Every moment that you feel well inside your body is a gift.

It’s easy to take your health and mobility for granted when you’ve usually felt healthy. This year’s been challenging with a tough egg retrieval recovery and unexpected appendicitis (when is it ever expected?!).

Seeking out good food and drinks is my passion – when you’re not feeling well, you may find the foods that brought you pleasure may sound unappealing or cause discomfort. It all feels very mixed-up inside.

Here is a list of foods that have made me feel better during these times.

Of course, consult your health care provider about your diet and particular situation! 

  • Cream of Wheat (or Malt-O-Meal): The morning after my surgery, I ordered breakfast as soon as the doctor approved. Pop open a cream of wheat packet, add 3/4 cups of water, and microwave for 90 seconds. I like to add some frozen blueberries or raisins before cooking. Then, while it’s hot, I stir in some brown sugar, small dab of butter, a pinch of sea salt and splash of milk. It’s sweet, salty, and comforting. I’ve been eating this every morning for the past two weeks.
  • JonnyPops

JonnyPops are the most magical frozen fruit pops ever. And they’re made in Minnesota! These fruit pops are made with real fruit and just enough cream to taste like a smoothie, but are not too heavy or rich. Because of the premium ingredients, each box costs more than your typical popsicle. You will also find each box only contains three pops. Our local Costos sell big boxes and stores like Lunds & Byerlys and Target often run sales. Portions from each sale supports an addiction recovery non-profit in honor of the owners’ friend.

They’re literally the best popsicles you will ever try. Our favorites are the simple fruit flavors like strawberries and cream, raspberries and blueberries, and strawberry banana. I also like the cold press coffee chocolate & cream, tart cherry covered in bittersweet chocolate, and vanilla mint chocolate – the vanilla pop tastes light and airy. I like to credit at least part of my recoveries to JonnyPops.

  • Cheez-Its

When your stomach is better but still a bit off, Cheez-Its are the perfect cracker. They’re more flavorful than a saltine or soda cracker, but less oily and salty than potato chips. This box still hasn’t left my side. This extra toasty flavor packs more nuance than a plain Cheez-It (which I’m still into) but avoids the flavor powders and spices that might bug your stomach. Munch, munch.

I’ve never reached for electrolyte drinks until after these procedures.

We’ve ordered this on Amazon. I believe it’s available at outdoor and running stores. This particular flavor tastes as natural as a sports drink could taste without a weird artificial taste. A 15.5 oz. bag costs around $20. You can control the amount you add to water – it’s refreshing and far less sweet than bottled sports drinks.

  • Vegetable sushi & miso soup

Order miso soup and a vegetable sushi extravaganza from your favorite Japanese restaurant. If it’s available by delivery and you’re not feeling well, even better! When I don’t feel well, miso soup and veggie sushi makes me feel a bit better. It’s light and nutritious. I love adding some tamago sashimi – tamago is a slightly sweet egg patty served on a rice mound. The leftovers are perfect for the next day – if your feeling well enough, add an order of agadashi tofu.

  • Smoothies

When you’re not feeling right, a cold, refreshing smoothie is everything.

This weekend, I wanted a really good smoothie. Not just an OK smoothie, not a soul-less Whole Foods smoothie, or sugary Jamba Juice smoothie. I needed something different. I needed a smoothie from one of the places with mix-ins like Himalayan sea salt, CBD oil or reishi, from a place that has a special menu section of elixers and tonics. I needed a smoothie from a store with an attached bookshop that sells crystals and teas.

Tao Natural Foods is this type of place in Minneapolis that’s existed since 1968. Somehow, I’ve never been here. The smoothie that I ordered was everything that I wanted – refreshing and just sweet enough.  Sometimes I’ll pay $8+ for a really special smoothie. The Blueberry Bliss blends blueberries, coconut milk, banana, ginger, chia seeds, yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla.

I love that many contain ingredients like coconut milk and maple syrup. The bowl of vegetarian split pea soup also tasted comforting and perfectly seasoned. I plan to return soon for more.

  • Soup

Speaking of soup, it’s essential sick food. I suppose I eat soup often when I feel well, so I’m biased.

The first place we dined at when I felt well enough was Quang. I always order the #502. Different types of pork, seafood and veggies bob around rice noodles in a savory, collagen-rich broth. The sparkling limeade here is also worth ordering, with or without strawberries.

  • A really good, long, suspenseful book

So, not something to eat, but to digest, nevertheless.

Other than spending hours watching Youtube and TV, this book was the only thing to keep me resting in one spot for hours. A whole day, in fact. It’s hard to overexert yourself washing dishes and when you’re enmeshed in a really compelling book.

I read Wanderers in 24 hours. A zombie apocalypse? Epidemiology? Very in. This is one of those books that I couldn’t stop reading but I can’t say I liked. But, maybe, in the end, liking it isn’t the point.