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Multiple Sclerosis Meal Planning ActiveWellness

How to make meals easier and more manageable.

It takes time, energy and planning for anyone to make healthy meals. When you have MS, finding time to get to the grocery store can be especially challenging — especially when you're busy or experiencing fatigue. While you don't necessarily need to follow a specific MS diet, it does help to know the best ingredients to have on hand to build healthy meals. This section will help you stay organized and make food shopping more efficient and enjoyable.

 
MS Meal Planning Watch for tips about shopping and MS meal planning with chef Amanda Freiteg, dietitian Julie Barto, and Heather Satlof.
 

Stocking the MS-friendly kitchen

You'll save time and effort by equipping your kitchen with tools such as a food processor and blender, as well as handy gadgets that can cut down on preparation time. Of course, the most important ingredients of an MS-friendly kitchen are the foods you buy. For nutritious, easily prepared meals, consider the following:

Canned Foods

Canned foods
Such as: Beans, tomatoes, tuna fish, fruit and jarred salsa.

 
Frozen Vegetables

Frozen vegetables
Why: They're just as healthy and fresh, since they're usually frozen fresh right after harvest.

 
Plain Rice

Plain rice
Why: Great for easy meals.
Opt for: Brown rice, as it has more fiber. If you have the extra time, it's worth the effort.

 
In-season fruits and vegetables

In-season fruits and vegetables
Why: They're usually cheaper and fresher.

 
Pre-cut vegetables and fruits, and bagged salads

Pre-cut vegetables and fruits, and bagged salads
Why: They save you time and energy (no cutting or chopping).

 
Peanut butter

Peanut butter
Why: The natural version is a great source of protein.

 
Whole grain crackers or rice cakes

Whole grain crackers or rice cakes
Why: A convenient and healthy snack.

 

Meal Preparations Tips

Timing is everything.

Since MS can be unpredictable, it helps to choose a day in the week to do the majority of your cooking. For instance, if Sunday afternoons work best, grill or bake several chicken breasts and save them for lunch throughout the week. Use the same approach when grocery shopping. If you have more energy in the morning, then that is the right time to head to the store.

Plan ahead.

Planning your meals for the week will save you a lot of time and money. Plus, it will keep you from scrambling on those days when you're not sure what to cook. If you're able to cook every day, great. If not, cook on days when you're not rushed. And think ahead by preparing a few meals at a time or by having extras for leftovers. Planning your meals ahead means lower costs and less wasted food that you don't end up cooking.

Make it a family affair.

If you need help grocery shopping, involve your friends or family. Preparing meals and cleaning up after meals are chores that should be shared.

Take a seat.

Sitting down during meal prep can help you conserve energy and can help minimize slips of the knife or spills.

Looking for more help in the kitchen? Find kitchen gadgets and organization ideas.

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