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TWENTY WAYS TO ENJOY COOKING WITHOUT PAIN…

One of my favourite pass times is baking but it can literally leave me in agony so it is important to know how to take steps to avoid pain while cooking. I always say that ‘ I will never let the pain beat me’ but knowing my limits is how I can enjoy baking without the consequences.

Preparing the vegetables or decorating a cake can soon trigger off pain, but if you have your kitchen organised in the right way and use specialist types of equipment it will mean that you can spend far more time enjoying cooking.

Since lock down my way of seeing my family, (even though it was at a distance with them at the front door and me outside the gate), was to bake for them. I loved seeing my granddaughters face peeping through the window when Nana arrived with some goodies. However, it has meant that I have had to look at how to make it simpler so I could enjoy my baking without suffering afterwards. Here are my top twenty tips on how to cook without causing too much pain.

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

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Crock pots can be a godsend for Fibro and Back Pain sufferers, your whole meal all in one pot.

5. Buy frozen or prepared vegetables if you have no one to chop your vegetables for you. We use onions, peppers, mushrooms and mixed vegetables for all our casseroles.

6.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 ‘good’. If your best time is in the morning then cook then, if its in the afternoon then cook then.

7. Set your pantry or cupboard out so you can easily get your pans/dishes without the need to keep bending over and moving things.

8. Use pots and pans with two handles, they are easier to hold.

9. Use a stool if you really cannot stand for long at all. They can be a godsend.

10. If you have trouble opening jars then buy a ‘multi bottle grip opening tool.

11. Store frequently used items in cupboards between knee and shoulder height.

12. Buy packet soups rather than tins if you have trouble opening cans, or buy an electric can opener.

13. Create planned leftovers which you can freeze and have available for another day.

14. Store spices in a drawer or on the counter rather than in a high cupboard. I have mine in a small service trolly on wheels which is easy to pull out and get my spices and baking products.

15. Put all your baking utensils into a basket so when you feel you want to bake everything is all together.

16. Spatulas, spoons, ladles, whisks and other cooking tools which feel comfortable in your hand can greatly improve manual dexterity, reduce pain, and compensate for swollen and deformed joints.

17. There are many choices and designs for cooking tools and kitchen aids that can make cooking easier, such as ergonomic, lightweight cooking tools, which have easy grips and non-slip handles. Like these four ergonomic set of wooden baking tools.

18. If you want to try out a new recipe then look for ones that are easy to cook. I have done all my baking with the recipes from the book Mary Berry’s Fast Cakes: Easy Bakes in Minutes. The recipes are brilliant and lots are prepared all in one bowl which is brilliant.

19. Of course the most important one of all is to pace yourself ( I find this very hard). Do everything in stages. Prepare, rest, prepare.

20. When pulling a hot dish from the oven, take advantage of the sliding grate. This allows you to not overextend your back.

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COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND DEPRESSION…

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT )is now a well known therapy for many different health problems, including chronic pain and other chronic illnesses. This is because physical health problems can affect people’s moods and their lives in so many different and distressing ways.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that aims to help you manage your problems by changing how you think and act, and showing people how to recognize and change unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving. This allows them to be less affected by unhelpful moods and to enjoy life more, even if they still have pain. Over the last couple of decades cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has become an accepted first line psychosocial treatment which can help patients to deal with chronic pain, including low back pain.

The NHS add it to their talking therapies list which are offered in different ways, including

  • using a self-help workbook with the support of a therapist
  • as an online course
  • over the phone
  • one-to-one
  • in a group

At its simplest, it is a technique for helping people replace habitual negative thinking with positive thinking, by getting them to see the glass as half full not half empty.

CBT encourages you to talk about:

  • how you think about yourself, the world and other people 
  • how what you do affects your thoughts and feelings 

By talking about these things, CBT can help you to change how you think (‘cognitive’) and what you do (‘behaviour’), which can help you feel better about life. 

It’s now available on the NHS and CBT usually involves weekly or fortnightly sessions with a therapist. The number of sessions required varies greatly depending on your problems and objectives, with treatment usually lasting from six weeks to six months.

One patient said, ‘I was able to move forward and learn to cope and accept my pain. They taught me how to pace myself better and that in turn meant I was able to laugh again a bit more often, instead of just thinking about my pain all the time’.

The best way to try CBT for chronic pain is to talk to your GP first who will have a list of professional CBT therapists. They can then point you in the right direction for getting your treatment. Of course, there are waiting lists for this type of treatment on the NHS but you could always see someone privately.

Source: NHS

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INTERNATIONAL SEND A CARD TO A FRIEND DAY FEBRUARY 7th 2021…

With millions of us not seeing our friends now due to Covid-19 this special ‘Send a Card to a Friend Day’ on February 7th is very apt. There is nothing like receiving a card with some lovely words in it from a friend or family member, but it does not have to just be for birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas, it can be any time of year.

‘Send a Card to a Friend Day’ is your chance to tell that special person what they mean to you and why. It is nothing like a phone call or an email this is something far more personal than that.

A handmade card would make it even more special. I had decided after Christmas that I was going to write to all my friends, and I have just finished making my cards when I came across this International Awareness Day. Do you get excited when you hear letters pop through your door and you find a hand written card or letter? We all love getting items in the mail. But why? Perhaps its the time it takes to sit down in our busy lives and write the card. Perhaps it’s the fact that the person was thinking about you when they selected the card. Perhaps it’s the quaintness of receiving something so physical in our age of rapid digital and instant gratification. Whatever the reason, join in on February 7th as we celebrate National Send a Card to a Friend Day!

Here are some of my ideas, I hope you like them. All hand made, some hand sewn and painted, some just painted and decorated but all to cheer someone up during this difficult time.