Natural Remedies For Spring Allergies

When you are exposed to allergy inducing grasses or pollen, your body responds by producing histamine, which leads to all the awful allergy symptoms many of us have come to dread.  By taking an anti-histamine – preferably before exposure to allergens – your cells are able to resist the binding of histamine, which then spares you from experiencing these dreadful symptoms. Whenever possible, I always prefer to use natural alternatives over medications. Here are some great natural alternatives you can use this allergy season.

Apple Cider Vinegar: It’s not the best tasting stuff on the planet, but it has powerful health benefits, including aiding digestion, supporting weight loss and thinning mucous. Its ability to reduce mucous production and cleanse the lymphatic system makes it useful for allergies. To use, take a teaspoon of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with “The Mother” (the mother is important), pour into a glass of water and drank this three times a day.

Neti Pot or Xlear Nasal Rinse/Spray

Flushing the nose out with a sterile solution helps remove allergens, which in turn reduces allergy symptoms. I like xlear nasal spray better than saline spray, as the xlear contains xylitol which helps keeps tissues moistened, rather than drying out as saline can.

Nettle Leaf

Nettle leaf is a natural antihistamine that can be very effective because it naturally blocks the body’s ability to produce histamine. It can be made into a tincture, tea or capsules. Personally, I prefer capsules as they’re just easier.  Nettle leaf can be mixed with peppermint leaf or red raspberry leaf to make a refreshing allergy relief tea.

Local, Raw Honey

It is said that consuming local honey from where you live will help your body adapt to the allergens in the environment there. Almost like a natural allergy “shot” because it exposes your system to small amounts of the allergens so your body can build up tolerance. Enjoy a teaspoon or more of raw, local honey from as close to where you live as possible – start doing this one month before allergy season to see the most benefits.

Probiotics

Allergies are caused by an imbalance in our immune systems that causes our body to react too strongly to external stimuli. Therefore, it stands to reason that healing our gut with healthy bacteria can help to reduce our reaction to allergens. Fermented foods, probiotic powders/capsules and drinks like Kombucha or Kimchi can be great for supporting a healthy gut.

Lavender Essential Oils

Lavender essential oil is a natural anti-histamine, and anti-inflammatory. . .  which is exactly what you want to safely and effectively conquer your seasonal allergies. Not only does it have great benefits for dealing with allergies, but it smells great too! You can diffusing lavender at bedside while sleeping, applying lavender to the soles of the feet, rubbing lavender on the face after washing, taking lavender orally in capsules. I use Young Living brand, therapeutic grade oils.

Himalayan Salt Lamp

Himalayan salt lamps can help clear the air of impurities. They also look naturally beautiful and are very peaceful, which I just love! Salt lamps are a nice (and attractive) way to keep the air in your home clear of impurities. Simply turn it on and let it get to work while you bask in its soft glow!

DISCLAIMER:  THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE IS NOT PROVIDED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.  THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS NOT MEANT TO SUBSTITUTE CONSULTING WITH YOUR PODIATRIST, DOCTOR OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON OR THROUGH THIS SITE IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, INFLUENCE TREATMENT OR CURE ANY FOOT OR OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS NOR IS IT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SERVICES OR ADVICE OF A PODIATRIST, PHYSICIAN, OR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.  YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT A PHYSICIAN LICENSED IN YOUR STATE IN ALL MATTERS RELATING TO YOUR HEALTH.

Eating Seasonally – The Best Foods To Enjoy This Spring!

I am a big supporter of eating locally produced food that is in season. Our bodies were designed to consume certain foods in certain seasons. When it’s cold outside, our bodies don’t crave cooling foods like watermelon or pineapple. We crave warm, earthy foods like sweet potato, dense protein and fats. As spring approaches, I wanted to talk a bit about what some of the best foods to consume are if you are trying to eat “in season.”

Spring is a great time to focus on eating your leafy greens! Foods like swiss chard, spinach, romaine lettuce, parsley and basil. Enjoy them in salads, green juices or as side dishes! Greens are one of my all time favorite foods. Artichokes, asparagus, garlic, lemons, peas and strawberries are also great foods to enjoy in the spring.

By feeding your body the foods that are most appropriate for your season and locale, you are giving your body the nourishment it needs to thrive optimally in your particular climate. Our bodies are truly amazing – when we listen to them and fuel them with what they need to thrive, it is incredible what they can achieve.

Happy Spring!

DISCLAIMER:  THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE IS NOT PROVIDED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.  THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS NOT MEANT TO SUBSTITUTE CONSULTING WITH YOUR PODIATRIST, DOCTOR OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON OR THROUGH THIS SITE IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, INFLUENCE TREATMENT OR CURE ANY FOOT OR OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS NOR IS IT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SERVICES OR ADVICE OF A PODIATRIST, PHYSICIAN, OR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.  YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT A PHYSICIAN LICENSED IN YOUR STATE IN ALL MATTERS RELATING TO YOUR HEALTH.

How To Safeguard Yourself During Tick Season

March is here, meaning Spring is on the horizon. For those of us who live in wooded areas, that means that tick season is almost here. Since we experienced such a mild winter on the East coast this year, the ticks are bound to be in even higher quantities this year because we never entered a deep freeze long enough to kill off many of the ticks from last year.

Lyme disease is a growing epidemic, with everyone from young children to the elderly suffering from its painful and often debilitating symptoms. It’s important to take steps to protect yourself and your family as best you can while still enjoying all the wonderful things that the outdoors has to offer.

Here are some tips for things you can do to protect yourself and your family from   tick infestation this spring.

  1. Spray your yard for ticks. This should ideally be done in March/early April for greatest efficacy. There are services who specialize in treating your yard to eliminate ticks. However, as they only treat YOUR property, you are still susceptible to ticks coming in on animals from surrounding areas. Spraying will help to minimize ticks, but not completely eliminate them.
  2. Keep yourself covered when going into wooded areas. Pull your hair tightly back in a ponytail or bun and wear a hat. Wear long sleeves and pants, and tuck your pants into your socks when going into the woods.
  3. Use natural tick repellant sprays. There are some great natural “recipes” you can find online using essential oils.
  4. Treat your yard with tick tubes. Most of us know that Lyme ticks are frequently spread by deer. Did you know that the ticks actually get the Lyme disease from mice, not deer? Tick Tubes® are biodegradable, cardboard tubes filled with permethrin treated cotton balls. Mice collect the cotton to build their nests. Deer ticks that feed on mice in the Spring and the Fall are exposed to permethrin and killed. All the while, the mice, other mammals and your lands are unharmed and undisturbed. It’s a great natural option for treating your yard.
  5. ALWAYS check yourself, your family members and your pets when coming in from outside. You should do a full body check, including the hair, to be sure there are no ticks coming into your home.
  6. Keep proper tick removal tools on hand in case you find a tick on your body. There are plenty of inexpensive options available on amazon (tick twister, tick spoon, etc). The important thing when removing a tick is to make sure you remove it properly to avoid leaving the head behind. That’s why these tools are so important to have on hand. Never use tweezers to remove a tick, as that often leaves a portion of the tick lodged in the skin.

By properly safeguarding yourselves and your home, you can minimize your chances of exposure to Lyme disease this spring. Prevention is always the best option, especially with Lyme disease which can be difficult and exhausting to treat.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Getting Your Feet Ready For Sandal Season

Sandal season is upon us and if you are anything like the rest of us, your feet could use a little sprucing up. I always like for my feet to look fresh and healthy when I’m sporting my sandals, so I like to take some time to prep them for spring. Here are a few easy steps you can take to get your feet looking amazing for sandal season!

  1. Brighten/Whiten your toenails: Lemon juice is a great natural way to whiten and brighten your toenails. Before sandal season begins I always like to take a week with no nail polish on my toes to let them “breathe.” Then I buff them to remove the outermost layer of the nail and apply some lemon juice to whiten the nails.
  2. Deep clean/soak your feet: Soaking your feet in a basin of warm water with tea tree oil will help to kill any bacteria or fungi that may be present on your feet. Be sure to clean all the spaces on your feet with a washcloth, including the areas in between your toes.
  3. Exfoliate: Using a bristle brush, exfoliate your feet and ankles. Start at the ankle area and brush in a circular motion to the tips of your toes, working your way around the top and the bottom of the feet.
  4. Moisturize: Using a thick, creamy lotion or mask, coat the feet and let the moisturizer sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping off with a warm washcloth.
  5. Trim your toenails: While toenails are damp, clip them straight across. Be careful not to cut at an angle going into the corners, as this can encourage ingrown toenails.
  6. Buff: Buff your nails with a buffer to remove the rough, top layer of your toenails and create a nice smooth surface for your nail polish.
  7. Paint: After prepping your toes and feet, it’s finally time to paint your toenails! Be sure to use a polish that is free of toxins to prevent your nails from yellowing and to avoid any unnecessary toxins.
  8. Rock your sandals with pride!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Celebrity Fitness Trainer Larysa DiDio’s Five Tips to getting Bikini-Ready

The birds are singing. Flowers are popping up all over. The weather’s getting warmer. All signs that Spring is finally here….and the inevitable dreaded bathing suit season.  Have no fear!  This year, I will help you prepare so you’re ready to jump into this year’s hottest suit, instead of wrapping yourself like a mummy in last year’s frumpy cotton cover-up. Check out these tips:

1. Find Your Mo-Jo.  Everyone is motivated by someone or something. Is it your spouse? The chick at the deli counter with slender thighs? Or maybe it’s the cute dress that would be perfect for the July 4th bash? It doesn’t matter what it is, it just matters that you have the motivation to change. Cut out pictures and hang them on your walls, mirrors, fridge or anywhere else that will remind you daily of why you’re working so hard to be your best self!

2.  Make a Plan.  You need to have a clear path of how you’re going to accomplish your goals. Be as specific as possible. “I want to lose six lbs. in one month. I will do this by…(enter your plan here, .e.g., Running three miles a day, cutting out ice cream or ditching alcohol). Studies show the more specific your plan is, the more successful you will be!

3.  Make It A Habit.  Review your goals and plan every morning. This will help keep you on track and focused.

4.  Get Accountable.  When you have to answer to someone or something, your head and body will make sure that you stick to your goals! Digital food tracking apps, including My Fitness Pal and Lose It, can help you keep your diet on track. For fitness, try Couch-To-5K, Daily Burn or 7-Minute Workout Challenge. As an added accountability bonus, enlist a friend to join you!

5.  Rest.  Studies show that sleeping more than seven hours a night has the biggest impact on weight loss. When you’re sleep deprived, cortisol levels rise causing you to be hungry, less motivated to work out and gain weight in your mid-section. So, do your exercise, keep your plan in motion…then get to sleep!

Become the Ultimate Spring Jogger

By: Larysa DiDio, Guest Blogger for Aetrex

The temps are warming up just in time for your cabin fever and spring fever to merge!  Studies show that exercising outdoors not only burns more calories, but also boosts your mood like crazy.  Jogging is one of the best activities to help shed excess winter weight in the fastest amount of time.  Here are six tips to becoming the best (Spring) jogger you can be:

  1. Dress in Layers.It may look warm outside from your living room, but looks can be deceiving.  Chances are the temps are still a little bit nippy and the wind may be whipping.  To keep yourself from running back inside as soon as your feet hit the concrete, be sure to bundle up in easy to remove layers.  Usually a light thermal under layer, a breathable heavier layer and a wind resistant shell are what you need.  You’ll get warm fast and when you do, you’ll be able to easily tie a layer around your waist until your cool down at the end.
  1. Wear Proper Footwear. If you live in colder climates, the onset of spring doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of slippery spots.  Also, winter weather along with salt and ice may have left the running terrain less than ideal.  Watch out for residual ice and pot holes, and make sure that your sneakers are snugly fitting and are supportive.  My favorite brand of sneaker is Aetrex.  Their sneakers contain an orthotic footbed for support, balance, and alignment and memory foam cushioning for comfort. Plus, Aetrex shoes have advanced technology that help avoid any smelly odors.
  1. Wear Sunscreen and Sunglasses.  Even though it’s still a bit chilly, the sun and wind can wreak havoc on your skin and eyes.  Protect your skin with hypoallergenic sunscreen that doesn’t clog your pores and protects against both UVA and UVB rays.  Be sure that your product has an SPF of over 30.  Additionally, be sure to wear lightweight, protective sunglasses that give you protection from harmful sun rays, and also from biting winds and debris on roads and trails.
  1. Go When it’s Warmest.  I usually recommend that runners head outdoors first thing in the morning to keep their motivation high and establish a schedule.  However, when it’s a bit chilly and dark, I recommend checking out the forecast and go when it’s the warmest and the brightest.  It’ll help you enjoy your run so much more!
  1. Start Slow.  Be kind to your body.  Start with a nice easy jog of one to three miles, adding some bits of walking if necessary.  If you haven’t been running outdoors (or even on a treadmill), be sure to have fun and start light.  Gradually get yourself back into it by adding 10% total mileage per week.
  1. Motivate yourself With an Event. Everyone needs a goal or a gentle shove and sometimes, signing up for a race is what your body and head need for motivation!  Google local races and plan on training for two months before the big day.  Enlist the help of a friend or family member to help keep yourself motivated.  Need some help with training?  Check out Couch To 5K .