Tummy Demons

I’m not sure what got a hold of me on Saturday. In the morning, I felt pretty damn good at my workout, then Dave and I celebrated with our usual Saturday brunch at Habanero Cafe (eggs & machacado, guacamole, bacon).

Around noon, I heard myself say, “I’m just gonna take a little nap. I don’t feel so great.”

At 6:00 p.m., I was still in bed, and it was obvious the stomach ache wasn’t going anywhere. When I still didn’t feel capable of eating at 9:00 p.m., I was officially concerned.

During the course of the last two and a half days, I’ve “watched” 17 episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and barely left the bed. I say “watched” because yesterday, I slept through most of them, waking only to hit the NEXT EPISODE button on Netflix when the theme music ended.

I haven’t done very well in the nutrition department, either, but I have eaten clean, so I guess that’s something.


  • 1 banana, eaten in 1-inch chunks over the course of six hours (!)
  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • 1 egg, hard boiled
  • 1 frozen strawberry “just fruit” bar
  • a few spoonfuls of Thai coconut soup Dave got me on Saturday, which went directly into the fridge, untouched

I also cooked some boneless, skinless chicken thighs, then felt queasy from the smell, and put them immediately into the fridge.


  • 2 oz. cold chicken, eaten in the smallest bites imaginable
  • 2 oz. chicken sauteed with steamed bok choy (hail the return of vegetables!)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs with a little homemade mayo, jicama on the side
  • an abandoned attempt at a grapefruit, which in hindsight seems foolish – way too acidic
  • the remainder of the Thai soup, mostly broth and a few bites of chicken

Things are trending in the right direction, but man! I have zero appetite and my tummy is bloated like I swallowed one of those nice squishy medicine balls we use at the gym.

All of this disclosure has a point: It’s impossible to do anything of value when my body isn’t working properly: I can’t think. I have no enthusiasm. I’m distracted by the internal monologue chanting “lie down, lie down.” And although I’m a little bitter that some evil virus was able to circumvent the security system of my squeaky-clean eating habits, this downtime only reinforces my belief that eating right is the foundation of everything good and noble and worthwhile. I’ve wanted a bowl of noodles or a triangle of toast SO much over the last few days, but I know that wouldn’t have provided any real relief in the short- or long-term. Good fuel is what makes everything hum, and if my internal systems aren’t working, there can be no quality output: no blog posts, no recipes, no workouts, no music.

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  • Patty says:

    I know it must be hard for a go-getter like you, but glad you are listening to your body and taking it easy. Hope you feel better soon Mel!

  • Ehsa says:

    I'm so sorry you aren't feeling well, and applaud your determination to keep on track, food-wise! I haven't been as bad off as you, but in my most recent bout of un-peak feeling, I took great comfort from a dins of a chicken breast gently poached in broth, plus just the tiniest amounts of lemon juice, dijon, and tarragon (and I mean really, really tiny) with some softy-soft steamed cauliflower mashed with coconut oil and a tad of parsley. And as much as my first thought was macaroni and cheese, this dins was truly restorative, plus I got the extra buzz of knowing that I didn't give in to the Comfort Food demons! Sounds like you are in a similar place … Thanks so much for making the effort to blog despite the stomach issues. I, and I'm sure 100% of your posse, are major into your Real Nutrition posts, and at least for me, they are making a huge difference (tried coconut oil (unexpectedly fab)! Drank water! Read Cordain, Sisson, Whole9 and others, compared, sifted, decided best path for me at this point in time)! Researched recipes and actually cooked some!

    So … Don't overdo, take a break if you need to, but know that your efforts are super – appreciated!
    Actually cooked cool stuff!)

  • Tom Denham says:

    The tummy demon reached my house on Monday morning. I've been making it on baked sweet potatoes, oranges, and boiled eggs. Just now I had a little cold chicken and liked it. I hope that means the tummy demon is about ready to leave town.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Thanks, Patty! I tried to relax and give myself over to resting. Now I'm back at the office, and man! I'm missing my pillows!

    Ehsa –> Thanks for the comforting words… and I'm really glad you're enjoying the NRNM posts. Today is my first day eating 'real meals' and it's going OK so far. Tiny bites, lots of chewing, plates with half as much food as usual.

    Tom –> BOO!I'm sorry to hear the demons got you, too. Take good care!