Arthritis and Weight

I’m in pain. Every day. Between joints that don’t stay in place and the ostearthritis affecting several of my joints, running, high impact exericse, and even going down the stairs have all become unpleasant activities in the last few years. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about the arthritis. But there is something I can do to hopefully lessen the symptoms.

I’m going to go straight out and say it: I’m overweight. Not obese, but definitely overweight. I weigh more now than I ever did, if you don’t count my pregnancies and post-partum periods. While my weight gain didn’t cause my arthritis, the 182 lbs I’m carrying are certainly not helping. So I need to do something about it.

In the past, when I wanted to drop some pounds (like after having my first daughter), my solution was to do high intensity exercise (and lots of it). Unfortunately, that’s no longer an option, so the changes have to come mostly from diet. And that’s hard, because I love to eat. That’s why “diets” will never work for me, and I refuse to give in to the fads of eliminating whole food groups by relying on pseudo-science.

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me to go gluten-free to stop my arthritis pain, I’d be filthy rich by now. I’ts so frustrating, because there’s no solid scientific evidence that justifies this advice. People just read some popular book based on really unsound science, and then they’re nutrition experts. So if you’re about to comment below about how I have to give up some food group to get rid of my pain, don’t. 

I’m still going to eat the things I like to eat—just less of them—in order to drop some pounds and relieve some of the pressure on my joints.

 

Arthritis and weight: What I'm doing to lessen joint pain, www.marianamcdougall.com. Background photo: x-ray of a knee by Dr. Manuel Gonzales Reyes on Pixabay

I found a great website to help in this endeavour: it’s called Eat This Much, and it’s a great resource if you need to control calories. If, like me, you need to drop some weight, you can enter your current weight, your goal weight and when you want to reach that by, and your activity level. The software will then tell you how many calories you need to take in every day to reach your goal, and it’ll generate meal plans and recipes according to your food preference and caloric needs.

I’m giving this website a shot and seeing if it helps me be more intentional about my food intake. I created a meal plan for myself this week, and I’m following along. I’m actually excited to try the new recipes and see if I can manage to stick to the meal plan. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Do you plan your meals? What tools do you use to stick to your meal planning?

Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera (Vegan)

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Adapted from The Simple Little Vegan Slow Cooker by Michelle A. Rivera

This delicious dish is full of vegetables and whole wheat deliciousness. If you add cauliflower to the mix, you get an extra boost of iron (the vitamin C in the cauliflower improves absorption of the non-heme iron in the whole wheat pasta).

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Meal Planning Helps You Save Money, Time, and Sanity – and It’s Healthy, Too!

Meal Planning is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy diet (and save your sanity). It also happens to save money and waste, too. What’s not to like?

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after following a link on this post, I may receive a small commission. Rest assured that I only recommend products and services that I use and love, or that I want to use in the near future.

In the interest of reaching the best health of my life, I’m done with eating cereal for dinner (OK, maybe I’ll still do that sometimes) and arriving at dinner time frazzled because I don’t know what I’m going to make today.

So, for the next few weeks, I’ll be creating meal plans, and I hope you join me in trying to do some meal planning of your own.

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