5 Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors this Spring

Do you or does someone in your household totally dread Springtime because of the allergies?  It's such a tough one, right?  On one hand, you're totally over winter and ready for sunshine and warmer weather, but that pollen and all the new growth kills your sinuses, head, eyes, nose, respiratory system... ugh!  I know.  I've been there.  Yes, there are antihistamines that can provide some relief, but what they are not doing is supporting your body from the inside-out.  What we want to do is find ways to lower that flame in your body so that your response isn't as high.  And, at the same time, use very gentle and natural approaches to soothe the allergies as well. 

1. Reduce your inflammatory foods and increase anti-inflammatory foods. 

The strong inflammatory reaction you have to the allergens outside is directly related to inflammation you have inside your body.  One of the best things you can do is INCREASE the foods that naturally lower inflammation in the body and DECREASE those foods that cause inflammation.  Without turning down the flame, your body will keep firing those inflammatory histamine reactions.

  • Decrease foods with refined sugar
  • Decrease foods with refined flour (bread, cookies, crackers, pretzels, snacks.  And yes, even gluten-free ones).
  • Decrease conventional dairy.  Now many of us need to cut out dairy completely to help support the allergy response, but, at the very least, cut out all conventional dairy.  If you're eating a high quality aged cheese from the farmer's market in moderation, you might still be okay.  For me, this is still too much.
  • Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids from foods like wild and oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel), chia seeds, walnuts, and flax seeds.
  • Increase your intake of ginger and turmeric.  Remember, the anti-inflammatory effects of the curcumin (what makes the turmeric orange) are magnified when you cook the turmeric and eat it with fat and black pepper.  Think: curry.
  • Increase your intake of organic, unrefined, coconut oil.  Coconut oil is an incredible anti-inflammatory food that supports every part of the body (cardiovascular, digestive, brain, skin, bones, detoxification, and others).
  • Increase your intake of a variety of leafy greens.  Get variety!  Bitter foods are excellent for helping allergies: arugula, cilantro, dandelion greens, watercress, and others). 

Note: In some cases, a yeast growing in the body, called Candida, is a culprit here.  It was for me!  So there's a chance you'll need to go stronger to really clear our your body or you could be chasing symptoms forever.  Reach out if you'd like more insight into this!

2. Take a few Supplements

  • B Vitamins.  A B-Complex is incredible for supporting stress response (which is what an allergy attack is), and soothing the histamine response as well.  It's great for energy and for overall well-being.  I highly recommend the Super B, which has themost bio-available form of Folate and is a great formulation. 
  • Quercetin.  This is a bio-flavanoid that helps reduce the histamine response big time.  It is found in many plants and foods, such as red wine, onions, green tea, apples, berries, Ginkgo biloba, St. John's wort, American elder, and others, but I find taking the supplement in a strong dose to work very well. 

3. Use the Trio. 

Now this is seriously magical.  The combination of Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint essential oils works so incredibly effectively to support your seasonal woes. I can't tell you the number of people I know that use this with such incredible results.  There areafew ways to use these. 

  • First, you want to make a roller bottle with equal parts lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oil.  In a 5ml roller, you'd do 8 drops of each oil (adult dosage) and then fill the roller bottle to the top with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil.  Keep this in your bag and anywhere you go for prevention and immediate relief.  You roll the bottle over the bridge of your nose, across your forehead, behind your ears, and on your sinuses in the back of your head. 
  • Second, you'll want to diffuse these three oils in your home to help prepare you for going outside and clearing the gunk while you can inside.  A diffuser is a must in every home!  Three drops of each of these oils in your diffuser. 
  • Bonus: Add Copaiba essential oil, which has major anti-inflammatory effects and acts as a fantastic magnifier for the effects of other oils for topical application. 
  • Tip: There are also about 50+ basic and fantastic additional uses for each of these oils!

4. Keep Clean. 

Making sure that your body and nasal passages are as clean as possible so that you are not continually exposing yourself to the allergens outside will go a long way.

  • Wash up at night.  After you were outside and exposed, make sure to wash your hair and face very well.  In fact, a shower in the evening with some essential oil such as RC (for respiratory health) or Raven would be amazing to open your nasal passages and calm the response. 
  • Neti pot.  You gotta use the Neti Pot every morning.  Consistency is key.  Also great when you come in from the outdoors.  Always boil the water first.  I like to do a combination of the neti pot salt with baking soda, personally.

5. Nettle Tea. 

Using nettles is one of my favorite methods for combating this seasonal trouble.  I prefer doing a therapuetic overnight steep with 4 Tablespoons dried nettles added to boiled water in a quart-size mason jar.  Stir and let it steep all night.  Strain it in the morning and sip throughout the day, every day. 

There you have it! 

You need to start these right away and not in the midst of allergy season.  Best to start early and get your body used to everything so it has the highest chance to lower inflammation and handle the exposure! 

Please comment with any questions or additional tips to share.