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Food For Thought – The Main Course

Today’s blog is intended to be on the fun side. From my previous blogs we now know that gluten can be linked to inflammation which leads to pain. Research has shown that diet and exercise should be an integral part of any pain management regimen, especially as we age. Eating healthy can help to control insulin and cholesterol and reduce inflammation.

So the million dollar question – What can I eat??

Below are some tips for people who want to try an anti-inflammatory/Gluten Free diet to reduce pain:

1. Eat more plants – eat the rainbow; fresh fruits and vegetables like berries, leafy greens, beets, avocados, beans and lentils and whole grains like quinoa and GF oats.

2. Omega 3’s - omega 3 fatty acids play a role in regulating your bodies inflammatory process and could help regulate and reduce pain related inflammation. Healthy fats are found in fish like salmon and tuna as well as walnuts, pecans and ground flaxseed.

3. Eat less red meat

4. Avoid processed foods- like sugary cereals and drinks, deep fried foods and pastries.

5. Exercise – exercising helps maintain joint health and balance, cardiovascular health and overall physical strength.

Try not to be overwhelmed and have fun. Try substituting healthy choices in the recipes you already enjoy and before you know it you’ll be a pro.

So to get you started; here’s a fun recipe that I found that is amazing and I just substituted gluten free products where needed. It’s called Crack Chicken and Rice Casserole:

2 C - cooked chicken breasts; chopped

1 C - fresh carrots; chopped

½ C - fresh green pepper; chopped

½ C – fresh broccoli; chopped

½ C - onion; chopped

1 - 10.5 once can cream of chicken soup – I found GF cream of chicken soup at Walmart

½ tsp black pepper

1 6.9 oz. chicken rice-a-roni or any boxed rice and pasta mix – this I could not find GF so I substituted with Success boil in bag white rice (1 bag) and added GF chicken bouillon cubes to taste while cooking

½ C Cheddar cheese – sharp

1 C sour cream

To Make:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 baking dish

2. Cook rice according to package directions; then add carrots, green pepper, broccoli and onion in the last 5 minutes of cooking.

3. Stir in cream soup, sour cream, chicken breast and black pepper. Remove from heat.

4. Spread rice mixture evenly in baking dish. Cover with cheese

5. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes then serve

ENJOY – you’re going to love it


**You can easily adjust this recipe as you see fit; like adding different or additional vegetables or using fat free cheese or light sour cream.

The good new; anti-inflammatory foods tend to be the same foods that help keep us healthy in other ways too; so eating with inflammation in mind doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. So, give it a try and see if healthy choices that reduce inflammation helps improve your overall health and wellbeing to include reducing your chronic pain.

Terrie Pasch, PA-C Terrie’s career began over twenty-five years ago when she became a certified emergency paramedic. She has been working in pain management since November of 2011. Her passionate desire to practice medicine, pursue lifelong learning, and provide superior healthcare to patients is what led her to pursue the career that she chose. Her patients know her for her great bedside manner, strong people skills and great communication with them. Terrie received her bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University in biology and went on to Midwestern University to get her masters in medical science in Physician Assistant studies. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and camping and spending time with her husband, three children and four grandchildren. She and her daughter enjoy baking their famous sugar cookies together. Terrie is currently seeing patients at our Sun City and Sun City West locations.

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