by Stephanie Crowley, CHHP, CNHP
Spring is finally here. But, cloaked in the beauty of colorful blooms and temperate breezes, an enemy dwells among us. While some look forward to baseball games and open windows, allergy sufferers face this time with contempt. Seasonal allergies occur when one’s body overreacts to an unfamiliar substance, such as pollen. Runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and sneezing are just some of the body’s responses to this unwelcome intruder.
I suffered from seasonal allergies for most of my adult life until one spring; I didn’t. What changed? In 2015, I enrolled in a Naturopathy school. The curriculum was centered on natural health and took a holistic approach to wellness. After I applied the teachings in my own life, I noticed changes, such as the disappearance of my seasonal allergies.
One fundamental of health includes eating whole foods while eliminating processed foods. Choosing these high-quality foods was the first change I made as a student of natural health. After a year, my allergies improved dramatically. Like the foundation of a house, the foundation of one’s health must be sturdy. One cannot build a house on quicksand, and healthy food is fundamental to the foundation.
A person who makes poor food choices weakens her foundation. When an allergen is introduced into an environment that is already toxic and inflamed because of poor food choices, the body may overreact to the allergen. In other words, The body is working hard to overcome the effects of junk food and now has to address an unfamiliar invader.
If itchy eyes and a runny nose are your constant companion this time of year, take a closer look at your plate. JERF – Just Eat Real Food – is a helpful acronym to remember. In general, one can eat anything that runs, swims, flies, grows in the ground, or grows from a tree. I have learned over the years that if it once created life, it will create life and vitality in you. Remember the adage, “You are what you eat?”
Switching from processed foods to whole foods was the first change I made. That single lifestyle change was the impetus for more changes and creating new and healthier habits. This spring, visit your local farmer’s market, where you can purchase fresh produce and other locally-grown products.
A solid foundation is necessary to maintain a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Sometimes, however, we sabotage ourselves by trying to implement too many changes at once. Try addressing one fundamental at a time to build a sturdy foundation. Over time, you will create habits that lead to lasting change. Consistency is key, so if you have allergies, you can start by feeding your body high-quality foods, and you may just keep those pesky seasonal allergies at bay.
*The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prescribe for any disease or condition. It is not a replacement for medical care. I am not a medical doctor. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. Statements not evaluated by the FDA.