It was palpable. By lunchtime, the collective energy of the group attending Pfizer's First RA Blogger Summit had dropped, almost in direct contrast to the rising temperature in New York City on May 31st (90 degrees Fahrenheit).
Fortunately, Pfizer and Twist Mktg had a plan to help restore us. They had arranged to shuttle us to Haven's Kitchen where we met Chef Seamus Mullen. We enjoyed a delicious gluten-free meal that was prepared with love and blended with practical and actionable know-how.
It was a privilege to be treated to chilled cucumber gazpacho, kale salad, braised chicken curry with coconut bok choy, ginger rice and, if you had room, almond cake. As we ate, Seamus demonstrated how to make braised chicken curry. He also served up his philosophy for living, working and cooking with rheumatoid arthritis, starting with "I have a great team" and then seasoning his presentation with kitchen and life management tips.
I think I may have been a bit of a Bobble-Head - I was continually nodding in agreement with what Seamus was saying, some of which I've blogged about over the life of A Rheumful of Tips.
Here is a sampling of what Seamus shared with us:
- When cooking, use a step stool to alternate resting your feet and easing the tension in your back.
- Change position often.
- Schedule regular mealtimes.
- Pay attention to what you eat and how it makes you feel. He recommended an app called Thryve, which allows you to keep track of what you eat and then adjust your diet accordingly.
"Food is a celebration - a coming together with friends and family. It is the grease for good conversation." - Chef Seamus Mullen
Food is also a fantastic way in which to invite those living with rheumatoid arthritis to think differently about living, working and cooking with this disease. It is truly important to feed the mind and body so you can live well, in spite of having rheumatoid arthritis.
Later in the year, as a part of Pfizer's Rethink RA campaign, Seamus will be cooking and talking his way into the hearts of the residents of ten US cities. The schedule, along with the recipes for the dishes we had, is posted here.
Seamus is well-suited to this endeavour - he is approachable and knowledgeable. I appreciate that he shares one of my beliefs: become an observer of yourself then to take steps to make appropriate health and wellness-inducing changes.
Disclosure: travel and lodging expenses for Pfizer's First RA Blogger Summit were covered by Pfizer.