Spring is the season of renewal. It is also typically a muddy and rainy time of year where the earth holds more water. The body, too, tends to hold onto more water that can congest the mucus membranes that line the respiratory and digestive tracts. To help with allergies and spring health overall, avoid congestive foods, such as white flour products, dairy and sugar. Add a healthy balance of veges, grains and greens to help renew your body and enjoy a lighter, clearer spring season.
- Make 2/3 of your plate green veges at each meal.
- Split the remaining third of your plate with a protein or healthy starch.
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.
- Sip hot water during the day during allergy season.
- Learn to use a netty pot, rinsing the nasal cavity with a stream of warm, salted water helps wash the allergens away.
- Vitamin C helps block the release of histamine from the inflammatory cells. Get plenty of vitamin C-rich foods, including citrus fruits (grapefruits are in season), papayas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers and kale.
- Drink dandelion root tea – or any herbal teas with dandelion root in its formula. 2-3 cups daily during allergy season.
Come to chair yoga classes at Grey Bears, and practice at home. For those suffering from joint pain and arthritis, try taking the herbal formula, “JointEase Plus” by Native Remedies, available at your local health food store.
by Suzi Mahler, CMT, NE and Grey Bears chair yoga teacher
Healthy Spring Recipe
Quinoa with Vegetables and Greens
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup pure water
Any mixture of the following veges, finely chopped, 1/4 cup each:
shredded cabbage, grated carrot, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper or green beans
1 cup baby spinach leaves, washed and trimmed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1. Toast quinoa in a pot for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a skillet or wok (or similar), add the olive oil, veges and pepper, cumin and paprika. Stir well to mix. Saute for 6-8 minutes until vegetables are fork tender. Then remove from pan and set aside.
4. Add spinach to hot pan and stir lightly until wilted, 2 minutes or so.
5. Make a bed of the spinach on plates.
6. Add the vegetables to the quinoa and stir lightly with a fork to fluff the grain and blend.
7. Mound mixture over spinach on the plates. Drizzle with lemon juice and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot.