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Melinda J Winner

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Member Since: May, 2009

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A complete guide to cooking with arthritis
By Melinda J Winner
Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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This is a book designed to help the physically challenged to regain their independence in the kitchen. Also perfect if you just love to cook and want fresh and new recipes. This book contains a great mix of modern, traditional and ethnic recipes from around the world, both fine Cuisine and everyday home style recipes sure to please the palate. There is a culinary resource guide for all your purchasing needs of the hard to find ingredients. More importantly there is color step by step photos of techniques to master most kitchen tasks as well as living with arthritis everyday tips.


Introduction for A Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking With Arthritis


About one week after I started kindergarten, I quickly realized I was not like all the other children in the class. All of these children used their right hands to color; they could climb a rope in gym class and cut their own meat at lunch. On the playground children would tease me, calling out things like, “Look, she has a hook for an arm,” and, “Here comes the tree branch girl.” At first I didn’t understand why they were taunting me in such a cruel way. I remember feeling intimated by them. I would go into the girls’ restroom and cry. One day, while I was in the middle of a crying spell, I caught my reflection in the full-length mirror wearing a short-sleeve shirt; my right arm was deformed and four inches shorter than my left. Being born with a birth injury in the sixties meant there was nothing they could do to fix it. Don’t get me wrong—I knew my arm was deformed with very limited use, but I really did not consider myself physically challenged. At home I was just one of the kids, the baby of ten children. No one ever made a big deal about my arm. I just used other parts of my body to complete any task I attempted. Apparently it was a big deal to the rest of society.

            The school district tried to send me to a school for mental retardation. My father abruptly put a halt to that. He said my arm was crippled, not my mind. I soon learned it was survival of the fittest, and I was determined to become the fittest. As young as five years old, I became a fighter, survivalist, inventor, problem solver, and a realist. Whatever was ask of me, I tried harder than anyone else to accomplish, and I succeeded. As the years passed, I became just one of the normal kids. People did not seem to pay much mind to my arm. I think it bothered me more than any of my friends. I guess I was about ten years old when I first decided cooking was my passion. I would make peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, cut the crusts off, and roll them to resemble a pinwheel. I never missed a day in the kitchen with my mother. She was one of the most wonderful cooks whom I had the privilege to enjoy the fruits of her labor. She was a Southern-born-and-raised girl that married my Northern father and set up housekeeping in the North. She was a woman who cooked Yankee cooking with lots of Southern charm; henceforth, my first cookbook, “Yankee Cooking with Southern Charm.”

            I continued along the culinary path: attending college, working in restaurants and many other phases of food service. I was catering parties every weekend—some extravagant and others less extravagant. I was having the time of my life, married, and with three beautiful children. On top of the world, so I thought. There was a particular night that was like any other until two thirty a.m. I was awoken by a pain that was simply unbearable. As I rolled over in bed, or at least I thought I was rolling over, I soon realized I was not moving, just screaming out loud in horrendous pain. My legs would not move. They felt paralyzed; the pain was so bad, I could not stand to be touched. I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance only to find out they were also baffled. The hospital referred me to a rheumatologist, which later diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis. Looking back, I now understand that I had this disease for many years and did not know it. It took about six years to get to the point where a major flare-up occurred. I always thought of myself as a survivor, and my initial thought was, No big deal, I got this beat. I was so very wrong. Now twenty-three years later, I have a total of five forms of arthritis and a birth injury, rheumatoid being the worst. For those of you who do not know what RA is, it is an autoimmune system disease that destroys the joints and affects every major organ in the body. RA leads to deformity and disability.

I currently have active RA, osteoarthritis, RSDA, fibro and degenerative disk disease. I do have a lot on my plate. There is one thing for sure—I do not let it stop me or slow me down even a little. I strive even harder to accomplish my goals. Cooking is and always has been my passion. I cannot and will not let this illness or birth injury control my life. I will control my illness. My goal by writing this cookbook is not to help just one but the millions of arthritis suffers and physically challenged alike. Please use my courage to find yours, regain your independence, and take back your life. The techniques in this book have been a way of life for me for the past forty-seven years. I can only hope that the words that you have read will inspire you enough to fight the battle of your life to regain your independence.




Good Morning !
The time is near for my latest book to be released. Only a little over a month to go ! I am very excited to reveal the book's cover to all of you today. As some as you may already know this is has been my baby so to speak for the past year. I have worked diligently to finish this book that will help so many regain their Independence in the kitchen. I am very passionate about helping the physically challenged , as a physically challenged person myself I know the trails we meet on a daily basis. I also know the need to live a life that is as normal as possible. I was so tired of reading arthritis self help tips and recipes that told me to buy pre - chopped and instant foods or cook in the microwave foods, that I could just vomit. Just because I am challenged and have serve pain why should I reduce myself to instant foods. This book has step by step instructions and full color photos to teach each and everyone of you techniques to regain your Independence pain free and fearless. The recipes range from gourmet through ethnic to everyday American foods. You will find breads, sauces, desserts, entrees as well as soups, salads and appetizers. There is something for everyone physically challenged or not. The book includes a culinary resource guide as well as kitchen tips and my personal story of triumph. Keep watching for a book tour schedule as well as an event schedule coming in August.

Link to web Site

Link to purchase :

RECIPE FROM :  A Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking with arthritis

Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad


Yields 5 servings


4 sweet potatoes; washed, peeled, and cut into ¼-inch cubes

2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. chili powder

¼ c. brown sugar
½ lemon, juiced

½ tsp. lemon zest
¼ c. raisins
1 T. olive oil




 Prepare sweet potatoes by washing well and cubing. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover potatoes with water, approximately three cups—more if needed, and 1½ teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are just tender, water will be reduced by more than half. Add the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, chili powder, brown sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, raisins, and olive oil to the boiling water. Stir well and allow the liquid to thicken. Pour mixture into a serving bowl and serve hot. Physically challenged: Use method #1—zesting, juicing; #4 moving heavy items, filling water; #5—cubing vegetables.


       Web Site: Tate Publishing

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Reviewed by Marcia Miles 6/12/2009
Although I do not have arthritis, I am at risk for it. I am also at risk for osteoporosis. This is a greatly needed book. Good job Melinda!
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 5/28/2009
Good idea, but I HATE the term "physically challenged". I call myseld disabled or handicapped; call it what it is! I have no trouble with it! :) (I have arthritis, too; I know the pain and difficulty in getting around, but I do it! :) Have to; can't let pain rule my life! :) ) Well done!

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