Too ill to cook?

Flicking through twitter this week I found a link to Natasha Lipman’s blog post “Too ill to cook?” which resonated strongly with me and feels like it would be useful information for many others as well.

With her permission I have quoted some of her post but do go and read the article over on her site.  And don’t forget about the useful tips section in the chronic pain cookbook!

“…cooking, mannnnnn.  That involves getting out of bed and standing around and like, chopping and doing things. Exhausting! I’ve stopped being fancy in the kitchen and am getting on with more quick and easy simple things to make sure I feed myself well with the minimum amount of effort. And trust me, when you don’t/can’t just bung a ready meal in the oven it makes things a lot harder. Whether I want to or not, I don’t have a choice about spending my energy on this.”

I know many of us with chronic pain are also limited in terms of what we eat and on the whole home cooked meals are better for us nutritionally so I hope the top tips she shares can help keep you cooking.  Please share your own as well.

EDS and drinking

A while back, the lovely Beth of Mermaid in Disguise wrote about Cute Cups for Crappy Hands. And crappy hands being a subject I know a lot about, I accidentally wrote an essay in the comments section…

So I thought it would be useful to share the information here as well.

Collection of drinking vessels

What are the issues with EDS and drinking…

  • you may not be able to swallow. thankfully i can but my sister can’t and I’m afraid I’m not best placed to advise on this one.
  • you may not be able to lift a drinking vessel
  • you may not be able to open a bottle with your hands or a sports cap with your teeth
  • you may have a tendency to spill or drop drinks

Hot drinks

Contigo Autoseal are my go to for hot drinks (the site is american but there are UK retailers, it’s just an easier way to see the whole range on their site).  I’ve never had a spill and the button to open the mouth bit is fairly easy to press but not so easy it will spill in your bag. They’ve got a few designs so you can think about what will work best for your hands.  And they come in a range of colours as well!

Note of caution: your drink will stay hot for hours. If you want to be able to drink it soon, add some cold water!

Hot Straws are also ace for when you’re out and about.  They mean you can order a hot drink and not have to lift the cup, just pop in your straw and go.  The straws also fit into most takeaway cups (through the little mouth bit) which is extra helpful.

Second note of caution: Using a regular straw with a hot drink is not recommended. There are risks around the chemicals used to make them which are then released when they get warm.  Also increased risk of burning yourself.

Cold drinks

I get through ridiculous amounts of squash in a day.  Maybe 2 litres whilst I’m at work and 2 litres when I get home. Way above the recommended 2 litres per day.  And I can’t make my own juice or fill up my own bottle.  So I need a big bottle to get me through the time when there is no one here, which I wouldn’t be able to lift.  My first thought was that I’d have to have millions of small drinks all lined up for me… But then, through the powers of the internet, I came across Hydrate for Health.  And without wanting to seem dramatic, it has changed my life!

I can drink laying down; I just hook it into the walker I have by my bed or chair, clip or drape the end over another part of the walker and I have a litre of juice in my reach. I also have one one my desk at work. People only need to fill up my juice twice a day at work say instead of every hour and no spills.  Pop it in your wheelchair bag and feed the tube round the side and you’ve got instant access to your drink whilst you’re in your chair!

As you can tell, I love it, and I think it’s probably a good moment to mention I am not on commission!  I don’t receive anything from the products I recommend here, I’m just a satisfied customer.

Also Contingo Autoseal do juice bottles in a range of sizes and are ace.  Mine is 400ml which makes it lighter than carrying a coke bottle etc and went all the way to Cambodia with me.  It meant that whenever I was offered a (non fizzy) drink, either in restaurants or on the plane, I could pass over my bottle and not have to worry about plastic cups etc.  They also come in a range of colours and if you venture into the children’s section there are also some cool patterns as well.

And not forgetting alcohol…

Safe Sip drink covers can be used on wine glasses and are easy to use and small enough to carry with you if you’re going out.  I struggle with drinking from wine glasses so I drink wine from plastic beakers with a safe sip cover.

So that, folks, is how I manage to stay hydrated with EDS.  Do you have any other tips or favourite products?

Chronic pain cookbook

As you may already know, I have a chronic pain condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.  My hands are the most affected part of my body and this makes everyday things like cooking very difficult.  As they were worsening, I found that there were fewer and fewer things I could manage to cook.  So I did what I always do, I looked online for advice.  But there didn’t seem to be much… there was a lot about using food to make yourself well again but not much on food that you can prepare when you have chronic pain.  So instead I put together my own advice and recipes.

It’s based entirely on me, my likes and dislikes, my pain and my situation so it won’t be entirely spot on for other people.

Unfortunately, since having the idea of the chronic pain cookbook, my pain has deteriorated too much and I now need carers to cook for me but I hope it is of help to someone.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, feedback and recipe suggestions.

Chronic Pain Cookbook