Allergies, and mostly in Tennessee

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Hey hey! Hi! Thanks for checking out the post today. Most likely you’ve come here because you relate to something about this post whether it’s suffering from allergies, living in Tennessee, being bored and surfing the internet, or all three! But no matter, thank you for stopping by. If you’re like me, you’re almost to the level of def-con 10 trying to figure out how to overcome allergies. And I’m not even talking about cats, that could be another whole post!

Battlefield

It seems like all of my adult life I’ve had to battle allergies and more specifically, seasonal allergies. Think spring and summer when everything is blooming and/or hotter than a parking lot in the desert. I remember having such trouble with the sneezing and the itchy, watery eyes, the sniffling and all that… and the sad part is I never really tried to find out why. I just went on with it as a normal part of life. Well, a few years ago I finally began to address this ongoing fight. I became vegan when I was challenged by a friend of mine (check out his stuff here) to give up dairy for a month and see what happens.

Since then I’ve dug deeper into what’s going on with my body during these seasonal allergies (of which I’m suffering even as I type! So obviously the battle isn’t over :)). I had the chance to take those tests tests where doctors or nurses add allergens to your arm to see what causes the biggest reaction. This was huge for me.

Do You Know Your Enemy?

These tests revealed my biggest bully was ragweed. The enemy has been identified! Then the fight became how to address this specific antagonist. What’s kinda funny, too, is that I don’t remember having this level of suffering before I moved to Tennessee, so while I love it here, something’s up with Tennessee, y’all. The last few years I’ve tried to pinpoint a specific defense against ragweed and haven’t quite nailed it down. But last year I made progress. The symptoms were lessened and I even added info to my calendar so I could start preparing for the days symptoms would most likely show up.

So I creep…

Then spring 2019 came around and wham-o! ragweed’s annoying brother crept up on me– tree pollen! Weeks before I thought I’d see the enemy (ragweed allergies), my nose starts running, my eyes start watering and I was caught unprepared. The last 2 weeks have been rough. All the normal symptoms but coming at me twice as hard, it seems. I’ve caught myself many times thinking, “I can’t live like this for 20 more days!” So I set out to do more this year. After some research (for instance, this), I’ve reinstated the use of the air purifier in my house, I’ve bought plants to help clean the air, I wear disposable masks (as pictured above), and I even ordered a mask on Amazon (click here for Amazon link*) that arrived today. I’ll do a follow-up post to update on it’s effectiveness. Here’s a quick look at my defense systems…

*as an Amazon affiliate, I receive a kick back for any orders placed through the links I provide, at no extra cost to you*

Not to mention, wearing long sleeves and pants whenever I’m doing yard work, staying indoors during the late morning/ early afternoon hours, using the car air conditioner instead of windows down, washing clothes more often, and just generally being more attentive to the environment around me.

Can I get a connection?

With all this said, I want to hear from you all out there who are going through the same things! Any DIY solutions that have worked? OTC medications that have been effective? Tell me, share, let’s overcome this together. Until then, keep up the fight!

-Out of the Wilderness

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Fall, almost my favorite time of the year

The leaves here in Nashville are turning to bright yellows and vibrant reds as the temperature drops, signaling a season so many people love, fall.

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I love this part of year for the cool nights, the leaves changing, and knowing that Christmas is right around the corner.

What do I not love? The cold days, September allergies, and knowing that as far as temperature goes it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

I already can’t wait for summer 🙂

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-Out of the Wilderness

Becoming a Vegan

I’ve toyed with the idea of giving up meat, but only for about a half second. It’s not that I love eating chicken, or turkey, or burgers too much. It’s just that I can’t imagine only eating vegetables, fruit, and bread and only drinking water and juice. Vegans don’t drink milk or eat cheese either. Or eggs. Actually the more I think about it, my diet is everything the vegans isn’t.

How am I supposed to have a ham and cheese sandwich without ham and cheese?

I have a friend, Nick Shell, who’s been posting extremely convincing and very sensible reasons why going vegan is (in my own words) not just a thing hipsters do. He and I caught up a bit on Sunday and he challenged me to go a weekend without dairy. Why didn’t he just stab me with a knife? I love cheese and all things cheesy! Like, what did the guy say when he walked into a… Oh, nevermind. I’ll stick to cheesy food.cheese1Nick’s reason for giving up dairy is simple: allergies. Since he’s been off dairy, his allergies have vastly improved. He could’ve said anything else but allergy conversations get my full attention. Because it’s crazy out here, y’all! Tennessee’s got to be one of the toughest environments for allergies. Pretty much everyone and their brother suffers a few times a year. And my brother’s in Orlando so I’m suffering for the both of us here! But Nick links dairy consumption with allergy symptoms which is radical to me. Just radical enough that the scales of my curiosity are tipping in favor of giving this no-dairy-weekend thing a shot.

I share some of Nick’s enthusiasm for being healthy, but I know for me it’s a slow process of changing my diet, and giving up food I enjoy (Coke floats!) to replace it with food I’ll learn to enjoy (cherry tomatoes, yuck!). That time is not right now. I will take his challenge though, and anyone who’s reading feel free to check back periodically for an update. I can tell you this, the first post after going vegan cold turkey for a weekend, (isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? Going vegan… cold turkey!) will include some sort of rant on how great milk is and how drinking it gives me strong bones and helps me say Aaron Burr whenever I need to.

-Out of the Wilderness