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Chronic Pain Recipes

Simple Anti-Inflammatory Stir Fry

August 25, 2020
AID stir fry recipe

If you’re looking for a go-to anti-inflammatory meal, this is mine. This simple stir fry is chock full of inflammation fighting foods, it’s easily customized and very versatile depending on what veggies you love in your stir fry. Also, it’s dairy-free, gluten free, sugar free and yet, it’s NOT taste-free!! 😉

There’s so many different ways to make this dish – and that’s what makes it my go-to weeknight meal that we don’t get tired of. You can swap out rice for rice noodles or even spaghetti squash as the base. You can utilize in-season vegetables along with tried-and-true veggies your family loves. I’ll also occasionally include chunks of pineapple or mango for a sweet surprise!

My guys love this stir fry – and what a great way to get loads of vegetables in them!! I make sure to include a favorite veggie of each of theirs. Snap peas for Tyler, broccoli and bell peppers for Finn, and well, anything and everything for Justus! If there’s something I want them to eat but they might not like, I just chop it (or grate it!) really small so it blends in. I always include onion this way – and they never notice.

Justus loves this stir fry – between his toes!
This is one way I get Finn to try new veggies: I include small pieces in with the ole faithful vegetables!
simple anti-inflammatory stir fry recipe

Simple Anti-Inflammatory Stir Fry

Tiffany Chacon
This is my favorite simple, versatile stir fry recipe using inflammation fighting foods!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small onion sliced or diced
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder optional: can use freshly grated turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp yellow curry powder omit if you don't like curry!
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 in ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken diced
  • 1 head broccoli chopped
  • 1 bell pepper sliced or diced
  • 8 oz snap peas cut in half
  • cashews chopped
  • jasmine rice cooked

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or soy sauce alternative such as coconut aminos or "no soy" soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp spicy honey or regular honey
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch optional; only used to thicken the sauce

Instructions
 

  • Preheat large pan to medium high heat. Chop vegetables and chicken. Season chicken with salt, pepper, turmeric and curry powder. Once the pan is hot, heat up 1 tbsp olive oil and saute onions, garlic and ginger for 3 minutes. Add chicken and saute chicken until it's mostly cooked.
  • Add vegetables and saute. You may want to add another tablespoon of oil at this point and saute until the vegetables are lightly coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are steamed and brightly colored (you don't want to cook for too long or else they start to get mushy and your broccoli will turn a murky green).
  • While the chicken and veggies are cooking, make your stir fry sauce: add the ingredients together and whisk until the sauce starts to thicken. Sometimes, I heat my sauce a bit to help the flavors meld.
  • Once the chicken is cooked and the veggies are steamed and brightly colored, serve over jasmine rice with the stir fry sauce and some chopped cashews sprinkled on top!

Notes

You can use any vegetables you want for this recipe! Typically I use broccoli, onion, bell pepper and snap peas as a base and then will include other veggies that I have on hand or that are in season such as zucchini, summer squash, carrots, etc. You can also add some sweetness to this recipe by adding pineapple or mango tidbits! If you do this, I recommend adding some of the pineapple or mango juice to the stir fry sauce. Delish!
Keyword Anti-inflammatory, stir fry
Chronic Pain Recipes

Easy Mexican Cauliflower Rice Bowl

August 5, 2020

Today I’m going to share with you one of my favorite anti-inflammatory diet meals: my Easy Mexican Cauliflower Rice Bowl. This is another crowd-pleaser in our house. The boys eat it up with a big spoon!

Reasons why I love this Easy Mexican Cauliflower Rice Bowl:

  • It’s sneakily healthy – swapping out cauliflower rice for white or even brown rice means that you’re eating lots of veggies in each bite…and you don’t even know it!
  • It’s a simple, quick weeknight recipe. I typically make a double (or even triple) batch of this during the week and it’ll take me less than 30 minutes from beginning to end. Cauliflower rice cooks so quickly and you can just throw all the ingredients together!
  • This is a low-carb, low-calorie option if you’re looking for go-to low-carb or low-cal recipes!
  • It’s versatile – I can easily make this meal with shredded chicken, ground beef or turkey, or vegetarian. I’ve also easily swapped cooked white rice for the cauliflower rice when making this for large groups (with people who may or may not like cauliflower rice!) and it’s so yum.
  • My boys love it – Tyler loves this recipe because it’s super filling while also being low-calorie. Both Finn and Justus will gobble this down as soon as I put it on their plates.
  • Toppings galore – this dish is easily personalized depending on what toppings you like. I love to put avocado, an extra squeeze of lime juice and more cilantro on mine. Tyler appreciates covering it in cheese and sour cream, and Finn does all of the above! Whatever your eaters like, this meal can offer it.

How to cook cauliflower rice

There are three options for making cauliflower rice:

  • Buy cauliflower heads, chop them and put them in a food processor to make the “rice.” This is the most time-intensive option.
  • Buy a pre-chopped cauliflower head. With this option, the cauliflower is already “riced” for you. Typically you can find this in the produce section where you would find other bags of pre-chopped vegetables. This is the simplest, quickest option.
  • Buy frozen cauliflower rice. This option allows you to save the cauliflower rice for longer – I usually buy a large bag from Costco so I can use it whenever I want to. However, it takes slightly longer to cook all the way through (about 10 minutes instead of 5).

Any of these options work – obviously if you want to rice the cauliflower yourself, it will take longer. Also, if you purchase fresh cauliflower (either a whole cauliflower head or a bag of fresh cauliflower rice) it will cook quicker than the frozen cauliflower rice.

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Chronic Pain

10 Tips for Chronic Pain Survival Days

July 29, 2020
chronic pain survival days

Today I want to share with you what helps me get through extra difficult days with my chronic pain. If you’re suffering from chronic pain – whether physical, mental or emotional pain that is ongoing – this should be helpful for enduring those days when you just have to survive the day. 

1. Accept help.

If you’re battling with chronic pain, you need to find a tribe of supportive people to surround you. Whether that’s your physical family, your church small group, or some friends and neighbors – find your tribe. Have your go-to people that you can text or call if you’re having a bad day. People who can pray with and for you, or who can come over to help distract your kiddos if you need a break. 

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17
chronic pain survival days inspirational quote

Of course, if you want this type of friendship, you have to be this friend to others as well. Be intentional about your relationships. It’s not realistic to have 15 super close BFFs – but you can have 2-3 friends whom you would do anything for – and who also will understand if you have to change your night-on-the-town plans to a movie night in bed because you’re in pain.  

2. Communicate your pain.

“A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved.” 

If your friends and family members don’t know you’re in pain, it’s going to be impossible for them to know how to help you. So even if it’s hard, you have to share your pain. You don’t have to tell everyone – but be intentional with what you share. Don’t just say “I’m fine” when you know that’s not true. Be specific. Be real.

Have one or two people that you know you can shoot a text to on painful days. For me, I typically reach out to my sisters-in-law, Amanda and Andrea. Just a simple, “pray for me, I’m in a lot of pain today,” text can help take some of the burden off of me. 

A note on getting help & communicating your chronic pain:

One question that I get a lot from friends or family members is: how can I help? This is a difficult one for me because I genuinely need help, but I don’t want to inconvenience people and I certainly don’t want to ask for something that’s more than they were willing to give. However, I think if someone is asking this question, they most likely really want to do something for you! My mom often reminds me that God can use my pain as an avenue for others to answer His calling to serve. I shouldn’t hinder that call by being too proud to ask for help. So, communicate specific ways that a friend can help. Perhaps they can bring a meal, watch your kids for an hour while you rest, pick up groceries or medicine for you, or just bring you a coffee.

Please don’t be hurt if people don’t “get it” when you’re in pain.

If you’ve never had a migraine before, it’s hard to grasp how debilitating one is. Oftentimes we feel like we’re falling apart on the inside, but to others we look just fine! This can make it much more difficult for them to connect with how we’re feeling. I’m always surprised after a group hangout if I mention that I was in pain and people reply, “I had no idea!” Don’t assume people know how you’re feeling and don’t be afraid to explain in detail what you’re experiencing. However, make sure to offer lots of grace when a friend or family member inevitably doesn’t quite understand. That’s OK!

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Chronic Pain Recipes

Anti-Inflammatory Butternut Squash Thai Curry

July 28, 2020

This is one of my favorite anti-inflammatory diet meals! This butternut squash Thai curry is so incredibly flavorful and versatile. It packs an immune-building punch with all of the inflammation-fighting foods in this recipe. This meal is one that I love to make for company or if I’m bringing a meal to someone – it’s unique and delicious.

Butternut squash is an incredible food – packed with vitamin A and vitamin C, which help with immune function and are powerful antioxidants. It also happens to be relatively low in calories, which is a double win!

If you’re battling with chronic pain or any kind of inflammatory issue, exercising regularly and eating an anti-inflammatory diet could help reduce the inflammation in your body. What we eat can either speed up or slow down the inflammatory processes throughout our bodies. That’s why I try to keep an anti-inflammatory diet regimen throughout the week – which can be tricky when you’re cooking for others, including a picky husband, a toddler and a baby!

My husband (a picky eater) and my kids (not-so-picky eaters) LOVE this meal. Even my one-year-old shovels this curry into his mouth. I typically add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to cool the curry a bit for them.

This recipe is versatile. It can easily be made vegetarian/vegan if you omit the chicken. The vegetables in here (butternut squash, sweet potato) can readily be swapped out with one another. For example, you could use 4 cups of sweet potato OR 4 cups of butternut squash if you only want one over the other. You could also substitute carrots or other squash in place of one of the vegetables.

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Chronic Pain Meditations

When You Need God’s Strength

July 27, 2020
when you need God's strength

We’ve all had those days: the ones that seem to drag on endlessly, where we wonder what else could go wrong. You’re exhausted, the house is a mess, your children are whining, your husband still isn’t home from work and dinner burned. Or maybe you’re dealing with a deeper trial where you really need God to carry you through. It’s on these days when we need God’s strength the most. 

God put these verses on my heart to share with you, and it seems like the more I searched for scriptures on God’s strength, the more there were! There are so many precious Bible verses about God’s strength at work within us. Download these printable memory verse cards that you can post around the house for those weary days.

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    Paul gives us a great example of someone who went through hardships and trials (2 Corinthians 11:24-29) yet was strengthened again and again. Here’s a powerful verse displaying God’s strength:

    At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    2 Timothy 4:16-18

    In this passage, Paul was going through one of the most challenging times: he was imprisoned, on trial, facing the end of his life, and he was alone. It seems that when he went to court to defend himself, none of his friends showed up. Despite all of this, he kept his faith. He believed that God would carry him through – and He did. None of his earthly friends may have stood beside Paul, but the Lord did. He was not truly alone, because he had Jesus beside him. The same is true for us. 

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    Chronic Pain Meditations

    When You Need Comfort…

    July 13, 2020
    when you need comfort

    Are you in need of some comfort today, mama? I don’t know about you, but I woke up this morning in need of encouragement. And God sent it to me, by way of a beautiful sunrise, a pack of wild pigs, and this Bible verse…

    Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

    2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

    In case you needed the reminder: God loves you 

    How has God shown you His love? For me, I see His love in my family and in nature. I get little “I love you’s” from God through Tyler every day. And I constantly am in awe of God’s love for me when I think about how much I love my kids. If I love my kids this much, and I’m a sinful human being, how much more does God love me?! (Matthew 7:11)

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    Chronic Pain Meditations

    Cast All Your Anxiety: When Your Emotions are Too Much

    June 8, 2020
    cast your anxieties

    For today’s meditation, we’re going to discuss what to do when our anxiety is threatening to overwhelm us. God calls us to cast all our anxiety onto Him – because He cares.

    There’s been a lot going on these days. It seems like the moment we turn around, 2020 is like, “But wait, there’s more!” 

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s felt overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, heartbroken, and all sorts of other unidentifiable emotions. 

    I have to be honest: it’s tempting for me to just stick my head in the sand and pretend it’s all not happening. To not watch the news or social media, to detach and shut down. 

    Of course, there’s a place for boundaries and taking care of your mental/emotional/spiritual wellbeing, but that’s not what I’m talking about. 

    I believe Jesus wants us to deal with the emotions – the deep, roiling, burdening emotions. He wants us to be honest about them with Him, and then He wants us to cast them onto Him. 

    Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

    Psalm 55:22

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    Chronic Pain Recipes

    Anti-Inflammatory Meals for the Whole Family

    May 20, 2020
    anti-inflammatory meals for the whole family

    If you’re battling with chronic pain or any kind of inflammatory issue, exercising regularly and eating an anti-inflammatory diet could help reduce the inflammation in your body. What we eat can either speed up or slow down the inflammatory processes throughout our bodies. That’s why I try to keep an anti-inflammatory diet regimen throughout the week – which can be tricky when you’re cooking for others, including a picky husband, a toddler and a one-year-old!

    Don’t forget to download the Anti-inflammatory “Eat This Not That” List – you can post it on your fridge or use it for meal planning to help you get started with your inflammation-fighting meals.

    I’ve spent a lot of time searching Pinterest for anti-inflammatory foods that I could consistently eat AND feed my family at the same time. It was tough to find! Most of the recipes I found were inaccessible, difficult to make on a regular basis or just wouldn’t appease my picky eaters. However, over the past several months I’ve accrued a collection of some of my favorite anti-inflammatory recipes and wanted to share them with you!

    The point of an anti-inflammatory regimen is to cut out inflammation-causing foods and incorporate as many inflammation-fighting foods as possible. These foods are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols – which are protective compounds found in plants.

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    Chronic Pain COVID-19 Meditations

    When God Has Other Plans

    May 4, 2020
    When God has other plans
    For the busy mom: listen to an audio recording of this post!

    I’m a planner. Literally. My undergraduate degree was in Recreation, Parks & Tourism with a concentration in Event Planning. I enjoy planning things. In fact, one of my “hobbies” is planning vacations that I’ll (probably) never go on. 

    The older I get, the more I bump up against this problem with planning: oftentimes, my plans don’t coincide with God’s plan. And it’s frustrating, and, at times, painful. 

    Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

    Proverbs 19:21

    When God Had Different Plans for Me

    At the beginning of 2013, I started to have debilitating pain in my joints. At the time, I was a riding instructor at a local horse farm. I would get home from teaching lessons at the end of the day and literally crawl up the stairs to our apartment because I was in so much pain. I started to see an orthopedic doctor and then a sports medicine doctor, and when neither helped, I went to a rheumatologist, a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, a physical therapist… the list goes on. I got a knee brace, shoe insoles, a plethora of medications and side effects, and a myriad of injections in my joints. Instead of getting better, the pain only got worse.

    With every new doctor, I would hope that this would be THE ONE. This would be the doctor who would know what was wrong with me. This would be the therapy to finally “fix” me. This medication would make it all go away. But it didn’t. I found the truth in this verse: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12).

    Three years into my journey with pain, I was consistently walking with a cane and taking several medications daily just to function. The pain kept me up at night—I spent a lot of nights crying on the bathroom floor, praying to God, feeling so alone and defeated. I was unable to work, barely able to go to church. There were days when I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom without help from my husband. This obviously wasn’t part of my plans.

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