how to make cooking less of a torture

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vickythecat

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Hi,

I am vegan, so that means that I almost always have to prepare food at home. I also live on my own. Thankfully my sister helps me out quite often - especially with the whole cutting of fruits and veggies process, but when she is not around, I really have to gather all the energy I have, in order to go into the kitchen and create a healthy wholesome meal. I often can't, so end up eating basic sandwiches or just cereal - as many of us, I am sure, have had to.

I also do not live in a country where there are pre-cut veggies or pre-prepared meals in supermarkets, which totally sucks. I used to LOVE cooking, but now my body is stopping me from doing something I really enjoy. I also love to eat!!! :lol:

So how do you survive the cooking process? do you have any tips on making things around the kitchen less of a torture?

Thanks!
 

diamond

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Yes this is a problem many of us face and i too have lived on sandwiches cereal and even cake if i can just grab it during worst days. I am lucky generally i do manage to prepare healthy meals by having prepared veggies delivered and something i can shove in the oven like quorn or soya products in the style of meat as like you i am vegetarian...but not vegan.
I used to enjoy cooking now its relegated to a chore!

Gosh how about scrubbing potatoes and baking in skins then chop salad which is easier than veggies....or buying frozen veg..I know its not the same but you can cook wholewheat pasta and then lightly fry mushroom and onion if you can chop half an onion ( or buy frozen) add a tin of plum tomatoes which makes a sauce for the pasta.

Or packets of microwavable rice with flavouring included and add a few easy frozen or tinned veggies like peas sweetcorn or again lightly fried mushrooms and peppers and fresh tomatoes.

All light veg rather than laboriously peeling and chopping root veggies...maybe google simple healthy meals might inspire you..good luck i know its not easy.

Just eating a handful of nuts a banana and some natural yogurt sweetened with berries or honey is pretty healthy and simple.

Its harder for you as you must have to source protein from nuts beans and pulses and maybe soya too.
 

Northernelf

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My daughter is vegan and I am gluten free (not by choice !). I always cook because I have found that good nutrition has helped me physically.

I have a bar stool I use in the kitchen on bad days so I can sit and chop veggies or whatever. I have a spiralizer (a cheaper Starfrit one I bought at Walmart). You can spiralize a small zucchini is seconds, toss it with dressing, add in some capers or chopped pickled veggies & instant salad. Last night I spiralized some potatoes, added a little oil & salt and baked them. They were good but next time I will pat them dry with paper towel so they crisp better.

I think half the battle is setting up your kitchen with what you need. Frozen veggies are a great option - still have most of their nutrition as they are frozen soon after harvest. We buy frozen edamame, spinach cubes, etc. and throw them into soups or stirfries. My daughter makes a simple soup out of broth and udon noodles we buy at Walmart. She will throw in some canned chickpeas or tofu or whatever and maybe a little hot sauce. She also likes hummus on toast topped with chopped cucumbers (or she spreads refried beans not made with lard on as well).

I also have a small speaker in my kitchen that works on bluetooth - music a a great motivator !

I can diss housework and many other things but food is important to me (and getting some activity). Good luck.
 

sunkacola

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I am the farthest thing you can find from a vegan or vegetarian, as I eat more meat than anything else. But the same things apply no matter what you are eating. On a good day when you can, make a huge pot of stew or crock-pot meal, or make a big skillet of stirfry, and freeze the food in portions that you can just microwave each day. It's the only way to go, and it provides home made healthy food every day. Get your sister to help you one day a week or even once every two weeks and make all your food ahead. And be grateful you have someone to help you at all. I don't.
 

Heavenjumper

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I am not vegan, but have also had to adapt the way I prepare meals. I used to work and make meals when I got home with no problem. I can't work right now and may not be able to go back to working because my pain and weakness is so severe. Even standing in the kitchen(or even having the energy to get up and do it) is a monumental task some days. I now have a chair in my kitchen so I can sit for a few minutes at a time throughout the process. I have had to find recipes that don't take as long or as much preparation to complete as well. I'm sorry you're having a difficult time with this as good diet can be important to warding off some of the symptoms we deal with. I wish you luck in finding solutions.
 

vickythecat

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Thank you so much for all your valuable tips - I really really appreciate them. At one point, it feels like (could be fibro fog), I cannot think out of the box, so your suggestions all seem so very useful. I will seriously try them all!!!

Thank you all and a huge soft hug from across the ocean!
 

diamond

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Glad the suggestions help Vicky..i agree sometimes we just need a few pointers to open up our minds to get around our problems.

My son who is veggie too sent me a list of easy healthy meals...i know we cant do links but like i said i'm sure you could use a search engine to inspire you on top of all tips posted here.

Good Luck..and i'm sure those days where you can only manage a sandwich will not cause any harm..i still do that some days too and its ok especially if you choose whole meal bread and a healthy filling like peanut butter for protein or mixed salad....haha but lets face it some days anything we fancy is better than nothing!

Meals are one think i also don't like accepting help with for some reason...i think help is lovely like your sister but it helps us feel a bit more like ourselves if we can find a way to keep some independence even in these small ways some of the time...I am in no doubt you appreciate your sisters help and glad you came to the forum for way to find solutions from people in the same position.

Take Care.
 
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beachbum

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If you have a chair with arms you can get a board long enough to go across them and use that to put a cutting board on, that way you won't have to stand. Cut a lot at one time when you have more energy and put it in bags or covered bowls, most will keep for days. Make soups/stews and freeze portions for several meals at a time. A thick rubber matt in the kitchen also helps me, somehow my legs hurt less standing on that.
 

vickythecat

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Glad the suggestions help Vicky..i agree sometimes we just need a few pointers to open up our minds to get around our problems.

My son who is veggie too sent me a list of easy healthy meals...i know we cant do links but like i said i'm sure you could use a search engine to inspire you on top of all tips posted here.

Good Luck..and i'm sure those days where you can only manage a sandwich will not cause any harm..i still do that some days too and its ok especially if you choose whole meal bread and a healthy filling like peanut butter for protein or mixed salad....haha but lets face it some days anything we fancy is better than nothing!

Meals are one think i also don't like accepting help with for some reason...i think help is lovely like your sister but it helps us feel a bit more like ourselves if we can find a way to keep some independence even in these small ways some of the time...I am in no doubt you appreciate your sisters help and glad you came to the forum for way to find solutions from people in the same position.

Take Care.

Thank you so much and you are so right...

Asking for help can be so so so difficult. Every time my sister helps me out, I try not to focus on the fact that 'she is helping her younger sister who is weak' (that is what it feels like), but I put on music, talk about good memories and try to make it a fun event for both of us in the kitchen :)
 

diamond

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I totally hear what you say....i'm sure your sister doesn't mind one bit but that doesn't stop us having our own pride a bit shaken...something we struggle with beneath the surface in so many ways having this illness...gentle hug coming your way.
 

Eyesup

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In addition to the other great ideas I'm going recommend investing in the best knives you can get. Yesterday I read the post and felt your pain but it wasnt until I had to chop some veggies this morning and I was hunting for the "good" knife. I'm talking about the ones that cost $100. US dollars for just a paring knife. Carrots cut like butter (well that's a little over stated) If your not sure you can message me as I don't think I can say the name here. But I would not be able to make anything veggie with even a freshly sharpened good knife.
It is these seemingly small things that can improve a fibro life tremendously.
Hope this helps
 

Forgetmenot

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Well that knocked my theory out the window,I thought vegans would have a lot better health ,ppl tell you don't they eat better lots of fruit and veg.
As for cooking,I like to cut up my veg in the morning.then I got the rest of the day before I need to cook .
 

DK_engineer

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An easy-to-use knife sharpener helps a lot too.

I like to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. I usually cook on the weekend. I choose a time when I am feeling good, then make a big salad. Sometimes the pain builds up and I need to take a short break. TV and music are great distractions. My salad usually lasts about a week.

If I also soak and cook beans, I am all set for the work week. I usually cook them on the stove top because heavy crock pots are hard for me to handle.
 

ilene418

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I know everyone is trying to sit to cook - but loading the dishwasher or washing dishes? Not so much...

I got a mat from Sam's Club for about $17 that is like a welcome mat but super padded cushy maybe memory foam. I duck taped it to the floor (the same color as the mat so it didn't look awful) and now I can sometimes do the cleanup WITH fun music to distract.

The key IS distraction. The pain won't kill us, so we have to live our best life by being distracted. Every moment that I am distracted, I don't hurt.

I love and appreciate many of the cooking tips and will use them! Thanks for letting me share mine and gentle hugs to all of you!
 

ilene418

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Try to remember that you would do it for her if the roles were reversed. And tell her that!
 
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