Homemade food can be time consuming, so I'll take anything that will shave a few seconds of time off prep. Here are a few that I have in my kitchen that I frequently use that make life easier.
There are a few different variations of this, but I like this one because it cuts all the way through thanks to the plate on the bottom. Most apple slicers only go so far and you have to pluck each piece off. This cuts that extra few centimeters so you can just dump it into your bowl and enjoy.
This has also saved me a bit of money. I like apples and buy them often, but sometimes I don't have the energy to chop them up. Also, sometimes I'm just feeling lazy. This takes the work out of slicing an apple and destroys me excuse to not get an apple a day (maybe that's why I haven't been able to keep the doctor away.)
I find this gadget useful because I have a slight gap in my front teeth and whenever I eat corn on the cob, it gets stuck there. That's super annoying, but I love the taste of corn on the cob. This gadget I picked because it contains the corn kernels instead of them flying all over. Although, sometimes, it doesn't strip as smoothly as needed and a back and forth twisting motion really helps while pushing down. You also want to make sure you have good sized cobs. I had some smaller ones and the stripper missed about a quart of the kernels.
If you like to cut your corn off the cob (especially if you want to freeze some to eat when it's out of season because corn on the cob is SO much better than canned corn) this will make that task a million times easier.
Are there any kitchen gadgets that you use to make cooking easier? What do you do when you're feeling lazy?
It's a big duh to say this blog focuses on those affected by Interstitial Cystitis. After all, it's in the title and I suffer from it. I don't think that means that no one else could benefit from this blog. There are plenty of conditions out there that force people to watch what they eat, and there are even people who chose to do that because they want to.
So, how can this blog help you and your chronic Illness?
Think about your chronic illness and the barriers it presents to you. What do you struggle with? Pain is probably a big one.
But what about lack of energy? That's one area this could help you with. Meal planning, I have found, saves me time. By having my week prepared, I waste less time thinking about what to do. I know what I'm going to do, and when the time comes, I do it. That right there will save you time. And stress. The decision is made and you don't have to waste precious spoons. (I assume anyone with chronic illness and pain is familiar with Spoon Theory.) You know to have those spoons reserved.
If you know there are certain times of the day that you have more energy, you can plan your meals around it. Say, early in the day and around noon you have plenty of energy but at dinner time you're dragging. Make a crock pot recipe that will be ready for dinner.
You can also apply your food requirements to a meal plan. Have to avoid dairy? Make a meal plan that is dairy free. Same for gluten. Many people are avoiding gluten, but a little planning and research you can find plenty of alternatives and meals to make.
All chronic illnesses require a massive change that we all struggle to adjust with. Resources are out there, other people suffering are out there. You are not alone and you can do it.
That is what I want you to take from this blog. You and I may suffer from different illnesses, but I'm still here for you. If you ever want to talk, drop me a line, tweet me, message me on FB. I'll respond when I see it and be happy to help lift you up.
What chronic illness do you have? How has it changed your life? What need are you struggling to find answers to?
Let me start with the question you’re probably asking: What new information can I give you about meal planning? Thousands of blogs have covered this. So, what am I bringing to the table (Ha!) that’s different?
Honestly, I can’t really say anything new. I'm just adding the twist of Interstitial Cystitis to meal planning. It only makes sense because when you have IC, food is constantly hanging over your head. The wrong food will mean pain that will knock you off your feet. I'm honestly amazed no one has tackled meal planning with IC.
Don't worry, though. This will be painless and easy. You can even do it with your favorite TV show playing.
First you'll need a few items.
On one side of the whiteboard, write the days of the week. I do that twice. (Friday is missing on mine because each Friday we go out to eat with friends. And if we don't, I default to something easy like breakfast for dinner: eggs, toast, and meat or potatoes.) Next, pick out 14 recipes. Write them down in whatever order you want. Mix them up so you don’t end up eating similar items consecutive days.
Sometimes I meal plan and then on the day, I don’t have the energy to make that dish. Feel free to swap days with another that is less work, but stick to what’s written. The goal of this is to know ahead of time what you’re eating so you can have it on hand.
Now, that you have your plan, you can make your grocery list.
When you’re planning, be mindful of fresh veggies and fruit. You don’t want to buy zucchini when you don’t plan on eating it until the second week. It’ll go bad before then. Of course, there is canning and freezing, but not all produce preserves equally. (A post for another day.)
Grocery list made, look through the coupons and clip. If you’re a Michigander like me and have a Meijers, they have an app with coupons. There is also Coupons.com where you print your own coupons. What I do is search each item and see what there is to clip. Even if I’m not sure I’ll buy that brand (I price check at the store) I still clip it. You never know. (This is optional. Since chronic pain and illness means we need to constantly be mindful of our energy reserves, if you don't have energy to look for coupons, don't worry about it. Just stick with making a meal plan because that will save you energy later by not having to take the time to think about what to make. You already know.)
That’s it. I told you it was easy and painless. Are you ready to give meal planning a shot? Where do you go to find the best coupons? What’s the best deal you’ve ever snagged?
*This is an affiliant link.
Isn’t that a loaded question?
After all, there are people with a lot more knowledge than me out there to read. (Boy, am I talking myself up.) This is actually a question I’ve seen many Youtubers I watch pose to themselves. They talk about how the topics they cover have been covered by dozens of others, so why would anyone want to listen to them.
The thing is we can all bring something unique to the table. Even the newest newbie can bring up a new point no one else has ever thought about. My diagnosis be relatively recent, (I’ve had IC for a while) but I’m committed to besting this disease and not letting it ruin my life.
Anyone with chronic illness and pain deserves to not let it run their lives. Between all the doctor's appointments and pain management, life can still be lived. It may require some creative thinking (and naps) but you don't have to give up after diagnosis.
Hopefully, my journey will help someone else, give them ideas or a ray of light when they need it the most. We're all in this together. I'm here for you.
In spring of 2016 I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis. The way I ate changed overnight and I tossed the majority of the food in my cupboards. Spicy foods were out. Citrus food, gone. Vinegar and other acidic foods, too. My beloved Mountain Dew was now the enemy. It sucked. Eventually, I found a food that didn’t cause pain: Milk. From there I was able to build a list of food that were safe for me to eat. Mind you, the list of food that caused inflammation was much longer, but I had something to work with.
Fast forward a year and my husband came home with some scary news: he might be out of a job. We scrambled for a plan and where to cut costs. I suggested making a food budget and went to Pinterest to look up dining on a budget.
It was not IC friendly.
I couldn’t find a single website that talked about budget dining that didn’t have trigger foods. Spicy spices were abundant. Tomatoes were in everything.
Had no one really thought of this yet? There are plenty of information about IC, but no one trying to do it on a budget? Well, you know how blogging gurus tell you to find your niche? It looked like I found mine.
This blog will focus on my journey with IC, meal planning, and my attempts to keep costs low for two people. Having IC often means having to skip the lower priced items, but it doesn’t have to break the bank and it doesn’t have to be bland. There are substitutions and tricks to save cash.
Are you ready to join me? Do you have IC? When were you diagnosed?
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Artist and writer. IC doesn't define me. Always looking for fun hair colors to try. Lover of Doctor Who and vampires.
© Dining with IC 2017 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.