Latest posts by Jane Lawson (see all)
- Combat Colds And Seasonal Allergies On Top Of Year-Round Allergies - November 29, 2016
- Allergy-Free, Gluten-Free Halloween Candy - October 11, 2016
- Eating Out With Food Allergies - October 5, 2016
Toward the end of October, I began feeling it—sore throat, itchy eyes, runny nose. I think colds and seasonal allergies are worse when we have year-round allergies, too. Colds and seasonal allergies are so much like allergic reactions—so on top of your typical allergies, you’re basically chillaxing with allergy symptoms. Sure, the trees are dormant. YAY, pollen is released less during the cold months. Constant sneezing, nose-blowing and eye-itching, though? That’s literally the last thing I want.
My head has pretty much felt like a balloon lately. If I go outside, the wind might pick me up and carry me away because I’m so light-headed from these “allergies” or this cold I have. I’m not even sure if I can call them “seasonal allergies” anymore, because when I have allergic reactions, I’m sick—right down to the fever. And aren’t allergies things you’re allergic to?
All this terminology this time of the year is strange to me. People suddenly think they understand what I’m going through on a daily basis, because their seasonal allergies are kicking in. Having a conversation with family about it can be difficult, because they tell us to just take allergy/cold meds and suck it up.
I get it. I used to go to the doctor for this, but doctors don’t always take year-round allergies seriously (mine accused me of being a hypochondriac before I switched), so I began looking for natural remedies. Natural remedies are friendlier to my immune system and body, because I’m not forcing it to try to play nice with an allergen hiding under its complex chemical name.
Of course, I am not a doctor. These are just the things I do and have done for a while. They work for me, and my body has adapted accordingly. I believe we know our bodies best, but to defend myself legally: This is neither medical advice, nor should it replace the advice from/of a doctor. Do these things at your own discretion.
Eat less meat, more veggies
Congestion is more frequent for me during the cooler months. I love the cold, but it’s hard on my throat and lungs. Meat, especially beef (though I’m not a huge beef eater), has a way of making me cough. I prefer chicken or turkey more, but neither I nor my dad’s side of the family eats meat much, so it’s not too hard to consume more fruits or vegetables.
I’ve been roasting fresh veggies in the oven for my grandmother and I. The key is color—hashtag #eatarainbow doesn’t exist for nothing. My favorites are green beans, yellow squash, and orange carrots.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a deep pan (we use a roast pan) with parchment paper. Dice the squash, trim edges off green beans where necessary, and aim for skinny carrots. If the carrots are bigger, try cutting them in half. Prepare and add in the carrots first, so they can get a headstart whilst you’re preparing the other veggies. Coat lightly and mix with olive oil, then salt. You always need more salt than you think. Add the other veggies and spread out evenly; cover with foil and bake for an hour.
The total prepare time for me is one hour. I have to wash well and peel the carrots because of my mold allergies, so it takes some time.
When roasted, carrots taste sweet, yet savory. They’re so decadently delicious you’ll forget all about the other veggies you’ve roasted.
Warm up with soup
Cold season is soup season. If you want the flavor of meat without the meat, I suggest Massel. If you do use Massel, don’t add salt—you’ll make it too salty! The trick to making soup flavorful and filling is using fresh produce. Canned vegetables are stored in water to keep them from drying out, but this causes them to lose their vibrant colors and a lot of nutrients. Have you ever drained a can of carrots or peas, only to see orange or green water leaving it? Fresh produce is vibrant and flavorful.
Add onion when cooking
If you don’t like onion, use a big chunk of it and put it into your soup/dishes for flavor. Then, remove it. If you make fried potatoes, you can cut it to resemble the potato slices. The onion flavor cooks out, whilst the onion bits themselves start to resemble the potato pieces. We shred our potatoes, or cut them like hash browns, so if you cut the potatoes into cubes, the onions won’t have the same invisible effect.
Onions have great health benefits, so if you can work it into your diet, you’ll be able to bask in them!
Keep natural throat drops on hand
I love and use Ricola. They have more of a variety of flavors now, if you can’t stand the flavor of Horehound in the “Original” flavor. Other companies, like Halls and Luden’s, contain soy and other preservatives.
I have yet to try out any smoothie bowls, because I need to stock up on some toppings—like Hemp Hearts. When my throat hurts, I find cold drinks friendlier than other drinks. Ginger ale only gets me so far, though—and I recently learned how to develop smoothie recipes. Did you know herbs and other seasonings can go into them? I didn’t!
Smoothies, if developed properly, are a great, nutrient-dense way to consume fresh fruits and vegetables. With my single-serve blender, cleanup is easy.
Prepare your smoothie ingredients beforehand and freeze for later in “smoothie packs”. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and top with sliced/cubed fruit; freeze for at least six hours. After, add ingredients to freezer bags (label and date first!) as per the recipes. I draw on my parchment paper with pencil “groups” of smoothies, so I don’t have to measure anything. I mean, figuring out how many slices of a fruit makes a whole is difficult if not all pieces are even. For your convenience, make note of what liquids you’ll need. Refrain from freezing dry ingredients, like add-ins (e.g. oatmeal, seeds, sunflower seed butter, etc.).
How do you combat colds and seasonal allergies?
Let us know in the comments!