Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Yes, yes you do.

Coming from a once avid consumer and supporter of all the cosmetics and over-the counter lotions, cleansers and ointments, I will tell you that they do absolutely nothing compared to simply changing the type of food you are putting into your body. The solution may be right in front of our face...and right on top of our plates.

If it were as simple as understanding that what I was putting in my body was initially the source of the problem, then I would have buckled down and made a change IMMEDIATELY. But, that is where I was lacking and that is where our nation is lacking. It's a constant trend of misinformation. People still follow the food pyramid for God's sake and eat a 60%+ carbohydrate diet! That crap is more out of date than my joveralls (jean shorts + overalls = joveralls) and fortunately for me they're not affecting my overall health and well-being. But, that's aside the point. The fact of the matter is people are too reliant upon prescriptive medicines and these "supposed" cure-all drugs, expecting them to somehow magically resolve their issues at hand. Regardless of the problem, whether it be an illness, an injury, sickness or disease too many people rely on their doctors advice when the root of the problem could be, and most likely is, simply what they're eating.

I personally suffered with this same problem. I tried doctor after doctor after dermatologist and so on and still ended up right where I began. No where. No one could give me a straight answer and all I was looking for was some sort of guidance. I completely relied upon their knowledge and experience and the end result was still the same: either expensive creams and anti-biotics or the notoriously dangerous Accutane. I was so desperate. I even booked an appointment 2 months in advance to see a renown skin specialist (yes, that's a 2 month waiting list). I prepped questions and even wrote down everything I had eaten the past few weeks hoping something would come up that would help her help me. But, to my complete surprise, she had nothing. Not one thing. All I can really remember is her answering each and every one of my questions with "I don't know, everyone is different" or "Yes, it could be that" to every one of my 203842 foods I had written down. I try to block it out. It just frustrates me to recollect. All I wanted to do was throw that woman out the window. It was complete bullsh&t. I waited around for 2 months for this woman to tell me that she didn't know what was causing my acne? Really? I mean, aren't these people supposed to be specialized in skin treatment? Who knows...

Whatever, I was fed up and I knew I had to figure this out by myself...

So I did what I think anyone else would do in that situation and took it upon myself to search for a solution. I began with eliminating things from my diet as well as cutting back and being very cautious with the contact of my face on sheets, dirty hands, etc. Usually factors that would somewhat be overlooked by most people. Fortunately for me it didn't take long before I began to notice a difference. I started with what I was putting in my mouth and began with the common "myth" of dairy products being linked to skin irritation. So, I cut out all dairy and dairy products from my diet. This was incredibly difficult since I was basically consuming a couple quarts of milk a day in addition to my post-workout shakes that usually consisted of a few heaping scoops of whey protein powder. Not smart. Within a few weeks I really began to notice improvement. The inflammation along my beard and neck line began to digress and the redness started to die down. After seeing this kind of immediate progress, I began to improve my all-around nutrition, including watching my sugar intake as well as making sure I kept my omega-6 consumption to a minimum. Needless to say my progress continued to progress.

I did some research and found that apparently my acne woes were all tied into the notorious insulin spiking/elevated blood-sugar cycle. A viscous pattern that is the culprit to almost every health problem seen today. Dairy products boost hormones like testosterone and androgen in males and increases insulin levels exactly how foods like sugar and starchy carbohydrates quickly raise blood sugar levels and spike insulin. These hormones, especially androgen, and elevated insulin are the stimulants that irritate your skin to produce acne. Milk promotes rapid growth within the body. It is a potent anabolic product that's filled with numerous amounts of growth promoting hormones. We really don't want to F with these hormones. When we do and they become imbalanced and out-of-whack, acne ensues and sometimes much worse.

"Drinking a glass of milk can spike insulin levels 300 percent. Not only does that cause pimples, but it also may contribute to pre-diabetes. This is true despite studies funded by the dairy council showing that milk helps with weight loss. The question is compared to WHAT diet--a diet of bagels and Coke, or a healthy phytonutrient, antioxidant-rich, plant-based diet with lean animal protein? ("

Think about keeping your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio as close to 1:1 as possible. Filling our diets with pro-inflammatory foods such as sugars, starchy carbs, grains, legumes and all forms of dairy can worsen, as well as promote acne and other forms of inflammation within the body. Inflammation has been linked to acne and as you know our standard "American" diet is high in pro-inflammatory foods. Keep those omega-6's under control and you're acne will do the same.

Be cautious about the foods you're eating and get educated on what they're actually doing to your bodies. Every food we decide to eat is either making us more or less healthy. Be conscious of your decisions. If you're suffering from an issue, regardless of what it is, try cutting specific foods out of your diet to find which one is really causing the problem. I guarantee you'll find some interesting feedback. Whats the worst thing that can happen? You cut a food out of your diet for a short period of time? Best thing that can happen? You finally find the root of your problem. I made the sacrifice and reaped the benefits, let's see if you can do the same.

Live smart people because you are what you eat...

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  1. this is totally making me regret all the groom's cake i ate last night..

  2. so do you personally think that occasional (once or twice a month) dairy consumption is enough to cause these problems? or just chronic consumption?

  3. Kim,

    It all may depend on the person. For instance, I know I can't even implement any dairy whatsoever into my diet or I will have an adverse reaction immediately. I remember I had a couple scoops of ice cream a few months ago and within a few short days I began to see a minor break out. So, my answer to you would be to try it out and see. If you struggle with skin irritation right now and you ARE implementing dairy only on occasion, then you may need to watch your intake. Best thing to do is to try cutting it out of your diet for 30 days and see what happens.

  4. i finished 30 days in mid february... i didn't realize that it could cause skin irritation, so i didn't pay attention! time to try again i guess... because the issues i have, which are minor in comparison to others' issues, still are enough to bother me! time to get my ice cream fix, then start my dairy free 30 days...