Eating Healthy When You Are So Tired You Can't Get off the Couch
Ever have a day or month or even a year where you are so tired it seems impossible to eat healthy? Yeah, me too. Then when you go to eat, you are craving carbs, so fill up on those? Been there!
I read somewhere recently that if you eat a lot of carbs, you will always be hungry and want to take a nap. It’s necessary to point out that this was not directed toward people with narcolepsy. It was directed to the general public. I often say that eating healthy is important, not because we have narcolepsy, but because we are human.
What we eat matters
However, I am well aware that eating healthy is not often easy — especially when narcolepsy is sucking every bit of energy and brain function we have. But choosing to not eat healthily can add to our sleepiness and can contribute to weight gain. A lack of nutrients can prohibit our basic functions from performing everyday tasks, possibly leading to other health issues.
Narcolepsy made meal prep and cooking more difficult
When I got narcolepsy at 30, I had 4 kids, was homeschooling, and had a job. As my narcolepsy grew worse, preparing healthy meals became a challenge. I would forget I was cooking, WHILE I WAS COOKING, and burn food to a point where we had to throw it in the trash. I didn’t have the energy to cook something that required multiple steps, like lasagne.
Healthy meal tips and tricks
So I had to adapt. Slowly I learned some tricks that helped me provide healthy meals.
Don’t bring unhealthy food home
I don't bring sugar home. I binge too easily. My home is my safe place. This doesn't mean my family never has sugar. It just isn't usually at home.
Always have a raw veggie tray
When my kids are hungry and I am cooking dinner, the veggie tray comes out. We will eat a surprising amount of veggies at that time. It comes out at lunch and some dinners as well.
Buy cut veggies
Why buy broccoli that you have to cut up yourself when you can get the florets? Also, mini carrots, pea pods, and mini peppers are just a few examples of veggies that don’t need much prep.
Keep dinner simple
It is totally OK to cook a simple meal. Chicken with your favorite condiment, raw veggies, and greens is my go-to when I need a quick meal. I add in brown rice or potatoes for the kids and hubby.
Always make extra
Everyone talks about food prep for the week. My version of this is to just make extra. I either eat the leftovers during the week or pop them in the freezer for another time.
Use special treats wisely
OK, so I said above that I don’t have processed sugar in my house. I lied. We have cereal for Cereal Sundays. We were struggling to get our kids to church on time, and it was exhausting me before I even got out the door. Cereal is first come, first served on Sundays. My kids are eager to get up and get the first pick, solving another problem.
Stock a healthy snack box
Having healthy snacks is helpful for you and your kids. They are only allowed in it at 3 p.m., however. Otherwise, they would never eat a real meal.
Find replacements for your favoritess
Lakanto has chocolate that is sweetened with stevia and monk fruit! I can indulge without the sugar!
Empower your family to take care of meals themselves
I do OMAD (one meal a day) on most days, so I don’t eat breakfast or lunch. Being around food when I am fasting is a challenge at times. Making sure my kids could get themselves meals became very important. My youngest learned to cook eggs by the time he was 5.
Bring home food you and your family enjoy
We do healthy tacos every Tuesday because we all like it. We change the meat up based on what’s on sale. I am able to have a low carb salad of sorts, and the kids have tacos. I make sure we have plenty of the meals they love.
Make shopping simple
Purchase groceries online and just pick up, or get a meal kit like Hello Fresh. There are so many tools available to save time these days. If your budget allows, take advantage of them!
Eating healthy is so powerful. Doing what we can to make that possible in the midst of the trials of narcolepsy is a challenge worth taking on.
Do you find it hard to eat healthy because of narcolepsy? Have you discovered any tips or tricks to include healthy eating into your routine? Share in the comments below!
Do you have a service animal?