We live in a culture of instant gratification. What do we want? Everything. When do we want it? NOW.
This applies to the way we do health too. When you get a headache, do you wonder how you can fix it naturally? Do you drink more water, load up on electrolytes, take a nap, take some magnesium? Or do you take a pill?
When I was 14, my dermatologist prescribed me Accutane. He didn’t ask me about my diet (high-carb, high-sugar), he didn’t ask me about my skincare routine (none!).
He assumed that what I needed was to dry out my system from the inside. He was treating the symptom, but not the CAUSE of the problem.
Unfortunately, when you go to see a doctor, he won’t ask you about your diet or lifestyle, he’ll check your blood pressure, maybe take your blood, and prescribe you some pill or another to get rid of the symptoms you are facing OR he’ll tell you that “your tests are normal” even if you are experiencing symptoms.
When I had my blood tested the last time I saw my doctor, he told me that I was anemic and needed to take more iron (true!), and he also told me that my cholesterol was too high, and that I needed to eat less fat (false!).
I almost listened to him, except I knew better. I knew that I was overdosing on baklava everyday, and that my high sugar intake had everything to do with my high cholesterol. I also knew that eating less fat would result in a hormonal imbalance and probably even worse cholesterol.
As it turns out, doctors only get about an hour of nutrition in all their studies. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve spent over 100 hours reading about how food affects the body…
As you can see, I began distrusting my physicians early on. I knew there had to be a solution to the cause of the problem, not just a solution masking the symptoms of the problem.
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The Taste Of Health
The solution I’m referring to is food. And the myth I’d like to bust today is the myth that food doesn’t affect your skin.
Food doesn’t just affect skin, food affects EVERYTHING — from how you feel, to how much serotonin you produce, to your energy levels, your focus, your mood, your blood pressure, your strength, your skin, hair, nails, muscle growth, immune system, hormone balance and production…
Your body needs the necessary building blocks to produce cells, mitochondria, proteins, DNA, hormones, neurotransmitters… Breathing alone won’t cut it!
What’s more is that certain foods are linked to skin & health problems, such as sugar, dairy, grains, processed meats, soy, and various preservatives and colorants…
Take sugar, for example…
If you eat too much sugar, you’ll experience insulin spikes. Your blood sugar will go up and then crash, making you feel groggy and unfocused. But this influences your skin in a big way too.
Insulin spikes activate your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, making your face oilier — but also giving rise to the opportunity for more breakouts.
Consistently high insulin levels lead to insulin resistance — which means that your body needs more and more insulin to be released to tell it to store the excess sugar.
Since nowadays, we don’t use up all the energy that we store, this results in weight gain and eventually leads to diabetes too.
And we’ve only covered sugar!
What if you have a food sensitivity that you aren’t aware of? You keep eating foods that your body has an immune response to… leading to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is when your body is always fighting something off, which can lead to autoimmune diseases when the body turns against itself.
When your body is chronically inflamed, an innocent clog can’t just come and go unnoticed as it does in a healthy body. Oh nooooo! The body instead fights the clog with all its might — resulting in a red, swollen mess on your face.
Pimples are the result of inflammation — remember that. All these consequences because of a food sensitivity!
What about leaky gut?
When you eat too many grains your whole life, you can get a leaky gut. A leaky gut is a permeable gut, which means that instead of your gut absorbing nutrients, it lets garbage into your BLOOD. This is what leads to food sensitivities and chronic inflammation.
What’s more is that your gut produces more serotonin than your brain. So an unhappy gut means an unhappy you. That’s right, your unhappiness or full-blown depression can be created in your gut by eating the wrong foods.
Your body can’t properly function without these minerals and you might experience the following symptoms.
Symptoms of vitamin & mineral deficiencies:
- hair loss
- chronic stress
- chronic inflammation
- hormonal imbalance
- mood swings
…and many more!
You have to understand that food contains the building blocks for life as you know it. If you want to look and feel your ABSOLUTE BEST, then it’s time to start taking your food choices seriously.
Food isn’t meant to entertain your mouth for 3 minutes, whilst providing you ZERO nutritional value. You can’t outrun your poor food choices either…
A pizza is not food, it’s entertainment. A muffin has more sugar than a donut… Do you really need cake?
The consequences do catch up with people… If it’s not acne, then it’s diabetes. If it’s not diabetes, then it’s arthritis. If it’s not arthritis, it’s Crohn’s disease or MS or WORSE.
Think of food as fuel — that’s all it is. And you need fuel to run.
In order to prevent deficiencies, make sure you are eating a well-rounded diet with plenty of whole foods, organic vegetables, organic and grass-fed proteins, and healthy fats.
Don’t be afraid of whole food — you can’t get fat on it, and you don’t need to count calories. Eat as much as you want!
By choosing whole foods, I’ve stopped worrying about my weight. I eat as much as I need, and I feel amazing.
Some of my favorite foods include:
- sweet potatoes
- wild-caught salmon
- albacore tuna
- organic grass-fed chicken
- organic grass-fed beef
- olive oil
- coconut oil
- macadamia nuts
- dark chocolate (72% and up without soy lecithin)
- bananas (sparingly because fructose is not very good for you)
Notice how I haven’t mentioned breads, pasta, cookies, pizza… or even rice. Because grains are processed, and packaged food always comes with filler ingredients that I avoid.
Choose food without preservatives, fake colours, hydrogenated oils, dairy, soy, or too much sugar… Start reading labels and realize how much crap is in your “food”. You don’t have to eat that stuff — and you shouldn’t.
Stop treating your body like a garbage dump, and start eating like a human — a human who is loved.
A Final Word On Food Sensitivities
But above all else, I recommend getting a food sensitivities test done by a naturopath. This will be the most enlightening test for you, because you’ll know once and for all which foods your body can or can’t eat.
I got my food sensitivities test done to find out that some food that I commonly ate like almonds, egg whites, flax, and peas were causing an immune reaction in my body!!!
Weirdly, I get farty from lentils and from milk. However, I don’t get an immune reaction to lentils, but I do get one from milk. This means that I lack an enzyme that helps with lentil digestion, but this isn’t terrible for my body. Whereas, milk activates my immune system!
No elimination diet would have shown this. Farting after a food isn’t enough of a sign that you can’t eat it… Sometimes an immune response is completely imperceptible. So in order to avoid the guesswork, do yourself a favour and invest in your health by getting a food sensitivities test.
The good thing about knowing which foods activate your immune system is that once you eliminate them for about 6-12 months, your gut can heal, and you can reintroduce those foods back into your diet. Food sensitivities aren’t a death sentence — they can be reversed.
You can heal your gut, your body, and your skin — but it starts with food.
You are loved,
P.S. I’ve shared my best 28 hacks for clear skin in my 28 Days Of Clear Skin video series. You can sign up to get every single hack in your inbox here!