RECIPES: Five things to eat when you don’t have energy to cook

There are days we can hardly get out of bed, but we still need to eat, right? How do you handle those days? I have some go-to meals, which I’ll talk about below. I’ve also consulted other chronic illness blogs to find some other recipes. So here we go!

Breakfast:

  1. Here’s one for if you have to be up to get children off to school, so you might as well make yourself some easy breakfast. Break an egg into a pan with some oil, whip around with a whisk or fork until scrambled. Let it start cooking while you grab some pre-cut veggies (yes, they’re more expensive, but these are some of the things we have to do to eat healthy) and cheese, if you want.
    Throw everything into the frying pan and let it cook, moving it around if you want the dish to be more like scrambled eggs than an omelet. If your diet allows wraps, grab one of those, and put it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Remove the egg to a plate and eat. You can also make these into muffin-eggs (eggs in a muffin pan, which you can then freeze).
  2. Greek yogurt and a piece of fruit are really easy to grab out of the kitchen and eat if you like a smaller breakfast. Just be sure you’ve got nuts or something up in your bedroom in case you get hungry a little later.
  3. When you’re feeling good, make muffins. Lots and lots of muffins. Here’s a recipe from a recent post for a blueberry muffin. You can change the fruit if you prefer other berries. Leave maybe a dozen out, put some more in the fridge, and freeze the rest. Lots of Paleo and Whole30-compliant recipes are out there if you’re avoiding white carbs. We use almond flour and flaxseed in ours.

Lunch:

  1. If you’re allowed to eat smoked salmon on whatever diet you follow, you can take that, some avocado, and lemon juice. Put the avocado on the bottom, top with the salmon, and squeeze the lemon juice over all. Eat.
  2. When you have energy, make Mason jar salads. You should be able to keep them in the fridge for a week or two, especially if you get a good seal. I only put the “extras” in these. Then I dump some pre-made greens on a plate and empty the Mason jar contents on top. I keep small containers of salad dressing that don’t need to be refrigerated in my bedroom since I always forget to put on dressing.
  3. Leftovers! I don’t know about you, but I purposely make too much food for dinner. Then the next day I can just toss those leftovers into the toaster oven or the microwave and eat.
  4. Anything prepared, like veggie tray or fruit salad trays. Again, they’re more expensive, but if they’re the only way you get healthy food, you might want to consider spending the money. Other examples of prepared foods are frozen meals (if you choose carefully and sodium intake isn’t a problem for you), cereal (if you can eat grains), and hummus with veggies or crackers (again, if you can eat grains).

Dinner:

  1. The crockpot. What a great invention for chronic illness warriors. I use mine at least a couple of times a week, for just about everything. I’ve done banana bread, turkey breasts, meatloaf, soups, chili, spaghetti sauce, and pretty much every possible chicken recipe possible. Refrigerate or freeze what you don’t eat. My freezer is probably the second most useful cooking apparatus in my house, after the crockpot. Because this post is about eating when you have no energy, I love crockpot recipes since they’re almost always dump and cook.
  2. Takeout. Let’s face it, we sometimes have more energy to go through a drive-thru than we do to stand in the kitchen and make a meal. And you know what? That’s okay. We shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Just try to make smart choices.
  3. Leftovers. Yes, again. They are your friend. Learn them, love them, eat them.
  4. Anything you can get someone else to make for you. Try not to be picky. And thank them.

I’m sure we all have go-to solutions for mealtimes. What are yours?

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