This morning, Magic Spark and I woke up sick. Nauseated, shaky, dehydrated, just plain not well. Luckily, Magic Papa wasn’t sick, so he could take care of us all day! And luckily, Magic Nana wasn’t working, so she was able to bring us a few things from the store that we needed to make things like oral rehydration formula (homemade Pedialyte) and almond flour crackers.
It occurred to me as I was eating a homemade Pedialyte popsicle that we’ve come to these things by trial and error, and maybe I should share them with you. Before we went Paleo, my go-to stuff for the flu or an upset stomach were Gatorade, Pedialyte popsicles, Saltine crackers, toast (white bread, of course), and Jell-o. You know, the kind out of the box. And obviously, none of those things are Paleo. Over time, we’ve come up with Paleo substitutions for these things.
I learned about oral rehydration formula back when Magic Papa was very sick. He went to the emergency room so many times I can’t even give you an accurate number, but it was more often for dehydration rather than the symptoms of his condition. I started looking for ways to keep him hydrated at home.
Oral rehydration formula is easy to make and (in my experience) works just as well as Gatorade or Pedialyte. The only difference is it doesn’t come in those highly palatable flavors and colors, which are all artificial and not so good for you. To make Paleo oral rehydration formula, mix 2 tablespoons of honey with 1 cup of hot water and stir until dissolved. Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir until dissolved. (Remember me talking about using salt with minerals? Minerals are extra good here.) Add 3 cups of cold water, and mix. Now you’ve got 32 ounces of oral rehydration formula!
If you’re having trouble keeping things down, stick to small sips of oral rehydration formula. In my experience, it stays down better than plain water as long as you don’t drink too much at once. For more information about oral rehydration formula, including how much to give to sick children, visit Dr. Pullen’s blog post here.
Paleo Pedialyte Popsicles
This is so easy, it almost doesn’t even deserve its own section. All you have to do is pour oral rehydration formula into a popsicle mold and freeze. I try to always keep four in my freezer just in case, and I’ve found it lasts at least six months. When my stomach is upset, I often find the only thing I can tolerate at first is a popsicle. I’m not sure if it’s because of the cold, or because it dissolves so slowly I’m not taking in too much in the way of fluids at once, but popsicles work for me. And Magic Spark loves popsicles, so it’s an easy way to get more fluids in her.
These crackers aren’t exactly like Saltines, but they are Paleo. It’s been so long since I’ve had Saltines that these are a great substitute for me. This is a new recipe, because Magic Papa tried to make my recipe and accidentally came up with his own, and it was even better.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour 1 cup almond flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 2 tsp (solid, unmelted) coconut oil in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add water a tablespoon at a time until dough forms a ball (2-3 tablespoons should do it). Roll out between two sheets of parchment to 1/8 of an inch thick. Score with a pizza cutter. Back 8-10 minutes, until edges are golden brown. The thicker the crackers, the longer the back.
Don’t buy the boxes of Jell-o at the grocery store! There’s no real food in there. It’s all chemicals and additives. Instead, make some at home. All you need is 100% fruit juice (grape and cherry work well), water, and gelatin (grass fed is best). There are lots of versions online, but I like Detoxinista’s.
This isn’t a substitute for anything, but bone broth greatly promotes healing. We usually have a batch of either chicken bone broth or beef bone broth in the fridge, but today Magic Papa had to start a new batch because we were out. I think Magic Spark drank the last of the chicken broth we had. When you make really good homemade chicken broth and keep it in the fridge, it turns into meat jello, and that has become one of Magic Spark’s favorite snacks. I’m telling you, the kid loves meat.
I’m still not sure if this is some kind of stomach bug or what. Magic Spark and I spent a lot of time snuggling on the couch this morning, nibbling homemade Pedialyte popsicles and enjoying some rest and Reiki. Eventually, we worked our way up to crackers, and we had some apple slices. For some reason, when I’m sick with an upset stomach, I always want peeled and sliced Fuji apples. I don’t know why. Anyway, by then the apple slices stayed down, and we’ve been getting better all day. We’ll try a bit of roasted chicken for dinner and get lots of rest, and hopefully we’ll be feeling much better tomorrow.