Get first-hand advice on preparing a delicious holiday meal without causing an arthritis flare from food writer Jess Thomson.
From cocktail parties to gift wrapping to the litany of family events, the spirit of the season is always exciting – but also, frankly, exhausting. With chilly weather and a too-busy schedule, November and December can mean flares for many of us. It’s hard to revel in the season’s twinkle when it hurts to hold a cocktail. And when you’re also the one expected to host friends and family for a dinner party, the thought of picking up a knife with those aching joints can be downright daunting.
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You’ve heard about the great foods you can add to your arthritis diet. But what if you’re on a budget? Here are some smart food swaps that are easy on your wallet.
Tea. Home-brewed tea is a good source of catechins, a type of antioxidant that benefits the heart by helping blood vessels relax. That’s especially helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis, who are at increased risk of heart disease. Bottled teas don’t have catechins, which degrade in a few days. Drink home-brewed instead.
Savings: About 50 cents per 8-ounce serving.
Continue reading Your Arthritis Diet on a Budget
While the frozen foods aisle can be a trap – so many highly processed items with large amounts of fat and sodium, from pizza to breaded chicken strips – healthy choices can be found. The good news is that many frozen fruits and vegetables – without sauces and syrups – have all the nutrition of their fresh counterparts; sometime more so because they are packaged as soon they are harvested. Plus, they’re convenient (no worries about spoiling) and available year-round.
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It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Research has shown that breakfast skippers tend to overeat at other meals and snack excessively throughout the day. That can make it hard to maintain a healthy weight as you manage your arthritis.
But what you eat for breakfast is important. Hot and cold cereals are good options. They are quick ways to get a serving of fiber-full whole grains that can help reduce inflammation. While oatmeal may be your go-to grain, there are several nutritious cereals made from corn, brown rice, quinoa, hemp, buckwheat and kamut. Keep in mind that whole grain choices are not calorie-free and portion control is important.
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The fall season calls for tailgates, backyard barbecues and picnics in the park. But these festive occasions can also set the stage for food poisoning, especially if you have an autoimmune disease. Here’s how to stay safe.
“Bacteria breed faster in warm temperatures,” says Ben Chapman, PhD, an assistant professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. “And there’s a greater risk for contamination when you prep and eat food outside.”
People with autoimmune forms of arthritis may be particularly susceptible. Their disease and some medications, including disease-modifying drugs and corticosteroids, can weaken the immune system, making it harder to fight off harmful bacteria.
Continue reading Arthritis Increases Your Risk of Food Poisoning
Chef and cookbook author Melinda Winner was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) more than 25 years ago. To help others with arthritis regain independence in the kitchen, she authored A Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking With Arthritis. These tips are an excerpt from her book.
Continue reading 10 Arthritis-friendly Cooking Tips
Are you hesitant to trade in your gas-guzzler for a fuel-efficient model because you might have to sacrifice comfort – or safety? Don’t be. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for an arthritis-friendly car.
James Riswick, automotive editor for Edmunds.com, a popular car review site, says there are many fuel-efficient cars with arthritis-friendly features. To be considered fuel-efficient, a car must get 29.7 mpg.
Lightweight doors, a small steering wheel that’s easy to turn, push-button ignition and controls (as opposed to knobs) and a big trunk that will easily hold a scooter, are a few of the arthritis-friendly features available in recent models, says Riswick. A low chassis is also key to ease getting in and out, especially for those with arthriti
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Cooking poses countless challenges for people with arthritis hands. We found a few arthritis-friendly kitchen tools and gadgets that are easy-to-use to solve common kitchen problems.
Problem: Safely and accurately slicing bagels and English muffins.
Solution: Use a bagel or English muffin slicer. The Larian Bagel Guillotine is a safe way to cut the perfect bagel or English muffin without having to grip a knife or fear nicking your fingers.
Problem: Finely chopping garlic.
Solution: There’s no need to wield a knife or squeeze garlic gloves in a press when you can use a handy kitchen gadget. With the Garlic Zoom, you simply roll it across the counter to chop garlic.
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Streamline cleaning tasks to maximize sparkle and minimize joint pain and strain. Here are some household cleaning tips and cleaning shortcuts.
1. House cleaning tips begin with pacing yourself. Instead of a dedicated chore day, clean just one room a day. “If you do everything in one day, you’ll end up overexerting yourself,” says Linda Cobb, author of Talking Dirty With the Queen of Clean (Pocket Books, 2004).
2. Focus on heavy-traffic areas. “You may need to vacuum only the pathway from the kitchen to the doorway to help spruce up the place,” says Donna Smallin, author of The One-Minute Cleaner (Storey Publishing, LLC, 2007).
Continue reading 11 Cleaning Tips That Will Spare Your Joints
How does your garden grow? With ease if you use smart gardening gear for planting, watering, weeding and pruning. These helpful garden tools can help you turn on your green thumb.
Reduce joint stress and increase leverage when gripping garden tools with the Peta Easi-Grip Long Reach Garden Tools ($139.95 for a set of four). Each tool’s handle is more than 31 inches long to help prevent excessive bending and reaching.
Give plants hands-on attention in comfort with the Garden Kneeler/Sitter ($50). The foam platform cushions knees and a sturdy metal frame with handles helps stabilize your movements while kneeling. When tending to raised beds, flip it over for a bench.
Continue reading Make Gardening Easier With These Helpful Garden Tools