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    Fast and Simple Meals for Arthritis

    Arthritis pain can make it hard to cook. Try these tricks to preparing easy and nutritious meals.

    The Role of Liquid Meals in Your Arthritis Diet

    Liquid meals supply many essential vitamins and minerals, but they lack adequate protein and fiber to be considered a real meal. Plus, they aren't particularly satisfying and can leave you wanting more. And they are relatively expensive. But in spite of all that, they are not without merit; convenience is one of their virtues. Pair them with a piece or two of whole-grain toast or a whole-grain waffle and fruit to round out their nutritional power for an arthritis-friendly meal.

    Check the label to make sure the liquid meal contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. Most 8-ounce nutritional supplement drinks are fortified to provide 25% of the vitamins you need each day.

    Recipes That Save Your Joints

    These recipes are packed with great taste and good nutrition that helps keep bones strong and promotes overall health. Some dishes are super easy, and others take a little bit more preparation. But all provide delicious, balanced meals.

    Breakfast

    Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
    Enjoy with a whole grain English muffin
    1/2 cup canned pumpkin
    1/2 cup milk
    Pinch cinnamon
    2 teaspoons sugar or artificial sweetener to taste

    Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Whip on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until frothy. Serve immediately. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

    Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
    Pair this one up with a whole-grain English muffin, too
    3/4 cup plain yogurt
    1 medium banana
    2 tablespoons peanut butter
    2 ice cubes

    Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Whip on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until frothy. Serve immediately. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

    Berry Fluffy Pancakes
    Serve with a glass of orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D
    1 cup plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt
    1 large egg
    1 cup pancake mix
    1 cup fresh blueberries or raspberries

    In a bowl, combine yogurt and egg. Mix well. Add pancake mix and blend just to combine. Lightly oil or spray a nonstick pan or griddle. Ladle out 2 tablespoons batter for each pancake. Drop a few berries onto pancake. When edges are firm, turn pancakes and cook 1 minute more. Serve immediately. This will give you 3 pancakes, but you can make extra and freeze.

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