April showers bring May flowers-- along with the dreaded itchy, watery eyes, and nasal congestion for many. Allergies, or sensitivities to pollen, spores, mold, and dust (also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis) can be quite severe make daily living quite uncomfortable.
Symptoms of hay fever are sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, watery eyes, itchy eyes and nose, and headache. Hay fever is often seasonal (when pollen is in the air), but if constantly exposed to an offending substance (mold, pet dander), symptoms can last year-round.
The truth is, my husband is the boss of salad dressings in our home. I pick & prep the salad ingredients, and mix everything together, but somehow every time he seems to make something, magic happens with the dressing. Then he shrugs it off as though it’s nothing.
Luckily over the past decade I’ve managed to pick up a few of his tricks, and have never had to buy a bottle of processed dressing. Here’s what I’ve learned:
Q. You’re not the usual OB/GYN, yet you were educated at MIT, Harvard Medical School, and are a board-certified gynecologist. What made you go rogue?
A. It’s in my genes to go rogue – my great-grandmother was a radical whole foodist and yogini, decades before there was a yoga studio on every street corner. She would show up at our home in Annapolis, Maryland, not with gum or Barbies like my friend’s grandmothers, but with kale and carob/wheatberry cookies. She drank hot water with lemon and extolled the virtues of fish oil to me at the breakfast table, when I was… 5. But it wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I understood her legacy.
Stress and fatigue. Judging from the proliferation of coffee and cupcake shops popping up these days, clearly caffeine and sugar are what a lot of folks are using to try to fight back. The problem is, they don’t actually work. Sugar and caffeine do offer a quick lift, but the crash is never far behind – so it’s back to Starbucks to start the cycle again, turning your day into a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. Fortunately, there are healthier ways to get through the day – and one of my favorites is with “adaptogens,” the special herbs that help your body adapt to stress and resist fatigue. Here’s my adaptogens-at-a-glance guide: