Stocking Up on H1N1 Provisions
I'm thinking of stocking up on provisions in case I get the flu. I got the idea from a pamphlet in the mail from the government and it actually struck me as a pretty good idea; I live alone, have no family in the area and most of my friends live on the opposite side of the city (so it would be a few hours out of their day if I needed them to buy something for me).
So... what kind of things should I stock up on? I have a fridge with a freezer, but not one of those big standalone freezers (the name eludes me).
(I'm a vegetarian, but meaty ideas might be of interest to other people.)
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I am just now recovering from the flu, H1N1 or otherwise and I can tell you that it is no fun. Have a contingency plan with your friends to check up on you if you become ill. If you become very congested and your blood oxygen levels dip as mine did, you may or may not be able to decern that you are in trouble and call for help. I was lucky to have made a dr appointment and kept it. I was in such bad shape when I arrived my physician sent me via ambulance to the ER for treatment.
So, stock up your home with foods you know will comfort you and nourish you when you are ill. Broths, soups, rice, toast, applesauce, teas, juices. Jello, yogurt or pudding if you can tolerate the dairy while ill, I cannot. Anything easliy opened and easily and quickly prepared because you won't have a lot of excess energy to be cooking. Freezing soups and broths, homemade, in single serving microwavable containers is good. Instant potatoes can get a person through a pinch.
This is what my pantry and freezer hold now. Perhaps that's because I live where we get snow in the winter and, while rarely homebound for more a day or two, we're always prepared for that. But honestly? No matter how benign, when I feel a little under the weather, I want my comfort foods right here in the kitchen. (Also just this minute saw on the news that only 50% of people with flu seek treatment from their doctors.)
re: c oliver
Most people with the flu don't need treatment from their doctors. Remember, the flu is a virus, which means antibiotics aren't any good, and antivirals are really only effective if you take them early on. Otherwise, there isn't a whole lot a doctor can do except provide supportive care. Unless you're developing a secondary illness like pneumonia, they're going to tell you to rest, drink lots of fluids, take something to keep the fever down, etc. I can do that at home without schlepping to the doctor and exposing a bunch of other people to the flu.
I'm not saying you shouldn't see a doctor if you're developing severe symptoms, but most people don't get that sick.
Uh, back on topic. What you like to eat when you're sick is pretty individualistic. I, personally, tend to crave applesauce, lime sherbet, and hot and sour soup. As others said, the main thing to do is keep hydrated and nibble on something salty.
If you're really sick, you're not going to want to eat anything, but you need to stay hydrated. Electrolyte drinks are good, plus plenty of water. I find that I can eat saltines when I'm sick, although I never eat them when I'm well. (I think it's the salt.)
I've only had the flu once; I do get terrible allergy side effects that usually leave my throat raw. The only things I feel like ingesting is warm oatmeal, smooth soups, tea and ginger ale (my favorite soda). My advice is that you know what you like when you're sick any other time, use that as a guide to stock up on those things. As the doctors say, you can live without food for a certain amount of time but you can't live without fluids especially if you have a fever so keep hydrated even if you don't want to eat.
Even though I prefer home-made mashed potatoes, I'd probably grab some instant 'taters (instant is better than none, and if I'm that sick I'm not sure I'd be there enough to keep track of boiling potatoes) and chicken broth. Also juice boxes. For some reason when I'm sick, juice tastes better out of the box. You can drink them room-temp, and the serving size is just about right for slow sipping (small enough that if you get a cold one, it won't be warm by the time you are done with it)