I actually do like cooking a lot, but I don’t have the energy to do it often, so I’m always looking for shortcuts or strategies to make cooking easier on myself. Recently, one of my friends has been struggling with clinical depression, and so we’ve started exchanging strategies for making food, which led me to scouring the internet for other creative cooking ideas. I was surprised—and gratified—to find many of our same strategies already outlined on today’s web crush, Low Spoons Food.
Low Spoons Food is a site dedicated to helping those with mental health issues and physical disabilities to cook simple, nutritious meals. Its name comes from the famous Spoon Theory, which was put forth by lupus patient advocate Christine Miserandino as a way to articulate what life with sickness or disability is like. To put it briefly, imagine you start off the day with a set of spoons, and each time you do a task, you use one spoon. Neurotypical and able-bodied people have so many spoons that they don’t have to worry about how they use them, but neuroatypical people and people with disabilities often start with a very limited number of spoons and must carefully consider how they use them. For many neurotypicals, this metaphor has proven to be a useful way to understand disability, but for many neuroatypicals or people with disabilities, the phrase “low on spoons” has become common shorthand to describe a currently negative mental or physical state. Thus, Low Spoons Food pushes easy-to-make recipes, as well as tips for the actual cooking process and the preceding shopping process—things that are often overlooked by other food blogs.
The site is extremely well-organized and tailored to a presumably largely low spoons audience—recipes are even tagged by spoon level, 1 being the least intensive and 5 being the highest. Most importantly for neuroatypical individuals and people with disabilities, the site really emphasizes the idea that getting any food, even things deemed “unhealthy” by the media, is better than getting no food at all. There’s a difference between an able-bodied person bragging about being lazy and eating Doritos for dinner and a person with a disability doing the same thing, whether that’s because of physical disability (unable to prepare “healthy” food), mental illness (can’t get out of the house/can’t get out of bed) or even class (food deserts, lack of transport for shopping). The strategies and tips outlined on Low Spoons Food help to combat many of the negative ideas surrounding food perpetuated by the media, and I’m looking forward to reading through their archives and finding some new things that hadn’t occurred to me before.
Check out Low Spoons Food here! And if you have them, contribute your own tips and tricks for low spoons cookery.