Tips on living with Fibromyalgia

My kitchen staples for limited time, energy and small spaces!

I find the most helpful thing for me is to think in advance what I need to have in my fridge/freezer/cupboard so I can throw things together quickly and produce a nutritious meal. Most days just getting through the working day takes all my energy so this is essential for me.

I hope that this strategy or some form of it might be helpful or useful to you too.
I order groceries online to preserve my energy and to make sure I can get everything I need for the week and pick up any extra bits on my way home from work. I have a repertoire of about 10-15 dishes I make a lot and just mix it up as I go or learn/create a new recipe. I love cooking but lose the will after a long day at work when pain and exhaustion are at the highest levels for me. If you have good staples in your fridge and cupboard it will make things so much easier.

I have a small fridge and freezer and one cupboard to store my food so I need to be selective! Believe me when I say that you don’t need a big kitchen or a lot of equipment to make healthy and nutritious food! I made a big adjustment when I moved into my flat a couple of years ago and became acquainted with the smallest kitchen of my life…once I figured out what worked it became a lot easier.

Eating nutritious and tasty food full of goodness helps manage my symptoms and it just makes me happy too! I notice an increase in my pain and tiredness when I am not able to eat nutritious food. I have my treats as well of course. Hello dark chocolate and Kind bars!

Ok let’s get organised…here are my staples:

  • Roasted Red peppers in brine (avoid the oil ones and add your own healthy fats).
  • Frozen herbs, onion, shallots, ginger, garlic, chilli (Waitrose do amazing sachets and they are a decent price. I stock up when they are 3 for 2).
  • Sun blushed tomatoes – these make everything taste good. Sun dried are ok too, just prefer the others.
  • Black olives in brine – tinned or jars. I find jars easier to work with.
  • Oats – jumbo, unprocessed type. No sachets with other bits in them. A big bag of plain oats!  2 minutes in the microwave or overnight oats works for me.
  • Eggs – omelettes, scrambled/poached/fried. I throw some spinach and red peppers on top, maybe some avocado for a delicious quick lunch or breakfast. Great to take to work too, just let it cool down. Omelettes or hard boiled eggs are the easiest to transport.
  • Good quality non-dairy milk. I like Plenish and Rude Health almond milks and also Oatly.
  • Rye bread (wheat free). I like Biona pumpkin seed the best. You can get this in Tesco or Waitrose.
  • Nut butter – peanut, almond, cashew. Buy in bulk to make the cost more reasonable. The small jars are costly. If you buy peanut butter watch out for the ones with sugar, they won’t help with pain and inflammation. Whole Earth or Meridian are good. You can buy a large tub of Meridian and it lasts for months.
  • Coconut Milk or Cream for curries, porridge, sauces…
  • Curry paste and powder. You can make dinner in 10 minutes with these on hand! Rendang is my favourite and I love green and red curry too. I buy the Rending paste from Tesco. I throw a few tablespoons of paste, whatever veg is in my fridge and some coconut milk and it is done in 5 minutes. I like to add extra chilli flakes when frying up the paste as the rending is mild.
  • Raw King Prawns – I cook for 3 minutes with garlic salt and some chilli flakes and you have lunch or dinner in 3 minutes. I would have this with steamed brown rice and a load of greens.
  • Tinned or carton tomatoes – good quality ones make a better sauce, Biona are nice and reasonably priced. Jamie Oliver has the easiest tomato sauce recipe and I just batch cook it and use pour and store bags for my small freezer.
  • Tamari or any soy sauce you like. Tamari is a gluten free version of soy sauce.
  • Sesame oil. Drizzle a teaspoon over some mange tout, green beans or broccoli to get some healthy fats.