Summer temperatures, spring blooms, now if only we could go out and enjoy it!

Over the past month, many of the patients who have come to my office have been suffering from seasonal allergies. Symptoms vary from mild congestion and colorful boogers to nearly uncontrollable sneezing that disrupts meetings topped off with eye swelling and irritation. Early wildflower blooms are now being met by different tree pollens and grasses that can be pretty severe allergen culprits.

While we’re struggling with the pollen brought by our beautiful blooming greenery, we’re also starting to encounter the haze in the air from distant (for now) wildfires. Of course we’d all much rather deal with wildflowers than wildfires, but it looks like this spring and summer may bring us a bit of both.

With respiratory irritants such as pollen and particulate matter from fires, it is particularly important to work on reducing other irritants and protect your respiratory system. If you or a family member smoke, now is an excellent time to quit. Evaluate cleaning materials, household and personal fragrances, many of which contain harsh chemicals that are respiratory irritants. Keep your living and work spaces well-ventilated. Consider using an air filter fan (HEPA filter) to reduce the particulate and allergen content of your enclosed spaces.

While you’re working on reducing irritants found in your home and work, it is also important to work on your internal environment. Having a balanced, varied diet with adequate nutrients is an important foundation to help your body better weather external irritants such as pollution, smoke and pollen. It is generally helpful to increase the amount of colorful vegetables in your diet. As it is Pride month, June is an especially perfect time to include a rainbow of vegetables on your plate. These colorful veggies contain antioxidants and other compounds that may promote stabilization of the cells that tend to respond to allergens and result in the unpleasant sniffling symptoms. This is also definitely the time to pay attention to staying adequately hydrated. A key part of maintaining hydration for most people is choosing water or herbal tea rather than processed sugary beverages and alcohol.

If your symptoms are disrupting your daily life or you’d like to talk more about things you can incorporate to improve your health over this season, please call my office. I’d be happy to set up a time for a complimentary phone consultation to discuss your concerns.  The Overland Wellness approach is to use the most effective, least harmful, naturally-rooted treatments that get you feeling better and able to go outside and enjoy your active life! Specifically, my in-office treatments for allergies and respiratory health tend to include acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrients and targeted dietary/ lifestyle changes.

Contact Dr. Overland

 

Now that most of the snow has melted, our skis are put away and springtime is upon us. It is time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. With these warm temperatures, a great way to start your active day is with a smoothie.

Spring Smoothie Recipe

Dr. Heather Overland, ND LAc

Spring into the air with a smoothie.


Ingredients:

1-2 cups fresh raw Chard

1-2 cups fresh raw Spinach

1-2 cups fresh raw Kale (baby kale works best)

(if using a mixed greens blend, aim to add approximately 3 handfuls or enough to loosely fill your blender ¾ of the way full)

2 cups of unsweetened Hemp or flax milk

Blend till bright green and no large leaf or fiber pieces are left.

1 cup frozen Blueberries

Blend until smooth between each type of berries.

⅓ cup frozen Blackberries or Raspberries

⅓ cup frozen Bing/ Dark Red Cherries

⅓ cup frozen Strawberries

Serves 3-4 people

 

 

Optional Modifications: 

  • Vary ingredient amounts to fit your blender and desired number of servings.

 

  • Other non-dairy “milk” could be used, but look at nutrition information and aim for no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, low in carbohydrates and high nutrient/ vitamin content.

 

  • If small seeds are a problem for your teeth or digestion, substitute another berry for blackberries.

 

  • For more tropical flavor, you can add 2 tablespoons chunked pineapple (not suitable for those limiting sugars).

 

  • For a nuttier flavor with added protein and fats, you can add 2 tablespoons almond butter.

 

  • For the mall smoothie flavor, add 1 small peeled orange and 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract (made from real vanilla beans and without sugar).

 

All ingredients should be organic, washed and trimmed as necessary before being added to the smoothie. 

Looking at smoothies from the traditional Chinese medicine perspective, for some people smoothies and cold raw foods could lead to digestive troubles because of their cold and damp properties (like achy joints in cold wet weather).

For people who are active, can digest foods properly, and are located in warmer temperatures, smoothies are generally a fine addition to your healthy diet. For some people, such as those with diabetes or with specific dietary requirements, this may not be the best choice. Consult your physician (or Dr. Overland) if you’d like to determine what the best nutritional options are for you.

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