A Healing Table: Little Details....Big Impact

(Part seven in a series on finding simplicity when living with chronic pain/limits; the full series can be found here)

Truly, little things can be big. Paying attention to the weight of things for example, like dishes and pots for instance, is important. After all, you will be using these things each day, lifting them in cooking and carrying and washing.... the impact adds up. Stainless steel pots can be found that are relatively light. And for dishes, even glassware can be of a lighter sort (even vintage ones).

Its not only about cooking items, but also various other things around the house....choosing things that will be easy to lift and use whereever we can. Likewise for paying attention to smoothness etc, seeing that things will open and close easily and the like. Little details like this have a big impact, since we use our household things (utensils, furniture etc) over and over again each day.

An exception there is the mixing bowl i think ...a heavier mixing bowl (Hall's etc) is easier to use becuase it stays in place better (not to mention it just "feels" 'better). When things stay in place better there is less strain on the body becuase you don't need to grip it to keep it in place as you are using it. The trick when getting a heavier item like this though is getting them relatively small (the smallest size practical for you), so that their heaviness does not become a greater burden than it has to be. I do find something like a heavier mixing bowl is worth it. It is one item, one that is lifted occasionally....unlike the multiple items above which are lifted so often throughout the day and whose impact really adds up.

When using a lighter bowl etc though, something that helps to keep it steady is to crumble up a wet dishcloth underneath it, it keeps it from sliding so much. But its better, i find, to avoid light bowls altogether and mix things in either the heavier type bowl....or a small frying pan. I know that sounds silly, but it works well becuase the frying pan is flat and less likely to slide. What i usually do is mix up the dry ingredients in the little Hall's bowl, then put the wet ingredients in the frying pan to mix, then pour the wet into the dry and mix it all in the Hall's. There is a method that skips dishes altogether when mixing, by using a baggie, but that is in the next post.

Then there is "technique" type stuff. When mixing the dry ingredients, rather than using a sifter i find its easier on the body to just smooth and stir things with a wooden spoon in order to mix it well. When mixing the wet stuff, it helps to focus on mixing with the spoon moving more horizontally focused than vertically focused, seems to be easier on the muscles to mix liquid this way. It also helps, when mixing eggs, to gently smoosh down the yolks first, then then they need less mixing. And when the wet and dry are combined and you are mixing the batter etc now, then i find its easier in that case to go more vertical and kind of poke the batter up and down or slide it around for many of the strokes.... rather than always stirring by circling it which is harder on the shoulder. Doing it this way it will still need some circle strokes probably, but not nearly as many.

And with the area of aprons (and what kitchen is complete without an apron, smile), they can be easier (make that finally even possible) to tie if one brings the strings over to the side and ties the bow on the side reather than in the back.

Well... those are some of the "little things" that i have found make a big difference : )

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