Cooking with fatigue/pain

One of the things filling out the dreaded PIP form has helped me to realise is that I don’t have usuallu enough energy to feed myself.

On a really good day, I love cooking. Most days are bad days energy-wise and some days I use that energy to LEAVE THE FLAT or shower or write a blog post or some other wildly extravagant pastime. Inevitably this leaves me eating coco pops, rice cakes, satsumas and bananas all day most days.

On some days I can do some Making of Actual FoodStuffs, but I also am on a fairly restrictive FodMap diet for IBS symptoms. The diet has been really helpful – but impossible when you consider the fact I don’t like eating animals and I struggle with preparing meals and that high fodmap foods include onion, garlic, chickpeas, wheat and many other random foods! This makes even using ready meals or takeaways to feed yourself tricksy! NB: A low FodMap diet should be done with a dietician according to the NHS, so this is about sharing ideas rather than recommending you eat the things I do, or that you should also do this diet – *I am not a medical doctory person/dietician*

I’ve been trying out various recipes and I would like a place to keep them, so I can access on my surgically-attached smart phone, and I thought others might find it helpful for self care when energy/ability is low so here they come!  Some are a bit more demanding than others but laziness  I mean, chronic illness and fatigue, are the mothers of invention.

I shall start you off with my favourite thing:

MUFFINS. Because when you can’t summon up the energy to hold a plate, do chopping, clean a plate, think about plates or cutlery and you haven’t slept and you are hungry:  having these in the freezer or in a tin is very very handy indeed. They come with a muffin case and you can just shove them in your mouth.

I use cups because….well….so much easier!

Maple, pecan, banana breakfast muffins (NOM!)

Oven: 180 degrees, preheated

12 Muffin cases in a muffin tin – fill them with mix and bake for about 20 mins. Use a timer in case you doze off whilst resting after this activity!


1 3/4 cups self raising gluten-free flour

1 tsp xanathan gum (worth having if you can’t have gluten)

OR NOT LOW FODMAP OPTION:  use normal flour (no need for xanthan gum if you have gluten)

1/3 cup of sugar – you can add more, but I am trying to do self care with these

1 tbps baking powder

a pinch of salt

1/2 tsp allspice, or cinnamon or something nice


GET ALL OF THIS OUT ON WORKTOP plus spoons for mixing and cups for measuring.


Maybe have a little rest or do some mindful breathing and chill


Now get another bowl and the following:

about 4-6 tbsp maple syrup depending how much you want it to be sticky and/or sweet


1/2 cup oil (of some description – I used olive oil)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup mashed up old bananas

EITHER 1/2 cup of soya milk/rice milk or real milk if you can do lactose

OR 3/4 cup of “milk” plus a large handful of cooked quinoa (I cook a whole box every now and then and freeze in bags for chucking into stuff to make it healthier and more filling)


Ah go on, a couple of mindful deep breaths again…


Now pour the liquid bowl into the floury bowl – mix till you can’t see flour but not too much – it should be a bit lumpy

Add as many pecan nuts as you can handle/seems sensible and very gently mix in/fold in – I used about 50g and left them whole (I don’t use spoons for chopping!)


Spoon into muffin cases and bake at 180 degrees for about 20 mins and put your feet up.

Try not to forget them.

ENJOY with some kind of hot beverage!

I make a big load and freeze them – they are lovely pinged in the microwave for a couple of mins or left to defrost. I’d include a photo, but I ate them all. I will make some more and update this when I do.

I hope they work for you.