Sunday, August 1, 2010

Good for the Joints, Good for the Soul

Hello my lovely readers,

Montauk Lighthouse
I just got back from a relaxing weekend with John and our friends, Dave (John's high school buddy) and his awesome girlfriend Becky (who has quickly become a close friend of mine). My parents have a little beach house in East Hampton, Long Island and we always spent part of our summers there and in Montauk - my favorite spot of all. When I think of Montauk, I'm flooded with memories of my childhood, days spent on the beach, warm sunshine, fresh seafood, miniature golf, the peaceful sound of the Atlantic ocean, and my whole family happy and together...including my grandpa, who passed away last year. It's undoubtedly "my happy place" and it meant everything to share it with John who seemed to enjoy it just as much. 
I'd love to know - what's your happy place?

I also wanted to share some tips I got from the always amazing Palmer. She sent along some information from Fitness Magazine on arthritis, staying ahead of the disease process, and a list of the most effective foods to combat inflammation. Prior to that, I got the same list from my brother (I'm lucky to have so many people in my corner)...
Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Fish, Canola Oil, Walnuts. 

"These foods are high in omega-3, another type of polyunsaturated fat, which, unlike omega-6, can help counteract inflammation. In fact, in a 2004 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, people placed on a Mediterranean diet that included foods high in omega-3 had less inflammation, lost more weight, metabolized insulin better, and had healthier blood vessels than people who ate just as healthfully but weren't on this diet. Most Americans don't get nearly enough omega-3 in their diets. Aim for more than two grams of omega-3 a day, from both plant and fish sources. A three-ounce serving of salmon has 1.2 grams and one ounce of walnuts contains 2.6 grams."

Olive Oil, Peanut Oil, Nuts, Avocados. 
"These foods are rich in monounsaturated fat. Monos on the whole appear to be anti-inflammatory and are already associated with improving the body's cholesterol balance. But olive oil may have some unique anti-inflammatory powers as well, according to research at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. Taste experts there noticed that extra-virgin olive oil produces a "bite" in the throat similar to that of ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. In tests, they discovered a compound in olive oil called oleocanthal that may fight inflammation in a way similar to that of NSAIDs."

Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains. 
"These foods provide a different inflammation defense: antioxidants, which may affect inflammation in the same way that closing the damper affects a fire. Antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E, as well as phytonutrients like carotenoids (found in orange and yellow vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes) and flavonoids (found in red and purple fruits such as apples, berries, and grapes). Look for produce with deeper or brighter colors, which tend to contain the most antioxidants. According to government recommendations, you should eat two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables every day, choosing from a variety of colors throughout the week."

(Note: According to my dear Kate, who I wrote about here , pineapple is the best fruit for fighting inflammation! Pineapple Power! She swears by it)

Herbs, Spices, Teas. 
"Cinnamon, curry, dill, oregano, ginger, and rosemary are all concentrated sources of antioxidants that can fight inflammation. Most teas are also chock-full of them, including the green, black, white, and oolong varieties."

With family and friends who are always trying to make my life better and easier, I can't go wrong. I was reminded of that last weekend when I was stuck in bed. Along with uplifting calls from the amazing Vicki Hayne (another one of the best friends out there) and visits from John and Becky, I also got a surprise care package from Palmer (contents: a stuffed frog, an arthritis-friendly bottle opener, peanut M &M's - a favorite, a Colby thermos and dish towel, and the best letter ever). Mix in the best readers a blogger could ask for and I could never feel alone.



  1. Yay! Had the very best time with you this weekend darling.

  2. My happy place is most definitely my grandmother's house. I'm my most at home there, and I love just staring out her windows to her garden. Delicious. Sounds like a great weekend! I'm headed out East next weekend and I cannot wait! oxo Olivia

  3. hi maya, glad you had a good trip. i'm wondering if any of your readers have taken the gluten-free approach?

  4. thanks for sharing your happy place. mine? anywhere as long as i'm with my family.

  5. Dr. Berg, I agree with you on that one :) Thanks for that nice reminder