For those of you who suffer from joint pain and arthritisthe hustle and bustle of the holidays can really put a toll on your joints. Thanksgiving can be especially stressful with all the cooking and preparing that goes into it. You could be spending hours in the kitchen on your feet preparing Thanksgiving dinner. To help you power through your Thanksgiving festivities, here are some tips to help you manage your joint pain and enjoy your day!
- Get organized. It is so important to start your day off on a good note. Make a list of what you are serving far in advance. Write down when the times that your need to put everything in the oven and/or when you need to begin preparing them. That way, you feel more organized and won’t be as stressed on Thanksgiving Day.
- Don’t wait to go grocery shopping. Start shopping at least a week in advance and buy the big stuff early. If you wait until the week of Thanksgiving you will be battling the crowds at the grocery store, meaning it will take you twice as long to get through your list. If you do have get some last-minute items during the week of Thanksgiving, early mornings are the best time to shop. Most grocery stores open by 7am, so making a trip before work is the best way to avoid the crowds.
- Meal Prep. There are so many things that can be made ahead of time on Thanksgiving. Mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pies, stuffing, green bean casserole, mac and cheese, soups, and sweet potato casserole all can be made in advance. Just pop them in the oven on the day of and you’ll be smooth sailing. The more items you make ahead of time the less time you are spending on your feet on Thanksgiving day.
- Get Comfortable. Thanksgiving day meal prep is not a time to wear your fancy shoes. Make sure to put on a pair of supportive sneakers or comfort shoes when you’re working in the kitchen. Shoes with a good grip will help you avoid slips and falls. You can keep your nice shoes nearby for when the doorbell rings or when you sit down for dinner. Another tip is to make sure you have a chair in case you feel tired or have any sudden pain. Also, remember that a lot of meal prep can be done while you are sitting down. There’s no reason you have to peel and cut your vegetables while standing up.
- Switch it up. Substitute some especially unhealthy dishes for their anti-inflammatory counterparts. Check out our Pinterest page for some great ideas. Popular Thanksgiving foods that also have anti-inflammatory nutrients include: Cranberries, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Green Beans, Dark Leafy Greens, and Healthy Oils. Fruits and vegetables and whole wheat grains are also a good place to start.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate! Instead of taking on practically everything by yourself, get the whole family involved. For guests that are attending your dinner, assign them a side dish for them to prepare. That way, you are not stuck with the task of making the entire dinner. Little ones can help stir ingredients or mix a salad, while older ones can set the table. Thanksgiving isn’t about laying out the perfect meal, it’s about spending time with your loved ones.
As you can see, the key to avoiding joint pain on Thanksgiving is to plan ahead. If you wait until the last minute you will be rushing around trying to get everything done and therefore, spending way too much time on your feet. So, follow these tips so you can really be present with your family and friends this Thanksgiving.
We hope you have a pain-free and Happy Thanksgiving!