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Big Raw Salads… the Perfect Food for Arthritis!

Hi, I’m Shiree Segerstrom. I’m an interior designer and wellness devotee and I have been diagnosed with six different degenerative bone conditions. I’m also the author of Pain Free Decorating: Creating Nurturing Spaces for Women with Arthritis. I help women with arthritis create beautiful, nurturing, highly functional homes that inspire them to take better care of themselves every day, where self care begins…at HOME!

Photo Food and Wine, Con Poulos

I last talked to you about why you need big raw salads and I promised to share a few of my favorite salad combinations with you today. These are combinations that you can take to any party and know they will be gone before the evening is done. But please don’t save them for parties my friend. You need these. Every dang day.

Since these are raw salads you don’t need exact measurements. Use whatever amounts you prefer with the exception of dressing. 


For all my dressings I use half of a small to medium lemon or lime to 3 tablespoons organic, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil. I also use a generous amount of pink Himalayan salt but you can use sea salt too. Just don’t use ordinary table salt. To taste delicious salads require generous seasoning (as in salt, thank you Marcella Hazan) and you can’t be generous with table salt because of the toxic anti-caking ingredients.

My mouth is watering just thinking of this first salad…

Strawberry Lime Jalapeno

This is my creation. You will die and go to heaven, it’s that good. I especially love it in the summer but here in sunny California where I live we have strawberries year round. Don’t hate me. Or maybe you have strawberries year round where you live too, in which case do enjoy this often.

Romaine lettuce
Plenty of fresh strawberries
Yellow bell pepper (used in moderation this nightshade veggie won’t give you much trouble).


See note above for quantities and how to choose a good olive oil.

Lime juice
Generous dollop or two of local organic honey
Olive oil
Finely diced jalapeno seeds removed
Pink salt

Kale Cesar with Pine Nuts

Another salad that disappears at parties. Yes, kale! It’s that good. This one came from Caroline Vassar, when I stayed with her for a few days summer before last.

Caveat: This salad has an ingredient that is a not vegan, nor is it part of the Arthritis Diet.

Lacinto kale stems removed, leaves massaged.
Pine nuts
Parmesan cheese, organic (inflammatory. Use in moderation.
Yes, that’s it. And it is perfect. Croutons would in fact ruin it.


Lemon juice
A little fresh garlic
Olive oil
Pink salt

Unbelievable Mediterranean Salad

Romaine or spinach or combo of both
Kalamata olives, pitted
Tomatoes in moderation (nightshades are inflammatory)
Red onion
Garbanzo beans, rinsed well
Pure goat’s milk feta made without rennet (do not use cow’s milk feta, it’s loaded with chemicals and highly inflammatory)
Artichoke hearts packed in water, rinsed


Lemon juice
Olive oil
Dried basil, thyme and a little oregano (even better if you have fresh Greek oregano)
Pink salt

Summer Vegetarian Ceviche

I got this combination from Food and Wine magazine which I can no longer find. Fortunately the recipe came up online immediately when I queried Summer Vegetable “Ceviche”.

Thank you David Frenkiel and Luise Vendahl for creating this spectacular vegan, dish.

Fresh corn off the cob
Heirloom cherry tomatoes
Lima beans (I prefer cannellini)
Orange bell pepper (I use red)


Lime Juice and lime zest (zest adds a lot of flavor to this recipe)
Olive oil
Pink salt
Jalapeno diced fine

Chinese Salad

Napa or savoy cabbage
Freshly cooked brown rice pasta, cooled to room temp (leftover brown rice pasta doesn’t reheat well)
Red bell pepper, diced
Cashews (use raw and soak them overnight to make them easier to digest)
Optional: orange slices


Rice wine vinegar
Olive oil plus a little sesame oil (use sparingly, it’s strong)
Fresh ginger
Pink salt
Red hot chili pepper flakes
Tiny bit of local organic honey

Now that you are armed with some great tasting salads you’ll want to know when to eat them. At breakfast? Nope. At dinner? Nope.  That leaves lunch and that’s the best time to eat your big raw salad. It will stick with you till dinner because you’re going to eat a lot of it. And best of all, you will never be tired at 3:00 in the afternoon again.

Here’s why. Digestion takes up a huge part of our energy. In fact, if you are sick, or if any animal is sick for that matter, you want to fast so the body has all its energy directed towards healing itself. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need calories when you’re sick. Watch your pet when they’re sick. They refuse food. They know instinctively that the body of a living creature has its own healing mechanism. And now you know that about fasting. So why do you feel logged down after a huge meal of turkey and stuffing or pancakes and sausage? Because you have just overtaxed your stomach and all your energy is going towards digesting it. The body needs fast exit foods. Raw vegetables and fruits are the quickest exiting foods. Cooked meats and starches are slow exiting meaning they stay in the stomach the longest and that’s not what you want.

My day job is creating beautiful, inspiring homes to support you through this illness but I’m also passionate about food and wellness. That’s why I wrote Pain Free Decorating: Creating Nurturing Spaces for Women with Arthritis, to help you create a home that inspires you to take better care of yourself every day, where self care begins… at home. Click here for a sample chapter.  

Live beautifully. Eat beautifully, Shiree’