A woman with lupus cooking semi-homemade meals to freeze.

Tips for Cooking with Lupus

Living with lupus, as well as multiple other autoimmune diseases, is rough. Not being able to do the many things you like makes it worse. Cooking is a hand and standing intensive task. Over 35 years with lupus, and I have found and created a few simple things to help me enjoy cooking again.

Gadgets

In today's world, we are afforded technology. The cooking industry has a gadget for everything. Slicing, mixing, kneading, noodle making, peeling, grating, chopping, gadgets galore. Over the years, I have collected gadgets for everything. Gadgets save my hands and make the task of cooking fast. Baking is one of my favorite things to do, I never baked. Until I finally got a mixer, and all I do is bake now. I barely do any of the work anymore. Granted I have lots of dishes to clean. Most of the time I try to use the dishwasher.

Ergonomics

Something I have learned for working on a desk for 20 plus years is ergonomics. Ergonomics is designed to help one sit or stand in the least invasive way and with minimal strain on your body. I stand on a stool so that my elbows are at 90 degrees when chopping which helps strain on my hands. I also sit with a chopping board on a low table or in my lap to have the same effect as chopping on a low counter. The NIH has lots of articles on how to make your workspace ergonomic. I would look for the recommended ideas.

Semi-homemade

. There are days that are not ideal with lupus, but I still want a homemade meal. On these days I go with semi-homemade meals. For example, if I want pasta, I purchase sauce from the store and fresh basil, fresh onions, fresh parsley, and fresh garlic to make it taste more homemade. Or I have bought vanilla cake boxes and adding bananas, blueberries, nuts, cinnamon to make banana bread. There are thousands of ways to make semi-homemade meals. It's as simple as an internet search for semi-homemade meals to get ideas. These tricks help save you time, standing, and your hands.

Freezing meals

Oftentimes I make homemade meals and double the recipe. I take half and freeze it in a freezer bag. That way if I am not feeling well of having a flare, I defrost a full meal for me and my family. This is one of the easiest methods for enjoying cooking. Cook when you are well and eat when you are not.

Two-part cooking

With baking and some laborious cooking, taking a few days to cook it helps with lupus. For example, with baking, there is always a stopping point where you can place the dough in the frig overnight. Or making sauces for meals. You can make the sauce the day before and cook the day after. Like all the other above tasks this allows you to cook without blowing yourself up.

Finding ways to cook with lupus

The idea is you are inflicted with a disease. Knowing that we need to find new ways to cook, clean, and live in the task at hand. Saving our bodies from flares is the goal. Once this is figured out, one can live life fully and almost normal. Do you have any cooking ideas to help us with this life endeavor?

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