The first thing we want you to know is: what your put in your mouth shows up on your skin. Not always right away but it will get there. It may show up as a rash, breakout, sagging/wrinkles, uneven tone or pallor but, rest assured, it will show up. Of course, if your diet is great, your skin will be great. We believe in whole foods. We always say, “eat food God made, the way God made it.” Additives, chemicals, and refined foods are missing nutrition, fiber, and all the goodies that feed and fuel your body and, in turn, create great skin. Make sure your food is food and that it is the best available. If it can sit for years on a shelf, there probably isn’t anything in it nutritionally.
The western world seems to have an obsession with food. They are not eating to live, but living to eat. Overly processed foods contain anti-nutrients and excitotoxins that make you want more only to starve your body while you think you’re feeding it. None of us are deficient in anti-nutrients and chemicals, we are deficient in nutrients. Our soil is largely depleted of many of the vitamins and minerals our food should be absorbing as it grows. It is our obligation to our health to choose the best available, most nutrient dense foods. This alone will create positive changes in your skin.
We suggest keeping a food journal to see how your body and skin react to foods and supplements. Did you realize it can take several days (and sometimes longer) for a reaction to show up? If you are keeping a journal, you’ll be able to see patterns of sensitivities (especially to those foods you consume regularly) and can consider eliminating them.
If you should find yourself in a situation to celebrate or travel and try new cuisines, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself! If you are going to deviate from what you have found keeps your body functioning optimally, do it in moderation, on rare occasions, and in good company. Our digestion is actually considered to work better when you are among friends and loved ones! Just don’t use this as an excuse to deviate often. You’ll want to be aware of how foods affect you and only deviate with foods that aren’t your major trigger foods but not so often that you renew any old addictions or cravings.
There has been an epidemic of fast/prepared food consumption over the last several years. I grew up eating fresh foods until the convenience and packaged foods flooded the shelves of the markets. At that time, we never considered the lack of nutrition in those colorful boxes. I have spent the last 10+ years working to remove the effects of this ‘food’, including the food addictions they caused. The more convenient our food has become, the more sick we’ve become. I read a fabulous quote: We’re not living longer, we’re dying longer. It’s so true! Take back your quality of life and change your future by choosing whole clean foods. Organic is best but get the best quality food you can afford even if it isn’t organic. The less your food travels, the fresher it is. Try to eat local as much as possible and in season. Know your farmer and where your food comes from. However, know that there are non-local, healthy foods you can consume if you are comfortable with the source and country of origin.
It’s generally best to consume mostly vegetables and fruits (in that order) and less of carefully sourced meats if you do eat meats. Find free range, grass fed and organic when possible and wild caught from safe waters for fish. We believe in good fats such as coconut, avocado and clean olive oils. Source olive oil carefully as many are adulterated with unhealthy oils and colored with chlorophyll. Pay attention to the smoke point of any oils you will be using for cooking. This is the temperature at which it begins to burn and should not be exceeded. Always consider the shelf life and freshness of your oils as rancid oils can cause health issues. We feel that if you don’t eat enough healthy fats, your body stores fat because it thinks it is starving. When it comes to dairy and cheese, research seems to suggest that it is better to eat dairy from goat or sheep rather than cows, if any. Dairy can be very congesting to many people. Congestion begins in the digestive system and ends up on your skin! Quite possibly the worst substance you can eat for your skin is sugar. Sugar feeds bad bacteria and creates an acidic terrain that creates aging skin in short time. If you have a sugar addiction (like I still struggle with), try abstaining from sugar and things that turn to sugar in your system and see if your skin doesn’t look younger and start to clear. You may find that even your weight starts to balance following these principles.
We think juicing is a great strategy for a season, especially if you are unwell. However, we find that whole foods with their full fiber content are generally better. Foods have multiple components that allow them to be digested well. For instance, if you drink apple juice, it is mostly fructose and can cause a sugar rush. However, if you eat an apple, you have consumed the whole fruit which balances the sugars and fiber eliminating the sugar 'high'. We like how Dr. Mark Hyman puts it: Eat slow carb, not low carb.
No cosmetic will hide what a poor diet can do to your skin. They can camouflage the effects of past issues or what may arise during the transformation period. Your makeup should be your enhancement tool. Remember, past issues may be reversible and, if you already have good skin, imagine the improvements if you change a few habits. No matter your age or skin type, you will likely see positive changes to your skin when you implement these changes. In fact, you can see changes in your entire wellbeing including weight, hormones and mood. A ‘diet’ should be a lifestyle. Your ‘diet’ is not a temporary thing, it is simply the name for how you eat. Stop depriving yourself and change your idea of what ‘food’ is. Your idea of food that tastes good will change as you reset your taste buds to love the food that works for you. Make peace with food! What you learn or decide is best for you to eat should be a sustainable lifestyle. If a diet isn’t sustainable, it will fail.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) come from modifying or tampering with the natural expression of our foods. It is often done by placing the DNA of other, unrelated foods or animals into seeds to change the vitamin and/or nutrition content or to create resistance to herbicides or infuse the seeds with pesticides, fungicides and other chemicals. This process has been touted as necessary to keep our crops from failing but, with little research presented prior to introducing these crops (and animals) to our food supply, we have become the research. It seems clear from the declining health of nations that allow them and the increasing incidence of autoimmune diseases and health decline that the jury should be in and our food should never have been open to experimentation. You should have the right to choose your food sources. You eat what your food ate. Think of the environment where it was raised or grown including the soil, chemicals, feed and genetic modification. It is unfortunate that the grains that used to be considered the staff of life have been so adulterated that they no longer retain their highly nutritious status and can cause digestive issues for many. For us, traditional sourdough fermentation helps in the digestion of these grains when we do eat them. What a shame that we should often have to avoid what used to be a wholesome food. We suggest that you consider eliminating or at least limiting soy from your diet. Aside from the fact that it is nearly always genetically modified, it has only recently been consumed in any culture’s diet without being traditionally fermented in foods and condiments such as soy sauce, miso and tempeh. It is also an estrogen mimicker and has the potential to disrupt hormone balance. You want to eat foods that help balance the hormones as much as possible and not those that disrupt. And you should know that if food is labeled 'organic', it means it has NOT been genetically modified.
For those of us that have eaten poorly (knowingly or unknowingly) for an extended time, there may be symptoms of detoxification such as rashes, headaches, and bad breath as you begin eating clean foods. This should be short lived but can be intense as your system adjusts. Deviating from your plan may only make this last longer. You may think you’re making things worse but you’ll feel so much better when this passes! Until next week…
Books and resources to consider:
'Diet Wise: Let Your Body Choose the Food That's Right for You' by Keith Scott-Mumby
'What the Bible Says About Healthy Living' by Rex Russell, MD
'The Whole Soy Story' by Kaayla Daniel