The impact of food choices and RA

Saturday was a whirlwind of busy.  E had her DI competition and Mark was an appraiser (though not for the competition E was in).  So we were all out of the house for the entire day.  Some dear friends invited us to dinner and a movie, so we stopped at the grocery store to pick up some dessert.  We asked E what she wanted and she said “cake.”

Cake.

That sounds so innocuous doesn’t it?  Yummy and fun and something easy to pick up at the store.  But I am a vegan, T is gluten free (and some other frees), and one of the daughters of the home we were visiting is dairy free and soy free.  There were really no choices at the store that would work for us all.  If we had a Whole Foods, or a Trader Joe’s, or a Wegmans, maybe we could have found something.  But not necessarily.  So we ended up with 2 types of cookies (the gluten free & vegan but with no soy ones, and the regular) and 2 types of ice cream (regular and rice milk).

But I had promised E cake, which means I need to make it.

Now, I have always loved to bake.  Back before I was married, when I didn’t know how to cook, I could make a mean pan of brownies and good chocolate chip cookies.  For many years, especially when the kids were really little, I made all our bread and baked goods.  It wasn’t until we moved to Delmarva (3 years ago) that I started buying any pre-packaged cookies at all.

But the idea of making a cake did not excite me because the fact is, it hurts to bake.  Now, my RA is intense in my hands so it hurts to do a lot of things.  This typing isn’t feeling so great and it will probably take me several breaks to get this post completed.  (I started on Sunday and am finishing on Monday night, if that is any indication.)  I have stopped making mosaics because it hurts my hands,  and cooking is not always easy.

I am striving for balance, but that’s not an easy thing.  If I want to eat healthfully and so that we can all eat it, I need to make it myself.  But making it myself is not always easy.  I am trying to find some short-cuts, but being a gluten-free and vegan family there aren’t always a lot of those.  My hands are still swollen so it’s not like I can say “going vegan has fixed my RA.”  But, my cholesterol is down and my blood sugars are down so I know I am doing something good for my body.  At the end of the day I can say I am trying my best to deal with my RA.  There are times when I want to just go back to a “normal” American diet and make things easier on myself.  But I also want to feel as good as I can.  I wish there were easy answers….  Anyone else have thoughts on this?

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