As a COPD patient, you’re probably aware of the importance of getting good nutrients in your body to help fight inflammation and help improve your breathing. Because of this, it’s in your best interest to shop for foods that will benefit your health and cook your own meals instead of eating out. Some of the foods that will help improve your health include foods high in protein, fiber and calcium.
Going grocery shopping with COPD can be challenging enough, but coming home to cook afterward adds a whole other level of challenge. If you want to be able to cook without getting too winded or exhausted, you should try following these ten steps:
- Keep objects in reach – By storing your most frequently used pots, pans, cooking utensils, etc. on the counter, you can conserve energy that gets wasted when you have to bend over or reach high to get cookware you need.
- Find a place to sit and prep – Keep a stool or chair in your kitchen that you can sit on while prepping and cooking.
- Simplify the process with kitchen accessories – Some kitchen accessories are designed to reduce the user’s effort in preparing meals. Electric can openers, food processors and jar openers are some of the accessories you should consider using if you want to save energy while cooking.
- Have your groceries delivered – Many online services and local grocery stores offer delivery options. You can get the exact ingredients you need delivered to your door without having to waste energy going out and shopping.
- Look for pre-prepared fruits and vegetables – Produce that is already cut, peeled and washed can save you a lot of time and energy when preparing meals.
- Overstock – Reduce your shopping time and stock up on non-perishables that will take you a long time to get through so you don’t have to shop as often.
- Plan your meals – By planning your meals out ahead of time, you can cut back on time you need to go grocery shopping and you can schedule cooking times, which helps you know what you need to conserve energy for in your day. Plan meals that require minimal effort and ingredients.
- Use the microwave – Using your microwave to cook is a lot more simple and less messy than cooking on the stove top. If your meal has options for microwave use, you should opt for this option.
- Use the crockpot – You can eliminate a lot of the labor you have to put into cooking by using a crockpot. You can put a lot of ingredients in the crockpot and let them cook all day while you rest or do something else. Plus, large crock pots allow you to have a lot of leftovers to use throughout the week, cutting back on the number of times you need to cook.
- Cook as little as possible – As mentioned above, using a crockpot and microwave require much less effort than cooking on the stovetop. However, you should also consider meals that don’t require any cooking at all. Salads, sandwiches and wraps can be as nutritious as many of the meals you may choose to cook.
Additionally, you’ll want to use as many dishwasher-friendly dishes as possible so you don’t have to spend a lot of energy cleaning up. Do you have any questions about cooking or living a better quality of life with COPD? You should contact the Lung Health Institute to speak with one of our patient coordinators about your options. Our Anti-Inflammatory Initiative helps you get the nutrients you need to help your body naturally fight lung disease.