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.
The easiest way to get around these 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 a roast chicken, followed by a chicken salad or a chicken curry.
Crockpots 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 mealtime.
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 it’s in the afternoon then cook then.
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.
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.
Health Central say Why Stand When You Can Sit: 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. Try moving those green beans to the living room and snap while sitting or reclining. Remember to sit properly and get up properly when it is time to stand up.
Eating Well have six great tips on how to avoid back pain while cooking.
1.Get a supportive mat. Adding soft cushioning beneath your feet in the form of a foam or gel mat may make you more comfortable while slicing and dicing.
2.Use a cookbook stand. Think about how much time you spend hunched over the countertop reading a cookbook.
3.Store heavy items wisely. Quit crouching down low or getting on your tiptoes to reach for large, weighty items like the food processor, panini press, mixer, or bread machine.
4. Be careful when bending. Whether you’re bending down to pick up a dropped carrot or your stand mixer, you want your legs to do the work of lifting, not your back.
5.Speaking of workouts: Exercise your abs. Having a strong core will help keep your back strong, and finally,
6. Take breaks. Often, cooking calls for a “hurry up and wait” approach.
- Limit your dairy intake and use low fat milk, cheese or yoghurt
- If it’s during the day and you are desperate to get a job done then go for the chocolate or cheese option but don’t make a habit of it.
- Tea or coffee but again only during the day and NEVER taken after 6pm or your evening sleep will be interrupted. Some good teas to drink are Chamomile and dandelion chai and of course green tea. Tea contains 2 things that appear to offer health benefits: polyphenols and theanine which they say have a lot more to offer for people suffering from Fibromyalgia and CFS.
- Eat your greens.
- Eat Protein – Getting enough protein in your diet is especially important because your body needs it for growth and maintenance. Protein is directly responsible for about 20% of the material in your cells and tissues. Animal-based proteins (such as milk, meat, fish, poultry, and eggs) will give you the amino acids your body needs to build protein.
- Avoiding aspartame can dramatically reduce pain and improve cognitive function in many.
- Add dark-colored fruits, including berries, which are also recommended.
- Herbs that may help with symptoms of chronic fatigue include: Ginseng (Panax ginseng) may help improve energy (100 – 300 mg 2 times per day). One test-tube study found that ginseng and echinacea increased the immune response in cells taken from people with CFS. But no studies have been done where people took ginseng for CFS. Ginseng can increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you already take blood-thinners such as clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), or aspirin. Ginseng also may interact with several drugs, including those taken for diabetes or to suppress the immune system. People with heart disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, or those with hormone-sensitive cancers — including breast, uterine, ovarian, or prostate cancer — should not take ginseng.
- Echinacea (Echinacea species) may help boost the immune system (200 mg 2 times per day). No studies, however, have looked at echinacea as a treatment for CFS in people. People with autoimmune disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, should not take echinacea.
- Take flaxseed oil as all those omega 3’s and 6’s are a great way to get the blood flowing and the creaky joints moving.