36 Hacks That Can Make Cooking With Chronic Pain Easier

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I think everyone who suffers from fibromyalgia or any chronic illness would agree, pain and energy, or lack thereof, can make even the most mundane tasks a thousand times more difficult to do, or even want to attempt to do. However, eating is not something you can put off. Also, many fibro or chronic illness sufferers are trying different diets or trying to eat healthier to try to improve their pain or decrease symptoms so cooking is a necessity.

Cooking is something that may have become difficult to do anymore. Is there anything that we as sufferers can do to make this task any easier? Yes, there are a lot of things we can do to try to help ourselves with this job. Some may be feasible for you to do while others may not. Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful for you and make cooking easier or even enjoyable.

The most obvious way to make cooking easier is to turn it over to your family. If your kids are old enough to help out in the kitchen, let them, it’s a wonderful teaching and learning opportunity for them! If your spouse is able to help, or take over cooking altogether, let him! This doesn’t mean you can’t ever cook again, especially if you like to cook or when you are having a good day. However, if this is an option for you, use it, don’t be afraid to ask for help, but not everyone has the luxury of help.

Cooking is very hard on our bodies, exhausting, time-consuming especially for those with fibromyalgia or other chronic illness. We asked to our community “Living with fibromyalgia and chronic illness” a question What “hacks” do you use to make cooking easier if you have chronic pain? .

They have shared their thoughts with us. Maybe some of their following ideas can help make your time in the kitchen a little more comfortable and still allow you to eat delicious, home cooked meals.

Here is what they shared with us:

1. Beverly Hughes : On my good days I cook more than one meal and freeze so that when I have a bad day, all I have to do is pull from the freezer for my meals.

2. Fernando Tatito Delgado : Pressure Pro Cooker. Fast and easy one pot dinners.

3. Charlene Rose : For me, two of the ‘hacks’ would be sitting down during prep and standing on rubber floor mats at the stove. Reduces exhaustion which exacerbates the pain.

4. Ann Marie Rydesky : Cuisinart to chop and I sit down in a high chair, almost like a bar stool a lot.

5. Donna Beeckman:  Keeping frozen dinners on hand, having cans of soup on hand, using my slow cooker, a lot. Minute Rice makes individual brown rice tubs that go in the microwave. I have been using them a lot lately. Cereal and soy milk when I really can’t stand to do anything else.

6. Jules Sutton : i write out my recipe in phases: chop, rest, saute, rest…cook a basic protein in a neutral way, so i can add it to other dishes or build around it and as someone said i have a padded stool to sit on. in other words everything i can b/c i love to cook to my taste. i’m single, so i only have me to please and that’s plenty!

7. Sureyma Tapia Wozny : We bought two of these, it’s has really help me because I don’t have to use a knife to cut vegetables. Crock pot recipes. Smoker-throw meat and vegetables it cooks the meal without burning. Oven- vegetables, meat. Sometimes I start prepping throughout the day while my kids are in school and the hubby is at work. Taking lots of rest time out in between.

8. Sue O’Farrell Nichols : I buy most fruits and veggies already chopped or frozen because sometimes it hurts to use a knife. I also use my Instant Pot often and make several meals at once. Then I just have to pop them in the microwave.

9. Debra Lord : I use my slow cooker alot. Prep early in the day and sit while peeling and chopping. On better days prepare for the following day as well. I also search for recipe hacks that cut down preparation and cooking effort. For example rissoto requires alot of standing and constant stiring. I found an oven recipe that requires minimal effort and is like the real deal, also ask for help.

10. Jennifer McKiness : I bring my walker with seat attached into the kitchen, and sit while I measure and chop. I also use a lot of recipes that don’t require a lot of preparation, and stick to “one pan” recipes like chicken and veggies or fish and roasted veggies. I’ve been teaching my husband to cook, too, so that’s a big help

11. Holly Apperson : When I buy groceries I make a menu. Then I brown hamburger and divide it into freezer bags, then if we are having tacos pull out a bag defrost, add to skillet and seasonings done. Mix up a meatloaf and freeze then take out and bake.

12. Lisa Leccese : I cook all the time but cook quick budget Friendly meals old school Italian stuff. And stuff that is hearty and filling and you can freeze containers of. Also so many things you can prepare and do in under 20 min. Sit and chop get a stool.

Meatball soup 10 min to prep 10 to cook. Boil pasta separate put in zip lock bags and freeze make soup drop one in. Soup is just bullion cubes water peas and meatballs
 
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Sliced onions sliced cube steak garlic cloves olive oil and can diced tomatoes. Sauté 3 min cook on low 15. Awesome over 5 min white rice. Carne piziola
 
Ribs.. let the oven do work for you… make big batch of brown sugar salt pepper garlic and onion powder few dashes liquid smoke and put in smaller zip lock bags. Rinse ribs spread one of those bags all over and make sealed foil pouch put in oven on cookie sheet 375 for two hrs. Open foil Brush with BBQ sauce and broil few seconds each side to caramelize 15 min. Actual work time.
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No knead dutch oven Ciabatta bread. Not even 5 min to do. But sits 14 hrs.
 
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13. Darlena DeSha : I often sit on the sofa and peel veggies. I cook larger batches of things such as soups etc and freeze the left overs to re-heat on my bad days. I take chicken bones, freeze the ends of carrots, onions etc and then make bone broth and freeze to use instead of buying chicken broth at the store. It’s healthier.

14. Lynn France : I have a bar stool in kitchen to relax my legs. Also sit at table to peel potatoes, carrots, veg in general.

15. Yvette M Trigueros : All kinds of cheating gadgets electric can openers Choppers for vegetables pressure cooker or simply making oatmeal soups

16. Lisa L Lou : I set everything up in my bed. Peel potatoes in bed. Cut veggies for salad in bed… I get a cutting board and wash my hands, get as comfy as possible and do as much as I can from bed.

17. Sherry Perkins : I make a lot in my electric pressure cooker. It’s fast Maybe one day beef roast potatoes and carrots next day leftovers or beef and noodles.

18. Jennifer F Turner : Love my stick blender and air fryer and pressure cooker. Sometimes it’s hard to even pull a pan out of the oven. And stirring? Lol. Yeah right! Hubby has to take over sometimes.

19. Monica Ward : Instapot, veggie bullet & immersion blender.

20. Julia Apodaca-Lane : Table and chair in the middle of the kitchen. All prep sitting down. With a rolling desk chair you can adjust it higher so you can sit at the stove as well. My most common hack? My hubby cooks!

21. Zara Skelly : Cant cut much so have to pay out for convenience foods like ready grated cheese and ready diced veg . Usually frozen as can add to anything to make a meal and doesn’t go off when I’m too ill to cook and have to eat a ready meal

22. Daedalhead Aileen : I have a mug the lid of which attaches to the mug itself. It has a steam-release in the middle. It’s for soup. It can hold 1 can of soup, or a can of water + a can of soup. 
On really bad days, I can use plastic mobility tool to open soup. Dump soup inmug, secure latches, pop open steam release. Pop in microwave for 3 minutes. 
Enjoy your soup!* *Latches are easy to open/close, even when my hands are shot. The hardest part is opening the soup can.

23. Stephanie Deis Maloney : Sheet pan meals in the oven! A great way to eat clean and healthy. If you get fresh veggies that are already cut, or small enough that you don’t have to do much, it is soooo easy to do! Plus there are tons of recipes on Pinterest for ideas. I even cooked thanksgiving dinner for two using this method, and it was great.

24. Kim McAffee Richards : I try and do 2 dinners from one night cooking. For instance, crockpot roast and potatoes one night. Next night, take leftover roast and make BBQ beef sandwiches and salad. One night grilled chicken and veggies. Next night leftover chicken tacos.

25. Heather Wood : Crockpot or i cook 3 to 4 meals at one time so we have different leftovers all week. I will sit in my recliner with my plastic folding table and chop veggies or cut meat while i watch Netflix. I also will make huge meals and freeze half, like soups or sauces or casseroles. Then i will bowl water and cook it in the bag. Lots of soups are easy, spaghetti, chili, casseroles. If you have the money you can buy all the veggies pre cut or frozen which cuts down a ton of work. Some nights we will just have sandwiches and raw veggies

 

26. Dan Leigh : I use those blue food/freezer bags as opposed to wrestling with cling film!

27. Victoria Clark :  On good days I go shopping, also on good days I’ll make dishes that take work, I always keep easy meals around for me to cook ore hubby, and I freeze leftovers that is enough for another dinner. For lunches, there are days I don’t eat especially very bad days, I do have easy stuff like TV dinners and frozen stuff. On good days for breakfast I’ll cook eggs and stuff like that, not so good days is cereal, very bad days I may go without or hubby may fix something if he is home.

28. Dianna Cutting : On a good day three slow cookers going
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29. Jennifer Shepherd Dippel : Cook when I can, take out when needed, cook things separate and on different days, buy prepare where I can. Eat less so I can afford the organic and prepared stuff. So I would make 2 lbs chicken tenders with s/p and butter to keep in fridge. That can then be a Mexican meal by adding salsa and avocado, a sandwich, a Paleo quinoa spinach bowl, or add pesto for Italian. I’ll do butternut squash or sweet potato for the week by roasting it, or buy a veggie tray. Then take out when I just can’t even.

30. Lorrie Watson : I plan ahead & don’t do my shopping & big cooking day on the same day. I cook ground beef 3-5lbs at a time & freeze in containers that I pop in the microwave for 2 min & then finish up.
I get off work earlier than my husband, so I do a little at a time with breaks in between, when I cook. He cooks too. 
We take turns doing one “big cook” meal on Saturday. We freeze part of that for later & feed our son & his 3 kids most Saturdays.
I recently started a theme to our menu which helps keep it simple. Like Mondays are for Mexican food. Slow cooker Sunday, Thaw it Thursday. etc 
We have no problem eating a sandwich or frozen pizza either.😉 We eat leftovers for lunches.
Best gadget for me is the bottle\jar opener my mom brought over at Christmas!

31. Melynda H Dunn : Make and freeze a soup/casserole on a good day to be eaten on not so good days. buy fruits and veggies while in season, then cut/freeze to make smoothies and for cooking later when not in season. Buy salad greens/ veggies that are already prepared so you just throw them together with no prep work. Use a crock pot or wok to cook meals that have all ingredients together.

32. Susan Thaler : Try to cook at least once a week. Make huge stew/soup with containers of broth, use cans of various beans, bags of frozen veggies. I can’t chop much but do a fresh onion. The variety come from the spices. That gives me lots of frozen and fresh meals. Other than that I use frozen veggie, salmon, or bean burgers just steamed with broth. Buy cut up fruit. Everything with little chopping, standing or time.

33. Elyse Brown : Crock pots and casseroles are the easiest to pull off. The family favorite? Breakfast for dinner!

34. Kellie Duckwoke : Double recipes & freeze the other half for later. Soups and casseroles so that u have lots of leftovers.

35. Patty Ann Eagon : I use the crock pot, oven and the george forman. I make easy meals and use cheats like already cut onion, green pepper, or pre made sauces. If I do need to cut up, I have a chopper.

36. Dawn Redden : I start at least 45 minutes before I think I need to….lo l…this gives me time to take breaks. I bake or crock pot as much as possible. I have uncontrolled complex partial seizures, so I do as little on the stove top as possible.

Read More on:

Cooking Tips When You Suffer From Fibromyalgia Or Any Other Chronic Illness

 

10 Recipes to Fight Fibromyalgia Symptoms

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