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Creative Meals to Combat Arthritis

For national arthritis, author Holly Clegg visits The 700 Club to discuss great meals to help people reduce inflammation. Read Transcript

Well, May is National Arthritis Month,

and it's a condition that 50 million Americans of all ages

suffer from.

In her latest recipe book, Holly Clegg

shares how people can manage and fight its symptoms.

NARRATOR: Best-selling cookbook author, Holly Clegg,

is using her culinary skills to help

make a difference in the lives of those

who live with arthritis.

She says one of the best defenses

against this chronic condition is healthy eating.

By adjusting the types of food you eat,

you can reduce inflammation and help ease

the symptoms of this disease.

In her latest cookbook, "Eating Well to Fight Arthritis",

Holly provides easy-to-follow recipes

that don't sacrifice taste to help minimize the effects

of this debilitating condition.

Well, Holly Clegg is here with us now,

and we welcome you back.

It's great to have you here today.

When we look at the staggering numbers of people impacted

like this, it might be surprising to people

to know that there are a hundred types of arthritis.

But are they all caused by the same thing?

What's the core?

Well, it was astonishing to me to think

there are over 100 types of arthritis,

and it affects all ages.

You know, we think of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis,

but there's all different types.

But one thing they have in common

is that you can eat healthier to make a difference.

And you can fight your arthritis with anti-inflammatory foods.

So is inflammation the bugaboo, the thing

that sort of--

Yeah, that's the catch.

But it's all about healthy eating.

All the ingredients that you use to fight inflammation

are really just healthy eating.

So I'm going to simplify healthy eating for you

and show you some of these antioxidants

with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, or in everyday foods.

You don't really have to change what you eat.

We're going to add to it and sort of create

healthier, delicious recipes.

You know, a lot of people who struggle with arthritis

wind up not being able to do simple things in life--


--pull the top off of a can or even a bottle,

or buttoning buttons.

You write about that in your book.

How do you address those things?


You know, I always remember seeing my father hold cups

like this because he had trouble.

And I had a good friend, Linelle,

when I was writing the book said, you know, Holly,

I have trouble with my joints holding something in my hand.

So I did a whole chapter called "Toss the Fork" with pizzas,

and sandwiches and burgers because sometimes it

is hard to do that.

And in the beginning, there's a "No-fuss Food"

section with everyday ingredients.

Buy pre-chopped ingredients you could do, pre-cut.

You know, convenience items really help.

And also simple common sense things

like keep things within reach.

Use electric can openers.

So there's a lot of little tips throughout the book

to help you--

enable you to cook because it's so much better for you.

It seems by maybe changing up things

that have become life habits, this

is the way we always do it--


--there are different-- and for people struggling with

this-- better ways to be able to handle some of this.

Your cookbook is beautiful, as always.

And you've got some wonderful things with you today.

So let's take a look at these four items over here.

And you can talk a little bit about what the benefit of them



Being a Southern girl, I love shrimp and cheese grits.

But what I've done with this, it's

called Shrimp and Peppers and Cheese Grits.

A lot of people don't realize there's

more Vitamin C in a red pepper than there is an orange.


So by just adding peppers to this Southern dish,

it becomes a much healthier option for you.

And if you have a half a cup of red peppers,

you get your daily requirements of Vitamin C.


So think about that.

When you're-- as I'm going through these foods,

I want people to realize it doesn't mean you have to eat


You can enjoy all your favorite foods.

Because how could I live without shrimp and cheese grits?

Pizza, this is my Powerhouse Pizza.

You see it's loaded with great ingredients.

And this is actually from the "Toss the Fork" section.

It has lots of good anti-inflammatory foods.

We have our red pepper, spinach is full of Vitamin A.

Of course chicken's good protein,

and beans are like the nutritional

bargain of the year.

You know, that's great fiber.

It doesn't mean you can't have pizza, but load it

with healthier options.

It's funny.

I had this pizza, and I freeze it.

And there are some hints with that, so freeze pizza.

Huh, OK.

Put it in the--

and I pulled it out for dinner a couple of weeks ago,

and I thought, is this pizza just this good or am I hungry?

It's just this good.

Because it is the cover of the cookbook.

That's great.

So there's great pizza.

These are little energy bites.

Just a bundle of nutrient dense, just portable,

you could take them with you.

And it has oatmeal, it has some flaxseed,

which is high in Omega 3.

It can be pre-made.

Yup, right, definitely pre-made.

And it has oatmeal, peanut butter, and chocolate,

and coconut.

Oh, yum.

I mean, what can be bad?

What's not to like, really?

My favorite ingredients.

Again, they're small little doses.

And this is salmon.

I mean if you're going to add one

healthy ingredient or food--

I love salmon.

--add salmon.

And salmon's really quick cooking, it's easy,

it's portion controlled.

All these recipes, except for the Shrimp and Cheese Grits,

are all diabetic friendly.

And I have a D in my book to indicate this.

Simple rub, if you've never cooked salmon,

this is an easy recipe.

It has sweet and spicy rub to it.

It's a little-- cumin gives it a smoky flavor,

a little chili powder, a little cinnamon,

has those anti-inflammatory properties,

and a little brown sugar.

Just puts together, pop it in the oven.

I had it for dinner Monday night.

Again, a tip, make extra.

And I put it on salad the next day for dinner.

That's so smart, especially if you're a working person.

To be able to make enough to make it do another day.

It's called meal planning, yeah, to make it easier.

But salmon is great.

And I encourage anybody that hasn't done it,

it takes 10 minutes to do.

It's very quick cooking today.

Let's look at this because the way you feel about grits

is how I feel about sweet potatoes.

Oh, good.

Well, I feel that way too.


Well, sweet potatoes are great.

This is all in my "Anti-inflammatory" chapter,

except for the energy bites are in "Fight Fatigue"

because sometimes with arthritis pain.

But obviously, you could see by the color, the carotenoids--

this is in that chapter with carotenoids,

which is part of the "Anti-inflammatory" chapter.

Now what have you got here?

More wonderful beans, right?

Black beans, and again those are a good--

black beans are a source of protein, fiber,

and-- which is good for helping to control weight.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Got some corn, oh yum.

HOLLY CLEGG: Here's corn.

And then here's some red onions.

Look at these beautiful colors.

I think--

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Yes, I mean, really.

HOLLY CLEGG: --the easiest thing to do is to eat with color.

And then you know you're eating healthy.

Now here's cilantro, cilantro.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: I love cilantro.

HOLLY CLEGG: I love it too, but they all--

I told them earlier my husband doesn't like it,

so he makes me leave it out.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Well, it's a strong taste.

HOLLY CLEGG: It is, you either have a preference--

and here's our wonderful red peppers adding

a dose of Vitamin C.

Oh, look how pretty this is, goodness.

HOLLY CLEGG: And then you just toss it together.

And this is a simple vinaigrette with jalapeno, lime juice,

and olive oil and garlic.

Ooh, a little kick to it.

A little kick and no mayo.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: OK, it's just--

HOLLY CLEGG: So we had this wonderful--

and the lime juice just complements it.

So you see, I'm giving you a healthy kitchen

with everyday ingredients.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: And then you're just seasoning this

with salt and pepper, right?


TERRY MEEUWSEN: Just basically, OK.

You know, I don't think it needs seasoning to be honest.

I very rarely add any additional salt or pepper to--


And all of the recipes have your nutritional information.

But look at the finished product.

It is so pretty.

I mean, who doesn't want to serve this either for dinner

or when you have a gathering of people.

I think what an easy opportunity for folks to scoop it.

HOLLY CLEGG: You'll love it.

You'll never go back to potato salad

again because this has-- those Southwestern flavors complement

the sweet yams in there, just a great combination.

For people who struggle with arthritis,

what's the biggest mistake they make in their diets

do you think?

I think the mistake is they think

to eat healthy is giving up, and so they just

don't do it at all.

And I want you to think about nourishing your body just

like we nourish our skin.

We want to eat healthy from the inside.

And by including everyday ingredients--

research has shown that foods--

and if you include anti-inflammatory ingredients--

it will help fight inflammation.

There's no known cure for arthritis, but what we eat

can help.

So I encourage everybody--

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Can impact it.

And can impact it negatively, if we're not

eating the right things.

Absolutely, right.

So it's not just the good things,

it's also stay away from the bad things.

But we're focusing on all the good.

We are.

And I want to just mention Holly's cookbook

because it's so wonderful.

Thank you for being with us today.

We want you to know if you like what you saw,

you can get this cookbook.

It's called "Eating Well to Fight Arthritis".

And it contains more than 200 easy recipes,

lots of practical tips to help reduce inflammation and ease

arthritis symptoms.

So you can pick that up wherever books are sold.

I encourage you to do it and get cooking.

That's right, see you in the kitchen.

Thank you.

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