In this blog post, you'll learn about a number of things I did to kick off healing my skin from one of the worst breakouts I've had in my 32 years on this planet. This was a consequence of making terrible food choices. These food choices consisted of a lot of processed food as well as eating things like almond croissants (my fav!), french fries and occasionally adding a little too much sea salt to my food. All with the excuse of "I'm working out a lot, so I can eat this. It won't affect me." Yea, I was wrong.
I've taken some time to analyze the shifts I made to heal my skin and body by reassessing my food intake and creating a new relationship with food. I'll be honest, there is still a ways to go, and I did not do it alone. I reached out to a dear friend who happens to be a Medicine Woman whom I share about at the end of this post.
HOW BIRTH CONTROL MASKED MY ACNE
For me, a breakout here, and there has always been "normal." I remember having acne as a teenager then later masking it when I got on birth control in my late teens, and through my twenties. At age 27, I realized I had actively been on the pill for 10 years! While I wasn't planning on getting pregnant anytime soon, I definitely wanted to cleanse my body for years before the thought of having children was in the works. So I got off birth control.
After getting off birth control, I learned how sensitive my body was to food. Anything I would have that was overly greasy, sugary or salty, I would immediately break out. When I first got off birth control, I was traveling to places like India and China where the food is not the cleanest, but how could one resist, right? I mean, I was a sucker for dim sum and some good curry.
After a couple of years, I realized my acne wasn't getting better. At that time, I was acting and modeling and arriving to set with a breakout was super embarrassing. So I resorted to a dermatologist that prescribed Spironolactone aka "the water pill."
This pill was very effective for me and while I appreciated how it was clearing up my skin, I knew that being on this pill long term was not a good thing for my body.
RESETTING WITH A JUICE CLEANSE
At the time in 2014, there was a great raw food restaurant in West Hollywood called "Juliano's Raw." Juliano was a famous Raw Food Chef that had the BEST 8-10 day juice cleanses around. I dove in for a 10-day juice cleanse, which was a life changer. Not only was my skin cleared, but opportunities were coming from all directions. I had so much clarity physically, emotionally, and mentally. I was booking more acting and modeling work than ever. It felt as though a block had lifted.
HOW OUR BODY SENDS US SIGNS
In early May of this year, I began to get a little too comfortable with my food intake because of my dedication to workout regularly. Although I felt my body responding to the kinds of food I was eating, I didn't listen. That stomach ache I would get was no big deal, or I would forget all about it the next time I had a particular dish in front of me. It became a "normal" thing to indulge for about 2 weeks straight. My body would respond in various ways like feeling bloated, sluggish, and dehydrated. For me, that wasn't enough to get my attention. But when my skin started to breakout day after day, it became something I could no longer hide. On May 6th, I experienced the worst breakout from the food I had eaten. The photos I share below are after running to get an "emergency" facial at a Med-Spa.
May 6th post facial (left); 5 days later after diet change (right)
CHANGING MY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD
The night I became consciously aware of what was happening with my skin, I became determined to understand what was going on. It felt like that episode of "Family Guy" where Stewie annoyingly repeated "Mom, Mom, Momma, Mommy, Mom, Mom" to get his mom's attention. It took this level of trying to get my attention to finally ask, "ok, what is going on here?"
That night my friend Amy Zhou sent me a text me. She's a Medicine Woman!! I had to share what was going on with my skin and vent a little. We immediately jumped on a phone call, and she gave me a blueprint to a different approach to consuming foods throughout the day in order to properly allow the food to digest. These were things I intuitively knew but was completely ignoring so hearing it through her expertise made it a non-negotiable for me. Talking with her gave me so much clarity and wisdom to listen to what my body was asking for. It was asking for nourishment, gentle foods that didn't upset my stomach, and lots of greens and vegetables.
Breakfast includes a bowl of fresh fruit to start the day no matter where I am.
She recommended things like having celery juice or water with lemon first thing in the morning (as referred to by the Medical Medium). She then advised me to start the day with a bowl of fruit in the morning and proceeded to guide me to the best way to eat throughout the day in order to properly allow enough time to digest.
A MINDFUL LIFESTYLE SHIFT
The lifestyle shift has consisted of starting the day with lemon water or celery juice, fresh fruit, greens, and vegetables. Because I travel often, I make sure to locate the nearest juice bar, stock up the hotel room with fresh fruit to avoid getting hangry in the morning and making impulsive decisions. I make sure to find high-quality restaurants that offer vegan or vegetarian dishes. I often order a salad with olive oil on the side as many restaurants overload their food with lots of salt.
My skin has taught me so much throughout the years, but this new lesson was one that shifted me into a new awareness of what nourishing foods really mean. Because of the way my body reacted outwardly, my fiance and family were able to see the seriousness of the impact food has on me. Acne was just a result of what was happening on the inside. Clearly, my body was fighting off toxicity and bacteria that manifested in a breakout. Making poor food choices are no longer a option. I feel pretty good about the reminder that if I chose to eat a particular item, there would be consequences to that choice.
I actually realized how adventurous cleansing the body can be.
Today, I'm starting to see signs of my skin healing completely! Because I have darker skin, I have some hyper-pigmentation, but nothing time won't heal.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED WITH THIS JOURNEY
Our bodies will give us nudges to get our attention but when we're not listening it will scream. Ask yourself, what are some areas your body is asking you to pay attention to? It could vary from the kinds of food we're putting into our bodies to getting some exercise in, to stretching or perhaps it's asking you to slow down and get some rest. Whatever it may be, be sure to listen to the signs.
Next week as a featured Heart-Based Game Changer you'll learn more about Amy Zhou the Medicine Woman, as well as why she's passionate about helping people heal their bodies from the inside out.
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