Rhonda’s Cooking

www.rhondascooking.com

Archive for the ‘Arthritis’ Category

Discovering Arthritis

Posted by rhondascooking on May 25, 2012

Image source Medicinenet, Inc.

Throughout the month of the May, the Arthritis Foundation has been raising awareness about arthritis a through its movement called Arthritis Action Month. The organization is encouraging people to take action in a number of ways to help raise awareness. One way that the Arthritis Foundation is raising awareness is through its Tip Share application (app), which encourages people by share tips and advice. The app is now available on multiple devices.

The following are some key facts about arthritis:

What is Arthritis?
Simply put, arthritis is inflammation in the joint. Though many times the word arthritis is used as if it is one disease, there are over 100 types of arthritis that have been identified to date[1]. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gout. There are over 46 million Americans who have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis[2].

What are the signs and symptoms?
The most common signs or symptoms are joint pain, stiffness and inflammation. Depending on the arthritis type, a person could experience these symptoms in the following areas: wrists, fingers, knees, ankles, toes, hips, shoulders and elbows.

What is the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?
These two types of arthritis are the most common types.

    Osteoarthritis is a condition that occurs when the joint cartilage breaks down. The cartilage is the smooth, tissue that covers the ends of the bones where they meet, preventing them from rubbing each other. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis, and usually effects people over age 45.
    Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues. RA can affect anyone at any age.

What is gout?
Gout occurs when there is a buildup of uric acid, a waste product of the urine cycle, which deposits razor-sharp crystals in the joint spaces between bones[3].

What tests can be performed to diagnose arthritis?
There is not just one test to diagnose arthritis. Depending on your health care provider and the patient’s symptoms the tests will vary. For instance, conventional medical physicians tend to start with blood tests and X-rays. On the other hand, alternative holistic physicians tend to do a variety of tests understand the cause, some of which include, allergy tests, hormone tests, digestive function tests, tests for parasites, and heavy metal toxicity.[4]

What causes arthritis?
The causes will vary depending on the type of arthritis. For osteoarthritis, some of the causes occurs from wear and tear on the joints over one’s lifetime, obesity, hormone imbalance, or food allergies. On the other hand for rheumatoid arthritis, some of the causes that drive inflammation include, but not limited to food allergies, toxicity, nutritional deficiencies, intestinal permeability and microorganisms.

How can arthritis be treated?
Depending on the type of arthritis, the treatment plan will vary. Conventional treatments (ordered by traditional medical physician) tend to start with NSAIDs (Non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Aleeve) and then transitions to a treatment that include COX-2 inhibitors such as Vioxx, Celebrex or Enbrel. Many of these conventional drugs have been known to increase the risk of heart attacks and sudden cardiac death! Sometimes if NSAIDs aren’t effective, some patients turn to injections of cortisone (corticosteroids) or methotrexate.

Are there any alternative treatment therapies for arthritis?
There are a number of treatment options such as dietary changes (food, vitamin supplements), detoxification, exercise, and stress reduction. However, food is a major factor in triggering inflammation in the joints and by reducing one’s daily intake of foods that are pro-inflammatory, can minimize and stop the pain! To see a list of foods that trigger inflammation, click here.

Even if you do not have arthritis, do your part in raising awareness about arthritis and share this with your loved ones and your social network! Don’t forget to download the Tip Share app!


Sources:
[1][3][4]Kamhi, Ellen and Zampieron, Eugene. Arthritis. Celestial Arts: California, 2006.
[2]”Link Between Arthritis and Heart Disease.” Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/heart-disease-connection.php

Advertisements

Posted in Arthritis, Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Miracle Drink: Increases metabolism and reduces colds and joint inflammation naturally!

Posted by rhondascooking on July 4, 2011

I’m always looking for natural foods that can help heal my body so that it can stay healthy without all of the artificial ingredients.  After spending several years researching foods that could help reduce inflammation, I knew that there were certain herbs and spices that were powerhouses, and could help heal and sometimes cure anything because of its natural properties.  Some of these powerhouse foods included garlic, ginger root, lemon, and cayenne pepper.   One day after catching a cold, I decided to mix up a natural concoction merging these powerhouse ingredients.  Here’s my recipe that I call “Rhonda’s Miracle Drink”:

Rhonda’s Miracle Drink:

1 cup warm (medium hot) water

½ medium lemon, juiced

1/8 teaspoon – ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon Grade B maple syrup or local raw honey (optional)*

Why is the drink awesome?

Lemons:  Excellent antioxidant and source of Vitamin C that boosts the immune system and prevents free radicals from damaging healthy cells that could cause inflammation.

Cayenne pepper:  Excellent source of Vitamin A and C and other important ingredients.  This powerhouse has many natural functions such as aiding in digestion, reducing muscle pain and joint inflammation, clearing mucus, increasing metabolism of dietary fats, and much more!

Ginger root:  Great for reducing joint inflammation and aiding with stomach problems including irritable bowel syndrome, digestion, and gas.  Also, ginger has been known to help treat colds, flu and sinus issues.

Maple syrup:  Natural sweetener that provides lots of vitamins and minerals that varies according to the location and soil where the tree is grown.  Some vitamins include potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and Vitamin A, B1, B6, and C, etc.

When can you drink this?

You can drink this anytime, but especially if you want to do an internal body cleanse or if you’ve developed a cold or flu.  Drink once every three hours until the cold or flu has ended.  This is especially great for those with sore throats because as the liquid travels down the esophagus, you will start to feel the pepper tingling in the throat—it’s very soothing and with this drink there’s no need for cough drops!  You can also drink first thing in the morning or in between meals after eating a high fat or high sugar meal.  It could help to break down the meat and assist with stabilizing blood sugar levels.

How often should you drink this?

I recommend that people drink at least one glass daily.  Because of the wonderful healthy, natural properties, you would definitely benefit.

Do you have a special natural drink that you use to help with a specific health issue?
Lemons

Posted in Arthritis, Diet, Food, Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What’s cooking for Easter?

Posted by rhondascooking on April 23, 2011

Easter holiday is a special time for many people around the world, especially for Christians; it’s a time for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Easter holiday marks the end of Lent, which is a time of fasting and praying.  Easter is celebrated in many different ways throughout the world and even within the United States, but the one common thread is FOOD!  Most people celebrate this holiday with a big feast!   I can remember growing up in Angie, Louisiana, my mom would cook a huge meal which included cornbread dressing, collard greens or cabbage, turkey, cream cheese pound cake and pecan pie or sweet potato pie!  In my home town, this was the traditional celebration feast, but it varies throughout Louisiana, because in southwest Louisiana  it was about crawfish boils and boudin!  What type of dinner do you typically cook for Easter?

As time progressed, dinners like the one I grew up eating have become a little different, as a result of my rheumatoid arthritis.  Corn, which is the main ingredient of cornbread dressing,  is on the list of potential inflammatory foods, as well as other foods such as wheat, dairy, eggs, coffee, poultry, pork, potatoes, tomatoes, egg plants, bell peppers, etc, which makes it not a good choice for those dealing with some form of arthritis.  Needless to say, I no longer cook my mom’s infamous cornbread dressing, instead I’ve created my own version—a twist on the old—that I call “Cornless Cornbread Dressing”!  This recipe is perfect for me and those who struggle with joint problems or food allergies to corn or wheat.  My recipe is not only corn free, but it also does not contain, dairy, eggs, soy or wheat!  I know what you’re thinking, and you’re wrong!  This recipe is absolutely delicious!  In fact, it is so delicious that I decided to put it in my cookbook, So, What Can I Eat Now?!, which  is available for purchase now on my website or on Amazon.com.  To prove that this is really a tasty dish, one customer who purchased the book said that she cooked this recipe for Thanksgiving and her husband and other people who came for dinner loved it!  This recipe is not lacking flavor at all and the best part about it is that it is healthy!  My mouth is watering as I write this post!  I wasn’t planning on cooking Sunday, but after this post, I think I’m heading to the store to purchase the ingredients to cook some “Cornless Cornbread Dressing” (or stuffing)!

So, my Easter dinner menu will indeed be a remix on my momma’s traditional dinner for sure!  My menu will include the following:

  • Cornless Cornbread dressing (free of gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs)
  • Southern style petite green beans
  • Candied butternut squash
  • Decadent Apple cinnamon cake (free of gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs)

If you’re celebrating Easter, I would love to know how you and your family celebrate.  Are you planning to throw down in the kitchen and prepare a huge feast or will you just go to someone’s home and enjoy their delicious dinner?    I’d love to read about it!

Happy Easter or Resurrection Day!

Posted in Arthritis, Diet, Food, Health | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Resources to help understand Arthritis

Posted by rhondascooking on March 31, 2011

(photo source: Rhonda's Cooking)

How did I learn how to live a drug free life after being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis?  That’s the question that I always get whenever I meet people who struggle with this or have family members who do.  For the record, when I say drug free, I mean free from the prescription medications like Plaquenil, Prednisone, Vioxx, Celebrex, Arava, Methotrexate injections (weekly), and cortisone injections, etc.  I took ALL of of those drugs for several years thinking that they would help cure me.  Needless to say, I was wrong!!  Besides a miracle from God, there is no cure for arthritis today.  Did you know this?  I really had no clue, at that time, I was only 25 and I did whatever the doctor told me to do.  So for TEN long years, I just learned how to deal with this dreadful pain that felt so bad that I could not even hold a toothbrush or put on my clothes.  The inflammation in my wrist was so intense that it felt like someone was squeezing my wrists so hard until there was no blood flowing to the fingers!

Thank goodness in 2005, I met Dr. Colbert!  He talked about healthy eating being the natural cure to heal various diseases.  I purchased his books, followed his recommendations and over a period of time, I no longer consumed prescription medication for the arthritis!  Can you belive it???  I couldn’t, but I felt great!  So I continued to study and research, more and more to understand the healing properties of certain foods and I never looked back.!

Listed below are the books that freed me from the dreadful pain and inflammation of Rheumatoid Arthritis. As I read more, I’ll add to this list.

  • The Bible Cure for Arthritis, Dr. Don Colbert
  • The Inflammation Free Diet Plan, Monica Reinagel
  • Arthritis, Ellen Kamhi and Eugene R. Zampieron
  • The Glycemic Index Diet, Rick Gallop

Do you have any books or resources that you have read that has helped you overcome your pain with arthritis?

Follow Me on Twitter: @rhondapeters

Posted in Arthritis, Diet | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Life is not over without eggs!

Posted by rhondascooking on August 21, 2010

Many of you may be in a panic because of the recent egg recall. Well, have no fear, yours truly is here to assure you that life is not over without eggs. I have been egg-free for five years now, yep you got it 5 years! Just like many of you, I was in a panic because I love to bake! There are lots of alternatives or substitutions for eggs, but it depends on your needs and/or recipe.

Though I think that this recall is tragic for the farmers’ income, I think that this would be a great opportunity for many people, especially those with challenges with high cholesterol, to take a break. I know many of you are saying, “eggs are good for you, they have plenty of protein.” Yes, but they are also packed with cholesterol; in fact one egg has about 200mg. Why is that an issue? Well, for a normal 2000 calorie diet we should only be consuming about 300mg or less cholesterol per day! So if you like to eat traditional egg omelets, that’s about 400 to 600mg, not including the cheese that you stuff inside the omelet! The other reason why you can benefit from taking a break from eggs is because many eggs come from chickens that have been raised in a cage, jammed packed wall to wall with hundreds of chickens that may have been boosted with antibiotics or other growth enhancers in order for the chickens to produce in a short amount of time. [If you haven’t seen, Food, Inc. you must watch it immediately!]

I’m not trying to make you turn against eggs. I know that organic, cage-free eggs have lots of nutritional value with the biggest being protein, as well as the fact that they are an excellent binder when baking. The intent of this article is for you to consider other alternative foods that can also provide similar nutritional benefits.

The following is small list of high protein foods:
Quinoa (keen-wah)
• Avocados
• Lentils (and other legumes such as red beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, etc.)
• Pumpkin seeds
• Sunflower seeds
• Hemp seeds
• Nuts (almonds, Brazil, walnuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, etc.)

If you are a baker looking for egg alternatives, the following list are a few of many options that have proven to work well in baked goods:
• Ground flaxseeds
• Tapioca flour
• Arrowroot flour
• Guar gum
• Ener-G Egg Replacer (see my egg-free pancake recipe)
• Xanthan gum

If you have any questions, please let me know!  I can definitely help because not only am I’m egg-free, but also gluten-free and vegan!

Posted in Arthritis, Health, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »