So why the spoonie chef? “Spoonie” is a term that is often used by people who have chronic illnesses or invisible disabilities. The term originated from the “Spoon Theory” which was developed by Christine Miserandino, a woman with lupus. This theory states that people with chronic illnesses have a limited amount of energy or “spoons” each day, and must use them wisely in order to get through the day.

In terms of cooking recipes, it can be applied by recognising that the person with chronic illness or disability may have a limited amount of energy to devote to meal preparation or cooking. This may mean that they need to simplify recipes, or break them down into smaller, manageable tasks that can be completed over the course of several days. They may also need to rely more on pre-made or pre-prepared ingredients, or enlist the help of others to assist with meal preparation. It may also be helpful to plan meals in advance and make sure that they are well-balanced and easy to prepare, so that the person can conserve their energy for other activities.

My own story

As a disabled person living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, POTS and chronic migraine, I have my own personal understanding of the daily struggles of living with a chronic illness, and I have had to adapt my lifestyle and routine to manage my condition. By sharing accessible recipes, I hope to help those living with chronic illnesses to make the most of their limited energy and still enjoy delicious and nutritious meals.

I started the spoonie chef food blog to share my love of cooking and recipes. I find that the best way to reconnect with myself and my creativity when I’m struggling is by cooking; experimenting with new flavours and photographing the final outcome. Food is my passion and I do not want the limitations of my disability to make me give up on my dreams. I hope that my blog will become an important resource for all to discover new recipes and fall in love with food the way I have done.

What are the effort levels and what do they mean?

Low effort

Low effort recipes are those that require minimal time, effort, and resources to prepare. They may include simple ingredients, basic cooking techniques, and minimal steps. In terms of spoon theory, low effort recipes would be those that do not require many “spoons” or units of energy to prepare, allowing individuals with limited energy or mobility to still enjoy cooking and eating.

More effort

“More effort” recipe typically refers to a recipe that requires additional time, skill, or resources to prepare. For example, a recipe that involves multiple steps, intricate techniques, or rare ingredients would be considered a “more effort” recipe. A “more effort” recipe would likely require more “spoons” of energy to prepare than a simpler recipe.

All the effort

“All the effort” recipe refers to a recipe that requires a significant amount of time, energy, and resources to make. It may include multiple steps and techniques, and may call for exotic or hard-to-find ingredients. Applying this concept to spoon theory, it would mean that making this recipe would require a large number of “spoons” or units of energy, and someone with limited energy or chronic illness may need to carefully consider whether they have the resources to make it.