Freezer-Friendly Foods for Painful Arthritis

Dinner is Ready in Minutes!


I can remember my working days and since I have trouble judging distance, I don’t drive, so getting to work always involved a few blocks to the bus stop, walking across two parking lots, and then I had arrived and could begin my day. My arthritis was mostly in my back at that time, and I remember having to take a pain pill before I had even worked a half hour. I walked the parking lot on breaks and lunch just to get through the day.

When it was time to go home, I repeated my morning walk and arrived home in about an hour. What was I cooking for dinner?  I was mostly eating trail mix or fast food, and cooking something healthy seemed too much trouble when I could just swing by the food court and pick up a sub or burger.

Menopause is a common time to have pain flare-ups, but you’ll feel better if you take time to prepare healthy food. That is where your freezer comes in. Here are five tips for arthritis freezer-friendly foods:

Freezer-Friendly Foods

If you’re trying to eat healthy, you’re probably eating more whole grains. For a fun twist, you can make oatmeal and freeze it in muffin tins, or try some new grains such as quinoa or bulgur.

Butter, cheese, and nuts also freeze well, and don’t forget broth and stock to make soup or gravies.

Foods That Don’t Freeze Well

Foods you shouldn’t freeze include eggs, or salad fixings such as lettuce, tomato, and celery. Make a fresh salad the day you plan to serve it, and eggs scrambled, fried, or poached taste better when they are hot from the skillet.

Buy in Bulk

Watch for grocery sales, and stock up on ground beef or turkey. Brown the meat and you can add it to chili, spaghetti, or sloppy joes. Chicken freezes well also and can be added to casseroles, chicken salad, or chicken tortilla soup.

Make Extra Batches

When you’re doing your meal prep, make extra batches of pasta sauce, stews, and soups. You’ll thank yourself later when you come home starving but not wanting to stand over a hot stove to prepare dinner.

Pre-Portion Servings

I know it takes extra time, but make single portions of whatever you’re freezing and then you have the perfect size when you’re ready to eat. It also helps keep you on track with portion control.



Are Your Teeth a Complete Mess?

Five Tips for a Healthier Mouth


Have you noticed that your teeth look different? “As you age, your teeth shift and you lose bone, which makes your gums recede,” according to Michael Apa DDS, partner in the Rosenthal Apa Group in New York City. You’ll notice that your top teeth look shorter and the bottom teeth look longer.

If you’re stressed you may be grinding your teeth at night and this can cause flattened, fractured, or chipped teeth, worn tooth enamel, more tooth sensitivity, headache, earache, and chronic facial pain.

You may not be aware of it, but you usually favor one side of your mouth when you chew, and this builds up musculature, but the other side may look out of proportion.

Here are five tips for a healthier mouth:

Brush and Floss Regularly

You have probably heard this a thousand times, but you need to brush your teeth for at least two minutes after every meal and follow it up with a good flossing session. An electric toothbrush is recommended so you’ll brush longer and can get into those hard-to-clean spaces.

Schedule More Cleaning Appointments

I know dental treatment is not cheap, but it’s a good idea to schedule three cleanings a year instead of two. When gums recede, there is a larger area where food particles may get stuck. You also may have more plaque on your teeth, and the chance of decay increases.

Ask Dentist About Specific Problems

There are so many products on the market that it’s easy to become confused. Find out which toothpaste is best for your specific problem. You may need the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth, to remove heavy stains, or whiten the teeth. Ask if string floss is better or should you use the newer dental floss picks that are more portable and can be carried in your purse during the day.

Wear a Retainer

If you have braces, you are probably counting the days until you can have them removed. Once the braces do come off, your teeth may try to move back to their original position, so wear a retainer. As an alternate treatment, some dentists will bond a metal wire onto the backs of your upper and lower front teeth.

Use a Night Guard

Just in case you are grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep, use a night guard. It can be fitted over one row of teeth or two depending on your needs. Your jaw muscles are more in alignment and this allows the jaw to relax, which prevents muscle spasms.



Blog Announcement

The blog will be on hiatus until May 8th. I am workng behind the scenes to bring you better content, and answer the questions you have about menopause and how it affects your life. I ‘ll have some guest posts, so you can hear from others who are going through the same struggles you’re facing.

Thank you to all my loyal readers, and I have appreciated your participation and feedback. If there is anything you would like to see discussed on the blog, please let me know. My contact information is on the website.


Is Your Retirement a BIG FAT BORE?

Folllow These Tips To Quickly Turn Things Around!

The day I retired was one of the happiest days of my life. No more long commutes, office politics, and putting up with annoying bosses.

However, not everyone is happy being retired. If you were looking forward to traveling, it can be mighty expensive to take that cruise or dream vacation that you’ve been looking forward to. Since you’re trying to get by on less money, you may find yourself searching out free things to do, or just staying home.

Other retirees may not have money problems, but you miss that interaction with co-workers and feeling like you were making an important contribution to your company. If one spouse is used to being home alone, having the other spouse there all day can really set your nerves on edge.

The good news is that if you would like to reenter the workforce, there is always something you can do.

It’s natural to want to go back to the place you retired from, but that isn’t always possible. Asking yourself some important questions will help you zero in on your dream job. What kind of work would you like to do? How much money would you like to make?

Do you want to work full-time or part-time? Are you willing to train for a job or would you like to own your own business? Do you prefer a job greeting the public or do you prefer to work alone?

If you like to travel, consider joining a tour company as a guide. Cruise ships are often hiring and you could be an activities director or work in the gift shop. That way you get to see some beautiful country and make money at the same time.

If you like to camp, working as a campground host not only allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery year-round, but you will also meet different campers from all over the United States.

Do you enjoy swimming and being out in the sun? Apply for a lifeguard job, and you’ll meet a lot of interesting people to swap stories with. You’ll also have time to work on your tan.

If money is not a problem, consider volunteering at an animal shelter. There are always dogs that need to be fed, walked, and just shown some affection. If you are a dog owner, you may be able to use him as a therapy dog and visit nursing homes and hospital patients.

What kind of work would you like to do in retirement?

Is Your Arthritis Pain Making You Miserable?

It Only Takes Ten Minutes a Day to Feel Better!


When you suffer from arthritis, it can feel like every area of your body hurts. You may feel like just curling up on the couch with a heating pad, or binge watching your favorite television shows. Pain can make it difficult to clean the house, get dressed, or chase after your kids.

That’s why starting an exercise program is so important. It’s often less painful to keep your joints in a bent position. This may work temporarily, but if it becomes a habit, you may experience permanent loss of mobility. According to Doreen M. Stiskal, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at Seton Hall University, “exercise eases inflammation, improves energy, and promotes the flow of pain-relieving chemicals like endorphins.”

Range of motion exercises gently stretch the muscles as far as they will comfortably go, and with each passing day, your joints feel less painful. Warm up with these exercises before you engage in any physical activity.

Start slowly and aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day. You can also break it down into three ten-minute sessions. If you aren’t comfortable working out at the gym, try an exercise CD at home such as the Arthritis Foundation’s “Take Control with Exercise.”

Give yourself credit for small changes such as taking the stairs, parking further away from your destination, or walking 20 minutes without a break.

Invest in a comfortable pair of shoes with arch supports. A walking or running store can ensure you get a proper fit. When you’re trying on shoes, wear your workout socks, and walk around in them for at least ten minutes.

Since you’re just starting out, check out indoor malls, gyms, or the YWCA that have an indoor walking track. You can exercise without too many interruptions, and you won’t have to worry about being outside during bad weather.

Don’t forget to do some resistance training. It may seem like lifting weights will be more painful, but that is not the case. A physical therapist or personal trainer can show you the proper form, and match the weights you lift with your current strength level.




Don’t Suffer with Aching Teeth and Gums

4 Home Remedies That Won't Break the Bank!


If you have regular dental check-ups and cleaning, you know that a good part of the time the dentist finds something more serious that needs to be taken care of A.S.A.P. I got the unwelcome news that I needed a root canal followed by a crown. Of course, insurance won’t pay both, so I am going to have to break open the old piggy bank to make up the difference.

You may be experiencing pain in your teeth or gums, and dental treatment is expensive. Since the dentist won’t take an IOU, you’ll have to wait for dental treatment until your bank account is replenished.

Thankfully, there are home remedies you can try in the meantime. Here are four home remedies for aching teeth and gums:


Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes since 3000 B.C. The allicin in garlic contains antibiotics, and other medicinal properties. Crush a garlic clove with some table or black salt, and apply it directly to the painful tooth. If you have strong taste buds, you can chew up one or two cloves of garlic. Repeat the treatment for a few days.


Onions are an inexpensive way to kill harmful germs in the mouth. As soon as you feel a toothache coming on, chew a raw onion for a few minutes, and the pain should subside. If you’re like me and don’t care for the taste of onions, you can apply a piece of raw onion to the affected tooth or gum.

Warm Salt Water

If I had a dollar for every time my mom told me to gargle with warm salt water, I would be a rich woman. Pour hot water into a glass and mix in a spoonful of table salt. Swish thoroughly for a few minutes.  Salt is also helpful for reducing swelling and inflammation, and fights bacteria that can lead to an infection.

Pepper and Salt

I had never heard of this remedy, but if it takes away tooth pain, I’ll gladly use it. Make a paste by combining equal parts pepper and salt with a few drops of water.  Apply to the affected teeth or gums, and let it set for a few minutes.

How do you treat a toothache?

The Great Cholesterol Debate

How Many Eggs Can You Safely Eat in a Week?


It’s challenging enough to cope with menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain, and high blood pressure, without having to worry about high cholesterol levels. This is meant to be an enjoyable time in your life, and that includes eating your favorite foods.

If you go to a breakfast buffet, you’ll see a long line at the omelet station. Most people wouldn’t even think of eating breakfast without eggs, and a made-to-order omelet with all the meat and cheese you want is an egg lovers dream.

There has been a debate in the medical community for years over how many eggs you can eat without raising your cholesterol levels. Now, there is good news for egg lovers. According to a 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it’s safe to eat twelve eggs a week. The trick is to find healthier ways to prepare eggs, so you don’t have to feel deprived.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one large egg has about 180mg cholesterol and it’s all in the yolk.  I like hardboiled eggs, which are high in potassium, zinc, iron, vitamin E, and folate. At only 80 calories, I can have a nutritious breakfast or snack without breaking the calorie bank.

Poached eggs are easy to prepare. Add a splash of vinegar to a pan of simmering water, tip in the egg, and leave for three minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon and you’re ready to chow down.

Eggs are not usually prepared as a stand-alone dish, and are often accompanied by bacon, sausage, ham, or hash browns, and the saturated fat or oil you’re using to prepare these side dishes can increase your risk of a heart attack.

If you like a more substantial breakfast, take a whole-grain tortilla, and stuff it with scrambled eggs, lean turkey sausage, and diced tomato. You can bake low-fat eggs in a bread bowl for a special weekend breakfast or brunch.

Stay away from high-calorie toppings such as sour cream or cheese. Invest in a non-stick skillet so you don’t have to use oil when you fry your eggs. You can top eggs with salsa, or use herbs such as parsley, tarragon, or chives.

Prepare a whole-grain cereal to go with your eggs so you cover all the nutritional bases, or if you want to serve eggs for dinner pair with your favorite vegetables.



Are You In So Much Pain You Can’t Sleep?

Get Relief By Sleeping on a Water Pillow

I couldn’t get to sleep last night because my neck was killing me. Since I use a support pillow, that shouldn’t be an issue, but I kept turning over, and alternately punching and fluffing the pillow to try to get comfortable.

I have had chronic back pain for 20 years and when I turned 58, I experienced neck pain all day and night. I am always on the hunt for a product that will ease the pain, and now I have discovered a water pillow that may help me get a better night’s sleep.

A water pillow maintains its shape so you don’t have to waste time you could be sleeping trying to get comfortable. It not only keep your head and neck in alignment, it provides support for your whole body.

It’s normal to toss and turn while you sleep, and your regular pillow can end up anywhere on the bed. A water-filled pillow will stay wherever you put it and won’t move around.

Depending on your sleep position, you can adjust the amount of water you put into the pillow. Some people prefer a firmer pillow while others sleep better with a soft pillow.

There are few things more frustrating that needing to get some rest, and the pain of a stiff neck and head is keeping you awake. Keeping you head and neck in alignment may help you sleep through the night and you can’t put a price on that.

“Poor sleep can lead to increased stress hormones that increase the severity of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis,” according to Jessica Krant, MD, MPH, who is an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Proper sleep means you have more energy, and you may want to start tackling those home projects you have been putting off, or you may feel like going for a run or walk, which will give you even more energy.

How do you get a good night’s sleep?

Kick Menopause Symptoms to the Curb

Join a Support Group for a New Lease on Life!

In the early 1990s I worked in the office at a local rest home. One of my fellow workers was experiencing terrible hot flashes and would sit in front of the fan, peel off layers of clothes, and remind the rest of us she was burning up. As a last resort, she decided to turn on the air conditioning, which would have been fine if it hadn’t been the dead of winter. The rest of the office huddled together like frozen fish sticks until she finally turned it off.

The rest of the world doesn’t seem very sympathetic to a woman in the throes of menopause, and have their own problems to deal with. However, it is helpful to be able to confide in someone who knows what you are going through.

Hot flashes, muscle aches, loss of energy, and weight gain are just a few of the symptoms that you may feel you need extra support to deal with.

That’s where joining a menopause support group can be life changing. These groups are springing up everywhere so there’s a good chance you can join in your hometown. It provides a safe environment where you can tell it like it is without someone telling you to shut up and deal with it.

Every woman deals with menopause in her own way, and a support group brings women together who are facing similar issues. You can pick up some good tips that you’ve never tried before, and maybe that is just what you need to take care of your symptoms.

It’s very satisfying to know that you have made a difference in someone else’s life and you can develop lifelong friendships. Helping other people always takes your mind off your own problems, even if it’s just for a short time.

If there is no support group nearby, you can choose to connect on the internet or by telephone. You can choose a professional group leader, such as a nurse, social worker, or psychologist or just appoint someone from within the group.

When you can openly express your feelings, you  feel less stressed, and better able to cope when troublesome menopause symptoms arise because you know you can always turn to the group for support.

Ask your doctor about finding a menopause support group, or contact a church, library, or community center.  The internet may help you find what you’re looking for, or if you really want to step outside your comfort zone, start your own support group.

5 Tips to Minimize Bone Loss in Menopause

It's Never Too Early to Start!

You lose more bone mass in menopause because your body is producing less estrogen. This increases your risk of bone fractures due to osteoporosis.

You don’t have to suffer in silence. Making wise choices, changing some bad habits, and consulting with your doctor can minimize bone loss, and improve your quality of life.

Here are five tips to minimize bone loss in menopause:

Enjoy the Sunshine

The conventional wisdom is that you shouldn’t go out in the sun without sunscreen. However, enjoying the sun for 15-20 minutes a few times a week, allows you to soak up Vitamin D3. This feel-good vitamin not only helps you build bone mass, it also brightens your mood.

Quit Smoking

Smoking may relax you, but it reduces the amount of calcium in your bones, and interferes with Vitamin D production. There are many over the counter products to help you quit smoking, or you can  join a smoking cessation group.

Weight Bearing Exercise

Walking, jogging, or strength training helps keep bones strong. If you have arthritis or osteoporosis, ask your doctor which exercises would be appropriate for you. If you’re a member of a gym, many personal trainers will give you at least a complimentary session, so take advantage of that.

Foods High in Calcium

Fish with bones such as salmon, sardines, or whitebait, are rich in calcium, and can be served as a main dish, added to a casserole, or used as a tasty protein over salad greens. Other good sources of calcium include almonds, broccoli, collard greens, dried figs, soy milk, and fortified tofu.

Calcium Supplements

It may not be possible to get all the calcium you need from your diet. Unless you take hormone therapy, you need between 1000-1500 mg a day. Take two to three times a day, because the body only absorbs about 500mg at a time.