I used to think I ate pretty well. Mostly paleo, decent amount of veggies, ate out in moderation...nothing too crazy. I was able to lose the baby weight and maintain that, so I felt like I was doing okay. Until my skin told me otherwise. It started with a rash around my mouth and chin - perioral dermatitis. Made my skin flake and was super annoying. I was prescribed some antibiotics and a cream from my dermatologist. The cream did nothing, but the antibiotics held it at bay. It didn't go away entirely, though, and each time I came off the antibiotics, it would flare.
Then I started having an additional rash on the side of my face any time I went out in the sun. Even the slightest exposure. More antibiotics, and now a steroid cream. Next, I got an itchy rash on my neck, and my left eye started to swell. Different steroid cream, and steroid eye drops. The rash on my face was so painful now, it felt like I had a severe sunburn, and I couldn't smile or open my mouth to eat without significant pain. It hurt to nuzzle my face against my sweet baby's soft head. It was agony. And I felt lost. I didn't want to take antibiotics my whole life, and steroid creams have all sorts of side effects. It was truly depressing.
I turned to a holistic doctor, who immediately told me to take out all dairy, grains/gluten, and soy. Basically STRICT paleo. Pretty dramatic, but I was desperate. Even though I was eating fairly well, there were more cheat meals than I had realized. I had to take a hard look at every single bite I was eating. Crust of a sandwich here, handful of cheerios there, piece of pizza or ice cream at a party, cereal and milk for dessert sometimes. Maybe I wasn't as paleo as I thought. Plus my daily serving of yogurt that I loved had to go (total paleo cheat, but not unhealthy). Between my nutrition coaching and Matt's diabetic diet, it wasn't as hard as it would have been for me a few years ago, though. I knew plenty of alternative recipes, and I was determined to stick to it.
It took three full weeks to start seeing results. The longest three weeks EVER. Finally, after a month, I really saw the light at the end of the tunnel. And I continue to see improvement. My "normal" eczema, psoriasis and rosacea that I have had for years have all improved as well. Sometimes I get sad that I'll never have things like pizza again, but with support from my fellow coaches and groups, I know I can do it. Plus, I have can still vegan chocolate Shakeology for a treat (so glad they have a dairy/gluten/soy free formula...gotta have some chocolate in my life). It's worth it to be able to snuggle with my baby and not feel pain. To be able to put on makeup and not have my skin burning and flaking off. I have SO. MUCH. sympathy and empathy for those dealing with any skin issues now. It has been one of the most difficult health issues I have had in my life. And it all stemmed from inflammation in my body from the food I was eating.
I never thought I would share these photos with anyone, let alone a blog, but I want to give hope to those suffering like I was. Here is my before and after. No medicine, no antibiotics, no steroids. All FOOD choices. The before wasn't even my worst. Add in a swollen eye, and lots of flaking skin. These are hard for me to post, y'all. I don't even like to go to Target without my makeup on. The first set was taken in the car...sorry for the bad lighting. Second set was taken today...about 3 months later.
If you are suffering with skin issues, please know you are not alone!! I would encourage you to try making healthy changes in your diet. It takes planning and hard work, but it can truly heal your body. If you don't know where to start,contact me HERE. I would love to help you get on the right path! Stay hopeful, my friends!!
Hey there! I'm J-L (short for Jennie-Laurie), and I'm a wife, mom of 2, and I love all things health and fitness. Welcome to my blog!