Expert Advice: Summer Cooking and Entertaining when Living with a Chronic Disease
Summer cooking and entertaining is something that most people look forward to. However, life with a chronic disease like relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) can present unique challenges, especially when it comes to doing some of the things that you love.
MS is a chronic, often debilitating disease of the central nervous system that impacts 2.3 million people worldwide, often striking in the prime of life. Approximately 85 percent of people are initially diagnosed with relapsing MS, the most common form of the disease. Activities that are seamless for others – such as successfully orchestrating a summer cooking and entertaining function – can prove difficult.
Just ask Chef Ben Ford, whose mother has been living with MS since he was a teen. Ben’s mom inspired his passion for cooking at a young age, and after she was diagnosed with MS, he witnessed firsthand how certain symptoms impacted her ability to cook and entertain.
Ben is well known today for his love of outdoor grilling, smoking and roasting. Now that summer cooking and entertaining season is here, he is sharing his expert advice related to backyard dining that addresses some of the challenges people with MS may face, like heat intolerance or dexterity issues.
During an interview with Ben and an accompanying nurse practitioner, he offered some practical tips for summer cooking and entertaining when living with a chronic disease, including how to pick the perfect menu to minimize time spent over a hot grill, and how to enlist the help of guests in meal preparation.
Additionally, he expanded on his personal connection to MS, and his involvement with Reimagine MySelf™ – a program that encourages people living with relapsing MS to reimagine life with the condition through small but impactful changes.
Take a look above.
You can find more inspiration from Ben on his culinary expertise and experiences, and stories of his mother’s journey with MS, on ReimagineMySelf.com
Meet Our Guest
Chef Ben Ford is best known for his hands-on approach to cooking and large-scale home entertaining, and his 2014 cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking. He officially earned his cooking stripes at some of the country’s most established restaurants and alongside several of America’s most treasured culinary icons.
About Reimagine MySelf TM
Reimagine MySelf is a program dedicated to encouraging people living with relapsing MS to reimagine life with the chronic disease, and make small but impactful changes in their lives. The initiative includes an online resource – ReimagineMySelf.com – which features personal stories, ideas and tips from MS experts and people personally touched by relapsing MS.