Managing Fatigue in the Kitchen
Enjoy this guest post from Certified Wahls Protocol® Health Practitioner, Alene Brennan:
The fatigue from MS can be unpredictable.
And some days (or rather some weeks or even months) the fatigue can feel inescapable.
Yet we know one of the best ways to overcome MS fatigue is to follow the Wahls Protocol®.
So how do we begin navigating the kitchen while we’re still dealing with fatigue?
As a fellow Wahls Warrior and Wahls Protocol® Certified Health Practitioner, here are a few strategies my clients and I have found helpful.
Set Proper Expectations
It’s tempting to have big plans for what we hope to get accomplished in the kitchen.
We want to
- Clean out all the non-compliant food
- Restock it with fresh healing foods and
- Whip up a few new recipes to enjoy
While it may sound exciting, it also sounds exhausting!
Instead of trying to do it all at once, break it down to what is manageable in a given day.
Maybe you start cleaning off one shelf at a time – and you do it while sitting down in a chair next to the pantry.
Or if your kitchen is already organized, maybe you select just one of the recipes you want to try out. (And start with the easiest recipe! Be easy on yourself and know that in time your energy will increase.)
Setting realistic goals for the day can help you to feel successful and excited about tomorrow’s work versus burning yourself in the first day and therefore feeling completely discouraged.
So, I invite you to consider, what is one step you can take today that will set you up for success to cook in your kitchen?
One of my clients was struggling with the energy and balance to stand in the kitchen long enough to make a meal.
In addition to setting proper expectations, she’s also learned to take shifts while cooking.
She starts in the morning when her energy is best by just cleaning and cutting the vegetables. Then she takes a break.
Later in the morning, she returns to start putting the ingredients together. Then she takes a break.
Next, she returns to start cooking. Then she takes a break. (Are you catching on to the pattern here?)
This gives her the opportunity to cook the foods that she wants to feed her body without draining her energy.
Take breaks. It helps you get more accomplished in the long run and preserves your energy in the process.
Call in Reinforcements
There will certainly be times when it’s just too much. That’s okay. That simply means that you need to honor your body right now by resting.
It’s time to call in the reinforcements.
This can be a family member, neighbor or church member who would be willing to help prepare a meal for you.
I know those opportunities can be limited though given social limitations of the pandemic.
So, in other cases, the reinforcements can be a meal from the freezer or splurging for some prep-cut veggies at the grocery store.
In time, your backup stash of meals in the freezer will grow, making times like this easier.
Have compassion with yourself during the process, and simply focus on taking one step at a time. Before you know it, you’ll look up and your energy will be better, and you’ll surprise yourself with the deliciously healthy meals you’ll be making.
Want to learn more? Join me for a free cooking demo to learn how to make simple recipes in the kitchen.
About Alene Brennan:
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2016, Alene knows first-hand what it’s like to live, and rise above, a chronic illness as well as debilitating migraines. After her own health transformation, she coaches individuals around the world to manage chronic migraines and autoimmune disease through diet and lifestyle.
Alene holds four certifications: Nutrition Coach, Natural Food Chef, Yoga Instructor and Essential Oil Specialist and two specialty certifications in the Wahls Protocol and the Autoimmune Protocol. In addition to these certifications, she has great insight in the health and food industry having led a 12-year corporate career working for Fortune 500 Companies such as Campbell Soup and aramark and Virtua Health.
She has been featured in USA Today, Healthline, Philadelphia Inquirer, Mind Body Green and on Fox News.
Alene lives in New Jersey with her husband.