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4 Cooking Tips for People with Lung Disease

cooking, cooking with lung disease, cooking with lung disease tipsThere’s nothing like preparing and cooking a meal to take your breath away – literally. For many people with lung disease, breathlessness in the kitchen is enough to keep them out of it – forever! For those who still enjoy cooking, making a few changes in the kitchen may help you keep your chef hat on. This doesn’t mean taking out a second mortgage to completely renovate your kitchen, but adapting certain behaviors and aspects of your cooking style to better suit your needs. Here are 4 cooking tips that may help:

1. Practice Energy Conservation

Using less energy in the kitchen means you may finally have a chance to enjoy the meal you’ve just prepared with friends and family.  Cook earlier in the day when you have the most energy; then just throw it in the microwave at dinner time. Organize your drawers, shelves and food pantry, so that the most frequently used items are between waist and shoulder level. Keep all kitchen appliances well within reach so you don’t have to extend your arms too high or bend down to pick them up.

2. Save for a Rainy Day

If you’re planning on cooking a meal, why not double – or triple – the recipe? Even better, fill a crock-pot with fresh chicken, potatoes and veggies and have enough stew for the entire week. Freeze extra portions in microwave-safe containers and toss them in the microwave when you’re ready to use them. Once you’ve done this for a month or so, you’ll have a variety of choices so you don’t have to eat the same thing five nights in a row.

3. Ventilate, Ventilate, Ventilate

Cooking often produces a mixture of smoky fumes and odors that can be irritating to the lungs. Opening a window or using a countertop fan may be all that’s needed to prevent an exacerbation of symptoms. Additionally, an air purifier designed specifically to remove odors is also an option. If all else fails, wear a mask over your mouth and nose.

4. Don’t Forget Your Inogen One

Supplemental oxygen improves exercise tolerance, mental alertness, mood, and stamina,1 providing you with the energy you need to carry out everyday functions, like preparing meals. With the Inogen One G3 in your corner, you don’t have to worry about a cumbersome oxygen tank taking up space in your kitchen, or tripping over endless miles of tubing. At only 4.8 pounds, the Inogen One G3 makes cooking easier than ever.  Remember though, in order to comply with oxygen safety standards, don’t use your Inogen One G3 when cooking with a gas or electric stove; use a microwave instead.


Author: Deborah Leader RN, BSN, PHN


1 American Lung Association. Supplemental Oxygen. Updated 2013.

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