By Jess Thomson
Knowing that I’m a cookbook author with culinary school cred, people look forward to eating at our home during the holidays, but it brings a certain amount of pressure. My guests expect interesting, delicious home-cooked food. What they often don’t realize is that, as with many people who have arthritis, the combination of December weather and holiday stress usually means my lupus symptoms flare right when I need my body to cooperate. Holding a knife can be downright painful.
So when I’m trying to fit party prep into my schedule, I make a few rules. First, I plan a menu with tasks I can do ahead, so I’m not spending more than about an hour per day in the kitchen in the days before the party. I pick dishes I can complete before friends arrive. I also buy great basic ingredients, like good extra-virgin olive oil, so the flavor comes from the food instead of from a finicky cooking process. Most important, I try to avoid movements that are harsh on my body, like chopping.
Continue reading Fuss-Free Holiday Party Foods
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.
Continue reading A Joint-Friendly Holiday Feast
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
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 cloves 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.
Continue reading Arthritis-Friendly Kitchen Tools