Coping with Fibromyalgia is hard enough for any of us but one of the biggest problems we face is cooking. It may sound stupid to others but to us its a chore that can leave us feeling exhausted and in pain.

Many of us find that we cannot stand for long periods of time so doing the vegetables or decorating a cake are painful for us. With so many pies to bake, cookies to decorate, and meals to enjoy with family, the back can get quite uncomfortable with so much time spent hunched over a countertop whipping up dish after dish. There are ways to avoid pain while cooking that will help make it easier on your back.

The easiest way to get around this problems is to plan ahead for the week.

If you have some children or a partner at home that can help prepare some meals, then delegate the difficult jobs for them to do.

Concentrate on foods with multiple uses by making a stew that can last two meals, like meals from leftover turkeys, like a turkey pie or curry or salad.

Crock pots can be a godsend in the winter for Fibromyalgia sufferers, just get help with your preparation of vegetables then pop it all in the pot and forget about it until its meal time.

Try and have one afternoon where you could cook three or four meals in one hit, using left-overs to make soup or casseroles, and only cook when you are ‘in less pain or on a good day’. If your best time is in the morning then cook then, if its in the afternoon then cook then.

Rather than reaching into the cupboard for one ingredient only to come back and reach again for another in a short minute, it is best to get out all items at once. It saves people from having to reach over and over again, putting added strain on their back, neck, and shoulders. Use a stool if necessary to get out everything needed so it can be set out prior to starting cooking.

I get my husband to prepare all the vegetables for me and nearly always make two meals at one time. I love baking (one would never have known!) and keep all my ingredients in a basket which I can put on the table which enables me to sit down to bake.

Use a cookbook stand or take a picture of the recipe on your phone and prop your phone up so you don’t end up hunched over reading the cookbook.

It is a bit easier at this time of year as casseroles are ideal and you can get vegetable packs for those, just throw in a bit of garlic, a red wine stock pot and bobs your uncle.

The reason why cooking is so painful for most people is the prolonged periods of time standing and walking around. Try moving that cutting board to the table and chop while sitting. Remember to sit properly and get up properly when it is time to stand up. If you have to stand then get a supportive mat under your feet in the form of a foam or gel mat which will make it more comfortable when you are slicing and dicing if you can’t get help with this chore.

The most important thing is that you enjoy your extra cooking at this time of year. I make my mini mince pies over a week and bake after a rest. It works for me. Happy Cooking.

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