For the first 3 years of my marriage to Johnny we opened our space to over a hundred people: travelers, homeless and friends. It was a time full of unique energy and non-stop interactions. For a while, I thrived. I met so many amazing people and it felt good to provide a safe space. We shared conversations on the porch, big pots of oatmeal in the morning when a lot of people were there (by the way, we were mid-remodel and had no kitchen so all our meals were made over fire), and worked on projects. I did an okay job at self care while this was all happening, but stress ended up getting the best of me. How would you feel having 25 different roommates in 5 years, 100+ house guests all living in a half remodeled house? Not to mention the other stressors that came my way, 2 years in I had a miscarriage and had to go through the whole ordeal surrounded by people, unable to escape and deal with what had happened, soon after that we decided to take a trip to South Africa for 2 months to work on farms and travel, it was an amazing experience but while I was gone my grandmother passed away and I wasn't home to say goodbye. When I arrived back home our hospitality house continued but I felt I had lost a lot of my drive to go on living that way. Too many stressors were piling on top of our living situation. Soon after we returned home my kitty was hit by a car and died. The combination of roommates, guests, the miscarriage, traveling, and death finally caught up to me. I remember the day, almost 2 years ago, I was deep cleaning the house when I started having sneezing fits, a runny nose and itching eyes. Little did I know that this reaction would continue on, 24/7, for the next year.
I was miserable. I couldn't enjoy anything like I used to. Being a florist, herbalist and wild forager didn't really work with being allergic to plants. And not just plants, but dust too. So whether indoors or outdoors I was reacting to something. It clouded my head and made me want to just lay on the couch a lot of days. I never understood how awful allergies really were for people. When you're body is having a whole body inflammatory response it takes a lot out of you. I went to the doctor to find out exactly what I was allergic to and was given anti-histamines…which made me feel even more tired. (I only tried them once for relief and got a "hangover" from them) The other recommendations I found online were: keep your house clean, have bed and pillow covers for dust allergies, don't have pets, don't go outside during certain seasons, etc. etc. With these options it was clear to me that I had to do something way more intense, I wasn't just going to live life like that. So a few months in I made it my goal to heal myself. And while I still have a little bit to go I thought I'd share with you all how I've healed. It's an insane protocol but if you suffer as much as I was you may just want to try it!
Now, in this post, I'm specifically talking about environmental allergies, but it can also apply to food allergies in a way. The interesting thing is, environmental allergies are usually caused by an underlying food allergy, so you end up healing your food allergy and environmental allergies at the same time. Basically, if the body is overwhelmed by an allergy to a food, stress, overwork and not enough self care, an allergy to other things can form. So the goal in healing is to de-stress, implement self care, eat clean and take immediate measures to relieve symptoms. This is not a short process by any means, it's taken me a whole year to get where I am now. Patience is key!
-Drink LOTS of water. I cannot stress this enough, dehydration can cause more histamine response.
-Supplements: (all the titles are links to where you can buy)
-Bone Broth: This is by far one of the best things you can do for yourself. Go purchase local/grass fed animal bones from your butcher (beef, chicken or whatever you like). This title will link you to a friends nutrition blog where she shows you how to make it. Once you make the base you can make whatever soup you like with it. I would consume this daily if possible. It is packed full of minerals, vitamins and gut healing nutrients. It has helped me immensely.
-Cut down Sugar and Alcohol: I had to do this hardcore. I took my sugar consumption down to only a fruit or 2 a day and a little bit of honey sometimes. I also fully cut out Alcohol after having allergic reactions to it about 5 months ago. These two things have been an amazing addition to my protocol and I know it's hard to do…but so worth it.
-Self Care: This one is way more important than people realize. Stress contributes to allergies. So try and make a routine for your days where you have time to take care of yourself. If possible, don't overwork, say no when you need to and pamper yourself.
-Get Good Sleep: The benefits of good sleep are endless. Make it a goal to go to sleep by 10pm and get a good 8 hours if you can!
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David