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a person happy surrounded by a youtube video, rotisserie chicken, frozen veggies and a detergent pod

My 5 Necessary Conveniences

I can’t be the only one battling the unfortunate notion that there’s something lazy, inferior, or otherwise wrong about seeking the easiest ways to do things for myself.

Years of working on tips, tricks, and hacks for other people has helped change my mind, for the most part, but doubts still crop up from time to time. Sigh.

Here are some of my favorite conveniences!

Laundry pods

My chosen sister Danica's father-who was also my chosen Dad-won me over to a famous brand's laundry pods many years ago.

The guy had a point

His irrefutable case was as follows. They usually have enough of everything your laundry requires without going overboard. They're lightweight, easy to store, and nearly impossible to spill. Sold!

What to like: Actually, what's not to love? They’re almost perfect!

Honorable mention: Hand soap refill pods and bar soap pick up where their laundry siblings leave off.

Frozen veggies

Did I mention that chopping, peeling, and tidying up after aren’t my favorite things? And I also hate that thing where fruits and vegetables are ripe one minute and rotten the next.

Frozen veggies are one of the most efficient detours around issues with fatigue, stiffness, and reduced range of motion in the kitchen.


I go for broccoli, kale and collard greens, green beans, cubed squash, spinach, and cauliflower rice. Their flavor and texture are good. Freezing greens makes them more mild and softens the veins and stems, which might make them palatable for folks who find fresh ones overwhelming.

What to like: No rush to use them and they’re ready to go anytime.

Ready-to-eat proteins

Proteins can take considerable preparation and clean-up time, but canned fish and meats like rotisserie chicken and pork can help. Nuts and seeds are also great alternatives.

What to like: convenience, versatility, and flavor.

Tips: Break the rotisserie chicken or pork down into small portions for tacos, soup, and salads. Freeze at least half. I portion mine out in zipper sandwich bags, and pack them together in a freezer bag.

Sheet pan meals

We might be living in the golden age of sheet pan eating. There are ample recipes available for each meal of the day and all holidays. My favorite combinations include: nachos with a veggie base, slaw or asparagus with sausage, and squash cubes with any leftover protein.

What’s to like: convenience, less dishes, and easy incorporation of leftovers.

Tips: Put things on in descending order of cooking time. Most meats would go on first unless they’re cut up small.

YouTube instructional content

In the past decade YouTube has been a major source of my information on everything from writing, prepping, using a planner, crochet and knitting, cooking, and gardening. My family has very few elders left so having this library of videos to use has been a lifesaver.

What to like: Convenience and the variety of perspectives and experiences represented.

Reality check

Arthritis patients and our families have more than enough adversity. It’s okay to help ourselves where we can.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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