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Thanksgiving Cooking Tips for Psoriatic Arthritis

Thanksgiving Cooking Tips for Psoriatic ArthritisThanksgiving doesn't have to mean sore hands and stiff knees from spending too much time in the kitchen.

There was a time with psoriatic arthritis nearly made professional chef Paul Toffoli hang up the kitchen towel. But with some carefully selected equipment and a few modifications, Toffoli is back to chopping and slicing for a living.

"No one wants to concede, especially those recipes they grew up with," he said. "Food is comfort. The smell of a roast, or chili, something that has been simmering all day, the right spices … we don't know how to make medication, but we can make food."

If your psoriatic arthritis is making you think twice about adding to the Thanksgiving table, consider these tips from Teresa Jeardeau, an occupational therapist with the Mayo Clinic:

  • Use a kitchen stool at the counter instead of standing for extended periods of time.
  • Use different, larger joints to complete kitchen tasks. For example, use a sponge and a flat palm instead of a rag, which must be grasped, to wipe down countertops.
  • Try what occupational therapists call "adjusted movement patterns," such as holding a spoon like a dagger to reduce stress on small joints.
  • Slide heavy items across the counter instead of lifting them.
  • Seek out the right equipment, including food processors or countertop choppers, angled measuring cups (to help avoid the need to bend over), self-opening scissors, hands-free can and jar openers, and ergonomic knives. Brands such as OXO make many common kitchen tools with big grips. You can find OXO in large stores or online through sites such as Amazon.com.
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