Saturday, November 8, 2014

My Secret for Beautiful Skin

I just spent a few moments going through old pictures of myself trying to find some of my acne. I cannot find any, because I CAKED on foundation like it was my job, and avoided the camera at all cost when my skin was real bad.
I sought the knowledge of medical doctors who would want to prescribe me antibiotics, sometimes multiple antibiotics. Some even suggested I try Accutane. 
Sorry, I am uncomfortable with a medication that requires two forms of birth control because of 100% chance of birth defects if you become pregnant, routine blood draws, and a risk of Crohn's disease later in life.
I always said to myself, "If I knew what was causing my skin to break out, I would avoid it and it would be absolutely NO problem. Even if it was my favorite food."

Lo and behold!! It WAS!! 

I have an allergic reaction to dairy products.

Cheese is my favorite food. I never thought I could live without it.
I do not eat dairy, even if there is a trace amount of butter, because I am that sensitive. I have been dairy free since June of 2014, and I am still not 100% clear, but it literally gets better everyday. I woke up today staring in the mirror, and it feels SO freaking good to have beautiful skin. If you suffer from acne, you know what I mean. I am not talking about the people who get a break out around their period, or have one zit at a time, I am talking 3+ CYSTIC zits that are not only unattractive and make you wonder how people can actually be seen out in public with you, but also are VERY painful. The throbbing pain is a lovely, constant reminder, that your face looks terrible... and if anyone has coping mechanisms to deal with their face, fill me in, because I never learned any. It has ALWAYS made me very self-conscious.

So I consulted one of the most lovely ladies I have ever met while doing a program at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Kathie Swift. I won't go into detail about her story, but it is a fascinating one! She has a really amazing website you can visit here. 

**dairy is from cows. dairy does not include eggs. 

How I cured my acne (+ narcolepsy).... 
step 1 - quit your job that is making you extremely unhappy.
step 2 - take a 2.5 month road trip, meet amazing people, and learn.
step 3- follow through with their advice.

So I am sitting in a room that was more or less  like AA for people with bowel problems. (I was there simply to learn and because I got some continuing education for nursing). I had no idea HOW MANY PROBLEMS are actually related to what we EAT. Now it only makes complete sense. I have been on a mission to learn from experts about what foods are going to make me feel the best I can possibly feel. If I have this one life, my number one desire is to adventure through it with the best body I can possibly maintain. If I work hard to care for my body, it will be so good to me in return. 

So in the midst of people discussing their bowel issue, my question was, what can I do for my skin?
Kathie said, "there's no research supporting it, but just about every patient I have ever had with acne shows MAJOR improvement from eliminating dairy." (She also stated that gluten sometimes causes acne, too.. but it had mostly been eliminated by a dairy-free diet)
I had heard this before, but never thought anything of it because our society somehow has become so hooked on the idea that milk is SO GOOD for you and that it is THE ONLY WAY to get adequate calcium. That is complete nonsense. Calcium is in leafy greens, coconut milk, figs, almonds, oranges, etc.. If you are eating whole foods, you probably don't need any dairy. 

Since I have been 100% dairy free, I have gotten into dairy 3 or 4 times. (so I guess that is not 100%, but it's close!) And when I do, it's over night and noticeable. To put it simply, I sweat a lot more, I smell bad and have to actually wear deodorant, and my skin breaks out.

I found an article on XO Jane that I absolutely love about a girl that had my same issue, and you can read her story here. It is pretty amazing.

So why am I sharing this information with you?!

Because you have no idea the benefits of eating cleaner until you just do it.

What do I love to eat more than anything?!    Cheese & Bread!

What do I no longer consume?!    Cheese & Bread!!!

Why would I deprive myself of my favorite foods???!!! 

Because I am NOT depriving myself. I listened to my body and realized that it doesn't respond well to these things. So every day, I am making decisions to have optimal health.
I have more energy,
I no longer need naps,
I no longer fall asleep doing things (never been clinically diagnosed with narcolepsy, but if you know me on a personal level, you know I struggled to stay awake).
I no longer have acne.
**Typing that sentence felt so good, and I actually just touched my face and smiled.**

I want people to know that this can be done. It is hard at first. AT FIRST. It's just like anything else now. 

I stay away from butter, and anything cooked in butter, I do all my cooking in coconut oil. 
No Cheese.
Nothing cooked in/with cheese or milk.
I also do stay away from gluten(the occasional sandwich does slip in) as a cleaner eating habit. 
**when I say occasional sandwich, I mean I have had about three sandwiches in the past 6 months.**

I am not saying to not eat dairy, but what I am saying is to listen to your body. Experiment. I never thought anything would get rid of my acne. You can heal a lot of things naturally, it is usually just a matter of having the desire and will power to work really hard and experiment. Read and listen to people with similar problems. Keep a food journal. Love yourself. That is all.  (:

no make up. right out of the shower.
sorry, I have absolutely NO before pictures. 

Feedback, comments, whatever you have, I would love to know!

Wise words by Charlie Chaplin:
**You will probably see this picture again when I talk about self love. 

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