being sick on keto

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being sick on keto

Last November, I posted about having gotten sick, back in the pre-covid days when it was significantly less scary.

If you have a short-term illness and don’t have “keto flu” (which is primarily caused by electrolyte issues), and also can exclude feeling sick from cheating on keto, then you likely have either a respiratory illness (cold or flu) or a bout of vomiting and/or diarrhea (stomach virus or mild food poisoning).

Mine was a respiratory bug. On November 9, 2019, I posted:

So going to prep the little garden a bit in a while, then off the the farmer’s market to get my stuff for this week’s RBSs. Planning to do egg salad and tuna salad on whatever greens I find with ranch dressing.

I missed my Mon-Wed fasting this week.

Mon, woke to a note from the wasband saying our dryer broke. Given our fridge has been screwy for some time, I changed my plans for the day to go to a used appliance store.

My bG was rising to what is high for me, and I didn’t feel well, so decided to do some eggs and broth for dinner instead of fasting.

Tue, I woke up with a congested chest, runny nose and a bad cough. bG was up all day again, running between 150-160. The appliances were delivered, which of course meant emptying and refilling the fridge. After that, I needed a long nap before I went to vote. Decided to do some elderberry concentrate and egg drop soup for dinner.

What is amazing to me is that I am in a position to consider that *high* bG; it would’ve been judged “good” just a few months ago.

My Libre sensor fell out yesterday, 2 days early. So after I took another shot of elderberry this morning, I poked my finger. Down to 148. Lungs are clearer too, so elderberry is working well and not screwing my bG too badly.

I have known for years that illness makes your bG rise, but am just now discovering it makes you gain weight too! Given I doubt I can put on fat from a few eggs, some broth, and a couple shots of elderberry, I assume it’s water weight and will fall off again soon.

Being sick sucks, of course, and having household crises to deal with while sick doesn’t make anything better! But given I still feel better than I did a few months back, I’ll take it.

And frankly, another shot of elderberry and some more soup tonight will probably fix it.

And then tomorrow on to the RBS again.

I’m pleased with myself that I am treating being sick in a ketoish way.

Since that time, we’ve had many folks on the ELAB group come along and ask what to eat when sick on the keto diet.

Obviously, the answer for respiratory diseases had changed: contacting your doctor for a covid test ASAP and quaranting until you get the results is paramount.

With all illnesses, healing is fastest when you get sufficient rest and fluids and my favorite fluid when ill is always bone broth.

I make my own bone broth, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can score some from Amazon rapidly, either high quality bone broth or frugal bone broth.

For respiratory illness, I always use elderberry, and I also double up on electrolytes, which given my recipe includes magnesium ascorbate, also doubles my vitamin C intake.

With the belly type of sick, I also lean on electrolytes heavily, but my fluids also include either ginger tea or diet ginger ale to help settle my stomach. Peppermint essential oil can help too.

When I can keep food down, I heat some bone broth and whisk a beaten egg into it to make an egg drop soup. I flavor with a bit of tamari, and perhaps chopped scallions if I have any on hand.

For any type of bacterial infection, whether respiratory or GI, I’d also recommend Amanda’s garlic soup.

At least when you’re sick, you lose weight, right? Welll… not so much in my case, my 16-week weight loss chart was a bit disappointing.

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