A Fresh Look at Eating Healthy

A Fresh Look at Eating Healthy

finding balanceI’ve never been good at eating healthy. As my fibro progressed, home cooking went by the wayside. Fast food and microwave dinners became the norm. I often skipped meals altogether.

Recently, my doctor raised concerns over my poor health. I had to change my entire lifestyle. But this meant actually having to cook my food! No more microwaved dinners, fast food or canned soups. Only whole, organic foods and grass-fed meats for me from now on. How do I do this when I’ve failed so miserably at it for the past 30 years?

Even though it is more expensive, I buy pre-cut fresh vegetables. Dicing and chopping are hard when you are in pain. I also love frozen veggies. They are just as good as fresh. I use my food processor to dice and slice, especially larger jobs.

Freezing your own produce is a great option. I do a lot of vacuum sealing. I love my FoodSaver vacuum sealer. The canisters work great for produce and it stays fresh for weeks. I also individually freeze fish fillets and chicken breasts or thighs. A baked chicken breast with some steamed veggies makes for a nice, healthy meal that is easy to make, too.

When it comes to cooking, nothing beats a crock-pot or slow cooker! Just dump some ingredients in before you leave for work or before you go to bed. Ten hours later, you have a wonderful meal with enough leftovers to get through the week. Stews are my favorite to make, especially in the winter months. Overnight oatmeal is also easy and nutritious.

You can pre-measure and freeze dump dinners to start at your convenience. I like to buy whatever is on sale and make up some packets to dump and go when needed. I typically shop Sunday mornings and prep that day for the upcoming week.

Do meal prep when you have the time and energy. Taking a half hour to an hour on the weekend can save you a lot of time, hassle and energy during the week. I sleep easier on Sunday night when I know my meals are set up for the long work week ahead. It also saves me a lot of stress and pain during the week when my fibro is more than likely going to be worse.

Some other options include meal kit services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. They provide the ingredients and recipes. If you prefer, there also are meal-planning websites, like Real Plans. It has gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo plans, too. It gives you a plan (from more than 1,500 recipes) and a detailed grocery list. Others out there are free.

Grocery shopping is one task most fibro warriors hate because of the difficulty it presents us. Check to see if your local grocery store offers online ordering for pickup or delivery. I frequently order online and use the drive-through pickup option at my local store. I’m more than happy to pay $4.95 to have my groceries packaged and put in my car. This service has been a lifesaver for me, especially in the winter, when I’m not moving very well.

Amazon Prime Pantry, Amazon FreshJet and Thrive Market are just a few of the online grocers popping up. You may not find everything you need, but with special offers and cheap or free shipping, these sites can be a convenient way to supplement your grocery shopping or to get you through a flare.

Eating healthy is very important, especially if you have a chronic illness. Since I made my lifestyle change four months ago, I’ve lost 45 lbs. and can’t remember feeling this good. I still have issues with energy and some occasional pain, but for the most part, I feel better at 52 than I did at 32. As they say, you are what you eat!

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Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

5 comments

  1. J Lemley says:

    I just wanted to comment on Blue Apron. It is delicious when cooked but every recipe seems to have a lot of prep time. One recipe I cooked was burritos wit a prep time of 10 minutes. It took me 90 minutes to chop, sauté etc to prepare to cook and the each step was done separately and then added later. From start to eating was 3 hours and I was so exhausted at that point I didn’t feel like eating. These companies need to remember most of us are not skilled chefs.

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Thank you for your comment. I haven’t Blue Apron personally but have some friends who did. They all liked it but they also don’t have chronic health issues. Hopefully, they will come out with recipes designed for regular folks instead of culinary wizards.

  2. Robin Smith says:

    Great article. Thank you for being real. I am loving my smoothie delivery service: Greenblender.com. Talk about healthy! And not one recipe has been more than 10 minutes from opening the fridge to popping in a straw. NO sugar added.

    • Tina says:

      Thanks for sharing. Greenblender.com is exactly what I need. I’ve been experiencing emotional eating to quiet the chronic pain and the bathroom scale numbers are going up. Thanks again!

  3. Cynthia says:

    Thank you for the article. I faced the same issue with my health at my July visit. My doctor was straightforward and said my blood work indicated I was a full blown diabetic. I told that was not something I wanted to be, and asked for her advice. She suggested a low carb (under 20g), high good fats, and medium protein diet. I researched it (no gluten, no sugar, no beans, no grains of any kind–no corn, no quinoa, no rice, etc.–no fruits except small quantities of berries, no potatoes, yams, etc., high carb veggies are bad); good foods include grass-fed beef and grass-fed cow butter, coconut oil, avocado and avocado oil, cheeses, leafy greens, olives and olive oil, and low carb veggies and nuts, prior to starting less than a week after my appointment with her.

    I track everything I eat or drink in an app. I have lost 47 lbs in 4 months and 1 week, and I feel better at 59 than I have in a very, very long time. My fibro pain intensity has lessened, my skin issues have cleared up, and I am happy with myself. This diet has become my way of eating for the rest of my life.

    I still am a diabetic, but one who’s diabetes is managed with diet and medication. According to my blood work 4 months and 2 days after starting my diet, my doctor says my fatty liver problem is gone and everything is excellent. She and I decided to wait another 4 months before decreasing my diabetes medication, and potentially my thyroid medication since my body is still losing weight (another 43 lbs to goal weight, although I do believe it will take longer than 4 months to reach goal weight) and needs to adjust / level out.

    Please excuse the typos, I am writing this on my mobile phone.

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