Sunday, 22 August 2010

we are what we eat?

when you are affected by chronic fatigue and live on your own life can be a constant struggle in many, many ways, and one of them is eating properly. sometimes i have found it difficult just to get out of bed, let alone shop for food, prepare healthy meals and living off a very tight budget makes the situation even worse.

i have often found myself missing meals, even if there is food in the fridge as i am too exhausted (or in too much pain) to cook a proper meal. And when you have a chronic illness it is crucial to get as many nutrients in our diets as possible to help ourselves heal, including enough vit c, calcium, magnesium and omega 3's.

and there is very little practical help or advice available. so through time i have learned to manage my symptoms and life as best i can and this includes finding ways to simplify my eating and prepare ahead for 'bad days'. here's a few things that i find help me eat better and more regularly.

*on my 'better days' i cook a big batches of things like lentil and tomato soup or veggie curry and rice to freeze- so that on 'bad days' i can just pop a container in the microwave to heat.

*i am very lucky as i live very close to an inexpensive supermarket where i can get most things i need however many people who are not as fortunate as myself and are housebound for example at least may have the option nowadays of ordering groceries online. even when i manage to get to the store however i still have lots of challanges to face - bright lights, noise, only buying as much i can carry home, having to bend or reach to get some groceries which can cause me pain, forgeting what i came in for etc so here are some great shopping tips from adrienne. i always remember a list, only get a very few things at a time, have a proper rest once home, remember to take deep breaths when i feel overwhelmed and pace myself the rest of the day.

*i make the most of frozen food, it can be just as good for you as fresh and saves a lot of preparation. i make easy veggie curries using bags of (ready chopped) mixed veg and peas.

*i find breakfast the easiest meal to prepare when exhausted, either boiled eggs and toast, or yummy porridge using ready mixed oats and seeds, soya milk and frozen berries.

*i try and always have a bag of mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit to munch on in between meals or scoff rather than miss a meal.

*i have a big glass of protein shake that's easy to make and delicious for when i am off my food or concerned about not getting protein in my diet. (i add bananas or berries for extra goodness)

*getting enough omega 3's is very important, thank goodness then for little tins of mackerel or sardines that make cheap and super healthy little meals. just add toast.

*bananas are full of goodness, i always try and have some in my fruit bowl if possible, as well as apples to munch on and my local supermarket normally has many seasonal fruits on offer.

here are some cooking and grocery shopping tips others affected with cfs/fibro, along with other useful tips on how to manage housework.

i will keep adding to this list - and any tips, advice or recipes you can share would be fab. :-)

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