Thursday, April 07, 2011

CFS Diet suggestions

These are all things that I've found work for me - they may not work for everyone but hey, it's worth a shunt eh?!

I found the most difference in my symptoms when I:
a. Stopped taking the contraceptive pill (I know, not relevant to you if you're missing a uterus)
b. Cut out of my life stressful energy thieves (family and 'friends' alike)
c. Changed my diet and lifestyle

Hydration:
I have the occasional yorkshire or chai tea (hard to cut out caffeine completely) but for hot drinks it's mostly Ovaltine (great way of upping my b-vitamin intake) or rooibos (redbush) I have no carbonated drinks at all; cold drinks are apple juice or cranberry juice mixed with filtered water.

If I have to have a bottled drink with added sugar then I've found the vitamin water drinks to be very tasty; they are a bit pricier than others on the market but each bottle holds about a pint of fluid with the advantage of added vitamins (though jury is out on how effective those vitamins actually are) since we dehydrate so quickly it's handy having something that's easy to drink, water by itself can be hard to drink in large quantities sometimes; you need flavour!

Food
Stef still does most of the cooking but (now that I have longer periods of being able to do for myself) at least once a month I batch cook things like soup, mashed potato and shepards pie for the freezer so it's just a matter of taking a portion out and sticking it in the cooker until the timer dings)

If I'm having an off day but can actually manage 10mins in the kitchen I also eat a lot of things like scrambled eggs, baked beans or banana on toast (minimal cooking required for maximum protein)or tuna mayo with pasta or baked potato with spinach and mushroom when I'm feeling a little more energetic, otherwise it's a fortified cereal either with milk or just in a bowl as a dry snack.

For something hot that seems more substantial but takes even less effort than the above, if you can't do the prep work yourself then either buy pre-prepared veg or ask a friend/ family member to peel and chop enough for you to seal into portion bags for the fridge with a garlic clove, sprinkling of mixed herbs and a liberal amount of olive oil (enough to coat but not enough to have 'em swimming in it) then you just make it to the kitchen, empty the bag into a roasting dish, go rest up while it cooks for 30mins and then empty onto a plate and enjoy.

..It may also be handy having a few portion bags of pre-cut carrot and some hummus for more healthy snacks.

I've also recently discovered MunchySeeds for on the go snacks - I can testify the orange tub is ridiculously addictive for seeds! and a small handful whenever you feel the first intimation of fatigue/ headache/ basic wrongness seems to help stave it off for longer.

Basically eat more high protiene foods; nut bars and the aforementioned munchyseeds are great snacks to keep you going, and drink ovaltine - as mentioned above it's got a good dose of much needed B vitamins which helps far more than sugar

(..a couple of my healthy friends have started drinking it instead of coffee when they need to keep working and alert and they find it helps too..)

I've found the trick is to graze; eat little and often through the day and I can go longer; keep hydrated with filterd water or apple juice and every hour or so have a handful of seeds, raisins, fruit or a nut bar (these are my favourites: eat natural bars
..Even if you're not that hungry your body needs fuel, folks with CFS even more so than normals in my opinion!

If you're having a cycle of being stuck in bed, keep a cooler bag (or mini fridge if you can bear the noise) by the bed with chopped fruit/ veg and a drink or 2, ask a friend or family member to replenish this for you when they visit and so long as you graze when you remember to it should help you build up that little bit quicker; at the very least will stop your weakness getting worse from enforced starvation and stop you feeling like such a burden for continually having to ask for food or drink (alongside the added resentment you're likely to feel for having to ask in the first place..)

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