Since my RA (rheumatoid arthritis) diagnosis, I have become a huge fan of soups, stews and salads! Why? Because you can pack lots of different fruits and vegetables together and have a healthy feast so easily! I love that my body feels so much better when I include a wide variety of rainbow colored fruits and veggies in my diet.
When I was first introduced to anti-inflammatory eating, I went crazy stuffing myself with wonderfully healthy items, that is fruits and vegetables. My thought was, if one is good for you, two or three will be better. I was constantly feeling like I imagine a big balloon would feel, just way too full! That was ridiculous! I eventually listened to the voice of reason and focused on portion size! I go for lots of color and flavor, but in a normal portion size. That is where soups, stews and salads win the day! I have found it is easier to get a variety of fruits and vegetables in my diet if I include them often in my menu planning.
I am convinced my diet changes have improved my ability to manage my RA. I have bought into the notion that brightly colored fruits and vegetables contain important nutrients that help my body function better. By making my own soups, stews and salads, I eliminate processed foods containing those multi-syllable preservatives, added salt and sugars. It has made a big difference in how I feel, my energy level, and better controlling my joint pain and swelling.
It has been fun trying new recipes. I especially like to collect the ones that are easy and healthy. That is the RA mantra! Easy and healthy! We want to conserve energy and give our bodies the nutrients to function the best it can!
Here is my super easy recipe for Mexican Style Chicken Stew:
3 chicken breasts ( I use 3 large halves)
28 ounce can diced tomatoes (include the liquid)
1 green pepper (diced)
1 yellow pepper (diced)
1 red pepper (diced)
1 medium onion (diced)
3 stalks celery (diced)
15 ounce can black beans (rinsed)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
3 cups chicken broth (homemade preferred)
Place ingredients, in order ,in crock pot. Cook on high for 5 hours. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Then squeeze 1/2 lime over the stew! Done!
You may garnish with shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream, cilantro and crushed tortilla chips.