More Cooking with ADHD: Do I Need To Write A Cookbook?

Recently I’ve been trawling for ADHD-friendly cookbooks.

The only problem is that, in essence, when you combine the terms “ADHD” and “Cookbook,” what you generally get is some variant of “Feingold Diet.”

Not that there’s anything fundamentally wrong with the Feingold plan: it’s nutritionally sound and seems to work pretty well for some kids — but that’s where the problem comes in. Essentially every Feingold resource is designed for parents without ADHD who have kids with ADHD. The same goes for just about every cookbook that aligns itself with ADHD.

The problem is, ADHD isn’t just a problem for kids (the same can be said for related conditions, like autism). Kids with ADHD often grow into adults with ADHD — and then we’re kind of stuck, cookbook-wise.

Adhering to the Feingold diet and any number of similar plans requires, more or less, making everything from scratch, at home — and it’s more complicated than many of us adults with ADHD can easily manage on our own.

I keep envisioning a cookbook — maybe even a life-management book — based on the SQUIRREL! principle. If I can get distracted by the proverbial SQUIRREL! mid-page and still re-find my place within a second or two, a given resource will probably work for me. If I can’t, it won’t. End of story.

Here’s the thing, though: I’m not really a food writer (Though I could be! I like food, I like writing, and I’m passably decent at both, so why not?), and I don’t really think of myself as someone who’s terribly representative of ADHD. I am a complex tangle of neurological anomalies and their attendant diagnoses. I am still not really clear as to whether I’m more “Asperger’s with Hyperactivity” or “ADHD with Asperger’s” (technically, I’ve been diagnosed with both — but I’m not sure that makes sense; I suspect it’s a question of mistaking facets of one thing for whole,separate things, like the blind men with the elephant). And, of course, there’s the whole Bipolar thing, too.

I suspect, though, that diagnostic complexities might not really matter, in this case. I suspect the challenges that I face in the kitchen might be pretty universal for those of us who are easily distracted, are prone to procrastination, and can’t sit still. I have a feeling, even, that some of my strategies might work for people with difficulties similar to mine.

So now I’m pondering the idea of creating a cookbook, mostly so I can have a cookbook that works for me, but also so other people can benefit from it. Assuming there’s not one out there that already meets the need.

I plan keep looking for an existing “Cooking with SQUIRREL!” cookbook — but if I don’t find one, maybe I’ll create one. What do you think, Internet? Is this something the world actually needs?

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Getting along pretty well with bipolar disorder. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2014/12/29, in adhd, life management and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. The idea of an ADHD cookbook is awesome! The way I see it, if I need it it meants somebody else out there needs it. So yes, definitely go through on the idea! So many people find cooking at home to be such a challenge – or a mystery – that easy-to-follow recipe cookbooks are sure to be a thing as more people find out about the benefits of cooking at home.
    I’d suggest starting off with a food blog – that’s what I did – and then going from there if you want to go for a book format. I’m sure others (adults, not just parents of children with ADHD) on the web are searching for ADHD recipes so they’ll be sure to come across your site.

    Also, in my experience the whole diagnosis thing has been a mess. Every single one of the string of professionals I was hauled in to see from the ages of 8 to 18 had a different diagnosis for me – complete with a whole new regimen of medication. Really prompted me to start doing research once I hit adulthood because it seemed that no one could answer the questions of what exactly was “different” (I hate using the word “wrong”) with me.

    • Thanks! “f I need it it meants somebody else out there needs it” seems like a really good philosophy.

      I definitely think starting with a food blog sounds like a good plan, too — thanks for the idea! That will give me an opportunity to work on the thing in small bites, play with recipes before finalizing them, and get some feedback on what works for people.

      You’re right about diagnosis being a mess — it’s a mess in regular medicine, and it’s extra messy in psychology and psychiatry, where we’re still mostly trying to group like problems by similar symptomatology, even when we’re not at all sure whether there’s a common root “cause” involved.

      I’m with you — I’ve found research to be my best ally, and even I’m not sure what to call myself after a bunch of research. I’m focusing on finding working solutions (like ballet!) and then hoping to parlay some of that into future neuroscientific research stuff.

      I also like the idea of using the word “different” in place of the world “wrong.” Like, with Bipolar, there are definitely things that are highly problematic, but “wrong” is a word that carries such a load of potential value-judgment.

      Thank you again. Great ideas, here!

  2. It seems to me the challenge would be writi… SQUIRREL!

  3. I thought about writing a cook book of my obscure snacks. I like the Peanut Butteritos

  4. I found this post in another round of desperate googling to see if anybody had written such a cookbook yet. Yes, for the love of squirrels, please write it before we all die of starvation or excessive junk food consumption.

    • I think this is going to be my Official Summer Project! It needs doing! Maybe the Adderall will help it actually get finished ^-^

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