with walnuts, ground flax seeds, mandarin orange slices, and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Tip #2: Clear broth.
Sometimes when you’re really sick and can’t hold solid food down, some clear broth is good, too. I weigh my broth to 8 oz. and only have it at meal times. If I’m super sick, I might only have broth. If I can stomach some additional food, I might have broth in addition to a breakfast meal.
Tip #3: Don’t force yourself to finish your food.
Eat what you can eat, and leave the rest. But don’t go back for it later. Once the meal is over, it’s over. Go rest. There’s another meal coming.
Those are the big changes I make to my food when I’m sick. I eat breakfast meals, I might have some broth, and I don’t worry about finishing my food.
The things I DON’T change are just as important.
I don’t snack in between meals. I don’t start hunting around the cupboards for sugar and flour because I “deserve a little something.” (I’m not Winnie the Pooh. I don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s okay to go off the rails, and start abusing myself with food just because my body isn’t feeling good. Sugar and flour are poison to me and that’s just as true—probably more true—when I’m sick or feeling under the weather.