One should eat—but what?
This autumn Elsa is planning to launch a new program in the app. It deals with diet: What does the research say we should eat, especially with a rheumatic diagnosis? How do we make decisions that last in the long run without having to give up on the good food in our lives? And maybe most importantly, how do we start this change?
The programs in Elsa’s app can be followed by anyone who downloads the app. The purpose is to inspire new trains of thought surrounding different areas that, in one way or another, tie into life with a chronic condition.
How does a program work?
Every program deals with a certain theme and consists of small daily chapters that you take part of in the app for approximately a week. One chapter only takes a couple of minutes to read. Currently, there are programs about topics such as physical activity and finding balance in life.
Elsa’s hope for the new program is that it can inspire new ways of viewing and thinking about food, and food habits. Maybe you will find paths you have yet to discover, which, in their course, lead you to an even greater desire to try new things and to discover what suits you and your body.
Collaboration with a nutritionist
During the development of the program, we have had help from Josefine Nelson, a nutritionist with a special interest in RA and other rheumatic conditions. One of the things we spoke with Josefine about is that we all know that we should “eat well” to avoid cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. But how do we motivate ourselves here and now, in the short run?
“You might find that you feel more lively, have a more consistent energy level, and a calmer gut pretty quickly if you choose food that is good for your body. Even your “sweet tooth” and cravings for junk food usually decrease. And when you experience this, it is likely that you will continue to eat well and maybe even make other efforts to improve your health, like incorporating more physical activity,” says Josefine.
“It is hard to know what’s right”
During the course of the work, we have also collected thoughts from some of Elsa’s users about food and rheumatic disease. As an appetizer, we are treating you to a few quotes here and now, and hope that you are tempted to follow the program eventually!
“There is so much contradictory research. It is hard to know what’s right and it takes time to find what suits you. I have always been really sensitive when it comes to food and can only eat what I feel like eating.”
“My personal opinion is that you should eat what you think makes you feel good. If you have to live a life with boring food, then you are not living life to the fullest.”
“If I am tired and in pain, I take shortcuts. I make a poké bowl with tofu or tempeh, or cabbage that basically cooks itself in a baking tray. The last one is the easiest possible thing to do! Cut white cabbage, pointed cabbage, or Brussels sprouts. Pour over some oil, salt, then chop garlic and red onions. Cook it in the oven at 400°F until the cabbage has softened and gained some color. Take it out of the oven, shred parmesan and lemon zest over it, and add in a plant-based sour cream. It is simple and amazing in its flavors, besides being comfort food for a body in need!”
“Food is of course special. There are so many different diets that are not always completely tested and what you should and shouldn’t eat has become a politicized debate.”
While you wait
While waiting for the program, you can take the time to read a previous blog post about and with Josefine Nelson, where she talks about studies on diet and RA that she is part of, and gives advice on what could be a first step towards starting to eat more healthily: