Chronic Fatigue: Tips to Stay on Track With Your Diet
As a person living with a chronic autoimmune illness I know all too well how challenging it can be to stick to a healthy eating regime when you’re dealing with crippling fatigue. I also know how important it is to feed your body clean, nutrient dense food everyday so what do you do when you’re too fatigued to stand let alone meal prep?
1. Do your cooking and meal prep at the time of day you have the most energy-
If you generally feel the most energized in the morning don’t wait until dinner time to get things ready for dinner because by that time you might be exhausted and more likely to skip dinner all together or eat something convenient that might not be the most nutritious. If I know I am going to have a stir fry for dinner I will start washing and chopping veggies in the morning and then put them in a container in the fridge so all I have to do at dinner time is throw them in a pan. And while I’m at it I will also chop extra veggies for other meals I will have later in the week, which brings me to my next point….batch cooking
2. When you spend the energy to cook food and wash dishes make it worth your while and make lots!-
It doesn’t really take any extra time or effort to wash and chop veggies for 3 meals as opposed to 1, so take advantage of the days you feel better and set yourself up for later in the week. One of the things I will do to make my life easier later in the week is grate some beets, carrots, cabbage, and cauliflower and store them in containers in the fridge or freezer bags for later use in salads, soups, and to make cauliflower rice. My food processor is a pain to clean so if I’m going to use it I make it worth my while. I also like to make a large batch of salad dressing by mixing some oil, vinegar, garlic, honey, and fresh herbs in my vitamix and storing it in a mason jar in the fridge for super quick salads throughout the week. I also like to use the pre-washed organic greens to save me washing and spinning my lettuce and will often actually make up individual salads and put them into Tupperware containers (pictured above) then all I have to do is grab one and add some leftover chicken, boiled egg, avocado, nuts, or seeds and dressing. Also make extra when you cook your proteins-cold chicken or salmon tastes great on a salad or crackers for a snack. I like to spend a couple hours each week on a day that I have some energy to do some batch cooking for the week-it really makes things easier when you’re not feeling so great.
3. Invest in a slow cooker-
If you don’t already have one I highly recommend purchasing a slow cooker. Slow cookers are an excellent way to make soups, curry’s, bone broth, and stews and will make any cut of meat taste delicious. The absolute easiest dinner you could make is a slow cooker freezer bag that you prep on your batch cook day by putting your chopped veggies, meat, spices, and sauce into a freezer bag and then when you are feeling unwell or especially fatigued all you do is dump your slow cooker bag into the slow cooker turn it on and you will have a hot and delicious meal ready by dinner time.
4. Ask for Help/Let someone else do it-
When you are living with a chronic illness there might be times when cooking , doing any kind of meal prep, and even getting the groceries will just not be possible. However these are the times when your body needs nourishing food the most! But there are some options if you ever find yourself in this situation. In Vancouver we are lucky to have some healthier take out and even meal delivery options. Spud is a company I have personally used in a time of relapse where I wasn’t able to prep food myself. They are a grocery delivery service but also have fresh juices, salads, and meals you can choose from. Most of the meals are made with organic gluten and dairy free ingredients. They come delivered to your door in a cooler box and all you have to do is heat them up. This is an expensive option but in a pinch it’s one way to get some healthy food into you. Or ask a friend to bring some food to your door! I know it can be really hard to ask for help but if you have some friends in the area they might be willing to make you a plate when they make their dinner and drop it off to you. Most of your friends and family when they see you struggling with your health would love to help but don’t know how. Healthy food is the best way they can help you heal!!
Lindsey Luckey is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and offers appointments at Local Health Integrative Clinic on Sundays. Click here to book an appointment with Lindsey.