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What to eat for food posoning recovery?

pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 05:55 AM

I'm at the spoonfuls of yogurt and a couple of saltines every few hour stage today, but am hoping to be able to eat something a little tastier tomorrow -- just don't want to upset the applecart, as it were. I have some chicken stock in the freezer, so could make soup. Also have a nice piece of halibut. It's been so long since I've been really sick that I've forgotten what ingredients/spices are easiest on the digestion.

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  1. mcel215 RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 06:02 AM

    Bland, bland, bland food for a couple of days. then re-introduce things gently. Tea, toast, gingerale... My nephew was hospitalized with food poisoning from Street food last Labor Day. Boy,was he sick.

    I had food poisoning once in my life, over 40 years ago and still remember it!

    Get well soon!

    1. thew RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 06:07 AM

      rice. bananas.toast. weak tea.

      1 Reply
      1. re: thew
        Emme RE: thew Jan 20, 2009 09:58 PM

        and applesauce... BRAT.

        next step could be to stirfry (in broth or Pam) some tofu and white rice.

      2. Sam Fujisaka RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 06:08 AM

        Burnt toast.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
          pikawicca RE: Sam Fujisaka Jan 18, 2009 12:58 PM

          Had a piece for lunch, Sam, and it tasted very good (but then I like burned toast under any circumstances). Is there something about burning the taost that makes it especially digestible?

          1. re: pikawicca
            thew RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 01:25 PM

            it isn't the digestability, charcoal is supposed detoxify

        2. l
          Louise RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 06:20 AM

          Crackers and ginger ale. Some oatmeal later if you are ambitious. Juice. Herbal tea.
          Soup with rice or noodles tomorrow.

          I've had very mild fp several times and only one Very Bad I Wish I Could Die case.

          I would stay away from any dairy product whatsoever til I was *completely* better.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Louise
            njchowgal RE: Louise Jan 18, 2009 07:18 AM

            i second louise's advice about not eating any dairy- often the bacteria in your stomach that caused the food poisoning destroy the good bacteria that normally digest dairy. even if you wait a long time to eat dairy, you may still get sick. hopefully, it won't lead to lactose intolerance.

            1. re: njchowgal
              Bryn RE: njchowgal Jan 20, 2009 04:37 PM

              I disagree if you need good bacteria, you might as well be eating yogurt as almost every yogurt on the market it right now has "probiotic cultures" which are the epitome of good bacteria.

          2. Morganna RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 06:48 AM

            BRAT or BRATY is what always works for us.

            Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Tea/Toast and some people swear by yogurt. I'm one of them. :) The beasties in yogurt are important for digestive balance in a system that's out of whack. I'd stay away from all other dairy, as someone else recommended, but having some yogurt should do more good than normal dairy would.

            I make the rice with broth, to give it more flavour, but nothing other than that. We can't really drink tea, so we usually have water, but we've also tolerated some juices when we were recovering.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Morganna
              addicted2cake RE: Morganna Jan 18, 2009 07:14 AM

              A plain baked potato, noodles, veggie broth should be fine for recovery. I had food poisoning once and I still remember how gross I felt for several days after the onset. I agree with bland and brat diets. Hope you feel better soon!

              1. re: addicted2cake
                pikawicca RE: addicted2cake Jan 18, 2009 01:01 PM

                An MD friend also recommended the plain baked potato, so I'll give this a try for dinner tonight. Do you know if plain sweet potatoes are also easily digestible?

            2. jillp RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 07:17 AM

              You have plenty of sympathy from me; I had a bout of salmonella from the 2006 peanut butter disaster.

              I lived on rice for several days; first plain cooked with water and then with chicken broth. I worked my way back to toast and fruit. Oh, and ask Craig to pick up some Pedialyte and drink that with ginger ale.

              4 Replies
              1. re: jillp
                pikawicca RE: jillp Jan 18, 2009 01:02 PM

                I tried the Pedialyte plain -- gag! Will try mixing it.

                1. re: pikawicca
                  maplesugar RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 07:53 PM

                  We've had the stomach flu go through the family recently and for the first while DH & I lived on Gatorade (nurse said it's basically pedialyte for grownups) while the kids were on the flavoured Pedialyte or plain mixed with a little apple juice.

                  Hope you feel better soon,

                  1. re: maplesugar
                    monku RE: maplesugar Jan 20, 2009 05:08 PM

                    Forget the Pedialyte.....most doctors I've known have always recommended 7-Up.

                  2. re: pikawicca
                    rememberme RE: pikawicca Jan 20, 2009 10:20 AM

                    Forget the Pedialyte -- you're a grownup! Try SmartWater instead. It has electrolytes, and will keep you properly hydrated. Then broth, jello, saltines, until it feels right to eat real food.
                    Funny -- the thread I was reading just before this was "should I throw away the shrimp that may have gone bad?"

                2. mschow RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 07:19 AM

                  We have sensitive stomachs in our family (my sister, brother and myself). We each all have had food poisoning on numerous occasions. I swear having a bad case once in your life makes you more susceptible to getting it again. I would absolutely stay away from fish and milk products. Ginger ale, ginger tea, Gatorade, Coke (not diet), and chicken noodle soup (without chicken meat in it), are the things that make me feel better. I also like a banana and saltines, and cream of wheat cereal.
                  Those are my suggestions, and I hope you feel better soon. Did you figure out what it was that made you sick?

                  1. greygarious RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 07:32 AM

                    Protein and fat are harder to digest than carbs - I learned this the hard way after a bout of diverticulitis. I was given inadequate/incomplete information about how to eat while recovering. I figured yogurt and eggs were bland, and continued to be in great pain until I spoke to a nurse who told me to stick to bland CARBS. Later on, you may need yogurt or a probiotic supplement to get your intestinal flora back on track, but not right away. Wait until your GI tract feels normal again, and your appetite returns. When I've had food poisoning, I absolutely crave oranges - I don't know if it's the potassium or other nutrients, or the astringency.

                    1. a
                      another_adam RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 08:14 AM

                      Rice porridge-- carbs, homey, comforting, super easy to make, and good with pickled veggies (which are easy to digest). Relatedly, my usual go-to food when I'm sick (or hung over) is ochazuke: a little steamed white rice in a bowl with some broth or tea poured over. I usually use weak fish broth (dried anchovies or bonito flakes cooked with kombu) and a couple drops of soy sauce, and eat it with umeboshi.
                      I second the recommendation for oranges, too!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: another_adam
                        pikawicca RE: another_adam Jan 18, 2009 01:04 PM

                        Do you suppose a little miso mixed into the broth would be okay? I could use some extra salt.

                        1. re: pikawicca
                          another_adam RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 01:38 PM

                          Yes, sure! It's great in porridge (okayu). For ochazuke more traditional way to incorporate miso, perhaps, would be to take some bonito flakes and mix in some miso, maybe a bit of sugar and/or grated ginger, and briefly stir it in a hot pan to toast and incorporate it, then sprinkle it on top of the ochazuke. But I don't see why it couldn't be mixed into the tea, instead.

                          1. re: pikawicca
                            Marianna215 RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 06:40 PM

                            I just got over a horrible case of FP myself and Miso soup brought me back to life and helped to get everything back in order digestively.. I would steer clear of adding too much to it.

                        2. d
                          Diane in Bexley RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 08:35 AM

                          Pik, I would make chicken rice or chicken noodle soup, very plain just stock and starch.

                          Fizzy 7 up or ginger ale is also good.

                          1. pikawicca RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 01:06 PM

                            Thanks for your generous suggestions, everyone! They should see me through the next few days.

                            1. monku RE: pikawicca Jan 18, 2009 01:24 PM

                              Pepto Bismol liquid or tablets before or with your meals. There's something in Pepto Bismol that will kill the bad bacteria (toxic strain of E. Coli) that can cause food poisoning or traveler's diarrhea. Also as a preventative measure when traveling you can take 2-4 tablets a day to maybe "prevent" getting traveler's diarrhea.
                              Ask a pharmacist and they will confirm the benefits of Peptol Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)

                              From University of Oregon Health Services

                              1. thew RE: pikawicca Jan 19, 2009 07:25 AM

                                while i might not recommend it as anything but tongue in cheek, but i was in morocco a few years ago with 3 friends and we all got dreadfully ill on some chicken from the casablanca trains station (i know i know)

                                on the 2nd day of sick 3 of us had spaghetti bolognese sent up by room service, and all felt much better afterwords. the 4th who wouldn;t eat the pasta stayed sick a few days longer.

                                now if i tell my friend richard im cooking a bolognese he will ask me "is everyone alright?"

                                1. r
                                  rememberme RE: pikawicca Jan 20, 2009 10:21 AM

                                  Also, yogurt does have good bacteria, but the milk in it can be hard on your stomach. So ask a friend to bring you some acidophilis or other probiotic in pill form, from your local health food store.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: rememberme
                                    iamafoodie RE: rememberme Feb 27, 2009 11:10 AM

                                    In addition to BRAT, and the A is for applesauce, the acidophilis tablets with billions of bacteria that must be kept refrigerated are the best treatment for all the violent GI tract problems. It's a good idea to take them after a series of antibiotics too. You will be amazed at your quick recovery if you just take them as directed on the package. For most folks it's almost immediate.
                                    To get re-hydrated, clear fluids are best, then add some low sodium tomato juice as it has as many electrolytes as Gatorade. Absolutely avoid all dairy products.

                                  2. kchurchill5 RE: pikawicca Jan 20, 2009 10:26 AM

                                    My sons pediatrician gave this to us when my son got the flu once. He calls it the BRAT diet. Been around for years, but I also have used it. It truly works.


                                    Apple sauce is fine, toast NO butter, white or brown rice again NO butter. However I did sneek just a touch on, very little. It really works!

                                    1. h
                                      hankstramm RE: pikawicca Jan 20, 2009 11:00 AM


                                      1. n
                                        normalheightsfoodie RE: pikawicca Jan 20, 2009 11:32 AM

                                        My doctor had prescribed the BRAT diet for me, when I had food poisoning:

                                        R- Rice

                                        Good luck and feel better!

                                        1. m
                                          masha RE: pikawicca Jan 20, 2009 01:22 PM

                                          Yes, start with the BRAT diet. You can put jam on the toast -- anything that is essentially sugar & water (like jello) is fine. As you start to recover, go to mild, plain proteins but no fats -- broiled chicken, hard-boiled egg (technically the white only, as the yolk has fat).

                                          1. pikawicca RE: pikawicca Jan 20, 2009 04:44 PM

                                            I have to say that I tried rice and it caused problems. This is probably just a personal thing, but it didn't work for me. For the record, I did a risotto without fat and added a few drops of honey -- major bad results.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: pikawicca
                                              masha RE: pikawicca Jan 21, 2009 06:29 AM

                                              What kind of liquid was used to cook the risotto -- e.g., was it a broth that included fat? Was it white rice, or brown? I've always just assumed that "rice" for the BRAT diet was basic white rice, cooked in water. I'd think you'd want to avoid brown rice because of the higher fiber content. Rice crispies are ok too.

                                              1. re: masha
                                                sebetti RE: masha Jan 21, 2009 08:12 AM

                                                The BRAT diet my son had at the hospital (ecoli) included both brown and white rice - but all was cooked in water. Of course, no 2-year old will eat plain brown rice cooked in water.

                                                1. re: masha
                                                  pikawicca RE: masha Jan 21, 2009 03:11 PM

                                                  Water, white rice.

                                              2. l
                                                lawgirl3278 RE: pikawicca Jan 21, 2009 10:52 AM

                                                Besides the usual toast and stuff, my go-to food is pastina.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: lawgirl3278
                                                  MrsCris RE: lawgirl3278 Jan 21, 2009 11:02 AM

                                                  Similarl to lawgirl's remedy, I make couscous with mild chicken broth. It's my go to comfort food after the flu or food poisoning (which I've had three times in my life - and agree with Louise that when it's bad you think death would be preferable).

                                                2. r
                                                  rememberme RE: pikawicca Feb 26, 2009 09:16 AM

                                                  For those who someday will need to know, if you have to eat out while recovering, go to a Chinese restaurant. You can order white rice and wonton soup, and just drink the broth if necessary.

                                                  1. todao RE: pikawicca Feb 26, 2009 06:06 PM

                                                    I think I might choose Crostini spread with Kaopectate

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: todao
                                                      rememberme RE: todao May 14, 2009 06:24 AM


                                                    2. Father Kitchen RE: pikawicca Feb 27, 2009 04:23 AM

                                                      Further down the line, you might want to introduce artichoke hearts. They soothe the digestive tract.

                                                      1. r
                                                        rememberme RE: pikawicca Feb 27, 2009 03:39 PM

                                                        Sorry if someone's already said this, but try fabulous Smart Water! It's just water with electrolytes, so it restores what's missing. Basically tastes like plain water, but does so much more. I had hepatits a few years ago and it's the only thing that helped me get back on my feet.

                                                        1. p
                                                          packrats68 RE: pikawicca May 11, 2009 06:43 AM

                                                          Hey I have read alot of the posts here and see I am several months behind. I have had E coli for 7 days.... I was franticallly looking for anything to help me and I wound up here. Yesterday I thought I was going to die until I was given a bottle of Oragano oil...... WOW. It works. My guts don't hurt anymore and I feel I might live. Do all the foods that are talked about but take 2 drops of Oragano oil 3 times a day. Do some research and check it out.

                                                          1. ChefJune RE: pikawicca May 14, 2009 07:04 AM

                                                            Congee, saltines, yogurt with active cultures. Be careful of the hfcs in most of the commercial ones, tho!

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