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Tips for Cooking With Low Energy

The transcript can be found under the video.

Wondering how you're supposed to change your diet when you're low on energy?


When you look online and you find things that might help with your POTS or Long Covid or ME, you might find lots of things that other people have tried or that have worked for them and one of those is probably dietary changes. There's a lot of diets out there that a lot of people have reported have helped, again every person is different. I have also a video on one of the most the most common dietary changes for those with POTS which I'll link below, but there's not only different kinds of diets but different kinds of foods that you could exclude and you might be curious about that.

Maybe you're curious about eating healthier or starting to eat healthier or getting back to eating healthier but you're finding it difficult. You feel like you have a day when you have maybe more energy but of course on a day that you have more energy cooking is the last thing that's on your mind. You want to take advantage of that extra energy maybe catch up on other tasks or maybe meet a friend or do something, do something fun like that. So then you're kind of stuck in this vicious loop where you know that eating healthier can and will give you more energy but you don't have enough energy to perhaps to eat healthier.

So in this video, I want to talk about a few ways that you can make preparing meals a bit easier. Everything has to be done a bit differently when your energy is low and cooking is again one of those things that have to be done a little bit differently as well. But it can still be done and you can still find enjoyment out of it, it just has to be adjusted. So let's, let's get started, let's talk about a few ways you could do so.

We cannot really treat cooking as a spontaneous thing, it does require more planning and that's okay. It's a little bit similar to pacing. We'll take the concept of pacing and apply to cooking.

Alternatives to preparing meals yourself

Everyone that's watching this video obviously all your, everybody's energy levels are different. They may vary, possibly vary through the day, through the week as well.

So first let's say that it's practically impossible for you right now to sit and meal prep. What options are there?

Is it possible to ask a loved one to prepare meals for you? If you are changing your diet or trying different dietary changes, perhaps both of you could try doing the diet and see how you feel. That also makes it easier as you have someone to hold you accountable you could even bond over it compare notes on how the food makes you feel or perhaps somebody else can do a portion of the meal prep like help you out, maybe do the chopping of the vegetables, which takes a lot of energy

Or maybe you're the one that's buying the groceries online and thinking about recipes and they could prep, you can communicate with that loved one to see what makes sense in your situation. If perhaps that's not an option, would another person helping you out? Is it possible to order a healthy meal delivery?

These have popped up in a lot more places. It's pricier than cooking at home but it's a long-term investment in your health and well-being.

At one point when I lived alone in the city that was kind of a smaller city, didn't have a lot of options I ended up buying really small meal service for bodybuilders actually. The food was I mean it was bland it was relatively not the greatest, but it was nutritious, it was healthy and it did the job for what I needed then.

But let's say the above two are not an option maybe you live alone you can't afford meal delivery at this moment. So I would like to share some tips on how to structure meal planning, prepping and cooking.


First let's talk about planning. Preparing meals in advance is probably the easiest and as it doesn't require you to cook every single day. You can instead do this two to three times a week at most. So maybe on Sunday you prepare your dinners for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. And then maybe on Wednesday you're prepared for Thursday, Friday and Saturday that means that theoretically, you've only cooked twice during the week.

You could technically have the same food for lunch and dinner that you prepared, maybe have a simple breakfast like porridge or eggs or a smoothie that you prepare in the morning, and maybe some healthy snacks throughout the day and that kind of fills up your day of eating. So practically that requires you to find two recipes and of course their ingredients.

If you're not sure where to start, I'll also include some links down below of websites that have it, you could even filter by how simple the recipe is and really trying to be as minimalist as possible because you're not wanting to spend hours in the kitchen. One other tip for choosing what to cook, because of course it can be overwhelming, is I usually look at what's in store in the season and then I'll type in that ingredient and I'll see what recipes they have.

Also when you're not feeling well you don't want to be going through thousands of recipes. That's cognitive, that's too much.


Then let's talk about the next part, so now you have your meals that you know you're going to make, let's talk about the shopping part. One of the best ways depending on where you are, is probably to shop online.

There's services where they can either deliver the groceries or you could even pick them up in the store. It's probably the easiest in terms of energy. If not, what can also help is having an organized list that enables you to hit each aisle just once, kind of organizing it by aisle so that you're not spending a lot of energy going to the store.

Now you have your plan for the week. What remains now is the cooking. This can also be broken down.

Cooking (Step 1)

So let's say it's Sunday and you're meal prepping for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Maybe in the morning or whenever you're feeling a little bit better, you start by gathering, it's a three-step process, so the first step you start by gathering your ingredients.

So you have maybe your spices, your grains, whatever you need for that recipe. The ones that are safe to leave on the counter, you can leave on the counter, the other ones perhaps you put away in the fridge.

Then again, you take a break, you do something else, you're not at this task forever.

Cooking (Step 2)

You come back when you're ready and you chop. This might be one of the most exhausting pieces. So now at least you have everything out but now you need to cut it. So that usually means you need to cut some kind of vegetables. With this, what can make it easier of course is sitting down. Throughout this whole process sitting down as much as possible trying not to get up.

What also helps is if you have a sharp knife. Obviously if it's a dull knife it's going to take a lot more energy and there's also even vegetable choppers that make things a lot easier so really trying to simplify this process with the use of tools.

Again now you're done with step number two, you take a break, you rest and you come back later for the third part which is the cooking.

Cooking (Step 3)

So at this point, you have everything laid out, everything's cut, everything's, all the spices are there, the rice or whatever you're making in that proportion correctly.

Generally, when a recipe says, you know, it takes 30 minutes, this is usually the part that they're referring to, so at this point, you can kind of just throw everything together and you do it, you cook it.

If for example, you're using a stovetop, if it's a meal that's made out of stove top and that's perhaps too hard for you because of the heat, again, another option would be to make meals that are more in the oven or to make meals that are in the instant pot. So those are two good investments. That way there's not so much, more watching that's needed, perhaps you just have to sit somewhere nearby but you don't have to stand and stir and really watch it over a stovetop but there's also all this heat rising up and perhaps aggravating your symptoms.

Then you rest, you wait for the food to cool down and then you could put it into the appropriate bowls for the week. Then you could store it in the fridge. Most meals keep up to three days in the fridge obviously it depends on the recipe so check with the recipe that you're making and you could keep it for longer not every meal but a lot of meals are freezer friendly. So you can keep it for longer and that way, let's say, you run well one day you could just go to the freezer and grab one of the meals that you've already prepared.

Options for flareup days

But now, it's always important to brainstorm to through multiple things that could happen, like multiple challenges. So let's say it's Sunday and you're not feeling well at all. What can you do? This would have been the day that maybe you would have been cooking. Can you grab a frozen meal? One of the ones that you've prepared before.

Is it still possible to meal prep? But perhaps one of the options would be to downscale it maybe you just cook the rice and the meat and the instant pot or oven and that's it. Maybe for the vegetables you grab some frozen veggies from the freezer and you use those or maybe you just grab. There are a lot of frozen meals now in the stores that are getting healthier and healthier that can be used for replacements on days like this. You know, you could be creative.

What's important obviously is to have options and a backup plan for something that's easy yet still relatively nutritious. Through planning, through experimenting and having backup options it is possible to start eating healthier, once again, without it affecting your energy too much.

So I hope that this video gave you some ideas on how to make cooking easier when you're low on energy and I hope that you found it helpful. I would love to hear your biggest takeaway down in the comments below, let me know what are your thoughts on meal prepping or what have you found helped you the most.

Take care and I'll see you next time!


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