Having good food and healthy eating habits are an important aspect of looking after yourself. But it’s not always easy. Women have to juggle their work, domestic duties and caring responsibilities, along with their chronic illness.
We know these things are important but having the “spoons” or the time can be challenging and sometimes frustrating.
And as always, if you have concerns or questions please talk to your health professional.
Find out more about “spoons” here!
Food is far more than just nutrients. Food is culture, nurture, and socializing. And for some it can be such a burden. But we all need it and so below are our top tips for planning, buying, cooking and eating food.
Tips for planning
- Write a list before going to the shops – ensure you have all your essential items at the top just in case you lose ‘spoons’ halfway through the shop.
- Plan to cook at least 3 meals, then you can have leftovers and toasted sandwiches for the other meals.
- Plan for very easy meals like stir fries, one pot stews or salads.
- Take a friend shopping and make it a date – they can help with your bags and you can have a coffee and a sit down before heading back to the car.
- Set up a supermarket account so that you can get delivery, or click and collect.
- Buy pre-cut or easily cut foods.
Tips for cooking
- Cook more than you need so you can eat leftovers the next day or freeze them.
- Spacing out your preparation for cooking could be helpful – for example cutting the vegetables in the morning will mean cooking in the evening won’t be so long.
- Try to use the least ingredients possible, especially when your starting to feel fatigued. For example a toasted sandwich with butter, cheese, tomato and onion may be delicious but a cheese on bread grilled is only three steps if the cheese is already sliced but still tasty.
- Have a few easy to assemble meals ready.
- Have a bunch of ready to go snacks that you can eat when you don’t have the energy to cook or even assemble meals.
- There may be helpful gadget out there that you can use to cut, dice or mash your foods.
- Try to use the least amount of dishes possible so the washing up won’t be as long.
- Get help cooking or cleaning up where possible.
- Use a dishwasher wherever possible.
Tips for eating
- Always treat the food you eat as a remedy rather than a cure for your condition.
- Often processed food is more expensive and may be higher in salt and sugar, but it is easily accessed. Try to get whole foods as much as possible, considering your limitations of course.
- There are healthy eating guides out there to help with planning what to eat. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating can help you understand the types of food and portions that should be in a healthy diet.
Some conditions can be directly improved by changing your diet, for example coeliac disease, diabetes, kidney conditions ect. It may be beneficial to consult a dietitian especially if you have been told by your doctor to stick to a special diet. See our services page for more information on finding a dietitian.