FOOD AND ACNE

Acne is for teenagers, or so I thought.   Growing up, I didn’t suffer from many problems with my skin (unless the occasional pimple came to visit with my monthly period).  It was not until I entered my early 20’s that I began to develop adult acne.  Horrified, I thought why is this happening to me?   I developed acne along my jawline and forehead.  With that came a selfconciousness that made me apply too much concealer and I often used my hands in conversation to cover my zits.  

I heard from many people, “stop touching your face” or "maybe its from your cellphone".   While these things can aggrevate your skin with excess oils and dirt from your hands and phone, I knew there must be a deeper cause for this ongoing problem.  

I tried many different skin regimens and began getting facials.  Harsh chemicals in acne face products made my acne worse at times.   Facials and microdermabrasian helped some, but the underlying root of the problem was soon to be discovered.  I began to research and understand that what I am putting in my body could be effecting what is happening on the outside of my body.  I decided to begin an internal investigation… so to speak.    The solution came when I started to understand which foods can trigger acne.   I have always had some issues with dairy and noticed a pattern of breakouts after consuming it.   I began by removing dairy, then wheat grains and breads.   While I get an occasional zit around that time of the month,  I have had clear skin since.  When I do have the occasionally piece of baguette or wine and cheese, my skin pays for it- big time.

The Breakdown

What is acne?   It’s important to undertand that acne is an inflammatory condition, therefore, consuming foods that cause infmammtion can have a great impact on the condition of your skin. 

Dairy:  Recent research on diet and acne, the American Academy of Dermatology now says there may be a link between milk consumption and breakouts.  You can blame the hormones in dairy (organic or not),  some of us are sensitive to these hormones, triggering out own pimple-producing hormones, leading to acne breakouts.

Soy:  Estrogens are found in soybeans.  Phytoestrogens mimic natural estrogen levels in women, leading to breakouts artound the mouth and jawline.  Stay away from soy milk, yogurts and soy-containing products.  Read your labels carefully to ensure their aren’t hidden ingredients like soy lecithin .  If you choose to have 'whole soy' such as miso or edamame, be sure that it's organic.  Soybeans are amoung the most genetically modified organisms in this country.  Those soyface cleansers are likely made with GMO soybeans.  Read your labels.  

Wheat:  If you tend toward breakouts regularly, bread and other wheat can be the culprit.  Why? because wheat causes inflammation in the body.  In order to clear up acne you need to get rid of the inflammation.  What's the real deal on wheat.  Read this. The Problem with Wheat   

Sugar:    We are finding out more and more of the negative effects sugar has on our brain, body and mental well-being.  Your skin is another.   Sugar causes inflammtion, which triggers acne. 

The best way to find out what your acne triggers are, is to try elimanating one of these triggers from your diet for 10-14 days, then reintroduce it to see if your acne reappears.  Do not take them all out at the same time.   One by one.

“Sticking to fresh, whole foods like lean proteins and fish, loads of leafy green vegetables (eat the rainbow of fruits and veggies), healthy fats like avocados, quality oils (careful of coconut which can trigger acne in certain individuals), and gluten-free grains is the way to go, along with plant based, organic skin care products that contain vital nutrients to help boost the glow of your skin, but remember, it all starts from within.   

When your mother told you that true beauty lies within, she was right; having a confident internal strength and beauty is your starting point;  a beautiful, clear face to go with is a nice compliment.

in good health,

Justine 

Photo by Comstock Images/Stockbyte / Getty Images
Photo by Comstock Images/Stockbyte / Getty Images







January Happiness

I woke up on January 1st with this intention:  This year I will conquer my fears and reach for my highest potential.   It is said that what you 'do', how you 'act' and how you 'feel' in first 12 days of the new year will shape the rest of  your year. 

In 2014, I went through some rough patches both personally, emotionally and physically.  While I managed to conquer these bumps in the road, I found myself looking for the missing link in my life.  I have two amazing children, have a comfortable home and a small intimate social structure that feeds my inner soul.   What's missing then?   

I'm turning 35 on Monday.  Age 25 seems like a million years past, and for better or worse I find myself witness to the ups and downs that have marked the last 10 years of my life-  things that I've created and dimised by my own choices.  Let's face it, life is about choices AND like everyone, I have made some good and not-so-good ones along the way.  The answer then, is finding the solution in the problems and going through your fire (or karma) with grace and great strength.  Allow your experiences to be your memories, yet do not harbor on the past - what is done is done and cannot be changed.  Acceptance is freedom.  

During sessions with clients, I often have them do a simple exercise, called the Circle of Lifeto see which areas of their own lives seem to be out of balance.  From time to time, I do this execise myself.  At the end of December I realized, 'what is missing?'.  IT is the spirituality that has always sparked my inner fire and the confidence in my my own practice (both work and spiritual) to feel and live a sense of whole or balance. 

Here's what I am doing to change.   

Creating Rituals and Living in 2015

1. Drink hot water upon awakening with or without lemon.  This helps to flush the liver and kidneys of toxins.  I swear that if you start this daily ritual, you will feel the difference and crave a cup of hot water in the am before your cup of joe or tea.  You can also sip hot water throughout the day.  It is easy, cleansing and comforting. 

2. Meditate every morning.   The simple act of meditating everyday has shifted everything for me.   For some this may simply mean to be quietly sitting for 5 minutes before you are hurried into the rest of your day.    You can do long, slow, deep breathing.  Recent studies have shown that 8 weeks of meditation can rebuild gray matter in the brain.  We can all allow ourselves the time to be with oneself.  

3. Stretch & move.   A healthy spine is a healthy body and a longer life.  Period.  You do not have to go to a formal yoga class to reap the benefits of streching.  Wake up and stretch your legs, flex your spine, your torso and arms and awaken your body….and remember to breathe. 

4. Eat greens daily.   The summer months are a great time for green juices and smoothies.  The winter calls for warm nourishing vegetables and grains.   I like to sauté a variety of in-season greens, cabbages, cauliflower to add to a gluten-free bowl of grains.  Tops with last nights tray of roasted root vegetables and you have a simple lunch or dinner-  a Buddha Bowl.  :) 

5. Eat warm soups.  The body needs warmth and comfort in the winter months.  This is my favorite winter chili recipe.

6. Take a hot bath in the evening to unwind and untwist the aches and pains associated with cold weather.  Add lavendar scented sea salts to your baths.  Not only will you feel calmer in the mind, but you will sleep better.  Sleep is a valuable, missing link in most people's live.  Aim for at least 8 hours (7 is ok). 

7. Feel gratitude and be thankful every morning when you wake up, even if you are feeling low, sick or unmotivated.  The simple act of feeling grateful will shift your entire day.  We are often awake to dark at ths time of year.  Before I open my eyes in the morning I visualize the SUN.  Try it.  It works.  Promise. 

8. Tell someone you love them everyday, including yourself.   Saying I love you to someone or hugging or kissing them, can shift everyone's feelings, including yourself.  

9.  Cry.  Yes, cry.  Many of us are taught at a very young age to hold in our feelings.  We age into adults thinking that if we cry that we are weak or depressed or something is wrong with us.   There's not.  Often we need to cry to cleanse our minds or body and be able to work through our emotions, so that we may move on.  

10.   Be proud of your own indiviuality.   I've recently been watching my two chldren blossom into two very different people.  Some may say they are opposites.  Instead of judging each or comparing, I've decided to embrace them indiviually for who they are.  This idea includes yourself.  There are certain aspects of our personality that make us who we are, our constitution - driven, savy, chatty, slow-paced, strong-willed, quiet.  Shift your actions and use both your strenghths and weaknesses to reach YOUR highest potential this year. 

If you interested in learning more about how to improve your own individual eating habits and overall health, please contact me to set-up a time for an initial health consultation. 

In good health, 

Justine