When you have a chronic illness, cooking might be the last thing on your mind. But it’s often essential to eat well if your health is suffering. That’s why meal planning is so crucial. With a bit of creativity, you can ensure you are getting a variety of foods.
Consider Cooking with Medical Marijuana
If you have a chronic condition such as cancer or another illness, you might be eligible for medical marijuana. Some people use medical cannabis to try to relieve their chronic symptoms. It’s easy to get your Oklahoma weed card online. You’ll only pay if you get approved, and the process is easy and fast. Many people think of smoking when they consider medical cannabis. Still, many people also like drinking or eating marijuana-infused products. It’s easy to extract the cannabinoids using oils since they are fat-soluble. You can make baked goods or use cannabis-infused butter in your other foods if you want a more intense experience.
The Benefits of Meal Prepping
At first, it might not seem like planning your meals saves any energy or time. You’ll still have to move around the kitchen, and cooking so much at once might require more standing. However, you’ll often save energy in the long run since you will not need to be in the kitchen as much later. That gives you more time to recover from your daily activities, whether studying, working, or just reducing your physical symptoms. The process also helps you manage your diet. That way, you can eat the right foods and stick to your dietary changes. If you don’t prepare foods, you might eat whatever is there and easy, even if it means having things you are not supposed to. That could trigger a flareup.
Without a plan, it’s easy to go backward on your goals. But if you have a plan, you can better control the portions, so you do not eat such heavy meals. It can help you avoid bloating, and you might decide to change one meal into two or three, so you do not overeat each time. It’s easy to snack instead of getting up to make a meal. But with a bit of planning, you can ensure you are eating meals high in nutrients instead of having sugar or fat-filled items. Otherwise, you might increase your levels of inflammation.
Create an Eating Plan to Fit Your Needs
Many times, doctors tell patients with chronic conditions to eat healthier foods. That might include eating more plant-based meals. You do not need to be a vegan or vegetarian to keep your eating on track. Still, you might want to have a mostly plant-based diet instead of having so many processed foods. If you have a chronic condition, it’s often tempting to reach for the easy-to-prepare, highly processed meals.
But it doesn’t have to be difficult to find better options. Foods from plants are often high in nutrients, and they can fill you up, so you can maintain your weight. Look for vegetables, legumes, fruits, and even whole grains. At the same time, you’ll also want to avoid the things that might reduce your body’s ability to function fully. That includes alcohol, caffeine, and sugar. Try to eliminate these things to balance your lifestyle and increase your mental clarity.
Spend Time Meal Prepping
Set aside a bit of time each week to prepare meals for that week. If you already have something made in the freezer or fridge, you’ll be less likely to be tempted to eat something unhealthy. If you aren’t feeling well or are in a hurry, you’ll find it easy to reheat the items. Look for some cookbooks with ideas on delicious, uncomplicated food. The recipes do not need to be fancy.
Instead, you want something that takes a basic idea and makes something new out of it. Think about the upcoming week and come up with meals when you have the calendar out. Consider work deadlines, birthdays, meetings, and other events. Then be honest with yourself when thinking about what you’ll feel like eating. How much energy will you have? The plan does not need to be detailed. Even something as simple as meat and some vegetables can be a healthy, satisfying dinner. The idea is to reduce how much time you’ll need to spend shopping and cooking.
What are Some Easy Meal Ideas?
Look for kitchen tools, such as slow cookers, to make cooking easier. For instance, you can easily create a range of soups in a slow cooker, and you can then freeze the leftovers. Toss in some vegetables and meat and allow it to simmer for a few hours. Chicken is inexpensive and relatively versatile. You can get your favorite chicken parts, whether that’s the thighs, wings, breast, or another element. Then cook them in the oven with seasonings like salt and pepper. You can then have it with a vegetable for the rest of the week. For something different, try hamburgers. Keep them in the freezer and cook them on the stove when you need a filling meal or even snack. Have it with a whole wheat bun and add a salad on the side.
Tips for Getting Started
Restrict the number of steps by looking for recipes with only a few steps. That way, you do not need to do as much cutting, peeling, and other tasks. Try salads, stews, roasts, and slow cooker recipes. Don’t feel like you have to do anything fancy at first. If you are only starting, prepare things just a day or so in advance. For example, perhaps you make dinner for today and the next day. Then you can wait two days before cooking again. Once you have gotten this down, you can move on to making snacks and breakfasts. Look for recipes that only require using one pan or pot. These are easy to do, and they also reduce the amount of cleanup needed. That way, you will not need to spend as much energy or time.