Easy, Healthy Meals

Everybody wants to eat healthier – it makes you feel much more alert, proactive, and generally better both physically and mentally.

And when you have a chronic illness, such as lupus, eating healthy is more important than ever. You need protein, iron, vitamins, omega 3, everything basically that isn’t high in salt, sugar, or fat.

But also, when the fatigue that can hit you without warning it makes cooking (something I usually love) seem like too much effort. Other times I’m just lazy.

So here are my go to recipes, for when I want to eat something quickly, but also feel good knowing what I’m eating is good.

Most ingredients are found in most, if not all, of these recipes. Useful for money saving, and I hate when recipes online require the most random ingredients I have to go and buy especially for. These are recipes for people like me, who don’t have things like almond butter or nectar of the gods lying in the back of their fridge.

Portion sizes are how much you want, I have a bad habit of always cooking to much!

 

Lentil and Quinoa Salad

I’ve recently started buying quinoa to feel like a smug adult, also because it is so easy to cook. Not to mention the nutrients that come with it, and mixing it with this salad I find makes a great lunch for when I want to feel alert and productive after. Also great to cook in two portions, to save as a cold lunch for the next day.

Per person: quinoa, lentils (drained), spinach, chopped pepper, feta, olive oil

Cook the quinoa (rinse, then cook in a pan until the water is soaked and it’s nice and fluffy – usually takes me 15 mins)

Serve with a salad of the spinach, lentils, pepper, feta, and drizzle of olive oil

Sometimes I use chickpeas instead of lentils, and sometimes I fry the salad ingredients together instead. And add smoked salmon for some omega 3!

 

Iron Rich Salad

This is super simple, like all salads are. But it’s a fun salad, and I invented it when my anaemia was really bad, so if you need more iron in your life I recommend.

Per person: spinach, chickpeas, walnuts, feta, smoked salmon, olive oil

Mix it all up and drizzle on the oil. This is hardly a recipe, I apologise

 

Fish Cakes

I found the recipe off the internet a while ago. There are many fish cake recipes online worth trying, but this one uses the most basic ingredients – handy when you’re a student, or just happen to be low on groceries!

Per person: 1 potato, 1 egg (beaten), 1 portion of fish (I use tinned tuna, but baked fish is also ideal), seasoning

Chop up the potato (remove skin first if required) and boil for 20 mins

Mix and mash in a bowl with fish, egg, and seasoning. Shape into two fish cakes

Fry on both sides until cooked all the way through

Serve with salad

 

Salmon Pasta

I use olive oil as a dressing because it’s so simple and healthy, but making your own tomato sauce with chopped tomatoes and the onions, garlic and herbs is also good – and healthier than using store bought tomato sauce!

Per person: smoked salmon (chopped), whole wheat pasta, pepper, spinach, feta, oilive oil

Cook the pasta (I don’t add salt to the water!)

Cook the pepper, salmon, and spinach together witch any onion, garlic and seasoning

Drain the pasta and add the rest to the pasta

Drizzle with oilive oil

 

Scrambled Eggs

Amazing comfort food, and the add ins give a bit of something extra to a simple meal (seriosuly though, if I ever run a cafe this will probably be the first thing on the menu) I usually just use one add in, but sometimes it’s fun to go all out. A bit of camembert also works well as I have recently discovered.

Per person: 2 eggs (beaten), butter, bread, add ins (chopped onions, peppers, spinach, avocado)

Melt the butter in a pan (I use a big chunk of butter)

Fry the add ins until fully cooked

Add the egg and scramble

Sometimes I like to add herbs or spices to the egg, such as tumeric for its anti-inflammatory properties (also makes a nice colour, unlike the avocado which turns the egg a funny green)

Serve on toast

 

Avocado on Toast

Who doesn’t love this? It was my life saver before I was diagnosed – when I would return to my flat after work and sleep all evening, waking up at 10 or 11 pm, to quickly eat this before going back to sleep for the night. Not a good way to live! Thank god the fatigue isn’t that bad any more, but this is still a quick and delicious meal.

Per person: 1 avocado, bread

Simply spread the avocado on the toast xD

Add some dressing, or other chopped veg if you’re feeling fancy

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A little inspiration from Maya Angelou…

I was reading a lupus warrior’s blog (Luck Fupus), and in a post she talks about a tattoo she has that helps her overcome all struggles, including those caused by the unrelenting lupus. It’s a quote by one of my favourite poets and women, Maya Angelou:

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I decided to find an image of the quote to save on my phone to look at whenever I’m feeling down, and whilst doing so I came across plenty of quotes by the great woman that seemed to fit with battling lupus in every day life.

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Although Maya Angelou never battled lupus, she battled demons of her own, and demons battled by many people. She is an inspiration for all women, black women in particular, but as a writer her words can be taken by anyone and given their own unique meaning.

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She inspires strength in everyone, in fact as I checked Facebook before writing this post, one of my closest friends had shared an interview with Maya Angelou who spoke of finding good in evil.

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Lupus is no fun. When I told my personal tutor I have lupus his said “It’s quite trendy to have lupus these days”. I don’t agree. I mean, no one chooses to have lupus, and frankly the constant blood tests, urine tests, other tests when things go wrong, daily medication, side effects, and typical symptoms of lupus are anything but trendy. (Who wants to have a permanently red moon face? Scarred? Pale from avoiding sun? Joints like an elderly person? Breathing troubles? etc…) But as I tell myself when I want to throw a fit for having this limit placed on me when I’ve barely started adulthood – no one has it easy.

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And ironically strength can be found when facing the hardest times. Actually let’s quote Dumbledore because why not: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” I’m not happy I have lupus, but facing life with it makes me feel like I can achieve anything I work for. The trick is to learn to walk, even run, with the wolf.

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So I will end with this quote for everyone:

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