As a caregiver are you caring for yourself?
Or are you putting your needs including your healthy eating goals behind everyone else—especially your care recipient?
When Mary’s mother needed a lot of care, Mary often found herself in front of the refrigerator trying to figure out what to eat.
She was often so exhausted, even deciding about what to fix to eat seemed overwhelming. And while she wanted to stick to her healthy eating goals…
Her body craved healthy meals and fresh food. Emotionally she craved comfort foods. And time-wise she just wanted to grab something fast.
The fastest thing for Mary to grab would be the supplements she kept on hand for her mother. Many days though it was all she could coax into her mother. So her refrigerator was stocked with a supply…
Even though Mary could not drink them herself.
Are you like Mary, stocking your refrigerator and freezer with foods for your care recipient?
And searching at the most inconvenient times for something quick and easy?
Have you considered adding antioxidant-rich foods to your diet?
You know most caregivers don’t.
They may not even know what antioxidants are.
Relax, you don’t need a degree in chemistry to understand what they are and do. You don’t even need to have taken a class in chemistry. 😉
What are antioxidants?
Well, looking at the word it is made up of “anti” and “oxidant.”
Anti means against. And oxidant looks like oxygen.
Oxidation is the chemical process of combining with oxygen.
Okay… So what?
Well, oxidation is the process that turns your peeled apple brown if it’s exposed to the air. And it’s the process that causes changes of aging. So antioxidants are substances that fight oxidation. Two of the most well known are Vitamins C and E.
When you have caregiver stress antioxidants can help your body resist the negative effects of stress.
And antioxidants are available in many healthy foods.
Many fruits are great sources of antioxidants. And they’re often easy and quick to eat making them a nearly perfect snack.
Plus fruits are healthy eating unlike junk foods.
What fruits have the most antioxidants that can help when caregiving threatens your healthy eating goals?
Researchers at Tufts University found the fruits with the highest levels of antioxidants are…
- Red Grapes
- Kiwi Fruit
- Pink Grapefruit
Isn’t this a nice selection of different fruits from which to choose?
And most of them can be easily and quickly fixed. They take as much time or less than opening a package of cookies for example.
Have you made fruit smoothies?
I freeze unsweetened pear sauce or applesauce in ice cube trays. After freezing, I pop the frozen fruit cubes into large freezer bags for use later.
While fresh fruit is best some antioxidants like Vitamin C do not seem to be affected much by freezing. And in some areas like where I live fresh fruit is not readily available all year.
My Vita-Mix handles the frozen fruit sauce cubes and frozen fruit if I don’t have fresh.
Here’s a recipe for frozen fruit smoothies…
Pour 1 to 1-1/2 cups of water in the bottom of a Vita-Mix container.
Add 2 to 3 frozen pear sauce or applesauce cubes
Add an orange, peeled and sectioned (seeds removed if contains seeds)
Add ½ cup of berries of your choice or other fruit
Add 1 Tablespoon freshly ground golden flaxseed (optional)
1 packet of Stevia (optional) if sweetener needed
Secure lid. Place container securely on machine.
Select Variable Speed 1. Turn machine on, increasing speed to 7. If the mixture freezes, stop. If the mixture stays liquid then mix until desired consistency. You can increase to 10 for a few seconds if you want and the mixture remains liquid.
Depending upon how much of your fruit is frozen, you may end up with a frozen dessert rather than a shake. Nice in hot weather!
Don’t have a Vita-Mix yet? Click on this link to order one with FREE Shipping.
Look for the next posts in this series for more healthy foods that are easy for busy caregivers to fix.
To your healthy caregiving,
Ina Gilmore M.D. (ret.)
“The Knitting Dr.”
Ambassador of Elder Care, HowToLiveOnPurpose.com
Founder, CaregivingWithPurpose.com and TheKnittingYarn.com
The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It does not replace information or recommendations from your own physician or other health care provider. This site does not advocate medical or other health-related self-care, and encourages you to obtain advice from your own personal physician or other health care provider.
This web site is not intended to replace medical, financial, legal, or any other professional advice. Please use your own good judgment and consult with your own professionals before applying any ideas found within this website.