First, let’s start with a confession…well, it’s not really a confession. The thing is, I’m not a great cook- never have been. I used to hate Home Ec classes at school, much to the despair of my Mum and Grandmother who are amazing cooks. I’m a ‘follow the recipe’ kind person and I never really focussed on getting nutrients from my food. However, all this changed for the better when I started changing my diet and realised just how creative you could get in the kitchen, and most of the time, what I make turns out ok!
Let me just say that I know cooking, even eating sometimes, is really difficult with CFS. My diet after I returned to Uni, and probably for a lot of time during it, was embarrassingly awful. Anything that was quick and easy was always in my mind’s eye. My diet during Uni mainly consisted of toast and cereal. Yep, there we have it- quick, easy and absolutely zero nutrients. When I went into my last year a group of friends and I made a big deal of having two nice lunches a week, just to keep ourselves sane and have a chat more than anything. But I realised that nutrition and enjoying your food really does make a huge impact on your energy levels and can really help you without you having to really think about it.
Here are some great recipes you can make, or have someone else make, along with a few easy ways to get nutrients into your diet (and no, they’re not all veggie/vegan!):
1) Juices and smoothies
I absolutely love eating soup, I could eat it all day- so I’ve become pretty good at making it (if I do say so myself!)! This is great way to use up leftover veggies you have and to pack as many nutrients into a meal (an easily digestible meal) as possible. Two of my favourites include:
3) Vegan desserts
Now, before you tell me that you don’t do vegan- try this recipe for Raw Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake, courtesy of The Detoxinista. It will blow your socks off! My other half is in no way vegan and can’t get enough of this. Lots of gorgeous raw nuts, raw cacao (bursting with antioxidants), lemon juice, lots of goodness. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
4) Herbal Teas
Go for it- camomile, chai, dandelion (a great coffee substitute), rose, green tea (my personal favourite), peppermint, lavender (I know!), liquorice, fennel, nettle, lemongrass- the list goes. I would now much rather have herbal tea than coffee any day. It’s cheaper and you’ll feel more cleansed and lighter in the long run.
5) Add flaxseed oil and chia seeds to recipes
Flaxseed oil is my nutritional secret. I put it on salads and take in in capsule form (1000mg a day). This is the supplement that really helped with brainfog and aching joints. Chia seeds also have amazing omegas (good) fatty acids in them which your body needs to work at its optimum level and are amazing for creating lasting energy. See this post by Jess at The Wellness Warrior for more chia seed inspiration.
So, there we have it. I’ve just given you a few to start off with, but I just wanted to say again how important good nutrition is while you are recovering. As I mentioned in this article here on MindBodyGreen, junk food is a hell of a lot easier, but the nutrient content is zero. Do what’s right for your body and yourself and think about the nutrients your body needs.
Let me know if you have any more recipes you’d like to share!
Love and more of that Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake please,