How do you make a Kleenex dance? You put a little boogie in it!
Fall is upon us. Although this is one of our favorite seasons, it is also our most hated because this when our respiratory system decides to wage war on our bodies. Yes, we are talking about good ol’ congestion. Oh that wonderful mix of feeling stuffed up, having a runny nose, not being able to breathe out of one nostril and just feeling overall ‘shnotty’.
Why do we get congested in the first place?
- This is your body’s defense system. Our mucous is filled with antibodies that prevent bacteria, viruses and other substances from further entering our bodies and causing illness. Mucous production increases during these seasons because the body is responding to an increase amount of germs and allergens that are circulating around us.
- Mucous is found throughout the body, lining all tissues in the digestive tract, the lungs, the throat and the upper respiratory tract. Mucous protects these tissues, keeping them moist so they don’t dry out!
How to avoid nasal congestion and the unattractive sounds that go along with it:
1. Drink Mo’ Water
- Water helps liquefy mucous so that it is more fluid and easier to expel from the body. In addition, our body is made up of 60% water, so drinking water improves the function of everything – delivery of nutrients, removal of waste & regulation of metabolism.
2. Just Say No….to dairy
- When we eat dairy, our bodies react by producing too much histamine, which causes an increase in mucous production.
- Some tasty dairy alternatives are almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk. Cashews can also be used to make a dairy alternative cream sauce…yum...(keep reading for the recipe below!)
3. Waiting to Exhale…and then inhale and then exhale again…
Alternate nostril breathing is an amazing exercise for opening up your respiratory system, relieving you of unwanted mucous congestion...
Step 1: use your left hand and close your right nostril with your index finger, inhale slowly through the left nostril.
Step 2: Using your thumb, close your left nostril and exhale through your right nostril.
Step 3: Keep your left nostril closed and inhale through your right nostril
Step 4: Close your right nostril and exhale through your left nostril.
Step 5: Repeat this for 2-3 minutes.
Step 6: Breathe normally.
Step 7: Repeat again.
Try this technique out during your commute to work and see how many new friends you make!
I can’t believe it’s not dairy…creamy cashew sauce
This sauce is delicious especially when served with vegetables such as squash, broccoli, and greens, as well as with grains such as quinoa or brown rice.
1 cup of raw cashews
1 lemon, juiced
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
½ - 1 cup of water, depending on desired consistency
1. In a food processor blend all ingredients together until creamy.
2. Add more water if you prefer a thin sauce.