I haven’t been thinking about food much for the past couple of weeks. In fact, I’ve been actively not thinking about it, which is difficult when one’s job is waxing rapturous about lamb entrails.

While I was putting my shirt back on after being gently poked and prodded, Mark, my nurse practitioner asked me a few questions and then told me he was putting me on what he referred to as the “BRAT” diet. He asked me if I knew what that was.

“I assume it’s an acronym for something” I said, “And by ‘something’, I’m going to guess it isn’t bourbon, rye, absinthe, and tequila.” I was correct.

“It actually stands for banana, rice, applesauce, and toast,” was his disheartening reply. “It’s bland, I know, but they’re all easily digestible. I’m going to put you on that and some antibiotics for a few days. Oh, and no dairy or alcohol for the time being, alright?”

Well, it was nice to know that the pain in my side wasn’t from a bursting appendix. When I first started experiencing the discomfort, I had to examine a children’s map of the human organs to find out where everything was situated. It was comforting to realize from the diagram that my liver wasn’t at risk, but embarrassing to realize that I had no previous knowledge as to precisely where that organ resides inside my body. So high up!

When I returned from the doctor’s office, I mentioned my new diet on Facebook and received a concerned note from a friend that perhaps I should eliminate the toast from my already meagre menu, just in case my trouble could be Celiac’s disease.

It was great to know that my friends should care to worry about me, but telling that my chiefest concern was that, if bereft of one quarter of my allowable diet, I would be left with only a BRA.

Anyway, not to worry. I’m doing just fine. In fact, it was good to slow down, cut out the cheese and the martinis, and really take stock of what I normally put into my body. But it did leave me feeling as bland as my current diet. And although I like to think of myself as easy to swallow, I don’t think I am meant to be easily digestible. I would say you could take that with a grain of salt, but my doctor would probably say that I need to watch the sodium, too, while I’m at it.

So my stomach, which I’ve always thought of as made of cast iron, is having to be re-seasoned. But it’ll be back to fighting form soon. As will this blog.

Just as soon as I start looking forward to eating again.

I recently modified the BRAT diet, substituting the rice for a glass of rosé. I and my stomach both did brilliantly. Please wish me luck this weekend when I will attempt to drink a mint julep in Brooklyn.

In the meantime, I will leave you with a photo of banana, rice, and applesauce sandwiched between two toasted pieces of white bread. Because, dear reader, I know you would wish to suffer along with me.

BRAT sandwich

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About Michael Procopio

I write about food and am very fond of Edward Gorey. And gin.
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16 Responses to BRATs.

  1. Heather in SF says:

    Your new BRAT sandwich will probably become the trendiest form of $8 toast in SF now, just saying.

  2. diane leach says:

    I’m sorry for your ailment….and the BRAT diet, which I’ve always found a misery. I loathe bananas. And am not fond of apples. My personal remedy for gastrointestinal ails is hot and sour soup, but I’m probably extremely weird in this, as in all other things. Speedy recovery to you. Did you know alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and not the gut? Very important to those of us who are GI impaired.

  3. d.u. says:

    I want to eat that

  4. carole from cleveland says:

    You know all the trendy gluten free foods out? Blame it on celiac disease. That’s the inability to digest grain. And guess what liquor and beer is made from? Yup. Now THAT’S depressing.

  5. David Leite says:

    Michael, you take care of yourself. Now that Dorothy Parker is sitting at that Round Table in hell perpetually making Lucifer return her drinks, you’re all the world has left.

    • Dorothy Parker bought her way into heaven by leaving Dr. King all in her will. But I have the feeling she’s making all the pious bores she must suffer in Paradise wish they were in hell.

  6. You sure he didn’t Johnsonville Brats?

  7. I have one word for you…PALEO. Once you finish those horrid antibiotics, try a mostly Paleo diet for awhile and you will be waxing about entrails in no time. P.S. Tequila and wine are paleo 🙂

    • There are few words in the English language that make me sadder than “paleo” when it used in a dietary sense. I might eat and drink some of the items on such a list, but please don’t ever make me say it out loud.

  8. Pedge says:

    Michael, I suggest you look at BRAT on Wikipedia! Take care.

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