Cooking with arthritis can be difficult. Many of the pots, pans and tools commonly used can strain your hands and wrists, and you never notice how much movement is really involved in cooking until you have arthritis. While it can be painful, there are several things you can do to keep yourself from feeling pain when you prepare food. Just follow these tips to minimize or eliminate any pain during cooking.
- Light and Ergonomic Tools
You use many tools while cooking. Most people commonly use spatulas, whisks and ladles when preparing food, but holding these tools for more than several seconds or minutes can begin to strain your joints. You should look for lightweight and ergonomic variants of these cooking tools.
Lightweight spatulas and whisks will put much less stress on your joints, and ergonomic handles will be much easier to hold because they are made to conform to the human hand.
- Get Two Handles
A pot full of soup or rice is hard enough to carry, and it only gets worse when you have arthritis. Many people with arthritis have felt great pain when they try to carry a conventional single-handle pot from the stove to the sink or table. The best way to fix this is to get pots with two handles.
While you are still carrying the same amount of weight, the weight will be properly distributed between your two hands. This makes it easier to carry the pot from one place to the other, and it also decreases the likelihood that you will drop the pot.
- Stop Chopping
Do you find it hard to chop, slice or cut fruits, vegetables and meat? This may not be the most intensive part of preparing food, but it can hard after you have gone through several carrots or chicken breasts. You can even end up cutting yourself if your joints have a spasm while you are cutting food.
The best way to do this is to automate the task with a food processor. Just dump the food into the food processor, and it will take care of the rest. There is very little strain on your joints, and you will also get a uniform cut each and every time.
- Cook More
Cooking more at once can be helpful when you have arthritis. Think about it for a second. How much more work does it take to cook two chicken breasts instead of one? There is less preparation when you cook more at once, and there is also less time in the kitchen. Just store the leftovers for tomorrow or the next day.
This is also very helpful if you are trying to eat a healthy diet. This will make it easier for you to grab healthy foods because everything will already be made for you.
A food processor is a great way to cut food, but sometimes it can be even easier to just buy pre-cut foods. Most food stores offer pre-cut vegetables, meats and fruits in a variety of different cuts. While these tend to cost slightly more than buying raw meats or produce, you save time and energy if you just buy food that is already cut for you.
If your arthritis is so bad that it’s difficult to use a food processor, then consider buying food that is already cut for you.
- Sit While Cooking
You may not notice it, but standing often makes cooking harder. It strains the joints more because they are at an unnatural angle, and it can make it difficult to cook if you have arthritis in your legs or ankles. The best way to fix this is to bring a chair or stool near the countertop. You will find it much easier to do just about anything when you are sitting.
Cooking with arthritis is difficult, but not impossible. If you follow these tips, then you shouldn’t feel nearly as much pain, and cooking should also be much easier for you. While you may have to spend some money to decrease your pain, it will be well worth it if you are tired of feeling your fingers, wrists and ankles hurt while making meals.
Author Bio: Steve Miller is a health writer for Assisted Living Today, a leading source of information on a range of topics related to elderly care and assisted living.