Monthly Archives: August 2009

Find of the Month: Peapod for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Peapod

This month’s Find of the Month is Peapod by Stop&Shop. Peapod is a service offered by Stop & Shop Supermarkets where you can place an order for your groceries online and they will be delivered to you. With a minimum order of $60.00, all your groceries will be conveniently bagged with related items together. Peapod will deliver your order right to your kitchen counter on a day and time that is convenient for you.

The service is really easy to use, simply go to www.peapod.com and click on the items you want to buy. Peapod even keeps track of your previous orders so you don’t need to search for items that you regularly buy.  You can even use coupons with this service. Payment is made by either debit card, credit card or gift card. You can use your Stop&Shop card for savings on groceries and double coupons as well. Simply enter the card number and Peapod will apply the discounts.

This service is available through Peapod by Stop&Shop for Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. Peapod by Giant is available in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Peapod services Chicagoland, Milwaukee and S.E. Wisconsin.

There are many delivery times to choose from to fit your schedule usually with a 2 hour window. If you are willing to extend the delivery window to 3 1/2 hours, Peapod offers a $1.00 discount.

Once the order arrives at your home you will be given an itemized list of your order. You can review the order for accuracy and if there is anything missing your account will be credited.

There were times when items that I ordered were out of stock and the invoice was adjusted to reflect the change.  I did have a few occasions when some of the items that I ordered were missing so I would recommend checking the order before the delivery person leaves. Because everything is so organized it is fairly easy to quickly check the order.

I have used this service many, many times. It really comes in handy when my rheumatoid arthritis (RA)  is bothering me. I don’t have to worry about how hard it is to push the cart or wonder whether or not I will be able to pick up that gallon of milk without dropping it. I don’t even concern myself with how heavy the bags are because I never have to lift any.

The bags are delivered to my kitchen where I can just simply put things away. The delivery personnel have always been polite and helpful. This service has really come in handy for me especially when I am flaring. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

I actually found that I spent less money on my groceries using this service because I was less likely to impulse buy and just stuck to the list.

I did check around to see if I could find other similar services in other parts of the country. I found  CobornsDelivers that services the greater Twin Cities, Top Banana is a non profit organization which services Washington, DC and a limited area of Maryland and Spud whose service area includes Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland. Corborns site seems similar to Peapod. Top Banana is more of a shopping and delivery service where you call or fax them with your order and they will deliver it to you. Spud is an organic grocery delivery service. It might be worth it to check with your local markets and see if they offer a similar service. It really has helped me with a chore that can be difficult when my rheumatoid arthritis is at it’s worst and even when it isn’t.

Potassium Lacking in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients.

potassium foodsAccording to a National Institutes of Health clinical trial, most patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) do not have high enough intake of potassium in their diet. Deficiencies in potassium  reduces cortisol, a hormone that is involved in immune function and inflammatory response and can result in many RA symptoms.

Potassium is an electrolyte that plays a role in muscle contraction and nerve transmission.  It is also involved in the storage of carbohydrates for muscles.  The relationship between Potassium and sodium and choride is important in maintaining the body’s ph balance. Many expert have recommended that the ratio between potassium and sodium should be 5  times more potassium than sodium.

How can you increase you intake of potassium? Well the best way to increase your potassium intake is in your diet. Food rich in potassium include, sweet potato, banana, potato, plums, prunes, orange juice and oranges, tomatoes, cantaloupe, peaches, spinach, almonds, and  molasses. Cooked foods can loose significant levels of potassium, so when possible choose raw fruits and vegtables. You can get potassium in a multi-vitamin suppliment as well, however the preferred method is in your diet.

White-Ginger Iced Tea

This is a great tasting iced tea recipe that fights the inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with both ginger and white tea.

icedtea

2 Cups Cold Filtered Water Heated to a boil

6 Cups Cold Filtered Water

Ice

8 White Tea Bags

About 2-3 inches of Ginger Root peeled and sliced thin

1 Lemon cut into wedges

Sugar, Honey or Agave to sweeten to taste

Steep the tea bags and the ginger in the boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Add the remaining cold water. Chill about 1 hour till cold.Strain. Pour over ice. Sweeten with your favorite sweetener to taste. Garnish with lemon. Enjoy!

White Tea for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Cup of white tea

New research at the School of Life Sciences at Kingston University in South West London indicate that white tea reduces the risk of inflammation in those with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis(RA).  The study was conducted at the Kingston University in conjunction with Neal’s Yard Remedies to test the health benefits of 21 herb extracts and plants.

White tea is made from the same plant that produces both black and green tea.  Because white tea comes from the buds and young leaves of the plant it is believed that they contain higher levels of antioxidants than the black and green variety which is made from older plant leaves.

The findings published in the August issue of Complementary and Alternative Medicine state that white tea prevented the activity of certain enzymes that are associated with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Professor Naughton from Kingston University stated: “These enzymes and oxidants are key components of normal body processes. However, in inflammatory conditions, suppressing the activities of the excess components has been the subject of decades of research”. “We were surprised to find such high activity for the white tea extracts in all five tests that were conducted.’ added Naughton. “The early indicators are that white tea reduces the risk of inflammation which is characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis and some cancers, as well as wrinkles.”

The researchers also added that they used a very small amount of white tea in their tests-“…far less than you would find in a drink”. Other natural remedies tested in this study were green tea, anise and pomegranate. All were shown to decrease inflammation however not as significantly as the white tea.

Hurricane Preparedness and Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA)

Getting ready for a big storm can take extra time when you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). And with hurricane season in full swing and it seems the tropics are starting to become more active, it is a good idea to make sure that you are prepared now in case a hurricane should strike your area.  Those of us on the east coast of the United States are used to getting things ready for the hurricane season and there are many things to stock up on. It is important to make sure that you have everything you may need in case you loose power for an extended length of time. Do not wait until the last minute to get ready.

hurricane1

Plan Ahead: Things take longer when your joints are stiff and sore so make sure that you are ready long before the storm is in your path.

Prepare: Put together a Hurricane Supply Kit. Keep the kit in an easy to access location.  Make sure to include:

  • Water: You will need 1 gallon of water per person, per day
  • Food: You will need non perishable food, make sure to include a non electric can opener and paper plates, cup and plastic utensils
  • First Aid Kit: Make sure to include at least a 7 day supply of any prescription medication you may need as well as any adaptive equipment you may need. Remember the extreme changes in barometric pressure in a hurricane are likely to cause swelling in those effected by barometric pressure like me. Some medications require refridgeration, so in addition to making sure you have an ample supply, it might be a good idea to look into a gas powered generator and make sure that you have gas on hand to run it.
  • Ice: If you are not directly on the coast and there is no need to evacuate, you may need ice to keep perishables cold. Put a thermometer in the cooler to make sure the temperature does not go above 40 degrees farenheight
  • Clothing: Put together some seasonal clothing for you and your family members, remember rain gear and sturdy shoes.
  • Flashlight: Several flashlights with plenty of batteries
  • Telephone: Make sure that your cell phones are fully charged and you land line has a corded phone plugged into the jack.
  • Cash: You may not have access to a bank or ATM for a while so it is a good idea to keep some cash on hand in case you need it.
  • Radio: Keep a battery powered radio on hand so you can keep up to date on any news should you loose power.
  • Important Documents: Should you need to evacuate, put your important documents in a water-tight plastic zip bag (i.e. insurance cards, medical information, etc…)
  • Fuel Vehcle: Make sure that your vehicle is filled up with gas prior to the storm.
  • Pets: If you have a pet, make sure that you have plenty of food and water for them as well. Keep an additional leash and/or crate for travel if necessary.
  • Blankets/Bedding: Blankets and pillows, etc…
  • Escape Plan: Should you need to evacuate, have a plan. Decide ahead of time where you will go and how you plan to get there. Have an alternate location and route marked out as well.

Find help: Call around and find a handyman or neighbor that would be willing to help board up things should a hurricane strike your area.  It is important to ask for help when you need it and things like taping windows or hanging plywood may  be too much especially if you are flaring.

Google Health

This is an interesting and important service that google is providing.  It certainly would give the patient more hands on control of their medical records and the information contained within.  I like the idea of actually being able to look at my own medical records and that in theory they could all be located in one place.  I have many different doctors and I really think that if they could all share all of my medical records it would be more of a team mentality when it comes to my health as opposed to each doctor taking care of his or her own part of the equation. I am a little concerned about security issues and certainly privacy issues.    I hadn’t heard of this feature that google provides and just stumble upon this video.  It seems like they still have some issues to work out but it is an interesting concept.

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