When you’re battling with a chronic health illness like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome often the last thing you feel like doing is preparing and cooking a meal. However, enjoying homemade food is so important, especially when your body could do with the helping hand that nutrient dense wholefoods have to offer.
Before I developed fibromyalgia, I really enjoyed cooking and baking. I had been baking cookies and cakes since I was a teenager and had developed a love for cooking in my early 20s. I didn’t want to stop being able to cook, not only for the nutrients, but for the joy and relaxation that cooking brought me.
Unfortunately, my energy levels don’t always see eye to eye with my intentions!
Over time, I figured out ways to make my time in the kitchen easier and how to maximise a good day when I have extra energy to spend on cooking. Here are my tips for cooking with a chronic illness
When I decided to cut out refined sugar, one thing I didn’t ever, ever want to stop having were my favourite chewy chocolate chip cookies. Fortunately for me, although perhaps unfortunately for my overused oven, I didn’t have to.
Previously, when baking chocolate chip cookies I would use heaps of brown sugar, flour and sugar laden chocolate. Now, after (happily) testing out many different versions, I have developed my best cookie recipe yet.
When I cut out refined sugar, I was shocked at commercial food that contains added and/or refined sugar.
In my first shop, I bought a bottle of ‘healthy’ salad dressing. The packaging looked wholesome, the word ‘healthy’ was proudly shining up at me, there was an illustration of a vegetable, you name it, this bottle had it and I thought I was on the right track.
Until I read the label.
So you’ve made the decision to reduce or cut out refined sugar from your diet. The decision itself is easy but sometimes the next steps to put in this positive change into motion can be a little harder, luckily it doesn’t have to be.
That’s where I come in.
I used to eat a huge amount of refined sugar every day so if I can do it, so can you. Here are the tips I wish I had been given when I cut out sugar.
This chocolate pistachio brownies recipe uses ground walnuts as an alternative to flour so not only is this recipe gluten free, but it has all the fantastic benefits that walnuts have to offer and trust me, these guys aren’t messing around. This recipe is also vegan and refined sugar free.
Energy balls are a fantastic way to get a quick boost, whether it be to get through a meeting at work, keep you going in between classes or to see you through that challenging 1am – 2am phase of a Netflix marathon when you’re just so close to the end of the series, but your focus is seriously dropping. The pistachios and seeds add texture and depth to the recipe and the very subtle zest from the lemon brings it all together.
Is there anything in life more satisfying that the contrast between the chocolate layer and puffed rice layer of these Chocolate Coated Vegan Puffed Rice Bars?! Your first pay check, getting your first job? Nope – there isn’t, this is it! These are one of my all time favourite recipes, since you can make a big ol batch of them and keep them in the fridge for 5 days, you can throw one in a sandwich bag, throw that bag into your bag (there’s a lot of throwing happening here, are you going to a basketball game or what?) and enjoy them on the go.
To me, these sugar free roasted hazelnut muffins sum up perfectly what autumn baking is all about. Firstly there is the fact that they are muffins and everyone knows wearing light layers whilst eating a warm muffin with a cup of hot chai tea is totally an autumn thing. Seriously, everyone knows that, ask strangers on the street and they will confirm this. Next, they have roasted hazelnuts, and a maple syrup glaze infused with orange and cinnamon – cinnamon, I tell you! The epitome of autumn!
The thing I love about these sugar free pistachio and raspberry muffins, apart from the fact that they are muffins, which of course is a great thing in itself, are the vibrant colours. The bright green pistachios and deep red raspberries give them such an attractive look they are like your normal muffin if it was the main character was in a rom-com and had a makeover montage scene and came out looking all glamorous and what not. Also, they taste good, real good.
This is a super easy three ingredient sugar free raspberry frozen yogurt recipe that doesn’t require an ice cream maker or any added sugar – what’s not to like! It is so incredibly hot at the moment in London so basically all day long I want to consume endless amounts of frozen yogurt and since there isn’t any refined sugar in this frozen yogurt, it seems like a pretty solid diet plan, right?