7 Tricks for Avoiding Allergies this Spring

7 Tricks for Avoiding Allergies this Spring

It’s that time of year again! Spring is in the air. The flowers are in bloom, and… sniffle, sniffle… cough, cough… the allergies are plentiful. But there is something you can do about it. Check out these great tips below and wipe those allergies to the curb.1238dcb5-3362-4072-9733-b764b521eff2

  1. Cut the dairy: Oftentimes when people who complain of chronic allergy symptoms cut the dairy their symptoms magically go away. It could have something to do with the fact that dairy has been cited to contribute to stuffy nose, a phlegmy throat, acne, and itchy ears, among other things.
  2. Local raw honey and bee pollen: By consuming raw, local honey you will be arming yourself with the enzymes necessary to fight off allergy symptoms but also essentially immunizing yourself with very pollen that is shocking your system. Try some at your local farmer’s market!
  3. Raw apple cider vinegar: Yes, I love this stuff. It’s true. Add a capful to your water and it will help with your allergies. Allergy symptoms can actually be the body’s way of getting rid of toxic build-up and raw apple cider vinegar acts as a vessel, grabbing on to toxins and helping flush them out!
  4. Drink water: For love of my Aunt Mary… just do it. Water helps flush out toxins and other debris sitting around in your system, including potential allergens, like pollen.
  5. Drink stinging nettles tea: Stinging nettle leaves are a great way to strengthen the immune system and prevent allergic reactions. Oftentimes you’ll actually see stinging nettle leaves as an ingredient in your favorite allergy medicines. So why not go straight to the source? You can buy it all bagged up and ready to go (I use Traditional Medicinals’) or you can get the actual leaves and steep them in hot water. Add some honey for a bit of yummmm.
  6. Use a neti-pot: What on Earth is a neti-pot you may ask? It looks like a genie lamp and is used to flush salt water from one side of your nose to the other. This saline flush clears the nasal passage ways by thinning out mucus and rinsing allergens like dust and pollen clean.
  7. Build up your immune system and promote a healthy response to inflammation, which is the primary cause behind uncomfortable allergy symptoms. Ginger, garlic, tumeric, and cayenne pepper are great inflammatory foods and spices, but you can also supplement with something like OPC-3. I use this one here every morning and it keeps my body happy: OPC-3

If you have any questions or comments leave them below. I love hearing from you!

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11 Tips for Dealing with Sugar Cravings

11 Tips for Dealing with Sugar Cravings

Sugar is delicious! We all love sugar! We all craaaave sugar. You know that feeling when you Screenshot 2015-04-16 12.24.44get an urge for something sweet. It can be a funny feeling, but it can almost be a disempowering feeling.

Ever get to the point where you feel like you can’t do anything else or even think about anything else until you have that sweet?

We’ve all been there.

What if you knew it wasn’t all in your head? Or that your sugar cravings are actually indicative of something you need?

Maybe your nutrient and mineral levels are off from foods or activities earlier in the day and causing you to reach for treats. Maybe you don’t want sugar at all, or are really just craving something sweet. This could be affection or love for you. It could be self care, It could be a yoga class, dancing, or hula hooping. Below are 11 tips to check out when it comes to fighting those nagging cravings.


11 TIPS FOR DEALING WITH SUGAR CRAVINGS

  1. Reduce or eliminate caffeine. The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar swings, and may cause sugar cravings to become more frequent.
  2. Drink water. Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you go for the sugar, have a glass of water and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
  3. Eat sweet vegetables and fruit. They are naturally sweet, healthy, and delicious. The more you eat, the less you’ll crave sugar.
  4. Avoid chemicalized, artificial sweeteners and foods with added sugar. Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dried fruit, stevia, and barley malt.
  5. Get physically active. Start with simple activities like walking or yoga. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase. Being active helps balance blood sugar levels, boosts energy, and reduces tension which will eliminate the need to self-medicate with sugar!
  6. Get more sleep, rest, and relaxation. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, are the most readily usable forms of energy for an exhausted body and mind. If you are in a chronic state of stress and/or sleep deprivation, your body will crave the quickest form of energy there is – sugar.
  7. Fill in nutritional gaps. Magnesium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies, and can lead to cravings (especially sweet cravings) and muscle cramps. By taking magnesium isotonically before you go to bed each night you’ll allow your body to relax and drift off into a sleepy mode. I take this Magnesium along with Bliss, a combination of calming herbs, each night before I go to sleep. What about melatonin? Save it for times when you need to get your sleep cycles back on track (flying to a different time zone would be a good call for this). You don’t want your body to become reliant on it, but every once in a while it’s okay. Try PRIME dreamz to get your sleep cycle back on track.
  8. Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. According to yin-yang principles of eating (such as in Macrobiotics and Traditional Chinese Medicine), eating too much animal food (yang) can lead to cravings for sweets (yin). Imbalances can also occur with too little animal protein (for some individuals). Through experimentation and intuition, you can find which foods create balance for you as an individual.
  9. Eliminate fat-free or low-fat packaged snack foods. These foods contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for lack of flavor and fat, which will send you on the roller coaster ride of sugar highs and lows.
  10. Experiment with spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
  11. Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways! Every craving is not a signal that your body biologically requires sugar. Cravings often have a psychological component. By identifying the psychological causes of food cravings and substituting lifestyle and relationship adjustments accordingly, you can begin to find balance and take charge of your health. When life becomes sweet enough itself, no additives are needed!

Adapted from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

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Coconut Chicken Tenders

Coconut Chicken Tenders

Last week I wanted chicken tenders. I was convinced I could make them sans the breading, and also keep them gluten-free and low-glycemic. Low-glycemic means that they won’t spike your blood sugar like a “breaded” chicken tender might. When you can keep your blood sugar stable, you can keep your mood stable and avoid cravings later in the day. Bon appetit!

Ingredients:IMG_7697

  • Organic (or local) chicken tender strips– I bought organic chicken breasts from Whole Foods, precut into tenders. You could also use two chicken breasts and cut them into strips, about 2 inches wide and a 1/2 inch thick.
  • Coconut Flour
  • Eggs (organic or local are best)
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Salt and pepper
  • Coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and place a non-stick cookie sheet lined with tin foil inside.
  2. Place 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a sauteeing pan on your stove top and turn on to medium heat.
  3. Lay out three bowls or pans in this order: One with coconut flour, one with eggs- beaten, one with unsweetened coconut shreds.
  4. Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper.
  5. Coat the chicken in the coconut flour, then the egg, then the unsweetened coconut sheds and pop in the pan.
  6. Cook each side for about 3 to 4 minutes, until coconut begins to turn golden, then transfer to the cookie sheet in the oven to finish for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add salt (if necessary) to taste, and enjoy!

 

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Gluten-free Passover (or Easter) Recipes!

Gluten-free Passover (or Easter) Recipes!

Happy Passover!

… and to my “goyim” friends, Happy Easter! We love you too!

So what’s the deal with Passover? Well the basic wrap is that when the Jews were fleeing Egypt, escaping slavery of the Pharaoh, they had to leave in haste. In fact, they left so hastily that they didn’t have time to let the bread rise! MAJOR travesty, or so it would seem. So much so that we commemorate this unleavened bread each year… I mean, the escape from slavery. Yes, that. Hellooooo matzah!

What is matzah? We call it unleavened bread, so it essentially looks like a cracker, but it’s basic ingredients are flour and water.

During Passover it’s customary for Jews to not eat any leavened products, or really anything that rises. Included on that list are foods made with wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats. More conservative Jews have a longer list that may include products  containing rice, millet, corn and legumes (like beans and lentils). 

So that leaves the magical question:

What CAN we eat? ESPECIALLY if you’re GLUTEN-FREE, and matzah is off the list. 

On a side note, the ingredients for matzah are the same ingredients on WikiHow’s 4 Ways to Make Glue. Yes, glue. Think about how well that adhesive is going to pass through your body… if it does.

So to answer the question of what CAN I eat, the answer is… LOTS. Passover is actually an OPPORTUNITY to allow yourself to eat a bit cleaner. Go to your local farmer’s market (or grocery store… or Fresh Direct), and pick up your favorite vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and go crazy. You can make some rockin’ soups, salads, stir fries, roasted roots, smoothies, juices, the list goes on…


But just so you have something concrete I’ve picked out some favorite recipes of mine to get your through the day. These all come from my 7-Day Cleanse & Reboot! (which, HINT will be launching again SOON), and are great if you’re keeping kosher for Passover or if you just want some healthy recipes that are actually DELICIOUS!


Here we go!


Green Machine Smoothie Madness

  • 1 cup coconut milk, rice milk, almond or hemp milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful of kale
  • 3 Tablespoons hemp seeds or 1 scoop hemp protein


Combine all ingredients in blender; blend until smooth!

Sweet Potato Hash

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 large beet
  • 2 turnips
  • 1 onion
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Preheat oven to 400. Chop vegetables into half-inch chunks. Coat with coconut oil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread evenly. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rosemary. After 25 minutes, add garlic, stir, and roast for an additional 10 minutes.

Falling in Love with Pear Salad

  • 1 bunch of well rinsed kale
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 pears diced
  • 2 avocados cubed
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 lemon juiced

Chop the kale, pear and avocado into bite size pieces. Combine all other ingredients together and toss enthusiastically. Add the cranberries and pumpkin seeds on top of the salad and the juice of one lemon.

Roasted Root Veggie Salad

  • 1 pound root vegetables (beets, carrots, turnips, parsnips), diced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In medium bowl, toss diced vegetables and shallots with Tablespoon of coconut oil . tsp sea salt to coat. Spread the veggies out in one layer on a baking sheet. Roast in oven until all veggies are tender (about 20 minutes). Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil and add fresh rosemary to the vegetables and toss to coat. 
Combine remaining 2 tbs. of olive oil, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until combined. Place arugula in a mixing bowl, pour dressing over greens and toss to coat. Top with roasted vegetables.

BON APPETIT and Chag Sameach!

Got any questions? About Passover or anything nutrition related… I’m here to answer! Comment below or shoot me an email at jennie@jenniefagen.com.

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