Chef Tips for Working in the Kitchen with Psoriasis
Last updated: June 2023
Having psoriasis can be a challenge in the kitchen. First, what do you do about all the physical demands involved in cooking? Secondly, how can I make this easier on myself? Thirdly, why are there so many lids to be opened?
Let's make cooking easier
When it comes to cooking, let's talk about some of the physical demands on the body. To start, there is standing. Next, there is bending, and then reaching for ingredients. After that, there is the opening of boxes and cans.
To wrap this up, it all means stress to the already inflamed body. The good news is there are ways to make it easier on yourself. I will help you with some quick tips in the kitchen.
Stand up to cooking
There are many movements we make in the kitchen that the standard body can find tiring. Adding psoriasis to that can feel monumental. Starting out with a body already sore, achy, or in pain can make you feel like you don't want to even attempt cooking.
Let's start by addressing standing, I purchased anti-fatigue mats for my kitchen. They are padded and cost less than $35.00. The cushioning helps keep your spine and feet from feeling the pressure of standing in one spot for a long time. Hip pain and leg pain can be caused by remaining in place for long periods of time.
Bending and reaching can be difficult when joints are sore or swollen. Try using organizing tools in cabinets at comfortable levels. Another help can be the placement of pots and pans. I hang most of my pans and pots. My pans hang over my stove. This way I avoid bending.
Others find it easier to put them in a drawer to prevent reaching up. My hanging pan rack cost me $25.00. My family installed it with the promise of me making a good meal for them.
Not too heavy now
Cooking includes moving pots and pans. Heavy pots full of water, broth, or ingredients are cumbersome. I tend to slide my pots along the counter from the sink to the stove. This way I do not have to lift as much.
First, fill your pot. Secondly, set your pot down on a dry towel. Third, pull the towel and the pot will slide. Voila! You saved your back an extra step from completely carrying the pot. Another trick to use, if your kitchen is large, is a trolley cart.
Lids and openers
Opening cans can be difficult on hands. Using ergonomic manual can openers can help. Rubberized large handles can help with can openers too. Personally, I use an electric opener I purchased for $10.00. Shall we talk about the lids that are put on by industrial machines? My biggest reoccurring nightmare as a new chef was being asked to make a meal and all the ingredients were in jars with tight lids!
Now I have a lid gripper to help me open jar lids. The device has a handle with a triangle head. There are sharp teeth on the edge of the triangle. I slide the lid to the jar from the open end of the triangle till the lid fits snuggly. I twist to the right and the jar opens with little to no effort.
Moving on to boxes. This has taken me a long time to learn, but I now use containers that help organize my boxes. First, I purchase the product or ingredient.
Second, I remove it from its original package and put it into a space-saving storage container. Third, I am sure to write the instructions from the package on the label. In summary, I am now using less space, keeping my product longer, and making sure the directions are clear.
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?