ARRC – Autoimmune Resource & Research Centre

“When I go out with friends for lunch or dinner we often head to different take-away or fast food places, what sort of meal would you suggest that wouldn’t be to unhealthy given that my medications can make me put on weight?  I would appreciate your help! Thanks” – Adriana

This is always a tricky situation! Trying to make so called “healthy choices” at fast food destinations is always fraught with danger. It’s always a toss-up whether to have something that you know is going to be a taste sensation or something that looks like it might taste something like a toasted cardboard sandwich. In saying that, I have recently discovered the McDonald’s “Chicken Tandoori Wrap”, which to my surprise is an absolute delicacy and is fairly low in calories, fat and carbohydrates compared to some of the more deadlier meal options that McDonalds offers. I have been caught out a few times recently and forced through the infamous Golden Arches in a state of panic wondering what on earth I can eat that is going to fill me up and not going to have 40 billion grams of fat. These new wraps have been an absolute winner every time and have kept me satisfied much longer than a Big Mac ever did. It’s a great tasty alternative selection for when you are out and about with your mates and really don’t feel like bringing your own vegemite sandy! And if you are looking for a drink, maybe try a Diet Coke or one of the fruit juices as an alternative to Fanta or Sprite options, your dentist will appreciate this!

“When I get together with my friends we always seem to spend a lot of time outside, from heading to a café and sitting out in the sun, or playing cricket at the park. I am always worried that I am going to get too much sun which can trigger flares. How can I still hang out with mates and make sure I don’t get too many rays? I hate missing the Saturday arvo cricket games!” – Nick

Great question! When you’re feeling well it’s great to get out there and get some fresh air! Feel the wind in your face or the sand in your toes! It is always a struggle to keep yourself adequately protected from the sun without looking like a Russian spy. Good news is that hats and scarfs are in this season! Last summer I hardly went anywhere without my styling cowboy hat or my leopard print silk scarf. All of my mates thought that I was just uber stylish and on trend, but in actual fact, I was just taking cover. This winter, fedoras and bowlers hats are all the rage, along with loads of different patterned long scarfs. So get out and grab so accessories! Not only with you be saving your skin you will be very on trend. And don’t forget your sunscreen! Even if it’s not hot outside you will still feel the sting of the sun’s rays!

“The medication that I am on at the moment is making me super hungry, I want to be careful not to overeat as in the past I have put on a lot of weight by eating every time I felt a little hungry. I really have a sweet tooth too!” – Julia

The scales move too far in the opposite direction and started to search for some tasty and healthy snack ideas that I could munch on between meals. I have a terrible sweet tooth which started out to be quite torturous when I started on the Prednisone, especially at around 3:00pm in the afternoon when I would want to settle up to a plate of cakes, sweets and a bag of jelly beans. So for a sweet treat I would cut up a couple of carrot sticks into thin round disks like potato chips, throw them on a baking tray and lightly spray with low fat cooking oil and cook them in the oven for about 10 minutes until they started to look something like a potato chip. You would be surprised how many carrot chips you can get out of a couple of carrots. If I wanted something savoury I would sprinkle them with salt and pepper or even a few different spices I found in the pantry and if I wanted something sweet I would sprinkle a bit of icing sugar. Icing sugar is super sweet so a little bit goes a long way!

If I was heading out I would put them into a zip-lock bag and through them into my handbag. I have done this a fair few times to take with me to the movies! After you have these treats, you will never want packet chips again! So tasty! Thanks