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Cooking and Keeping Fed


TentacleFinn
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Hi guys,

I had a search through the forums and while there is a lot of topics on diet and nausea, I couldn't find any on keeping up food. 

 

In early weeks I found I could manage the shops a few days a week and make a few bulk meals. This last week and a half I have not been sleeping at all and the exhaustion and anxiety have made making it to the shops paralysing. 

 

Today I‘ve officially gone through all the reserves - the pantry, fridge and freezer are empty. I did takeaway last week but its not sustainable. 

 

So I thought maybe we could share some tips. Especially when nutrition is so important. When you were at your worst, unable to leave the house or bedridden, how did you keep yourself fed? Especially if cooking was unmanageable. 

 

Pre made meals? Perhaps friends dropping off food? All suggestions welcome!

2013-2016 Setraline, Desvenfalaxine, Lexapro & Fluoxetine. CTd. 

Aug 2016 RI- Lex 40mg, Zyban 150mg. 

Feb 2017 - Lex 20mg, 150mg Zyban. 

July 2017 10mg Lex Zyban 150mg. 

2020-2021 CT Zyban. Lex taper to 5mg 1xday, then every othr day, then 1-2x a week. 

Early 2022- Lexapro 2.5mg 1-2 a week. 

17/Mar Crash & CT

RI Lex 0.25mg 16 Apr. | 0.35 23rd Apr. | 0.5 1 May. |0.75 17 May

Temazepam 5mg 17|4, 10mg 19|4, 10mg 20|4

Valacyclovir 31|05,1|06

Other: Melatonin 1mg at night. Occasional single Panadol or Ibuprofen. 1 decaf 25|05

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Hi @TentacleFinn

Good idea. 

 

I do a version of bulk meals. I make my own bone broth in big batches at a time. I've got a 20-liter stockpot for this purpose. Once it's finished cooking I pour it into glass jars and keep it refrigerated. It can also be frozen. 

Bone broth is brilliant! It is uniquely nourishing, easy to digest, very healing. It is simple and inexpensive to make at home. I use biodynamic (organic) grass-fed beef bones; organic free-range chicken bones; and sustainably sourced fish bones. Excellent on a budget. 

My staple withdrawal meal comprises bone broth with vegetables. I stick with low-FODMAP, there's a limited number of vegetables I tolerate. I just rotate those and add them to broth and it's a meal. I also eat organic free-range chicken eggs, and sometimes I supplement with some biodynamic meat. 

I have heard that reheating food may cause issues for those with histamine intolerance. I don't know much about this, just noting it in case it's relevant for anyone. I've noticed various discussions elsewhere on the site regarding histamine intolerance with targeted HI food tips and meal prep strategies scattered through those posts.

 

@TentacleFinn

Is grocery delivery an option in your area?

This has been of great practical help to me along the way. These days I go to the market for most things, but there was a time when that was too difficult, both physically and cognitively. I live in a city without a car, so when I go grocery shopping I only purchase what I can carry home. Last year I was fortunate to find a biodynamic farmer with an online webshop, which allows me to order frozen bones and get them delivered. This has been a fortunate turn of events; prior to that I'd been lugging home many kilos of heavy beef bones from the butcher's in my backpack. 

 

On days when I've been absolutely unable to cook or heat or chop or even stand, I've sometimes turned to nuts. I can tolerate nuts if they are properly prepared, so I do it myself in big batches and keep them in the pantry. I soak raw, organic nuts overnight in salt water, then dry them using a dehydrator, and finally store them in airtight glass jars. Same with raw, organic sunflower and pumpkin seeds. It's been helpful to have them readily available for those days of extreme lethargy -- a handful of nuts goes a long way. I've experimented with making my own nut butter but have found that I prefer whole nuts. 

 

@TentacleFinn

What do/would you like to eat? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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During days when I can manage a little cooking I try to make mass batches of one pot meals. The earlier on in the day you start this, the better, before fatigue sets in too badly. 

 

Ideally something that requires a minimal amount of chopping is best. If you can get someone to do the chopping for you, or have a food processor, dont be afraid to utilise what you can!

 

Bone broth and vegetables are a great idea for this, especially since the broth can be frozen and then there is only veg to worry about! 

 

On hard days currently Ive been mostly eating bread, but nuts seem like a really good choice and way better for my health. Miso soup and frozen peas have been good for my sanity. I plan to pick up more assorted frozen veggies for hard days. 

 

Im currently looking into premade meal services. Grocery deliveries are an excellent option though. That is what I did in pre WD days and am trying to work back to. 

 

Also smoothies! Yoghurt, frozen berries, milk and a little honey. I intend to try that soon. 

2013-2016 Setraline, Desvenfalaxine, Lexapro & Fluoxetine. CTd. 

Aug 2016 RI- Lex 40mg, Zyban 150mg. 

Feb 2017 - Lex 20mg, 150mg Zyban. 

July 2017 10mg Lex Zyban 150mg. 

2020-2021 CT Zyban. Lex taper to 5mg 1xday, then every othr day, then 1-2x a week. 

Early 2022- Lexapro 2.5mg 1-2 a week. 

17/Mar Crash & CT

RI Lex 0.25mg 16 Apr. | 0.35 23rd Apr. | 0.5 1 May. |0.75 17 May

Temazepam 5mg 17|4, 10mg 19|4, 10mg 20|4

Valacyclovir 31|05,1|06

Other: Melatonin 1mg at night. Occasional single Panadol or Ibuprofen. 1 decaf 25|05

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Your mention of frozen peas reminded me of something. Back when I was feeling worse -- too poorly to stand and chop and prepare -- I relied on frozen organic vegetables. At my local supermarkets they sell bags of frozen organic kale, broccoli, spinach, green beans, cauliflower, brussels sprouts. I would purchase these and when it came time for a meal, I'd just reheat the broth and drop a mix of frozen veggies directly into the pot. Very efficient! 

 

From what you've written it sounds like you're able to enjoy a varied diet. Is that true? Any digestive/gut issues? Food intolerances?

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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I stocked up on some microwave steam bags of broccolli, peas and beans! Also lots of apples. 

 

So far I have a lot of nausea and no appetite most days and food often tastes "wrong" or bad. I haven't noticed any issues caused by food, other than heartburn when I force myself to eat. Small blessings. Ive been lucky to have one window day a week so far in which my appetite and taste is normal and I take advantage of those days to eat well. Since reinstatement I get hungry at midnight or so everynight and big fruit and veg cravings. 

 

One thing Im hoping to make this week is roast veggies with couscous! Pumpkin diced, whole sweetpotato, quarter a red onion and quarter a capsicum. Drizzle oil and salt, pop in oven for 20~40 mins at 200. Boil water, pour over couscous and put a lid on it. Toss in veggies. If your system allows, cumin, coriander powder and paprika. Yoghurt on top, lemon juice and zest if you can handle it. It has always been an autumn favourite because All I have to do is a little chopping and then wait! May not be Fodmap friendly though. 

 

We are spoilt for choice for meal kits in our area so I picked out a fancy one so even if I can not taste it I can give back a little to my poor partner. Ill put some links In a post for others to look at, if you are able to handle a little cooking but not much shopping or choosing and if you dont have food sensitivities!

 

How difficult is bone broth and how much better is home made?

2013-2016 Setraline, Desvenfalaxine, Lexapro & Fluoxetine. CTd. 

Aug 2016 RI- Lex 40mg, Zyban 150mg. 

Feb 2017 - Lex 20mg, 150mg Zyban. 

July 2017 10mg Lex Zyban 150mg. 

2020-2021 CT Zyban. Lex taper to 5mg 1xday, then every othr day, then 1-2x a week. 

Early 2022- Lexapro 2.5mg 1-2 a week. 

17/Mar Crash & CT

RI Lex 0.25mg 16 Apr. | 0.35 23rd Apr. | 0.5 1 May. |0.75 17 May

Temazepam 5mg 17|4, 10mg 19|4, 10mg 20|4

Valacyclovir 31|05,1|06

Other: Melatonin 1mg at night. Occasional single Panadol or Ibuprofen. 1 decaf 25|05

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Another thing. One of the features of withdrawal syndrome for me has been an inability to multitask. Whereas before I easily and happily walked, cooked, cleaned, etc. while listening to music or podcasts, that ended with withdrawal. That kind of multitasking completely stresses me out and triggers dissociative symptoms. My brain hates it. 

It has been a gift to apply the no-multitasking rule to cooking and puttering about the kitchen. Meal preparation has become a welcome opportunity to practice mindful presence. Prior to withdrawal I had a robust meditation practice going back years, but my withdrawal brain doesn't handle meditation well. This has felt like a loss. The closest I've come to mindfulness meditation has been the time I spend cooking and sometimes eating, too. I find it can be quite restorative. I pay attention to the sounds, smells, colors, textures, flavors, shape, weight, feel of the ingredients and utensils; ground through the soles of my standing feet; notice the sensations in my hands, arms, neck, head, legs, back, as I move about; tune in to any changing sensations in my gut and throat as hunger waxes and wanes. These sessions are nourishing in more ways than one. In fact, I enjoy meal prep so much it is often the highlight of my day. My withdrawal gut cannot with sweets, but I frequently bake cookies or cake for other people just to spend more time in the kitchen. 

I realize this account may seem counterintuitive to the theme of this thread, which asks what/how to cope when cooking is unmanageable. I'm including this here as an invitation to further inquiry: Might it be that sometimes the way we cook -- our approach to cooking -- can help make it more manageable? Less tiring, more sustainable?

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Australia

Does require cooking. 

https://marleyspoon.com.au/ - A little variety for different food needs and diets, medium priced, good produce. 

https://www.hellofresh.com.au/ - LOTS of options, like 40 per week. Very affordable. Not fancy. 

https://dinnerly.com.au/ Have never tried but the cheapest by far. 

https://www.atlasweekly.com.au/ Gourmet resteraunt owned. VERY good meals.Very restricted choices. Pricey. 

https://makeoutmeals.com.au/ Just ordered this. Very pricey but the meals look exciting and inspire me to hopefully make one. 

 

I will add premade meals later, and hopefully tomorrow I can look around for our Americans and occupy my brain!

2013-2016 Setraline, Desvenfalaxine, Lexapro & Fluoxetine. CTd. 

Aug 2016 RI- Lex 40mg, Zyban 150mg. 

Feb 2017 - Lex 20mg, 150mg Zyban. 

July 2017 10mg Lex Zyban 150mg. 

2020-2021 CT Zyban. Lex taper to 5mg 1xday, then every othr day, then 1-2x a week. 

Early 2022- Lexapro 2.5mg 1-2 a week. 

17/Mar Crash & CT

RI Lex 0.25mg 16 Apr. | 0.35 23rd Apr. | 0.5 1 May. |0.75 17 May

Temazepam 5mg 17|4, 10mg 19|4, 10mg 20|4

Valacyclovir 31|05,1|06

Other: Melatonin 1mg at night. Occasional single Panadol or Ibuprofen. 1 decaf 25|05

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Share on other sites

I am happy to hear you're not struggling with food intolerance issues. That is a blessing. 

You have a partner... Do they ever cook for you? Could they help with practical tasks such as grocery shopping, food delivery, meal preparation when you are unable?

 

I prefer everything homemade. Not only because I enjoy making it, but because I have severe and wide-ranging withdrawal-related gut issues and food intolerances. Out of necessity my diet is extremely restrictive. Selecting and preparing my own food is the only way I can be sure it's safe and supportive to my system. I make everything myself because, for the time being, I have to.

 

Bone broth is easy! For your most basic broth: fill a stockpot with the bones of your choice, up to about 4in/10cm from the rim. Fill with cold water, cover bones by about 2in/5cm. Add 1 or 2 tblsp of apple cider vinegar depending on how big your stockpot is (a bit more vinegar for beef bones, less for poultry; for fish bones I sometimes omit vinegar entirely). Top with lid, bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to the point where the soup is just barely simmering. That's your sweet spot. For beef bone broth cook for 24-48 hours. For chicken/poultry, about 12 hours. For fish, 1-2 hours. No need to stir or anything, once you find the right temperature for the barely-there simmer you just leave it alone and come back when it's done!

 

If you feel more comfortable following a proper recipe there are many to be found online (will see what I can find and post separately). You can also experiment with adding vegetables, bay leaves, whole peppercorns, salt, etc. Roasting beef bones before cooking them brings out more flavor. Another option with chicken bone broth is using a whole chicken, which adds flavor. In general it's good to use bones from as many different bits of the animal as possible. For example with chicken (or duck/turkey/goose) broth, it's great to include necks and feet if you can get them. 

Bone broth can also be made from pork, lamb, and other bones. 

 

 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Nourishing Traditions bone broth directions

https://bumblebeeapothecary.com/nourishing-traditions-chicken-bone-broth/

 

Ingredients:

Optional Ingredients: 

Instructions:

  1. Place bones in a large pot or crockpot. 
  2. Cover bones with filtered water. 
  3. Add optional ingredients (except for parsley), if using. 
  4. If using a pan, bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a low simmer. You want a gentle simmer, a very hot temperature with bubbles rising to the surface, but not a rolling surface. If using a crockpot, turn crockpot to low.
  5. Let simmer for 8-24 hours.
  6. During the last 10 minutes, add parsley if using.
  7. Strain broth and use immediately for drinking or meals, or store in glass jars in refrigerator. 

Bone broth how to make

That is basically all there is to making a delicious, Nourishing Traditions chicken bone broth. 

(continued on website, see link above)

 

 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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