Nutrition for MS fatigue: Tips for planning and preparing healthy meals

Nutrition for MS fatigue: Tips for planning and preparing healthy meals

By Jessica Bratrude, RD
Nutritionist, Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

Planning and preparing healthy meals can be challenging for anyone. When you have multiple sclerosis (MS), fatigue can be another obstacle preventing you from packing healthy snacks or fixing a home-cooked dinner.

Eating healthy foods can help you fight fatigue and avoid the crash you may experience after eating fast food and sugary drinks. Here are a few tips to make food shopping and cooking more efficient and manageable so that a healthy diet can fit into your lifestyle:

  1. Make a game plan

    Take a few minutes every week to map out some easy dinners for the week. Choose recipes that can be prepared ahead of time, will store well and will produce leftovers that can be packed for the following day’s lunch or repurposed for another meal.

    Brainstorm some easy breakfast and snack ideas such as fruit, nonfat yogurt, unsalted nuts, and whole grain breads and cereals.

  2. Make a grocery list

    An organized list will reduce trips to the store, saving energy and time. As an added bonus, it will likely save you money as you will avoid making extra impulse buys and cut down on expensive trips dining out.

    Group items on your list by category, which will save you from going back and forth to different sections in the store.

    If you know your fridge is already stocked with easy-to-prepare foods, you will be less tempted to stop at the drive through on your way home.

  3. Do your grocery shopping

    Pick a time to shop that works best for your energy levels and when you will have enough time to prepare some of the food you buy.

    Recruit friends or family to shop with you and help carry and unload the groceries. A great alternative to this is at home grocery delivery. If available in your area, groceries can be quickly ordered on-line from AmazonFresh or Safeway and dropped off on your doorstep.


  4. Prepare the foods you purchased

    Pre-wash your fruits and vegetables and portion them in to-go containers. Grill or bake several chicken breasts and save them for lunches throughout the week.

    If possible, take a seat while doing this. Set up your cutting board on the dining table or place a stool at your kitchen counter. This can help you to conserve energy and minimize spills or knife slips from fatigue.

    Fatigue can set in at different times of the day. So work with your body and plan ahead. Pick a time to tackle each step when you know you usually feel best.
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