I’ve changed 3 Welcome Home traditions to healthy options keeping with the management of my rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I may be the only one in the family with RA, but everything I do to help keep the inflammation under control is really good and beneficial for the whole family.
Once our son lets me know he is coming for a visit, the planning and preparation fun begins. I like to spread the preparation out over several days. It is sweet anticipation! I will freshen his bedroom, plan meals and grocery shop. The meal planning and grocery shopping is where I’ve changed traditions the most. I’m becoming better at planning meals to include plenty of leftovers to minimize the need for snacks. That helps to limit preservatives, added sugar and added salt. I prepare everything fresh so I know what is in every part of the meal. It has taken me time to figure out favorite recipes everyone likes and the amount to make to allow for the desired leftovers. My goal this visit was to eliminate any pizza deliveries! If I had great options in the refrigerator, there would be no need to order out.
It is tradition I have a pot of chili waiting at the time of arrival. I use the recipe from childhood, but now include organic mushrooms and green peppers for added variety of vegetables. I find myself trying for five different vegetables in my recipes, aiming to add flavor and nutrients without changing the dish so it has a trying-to-pack-more-nutrients-where-I-shouldn’t-pack-more-nutrients taste. As our son says, It must be edible! Chili is a great way to ensure leftovers for the next day.
My family doesn’t tend to snack if I have satisfying meals for them. Also, they do not want dessert if I have satisfying meals for them. I was a dessert fanatic before I was diagnosed with RA, so I thought my whole family loved dessert. I also enjoyed baked goods to munch on and candies to grab and snack on. What a revelation I was the only one with the sweet tooth! So the only treat I bake is the one batch of chocolate chip cookies. The smell just shouts “Welcome home, we are so happy to see you”! I figure the warm-fuzzy feeling is a boost to our immune systems!
Here are the 3 healthy traditions I’ve implemented:
- A bowl of pistachios instead of a bowl of chocolates on the counter.
- Plenty of ice cold water bottles in the refrigerator instead of sport drinks.
- Mineral water with a splash of fruit juice instead of Mountain Dew.
These are very small changes, but they make a big healthy difference. I would be refilling the chocolates often in the past. We would have cases of sports drinks and Mountain Dew in the extra refrigerator. By offering these 3 substitutes, no one even notices the missing sugar load. We go through a lot of bottled water, and that is a very good thing. I refill the pistachios for a few days and then when the bag of nuts is gone, I put the bowl away.
It is interesting to me how our diet has changed without missing the unhealthy parts. It does take planning and preparation, but it is more satisfying. I’d say that is using Arthritis Wisdom!
We would love to hear of healthy traditions you have implemented in the comments below!