In my kitchen with chronic illness.

macro photography of a stainless steel faucet

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

 

When you are ill, you still need to eat.  Nourishing our bodies with real food is one important way to stay as healthy as we can.  For me, meal prep, well actually all kitchen activities are exhausting.  From food gathering to kitchen clean-up, it all wears me out and makes me want/need to take a nap.

There have been times when I wanted quick fixes in the kitchen.  Overwhelmed with life,  dealing with chronic illnesses, being a wife, a mother, and all of the work that entails, I physically couldn’t do it all and something had to give.  Well, I gave in to the wrong things.  I should have let the laundry go, let the cleaning go……..it was going to get messy again in about 13 minutes anyway.  Nope, I picked the worse thing to let go…………food.  I tried hitting the easy button.  I did my best to still eat a healthy diet in comparison to the SAD (standard American diet) most people were consuming but I short changed my health by taking too many short cuts in the kitchen.  In my opinion, when you are chronically ill food MUST be a high priority, right after your spiritual life.

In the kitchen I am slow, it physically hurts to bend down, and at times it hurts to carry a pot or a frying pan.  So I have tried to work around my physical limitations and make things easier for me, even though it makes my kitchen look crowded and not aesthetically pleasing. I had to give up having things look pretty and organized so the kitchen could be more functional for me.

Here are a few things I did to make the kitchen more functional.

1  –  I got rid of things that I didn’t use.  It is physically exhausting for me to be searching for things that I need.  De-cluttering my kitchen made space for all of the items I use on a regular basis in easy to find uncrowded places.

2  –  I keep all of the pots and pans that I regularly use on top of the stove.  No bending down wasting more precious energy.

3  –  Kitchen appliances that I or my family uses on a regular basis are kept on the counter at all times, this includes a microwave, crock pot, and a blender.

4  –  Everything else that I use on a regular basis is within an easy reach.  Nothing is kept on a high shelf, or a in a low, out-of-the-way cabinet making it a circus performance to get to it.

I know these things sound so simple and you are probably doing all the same things too.  But I have found through my YEARS and years of dealing with chronic illness, you need to be kind to yourself and set up your home in a way that works best for you no matter how it looks to an outsider.  This is true whether or not you are married, have children, or are a single person.  It is harder to do when you have to think about the needs of others in your household, but it is vitally important that you do what needs to be done to help you.  So, if you need a twin bed in the family room because you need to lie down while hanging out with the family, who cares how it looks!  You need a big bulletin board in the dining room to remind you to do certain tasks, put it there!  Those that love you get it………it took me way too long to figure this out.

So……back to the kitchen.  Set up your kitchen in a way that makes food preparation as easy as possible.  Make it functional, whether it looks “pretty” or not.  A functional kitchen makes a healthier you.

How do you make your kitchen more functional?

Until next time, YOU are a superhero and healthy food is your fuel!

A sink full of dishes………

shallow focus photography of gray bowl

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

 

Dishes………..another area of housekeeping that is an absolute necessity.  Unless you can afford to continually purchase paper plates and bowls, plastic utensils and new pots and pans every week, you have to wash your dishes.

The fact that I am even typing out a post on this subject is rather ridiculous.  If  you were to walk into my kitchen at this very moment, you would find a sink full of them.  Yes, I am blessed to have a dishwasher and it is used on a more-than-daily basis.  But, dishes have always been a difficult chore for me to keep on top of.  On my bad days, this task is WAY down on my list.

Within my household there is a lot of cooking going on…………and it is usually not me.  I have a vegan and vegetarian and they do most of their own cooking, thank goodness!  I also have those who will eat anything as long as it is not vegan or vegetarian.  And because of chronic illnesses, we try to cook a lot of our food from scratch and cooking from scratch results in A LOT of dishes.

I remember being in Lowe’s and the gentleman who was helping us choose a new dishwasher asked, “How many times a day do you run the dishwasher?”  I remember the look on his face when I answered “Most days, about four.”

Yep, that is a lot dishes and it is one of my least favorite chores.   Unloading the dishwasher is one of the most difficult tasks for me to physically do.  I do get help from others here at home, but as any mother knows, you are the one who needs to manage the process.

So, my rules for dishes are:  bring all dirty dishes into the kitchen, rinse all the dishes before placing them into the sink, if there is room place the dirty dishes in the plastic wash tub in the sink.  Several months ago, I purchased a plastic tub from Dollar Tree and put it in our sink so dirty dishes could soak before going into the dishwasher.  Now, this tub quickly fills up but at least some of the dishes will have been soaking and ready to go when the next load is done.

I realize this is not much of a system and I have tried to improve upon it.  I have read several books on how to clean your home systematically, but most of them were unrealistic to my situation.  I have yet to find a book on house cleaning authored by someone who suffers from a chronic illness and has children at home.   If there is one out there, I would be thrilled to know about it!

When it comes to dishes in my home, I just have to do the best I can and be thrilled that a lot of healthy cooking is going on.  When there is enough money in the budget, I do try to purchase paper products for times neither I nor the dishwasher can keep up.  I have to admit, paper plates, cups and bowls are one of my favorite luxuries.

So, how do you keep up with the dishes in your home?

Until next time my friends, YOU are a superhero!