New to living with a disability? A guide

In the 3 years since I “became” disabled – (this is not as definitive an event as one might think given that I’ve been pushing through fatigue, injury and autonomic dysfunction since forever), since I started being unable to stand and walk without pain – I have often thought “if only there were a walk-through of advice on adapting to this existence that bears little resemblance to my “previous life”.

The reason for this absense of information is almost certainly that every person’s experiences of becoming disabled/unwell is different and will depend on factors as far ranging as geographical location, source of income and existing familial situation all the way through to specific symptoms, the training of the healthcare practitioners encountered and their biases (conscious, or unconscious). All of these things and many more will impact on an individual’s journey.

Of course, there are commonalities too. Humans often follow similar patterns when grieving a loss, or when socially isolated or hurt…

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Corn Chowder


This simple, warming chowder is just what you need when the autumnal feels start creeping in. Birdseye chillies, cayenne and black pepper all give it a kick. It has a creamy, salty flavour from the stock, nutritional yeast and salt. The seasonal, root vegetables have plenty of time to absorb the flavours of the seasoning.

It’s also great on a budget and is freezable. It works great alongside cornbread or crusty tiger bread…

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Advieh Lettuce Bowls


This is a relatively simple, iranian-inspired vegan dish I have adapted for disability-friendly cooking. The rose petals add fragrant flavour and the Advieh works exceptionally well with aubergine because it absorbs so beautifully. 

The attention to detail, the slow steaming of rice to infuse with the sweet, delicate spices really come through and the sour flavours all make Iranian cuisine special. Ingredients I can’t get enough of, such as pistachios, pomegranate, oranges and mint are native to Iran and the country has a long agricultural history.

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Mango Pepper Sauce



This is my take on Bajan Pepper Sauce (one of my all time favourite hot sauces) which uses scotch bonnet chilli peppers. Used here to cook tofu on a bed of spinach, but you can use it in many different ways…

It’s a delicious condiment for almost any meal. It gives burgers, salads and sandwiches, rice, bean and tofu dishes a kick. I have been told it works well on meat and fish dishes too.
It can be stored in fridge for up to 5 weeks, which makes it an ideal food to have around when you require maximum flavour with minimal energy expenditure!

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