Sunday, January 29, 2012

Roasted Carrots with Cumin - Anti.Inflammatory Recipe

Mark Bittman shares in his book "How to Cook Everything," a recipe for roasted carrots tossed in olive oil & cumin (Yum!  Here's the recipe).
After these carrots are roasted, you can enjoy them just as they are, or blend them with some chicken stock for an amazing carrot soup!

Cumin is a greatly beneficial anti-inflammatory spice.  I have talked about Tumeric & Curry, but Cumin as well has amazing anti-inflammatory benefits as well as support for the digestive system.  
Its all pretty scientific HOW cumin is beneficial & you can read it here or read more here, or you can roast these amazing carrots & just enjoy them for their awesome flavor!!! :)


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not two...

My daughter Ellie on the monkey bars with
Addison, Ainsley & their older brother Connor.
One of my besties became my bestie because her daughter was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis within a month of Charlotte.  Charlotte became besties with her daughter Addison & their bond would be forever.  Addison's family would become family because that's what happens with the community of arthritis parents.  I care for Addison like she's Charlotte's sister & I know what her mom is feeling through the ups & downs of bad lab work numbers, swelling in the knee, painful absences from school, like no one else would.

But what I can't relate to is todays news that my bestie, Laura & her husband Jim received today about their third child, Ainsley who is now diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.  I sigh on the phone when she rings with the news.  I can't imagine having two with the disease and having a different type of the disease to boot.  Especially when Addison isn't in remission & continues to battle her arthritis (getting on Enbrel soon to her mix of Methotrexate).

I know that Laura & Jim are different parents with Ainsley's diagnosis than they were with Addison's.  They can face this news with more courage & knowledge & aggressiveness than they did years prior being in a daze with Addison's diagnosis as a toddler when every piece of language is new & you have to look EVERYTHING up.  The scariness factor is gone, but I am sure its quickly replaced with anger & bitterness of "really!? why?!"

Laura & Jim... BLECH.  I love you & I love Ainsley so much & hate this for her.  But her journey will be different as this disease is with every child.  And I know you will tackle her diagnosis with strength, determination, mindfulness & she will not suffer because of it.  Lots of love & support from here to there.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

keeping active

2012 on Mt. Hood
The hubby is a snow skier & has made skiers out of the 10 & 9 year old too.  So when Charlotte BEGGED to go up to the mountain with them last year, I thought, "well she is either going to love it or hate it."  And if I were a betting woman, I would have laid down the Benjamin's on HATING IT.

Why?  Because she has arthritis!  And its cold!  And hard work!  And... well she has a little body that has arthritis!!

And I would have lost that money.

Because this girl LOVES downhill skiing!  Begs to go up, is giddy to head to the mountain & is excited for her lessons.  She's now going up on the chair lift & learning to control her swooshing down the mountain.

Amazing.  The fact that she loves downhill SNOW skiing, it just amazes me.  Each & every time I watch her.  Total trooper, total fanatic, and I totally forget that she has arthritis.  Until  the next day when she aches a little.  But then every skier in our house is hurting a little the next day :) :)  So we celebrate normal body aches in Charlotte after a long day of skiing!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Soaking in Salt Water

In the health & wellness section of my local grocery store, they had bulk of salts. The manager said he indulges in an entire tub (see picture) PER bath.  Its sooo soothing he said.  I had heard about salt bath benefits before from our local farmer Gary (best blueberries ever!) who said he turned his swimming pool into a saltwater pool for the family!  More on that another time (because that's what I would like to have here at our house!).


Back to the salts at the grocery store near the shampoo & lotion.  So he had me at baths & I bought a cottage cheese size tub of salts & added it to Charlotte's bath tonight & will look into buying a bigger size so we can all take salt baths.  Big sister Ellie who struggles with eczema in the winter got in with her & then they both rinsed off in the shower after.  They really enjoyed it!


The benefits!!  


Salt water baths can stimulate circulation, hydrates the skin, increases moisture retention, promotes cellular regeneration, detoxifies the skin, and helps heal dry, scaling, irritated skin. Salt water bathing reduces inflammation of the muscles and joints, relaxes muscles and relieves pain and soreness


Iodine regulates the acid-alkaline balance in the blood and tissues, helps to repair and regenerate worn out tissues and nourishes the skeletal structure. It enters into the thyroid gland's secretion. The hormone uses the iodine to cleanse the internal toxins & restore internal balance.


There's more & more & more benefits, read them here:
http://www.naturalingredient.org/Articles/salt.htm
http://www.jointhealthmagazine.com/arthritis-knee-pain-relief-epsom-salt-baths.html
http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/epsom-uses-benefits.asp

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Resolutions

2012 will be the 5th year of Charlotte battling arthritis.  Diagnosed in the fall just after her 2nd birthday, we have learned many things in these 5 years & have much more to learn because Arthritis doesn't follow a simple road or the same road for every child.  Arthritis likes to veer off once in awhile, thinking its in control throwing us all off course & causing us to huddle, confer & ask "What would you do? What should we do?  What CAN we do?"
But in this 5th year, here's how we are going to help Charlotte control her arthritis:
1.  Swim.  As often as she can.  At the pool & taking more baths.  Whenever she wants to be in the water, we will oblige because we know it makes her feel good. (does she seem grouchy?  start a bath!)
2.  Practice GF!  We can always do better on keeping the gluten out of her diet which means me being more diligent about menu planning & creating yummy gf treats & snacks.
3. Joint health thru supplements.  Taking her fish oil supplements 2x a day would be a beneficial habit.
4. Eat anti-inflammatory foods.  Again that comes back to the Momma with the menu planning, stop yelling at me already!

Resolutions in the New Year, always learning... May you &your family have a VERY healthy 2012!