Archive for the ‘skin’ Category

Yay Me

Just patting myself on the back for completing another day of only fruits and veggies and guess what?! It appears as if the skin on my face is starting to improve. Keep you posted!

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Always Some Excuse

So breakfast was juice and lunch was a smoothie. But the weather was cold and I was heating up lunch for my daughter.. and I broke down. I ate some cauliflower with cheddar and butter and some black-eyed peas with carrots that had been prepared using smoked turkey and chicken stock. Did I eat any grains? No. Anything processed? Not really. Anything with refined sugar? No. But I had animal products and beans which I said I wouldn’t have. Was I asleep by ten? Yes. Did I wake up early and do yoga? Yes. I am proud of what I accomplished but annoyed with myself for not sticking to my plan, especially as I look in the mirror and see my checks are still covered with hives or this rash or whatever this is.

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It is winter. We got a ton of snow yesterday. I want warm food. In the movie Joe fasted when it was warm weather. So did the other guy they highlighted, Phil. I’m pretty sure it was warm when Daniel and Jesus  and Gandhi and other religious figures fasted. Who solely drinks cold juices when it’s 20 degrees outside? I’m sure people do it but gosh darn it if it doesn’t make it more difficult. Though, then again, some folks fast without any food or drink and do it when it’s 100 degrees outside. It’s done. It’s not comfortable. It’s not supposed to be easy or fun or comfortable. I think this really illuminates what kind of person I am. I want what I want when I want it. I gave in. I indulged myself. I didn’t persevere. I gave up.

I gave up.

It got too hard.

It wasn’t fair.

I did the yoga, I got some sleep. I avoided grains and sugar… so I justified eating the food. I did part of it.

But I didn’t do exactly what I set out to do.

Why not? Why was I okay with doing just a half-assed job? Or rather (because I was not okay with it) why did I give up? My skin/energy level/health are suffering! Isn’t that enough?

What is my deal?

I have no idea. This is interesting though. Depressing. Enlightening. Maddening. Infuriating! Sad.

On to Day 2. Or rather Day 1 again. Wish me luck.

Happy New Year

So, I got a grip and I returned the sugar cookie mix and the red sugar crystals. While at Whole Paycheck I picked up some romaine, apples, tangerines, avocado, pomegranates and a bunch of other  produce. This morning I made an amazing juice; the rest of the day I ate somewhat healthfully. Have you seen Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead? I have Amazon Prime so I was able to watch it for free. The star, this guy Joe, lost some crazy amount of like 52 pounds by doing a 60 day juice fast. He also lowered his cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and cured his auto immune disease which caused painful red hives. It was amazing. The most important thing I learned is that most of your diet should be from micronutrients: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and beans.

I’m ready to do this. Starting weight: 156.4.

And if exhaustion, extreme hip pain, cellulite, dark circles and excess weight weren’t enough a reason to get more serious, take a look at my skin.

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OMG My Face!

I woke up yesterday morning and my face looked puffy. I hadn’t sleep very well so I figured that was it. I also over indulged and felt bloated. My mom’s 86th birthday was yesterday and we went out for dinner to a Japanese hibachi grill and had cake and ice cream afterwards. I had wheat noodles and unknown oils and non-organic vegetables and beef that was probably not grass-fed. The cake and ice cream were store-bought and filled with sugar, artificial favors and colors. Your typical American meal, tasty but so bad for you (well, me). I ate and ate and ate, crammed in as much as possible and then ate some more so when I looked puffy I wasn’t particularly surprised. What shocked me though was my skin! I was applying lotion to my face and I could feel fine bumps all over my skin! Something had made me break out. What in the world am I doing to myself?? I know I’m sensitive to certain foods yet I continue to eat them? Makes. No. Sense.

I am beyond frustrated and annoyed with myself. I havent eaten anything yet today. I’m not sure what to eat. I know I need to go on a fast to rid myself of all these toxins but I don’t want to! I want to prepare some black-eyed peas for New Year’s Day; I want to bake sugar cookies with my five-year-old… that’s what I want to do. Waah! Poor me. Whine, whine, whine… I need to get over it, I know. And I can bake cookies with her without eating any! I know this too. Why is food-well eating really-such a fun, social activity? If I lived in a remote village somewhere I wouldn’t have options and would simply be grateful for a piece of meat to go with my veggie and starch. Decorated Christmas cookies?? Am I really complaining that I can’t eat Christmas cookies? Yes I am and I need to stop.

As if I Didn’t Know

Tis the season for holiday treats. At work my co-worker offered me some cookies. I tried to refuse but I succumbed. Ate 3 (which is actually good for me!) but I kid you not–within hours I had an enormous zit on my face and that evening I was constipated!! Sorry, TMI but WOW! So, yeah. This is good news. I already thought I knew wheat wasn’t working for me, but now I know. Hard facts but good to know. Now to work on this zit! Why oh why did it pop up right before a first date?! At least he still complimented me on my beauty. In fact, he said I look younger than my pictures (we met online) and am even more beautiful. How nice was that? With a huge zit and all. lol

Now to tackle processed foods, carbs and sugar. I know that carbohydrates break down into sugar and all these food items lead to inflammation. I especially have to get away from the boxed foods!! Eating sugar from fruit and maple syrup is fine for now and carbs from fruit and potatoes and rice are fine for now– but I really need to go cold turkey on the packaged gluten-free cookies type “food” items. Yep, fake foods and refined sugars are next to get the ax. Took me six months to internalize that wheat products were no good for me and be conscious about not eating them. I hope it doesn’t take so long for the processed foods and sugars.

Avoiding Gluten

So most of October I avoided wheat. What did I notice? I wasn’t bloated after a meal. And, this is clearly too much information but I will share it anyway– I got constipated. I still didn’t think I was gluten intolerant though. I mean, really, how many people really need to avoid it altogether? Thing is I have other annoying problems that I am trying to get rid of like fatigue, inflammation, my lingering chin rash and hip pain and I do wonder if going off gluten entirely might change those. And then I came across this article and it hit me like a ton of bricks. These issues really may stem from gluten after all.

The article states ten symptoms of gluten intolerance including bloating, constipation, Keratosis pilaris fatigue, a diagnosis of Rheumatoid arthritis (yup, I’ve got that!), chronic fatigue, pain, inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

Wow. Really, wow.

So I am back off gluten. And the sugar binges caused almost instantaneous crashes afterwards. I ate some Halloween candy and within an hour was in a heap on the sofa. It was awful. So bye-bye refined sugar again as well.

Feeling Discouraged

I have been pretty good about not eating any wheat or sugar. Really good in my opinion, but I’m feeling discouraged because I haven’t seen any dramatic changes and it’s been three weeks into eating this way. I have been really hungry so that certainly factors in (large intake of calories) and I haven’t exercised at all–so okay, it shouldn’t be that surprising I suppose, but since I haven’t eaten a single cookie, not one sip of soda, no pizza, etc., well I just thought I would have lost some weight or noticed some amazing changes. Certainly part of the problem is I have been eating maple syrup and lots of chips. Those are fattening! Duh! So, okay no weight loss for that reason (and no exercise). And although I have been avoiding breads, pastries and pastas I haven’t been 100% gluten-free so that explains why I haven’t noticed any  earth shattering changes (if wheat is the cause). So what then has been the point? I am asking myself that. I weighed myself this morning and the scale read 152.8. I started October at 153. Woo hoo!! Almost one pound in three weeks! Yay. (Yeah, that sucked). So have there been any positive outcomes at all??? Yes, in fact there have! Here are five:

1.  I am rarely bloated after a meal and have rarely gotten a stomach ache from food. When we moved back to the States this summer (after living overseas for two years) I noticed that my stomach often hurt after eating in a restaurant. Well, now that I am preparing most of what I am eating I am not having stomach aches. I still don’t know what was causing the stomach aches but it’s nice to not be suffering.

2. I have made some amazing dishes! I have absolutely fallen in love with acorn squash (baked and then broiled with butter)and I have made some delicious wheat-free pancakes that my daughter also loves.

3. I feel good about knowing what is in my food and feeding homemade dishes to my child.

4. I realize how much sugar, baked goods and processed crap I used to eat and am astounded. I honestly didn’t realize how much I used to consume before this challenge (knowingly and unknowingly). Reading labels has been an excellent exercise.

5. This one is good!! The rash under my chin is almost gone! Here is the before picture from three weeks  ago:

image and here it is right now:imageI wish I knew what caused it in the first place but I am glad to see it has almost completely cleared up. This challenge has a week left. This week I am going to drink more water and start exercising. I visited a gym yesterday and they gave me a guest pass to use for the rest of the month. At the end of the month they are running a special and I can decide at that time if I want to join. Though I prefer hiking and playing tennis, I have done that zero times since being home. Zero. Makes me sad. What makes me sadder though is the weather is starting to get colder and if I don’t join a gym I likely won’t work out much for the next six months. Ain’t no way I’m going to be fierce by fifty without exercising! So, yeah, three weeks into October Unprocessed (also known as my sugar and wheat free challenge) and progress is slower than I had hoped and that’s discouraging. But I do see small glimmers of progress and it’s just enough to keep me motivated.