“Living Life Healthy with Lupus: Looking and Feeling Good” 2014

As part of Lupus Awareness Month, the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation collaborated with the Hospital for Special Surgery’s (HSS) Lupus Support Programs to hold the 7th annual “Living Life Healthy with Lupus: Looking and Feeling Good” wellness event.

Many people with lupus brought along a family member or friend to enjoy a day focused on feeling good. Complimentary sessions with makeup artists, massage therapists, and hairstylists, as well as a presentation on healthy eating made for a full day of wellness.

Good, Better, Best: Making the Right Food Choices

People with lupus are at a higher risk than the general population for other health problems.   Clinical nutritionist Laura Gibofsky, MS, RD, CDN from the HSS Department of Food & Nutrition Services noted that there are no foods that can cause or cure lupus.  But she pointed out that a well-balanced diet can help lower risk for heart disease as well as reduce inflammation, combat side effects of medications, achieve a healthy weight, and maintain strong bones and muscles.

Here are just a few tips from Laura for making the right food choices:

  • Eat good fats like plant based foods such as nuts, olives and avocados.
  • Avoid fatty cuts of meat and poultry with the skin on.
  • Use olive, canola, corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower and flax oils over coconut and palm oil and margarine and vegetable shortening.
  • Make sure half your grains are whole grains. Look for labels where the first ingredient is whole wheat flour or 100% whole wheat flour.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Reduce sodium intake. Eat fresh, frozen or canned vegetables that have no salt added.
  • Keep hydrated by drinking at least 8 cups of water a day.

Read more about healthy eating. Visit Laura’s blog or ChooseMyPlate.gov.

Simple Tasks Awareness Campaign

All attendees received a tote bag donated by the American College of Rheumatology’s Simple Tasks campaign.  Simple Tasks aims to raise awareness of all rheumatic diseases, including lupus.  Included was a pin of a bent fork which has become a symbol of the campaign representing how rheumatic diseases can make life’s simplest tasks like eating difficult.

Many attendees enjoyed a free back massage.  Massage therapy can be expensive, but check out the Massage Therapy Resource Guide for a list of American Massage Therapy Association massage therapists in the NYC area who offer massage therapy on a sliding scale based on income. Read this article from Samantha Paige-Graeber, LMT, AMTA NY Chapter Community Service Massage Team Chairperson on what to look for in a massage therapist.

Special thanks to the volunteers:

American Massage Therapy Association NY Chapter’s Community Service Massage Team
Dermablend Professional
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Stacey Brown and the Hair Design Institute of Manhattan