Some of us loved to cook before Chronic Illnesses invaded our lives. Before fatigue, pain, damaged nerves, etc we didn’t mind getting in the kitchen and whipping up a feast or our favorite meals. In many forums I’ve seen some give up by force and some by choice. And that’s okay. Then there are those like me, stubborn and not willing to give up completely. I’ll go down in this ship and they will have to pry that spatula from my rheumatoid arthritic hand.
I’ve been known to be a bit hard headed. I’ve been known to spontaneously decide to do zumba when I’m not suppose to because it’s high impact and then pay the cost later. Usually, friends asking, was it worth the pain? Was it worth the flare? The correct answer is no. But I do feel some sort of satisfaction for doing something RA/RD took away from me. I’m sure I’ll stop that madness soon… Especially after that recent big flare and fatigue.
But cooking, especially when you have a family is not so easy to give up. Plus, I don’t have the money for a personal chef and my daughter is just now old enough to be trusted in the kitchen (thank God). However, when she wasn’t I had to cook. But I’m teaching her and it’s helping out more and more. I’ve scheduled her days and my days. I love cooking and having family/friends over and while I won’t give it up, I must make the necessary adjustments and take calculated risks at best. I really can’t do big feasts and extravagant meals like I did in the past but I can find new ways and new meals. I can adapt old recipes and plan meals out. I can. I will. Until I can’t.
Today, I’ll share a tool I love. The wok. Stir fry. Quick. Easy. And if you are worried about chopping vegetables don’t. Buy them at your local grocery in the frozen section. Also, I learned with Rheumatoid in my hands not to use so much force in stirring and to keep the wrist straight, using swift gentle motions. I’ve even used the wok with my compression gloves on. Also, investing in a chopper or processer is the best thing you can do.
Speaking of chopping and slicing vegetables, it’s difficult to slice and chop hard, thick, dense vegetables such as potatoes. Get someone else to do it if you can. Get a slicer. I didn’t mind slicing and dicing before. You know, it’s the touching and creating, the work of the art of cooking. I do sometimes still cut, slice, chop, easy vegetables like: Squash, zucchini, bell pepper, etc. I like fresh vegetables. On a good hand day I’ll cut and freeze them for later. Many times with help from my daughter.
I hope to bring you more of my mishaps and lessons, simple recipes and meals.