RA Blog Week - Day 1
RA blog week day 3 Partners

RA blog week Day 2

Tips and tricks

I know there will be some awesome tips and tricks posted for today.  Some of them we know: ice packs, heating pads, massages, stretches.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

I do have the above and I have a cane that I use to hike, walk longer distances, and especially if we go to a game.  I will need the help of the came to use the stairs and get back to the car after sitting for that long.  I use my handicap tag when we go to games.

When TRICARE still allowed compounded medicines I had a wonderful cream to use.  It was a pain relief, muscle relaxer and ant-inflammatory combined.  It was called Tyler cream. But the wonderful (not) powers-to-be  would not cover compounded medicines any more.  So that is not an option for me but might be for you if you have the right insurance.

I would like to talk kitchen and home.  I have seen questions on twitter and on forums about how to manage to eat healthy.

I try to keep our food made from scratch, real food.  No preservatives and chemicals where I can.  Some of the boys did not do well on preservatives or junk food.  Having them at home I could see the difference in how they reacted.  I also learned that I do much better if I eat right.

Although I am not above texting Tim and telling him I am done for the day.  Bring home pizza!

There is almost always a kitchen towel on the floor.  If I spill I just use my foot and the towel to mop it up.  I don't have to bend over or get on my knees.  And then try to get back up.

My kitchen always looks like a bomb went off.  No kids left to do the dishes and I am worn out at night.  I get to it in the morning. ( I recommend cleaning up before going to bed. I just don't do it.)  I try to clean as I cook so it is not so bad.

The physical therapist told me not to do any one repetitive action for too long.  Change positions.  Alternate between sitting and standing.  Learn to incorporate stretches as I work.

As I work outside I flit around the yard, not staying at one job for too long.  Especially weeding.  I have learned the hard way to not do that for more than a few minutes at a time.  Change muscle and joint groups.  Do something different.  I go from bending over, to a kneel, to sitting on the stool or ground.  Getting up and walking through the yard.

We put heavy mulch on the garden this year and did not have to do as much weeding.  I have old carpet between rows too.  No weeds and softer to kneel or sit on.

I try to only take the produce that I will be able to put up or use that day.  And if I just can not get to it that day I do not hesitate to put it in the fridge for the next day.  Without the small army of boys to help there is more work for me.  Tim does help when he is home.

The hard squashes I will poke with holes and microwave until soft enough to cut through, or bake them whole in the oven.  I cut them up when cool enough to handle.

Invest in good knives and a knife sharpener.  A steel works great when you learn how to use it.  There are some good electric knife sharpeners.  Chefschoice makes some good ones.

The Oxo steel mandoline is a good choice but can be intimidating to use.  A good food processor is almost a must.  Do not get a cheap one that is hard to use and clean.  It will frustrate you.

A stand mixer is a better option than a hand held, the vibration hurts me.  I have a Bosch universal and several attachments.  I also have a Kitchenaid immersion blender with different attachments.  Including a mini chopper and blender.  

Do you know you can make homemade mayonnaise in 30 seconds with an immersion blender?

I use a crockpot all the time.  They have the instant pot nowadays that would be a great choice if you do not already own a pressure cooker and 3 crockpots. :~)  

I have a large roaster for turkeys and larger chunks of meat.  It is on the counter and I do not have to bend over in the oven and try to pull up 20 pounds of hot turkey.

I do miss the days of my best kitchen "tools".  The boys and I have worked many years together in the kitchen.  A friend used to call our kitchen the science lab.

If I am using the grinder I stand on the stool.  Gives me extra leverage and I do not have to struggle as much.

I have a gel mat to stand on in the kitchen as I work.  I wear good shoes to try to protect feet, knees and hips.  I also have Superfeet insoles in my shoes.

If you can, buy an extra freezer.  Even a small chest freezer helps.  A front freezer is easier to see what you have at a glance.

Cook your meals with the idea of making up containers of leftovers.  I put a meal in a container and my husband can just grab one for a hot lunch at work.  I like to have small containers of soup for me on my down days.

I tend to use mason jars and only keep jars that can use mason jars lids.  Cuts down on the clutter.

I do buy chopped garlic in jars.  Saves my hands when I only need a little bit.  I buy whole heads for the bigger jobs.

Use the food processor to chop up the whole onion.  Use what you need and put the rest in a freezer bag.  Flatten it out before you freeze it.  You can easily break off the amount you need.  This works for peppers and celery, etc.

I do use cast iron.  I do not try to lift them one handed to put the food away.  I ask for help.  Or slowly scoop it out, measuring cups work good as ladles.

Same with some of the jobs.  I ask for help.  My hands cannot handle cutting up 25 lbs of meat to make sausage.  Mush less stuff sausage on my own.  Many hands make light work.

With a crockpot the meat will be so tender you can easily pull it apart if needed.

I did have a good oven vent installed that goes out the roof.  I did not want the air coming back in to the kitchen or vented in to the attic.  That helps to clear the cooking odors out of the house to protect my lungs.  I also shut my bedroom door to keep my room from smelling like the kitchen.  Yes, I have been known to smoke up the house making pizza.  Cornmeal and melting cheese can really smoke up a house.  Ask me how I know!

I leave things at the top or the bottom of the stairs.  Someone will carry them up or down for me.  I have been known to walk around the outside to avoid the stairs when my knees or hips won't cooperate.

Snow will be falling soon.  I push snow.  I do not try to lift it and toss.  Feet deep and it can stay there.  The sun will come out and melt it.  Soon.  The beauty of Colorado!

I do the shopping most of the time.  I do not always unload the car.  Some days I only get what needs to be put in  the freezer or refrigerator.  Heavy things like animal feed and cat litter stay until Tim gets home.  Or I get a little rest.

There are most likely other odds and ends that I have learned to do over the years that I do with out thinking.  I am sitting at the table and thinking of the things that I am doing or need to do now.

I hope I have given you an idea that you have not thought of before.

I hope to have you stop in and visit again.

Enjoy the RA Blog week.



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