One of the annoying things about autoimmune disorders is the unpredictability. Unlike having the flu or a cold or an injury, where you know you'll feel bad for a certain amount of time, then feel better, with autoimmune disorders you can feel great, then all of a sudden, you're down for the count. This happens to me frequently, the last time being Friday. I worked a full day and felt pretty darn good, came home and was pretty normal until about 7:00pm when it hit me. I struggled to even take a shower before bed. One thing I've learned is this: I never know when it's going to happen. I can't predict it, I can't control it, and it can feel like the end of the world at times. On my journey to find healing, I have completely changed what I eat. As a dietitian, I know that food affects everything and I've had a pretty good diet in the whole scheme of things. But now, I'm faced with eliminating some foods that were always staples for me...gluten and dairy, as well as trying to limit processed foods, sugar and sugar substitutes. It's a process, and I'm definitely not perfect, but I'm doing well with it overall. But when the fatigue and pain hit, the last thing I want to have to worry about is making food or eating healthy. It's just one more thing to worry about. So, one life change that is helping me stay on track is meal prepping. I have preached it for years to clients and patients, and have done this to a certain extent for myself. But, now it is game on. Meal prepping is important for everyone and can help anyone trying to stay on track with an overall healthy lifestyle.
Back to the sneaky symptoms that occur at any moment. I never know how my week is going to go, as far as how I'll feel physically. Some days I feel like I can tackle the world, other days, I just have to push myself and go through the motions of life hoping that tomorrow will be better. I work out a lot to help me stay active, feel better, and emotionally cope with the stress of having such an unpredictable health
situation. I have added daily yoga, routine massage, omega 3 and probiotic supplements and essential oils. As if that's not enough to keep up with, I have the dietary changes. I no longer have the luxury of just not packing my lunch or just eating whatever is offered in the cafeteria at work. I felt great when I got up this morning, so I decided to prep some of my meals and snacks for the week. I put some orange essential oil in my diffuser and in an hour and a half, I was able to make egg muffins for the entire week for breakfast, chicken salad for lunch, cut up vegetables for salads for the week, make a trail mix and cut up vegetable sticks for snacks.
It relieves so much stress for me knowing that I have things ready just in case I'm too tired one day to want to pack my breakfast and lunch. I have everything made, now I just have to put it in my lunch box. And, I'm happier knowing that I have control over my meals for the day and can pack in all the nutrition I need to feel better and continue the healing process. It's one less thing I have to worry about!
One of my go-to recipes is the egg muffins that are mentioned above. They are simple to make, healthy and you can pack a ton of nutrients in each one. You can vary the ingredients and for those of you that can consume dairy, you can top them with shredded cheese. I heat 2 of them in the microwave for 45 seconds, then top with salsa. It's a perfect breakfast or lunch and keeps me full for hours.
Egg Muffins: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups. Add chopped ingredients equally into each muffin cup and add about 1/4 cup of the egg mixture to each muffin cup. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
For the batch I made today, I used 12 whole eggs (whisked in a separate bowl with 1/2 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning), 1 each chopped green, red and yellow peppers, 1 small serrano pepper, 1/2 medium onion chopped. I am loading myself up with healthy protein and fat, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber!
Experiment a little and see how meal prepping can save you time, money, and prevent stress around meal time. It will improve your overall nutrition and there are no down-sides! Happy prepping!
The "Leek, I Am Your Fava" tank was designed by myself and my sister, Kristen Dye...Sister Soul Clothing Company in the making!!! We want to spread the message of the importance of fitness, nutrition, and fun! More to come!!!