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Life in Motion

Six Tips for Cooking with Arthritis

Health & Prevention, Joint Health

The holiday season is almost upon us, and for many of us that means a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, baking and preparing festive meals. For the millions of Americans who suffer from arthritis, these tasks can be difficult. NEBH rheumatologist Monica Piecyk, MD offers the following tips on ways to make your holiday cooking preparations easier.

  • Plan ahead and pace yourself. Shorter sessions of cooking are easier on the body than one long session. Do your prep work when you are feeling good, and don’t forget to take regular breaks.
  • Ask for help. If you are hosting, don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring a dish to share, or to come early to help you prepare.
  • To help minimize unnecessary bending, store items that you use the most in easily accessible locations. You’ll want to do this with your pots, pans, and cooking ingredients.
  • If you have a difficult time mixing and stirring, consider using a tool that can help make it easier for you. Handheld electric mixers often have attachments for multiple uses like whisking, blending and general mixing.
  • Look for special knives, graters, and vegetable peelers that come with comfortable handles designed for easy gripping.
  • Moving heavy pots and pans can sometimes seem like a daunting task. Try using pots and pans that have two handles, allowing the weight to be easily distributed. Also, when moving heavy pots or pans, place them on a cart with wheels so you can easily push the heavy load rather than carry it.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the stresses the holiday season brings. But if you plan ahead and take care to not overdo it, you can have a happy and healthy celebration.

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