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 Fresh, Jet 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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