Arthritis and Food While Traveling: How to Manage

Many of you know that my years of dance and hiking, combined with a family history of arthritis have led to my ongoing quest to ignore the effects that arthritis can have on your life. In particular, arthritis and travel (or food) don't have to be mutually exclusive, but you need to make some simple modifications to "acknowledge" it, particularly if you don't want to give up your lifestyle as an explorer of the world.

I've summoned the guidance of an expert, Brenda Schnable, to provide some insights about not letting arthritis get in your way. Brenda is a senior yoga therapist, certified in Qigong, and author of Qi Infused Yoga and Access Your Inner Power: Awakening Your Health and Vitality, 2014 International Book Award Best Cover Design Non-Fiction category and 2014 International Book Award Finalist in the Health: Alternative Medicine category. You can find out more at

Ayurveda can keep you moving.

We foodies know that dining out is fun while on vacation. What you may not know, however, is that food may be contributing to your arthritic pain. There are many factors responsible for arthritis. Injury and overuse of the joints are two factors, but according to the Eastern wisdom of Ayurveda, food and a sluggish digestion can add to and possibly be a root cause of your arthritis.

Ayurveda is a sister discipline to yoga. It may surprise you to know that according to Ayurveda, one of the main causes for and worsening of arthritis is food. The old adage, “You are what you eat” is a founding principle of Ayurveda. Importantly, your digestion is thought to be  the origin of most common ailments, including arthritis. When digestion is sluggish, toxic build-up occurs, and when undigested food is not eliminated, toxins settle in the joints contributing to arthritis.

What should you do to boost digestion and get yourself ready for travel (where you may be eating very differently from your home menu)?  Before you leave for vacation, consider a detoxification program. A three-day detox is a quick fix that may do the trick for a long weekend away. Longer is more beneficial as the body can really flush itself out. Talk to your doctor and pick one that fits with your lifestyle and needs. Plan accordingly so that you have completed the program by the start of your trip.

To manage your arthritis while you're off exploring India, Central America or other destinations with foreign and enticing foods, Ayurveda suggests these dining tips so you can enjoy the local cuisine but minimize toxic build-up:
* Trade in salads and other cold and rough foods for warm dishes.
* Switch out raw veggies for lightly steamed or sautéed ones.
* Avoid foods known to cause gas such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower
* Enjoy warm oatmeal instead of granola and dried cereal.
* Spice up your meals with foods seasoned with herbs and spices such as basil and oregano for Italian fare; cardamom, cumin, and ginger for Asian cuisine; and cilantro in Mexican dishes. Other spices that help calm the system are cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seed, fennel, sage, tarragon, thyme and black pepper.
* Avoid iced beverages as much as possible, as cold drinks stimulate and can result in arthritic flare-ups. Drink warm tea instead. Ginger tea, in particular, is conducive to pacifying aching joints.
* Enhance the efficiency of anti-rheumatic medication by taking vitamin C and drinking orange or sweet lime juice.


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