When you are chronically ill it can be really difficult to cook and eat in a healthy way due to fatigue, pain and many other factors. It’s a journey I am on myself to try to get healthier and fitter in the best way I can. It’s certainly a struggle but I have come across a few things that can help.
1. Shop online.
Doing your shopping online allows you to take your time to decide what you want, which is great if you have fibro fog and need to go slowly. It also means you don’t have to do it all at once! It allows you to get everything you need without ever having to leave the house. Don’t be scared to ask the delivery driver to bring the bags into the kitchen for you when they arrive!
2. Use frozen vegetables, meat and fish.
Using frozen foods rather than fresh is just as healthy and works really well for a couple of reasons. It means you can cook when you feel able and food isn’t left to go bad when you aren’t able – it will still be waiting there for you. It also means you can use small amounts of lots of vegetables and cook them all together to get as much good stuff as possible in one easy meal!
3. Use a steamer.
I discovered that using a steamer is a really healthy way to cook without the additions of fats and cooking oils! It works really quickly so you aren’t waiting around for ages. You can put all of your stuff in there on different levels and leave it to steam without hassle, including your food straight from the freezer.
4. Take shortcuts when you can and don’t be ashamed of it.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to cook from scratch or take the long route. Life is hard enough with a chronic illness, so if there’s an easier way to do something, take it! Use a microwave, use tins, use frozen food, use pre-made food, whatever works for you and gets the job done.
5. Cook in batches.
I find that cooking in batches on days that you do feel able to cook can really help! When you have a chronic condition, some days you will be able to do things and others you may not, so take advantage of high functioning days and prepare extra food to make things easier for you on harder days.
6. Ask for help and don’t be hard on yourself.
The most important thing I think is to ask for help when you need it. You don’t have to do it all alone. Life with an illness is hard. Allow yourself treats sometimes, and if you can’t always eat in a healthy way, don’t beat yourself up about it.
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