Friday, March 23, 2012

OMG Not That! (Otherwise Known As: A No Non-sense Guide To Surviving The Barf Zone)

I love spring. At least, I love this spring. It's sunny, warmer, and the flowers are so pretty. Almost nothing could ruin all of this for me. Except this. That phone call you get from your kids school...

"Mrs. Horsley, Your son is ill and needs to come home. He just threw up everywhere." 

Sigh. I don't even have the words to adequately describe the cascade of emotions that triggers. There's horror, empathy, panic (for the kid. I mean, wth? He was fine this morning. Why is he now projectiling food from himself?), dread, anxiety (for yourself and the complete blind fear that you too will end up hugging the porcelain throne and wretching your own guts out, but no one else is going to come along and clean up after you. No. You'll have the fun of that job as well). 

After getting him home, cleaned up and trying to contain the impulse to slather myself in soap/disinfectant every time I touched him, my brain started spinning over what I could do to help him get better. He was obviously running a fever but I'm no rookie. I've been to this rodeo before. Never give a child who's been hurling any kind of fever medicine right off the bat. Test the waters to see what they can hold down so you don't have to clean sticky barf goo off everything. 

My first go to used to be water but I've begun using Coconut water instead. I've been using VitaCoco and the kids seem to like it. I keep a box of it in the fridge most of the time. 

{image from}

"Hydrate naturally - 100% natural
Like sticking a straw in a coconut
Packed with naturally occurring electrolytes with 20 times the potassium of leading sports drink
Contains more potassium than two bananas - don't tell the monkeys
The beauty of one ingredient"

If that's a winner and sticks around in the tummy, I typically head on over to banana town. The beauty of bananas are how they taste just about the same coming up as they did going down. If the banana is happy kicking it in the belly without making a second appearance, then we move on to fever medicine. 

After watching my kid look like death warmed over and being unable to really break his fever even with various fever medicines, I couldn't help it. I started racking my brain for other helpful stuff. That's when I remembered Gwen's Ginger Tea.

 {Gwen's Image. You should totally visit Gwen's site. She's killing it with the food stuffs ya'll.}

I added some variation to it to try and get a little more Chinese medicine love action into it. I sliced up 1 whole stalk of lemongrass (good for fevers) into the mix, crushed some fresh mint, and a little agave syrup to sweeten the deal for the kid. The adults liked it so much we added 1 sliced chili to kick things up a notch. It was great to see my kids color start looking more normal and after sipping it for an hour he was finally hungry and wanting to eat. That was such a huge relief. I'd been trying to get him to eat all day and had been failing miserably. Ginger is supposed to do more than soothe the tummy and aid digestion. It stimulates the appetite. 

Even better, I got a second use out of the ginger tea mix and used it to help me season some carrot soup instead of just throwing it all away. You can always keep the kick of the ginger down in the carrot soup by holding back some of the mix or adding some extra cream. 

Carrot Soup

800 g Carrots
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 vegetable bouillon cube
12 cups of water
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp Butter
Dash of cloves
Dash of cardamom
Dash of nutmeg
600 ml (21.1 fl oz) Extra Thick Double Cream (Heavy cream)
Left over ginger tea mix
salt (to taste)

Rough chop your carrots, garlic and onion, place in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add your seasonings, butter, ginger tea grounds and boil till carrots are tender. Add cream and blend. Serve with your favorite crusty bread and butter. 

My kids loved dipping their bread into this soup and the sick one is starting to look human again. 
Do you have any favorite tricks to deal with the "praying to the porcelain Gods" moments?


  1. Wow, you're like a little home remedy guide in one post! I don't have kids and can't really remember when my brother was young enough to get sick and not be left to his own devices. The only thing I can add is I've found Yoplait Red Velvet Cake yogurt is another food item that tastes the same in both directions. Not that I think yogurt is necessarily a great sick food, but it's just of those weird things I've discovered recently.
    Hope your little guy is better soon!

  2. Oh boy, I'm sorry to hear about your son. I hope he get better really soon! I like your game plan. I never really though about bananas, tho. I have to write that down somewhere and try to remember that the next time I get sick. I love coconut water! Usually, when I'm sick I drink a sport drink or ginger ale, but I should be more healthier. Next time, I'm going to try coconut water.

    I love Gwen's blog, too. I've wanted to try her ginger tea, but never gotten around to...yet. Doesn't that just sound refreshing and healing? LOL

    OOOH, I love carrot soup. I tried Gwen's carrot soup and that was ono (Hawaiian word for delicious). I'm glad that you are a follower of Gwen. See, now you know TWO people in Hawai'i. LOL

  3. I'm bookmarking this post so I can use it when I get sick next time. I'm sorry to hear about your kiddo, but I'm glad that you're so well-equipped with this info! I usually just make a pot of chicken noodle soup but mine is much much heartier (I put chunks of chicken, huge chunks of carrots, celery, and a bit of milk.

  4. I like your thinking laura! Mighty shout out to the chicken soup!! That's the second go-to soup dish which I just made last night. I don't put milk in it but I add in some chinese mushrooms cuz they too have all kinds of bug fighting goodness. I serve it over rice since rice is super easy on the tummy. If you're as lazy as me and have had 4 kids, you learn to become the "vomit" whisperer. You can see it coming before the person who's going to hurl even realizes it. That early alert sense lets you prepare with large bowls and waa laa. There's no unnecessary running to the toilet where they can puke along the way, spreading their gift across the floor for us to clean up.

  5. Seriously, I do believe I'm just supposed to live there. I fell in love with the beauty of the place but it's more than that. There's something about the vibe of the islands that just feels right. It turns out I stumbled onto someone ELSE on the islands that makes cake toppers. AND I've followed someone else for almost 2 years now that does interior decorating and they just posted personal photos on their site not that long ago and I realized they live in Hawaii too.

    That Ginger tea rocks! Some serious kick but I like that. Gwen's done some fabulous recipes and she's doing so well at the competitions. I totally want to try her cooking. At this rate, I'll end up being that weird fan that shows up all wide eyed asking her to cook for me. lol. Yeah - THAT wouldn't be creepy at aaaalllllll.

  6. Wow, I would've never ever thought a yogurt could taste the same going up as it did going down. I would've thought it would've curdled in the stomach acid and well....ewwww lol. Unfortunately, I had this experience where I drank some cold milk, went out in some serious Florida heat and went running. That truly didn't go very well.

    I know you've been struggling with your health recently. I hope you're doing better!

  7. HAHA. Your right, that doesn't sound creepy at all. I've already asked Gwen to cook for me and I never met her yet in real life either. LOL See, you are already acting like a local.

  8. Poor Rach. I'm glad you got through it ok! I know it's your least favorite thing ever, besides stupid people of course!

  9. He definitely seems on the mend and I'm very grateful for that. And yes, vomit is a close contender to stupidity for me. I know you could never handle ginger tea since ginger is practically evil incarnate for you but maybe you could try the same premise with fennel. That's a great tummy soother.

  10. Haha, milk was definitely a bad choice in that situation. I tend to not drink much milk, but am definitely going to avoid it in the summer now.

    And thank you, I am feeling much better! Been through a couple of doctors and have been getting thumbs up from all. I feel like a little kid who got a gold star.