healthy "diet" help

jaredjared College Station, TX Icrontian
edited October 2008 in Fitness
Ok, I'm not talking about dieting to lose weight or anything. I've lost a couple over the past month(s) from my initial lack of appetite.

I mean eating healthy. I've been told, for those of you who don't live in IRC, I have been hit hard with mono. Real hard. 90% of mono cases are the typical few days of high fever, sore throat, and maybe fatigue lasting for ~4 weeks on average. Well, lucky me - I'm the other 10%.

I'm creeping in on the 3 month mark, and while I feel somewhat better, I still feel far from "healthy" :-/. I really don't have too much of a problem with fatigue anymore, still not energetic per se, but I'm not draggin ass on a regualr basis.

The main problem I'm still having is swelling in my left neck which is presumably my (lymph nodes?) glads. It has gotten better, but it's severity comes and goes. Some days better than others. It also affects my left ear, making it feel "full" at times, even though a million doctors have told me its fine.

SO, with that said, I'm trying to clean up my diet to hopefully speed up this ridiculous recovery process. I am already taking enough vitamins everyday to cure virtually any viral disease - vitamin C, E, B-12, B complex, Mangesium, Zinc, Co Q-10, Garlic, Echinachea, L-lysine, Milk Thistle, and Selenium. If I am missing anything by all means let me know.

I have read that a good diet can be just as important and frankly what I am on now is opposite of a good diet. I've done some research (mono recovery, anti viral diet, etc), and I couldn't really dig up any specifics other than you need to make sure and get in lots of protein and Omega-3s.

Right now my diet is terrible.
Morning: Sausage Biscuit or Taquito + Coffee from Whataburger
Lunch: Hot Pocket or Subway
Evening: something not healty, maybe some tuna if I'm lucky.

What are some suggestions from you guys that got this (eating healthy) down? Ideally I'd like to have 3 normal meals with 2 (healthy) snacks in between to keep my metabalism (and immune system) on its A-game. My main problem is since I work full time I usually don't have much time to prepare a elaborate breakfast/lunch, and the same goes for the inbetween snacks.

As far as the Omega-3's, I was thinking of eating a good portion of Salmon for dinner with a heaping portion of greens. But that still leaves 2 other meals up in the air.

I'm already basically down for the rest of 2008 :sad2: (I've been told 'bad' cases can take 4-6 months), but I'd like to at least start 2009 of healthy. Eating healthy and getting the suggested nutrition can only help... I am hoping.

Let me know what you think plz :)

ps. The second hardest part is forcing myself to sleep more. I'm used to about 7 hours a night (before I got sick) and I've been told for good recovery I should be getting around 10 hours :wtf:. So I'm trying to force myself to go to bed earlier. *moar melatonin plz*

Cheers :jared:


  • NomadNomad A Small Piece of Hell Icrontian
    edited October 2008
    I had mono for an extended period of time, I ended up in the emergency room on two occasions because of it. It is indeed not fun at all.

    As you pointed out, diet and proper rest can lead to a much speedier recovery, and a good diet really facilitates the latter. The following are my personal opinions and experience, so take that with a grain of salt if you must.

    I eat on the run as well, so my suggestions will be geared towards what you can do. But for some basic starts:

    Stop caffeine consumption, don't drink soda. Caffeine is a wonderful and extremely effective drug for humans, second probably only to ephedrine. However, its prolonged use can have averse affects on sleep cycles which inhibit a lot of recovery processes.

    I'm not saying caffeine is bad by any means, but for now I would get it out of your system. You will feel groggy for the first few days, but after about two weeks it clears your system. You'll notice when you go back to use it though that it is much more potent.

    For meals, you want to be eating whole grain products, things that aren't pre-made and then frozen. Stay away from hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. Milk and lean cuts of meat are also advantageous in white blood cell production and giving muscle strength.

    You don't need some body building diet, but cleaning up a bit will help a great deal.

    - Eggs (quick, simple)
    - Shredded wheat, plain Cheerios, oatmeal are all good choices in milk
    - Wheat toast with moderate amount of peanut butter

    - Buy granola
    - Piece of fruit
    - Steamed veggies

    Lunch (The hardest meal):
    - Wheat bread sandwich with turkey breast (try not to get sugared meats)
    - Wheat bagel
    - Carrots

    - Again, fruits, vegetables

    - Lean cut of meat, salmon, chicken, lean ground beef
    - Potatoes
    - Veggies

    Dinner is the most important meal in this case, it's the one you have time for and should prepare well. You'll also save a lot of money if you eat like this even just part of the time.

    Another side bit, drink lots of water. Your piss should be clear all the time, not just part of the time. Even if your multivitamin tends to change its color, your should piss clear. Otherwise your not giving your body its most necessary component that isn't air. Coffee, teas, sodas, milks, juices, etc., do not count towards your raw water consumption.

    Buy a water bottle and drink it all once or twice a day. If you keep it near your desk you'll find yourself less likely to buy bullshit as well.

    As for your sleep, it's hard because my typical advice would be for you to get more physical activity, but that is hard with mono. My other advice would be using chamomile teas after you've gone a couple weeks without caffeine. Chamomile is a moderate sleep agent and relaxant, it does help for some people. Tea though does carry some caffeine with it, so it's up to you whether or not the anti-oxidants of green tea and chamomile outweigh its caffeine content, which is much less than coffee I should point out.

    My final thought is about mental perception. It's tough to stay positive when you can do basically nothing, but I strongly believe that mindset can help alleviate the burden. Don't simply count yourself out of 2008, believe that it will go away and I think it helps facilitate the process. Mono has a lot of negative effects on mental faculty due to fatigue, so forcing yourself to think differently I believe is beneficial.

    Get your rest, eat well, and get better.
  • GHoosdumGHoosdum Icrontian
    edited October 2008
    I had mono as a child, a bout that lasted two months. I was actually unaware of the 90% of people who have light symptoms. I can say, however, I empathize with your situation.

    Fortunately, the tenets of healthy food choices are fairly universal, if a bit misunderstood these days. I wouldn't say anything against Nomad's menu plan, but I will add some guidelines that reinforce it:

    Avoid processed foods as much as possible. You should be aware of anything with HFCS, complex and unpronounceable ingredient lists, and (perhaps surprisingly) health claims on the packaging.

    The last factor, which seems counter intuitive, is actually a decent guideline to follow because in most cases, large and loud health claims on the packaging are an indication of highly processed and refined foods that have been supplemented unnaturally with the latest & greatest. These days it's Omega 3s.

    A note about Omega 3s: they're all the rage these days because a large factor in human health has a lot to do with the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio in our bodies. In recent years, we've been eating more meat that has been fed unnaturally, more processed starches and HFCS, and it has thrown our balance way off the natural path toward the Omega 6 side of the spectrum. I'd advocate tending toward more natural foods to restore the balance without resorting to artificially supplemented processed foods. Things like eggs from chickens that were grass fed (not just free range, which has a legal definition that allows the farmers to get away with a lot) along with grass fed meats, whole grains, oily fish, etc. can all naturally help to keep you in Omega 3-to-6 balance. The only supplement I'd recommend for it is fish oil tablets, which have other health benefits as well, due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
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