BEAT HAY FEVER & ALLERGIES


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Our immune system is housed in our gut, and is made up of trillions of different types of bacteria. It’s important to remember that all disease begins in the gut – be it dermatitis, hay fever, Alzheimer’s or ADD. When these bacterias are in balance we are at optimum health. Poor diet, exercise and sleep habits, high stress levels and toxic environments deplete our good bacteria which gives bad bacteria the ruling power. When this happens our ability to fight off colds and viruses, in addition to grass, flower and plant pollens is seriously compromised.

With our gut flora as a major regulator of our immune system, it is of utmost importance that we keep it balanced. Hay fever is not something to get angry at the plants or grasses about, but more a gentle warning by the body that the immune system needs some help. Ignoring this will only invite more advanced autoimmune problems in time, and swallowing back allergy medication (one of the top five best selling drugs) will only speed up this journey to more serious illnesses.

As always, my tips are the same: following a natural anti-inflammatory way of eating and incorporating movement and mindfulness into our lives is following suit with what has allowed humankind to survive and evolve for millennia. I have witnessed friends and clients beat hayfever all together by incorporating these changes. Like all positive, long lasting change the protocol takes patience and persistence, but the long-lasting results are worth it.

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MY SIX TIPS FOR BEATING SEASONAL (AND ANIMAL) ALLERGIES – (if possible begin these steps 2-3 months before hay fever season.)

  1. AVOID GLUTEN, DAIRY, SUGAR, BEER & WINE – these are all inflammatory on your system and take up too much immune system power. For inspiration search through my recipes which are all free from these food groups.
  2. RHYTHMICAL DIET – eat 3 meals a day without any snacks to give your body plenty of rest and repair time
  3. CONSUME BONE BROTH, COURGETTES AND GOOD QUALITY SALT – all are rich in easily absorbed minerals which support and boost the immune system response.
  4. TAKE 2 TBSP DAILY OF RAW LOCAL HONEY OR RAW MULTI-FLORA HONEY – Consuming raw honey desensitizes the body to local pollen so that the pollen does not trigger allergic reactions come hay fever season. If you are allergic to honey then of course omit this step.
  5. TAKE PROBIOTICS – these are the only supplement I take every single day. Made from billions of good bacteria they are an absolute must. My favourite brands are Biokult and Energetix
  6. TAKE VITAMIN C – this vitamin is of utmost importance when it comes to optimal wellness. The problem with most vitamin C supplements is that it is mainly made from ascorbic acid – a lab synthesized version not found anywhere in nature. So look for brands that are additive free and contain vitamin c from real whole foods such as camu camu, Amla berries and so on. Radiant Life is a great brand.

BONUS TIPS:

– TAKE PYCNOGENOL 100 MG

– OMIT shellfish, fish, tomatoes, spinach, strawberries, bananas, cacao/chocolate, vinegar, fermented vegetables.

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‘With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose’  – Dr Wayne Dyer

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BONE BROTH: A REMINDER TO CONSUME!

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I wrote about the benefits of consuming bone broth here two years ago now. Fortunately since that post, bone broth has received much warranted attention through recipes and information shared by the likes of the Hemsley + Hemsley sisters and nutritional therapist Ameila Freer.

Bone broth continues to be my number one go-to immune booster and healing potion. I recommend all adults and children comfortable with eating animal products get sipping!

Why?

Because bone broth is one of the most nutrient dense soups available on the planet. Made from boiling animal bones, broth is supremely rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, sodium and potassium, proteinaceous gelatine, cartilage, collagen, hyaluronic acid and chondrition sulphate.

By drinking bone broth you are helping to heal and seal your gut – your gut being the place where you house the majority of your immune system. With a strong immune system we are less likely to get ill, have allergic reactions, digestive complains, joint pain, muscle fatigue, learning difficulties, anxiety, depression and other mental health-related issues.

How do you make it?

I have written recipes here or you can watch the wonderful Amelia Freer making chicken broth here

Can you buy it?

  • My number one go-to if I don’t have any fresh stock brewed is Great Lakes grass-fed beef gelatine powder – it is tasteless so if you want you can just add it to water and glug it down, or else it is a useful thickener in soups and smoothies. You can even make healthy marshmallows with it!
  • Some good quality restaurants, organic butcheries and health stores sell bone broth. Just be sure to check their ingredients are free from gluten, added preservatives and sugars.
  • Here in London Laverstock Farm lamb stock from Ocado is great
  • New Yorkers can buy a cup of hot broth to takeaway from Brodo in the East Village

Want to learn more?

Check out Sally Fallon Morell’s latest book: Nourishing Broth: An Old Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World.

HEAL & SEAL ME: MEAT BROTH AND STOCK

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It might not sound massively appealing, but bone broth and meat stock really are where it’s at. Broths are yet another very nourishing tradition that are being revived and brought back to our kitchens. They’re undeniably one of the most healing things you can feed yourself and your loved ones, and so inexpensive and easy to make, it’s time to drink it up!

How I got onto broth

Having scarcely eaten meat in the last 10 years, it felt very odd, but gradually very right, to start reintroducing it slowly back into my diet. Tired of suffering from minor but persistent hormonal disturbances and other related issues, I finally took courage and reduced my beloved carbs and swapped them for more animal fats and proteins. It has been a year since this change and I can’t say enough just how much better I feel (and how amazingly little I miss grains/carbs). Clients and friends who follow a similar program have also experienced wonderful healing. Of course, not everyone believes in eating animal products which I absolutely respect. However, if you do eat meat products, I urge you to give this a try.

My research

I attribute a lot of my understanding and healing to the work of Dr Natasha Campbell McBride and her GAPS protocol. She is an incredible doctor who continues to cure thousands of children from a multitude of ailments such as autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, allergies, A.D.D, and depression. This protocol is not exclusive to children, with people of all ages healing the likes of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, auto-immune diseases such as Chron’s and Hashimoto’s, OCD, chronic fatigue and asthma. To briefly fill you in, the GAPS protocol follows the idea that all diseases (physical, mental and emotional) begin in the gut. Thankfully this understanding is becoming more and more mainstream. The gut serves as your second brain, it produces more serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter) than your brain and contains ten times more bacteria than there are cells in your body! So yes, we are in fact 90% bacteria. When you heal and seal your gut lining by balancing the bacteria in your gut you can heal your whole system. Bone broth and meat stock is hailed by Dr McBride and many other medical practitioners as providing your body with the necessary building blocks to provide wonderful healing.

So what is broth and meat stock?

They are mineral, amino acid, and vitamin rich clear soups. Broth is made by boiling raw or cooked bones of healthy animals, and meat stock is made by boiling the raw meat of healthy animals on a bone. Bones are so rich in nutrition as they are where the likes of iron rich red blood cells, immune support white blood cells and elastic collagen are produced. When you boil the bones these wonderful properties, undisturbed by heat, are drawn out.

Instantly recognised and effortlessly absorbed by our bodies these broths are bursting with the following benefits:

  • Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, sodium and potassium – all essential for the daily functioning of our body and gut and also act as electrolytes – could broth be the new sports drink?!
  • Proteinaceous gelatin – aids digestion by attracting digestive juices. Brilliant for intestinal disorders and allows the body to fully utilize proteins that are taken in. Particularly useful for anemia, diabetes and muscular dystrophy.
  • Cartilage – incredibly healing in treating cancer and bone disorders.
  • Collagen, hyaluronic acid, chondrition sulfate – all support connective tissue elasticity such as joints, tendons, ligaments, skin, mucus membranes and bone. Very healing for rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain…..and yes helping with wrinkles, stretch marks and cellulite too!

RECIPES!

Lamb, pork, beef or game

  • STEP 1: Put the joints and bones (with or without meat) into a large pot, fill it up with water, add pepper and good quality salt.
  • STEP 2: Heat up to boiling point. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a minimum. Simmer for at least 3 hours.
  • STEP 3: Turn off the heat, take out the bones (and meat) and pour stock through a sieve.

Chicken broth

  • STEP 1: Put a whole or half chicken (with or without meat) into a large pot, fill it up with water and add salt.
  • STEP 2: Simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours.
  • STEP 3: Take the bones (and meat) out and pour stock through a sieve.

Chicken broth/stock is particularly good for flu, colds and asthma as chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which thins the mucus in your lungs making it less sticky and easy to expel.

Fish broth

  • STEP 1: Add fish bones, fins, skins and heads (no meat) to a large pot with water and add pepper.
  • STEP 2:  Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a minimum. Simmer for 1-1.5 hours.
  • STEP 3:  Add salt to taste. Take the fish out and sieve the stock.

Great for virility! Rich in iodine supplies, thyroid hormone and other substances that nourish the thyroid gland. Increases energy and restores mental abilities.

Other handy tips:

  • Ask your local butcher and ask for all the discarded bones and joints – they may even give them away to you!
  • Alternate between different meats to provide a whole spectrum of nourishment
  • The longer you cook the bones the more goodness will be drawn out and thus the more nourishing the broth will be.
  • The test to see if your broth contains enough gelatin is when you chill it – it should thicken even to the point of jelling completely.
  • You drink it plain as a digestive, or add it to soups, stews, gravy, sauces, stir-fries…
  • Stock can be made in bulk and stored until needed  – great to pour into ice cube trays and throw into meals adhock – especially if you’re trying to disguise it for the kids!
  • Keeps for 5 days in fridge and 3 months in freezer
  • One cup a day would be marvellous!

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