"Teacher! I'm always feeling hungry recently, but I don't dare to eat, for I'm afraid of growing fat!"
I almost fainted from my student's words, because she was about to miss the Golden Stage of Recovery.
When in chronic illness that has been around for as much as 40 years, we often exhibit 2 possible appetite symptoms:
Constant hungry-ghost hunger
A chronically unhealthy person will definitely exhibit either of the 2 above symptoms for years, like how we often see no appetite when we're having a bad cold or flu. It's the same.
When we're going through the right therapy to regain our health, one of the most encouraging sign to see is an opposite change in appetite = improved or reduced appetite. If the person used to have low appetite, it'll improve ferociously = good sign.
If the person used to have a hungry-ghost ferocious appetite, it starts to ebb = good sign.
A healthy person = good appetite = have the good mood and hearty desire for food at meal times, without extra hunger in between or negligible hunger.
When we're chronically ill for sometime, one of the best sign to know we're on the mend is a corrected appetite. Most chronically ill ones have low appetite or unable to consume much despite the desire for food.
When we're recovering, we'll have the appetite + desire for food, so when this comes, eat. EAT.
A chronically ill person means lowered appetite = body organs deprived of food for a long time = when we start to desire food again = body organs are ready to accept resources to rebuild itself.
This is the Golden Stage of Recovery, we must not miss it.
After my heart attack at age 35, I took almost one year to reach this stage and my, I ate so much animal protein that I'll make a bodybuilder blush.
Did I put on weight? A little.
Do I feel energetic? Oh yes.
Do I recover fully from my heart attack in the end? OH YES.
When our body is on such stage of Recovery, we wouldn't pile on the pounds and become an elephant, the body organs are busy burning the food to become nutrients to rebuild itself.
So, eat. Please, EAT.
Eat as much as you can, but not stuffing yourself like a X'mas turkey. Eat yourself full, not gorge to the point that you feel ill. Now, what should we eat in this Golden Stage of Recovery?
As usual, the 4S:
Soups (Cantonese, full bodied ones)
Stews (high animal protein)
Stir-fry (light, not zi-char style)
These cooking styles are the easiest for the body to break down and absorb in the system.
Full vegetarian food (because we're omnivorous animals, thank you)
In the Golden Stage of Recovery, we can feel super peckish in between meals too, please eat. EAT.
Eat something that has carbs + animal protein and only some vegetables.
Eat well, don't fear, don't suspect, eat happily. Our poor ill organs have been expecting these for a long time! If we want to recover, we must respect this stage of recovery.
This stage can last between 3 months to about a year, it depends on how bad the chronic illness is, and whether the person has been eating right every meal. I took 8-9 months.
Now, for those who are often hungry, of stomach like a hungry ghost in the middle age, the sign of recovery is normal middle-age adult appetite = no consistent ferociously hunger.
Do note = Our body is our temple, heed it, it's telling us many things that we should accept and learn from.
Never dismiss any sign it's trying to show you.
Respecting and listening to our body signals will ensure us reasonable health till the end of our life. Not to mention a nice body figure.
** If you've been going through therapy to regain health for sometime and this Golden Stage didn't come, it's time to change your doctor.
*** There're some people who lack feelings of their body sensations, this is very dangerous and often, they are the ones who will erupt sudden and fatal heart attacks, strokes or terminal stage cancer.