Mealtime Tips for the chronically ill

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time dealing with constant fatigue. Because of that, I’m always working on ways to plan better so I can avoid as much muscle exhaustion as possible. Here in my kitchen, I show you how I manage my meals for the week. Maybe this will be helpful for you, or at least give you some ideas to create your own plans to fit your life. It’s the little things that help. Share some of your own ideas below.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  


About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

41 replies
  1. Dawn Nicole Jenkins says:

    Thank You! Maybe if I tried this I could incorporate healthier meals! I have been doing like the ‘viola’ meals because I have problems remembering ingredients or even that I am cooking! I so need to eat healthier!

  2. Aileen Brown says:

    I don’t plan but many years ago my son git a part time job after school I wasn’t home in time to cook his tea so he will tell you I was brought up on ready meals mummy’s ready meals!!!! I would cook main meals once a week and freeze them I still do this many years on I enjoy cooking but there are days I just don’t feel like it but always know I can find something I don’t tend to label them so it’s often a surprise!!!! I find chopping and particularly peeling difficult so buy frozen or ready prepared veg slow cooker invaluable as don’t fall asleep and burn things any more

  3. Tammy Monaghan says:

    Fresh freezer meals are my go to, so many places to find recpies now for the crock pot or a dish for oven or if you have a microwave type baker suck as a rockcrok you can make anything into a freezer bag store it without cooking it and cook it when your ready not have to cook it and reheat it. I do this for my family and its made me feel more like a wife n a mom again. My hubby n even my kids can cook them on my bad days we make them on my good days and store them sometimes up to 40 at a time in our freezer speacily if we know I’m going to have surgery or something.

    • Tammy Monaghan says:

      I didnt want to name he products I use but I don’t know if there is any other product out there you can cook a whole chicken safely in a microwave in n it turn out like a crock pot meal n be juicy n so good my family swears by our meals. N fatigue pain vertigo n getting my devices next to the counter r why its hard to cook but money verses feeling good to goto the store is the other issue. Either its a bad day n you have money n its a good day n u have none.

  4. Tammy
    Tammy says:

    I have gotten into making fresh meal frezzer meals, so basicly using fresh food n not cooking any of it but chopping n mixing certain ingedinnts n putting them in a freezer bag sometimes u put 2 bags in one to keep things separate (like a cheese for the top ) but you cook it in a crock pot all day or if you have a say pampered chef rockcrok or deep cover baker or vessel like that you can cook the items in the microwave or oven depending on where you get the recipie from and what cooking instructions they give. On my good days if they coinside with a good paycheck of myhusbunds we will prepare 15-40 for our freezer n they are easy for my hubby to make if I’m bed ridden and all the mess is done the day we prepare them except the one cooking vessel n we usually eat on paper or easy clean up for him n I. It actually has been healthier n cheaper because he’s not running out to fast food or rushing to store trying to figure out what to make.

  5. Kathy Thomas says:

    I usually try to prepare all workday meals on Saturday and Sunday. I always try to put one of everything into the freezer for the really bad days. That way I don’t have to rely on fast food when the bad days sneak up on me. You are very right about this chore being exhausting!

  6. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Hey Peneople check my facebook page and you’ll see the family and my cool wheelchair.it was a good time had by all.

  7. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Some very good ideas from everyone here. I have been shot with fatigue since mt diagnosing and have been on Amantadine since then. It does help because I know when I haven’t taken it.
    After i put my elbow through one of our smaller windows I have been using a trolley supplied from our hospital as my bandage wouldn’t fit in my stick then. This is helped me more to move around and move (I won’t say walked) around more outside. I can walk around inside and try to do the normal things as well as I can and this keeps me up and going.
    Nothing has changed dramatically here as the other people living here don’t have MS and this can be helpful too.
    I keep thinking of John Morison’s words ‘I’ve been down so damn long, it looks up to me”.

  8. Kate Aquilino
    Kate Aquilino says:

    And then there’s the digesting. It all seems like a mountain to climb. When I’m tired I have soup and toast. Maybe with almond butter. A protein shake. Things I can eat and then soon after, lie down again. My stomach is very tender. Provigil ripped it apart in two days. Lately, we buy fresh produce and mix and match over a grain or with beans. Spinach. Carrots. Sweet Potato. Broccoli. Onion. Cauliflower. Anything you like. Yesterday we roasted the veggies and had it over quinoa. Today, we made a stew in veggie broth, adding pinto beans. I’m really lucky. My husband does all the shopping and most of the cooking. But we agree, I could have done both nights (which will last for a couple of days). On a scale of 1-10, fatigue wise, I’m about 7.

  9. Lisa Hlubek Ross says:

    I just….don’t cook. If I do, it’s something that can be done in the oven. I eat a lot of sandwiches and fruit, and just in general things that don’t need to be cooked. It keeps me sane.

  10. Raquel René says:

    What a beautiful well organized kitchen! I am absolutely envious. I too am obsessed with saving time because I too live with MS and the fatigue IS constant.

    Time saving tip- Throw out or donate all of the clutter. Surround yourself with objects that you enjoy and that work well for you.

  11. Penelope Conway says:

    Thanks Heather. I don’t like watching myself on video either. It’s still kind of weird to me. Good for you with the labels. I don’t know what I’d do without them. 🙂

  12. Heather Adsit says:

    Your good at videos 🙂

    I could not figure out how to edit.
    Plus I hate how I look on video.

    You look great 🙂
    And the tips are awesome:)

    My husband is always picking on me with how I lables things and store it … freeze it.

    I keep reminding him this is how I keep up 😉

    Although I guess I fell asleep last night mid sentence. Lol

    Fatigued. It can knock a person out sometimes 😉

    If only I could organize the world so when I go out I don’t get so tired.

    That would be interesting 😉

  13. Rosa Santos
    Rosa Santos says:

    This is very helpful for me. I’m the only one that prepares my meal and im exhausted most of the time. My Neurologist gave me meds to control the exhaustion but I only take it when In my worse. I don’t want to charge my liver cause with Tysabri, vit d, and others is enough. Now, thank you Penelope for this demonstration of how to prepare everything in one day in a small bin to put in refrigerator. I was putting all scattered and then I missed it. Thanks again!

  14. Christine Pechstein says:

    Muscle exhaustion is a CONSTANT battle, and this is very helpful. I need to stock my fridge in this manner each week, because it will save me from physical fatigue of preparation and mental fatigue of having to even decide what we’re having that I’m already too exhausted to prepare. The struggle is real, so thanks for the tips.

  15. DeeDee O'Dell Olson says:

    I make meals ahead of time on my good days and freeze them. Makes my mornings run smoother and sometimes lunch too. Slow cookers help alot too! Oh! and i also where leg weights (1/2#) when i keep tripping over my feet, cause i can’t lift them sometimes. When i take them off it works wonders, 1/2 #’ mabey 15-20 min. Depending how mutch energy i have that day (or i forget I’m warring them, LOL)

  16. Heather Adsit says:

    I love how you have it all in bigger containers.
    I don’t have it happen often but when my legs do get wobbly and to weak to stand. That would help 🙂

    I got a small chest freezer. I’m use to living a ways away from places. When I was a kid we lived in the county and the stores where not close.
    I learned to shop for things I can keep in the freezer.
    I buy my meats a month at a time. Fresh stuff like potatoes I get more often.
    Before they go bad I always use the rest in a crock pot meal and freeze the leftovers as a home made tv dinner.

    Those frozen help allot with fatigue days 🙂

    A little tip to add. I forget dates of when I made things.
    A friend showed me you can use a sharpie on a container. When you want to right a new date… erase it with a dry erase marker 🙂

    This only works with shiny smooth containers and sharpie also works on dry erase boards too 🙂 I plan my meals on the board so if I get to weak… my husband knows what I have so he can jump in and make it 🙂

    These ideas are great 🙂
    Love seeing yours 🙂 It gave me another idea as my fridge is always cluttered. I may just get a bucket for kids snacks 🙂

    I don’t get to bad with fatigue… but I do get ran down.
    I was so happy I got out yesterday… drove to the mall with my kids…. husband followed us from work in his car.

    I knew at dinner it was time to go but he said I was ok.

    We got home and I collapsed on my couch.

    He said I was out in mid sentence.

    Fatigue happens. Tips like this help 🙂
    And it’s ok to say your done for the day 🙂 I’m learning that myself 😉

    (Hugs) to all those who fight fatigue.

    These tips can help allot. I know they help me 🙂
    Thanks for sharing Penelope 🙂 I will pass it on for others to learn tips 🙂

Comments are closed.