I’m probably being paranoid. I’m sure it wasn’t really the oatmeal that made me sick yesterday. As my mom has told me several times over the past 28 hours, “It’s a dry grain.”
Even so, I’m not convinced that the bug that rendered me incapable of eating anything other than dry toast, plain brown rice and a small banana yesterday was something I caught from all my air travel on Sunday. Yes, it seems like a reasonable explanation – planes are metal germ receptacles – but I’m not exactly a reasonable person.
I had a bit of a headache when I woke up yesterday morning from an unfortunate encounter with the metal screen door to my apartment on Sunday night (I banged my head/left eye into it), but nothing that kept me from eking out my habitual 5-mile run. I arrived home feeling fairly robust and didn’t think twice about eating my usual breakfast – a big pot of green tea and a bowl of peanut butter oatmeal.
I was a little nervous when I discovered that the seal on my new jumbo canister of 100% Quaker Oats was broken (especially since the lid clearly reads, “If inner freshness seal is missing or broken, do not use!”), but I was hungry and not in the mood for going into neurotic overdrive so early in the day. Even if the warning did include an exclamation point.
So I ate it.
And then joked on Twitter about it.
I wasn’t feeling particularly jokey three hours later when I had to leave work early. Or two hours after that when I was lying in the fetal position on my bed and asking my mom to drive up from the OC to take care of me. (I’m sort of wimpy when I’m sick.)
While a stomach bug is the best thing to happen to a dieter (See The Devil Wears Prada line, “I’m one stomach flu away from my goal weight.”), for a food blogger it’s perhaps the worst thing that could happen (aside from being forced to eat at T.G.I. Fridays). I was starving all afternoon and evening, but couldn’t eat any of the kale or goat cheese or quinoa or pink lady apples that were taunting me from my newly restocked fridge. My extreme hunger was making me even more nauseated, and I knew I had to take drastic action before things got worse. I had to go B.R.A.T. (As in the diet, not the unbecoming behavior I adopt when I don't get my way.)
So as I lay on my couch, watching DVRed episodes of "Gossip Girl," "Undercover Boss" and "30 Rock," I nibbled on a piece of dry toast (T), a small banana (B), and, later in the evening, plain brown rice (R) with a scrambled egg. (I subbed in an E for the A for applesauce.) By this morning, I was feeling well enough to crack open a new container of oats for a bowl of banana oatmeal. And this afternoon, I even managed a pear and some peanut butter and jam on that toast.
I won’t, however, be making oatmeal from the broken seal canister of oats any time soon.
Unless, of course, I need to lose a dress size.