5 diet tips to kick your seasonal allergies

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Fall should be a time to enjoy the outdoors, admire changing leaves, and revel in cooler temperatures. But with increasing global temperatures and changing wind patterns, seasonal allergies at an all time high this fall. I can’t tell you how many friends, colleagues and patients I’ve seen suffering with itchy, watery eyes, scratchy throats, sneezing and general allergy misery. Seasonal allergies can be tricky to treat, but the following simple diet tips may help alleviate your allergy symptoms long term. Best part- none of the drowsy-ing side effects of anti-histamines!

1. Avoid your food sensitivities!

The most common sensitivities are wheat, corn, soy, dairy, eggs, and nuts. You can try an elimination diet or have your doctor order a food sensitivity panel which detects antibodies in your blood to specific foods. Avoiding these foods can decrease the inflammation in your body, helping to modulate your immune system so that it reacts less to the pollens, mold, and dust mites that are associated with seasonal allergies.

2. Alkalinize

When the body is in an acidic state, it is more prone to producing histamine- that molecule that makes us feel itchy. There are a few simple ways we can shift our bodies to a more alkaline state. First- start your day with a cup of warm water with a tablespoon of lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar. This not only alkalinizes the body, but improves digestion. Second- eat more vegetables! Third- eat less animal fat and red meat, which increase the production of arachadonic acid- a molecule associated with inflammation.

3. Eat whole foods

Emphasize whole grains, low animal fat and more fiber. This will encourage your body to gently and naturally decrease its toxin load, leaving it less likely to react to the common allergens.

4. Increase healthy dietary fat

Healthy fats include olive oil, coconut oil, wild-caught salmon, and flax. These healthy fats convert to a molecule called prostaglandin-3 (PGE-3) which acts an an anti-inflammatory in the body.

5. Decrease sugar consumption

Sugar not only acidifies the body, it encourages the production of inflammation. So even though the sugar doesn’t necessarily cause allergies, it can make your symptoms significantly worse. Sugars include refined white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup and alcohol. Small amounts of local, raw honey can actually help seasonal allergies! (Make sure never to give honey to children under the age of one)

To learn more about how you can control your seasonal allergies or for information regarding food sensitivity testing, call Integrative Medical Associates  at (520) 297-9664 and ask to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rose

 

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Guilt free pumpkin pancakes!

OK…they would be guilt free had I not added a pat of butter (grass-fed organic cream), maple syrup, and roasted coconut chips! But I knew I had a lot to accomplish this Sunday, including a long work out, so I needed something that could hold me through til dinner. There’s just something about eating cake (who are we kidding, pancakes are cake) for breakfast that makes waking up early on a Sunday morning worth it. It’s even better when the cake you’re eating is grain free and high in protein! I’ve been getting requests for these pancakes every weekend since the weather cooled off.

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Pumpkin Pancakes

  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla protein powder (optional, although I liked the pancakes better with protein powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • coconut oil for cooking pancakes

Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl. Mix wet ingredients together in small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Heat griddle or large cast iron skillet on medium. Coat with coconut oil. I used a ¼ cup measuring cup for each pancake. Cook 3-4 minutes or until firm enough to flip, then appx 2 more minutes on second side. This recipe makes 6-8 medium sized pancakes (5” diameter). Enjoy!!

Pumpkin Time…

 

 

I’m not one of those people who loves fall. It means cold is coming. I live in Arizona so I can avoid cold. I do however love pumpkin: pumpkin candles, mini pumpkin decorations, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer, pumpkin butter…am I sounding like Bubba from Forrest Gump yet? I’ve been experimenting with several sweet and savory pumpkin dishes. There’s at least one for every day this week, so I hope you don’t get tired of pumpkin too quickly!

 

Pumpkin Cookies (grain free, vegan, and dangerously tasty!)

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¾ cup creamy almond butter

½ cup canned pumpkin

¼ cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp pumpkin spice

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp fine sea salt

½ cup almond flour

¼ tsp baking soda

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 10-15 minutes on a cookie sheet lightly greased with coconut oil.

These should make 2 dozen cookies. I say “should” because these don’t have egg in them…meaning we ate a good deal of the dough and will never know exactly how many cookies this made. The recipe was adapted from one of my favorite blogs- Detoxinista. I wanted my cookies to be less gooey- hence the almond flour and baking soda additions. These lasted in our house for two days- I don’t mean they went bad, I mean that they were eaten in less than 48 hrs.

Rise and Shine!

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“Rise and Shine!” Detox Juice

This recipe made 20 oz:

2 large fuji apples

½ head green cabbage

2 large carrots

1 1/2” ginger, peeled

This juice is packed with nutrients to help your body function at optimal levels, leaving you shining on the inside and out! The antioxidants (quercetin, epicatechin, and procyanidin B2) found in apples will help combat the free-radicals associated with aging and cardiovascular disease.  Cabbage is a great source of vitamin C and glucosinolates, both of which are powerful cancer fighters. The compounds in cabbage also break down into indole-3-carbinol, which helps your liver process hormones. A cleaner liver means clearer skin and reduced symptoms of PMS in women! Carrots are high in beta-carotene which is associated with improved skin and eye health. Ginger is not only great for digestion but has compounds linked to reduced inflammation, better immunity, and protection from ovarian and colon cancer. You can’t go wrong with this juice!

Green Juice: a great way to start the day

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Juicing is a great way to boost your intake of vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables. Great for cleansing, weight loss or a supplement to your every day diet! I find that it’s more time and cost effective to make a large batch of juice that can be saved in the fridge for up to 3 days. The following recipe, using all organic fruits and veggies, made 48 oz of juice:

5 small green apples (quartered)

2 stalks celery (cut into 4″ pieces)

3 small cucumbers (cut into 4″ pieces)

1 bunch kale

4 large handfuls baby spinach

1/2 a bunch basil

1″ fresh ginger root, peeled

2 lemons

I like to save the pulp for my compost bin, so I make sure to juice the ginger and lemon separately as these shouldn’t go into compost.

I have this juicer by Sharper Image.  It’s pretty user friendly although I’m not sure it extracts the juice as well as some of the more professional models.