Over the past six months I have made some significant headway in narrowing down what affects my asthma. After years of spontaneously suffering from tightness in the chest, I could no longer afford the possibility of my asthma negatively affecting my job performance. I went after every information source I could from journals to websites to anecdotal accounts and everything in between.
The results in brief:
#2: Air Quality
Numbers two and three are really no brainers. Everyone knows that! If I live in a smoggy/smoky city or in a house with pets and dust, my breathing suffers. Sometimes it hits me within minutes, sometimes it takes days; the ultimate worst is at the end of a race when I need to go BIG RED and suddenly I can't breathe.
So how in the world do I manage my breathing despite racing and living in areas that air quality and living conditions are less than ideal? Nutrition.
I've adopted a stringent diet that has reduced not only foods that I was slightly allergic to as a child (that I thought I had grown out of) but also foods that themselves are common allergens. Gluten free, corn free, dairy free...those are the three big hitters. When I finally went fully gluten free, I felt a huge difference. When I incorporated a daily glass of green tea into my gluten-free quinoa breakfast with coconut milk, milled flaxseed and cinnamon, I no longer experienced breathing issues when staying in dusty accomodations.
What are the guidelines? The idea is to reduce to number of total allergens in your blood system. Allergenic blood compounds are essentially undigested proteins, or undigested proteins that have coupled with a toxic substance (proteins are really good at binding and building with other compounds). When you ingest too much protein and not enough enzyme-rich foods, you develop a saturation of free-floating undigested proteins in your blood, known in the medical community as CICs (circulating immune complexes).
Of course eating such a strict diet on the road is challenging. This week's Toque Toast covers that!