If you live with chronic fatigue, you know all too well that the last thing you want to do when you’re exhausted is cook. Luckily, these 12 tasty recipes maximize nutrition and limit your time in the kitchen
1. Anti-Inflammatory ‘Instant’ Oatmeal
Replace sugar-laden instant oatmeal packs with this homemade variety. Don’t worry — your breakfast will be just as fast and taste even better!
This recipe has healthy fats thanks to chia, hemp, and ground flax seeds. Take your homemade packets to work for fuel on the go or simply mix it up ahead of time so your breakfast is always only a couple of minutes away.
You can also use the same base to create overnight oats for a cooling summer breakfast. Just be sure to go easy on the sweetener, or skip it altogether and add fresh fruit instead.
2. Sweet Potato Hash Browns with a Poached Egg and Avocado
This Whole30, gluten-free breakfast is high in beta-carotene, which is transformed into vitamin A in the body. It also has complex carbohydrates to keep you full longer and help keep your energy levels from peaking and crashing.
The poached egg and avocado add healthy fats for staying power. Add a little bit of sautéed kale to up the ante. And just because it’s potatoes and eggs doesn’t mean this dish is only for breakfast.
3. Easy-to-Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are an easy-to-make staple that can get you through just about any meal or snack. Squish them up and put them on toast, add them to leafy greens for a more filling salad, or eat them plain during the day for a protein-rich snack on the go. This recipe uses a pressure cooker (aka Instant Pot) to speed cooking and get the perfect yolk consistency, but you can also make hard-boiled eggs that won’t take you all day to peel on the stove.
4. Super Thick Quick Coconut Yogurt
This coconut yogurt takes five minutes to make. For real. There’s no incubation time or worrying about keeping a warm water bath at the perfect temperature. Instead, this recipe uses fresh coconut meat, coconut water, and probiotic powder to create a thick, wonderfully creamy, dairy-free yogurt. Pair it with blueberry chia seed jam or fresh berries and nuts for a pretty parfait.
5. Turmeric Latte or Tea
Giving up coffee can be hard, especially if it’s the one thing you look forward to in the morning. While we certainly aren’t going to say that a turmeric latte or tea is the perfect substitute for your beloved beverage, it might just make you miss it a little less.
Turmeric and ginger’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties will help you start the day on the right foot and wake up your senses. With a taste and feel more like a spicy chai latte, a turmeric latte is the perfect soothing morning beverage. Turmeric tea makes a great afternoon pick-me-up. You can even ice it.
6. Roasted Broccoli, 10 Ways
Bored of your weekly staple? Mix it up with 10 variations on your favorite sheet bake. These simple tweaks will help you pack in even more inflammation-fighting broccoli. The cruciferous vegetable is a good source of phytonutrients that help reduce inflammation. They’re also rich in fiber, folate, and immunity-boosting vitamin C.
7. Dark Chocolate Hemp Energy Bites
While the debate continues on whether chocolate is a health food or not, these little bites add a dose of sweetness without refined sugars. Hemp seeds and walnuts have inflammation-soothing omega fatty acids in addition to iron, zinc, and magnesium. They’re nutritious enough to eat throughout the day as a snack and chocolatey enough to soothe a late-night sweet tooth.
8. Spice-Rubbed Salmon with Avocado Salsa
Protein is important for staying full and maintaining energy. It also supports healing. Salmon is a great source — a single serving has 20 grams of protein. Between the fish and the avocado, it’s also high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. This dish looks like you worked hard on it even though it takes less than 25 minutes to get it on the table. Skip the garlic powder and red onion garnish to make the dish low-FODMAP.
9. Paleo Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Many chicken wrap recipes are loaded with simple carbohydrates and heavily processed ingredients, but not this one. These fresh wraps are filling, flavorful, and packed with veggies. Simply leave out the honey and the shallots to make it low-FODMAP.
10. Three-Ingredient Pesto Zoodle Bowl
We get it: Sometimes you just want a steaming bowl of pasta. But simple carbohydrates spike blood sugar and can lead to energy crashes later on. These zucchini noodles will help fill your pasta craving and amp up your vegetable intake without risking major energy fluctuations.
11. Golden Milk Ice Cream
Your favorite quart might be banished from the freezer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a few comforting spoonfuls in. This eight-ingredient ice cream is made with full-fat coconut milk to give it a texture on par with a dairy variety. Anti-inflammatory spices like ground turmeric, fresh ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper add a little kick and some warming spice to this frozen treat.
12. Blueberry Almond Crumble
This dessert is a no-fuss staple. Old-fashioned oats and frozen blueberries combine to create a deeply comforting crumble you can feel good about eating. Antioxidant-rich blueberries are low in sugar and high in fiber, and the entire dish is low in added sugars. Even better: The dessert comes together quickly and takes very little effort or thought to get it to turn out perfectly.
Researchers still don’t fully understand the link between chronic fatigue and diet, but one thing is clear — diet matters. Foods can support or tax the body. While they aren’t good for anyone, inflammatory foods and simple carbohydrates are especially problematic for people with chronic fatigue.
Foods high in antioxidants, healthy fats, and vegetables are all especially important for people with chronic fatigue. A low-sugar diet can also help prevent blood sugar spikes and energy crashes, which can make the ever-present fatigue feel even more severe.
Mandy Ferreira is a writer and editor in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s passionate about health, fitness, and sustainable living. She’s currently obsessed with running, Olympic lifting, and yoga, but she also swims, cycles, and does just about everything else she can. You can keep up with her on her blog (treading-lightly.com) and on Twitter (@mandyfer1).