How Arthritis Pain Has Affected Michael Symon's Diet

Professional chefs tend to make everything look a little easier than meets the eye. In the case of Michael Symon, despite all of his vigor in the kitchen, things are far from easy. According to the Arthritis Foundation, Symon was diagnosed with arthritis back in his 20s, on top of a type of lupus that affects the joints. In a kitchen, where you're on your feet all day with your hands constantly gripping tools and ingredients, arthritis can be your worst nightmare. Symon decided to look to his own profession for a solution: food.

Having initially dabbled with a vegan diet, he decided it wasn't for him. Instead, he focused on what types of food typically made his joint pains flare up. Symon claims that it's helped to eliminate about 80% of the joint pain he was feeling. Steering clear of dairy products and sugars played a humongous role in his ability to keep going in the kitchen, regardless of his profound love for ice cream. While he still gives himself a cheat day, he knows, "...I'm going to have the ice cream, and tomorrow I'm just not going to feel great."

Fixing it with food

After coming to his own personal solution for his daily aches and pains, Michael Symon went on co-author "Fix It With Food" in 2019, as well as a follow-up in 2021 containing recipes meant to help ease the discomforts of inflammation. "Learning your triggers with food allows you to not only eliminate inflammation but enjoy a guilt-free, delicious lifestyle," Symon said in an interview with Shondaland.

Symon is empathetic to people who suffer from joint pain, as well as those who aren't exactly professional chefs. The intention for his second "Fix It With Food" installment was mainly to fill a book with recipes that don't require an "Iron Chef" level of skill in the kitchen, as opposed to the original book's slightly more challenging recipes. Plus, with recipes like skirt steak with pistachio chimichurri or ground chicken meatballs with peanut cilantro sauce, who would want to go back to eating anything else?