Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pro inflammatory foods

I'm still doing research on which type of eating is best for managing pain and inflammation. It seems that fried foods, starchy foods, and sugary foods all promote inflammation in the body. I found this list online and it's a good place to start if you are trying to decrease inflammatory foods in your diet. I am going to try to eliminate or reduce my consumption of these foods:

  • Bagels

  • Breads, rolls, baked goods

  • Candy

  • Cake

  • Cookies

  • Cereals (except old fashioned oatmeal)

  • Cornstarch

  • Corn bread, corn muffins

  • Corn syrup

  • Crackers

  • Croissants

  • Doughnuts

  • Egg rolls

  • Fast food

  • French Fries

  • Fruit juice—choose the fruit instead

  • Fried foods

  • Flour

  • Granola

  • Hard cheese (except for feta and grating cheeses, such as Romano and Parmesan)

  • Honey

  • Hot dogs

  • Ice cream, frozen yogurt, Italian ices

  • Jams, jellies and preserves

  • Margarine

  • Molasses

  • Muffins

  • Noodles

  • Pancakes

  • Pastry

  • Pie

  • Pita bread

  • Pizza

  • Pasta

  • Popcorn

  • Potatoes

  • Pudding

  • Relish

  • Rice

  • Sherbet

  • Shortening

  • Snack foods, including: potato chips, pretzels, corn chips, rice and corn cakes, etc.

  • Soda

  • Sugar

  • Tacos

  • Tortillas

  • Waffles

  • Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Dr-Perricones-List-of-Pro-Inflammatory-Foods#ixzz1p1pfml8O

    Comfort foods made healthier

    Part of my way of getting back into the swing of things has been to cook more at home. I modified recipes I found on the internet to make these dishes. Enjoy!

    Turkey Enchiladas:
    8 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
    2 onions, cut into chunks
    cloves from 2 bulbs or garlic
    1 TB + 1 tsp chili powder
    1 TB + 1 tsp cumin
    pinch of salt
    dash of black pepper
    half a bunch of cilantro, diced
    1 TB olive oil
    1/2 cup water

    1 pound ground turkey breast
    1 can unsalted diced tomatoes
    1 bell pepper, diced
    1 portobello mushroom, diced
    1 large can diced green chiles
    2 tsp cumin
    1 TB + 1 tsp chili powder
    2 tsp garlic powder
    pan spray
    healthy tortillas: I used La Tortilla Factory low carb tortillas
    Reduced fat shredded cheese
    2 TB diced cilantro
    Fat free sour cream

    1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a cookie sheet with pan spray. Place tomatoes, onions, and garlic on the sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the onion are golden brown. Transfer to a blender, add the spices, cilantro, olive oil, and water to the blender, and puree til smooth. Set aside.

    2) Coat a skillet with pan spray. Cook the ground turkey, diced tomatoes, pepper, mushroom, chiles, and spices together until the juice from tomatoes and chiles has evaporated and the meat is fully cooked. 

    3) Spray a large baking dish with pan spray. Fill each tortilla with a few spoonfuls of the turkey/veggie mix and top with 1/8 cup of cheese. Place the enchiladas seam side down in the pan, top with sauce, and add another 1/4 cup of cheese and 2 TB diced cilantro on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until sauce bubbles.

    Top with fat free sour cream and enjoy! Each enchilada has about 175 calories and is very filling. My love said if these were the only enchiladas he ate for the rest of his life, he'd be ok with that! :)

    Vegan No Bake Cookies:
    1 ripe banana, mashed
    3/4 cup agave nectar
    1 bar Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate (or 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder)
    1/2 cup soy, rice, or almond milk (vanilla or unsweetened)
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    pinch of salt
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    3 cups rolled oats

    1) Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute.
    2) Remove from heat, and add the vanilla and oats. Stir well to combine.
    3) Drop by the spoonful on wax paper or foil, and cool to room temperature. (Or enjoy warm for a gooey treat.)

    These weren't as sweet as original no bakes, had a different texture (they didn't harden up as much), and you could definitely taste the banana, but I liked them a lot. I felt good enjoying a treat that was made with such wholesome ingredients. My love didn't think they were sweet enough so you could increase the agave up to one cup if you wanted a sweeter cookie (he said they tasted too much like dark chocolate). Making 20 cookies from the recipe, each cookie has about 160 calories.

    Back in the saddle again

    me at age 2

    Well friends, it's been a crazy eight months. Between a promotion at work, a new romance, moving, and settling into new routines, the blog took the back burner. Unfortunately, my health did too.

    Have you ever seen the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Barney and Robin are dating and realize they've totally let themselves go? Robin doesn't shower anymore; Barney gains a bunch of weight. They've got a serious case of "relationship gut". Well my friends, it appears relationship gut does exist and happens to the best of us. Between the cocktails and dinners out when we started dating, to the beer and takeout at home when we got more settled, my new love and I both got the gut.

    I was also at a bit of an impasse with my disease. Being a dietitian I've always wanted to try and manage my disease with my diet, but there is so much conflicting information out there. Do I do low starch, but miss out on the phytonutrients and antioxidants from eliminating some fruits and veggies? And what does eating all of that animal protein do to my cholesterol? (ps - my cholesterol went up when following low starch) Or, do I embrace a gluten free, vegan lifestyle? Do I quit cooking food all together and go raw? Or is it best to follow the tried and true dietitian mantra of "all foods in moderation"? My head was swirling with options, and even my fellow dietitian friends couldn't agree on which would be the best path for me.

    Also during this time my insurance plan had changed and my deductible skyrocketed. This meant that I could no longer afford my Humira injections. Unfortunately, I didn't qualify for the Humira assistance program, but I definitely couldn't afford the $1500 a month injections. It became very painful to exercise, so I stopped. Some days it hurt so bad getting out of bed that I cried. The last thing I wanted to do in that state of being was hit the gym.

    I've gained back every pound I lost, plus a few extra. I had been feeling a combination of depressed, disappointed, and embarrassed. Honestly, I was avoiding blogging because I felt like a complete and utter failure. Then through a series of conversations with my friends and my love, I realized I'm only human, and certainly not the first person to gain back lost weight.

    So here it is, early March, on the cusp of Spring. Seems like a good time for new beginnings.

    The first thing everyone agrees on for managing arthritic pain is maintaining a healthy weight, so that is what I am focusing on most. I'm back at bootcamp, cooking more meals at home, and tracking my caloric intake with the help of the My Fitness pal app for my iPhone (which I love and highly recommend). I'm trying to drink more water and less alcohol, eat a bigger breakfast and a smaller dinner, and take into account how much exercise I've done when deciding if I want a treat. With the help of these changes, I've managed to lose ten pounds in the last three weeks.

    I know it will take me a while to get back into a routine, and I'm still not sure which diet is best for arthritis, but I had to start somewhere. Thanks again for joining me on my journey. Yee haw.