We’re sharing some of our favorite fibromyalgia grocery shopping and cooking tips. If you have additional tips, let us know! Having enough time and energy to grocery shop, meal planning, and cooking meals is SUPER DIFFICULT! I’m not a gourmet chef and I’ve struggled my whole life to figure these things out. We’ll be sure to share more helpful tips and blogs.
Grocery Shopping Tips
– Try using delivery services apps or curbside pickup when possible
– Use a shopping cart over the basket you carry around
– Shop with a prepared grocery list
– Use mobility aids
– Shop seasonally for vegetables to save on food cost
– Review grocery sales in advance
– Avoid grocery shopping during busy hours
– Ask for help – loved ones, friends, and people working in the store
– Wear comfortable clothes
There are various delivery service apps and big box retailer delivery services that might fit into your budget. Amazon Prime has options for students and you can get 50% off Prime for qualifying government assistance recipients. Walmart and Instacart have various membership options. Other apps such as Uber Eats and DoorDash have added grocery shopping as an option to their stores as well. You can also get nonperishable items shipped for free big box retailers to save some energy.
Learn To Read Food Labels
The food label will provide information on what you are putting into your body by reading the ingredients and how much you are eating by reading the nutrition facts. Marketing in the food industry is deceptive and especially it’s especially tricky if you are looking for foods that meet dietary compliance. I would recommend reviewing food labels online in advance before purchasing. Continue to check product labels, because sometimes ingredients change, or I’ve noticed certain brands have different ingredients at different stores. So weird!
Pay attention to serving size. If you have more than one serving this will increase the information on the panel. Ingredients are also listed in descending order by weight of which the ingredient is in the food.
Stock up on frozen vegetables and fruits
Fresh produce can be limited, spoil quickly, and sometimes is more expensive. Stock up on frozen vegetables and fruits. Looks for items that are just the vegetables and fruits only. No added sodium and sugar.
Frozen vegetables work well in cooked dishes like casseroles, soups, and steamed or baked vegetables are other ways to add in some wonderful nutrition. Favorite options are broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and squash. Frozen leafy greens and fruits are also quick ways to make your smoothies. Drop them in a blender with a liquid and blend.
– Keep easy recipes handy – minimal ingredients and cooking time
– Use a stool while prepping and cooking in the kitchen
– Ask for help if others available
– Purchase kitchen tools that make life easier
– Use time in the kitchen as your movement for the day
– Meal prep when you do have energy
– Consider batch cooking to help with meals
– Keep pre-made meals in the fridge and freezer for easy reheating
Meal planning is the act of planning and writing down any of your meals for the week (or month!) ahead of time. You can plan for yourself or plan for your family. This helps build a grocery list.Meal planning can be as flexible or as rigid as you want it to be! It doesn’t necessarily matter what you plan, as long as you thought about it. The major goal is not to start from zero for every single meal. Meal planning helps save time, reduces grocery trips, saves money, and will help plan for leftovers. You’ll also have more control of your food.
For the days when you have lower pain and little more energy, you may want to consider meal prepping. Then you will have meals prepared for busy, stressful, and heavy pain and fatigue days. Having pre-made meals in the fridge or freezer can be very helpful. It can also keep your nutrition goals on track.
Making batches of food or ingredients that you can use as components for future meals. A great example of this, is instead of cooking boiled chicken for only one meal during that week. You cook up some extra boiled chicken and use it with other recipes. You can eat those meals that week or freeze them for later. Try search terms “batch cooking for beginners”, there is a lot of content out there.
Appliances & Tools
Consider acquiring appliances and tools that make your life easier in the kitchen. Items you may consider: a high-speed blender, Instant Pot, food processor, personal blender, a food saver, and kitchen tools for Arthritis.