CFS-friendly recipes/food ideas!

  • I thought we could start a thread of recipes or food ideas that take little energy to prepare (and digest).

    I'll start with today's meals so far! Today is a bad nausea and PEM day, so it makes a good example.

    Energy boost smoothie
    1 scoop vanilla sustagen
    1/2 cup frozen mixed berries (approx)
    1 heaped tsp D-ribose

    I blended this in my BlendJet which is a small self cleaning portable blender that doesn't require much energy to use. You can drink straight out of it since it's designed like a tumbler.

    Campbells pea & ham tinned soup
    I find this really gentle on my stomach, and it's ready made so all you have to do is heat it up.

  • @river I like this idea. Most of us have digestive issues and finding good combinations of easy to prepare, tummy friendly and (whatever else friendly it needs to be) meals, would take the boredom of what to eat and perhaps put a little fun into our days. I'm on board... just have to work on my debut recipe.πŸ€“

  • Miso soup is a magic food. I believe I mentioned this at the end of the allergies thread, but it stands o be repeated.

    It’s easy to prepare, you just get the individual sachets of miso soup. Chop up some veggies, such as carrot, celery, lettuce, maybe add some sea-weed, whatever you have that you can eat, and then follow the instructions on the packet.

    It always, without fail, cleans out my stomach and leaves me feeling great. It is definitely not a filling meal; on the contrary, it leaves me hungrier than I was before. Which can be a great feeling if you haven’t felt like eating in days.

  • Community Moderator

    This is a great thread πŸ™‚ I'm really fortunate, in that I'm well enough to cook (it's the most physical thing I do by some margin) - but I haven't always been, so have been on the scale from able to cook quite a lot in one session, all the way down to having to get pre-prepared meals delivered because cooking was outside of scope. I'm also gluten free (not coeliac, but I need to be careful) and dairy free (it's not the end of the world if I have some, but makes me a bit wonkier for a couple of days, and I'm wonky enough already!), as well as mostly (all but the bread - GF and vegan bread is hard to find, and insanely expensive) vegan by choice

    I'm going to start with options I used when cooking was outside of the energy envelope (or, more realistically for many, outside of serious PEM):

    • As both River and Rats Are Fluffy highlighted, soups are super-good (boom boom πŸ˜› ) - as well as tinned soups, firms like La Zuppa make some 'fresher' options in plastic containers and satchels. For the meat-eaters, soups with meat in it will look after the protein, but if the soup is a bit light-on for protein, sprinkling nutritional yeast on top can help with the nutritional balance. Soups can be heated in the bowl they're eaten from (be careful of the heat of the bowl when taking it from the microwave - I usually wear oven gloves for this), and then the bowl/spoon popped straight into the dishwasher afterwards, for a zero-washing-up meal (or, if no dishwasher, just the bowl and spoon is about as good as it gets if washing up is required).

    • Frozen or otherwise 'ready to heat and eat' food - the standard supermarket stuff. As well as the 'whole meal', things like oven chips and burgers or similar πŸ” (we use vegan burgers that also go into the oven - even for rabid carnivores, the vego/vegan burgers provide a broader range of nutrients than a straight meat burger, and being able to put them in the oven rather than having to stand and fry helps with spoons), with cherry tomatoes, can provide some nutrition. Greaseproof cooking paper can be used on the trays to minimise washing up afterwards to generally just a wipe-down. If doing this kind of thing a bit, if you can get some pre-chopped fresh veg πŸ₯• from the supermarket and hit it up in the micro (put it in a bowl with a little bit of water in the bottom and heat it up that way is probably easiest best on spoons) that'll help with the nutritional variety.

    • Meal-delivery services: We used a mob called Dineamic, which were pretty good (their website has all the nutritional info on each of their meals, so no surprises), although these kind of things are generally at the high end cost-wise.

  • I am lucky enough to live with a partner who cooks and have a Mum who drops off snacks once a week. But a few ideas are-
    -My partner roasted up a bunch of sliced vegies at the start of the week, I've been using them in toasties. If I'm having a worse day he makes a sandwich before going to work so I can just throw it in the toastie press when I need to.
    -"Bird seed slice" made with tones of different seeds set together with honey and marg is great to have on hand. It also travels well if your lucky enough to have a day where you can go out.
    -Ramen style ready to go jars are great. When your feeling up to chopping, thinly slice a bunch of mixed veg (carrots, celery, coriander, zucchini, beansprouts, spring onion, bok choy etc) put them in a jar with tofu, rice vermicelli, stock powder, and fav spices (I use star anise, cinnamon, garlic powder, ginger powder and miso paste) keep them in the fridge and when you need one simply pour boiling water in the jar and sit for 5. Tip- make sure the tofu gets well coated in the stock powder.
    I have also started ensuring I have a snack ready before undertaking anything that may trigger P.E.M or require a rest after to avoid it. This way I'm not having to sort food with a swamp for a brain and limited energy.

  • @Daffy_Dave I've been trying Dineamic too! But they have very few options that cater to my intolerances so I'm going to have to go back to one of my old faves, Youfoodz.

    You and @Dio_Raven reminded me of a few more tips and tricks:

    • snap frozen veg is surprisingly tasty and requires less preparation than tinned veg, as well as tasting nicer.
    • I recently tried frozen berries which were nice, so I'm going to try some more frozen fruit for smoothies etc. Bottled fruit is handy as well.
    • cook everything in the sandwich toaster! It's amazing what you can make. You can fry an entire breakfast on it.

    One problem I often have is not being able to eat perishable foods on time. I can't buy fresh fruit and veg very often because typically I will have a nausea flare the day it arrives and it will all go off before I'm well enough to eat it. So frozen/long life stuff is essential for me.
    I'm eating baked beans on toast right now, a good long life option with lots of nutrients.

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