This week, I’m pretty well recovered from the emotional issues I was dealing with last week, thankfully.
Something I have not mentioned about myself is that, due to some arthritic problems, I had knee replacement surgery this year for both knees. My knees had become very painful, limiting my ability to tolerate being on my feet for very long. I am mentioning this because I want to talk about the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids in relation to the pain of inflammation.
Not long before my knees started hurting, I had learned about how Omega-3 fatty acids seem to be important in modulating the inflammatory process. Increasing Omega-3s and decreasing omega-6s has been shown to be effective in reducing the pain of arthritis. I tried taking fish oil capsules, but I didn’t see any consistent effect.
After the initial recovery from my surgery, my knee pain was quite a bit less than before, but I seemed to have some lingering stiffness in my knees and a recurring pain in my left calf muscle. This was really bothering me, and I was not sure who could advise me as to how to make the problems go away. My surgeon’s PA and the physical therapist just simply advised exercising more regularly.
Then, pretty recently, something changed. I realized that my knee stiffness and muscle pain had diminished some. At first I was thinking it might have something to do with the weather or environmental temperature. Later, I remembered that I had been eating that omega-3 nut mix on a regular basis, and I started wondering if that might be helping to improve my knee issues. Just like before surgery, there are many factors that can affect knee pain and stiffness, some of which are not easily controlled. Another thing that might help is getting plenty of anti-oxidants in the diet. There is a book called Strong Women and Men Beat Arthritis that is based upon a research study done at Tufts University. This study used both diet modification and home exercises as a part of the treatment for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
So, I will continue to enjoy that nut mix, partly in hopes that it does play a role in reducing my knee issues. There is also a mayonnaise on the market that contains some omega-3 fatty acids, called Smart Balance Omega Plus. Something else I have been doing with my diet lately is trying to balance out carbs with protein at meals. At breakfast especially, there is a tendency to eat a lot of carbs and little protein. In my attempt to add protein at breakfast (without actually using the stove or spending a lot of money on supplemental drinks and such) one thing I have tried is boiled eggs. I don’t care for plain boiled eggs, though. I prefer deviled eggs or egg salad. So, I chop up two boiled eggs, add a touch of that Smart Balance mayo, and maybe add a little hot dog relish, too.
Another convenient source of protein is cottage cheese. I have never liked the texture of cottage cheese, so I am trying to acquire a taste for it just to have more menu options. My mother used to make a gelatin salad with lime gelatin, evaporated milk, crushed pineapple, and cottage cheese. I would ask her to leave out the cottage cheese! I think my favorite “cover up” of cottage cheese so far is to put some on top of waffles, then put fruit on top of that. Honestly, I don’t believe in forcing oneself to eat something that is not appealing, just for the sake of nutrition. There are a lot of choices that can be made in order to reach the goal of healthy nourishment.
As a matter of fact, an abundance of healthy choices is one of the things we can be thankful for, in this week of Thanksgiving.
I hope everyone has a great holiday that includes mindful enjoyment of wonderful food!
My interest in nutrition developed from the weight issues I had in my youth. My sister and I always tended to be heavier than other kids, and we were teased about it, so naturally I wanted to "fix" myself by dieting. That worked pretty well in my teenage years, but adulthood was much more challenging. I started out as a dietitian who advocated dieting, but due to my own experience with my weight and dieting, as well as my extensive study of the subject of weight management, I have become an advocate of Health at Every Size. The first fellow professional who influenced my "conversion" was Ellyn Satter, who is also a dietitian. I got my Bachelor's Degree in Dietetics in 1975, (LSU) followed by a Master's in 1981(Univ of TN), and a PhD in 1997 (Univ of TN). I have worked in longterm care, public health, and one hospital. For the last 8 years, I have been teaching at the college level. I am the proud mother of a 24 year old son, and have been single since my divorce in 1993. That is when I moved to Atlanta from Cookeville, Tennessee. I moved around a lot in my childhood due to my father's job, but my parents grew up in Texas, and that is where my roots are. I lived in Brazil for 3 years as a teenager, and one of my sisters still lives there.