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Monday, January 22, 2007

Arthritis Rx

The book arrived Saturday; I picked it up from the mailbox yesterday. I am about halfway through, in part because it is written simply and in part because much of the earlier material is stuff I already know.

The book is Arthritis Rx: A Cutting-Edge Program for a Pain-Free Life . And it's all it's advertised to be.

The book is for those of us who want to take control of our arthritis directly. It focuses on exercise, diet, and supplements, but also offers advice beyond these basic elements. As I expected, the diet part focuses on anti-inflammatory foods and those rich in Omega-3 and Omega-9 fats:

Good fats:
Fatty cold-water fish
flaxseed and olive oils
avocados, walnuts, macadamia nuts
broccoli, kale, collards, spinach, chard, cabbage, caulifower, kohlrabi

Bad fats: (Omega-6)
red meat
corn, sfflower, sunflower, soy, and peanut oils
fast food
commercial baked goods
deep-fried foods

Good anti-inflammatory foods:
cold-water fish
fruits (apples, oranges, berries, avocados)
whole grains
dark-green leafy veggies
olive oil, flaxseed oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil
soy products
walnuts, butternuts, soy nuts, flaxseed
green tea, oolong tea, water, mineral water
spices (ginger, turmeric)

Pro-inflammatory foods (bad):
red meat, hot dogs, hamburgers, fast food, frozen dinners
chips, packaged snack foods
refined grain products
most commercial, non-organic salad dressings and energy bars
vegetable oils (corn, sunflower, safflower, peanut, coconut, palm)
dairy products (except low-fat)
dry-roasted peanuts, beer nuts
carbonated drinks, juice drinks, soda
refined sugars, sweets

The diet can be explained simply: eat a wide variety of plant foods, incorporating at least five servings of varied fruits and veggies each day. Best choices are those that are rich in color - dark berries, deep green veggies. Beans, of course, make an excellent substitute for meats, and black beans in particular have the most to offer.

I eat a diet very similar to this already, but I have been lax and have slipped way too many refined carbs and not-great fats in, which has resulted in weight gain and not feeling as well as I can. I can make a few changes and feel better about myself and get healthier. Dr. Vad, the author, points out that the diet is really good for everyone, not just those who suffer from arthritis.

The exercises are divided into three groups. The A series are the first to tackle. Do them three times a week, fifteen minutes at a time. When I reach a pain-free state (I can't even imagine this!) then I can move to the B series if I want, and then to C. Many people stick with A and are just fine with that. The B and C series are for those who want to be more active. I hope to make it to B. The following posts will explain the exercise series in greater detail, yet still just summarize them. It's best to buy the book. It isn't that expensive, it answers your questions, and it's easy to read.

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