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Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Allergies

School is out and summer has officially started. Along with it are allergies that thrive on the warmer climate "oh yes so much fun they are". The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is calling attention to five asthma and allergy triggers that can derail your fun this summer.
  1. Bugs. Stings can be painful and even life-threatening. Be careful around open sodas and other sweet foods and drinks when you're outside These can lure stinging insects. If you react badly, talk to your allergist about carrying epinephrine to use after a sting.
  2. Chlorine. This pool chemical can cause asthma flare-ups in some people.
  3. Campfire smoke. This, too, can bring on asthma symptoms. Be sure to sit upwind.
  4. Weather changes. Wind can circulate pollen and mold, triggering allergy symptoms in some people.
  5. Fruits and vegetables. Certain types, like peaches, apples, and melons, can cause tingling in the mouth in some people, especially people with pollen allergies.
 Although spring most readily comes to mind when we think of allergies, many of the same allergic triggers that can make us miserable in the spring persist into summer. Add heat, humidity, and air pollution into the mix, and you have the recipe for summer allergies.

Just as in spring the biggest allergy trigger is pollen, tiny little grains get released into the air from male trees, grasses,and weeds for the purpose of fertilizing other plants. When people with allergies breathe in the pollen the immune system reacts as it is being attacked by a foreign invader .  The immune system releases antibodies which go after bacteria, viruses, and other illness causing organisms. During the attack from the antibodies to the allergens a chemical called histamine is released into the blood causing itchy eyes, runny nose, and other allergies.

Pollen can travel for miles and those with allergies will suffer. The higher the pollen levels the greater the reactions. Trees are usually done pollinating by late spring so during the summer it is usually grasses and weeds that are the bearers of the allergens.

Here is a list of the worst summer allergens:

Russian thistle
Blue grasses
Red Top
Sweet vernal

Ragweed is one of the worst allergens during the summer it usually shows its evil self in August. The pollen from ragweed can travel for hundreds of miles so even though you may not see it you could be suffering from a ragweed allergy. With all the allergies out there add on the ozone layer yes that is correct the ozone which is made up of Sunlight, nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons from burning fuel. Studies have found that the ozone worsens symptoms of allergies and asthma.

During the summer we have a threat of other allergens some that fly and others that live in our beds I will go over that next time on Life Around The Allergies.

Now for our always 100% allergy free recipe of the day:

Quinoa Paella with Chicken & Chorizo

Quinoa is a grainlike South American seed containing all eight essential amino acids, is a high-protein replacement for rice in this otherwise classic paella made with chicken and strips of roasted red pepper

Serves 4

1 pound boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika or other paprika if you don't have the Spanish
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
31/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups quinoa
1/2 cup finely chopped dry-cured chorizo
Chorizo is a variety of heavily seasoned sausage, either cured or fresh, that is common in Spanish and Mexican cuisine.

1/2 cup thin strips roasted red bell pepper, preferably fire-roasted 
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a heavy 3-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat. Brown the chicken pieces, using tongs to turn, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to plate.

Turn off the heat and let the pan cool for a minute. Stir the paprika, garlic, and red pepper flakes into the hot oil in the pot.

Stir the broth into the pot, taking care to scrape up any browned bits sticking to the bottom. Blend in the tomato paste and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the quinoa and chorizo. Cover and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 12 minutes.

Add salt to taste. Stir in the chicken. Cover and cook over low heat until the quinoa is done- it should have no opaque white dot in the center-and the chicken is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. If the mixture seems dry and the chicken or quinoa is not thoroughly cooked, stir in a little more broth or some water, cover, and cook a few minutes longer.

Stir in roasted pepper. Cover and let sit for 1 minute. Stir in parsley just before serving. This recipe calls for one cup of frozen peas.Due to allergies to legumes I have chosen to leave out this particular ingredient because I have allergies  to peas. If you do not have allergies to peas then this would be the time to add the 1 cup of peas.

Enjoy this recipe and please like my blog and share with your friends. We can all help one person at a time. Until next time on Life Around The Allergies.

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