a beautiful kitchen with a baking dish of enchiladas and Tupperware

To Eat or Not to Eat with NMO

To eat or not to eat because of NMO lethargy should NEVER be a question. Whether one feels too exhausted to think of something to eat or too tired to fix it, we still need to eat. With a bit of forethought, there can always be food available.

There are some normal ways to get food:

  • Restaurants
  • Fast-food, takeout food, fast-food deliveries
  • Grocery shopping, deliveries
  • Home meal
  • Grab-anything-in-the-kitchen-that-is-edible meal

There are some fun alternatives that might be enjoyable:

  • Join a meal delivery service or the community meal on wheels
  • Hire a caretaker/cook
  • Ask a friend to bring or share a meal
  • Buy frozen dinners
  • Keep a supply of your own self-made frozen dinners
  • Use mixes
  • Buy pre-made kits for salads, desserts, casseroles, ready to cook vegetables
  • Keeping cans of readymade soups in supply
  • Keep healthy snack foods available (bread, canned meat, cheese slices, boiled eggs, carrot sticks, fresh fruit)
  • Have protein drinks and bars on hand (No, not candy bars, although I guess you could…maybe…)

Too tired to cook? There's a solution for that

Many foods are available in different levels of preparedness. Just because you are too tired to prepare a full meal doesn’t mean you can’t use a few of these shortcuts and have well-balanced, nutritious, tasty food at your fingertips.

Tailor your food preparation schedule to your needs

If your current food preparation schedule frequently leaves you panicking when you are having a bad day and it comes time to eat, consider trying a different plan for having food ready. Preparing the usual meat-vegetable-carbohydrate-dairy main course every night can be exhausting. Consider your own needs and come up with a different strategy for organizing your meals.

Here's my strategy

I overlap the dishes I cook for my main meals. The first day I cook enough meat or a casserole to feed us for three or more meals. The second day I put servings of the leftovers directly on plate to be microwaved while the rest remains refrigerated. At times I repeat this the third day, even fourth, before I cut the remainder into serving size portions to be covered, label and frozen, to be eaten when I don’t feel like cooking.

Switching things up and keeping them fresh

On the second night, with the main dish already in the refrigerator, I have time and energy to cook potatoes, pasta, rice, or make a salad with ingredients that will stay fresh so it will be good for several days. Again, I make enough for leftovers, and often plan ways of refreshing them by adding something new (avocado, nuts to a tossed or macaroni salad, dried cranberries or raisins to a sliced apple, pineapple salad, mushrooms and grated cheese on pasta). I keep these refrigerated and stretch them out as long as they are fresh and appetizing.

Don't forget the dessert!

The third day I can make a dessert which also will last, refrigerated or frozen, for nearly a week. I also keep some default desserts like cookies, often store-bought, ice cream, and a frozen pie or other desserts handy in case I can’t bake.

Jazz it up!

With several different frozen leftovers from previous weeks available, I can vary meals until I feel like starting the cycle again. I always try to keep several meals on hand for those times when I can’t make a meal. But I also keep a stash of canned meals like chili or stew just in case. On those days when the freezer is empty and so is my strength, there are other possibilities that don’t take a lot of energy. Canned soup with added veggies and ketchup or spices can be delicious and unrecognizable! Toss your own tomatoes, olives, slices of green pepper or extra mozzarella on a frozen pizza and it will fill you as well as any restaurant or homemade pizza.

You still have some control

I adapted my plan for my family. Taking into consideration your own family’s needs, likes and dislikes, think of a plan that will work for you. Make sure to include your own favorites. Besides making your meals nutritious, remember, this is an area where you can still have control and enjoy your life. NMO needn’t affect the satisfaction and pleasure you can have eating.

Do you prepare meals in advance? What's your system? Share with us in the comments!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Neuromyelitis-Optica.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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