I came across a link for information about a new book, The Allergy Solution: The Surprising, Hidden Truth About Why You Are Sick and How To get Well by Leo Galland M.D. and his son, Jonathan Galland. Since I am always trying to find better solutions for my reoccurring allergy and asthma issues, I was immediately interested and did a little research by reading a couple of articles about the book and an excerpt, and since it all made a lot of sense, I downloaded the book on Kindle along with a bonus interview and food/recipe guide. I skimmed through the first few chapters and having a relatively quiet weekend planned, decided to do the three-day food reset included in the book before going back and reading it in detail. (Maybe not the best plan but how I operate!) ;-)
First, a little background on the Three-Day Power Wash since that's what I started with. The power wash consists of nourishing yourself with three components over three days: an Immune Balance Smoothie, an Immune Balance Soup and organic oolong tea (which studies have shown to offer anti-allergic benefits). You have the smoothie for breakfast and an afternoon snack, the soup for lunch or dinner and four cups of the tea throughout the day. (You can also add an extra glass of smoothie or bowl of soup if you get hungry, however, I am on day two and have been satisfied without any extras as the smoothie has an avocado and chia seeds and is quite satiating.)
I know cleanses or detoxes are not everyone's thing but I think they are a great way to reset the body. Dr. Galland says to think of it "like mediation, a program to access the inner stillness and wisdom of the body" and to "cut through the noise of everyday life and the usual eating patterns to get to a quieter place where you can listen to your body." He refers to the power wash as "clearing the tracks" to cleanse the body by reducing the common allergenic foods to help identify and ultimately eliminate your problem foods. Although I began attempting to do something similar on my own earlier this year by spending the first few months eliminating wheat/gluten, dairy and processed sugar, I started to drift off track and wanted to refocus and get back to finding a possible food solution for the allergy issues that trigger my asthma. Although my asthma is not severe (no emergency room visits), it is chronic and I go through periods after a cold or allergy flair up where it is defined as acute asthma and where it is definitely not under control, so I am trying to take it more seriously and crack the code.
The recipe for the Immune Balance Soup and other components of the three-day plan are in the book, along with steps for a two-week re-entry phase to add back in foods and test reactions, and the Immune Balance Diet, an ongoing eating plan. I would have liked a little more detail/direction for the Three-Day Power Wash. For example, the smoothie seemed like it should be divided into two servings as with everything included (fruit, greens, a whole avocado, chia seeds, green tea, optional banana), it makes two fairly large glasses and is extremely filling. It doesn't spell that out, but does say the smoothie becomes more creamy if allowed to chill (chia seeds) so I made the recipe in the morning and divided it into two servings, drinking one glass for breakfast and saving the other for my afternoon snack. Was that right or wrong? I don't know but I never felt hungry or too full which the book said was where I should be. The soup information said to enjoy a large mug or bowl, so I took that as a serving of 1 1/2 to 2 cups depending on my mood/hunger level. Also, I jumped into the Three Day Power Wash before reading beyond it (my bad!) and in further reading, there are several warnings for people with asthma not to do the two weeks of re-entry food testing (due to the complications of asthma as an allergy disorder, the many types of asthma, and the potential severity of allergic reactions) which was a bit disappointing as I was fired up. I do understand the reasons behind it and there is good information in a later chapter on asthma about diet and the balance of nutrition and environmental factors. I will be exploring some of the suggestions in detail, along with trying the Immune Balance Diet, looking into some supplements and making a bigger push for ensuring I am regularly getting higher intake of antioxidant rich foods. I have no known food allergies after being tested a couple of years ago, but I feel that what I eat definitely plays a role in my breathing and my lungs and overall health. I had an appointment with my doctor on Friday and I asked her about the power wash, trying some of the supplements and other advice in the book and she had no issues and wants to hear about my results in a few months. So even though I did things a bit backwards by not reading more of the book before diving in, I am not sorry I made the effort to clear the tracks for a few days and it's a good jump-start (or re-jump-start I suppose).
Although focused heavily on food and nutrition, the book addresses other non-food lifestyle aspects of allergy solutions too. The chapter on Cracking the Code with the Allergy Solution Checklist of Symptoms, Rate Your Symptoms, and Search for Triggers tools are very valuable, gave me a lot to think about, and I am continuing to go through those sections and exercises in detail. I like the clear way the authors explain the science and data researched, the reasons behind the nutrition connection, and the importance of lifestyle changes. Although the book advises repeatedly to get/keep your doctor involved in solutions, it gives encouragement and ownership of health to the individual where I feel it is best suited. With a quick initial read and more work to do, I am finding The Allergy Solution a valuable resource for me and I would recommend that anyone with ongoing allergies and symptoms that are negatively impacting their health and wellbeing look into this book.
About the Soup:
The Immune Balance Soup is a vegan soup with plenty of vegetables (about four servings of veggies in a large mug of it) that are nutritious and support a healthy immune system; carrots, parsley, green onions--green parts only, broccoli, baby kale, plus turmeric, black pepper, sea salt, and a topping of shredded daikon radish--added just before serving. The carrots are sauteed in olive oil, so there is a bit of healthy fat in there and the the turmeric, black pepper and salt keep it from being too bland.
I did have to swap out the broccoli--sadly, as I know it's a nutritional powerhouse, but I get terrible stomach pains from it and Dr. Galland makes it clear to omit any ingredients from the soup or smoothie that you are allergic or sensitive to. (Plus who wants to spend a three-day cleanse curled up in ball writhing in agony?!) ;-) Since the nightshade family (tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes and peppers) and garlic, onion bulbs, mushrooms, corn and beans are on the no-no list for the three days, I grabbed some local asparagus to sub in for the broccoli and also added a half of a zucchini I had on hand.
Notes/Results: Was I missing my usually garlic, onion, other spices, and touch of acidity from lemon (all on the "avoid" list for the Three-Day Power Wash) for this veggie soup? Yes, a bit, as I like big flavor in my soups. But, although this soup is mild in flavor, it's actually pretty good, even better after it has sat and the flavors continue to meld. It is noted in the book that you can blend it but as the other component of the three days is a smoothie, I find I need the chew factor of a the veggies for the most satisfaction. The daikon radish is supposed to be shredded and I spiralized it so it felt like slurping up noodles--another thing that adds to making three days of the same smoothie and soup a bit more fun--along with enjoying it out of a colorful bowl. (Truly though, in case you were wondering, I have not suffered at all on this plan--the smoothie is very satisfying, as is the soup and I have had plenty of energy and feel grounded and good on Day 2.) Overall, it's a good basic veggie soup and I would make it again.
The Allergy Solution is my eighth entry for the Foodies Read 2016 event. You can check out the May Foodies Read linkup, hosted by Heather at Based on a True Story, to see what foodie books that everyone is reading this month.
Two salads from friends and an open-faced sandwich from me were at last week's Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays linkup. Here's the recap:
Vicki of I'd Rather Be At The Beach made Yotam Ottolenghi's Seriously Zesty Bread Salad and says, "YUM! I loved it! It was light and fresh and one of the best tomato/cucumber salads I’ve ever tried. I loved the toasted bread, it gave the salad a nice crunch. It was simple to make and had easy to find ingredients. I plan on making this again!"
Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made Curtis Stone's Baby Spinach Salad with Crispy Bacon and Cherry Tomatoes and says, "The Curtis Stone recipes we have tried so far have been great. Only one screw up (that was a roast pork dinner that was tossed for the foxes) but the other recipes - delicious! This particular salad we have had a few times. ... Not for vegetarians because the bacon (and tomatoes cooked in bacon) are stars of this salad."
These Smoked Salmon Tartines with Red Onion-Caper Relish, also by Curtis Stone, were too delicious for me not to share again with Souper Sundays. I think open-faced sandwiches like tartines are my favorite because you can consume less bread and pile "the good stuff' on top. Here it's a lemon and chive cream cheese mixture, smoked salmon, and a relish of (extra) capers, red onions, dill and mustard seeds. Yum!
Thanks to Vicki and Tina for linking up again last week!
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays I would love to have you! Here's how...
To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
- Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.
- please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
- you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).
Have a happy, healthy week!