Whether you’ve planned to keep the Thanksgiving meal to the immediate family or have invited extended family, it’s important to not tax your joint health this holiday season. While you may take pleasure in preparing a delicious, traditional turkey dinner, there’s more work involved than the typical home-cooked meal.
Long to-do lists, higher foot traffic at home due to vacation days, and other factors can raise stress levels and in turn inflame chronic joint conditions. This year, enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday however you choose to celebrate, and keep these tips in mind when planning your family dinner.
Be Aware of Packaging. People are shopping early to ensure they have everything needed for the big meal. As you stock up on the holiday staples, be mindful of the packaging. Are the containers easy to open? Is it easier to buy cans with a pull tab as opposed to using a can opener? If your joint problem is in your hands, can you buy pre-cut vegetables to avoid extra work chopping and dicing? Plan ahead for the foods to buy and look for ways to reduce extra stress on your joints.
Cook in Comfort. Thanksgiving dinner typically takes all morning to prepare, and that means prolonged standing in the kitchen. Patients with troublesome knees and hips might ache over time, so it’s important to be at ease so you’re not distracted by pain. Utilize foot mats for comfort at your workstation, and keep a chair handy for when you have to sit down for a breather. If possible, recruit help from the people you’re feeding.
Add Joint Friendly Dishes to the Menu. Turkey and dressing arguably are staples of the Thanksgiving menu, but if you to add some variety include dishes that can help reduce joint stiffness. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in Vitamins C and E, and foods with Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon are also good.