The truth about living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Honey mustard salad dressing

It’s summer, and so its salad weather.  Honestly, I know how healthy salad is, and I like it, I really do. But I get bored.  So I make a whole bunch of different dressings to combat the boredom factor.  This Honey Mustard salad dressing is yummy and sweet and tangy and quite delish, and only has 4 ingredients, so it’s really simple to make.  And they’re all ingredients that I always have in the cupboard or the fridge.  Even more special is that ne of the ingredients is Apple Cider Vinegar, which as we all know cures everything. (kidding).  So have tonnes. Can’t hurt.

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Mushroom and sundried tomato risotto – thermomix knockoff recipe

So the reality is, I have Eosinophilic Esophagitis.  It’s an unpleasant disease which has a significant impact on my life, as the symptoms are caused by allergies, mostly food allergies but sometimes also environmental allergens.  I have to go back to a strict elimination diet, based on the Top 8 elimination designed by my dietitian, to figure out what my food triggers are.  So for me that means eliminating all grains except rice, all dairy, corn, soy, seafood, nuts.  I can’t remember if there’s more.  I can’t eat fast or processed foods, because almost all processed foods contain wheat, corn, or soy, even if they are in very small quantities.  So a simple risotto is one of my go to meals now, and my current fave is Mushroom and Sundried Tomato Risotto.

But I need to develop a repertoire of easy recipes that are tasty, allergen free and EASY to cook.  I used to love cooking, but my kids are fussy eaters. My son has Asperger’s Syndrome and eats a very limited diet.  My rheumatoid arthritis means I can’t spend much time chopping and prepping, because my hands swell up and give out very quickly.  When you spend hours cooking healthy, delicious food that no one eats, you get very sick of it, very quickly.  And lately, I mean within ten minutes.  I have to buy pre-cut vegetables, pre-washed salad leaves, packaged and preserved ‘semi-fresh’ herbs, because my hands do not have the strength, dexterity or stamina to chop my own herbs, make my own spice pastes or all the other things I used to love doing in the kitchen.  But its time to be grateful that these products DO exist, rediscover my kitchen skills, and find some love for it again.  And maybe give other people ideas for simple, allergy-friendly food.

For me, this diet is entirely about food allergies, but many people find that changing their diet to one based on fresh, whole foods, rather than processed foods, benefits their inflammatory arthritis.  It hasn’t helped me in that regard, I think  most likely because I have always followed a diet based on fresh fruit and veg, lean meat, few processed foods. So its not a big change. But I always say its worth trying, and following a healthier diet will improve your general health, and is worth the extra overhead if it reduces your pain and other symptoms.

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