Friday, October 12, 2018

Plant Powered Gone Awesome

"Hey Tracy, I have this new product do you want to try it?" 
I love these emails! 


Food allergies. It's been a journey for me both with my son and myself. So why not get excited about new products? Foods have changed so much over the past 17 years since my son was born. People should love their foods, even with food allergies. But what I have also learned is that what you eat needs to be healthier, in more of it's purest form and your body will thank you for it. Do I eat this way always? No. But I do my best to continue to find products that fit into my lifestyle that are also a better product.

Enter Frooze Balls So I got this adorable box that had six varieties of Frooze Balls. My initial thought was "These are some tiny packages". There are five in each bag and as a mom whose children eat non stop, I couldn't help but be just a bit hesitant. Yet, nothing is better than eating my own words, literally. I have to say, just one of these plant-powered guys is filling! Brace yourself for my thoughts on their Peanut Butter variety (yes, my son is allergic and yes, I ate them then proceeded to wipe everything down including myself). Why? Because my son is 16 and he knows not to touch his allergic foods. I have learned that this should not limit me from trying products that I like or that may be liked by others as long as I am careful. The taste- a mild hint of peanut butter. It's hearty and what I initially thought was sugar was actually coconut.

Because Frooze Balls also contains fruit, most of the flavors are (in my opinion) mild. The size of the product is good- not so big that you feel as if you might choke on it if you eat the entire thing..which I may or may not have (snicker). The consistency is good- not dry or chalky and no weird aftertaste as sometimes can be found in some products. As far as the Salted Maple ..oh my! when you open up the bag, it smells like pancakes (well, to me at least). Although I noticed that I mainly tasted the raisin versus the maple. Still tasty but I had hoped for more maple... I guess that would also mean more sugar, which would defeat the purpose of the product.

STOP right here! 
The Salted Maple inspired a new recipe that takes a forever-favorite snack and ramps it up with extra protein.

Recipe Here

The flavor of the Salted Maple mixed with the cream cheese reminds me of the date nut bread my grandmother used to top with cream cheese.... there must be something with Frooze Balls and my childhood. You can use any of the Frooze Balls products for this snack but this was my choice.

The Fudgetastic was something that I brought to work with me one day. I've gotten into the bad habit of needing something sweet so I thought this would be better than my current sweets. I paired them with some apple slices and yes, my fudge craving was met with a lot less calories and sugar.

When you were little, did your mom ever get you those mini lemon pies? Or make lemon chiffon pie? Yes, those mass-produced, most likely GMO filled pies that had the gooey lemon center? UGH I loved them!!!! So when I got to the Lemon Cheesecake Frooze Balls, I was torn. On one hand, I was like "Oh yeah, lemon!" but then I was like "Hmm, lemon and all of these other flavors? I dunno". Opening the bag was like taking a whiff of my childhood... is it the way they make the bags maybe? I see a pattern here of when I open the bag. Whatever works, right? I am happy to report that the flavors did not overpower each other as expected.

Dark Forest...let's talk about this one for a minute. I think this may have been my personal favorite. These smell and taste like the most decadent chocolate ever with a hint of cherries. Only the cherry flavor doesn't hit you for a minute to two. It's like a bonus tasting. Either way, still a little piece of yumminess and something that I would eat again. I mean come on, chocolate!

In the midst of all of these sweeter tasting products, Frooze Balls also has a Mint & Cacao flavor (quick quiz- do you know how to pronounce cacao?). This was like tasting your favorite chocolate covered mint cookie or breaking open that little chocolate and green candy. Although very minty, it still wasn't overboard on the flavor.This is a definite possibility for when you need something a little on the lighter side or even to both curb your sweet tooth but also soothe your stomach.




Ingredients
ALL of the Frooze Balls contain dates, raisins or sultanas (it's a white, oval seedless grape... I Googled it), sunflower seeds, coconut and Himalayan salt. Depending upon the variety, there are some that contain peanut, cashew, almonds, cacao, lemon, mint, etc. I typically don't review products that contain nuts but as I stated above, I am looking at items for me as well (time for mama to see what is safe for her too).

Suggestions
I am super grateful for Frooze Balls sending me all of these goodies. In my true fashion of honest product reviews, I have some things that I would like to suggest as a consumer. Obviously, my suggestions may not be the same as other consumer suggestions but I always share them. One of the ingredients mentioned is "natural flavor" please be specific as to what this is. Natural flavor can mean anything and transparency always gives a product extra points with the consumers. Not to mention that something as simple as this may mean a huge something to a person who is allergic to that natural flavor.

Second suggestion (and bear with me because this may seem so trivial) - the tear on your packages pulls downward. This means that the likelihood of a consumer spilling all of your product on the floor and wasting it (or, using the 5 second rule) is very high. Maybe consider having it pull across the top which would more likely leave your Frooze Balls safe and sound until they are ready to be eaten.

All in all, these are a hearty little snack and I am thankful that Frooze Balls asked me to try them out. You can also find a 6 pack variety on their website at FroozeBalls.com and you can visit them on Instagram and Facebook. Give them a try and tell them you heard about them here (I just get a nice thank you). Because at the end of the day, it's all about food and sharing ~








Sunday, September 23, 2018

How To Break Up With Your Support Group

I don't hide my feelings well at all. But I always ALWAYS try to remain as polite and professional as possible. But this article...this is something that has been stewing inside of me for many, many years. I typically let a lot of things slide but this is something that just keeps coming back and doesn't seem to be noticed as the sheep in wolves clothing. I believe that good people get noticed for what they do and how they help and I also believe that those who are not doing well for the community will (eventually) be seen for who they truly are. Then a thought occurred to me- what if the people that are noticing these inexcusable behaviors just don't know what to do to fix it? I am all about having some answers to offer rather than just sitting around complaining about it.

My hope is that this article will help someone who is unhappy with their support group leader. I am sharing because it is NOT ok for someone to be unhappy in a support group, especially with food allergies already being so overwhelming and confusing. Let's look at some for instances...

  • It is NOT ok for a support group leader to be belligerent to others or to take action for the chance of prestige for themselves when in reality, support groups are all about the community, helping everyone and all working together. It's a group- there is no single pat on the back, there is no "I have this all planned out and it doesn't matter what you say". 
  • It is NOT ok to be malicious and tell outright lies about others around you to try to bring additional members to your group, thinking you are the only one in the spotlight to help these people that place their trust in you. Eventually, your group members will see through you.
  • It is NOT ok to use anger or negativity as a power play within your group. If you are supposed to lead, then lead with positivity. Such is the saying "You catch more flies with honey".
Why do we need food allergy support groups? Because food allergies are something that can be both positive and negative. If we rally together and unite, we do amazing things together. We raise awareness, we meet new friends, we develop new methods for coping and most of all, our unity saves lives. So what about those who don't feel supported but rather, bullied? What about those who don't know where to turn and they just go with the flow because they don't want to make waves? There is a word that describes leaders that have these behaviors- it's called egotist. There is an amazing article written by Chip Scholz that shares the reasoning of an egotist and their actions. How much of this sounds all to familiar?
  • "Egotists regard themselves as superior, set apart from everyone else
  • They are entitled and important simply because they want to be
  • They know everything, or at least don't believe they can be taught anything of significance in their immediate world
  • With a rear-view-mirror perspective, they rely on past accomplishments, convinced these are enough to carry them wherever they want to go.
Because of the need to protect their sense of superiority, egotists are disconnected from the world, often naive about its workings. In their minds, everything is simplified to conform to their personal perceptions.

They are blind to "uncooperative agents, or refuse to deal with them. They refashion the truth to better support their egotistical self-image. This causes the egotist to carve out a false life to be lived out in a false world. The resulting blind spots lead to a distorted worldview and behaviors that aren't appropriate or effective. 

Since it can't be their fault when things don't go their way, egotists resent the people or systems they feel have let them down. They may adopt a persecution mentality, playing the victim of "unfair" treatment. Caught up with distorted thoughts and imagery, they ratchet up the superiority even more, to regain position."

What Can YOU Do As a member of a support group, you DO have rights and you CAN do something to try to better your group. Before you get caught up in support group drama, reach out to other members to see how they feel and what they would like to see changed for the better. It may seem as if you are ganging up on the support group leader but this is simply not the case- you may need to check with yourself to make sure that you are not seeing into situations that are not actually there. Safety in numbers is best, even if it's just for a reality check.

-Petition to have the support group leader step down. You may need to have very thick skin to do this but if you feel this is necessary and you feel strongly that it's best for the group's mission, then it is an option. Point out the purpose for your petition but also offer recommendations on how removing the current support group leader would be beneficial. Ask other group members to stand with you when you present it or to sign it as well. Keep in mind that if this request is denied, you may need to search for a new support group.

- Ask people with authority to join you. Is you support group broken down into different levels of leadership? Approach one of those who have more authority than you and discuss your thoughts with them. A true support group will welcome any and all thoughts of a member but (again) be prepared to offer suggestions of how to improve the situation as well. Sometimes when support group leaders are caught up in their day to day, they don't realize that members are not happy with the current setup.

- Alert national non-profits. Many food allergy support groups strive to be recognized as national non profit support group. If a support group leader is not a positive role model, doesn't seem to have a true mission to help vs. gain popularity or if they have  reputation within the community to be impossible to approach or work with, this also reflects badly on any national non profits who have given that group their seal of approval. Sometimes these national non profits need a little bit of a heads up to investigate on their own, especially if a valued member of the food allergy community feels that their group leader is less than what the non profit expects.




If you feel that your food allergy support group is not sustaining what you need for your community, ask yourself what the cause is. Find someone who will support you. Find a leader that is pleasant to speak to. Above all, don't put up with anyone's crap- there is too much to worry about already and so much better that we can accomplish together.





Tuesday, September 18, 2018

This May Save Your Life (Epi)

Back in 2015, I met an amazing group of people at the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference who were working on a new product called Veta Smart Case & App. Imagine, something that would immediately tell you if you were separated from your auto injectors. I was excited then but three years later, I am so ecstatic to see this product on my doorstep, being able to test it out to see if it's all that I hoped it would be.


Why Did It Take So Long This may be your first thought, 2015?! What the heck people? I can tell you from personally meeting the team of Aterica Digital Health in my opinion, they are a rare breed of people who actually believe in perfecting a product for the good of the people. They care about making sure their consumers are as safe as possible and they wanted this to be a product that would have everything covered, leaving very little room for error. Less chances for error means less chances of a life being threatened by food allergies or an allergic reaction. Less of a chance for another unnecessary death due to food allergies. More importantly, more of a chance for us to become educated about what is needed to stay within that margin of close to zero error.

Explain This To Me I am a self-professed tech-challenged person. I am also very visual and I thought it may help to show you first what happens when your epinephrine is removed from the Veta Smart Case. This is one of two things that happens IF someone is having a reaction and needs to remove the auto injectors, if a teacher is opening the case or even as a heads up if someone (such as a small child) is opening the case when they should not -



The second part is where the app comes in. A simple download of the Veta app and the cases are connected via Bluetooth to keep everything in check. But it's NOT just to alert someone that the case is being opened. As I stated above, Aterica Digital Health wanted to cover any type of situation that might happen so that an immediate answer could be given as to also prevent panic over situations that may not need extreme panic.....I think we can all agree that there is more than enough of that so less is wonderful. All you need to do is look for this and proceed with the download.

Remember, I am challenged so I was a bit hesitant...seriously, opening the Veta Smart Case box as if I would break something or install it and it would start spitting out things that I couldn't understand. Not the case at all! You see, when you open the box there are several things inside. Not only is everything secured with easy-to-open plastic (that you can recycle, extra bonus in my book) and no scissors needed (so also no cuts, another bonus) but there is a Getting Started booklet included. It goes step by step so app and case setup are super easy. Your box even includes the batteries that you will need to get everything started (yes, they literally thought of everything).

What's in the Box One Veta Smart Case box includes 2 smart cases (because, as everyone knows, you should always carry two), instructions for getting started, 2 sets of tops (different colors in case you want to differentiate your auto injectors such as yellow for adult dosage and green for children's dosage), 2 silicone bands to hold secure two cases together, stickers to label each case (Mom, Dad, Suzy and Steve), a booklet of The Fine Print (care of cases, etc.) and even a card that gives you all of their contact information in the event that you are not happy with the product OR if you are happy, you know it and you want to clap your hands (joking but true).

What About the App Once it's installed, you can set up a bunch of different options. You first receive an email to verify the account then you can update the app with all of these functions:

  • You can set up a profile for everyone's smart case. This includes notifying you when the case is not in range, if the temperature is too hot or too cold, if the battery is still functioning and when the epinephrine in each case expires. 
  • There is an assist option that can call the person the Veta Smart Case is labeled for and there is even a location device on it.
  • A support circle can be set up. This means that mom, dad or whoever else you choose will be get notifications as well.
  • Not sure how to use an auto injector? There is even a Resources option that explains visually and verbally how to administer it!
Veta Smart Case & App vs. Other Options Oddly enough, while I was just getting into the beginning stages of using the Veta Smart Case I received an email from another company that offered an "emergency sharing app". Not a tracking device, not a controlled case to let you know if your epinephrine was in good standing just a network of people who would share their auto injector IF they could find you and IF they chose to even look for you. When I rooted around for opinions, I got a very solid answer from a person who shared "Someone who is diagnosed with anaphylaxis and chooses to install this other app, forgot to carry their own auto injector and chose not to go back for it is a serious red flag. Epinephrine will save you, not an app." I am the mother of a child with multiple food allergies and the last thing that I would want to encourage is NOT carrying epinephrine. Do we all forget it sometimes while we are in a hurry? Yes but that's what the Veta Smart Case helps us out with. In today's world where everyone is tied into their devices, why not utilize your normal routine to also have your epinephrine as your normal routine? Why not be the parent that gets notifications BEFORE anything might happen- to me, that is infinitely better than getting a horrific call from someone who has just watched your child have an anaphylactic reaction without any epinephrine. I want my child and everyone else to LIVE with food allergies.


To end, I cannot stress enough how important this product is and how much I trust my son's life with this product. Will the Veta Smart Case save his life? It just might. I know that Aterica Digital Health has given blood, sweat and tears to make this product the best it can possibly be. I am all about companies who make products to ensure their consumers live and I am all about sharing products that I support. Food allergy parents have to be picky and I am and you should be too. The Veta Smart Case and app may not literally save my son's life but one thing is for sure- it is the next best thing to me being there when I cannot be. 

For more information and details about the Veta Smart Case, visit them at MyVeta.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter. You can purchase the Veta Smart Case at some CVS locations , on Amazon or order online now. 





* I received free product for my opinion. No charges for product reviews as my opinions are always honest and my own. 





Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Vegan Cookie Dough Is a Thing

You know how everyone tells you not to eat raw cookie dough? Yeah, yeah you can get sick and with food allergies, eating cookie dough is typically a no no because it usually contains egg. But what if I told you that there is a cookie dough that may be safe for you to eat, raw or cooked? And what if I told you it was also vegan and gluten free? Are you excited now?

I got a request from the San Clemente Cookie Dough Co. to give their products a try. These are single-serving sizes of plant-based cookie dough that come in three flavors- Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle and Chocolate Brownie. I know you must be curious so here my thoughts and the ingredients plus a bit more:

Chocolate Chip I have to say, I was a bit hesitant to try it...I don't know why, just being honest here. I was pleasantly surprised that the texture was good- not gritty, oily or dry. Often with gluten free products, I fear any or all of these as some products try to overcompensate. The chocolate chips had a good flavor and the overall cookie dough itself was reminiscent of a chocolate chip cookie that I had enjoyed as a child. Ingredients include whole grain oat flour, chocolate chips (cocoa liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa powder), cane sugar, brown rice syrup, sunflower oil, filtered water, vanilla extract (vanilla bean, alcohol, water), baking soda and sea salt.

Snickerdoodle Without meaning to repeat myself, I am happy to report that the consistency was equally as good. Upon opening a package, I was met with the immediate smell of snickerdoodle including cinnamon and just plain goodness. Never in my life would I have expected to tell people I was eating vegan snickerdoodle cookie dough. Ingredients include whole grain oat flour, cane sugar, filtered water, brown rice syrup, sunflower oil, cinnamon powder, baking soda, vanilla extract (vanilla bean extractives, alcohol and water) and sea salt.

Chocolate Brownie So, sometimes you just want a fudgy brownie and sometimes, you just don't want to prepare it. This is where you open one of these self-serve guys and dig in. The best part (in my opinion) is that having the single-serve size also means a little more portion control and a little less guilt. Of course, some of us may choose to open a second package and I find nothing wrong with that either...it's still better than eating a huge bunch of brownies. Ingredients include whole grain oat flour, cocoa powder, cane sugar, sunflower oil, filtered water, brown rice syrup, baking soda and sea salt.

Additional Thoughts That I Needed To Share

  • Definitely scoop worthy and definitely easier to open an already-made container in a pinch when you need a snack or just a fast cookie fix. I mean, if you're going to make a vegan cookie dough, you must make it smell and taste like the cookie dough and this was achieved. 
  • I do want to say that each flavor is a distinct flavor and they are not all similar. 
  • The single-serve cups are surprisingly filling so I am willing to bet that one would satisfy anyone's cookie dough cravings. However, if that's not the case, absolutely no judgment (please refer back to the above paragraph for the Chocolate Brownie cookie dough). 
  • When baking the cookie dough, you may be tempted to bake them longer- DON'T. Follow the directions! They will come out looking as if they aren't baked enough but they will be (no cooking required to eat, remember?). How do I know? Because I did over bake them and they quickly turned too hard to even  bite into...nobody wants to waste a product like that. Be responsible. Read and follow the directions. 
  • Allergen Warning- the original packaging contained a warning "The ingredients in this product are processed on machinery that also produces soy and tree nuts." When I reached out to the San Clements Cookie Dough Co., they assured me that the statement on the packaging was originally due to sunflower oil being processed on the same equipment as soy oil. Though it is processed on the same equipment, they have confirmed that scheduled lab tests are performed that verify no cross contamination and that the sunflower oil is void of any chemical residue or protein numbers that would verify contamination. Because they did not want their consumers to be alarmed or confused, new packaging is being printed and the warning will read "Produced on the same equipment as soy" and their products are not produced with any other allergens including nuts of any kind. 
Of Course, A Recipe You know I can't help myself... I love to share how to utilize products in different ways to remind everyone that allergy-friendly foods ARE fun! So, I say, what's better than cookie dough? How about a Cookie Dough Cone! It's the best of both worlds for a frozen treat or you can fill it with allergy-friendly candies or goodies as a party favor. It's super easy (which I always like).

  1. Preheat the oven as directed on the San Clements Cookie Dough Co. package
  2. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet
  3. Spread your choice of cookie dough on an ice cream cone, leaving the bottom uncovered
  4. Place upside down on the baking sheet
  5. Bake as directed
  6. Let it cool
  7. Fill and enjoy (or don't fill and enjoy!)
Ready To Find Them? You can read all about them and find out how to get some of their cookie dough into your hands (or mouth) at https://www.sccookiedough.com/ and follow them on Instagram.  Thank you San Clemente Cookie Dough Co. for getting in touch and sending me samples and also for making a product for those who are craving cookie dough but couldn't enjoy it until now. 




As always, never a charge for product reviews other than the products that are sent as my opinions are my own.










Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Let Me Cook For You This Weekend

Who is looking for something to do this weekend that is budget-friendly? (me, raising my hand) Who is looking for a place to go that is temperature controlled? (me, again) Who is gluten free, looking to become gluten free or just someone that is curious about gluten free? (ME!!!) Why am I asking all of these questions? 


Because I would like to invite ALL of you (gluten free or otherwise) to attend the Richmond, VA Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest!


Here's the When & Where (because it's a need to know)
When:                                                       
Saturday, August 18th 10AM - 4PM
Sunday, August 19th 10AM - 3PM
(go one day or go both days!)

Where:
Greater Richmond Convention Center
Exhibit Hall B
403 North 3rd Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Here's Why (as if you need one but just in case)

  • Budget & Family-Friendly Where else can you spend the day at a place that your entire family can go together? Not many. This event offers something for everyone and you can save 20% on your event ticket by using promo code Nutrimom18.  
  • Numerous Vendors This event offers a huge variety of exhibitors who are ready and waiting to share their product information & samples. Make sure you arrive hungry (but always be sure and read every label to ensure that each item is safe for your allergy needs).
  • Speakers Are you ready to listen in to learn even more? Whether it be gut health, advocacy or travel tips, you can pick and choose how much you want your brain to absorb for the weekend.
  • Cooking Demos  Yes, if you aren't eating and sampling at the exhibitor tables, you can also see what's going on at the cooking demos. AND, I am happy to share that I will personally be cooking both days! View the complete schedule here.
  • Meet Me & Say Hello Ok, this is just an added bonus but you know I love meeting everyone! When I'm not presenting a cooking demo, look for me wandering the event floor with my red Converse sneakers so we can snap a picture (Yes, red sneakers because I am all about Red Sneakers for Oakley. Wear yours too!). 
Here's the Food (who doesn't love food, I mean come on!)
I am super excited to be creating and sharing! Don't forget to see what the other presenters are going to offer as well. Watch for me both days 1 - 1:50 PM for these cooking demonstrations:

*Saturday- Love Your Lunchbox
Watch as I share a protein-packed twist on an all time favorite meal including a dash of silliness that will make your lunches loved again. Featuring sponsored products that include Rule Breaker Snacks, Schar Gluten Free, Follow Your Heart, Glutino, Enjoy Life Foods and Gimbal's Fine Candies.

*Sunday- The Secret to Perfect Gluten Free Pancakes
I can help you create THE perfect gluten free pancakes with the added protein of SunButter and a touch of chocolate chips. Featuring sponsored products that include SunButter, Enjoy Life Foods and Good Karma Foods.

Here's Who Else (the more, the merrier right?)

A extra special thank you to all of the companies that sponsored me at this event- I couldn't have done it without your amazing products!













Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Define Your Asthma

It always began with a cough. Only it wasn't just your typical cough, it was different. Teachers told me "He's fine", my parents said "Maybe he's just congested" and even the school nurse at the time added her two cents of "You know that whooping cough is going around"..... A mother knows. A mother knows that the cough isn't just a cold or a behavioral thing or even something that is typical of a younger child at school. A mother knows that when your child is coughing until they are almost vomiting and they are exhausted because they haven't slept well that there is something behind it.

It took us 6 years to get a correct diagnosis of asthma for my son. He went through cough medicines, menthol on whatever body part I thought would ease the cough, baths and showers, a nebulizer and finally a trip to the Emergency Room that resulted in 30+ albuterol inhales.  All because we were not told the correct information and all because our doctors didn't listen as closely as they could have.

My son has multiple food allergies but he also has pollen-induced asthma. I am extremely grateful that we finally got the medical attention that he needed. Looking back, there were many times that his breathing was labored and his chest was heaving in and out at a horrific rate and I could have lost him all because the term asthma was not introduced. Earlier diagnosis would have saved my son additional sickness, reactions to medications, loss of his time as a toddle and the simple act of breathing well.



Do You Need Help? I am happy to share that recently the GAAPP (Global Allergy and Asthma Patient Platform) began the campaign Define Your Asthma in partnership with member organizations. The mission of this campaign is to make sure that those with allergies and asthma have a forum where they can share and learn. By educating more people at an earlier stage, Define Your Asthma aims to reduce the time it takes to diagnose a patient and introduce optimal management for each patient. As shared on their website "By defining your asthma you don't need to suffer in silence- if your treatment for asthma isn't working for you, it might be because you have a different form of the condition." When it comes to being able to breathe, there is no option than to find out what type of medical assistance your condition needs to keep you as healthy as possible.



Join the group today at https://www.facebook.com/DefineYourAsthma/
YOUR experiences may help someone! 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Does Nature Boost the Immune System & Beat Common Seasonal Allergies?

Today's blog post is a guest post written by Harper Reid- a freelance writer based in New Zealand. Harper approached me, asking if she could share her thoughts on seasonal allergies and what some may be able to do to improve them. Since I am all about sharing, feel free to leave a comment about what has or has not worked for you.

Photo Credit: Alexandru Tudorache via Unsplash under License

There's no worse springtime experience than  being excited to see flowers bloom and dusting off swimsuits for the summer ahead, only to start sniffling every time you so much as glance outside. If you suffer from seasonal allergies every year, you may be interested in knowing how nature can help you cope with these pesky occurrences.

If you have allergies that are more serious than the occasional bout of hay fever, you should see a doctor for medical advice. But if your allergies aren't significant, you may want to try the following natural tips to boost your immune system.

Make a change in your diet & lifestyle- eat more natural foods As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. This is especially true for people who struggle with recurring allergies. Eating unhealthy food means that your body isn't getting the nourishment that it needs, which means it cannot protect you properly.

Try to eat natural, organic foods and avoid processed foods as much as possible. The same goes for exercise: if you don't look after your body by way of exercise, it won't be as strong as it could be or function as well as necessary to resist allergens. Try an hour of exercise at least three or four times a week. You may notice a difference in the severity of your allergy symptoms as you grow stronger and healthier.

Photo Credit: silviarita via Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons License
Improve your gut health If you need more reasons to change your diet to something more natural, there is a popular theory that gut health (by way of immune system) is inextricably linked to seasonal allergies. While this idea requires more research, many allergy sufferers have reported a decrease in allergy symptoms after making changes, so it may be worth looking into gut-friendly diet options if you find your seasonal allergies especially difficult.

The theory states that to improve your gut health, you must reduce inflammation in your gut. Limit your dairy intake if it causes you problems and avoid eating foods with too many preservatives or sugar. When your gut is healthier, your immune system will function more smoothly. Natural foods win again!

Build up your immune system by spending time outdoors  The best defense against pesky pollen is to boost your immune system. Spending time in nature is good for everyone in the family for a multitude of reasons- including that it may be able to help reduce allergy symptoms.

If you're having trouble getting the kids off the couch and into the great outdoors, why not choose a fun family bonding activity to motivate them? You might like to try going for hikes together or spending a day picnicking and playing outdoor sports.

Photo Credit: Micah Hallahan via Unsplash under License

There are plenty of benefits to reconnecting with nature too: decreased anxiety levels and a better chance at getting your daily dose of Vitamin D to name just a few. If you're outside, try walking or running barefoot to strengthen your immune system and to connect with your beautiful natural surroundings. If you can improve your immune system's functionality, you will likely have reduced allergy symptoms when spring next rolls around- and having quality time with the family is a great bonus!

Nature is really a miracle. If you listen to your body and make productive changes, you will be a step closer to banishing those irritating allergies for good. Remember, these tips are for people suffering minor seasonal allergies- if you are suffering from more serious allergies, always consult with a doctor.


Harper Reid is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand who enjoys relaxing out in nature. On sunny days, she can often be found meditating in her backyard or going on hiking trips with friends. Check out more of Harper's work on Tumblr