Eating to live means being cognizant of what you're consuming and what it's doing to your body. Add in some real food fighters (not the rock band) to protect against seasonal allergies.
Here's a short list of some food pros and cons to know about during allergy season.
Eat More Of These Foods
1. Eat More Omega-3
Herring, mackerel, trout, and salmon have the some of the highest amounts of omega-3. Enjoy 1-2 servings of fish a week for better protection against allergies, plus reap all the other benefits to your skin, hair, nails, and heart.
2. Go Nuts!
Two handfuls of nuts and seeds a day like walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and cashews help boost magnesium levels to reduce allergic sensitivity.
3. Eat Histamine Reducers
Find ways to add natural histamine reducers like onions and peppers into your diet. Just don't go all crazy and get too spicy because hot peppers can trigger specific allergies.
4. Pineapples for Mucus
I know everyone hates the word mucus, but if you got it, pineapple is one of the best ways to get rid of it. Pineapple contains powerful bromelain, an enzyme that breaks up snot, goo, and you guessed it- mucus. Enjoy fresh pineapple every day and have healthier sinuses, less coughing, and less inflammation.
5. Strawberries and Broccoli
Strawberries are high in an antioxidant called fisetin and broccoli is high in the antioxidant glutathione. The fisetin in strawberries increases the quality and strength of the glutathione in broccoli which binds to toxins and flushes them out of the body. Fewer toxins in your system mean less inflammation during your allergy season (or any other season) so eat more of both of these....just not together cause that'd be gross.
6. Try Probiotics Like Kefir and Kombucha
Every Tom, Dick and Harry health professional wants to remind you that the immune system is found in your gut so I'll spare you the pain of rereading it from me. Kefir and Kombucha are both loaded with bacteria to help your stomach and immune system thrive. The more effectively your immune is working, the better you'll feel; have a glass and know it's doing your body good.
Eat Less Of These Foods
Which specific foods you want to avoid really depends on what precisely you're allergic to, but these foods are a good start.
1. Don't Eat Histamine Promoting Foods
Tomatoes, eggplant, avocados, and mushrooms all promote histamine, so the last thing you wanna do is eat a tomato and mushroom omelet for breakfast with avocado toast. Tomatoes are the worst offender, but all four of these should be avoided or consumed less during allergy season.
2. Don't Create More Mucus
Dairy products, especially milk, create more mucus, so ease off the warm milk before bed; it's just gonna make you wake you up congested tomorrow anyway.
3. Don't Feed The Mucus
Even if you've stopped drinking the milk out of your cereal bowl, you could still be feeding goo through the overeating of sugar. If there was a villain in every disease, I swear it'd always be sugar. Sugar just feeds your snot factory, so try to eat under 25 grams of it a day, which means you'll have to read labels, sorry about that.
4. No Shortcut Foods
If you feel exhausted enough to stop by McD's on the way home, just know, you'll feel worse tomorrow because of it. Fast foods, in general, are loaded with chemicals and materials that can't be processed by your body. It's a shortcut to overburdening your body and making allergies worse. Foods like crackers, bagels, and cereal (even without the milk) will just make congestion worse so no more shortcuts.
Each food you consume can be a powerful ally during your allergy season, so choose to eat to live and be empowered by your food choices!
Do seasonal allergies give you an itchy nose, congestion, or give you fits of sneezing and wheezing? You're in good company because an estimated fifty million Americans suffer from allergies every year. For every season, you can bet there's an allergy to go along with it.
Know Your Season
First, it's crucial to know when allergy season is in your area, and I'll give you a hint: it's allergy season right now. No matter where you live, tree pollen usually strikes first in the early spring and is followed by grass and then weed pollen in mid to late summer.
Here are two ways you can get ahead of the pollen game:
1. Use a Pollen Forecast Map
You can try Pollen.com or WeatherBug.com
2. Download an App to get pollen count updates
Both Pollen.com and WeatherBug.com have free Apps you can download on iPhone and Android.
Prepare For Allergy Season
In the off-season, try adding local raw honey to your daily diet. Not every allergist agrees this helps, but I know through personal experience that changing the way you consume an allergen can help your body become less sensitized to it. The honey needs to be local so its pollen is local too. If it doesn't make a difference in your allergies, you can rest assured it's antibacterial benefits are promoting improved well-being.
To keep pollen outside where it belongs, and not in your house, here are three simple tricks that'll make a considerable difference to your life.
1. Change Your Airfilters (and make sure they're HEPA filters)
2. Leave Your Shoes Outside
3. Take Mom's Advise to Declutter and Dust
Planning Outside Time
Preparing a day trip? Ragweed grows faster in the city, and its pollen is 5x as potent than it is in rural areas. If we add in the exhaust from buses and traffic, it's a recipe for trouble.
Here are three strategies for planning your next day out.
1. Stay Home On Windy Days
While self-explanatory, if it's windy outside, you're going to be slapped in the face with pollen all day and covered from head to toe when you get home. Check the weather. If it's a lousy pollen day and windy, do yourself the favor of staying home and replanning the visit.
2. Visit The City In The Morning
Pollen sticks to liquid, and if dew is still on the grass, you know you're good to go, but there's something else most allergy sufferers don't realize makes their situation worse: Constant traffic in a city plus the heat from the afternoon sun create ground-level ozone (a chemical reaction) which restricts your lungs and causes congestion and coughing, worsening allergy symptoms. The hotter it gets outside, the more you're at risk, so it's better to stay home or plan your trip for the next morning.
3. Go Outside After It Rains
Rain is the answer to prayer in mid to late Spring, spoken and coughed out by every red-eyed, stuffy nosed person. It's nature's way of washing away what was and clearing the way for what will be. While you're in this perfect haven of in-between time, take advantage of it by heading outside.
Using a pollen forecast to prepare and plan is the best way to go. Once you pick your day, implement my tips for enjoying your day out!
On my breakfast food adventure, I discovered Rip's Power-Up Bowl Double Berry Hot Cereal made by Engine 2 Plant-Strong (a Whole Foods product).
It's a hot cereal that's USDA organic and certified gluten-free. Imagine oatmeal with strawberries and blueberries. Now imagine adding in quinoa and sesame seeds on top.
One serving has 34g of whole grains and 4g of protein. I love adding fresh blueberries and a 1/2 tsp of organic sugar. Bypassing the nutritional content, it tastes great and gives you more variety in breakfast options.
One bag should last a week or two and costs about $5 at Whole Foods. Need I remind you that 1 box of Cheerios costs about $4 and will only last about a week? Have you considered that for a dollar more you could be tripling your health benefits and shopping less often?
Plus, if you start your day with this hot cereal and two eggs, you're getting in about 15g of protein, or about 30% of your recommended protein intake for the day. Protein not only feeds your muscles and brain but also keeps you feeling fuller longer.
Rip's Power-Up Bowl also contain sesame seeds which are one of the most potent seeds for fighting high cholesterol, blood pressure and cancer. You'd literally be giving your body everything it needs to start your day.
Visit your local Whole Foods (assuming you have one) and try out this fast and easy breakfast that's sure to please not only your taste buds but your body too!
Juicing is a part of my daily routine, and by extension, a part of my Members lives to help us all lead a healthier, happier life- one cup of juice at a time.
If you are toying with the idea of juicing or want to know how it can help you overcome illness and obesity, make sure you read my three articles: "What Is Juicing?," "I'm Ready to Start Juicing," and "I Bought A Juicer, Now What?"
When looking into juicing, my Members are concerned with the expense of investing in a juicer, and it's my job to try and make it as financially painless as possible.
A few years ago I recommended everyone try the Jack LaLaine juicer which lived a long, happy life in my own kitchen, but sadly is becoming harder and harder to find. So today I would like to introduce you to the Joe Cross Juicer which is both wholly affordable and perfect if you are new to juicing.
In addition to that, you'll receive four vacuum-sealed cups for storing your fresh juice for 3 days, and I tested it. You really can save it for up to three days without losing any taste or nutrients. All you'll need to do is seal the lid and pump the air out, and you're done! Just make sure to handwash these when you're finished drinking them.
You'll also get two insulated cups with lids and straws to drink your juice immediately, all which are dishwasher safe! Plus, you'll get two juice boxes that are spill-proof and perfect for kiddos or taking your drinks on the go.
However, if all that wasn't enough, Joe also gives you freezer push pops, decomposable bags for the pulp bin, his movie, "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" on DVD, and even an adorable juicing how-to guide and recipe book.
For $90 you seriously can't go wrong with this purchase. You get everything you need to start juicing: the equipment, the vacuum sealed cups (which are impossible to find anywhere on their own), and the motivation to keep doing it over the long haul.
picture from Amazon.com
Upon speaking with the team at Joe Cross Juicers I was informed that this Bundle is only a limited time offer, but as of April 2018, you can still get this great deal by ordering through Amazon.
What I loved most was the ability to juice large amounts at once using the pitchers and vacuum sealed cups. Instead of my usual routine of juicing twice a day, I was able to juice more substantial amounts every 2-3 days, giving me more time and the ability to grab and go when I wanted a pick me up.
I received my package on time, and everything was neatly boxed and felt like it had been put together with love. I wasn't just buying a random appliance. This bundle was created by an avid juicer himself who knows precisely what is needed to make it easy for everyone and I sincerely felt that love as I unwrapped it.
Joe has changed the lives of millions around the world, helping them achieve health they never thought possible and now he's offering an easy and affordable way for everyone to get a fresh start juicing. I highly recommend this Bundle to anyone who's on a budget, ready to get started juicing or looking for a simpler way to do it less frequently while still getting the maximum results.
Plus, you're helping to support a person who's given so much to so many. You really can't go wrong with this one, and I'm proud to recommend his product!
It’s the early 2000s, I had a candy bar cell phone, still printed maps before driving, and two beautiful towers still stood in New York City. It was a simpler time compared to the woes of our current ecosystem. It was a time of bunny ears on your tv, written checks, and the world’s best infomercials at 3am.
If you were up at 3am, you’d have the pleasure of seeing Cleo the psychic, Suzanne Somers with her ThighMaster, SoloFlex, and my personal favorite, Chef Tony and the Miracle Blade kitchen knife wondershow (ok, maybe I made that last bit up…).
I never called Cleo or her friends, but I do believe my mother bought a ThighMaster and let me tell you, that contraption will pull your groin muscle out before it ever tightens your thighs. We can’t all be Suzanne.
But Chef Tony was a man of his own making, the world’s best salesman and watching him do anything made you want it. Purposefully I would watch his show Sunday mornings, running to the kitchen to try and slice bread with my knife. I’d simultaneously be disappointed with my own useless blade and wowed by his.
He could throw pineapples in the air and slice them in half (a feat I've never been able to replicate), then cut an exhaust pipe from a car, and after wiping off the blade, smoothly cut a tomato or sliced bread.
I was hooked and too broke to actually call the 1-800 number and order myself a set. But I watched every weekend like an old lady watches her soap opera shows. Maybe it was because I was a cook at the time, maybe it was the enthusiasm of Chef Tony’s cutting, slicing, and dicing skills. Whatever the reason, I fantasized about owning my own set of Miracle Blades. Oh, all the things I would cut, slice and dice…I’d have to start buying more pineapple and uncut bread. But wait, if I acted now, I could get a genuine wooden knife holder perfect for displaying these gleaming sharp beauties.
So I know you’re asking yourself, if I’m this excited about those knives nearly 20 years later, then I surely must of bought them, right?
No, my dearest reader, I did not. Some things are just better left as fantasies, like staying in Disney’s castle, owning your own pony, or yes, slicing pineapples in half like a ninja.
Alas, the days of spray on hair, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Chef Tony’s knives are past, as are my dreams of owning my own Pony named Bubblegum (what? I named her!).
So since we can’t sit down at 7am on a Sunday and be wowed by a man cutting a leather shoe in half....
Here are the 3 knives everyone needs in their kitchen
8-inch Chef Knife
Smaller knife used to peel, trim and/or slice smaller produce or score meat.
Tip: Create a flat surface so your food (or your fingers) don’t get away from you.
It does what it says it does.
Tip: A bread knife is also good for cutting thin skinned produce like tomatoes or eggplant.
Even if you’ll never get to experience the glory of sawing an exhaust pipe in half, if you have these three knives- you’ll be a pro in the kitchen in no time.
Just like Chef Tony, make sure you have an organized work space and clean as you go (but don’t throw all the cut produce in the sink, why’d he do that?).
Never put your knives in the dishwasher, and instead, wash right after use and dry them! If you take care of them, your knives can last a lifetime, even if it’s not a lifetime guarantee by the Miracle Blade Master himself.