Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pollen Patterns and your Allergies

What’s a person to do when they love the outdoors yet suffer so seasonal allergies so miserably?  

Your pollen pattern release is outlined below with some tried and true recommendations for those who refuse to take the typical over the counter medications that so frequently cause drowsiness and other undesirable side effects.  

In the first weeks of spring, trees such as elm, maple, and birch release their pollen; followed by ash, sycamore and oak.
Late spring/summer
Later in the spring and summer, grass pollens spread into the air, often starting in early May and lasting through mid-July. Various weeds also begin to pollinate in the spring.
Late summer/fall
In late summer and fall, most weeds (like ragweed) produce their pollen, a process that may continue until the first frost. Molds are usually present in the fall, when leaves are decaying
Begin your anti-allergy diet by practicing an anti-inflammatory diet. 

Helpful Supplementation:

Quercetin, Bromelain, Vitamin C, Nettle.  These can frequently be found in a proprietory combination blend at your health food store.

Local Bee Pollen, Raw Local Honey.  (Pasteurization destroys the beneficial compounds)

The use of a Neti Pot has shown to be beneficial.

Avoid histamine containing foods.  Some of the most tasteful food is high in histamine. 
High histamine levels however, can cause headaches, runny nose, sneezing, stomach aches/cramps and flushing skin.
What is Histamine?

In an allergic response, an allergen stimulates the release of antibodies, which attach themselves to mast cells.  When histamine is present, symptoms occur such as itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, wheezing, cough, congestion, etc.

These foods include:

Histamine-Rich Foods (including fermented foods):
·         Alcoholic beverages, especially beer and wine.
·         Anchovies
·         Avocados
·         Cheeses, especially aged or fermented cheese, such as parmesan, blue and Roquefort.
·         Cider and home-made root beer.
·         Dried fruits such as apricots, dates, prunes, figs and raisins (you may be able to eat these fruits - without reaction - if the fruit is thoroughly washed).
·         Eggplant
·         Fermented foods, such as pickled or smoked meats, sauerkraut, etc.
·         Mackerel
·         Mushrooms
·         Processed meats - sausage, hot dogs, salami, etc.
·         Sardines
·         Smoked fish - herring, sardines, etc.
·         Sour cream, sour milk, buttermilk, yogurt - especially if not fresh.
·         Soured breads, such as pumpernickel, coffee cakes and other foods made with large amounts of yeast.
·         Spinach, tomatoes
·         Vinegar or vinegar-containing foods, such as mayonnaise, salad dressing, ketchup, chili sauce, pickles, pickled beets, relishes, olives.
·         Yogurt
Histamine-Releasing Foods:
·         Alcohol
·         Bananas
·         Chocolate
·         Eggs
·         Fish
·         Milk
·         Papayas
·         Pineapple
·         Shellfish
·         Strawberries
·         Tomatoes

While these recommendations might seem restrictive, my clients are amazed at how good they feel with these non-invasive changes to diet and supplement regimen.

What do you have to lose?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Maintaining Your Paleo Plan While Traveling

Guest Blog:

Cole Millen is an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life's best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate "experiences." Learn more about Cole and his travels at here.

How to Eat Paleo on Vacation

Eating healthy and following the Paleo diet may be the newest craze to sweep the health conscious population, but it’s really the oldest way of eating known to mankind. In a nutshell, you eat what our prehistoric ancestors ate: meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, and legumes. In this modern world of over-processed food, sticking to the Paleo way of eating can be a challenge and even more so while on vacation, but can be extremely beneficial.

Eating Paleo Style While Traveling

The best way to stay Paleo while actually traveling is to take personal responsibility for your meals and snacks. Airline food is notoriously bad, and the chances you will get a plate of free-range chicken and fresh vegetables is slim to none. Many airlines do offer more options these days. Diabetic or gluten-free options could be your best bet.

Whether you're flying, taking a train or traveling by car, bringing your own food works great for Paleo diet adherents. Beef or chicken jerky, fresh vegetables, some fruit, and some nuts or seeds will last you through most journeys.

How to Find a Paleo Friendly, Healthy Hotel

Do your research before you start your vacation. Some hotels, and even some parts of the country, are more health conscious and more apt to have straightforward, fresh meals. Instead of focusing on the quality of the linen and if the hotel has a mini bar, check out the restaurant options in the hotel and the surrounding area. I have found reading reviews from other travelers with similar interests to be the most helpful. I most recently was searching reviews for Las Vegas hotels and found one that had a menu with paleo specific options. Looking for these options is very important. Vegetarian restaurants work as well, but steakhouses with organic, free-range beef might be better. Do any pride themselves on offering locally grown produce? That fits wonderfully with the Paleo lifestyle.

Easy Paleo Choices at the Restaurant

Once you get to your hotel and have settled in, tucked your cut vegetable bag in the mini-fridge and washed up, it's time to explore the local restaurants. If you are traveling alone or with Paleo friend people, you won't have a problem finding one with quality meat and fresh vegetables. If you are on business, or if you are forced to go to a restaurant you would not normally pick, you might have problems. The worst for the Paleo diet eating style are probably casual Chinese and Italian restaurants.

In all cases, stick to the basics you know and love when you eat Paleo, no matter where you are in the world. Ask for meat and fish without sauce. If there are no plain vegetable options, a salad bar or simple side salad without dressing will work for you.

With careful planning and a firm knowledge of the Paleo way of eating, you can enjoy great food on vacation without compromise.