Fast & Yummy Dishes To Help You Say Goodbye To Lupus Symptoms

Arguably the king of inflammatory conditions, the autoimmune disease Lupus can be tricky to manage when you’re feeding your body inflammatory foods at every meal. Getting your body on the right side of alkaline and keeping it there can give you lupus symptom relief and halt the progression of the disease because “No disease can exist in an alkaline environment”.  Dr. Otto Warburg discovered this fact and won a Nobel Prize for it in 1931.  Perhaps the message got lost along the way during the industrialization of food production but the fact remains, what we put in our body can heal or harm.

What is all this about alkaline and acid?  To calm your body and stop it from attacking itself you should opt for 51% and higher of alkalizing foods on a daily basis. As many vegetables and fresh fruits as you can and as often as possible. Always choose organic when available because the inflammatory effects of pesticides defeat the purpose of alkaline eating.  Dr. Pam Popper, Executive Director of the Wellness Forum Health Center in Ohio and featured in the documentary, Food Choices, describes repetitive acidic meals as “picking at a scab”.  It won’t heal when you keep reinjuring the condition.

Ditch the acid

Very high acidic foods should be completely eliminated while you get your symptoms under control, such as animal foods, especially dairy.  Even small amounts can send your condition into a tailspin.  Alkalizing your diet every day isn’t difficult, in fact it’s deliciously simple. Once it becomes a habit and you’re feeling the vibrant health of eating the right foods your inflammatory symptoms will decrease.  Lupus can take longer to see improvement with dietary changes because it can be varied and pervasive versus the relatively fast relief seen in other inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.  

Here are 10 fast tasty ways to beat inflammation and help you feel better day to day as you get your lupus symptoms under control. 

1. Superfood packed treat - Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

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 If you like to eat your dessert first satisfy your sweet cravings with antioxidant rich chocolate covered peanut balls.  Fruits, fiber and a healthy dose of plant fat to calm inflammation.  Get the recipe.

2.  Pizza Hummus. All the flavor none of the inflammation.

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You love pizza but the acidifying effects of dairy, white crust and animal toppings will aggravate your lupus symptoms.  This snack serves up the pizza flavor you love without triggering your inflammatory response.  Try it with celery, an ultra-alkalizing food.  Get the recipe. 

3. Drink your greens for a fast hit of alkaline.

 Photo by Toni Cuenca from Pexels

Photo by Toni Cuenca from Pexels

 A tasty and easy way to alkalize your body every day is with green drinks and smoothies. Use just enough fruit to make it palatable and keep the greens high. Toss in some hemp seeds for healthy omega fats and protein. Frozen peaches, berries, mangoes, pineapple and bananas help you have an add-in year round so you can sweet up the greens of fall and winter.

4. Inspiring salad dressings keep meals easy and satisfying

 Photo by  JACKELIN SLACK  on  Unsplash

Having one big salad every day is an excellent way to keep your body balanced and fill it with the nutrients to help heal any inflammation.  You’re going to need a delicious dressing that doesn’t thwart your bowlful of good intentions.   Yes you can have delicious creamy dressings that aren’t a detriment! Dressings are incredibly versatile too. Don’t limit their use for leafy salads. You can dress satisfying and exciting grains many of your nourishing meals are based on.  Recipe inspiration here.

5. Make mock loaf not meat loaf

Mock loaf meals are hearty, budget friendly, versatile and satisfying. Lentils (which come pre-cooked) as a base along with oats (or leftover brown rice) to bind and provide more fiber and another platform for vegetables to shine. Try turning some of the mixture into meatballs for sandwiches and appetizers. For even more of a time save double the recipe as these loaves freeze like champs.

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Mock loaf meals are hearty, budget friendly, versatile and satisfying. Lentils (which come pre-cooked) as a base along with oats (or leftover brown rice) to bind and provide more fiber and another platform for vegetables to shine. Try turning some of the mixture into meatballs for sandwiches and appetizers. For even more of a time save double the recipe as these loaves freeze like champs.  Try this maple glazed version.

6. Comfort food in a skillet

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Vegetable hash isn’t just for breakfast. A one skillet meal gives crunch, nutrition and flavor. Hashes are incredibly versatile and great when you need some comfort food fast. This hash is a nutrient rich show stopper. Don’t skip the avocado garnish and serve with a leafy salad to keep the alkaline balance. 

7. Flavor-packed vegetable cakes

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Indian spices keep the flavor high in every dish they show up in and they are naturally calm inflammation. Vegetable cakes are a crowd pleaser. Having precooked beans in your freezer or BPA free canned beans make putting together a nutrient dense Indian inspired entree in no time.  Get the recipe here.

Indoor Gardening

If you’re reading this I will go out on a limb and assume you may also be a rather voracious consumer of produce like myself, namely vegetables and non-sweet fruits. I mean, if I am going to write this I am going to be technical here. Zucchini is a fruit. So are tomatoes. I have been an avid home cook, professional chef and food writer for over a decade. The lack of safe food to eat is very troubling to me personally and professionally. This was the impetus for wanting to grow what I can myself and when my thoughts turned from fancy pants city slicker to farmer. Don’t worry I didn’t abandon my fine dining table manners and polished shoes.  

There simply is not enough space for each and every adult to have a farm sized piece of land. If you are a city lover like I am then you know property is scarce and quite frankly while I would enjoy a yard I could farm I don’t want the downsides of having a house. Like property taxes, expensive repairs when something breaks, disgruntled neighbors and wildlife nibbling on the fruits of my labor, literally. The other benefit of indoor container gardening is that it allows you to control disease, pests, moisture and other conditions more easily than planting in the ground. While container gardening isn’t an option for all fruits and vegetables, it’s perfectly good for some.

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Let’s examine a few foodstuffs you can grow in that cracker box of a living space you and I call home.  Downsized living doesn’t have to just have the perks of less stuff to stress about and the joy of lower utility bills but you won’t be robbed of the thrill of something living and growing inside your space besides you and maybe your cat.

Note: if you have pets you will have to take extra caution with some of these.  They like to nibble green things too.

 

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Tomatoes

These red gems are so easy to grow I am quite frankly surprised that I don’t see them sprouting up in the driveway cracks of homes in real housewife suburbia. Maybe they do and the uber guy just ran over them.  To safeguard your tomatoes from the rogue driver-for-hire grow them inside the privacy of your pied-à-terre. There are some great tips for indoor tomato growing here. Take note you will need a large container so they can take root.

Potatoes, those fancy designer ones

Just two garden boxes 12” deep will yield you an apartment sized crop of these little gems.  To be perfectly honest I am going to say one of the most horrifying thing to many diet conscious eaters. I eat potatoes almost every day.  They are satisfying, tasty, and nutritious, perfectly fuel my runs and are budget friendly. They became a 4 letter world in the diet world but they are my constant companion and my waistline does not suffer.  I often cannot find the size and quantity I want without going to multiple stores so growing my own is the perfect solution.  See how to here.

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Mushrooms

If you’re not growing your own mushrooms you are really missing out. Sure you can buy them at the market but a real mushroom lover will appreciate the deeper flavor that comes from using a better way to grow that commercial grower’s use.  You can grow your fungi in coffee grounds, sawdust or the more flavorful (and less messy) way, which is an inoculated log which you can buy and start growing just a few days. If you treat your log right, oyster mushrooms will grow quickly after the log is safely inside your door. Keep them in a shady place and to maintain moisture level a tent of plastic is advised. Some varieties do better with a balcony climate variation. Once they start fruiting like wildfire just know this: shiitake bacon is a possibility.

 

Salad greens

Let’s be real, I mean who wants to bring home a bag of outrageously priced baby greens only to find them morphed into to slime 2 days later when you decide you feel like eating them? You do? Ok you do that but I don’t.  I would love to be able to go snip a fresh bowlful, toss in a fresh homemade vinaigrette, kick my feet up and show a bunny rabbit how chewing is REALLY done.  I spent all that money on matching salad bowls from you know where. I may as well deck them out in salad worthy of the glossy catalog pages they first caught my eye with.  Check out how to grow those sexy salad greens here.

 

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Radishes

Many root vegetables need much deeper soil but not petite radishes. Instant gratification enthusiasts will get a reward in about a month. They will grow from seeds. You want to keep the swells covered with soil while they grow (that’s right radish, no peeking). The smaller the spicier so pull them to suit your taste. A milder radish is a larger size.  I once left a radish bunch soaking in water for a few days and they doubled in size and lost nearly all their flavor.  Loss of flavor was a gain in texture. They had a great crunch much like a water chestnut. I’m giving you options here. You can get the kids in on this.

 

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And now for something completely different

I don’t know how to say this.  Are you sitting down?  Good because this idea is a game changer for condo and apartment dwellers. May I introduce you to an edible wall known as vertical gardening? In these planters you can artfully grow produce without taking up a single inch of your floor space. You can vertically grow edibles like herbs, bell peppers, endive, sorrel, blueberries, strawberries, lettuces and cherry tomatoes.

 

I realize you may feel motivated to start a full-on garden in your petite living room/windowsill/second bedroom now but if you’re a home of one or two think practically. Come up with a game plan and set yourself up for success. Start with one item on the list. The one you most favor. See how much of your time it’s taking, how much room it’s taking and how much the plant is producing. Herbs and tomatoes can be almost a burden when they are begging to be harvested faster than you can consume them. Keep in mind, aside from the greens all the items can either be dried, frozen, pickled, etc. all without nasty chemical preservatives.

High five for us indoor farmers!

Mindful eating happens the Aryuvedic way with Nalini Mehta

This is not just any interactive  cooking class, this is a whole life-altering experience.  When we know better we do better and Nalini shifts your focus to calm and the way to keep that gentle relaxed feeling going through your entire meal preparation process. You will find her charismatic without being exhausting.

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