This blog post covers the eighth chapter of the ME/CFS Crash Survival Guide. The information provided can also apply to individuals with Long COVID and other multi-system chronic complex illnesses that have post-exertional malaise (PEM) symptoms. 

Click here to download the entire guidebook.

Chapter 8: Nutrition and Hydration

Disclaimer: consult with your medical care team prior to making any drastic diet changes or adding additional supplements. Increased sodium consumption may be contraindicated based on medication and pre-existing conditions. Ensure your provider is aware of your supplementation and is monitoring closely.

The following are examples of quick, easy, nutrient-rich foods and hydration options that can be integrated into everyday living with ME/CFS, orthostatic intolerance, and during a crash. In living with ME/CFS you may experience fluctuating motility (bowel movements), stomach and body sensitivities, nausea, etc. Be careful when introducing any new items into your system. Start slow, work with your medical care team while being mindful of any known intolerances or mast cell triggering substances.

This list is not exhaustive nor prescriptive and serves only as a reference point to keep you thinking. You must make your own patient-specific choices and consult with your medical team on what is most appropriate for you.

Rehydration and Orthostatic Intolerance examples (Be sure to follow your provider’s instructions surrounding increased sodium consumption.)

  • Electrolyte options such as Pedialyte, Ultima, Liquid IV, Nunn, Triorals, Goos, Bonks, Drip Drop, Nunn, Zipfizz, HydroMATE, etc.
  • Sports drinks such as Gatorade, Powerade
  • Vegetable or fruit drinks such as V8 juice, coconut water
  • Sources of additional sodium may include S! Caps, Himalayan salt, mustard packets, pickle juice, beef or chick broth

When unable to chew, consider pre-made options that can both hydrate and provide nutrients. * Freezing and sucking on electrolyte, fruit/veggie juice, beef/chicken broth cubes

  • Smoothies
  • Protein or meal replacement options such as Ensure or Boost
  • Fruit and vegetable juices such as celery, carrot, cucumber, watermelon

Bars that provide nutrients and calories

  • Honeycomb or protein bars
  • Rx bars

Packaged or dried food options that offer quick nutrition to the body and are easy to keep in your Crash Care Kit or in areas of the home you frequent. Some examples include:

  • Dried fruit (mango, pineapple, apples, cherries, coconut)
  • Nuts (cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, almonds) * Trail mix
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, pepitas, chia)
  • Dried/seasoned spinach, snap peas
  • Peanut butter stuffed pretzels, crackers, tortillas
  • Tuna or chicken packets
  • Jerky (beef, salami, bison, etc.)
  • Honey sticks
  • Nut butters (almond, cashew, peanut, multi-seed)
  • JELLO or pudding

Pre-made or easy to make foods

  • Lentils, rice, quinoa
  • Smoothie blocks (just add milk or water)
  • Soups, broth, ramen, Pho, etc. that can be frozen or thawed
  • Oatmeal, yogurt, Just Crack An Egg (add an egg cups)
  • Pre-made meal delivery options
  • Baby food can be good for food sensitivities (such as histamine intolerance) and when there is limited energy for chewing. Fruit and vegetable considerations that are high in nutrients and minerals * Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Blueberries
  • Tangerines/clementines * Raisins
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Avocados
  • Edamame
  • Bananas

Be mindful of diet restrictions and slowed gut motility during a crash.

 

This blog post covers the eighth chapter of the ME/CFS Crash Survival Guide.
Click here to download the entire guidebook.

The information provided can also apply to individuals with Long COVID and other multi-system chronic complex illnesses that have post-exertional malaise (PEM) symptoms. 


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