Surviving the BRAT diet...
September 13, 2005 12:44 PM   Subscribe

Help me survive four days on a BRAT diet...!

Went to the doctor and, long story short, was told that I am probably suffering from evidenced by my (again, in a nutshell) low-grade, constantly upset stomach (and before you ask, i'm also in the process of getting bloodwork done to make sure it's not something more serious).

In the meanwhile, my doctor told me to go on the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Apple Sauce, and toast). It sounds...bland (and I know that's the point).

I can't really find much information about what you can eat while on said diet. I understand that I'm going to have to avoid alcohol (sigh), dairy, fatty/greasy foods, raw veggies, meats (?) etc...but am I really going to have to subsist on bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast for four days? Can I have mild, vegetarian stir fry? Toast and jelly?

Any recipes to share? I think i'm dreading these next four days...
posted by tpl1212 to Health & Fitness (23 answers total)
Banannas. Rice. Applesauce. Toast. That's it. The point is to rest your gut, so don't mess with it if you want to get better.
posted by puddinghead at 12:47 PM on September 13, 2005

You can try an applesauce and bananas sandwich.
posted by pealco at 12:55 PM on September 13, 2005

...with a cool glass of rice to wash it down.
posted by tpl1212 at 12:56 PM on September 13, 2005 [1 favorite]

Rice milk/ horchata is pretty tasty though.
posted by andendau at 1:00 PM on September 13, 2005

Wait, isn't sake made from rice? ;)
posted by kindall at 1:01 PM on September 13, 2005

Ricemilk + banana = smoothy.
Ricemilk + rice + sweetener = rice pudding. No raisins though.
Toast + Ricemilk + sweetener = bread pudding
applesauce + toast = weirdness. scratch that.

Sounds like a week of banana sandwhiches.
posted by zpousman at 1:15 PM on September 13, 2005

Banana breakfast: Black market marshmallows slide languid into syrup, and the sweet, fragile, musaceous odour of breakfast permeates Prentice's flat. There is a giant glazed crock where bananas have been fermenting since the summer with wild honey and muscat raisins to create (yes!) Banana Mead. He would coat all the booze-corroded stomachs in England. But he is called away to a psychic battlefield and concerns over "the Eastern Question" of 1914. He must confront, in an eerie mental landscape the spells of Transylvanian Magyars and the terrible psychopomp of Lord Blatherard Osmo's giant Adenoid, a lymphatic monster which left on the cobblestones a slime-brightness of street-wake that could not have been from fog. His tropical energy will be forced to confront Northern spectres of Death.
posted by OmieWise at 1:15 PM on September 13, 2005 [1 favorite]

Whole apples probably are OK too, right?
posted by zsazsa at 1:20 PM on September 13, 2005

Apple pie in a toast crust? Banana-sake flambe?
posted by luriete at 1:56 PM on September 13, 2005

The irony is that searching for "BRAT RECIPES" turns up some very not-gut-settling recipes, like this tasty item calling for a 12-pack of MGD...
posted by tpl1212 at 2:12 PM on September 13, 2005

mmm, Bananabread.
mmm, Applesaucesicles
mmm, frozen-rice treats?
posted by blue_beetle at 2:28 PM on September 13, 2005

I go on a self-imposed 48 hour BRAT diet whenever stomach flu hits. I usually cheat and eat plain Cheerios. Straight; no milk, sugar, etc. It seems just fine, no serious ill effects.

I've heard of (and substituted) the "BRATT" diet, where the second "T" is for "tea". Straight; no milk, sugar, etc. Toast is much better with some tea.

Of course, it's very different when you've got stomach flu; you're just so thankful to be eating anything that it doesn't matter what it is.

If you screw yourself up with these modifications, I'm sorry.
posted by jmcmurry at 2:58 PM on September 13, 2005

no whole apples - that's much too rough on the stomach.

the diet sez: bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast.

no butter, no marshmallows, no rice milk, no horchata, no sake

it's yellow firm bananas, white rice cooked in water (no butter, no oil), apple sauce (no sugar, just apples) and toast (white bread or brown bread, but NOT multigrain with all the grains left in)

it's just four days. you can do it.

oh, and drink weak tea.

not decaf tea, not herb tea, orange pekoe tea. weak. no sugar, no milk
posted by seawallrunner at 2:58 PM on September 13, 2005 [1 favorite]

I don't have a lot of tips to offer, but encouragement: I subsisted on this diet for nearly two months. (Don't ask, you so do NOT wanna know. Blech.) The benefits you get, I think you'll find, are well worth the blandness. Giving up the coffee and sugar and whatnot will be a great relief to your stomach. I actually find it changed my eating habits for the better.

And yeah: the BRAT diet is just that. BRAT. That's it, buddy!

(In my mind, the toast is for breakfast, the bananas are for lunch, and the rice is for dinner. Or at least that's how my mind processed it into meals, which means nothing.)

And water water water. You'll feel fuller, for one thing. Your mileage may vary, but I'd discourage even the caffeine in tea, too, but if you're not feeling that poorly, hey, what the hell.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 3:26 PM on September 13, 2005

Please enlighten the ignorant. This Toast in your BRAT diet -- since no dairy is mentioned, would that toast be unbuttered?
(Dry toast is an abomination!)
posted by Rash at 4:05 PM on September 13, 2005

yes, the toast is unbuttered. it need not be dry, however, as you can smash bananas onto it, or spread the sauced-apples over it.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:32 PM on September 13, 2005

I'm confused -- why toast? Why not, you know, bread?
posted by dagnyscott at 6:18 PM on September 13, 2005

You try explaining the "BRAB" diet.

Seriously. Look at the diet. After a day, you want something with a little crunch, and toast is soft enough to not ruin the diet's effects -- while things like Banana Chips and Rice Cakes are.

Seriously: If you need the diet, do *not* screw around with it. Ripe bananas. Pureed apples. Dry toast. Cooked white rice. You can combine the four, but anything added may well ruin the effect of the diet, which means you are on it longer.

Ask your doctor about the tea -- tea might not be a good idea.

Yeah, BRAT is about as boring as it gets, but if you need it, you need to cope and follow it strictly.
posted by eriko at 6:39 PM on September 13, 2005

I think toast is better than bread because the more something is cooked (like apples, rice) the easier it is to digest. The heat from cooking starts breaking down the food before it gets to your stomach, which of course makes your stomach's job easier.
posted by chelseagirl at 8:14 PM on September 13, 2005

When I was on the BRAT diet a few years ago, my doctor had me eating bread, rice, applesauce and tea (no caffeine, though). So I'd guess that you could probably add bread and tea to your recipes list. But I'm no doctor.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:00 PM on September 13, 2005

I've been on several different restrictive diets for medical reasons, too, and of all of them I found the BRAT diet pretty easy to get through. (Not to make you feel bad, but try having your jaw wired shut living on milkshakes and thinned-down mashed potatoes for a month.) Yes, it's boring and bland, but it's only 4 days. Rent a bunch of movies you've been dying to see, hide your other food, and you'll get through it in no time.

Double-check with your doctor, though -- one time when I was on it, I was actually allowed a slightly broader range of food (i.e., I also got jello and broiled chicken!), but don't assume that it's okay unless your doc tells you. Let the diet do its thing.
posted by scody at 10:27 PM on September 13, 2005

Long story, but I had to do a bland diet for a month or so. Suffice it to say that traveling in third world countries makes my gastrointestinal track unhappy.

I added in potatoes and other starchy root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes etc) that were well cooked. Unfortunatly, no margarine, butter or milk on them, but it was still better than sucking down bananas for a month. You can do a stew or mash em up. It kind of changes things up a bit.

You might want to double check as you may have had different symptoms/reasons for a bland diet than I did, but after my time on the diet, my stomach problems pretty much went away. It sucks to have to eat like that, but it was worth it in the end.

Good luck!
posted by mulkey at 10:32 PM on September 13, 2005

Thanks all for all the encouragement and tips (which I guess can be boiled down to the four choices mentioned throughout).

So far, after two BRAT meals, i'm feeling ok. I am suffering for some coffee, but...i'll motor on through. The promise of white rice for lunch will drive me on!
posted by tpl1212 at 6:41 AM on September 14, 2005

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