If you have M.E./CFS you know how difficult it is to do every day tasks like cook a meal. The two main difficulties I faced were:
- Fatigue – this stops everything. You don’t have the energy to walk to the kitchen, to chop food up, to shop for food, to think about what to eat or to cook, to stand at the cooker, to stir a pot, or anything else you can think of.
- Brain fog. Cooking requires lots of mental processing. You have to plan what to cook, what time each item needs to start cooking, follow recipes, think about what to eat for each meal, etc. All of this was beyond me for a long time.
So, how did I overcome this and ensure that not only I, but the rest of my family was fed?
1. I asked for and accepted help. You can read about my support network here. Everyone will have a different situation, but make the most of what you have.
2. On-line grocery shopping. I’ve got a post about how I manage(d) this here.
3. Use pre-prepared food whereever possible. My favourite healthy options are
- chilled soups – simply open carton, pour into bowl and microwave
- carrot battons – I think these are designed for cooking, but we use them to dip in hummous as a great snack
- stir fry packs vegetable packs
- Cooking sauces – There are some gluten free ones around. Our family like Thai Green Curry and italian tomato and pepper.
- Diced meat – put in a slow cooker, with a jar of sauce and some pre-cut veg.
- Frozen veg that you just microwave or add to the slow cooker
4. Use my slow cooker and microwave for all cooking. I once tried to cook some green beans on the stove, but completely forgot about them, dished up and ate the meal without them. It was not until my husband came home and found the pan smoking on the hob that my error was discovered. I came dangerously close to burning the house down with me and the kids in it, and I avoided using the hob after that incident.
5. I bought a microwave rice/pasta cooker. This meant I could easily cook rice to accompany meals from the slow cooker (it does not successfully cook gluten free pasta, but may work for normal pasta).
I hope my experience is helpful in some way to you. Please share your own tips in the comments below.