Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Started from the belly now we here.. part 2


Okay, part 2 – this one is all about the gut & healing from the inside out. I'm not going to lie, I love talking beauty products, but I LOVE talking wellness; any day, all day I will talk for hours about it. So, let's get started!

Now, we all know what is considered to be the "second brain" in men ;), but did you know that most health professionals refer to your stomach as being your second brain? Many health issues can be rooted directly to the gut, specifically an inflamed gut, and with this in mind I started doing more research on how a healthy happy gut can display in other parts of your body – biggest one being your skin. Truthfully this is because since the summer I was dealing with heavy inflammation that manifested as terrible stomach aches, swollen joints and of course, inflamed, irritated, blemished skin. So in the name of feeling better and having a happy belly, this meant doing 3 things which have all seemed to work miracles:
  • Cut out dairy. I have never been a glass of milk drinker, but probably ate greek yogurt daily, loved creamer in my coffee and LOVE cheese. While not everyone who consumes dairy will have acne problems (again, my cherub faced boyfriend being one of those with zero issues), for me since completely cutting out dairy about 3 months ago, I have noticed hands down that has been the best change for me. Clear skin, but no more belly bloat and congestion issues either, more energy & just overall feeling better. That’s not to say it wasn’t hard at first – try as they might, no vegan alternative to creamo can really replace the creaminess, sigh – but now that I’m a few months in, I don’t really miss it at all; not even ice cream! Milk contains growth hormones – not necessarily synthetic ones - especially in Canada, but literally just as it naturally occurs in women’s breast milk, it naturally occurs in cows. There is abundance of a hormone called IGF-1 in milk, which is really good for baby cows, but not for you. It makes baby cows grow up big and strong, but in humans, it tends to make your acne grow big instead. This particular hormone can lead to serious inflammation in your tummy, which manifests itself in inflammation of your skin, among other issues. So if you want to be serious about finding the root of your problem, try eliminating dairy for a month or two and see if that makes any difference. For me, going without cheese is worth having clear skin day in day out.
    • This is a secondary item to cutting out food items, but a big one (for me) is also cutting out sugar. No surprise, this is proving to be way more difficult than cutting out the dairy. I am a candy fiend and have the worst sweet tooth. If we go on a road trip, you better believe I have a bag of sour candies with me; I take a banana too, because balance. But still, sugar sugar sugar. So, because I flat out refuse to give up fruit, I am actively trying to reduce my processed sugar down as much as humanly possible. I can tell if I've been eating too many sweets because within about a week, my skin starts to look dull & bumps appear. 
  • Collagen & Bone Broth! Note – bone broth is NOT the same as stock. Bone broth is made from simmering the end joints, feet and bones of an animal (guess that answers the inevitable - "oh are you vegan then since you cut out dairy?" questions!), along with veggies herbs & spices, which releases the gelatin collagen, and creates a delicious broth soup. Consider collagen to be the “scaffolding” for cells, tissues, and organs; it is responsible for the strength, flexibility, and elasticity of all tissues. It comprises 30% of all the protein in your body, and 70% of the protein in your skin. Bone broth has been used as a magic elixir for centuries for its health benefits (as well as to ensure no part of the animal was wasted); it works in an anti-inflammatory capacity, it reduces digestive disorders (IBS, Leaky Gut), it promotes probiotic balance in your tummy, and it reduces the appearance of wrinkles while also promoting healthy skin, hair & nails. Drink it for the health benefits, continue because it’s delicious and is a beauty potion. I personally love chicken bone broth, with lots of lemon, chili flakes & garlic. To make sure you're checking off every necessary item, making sure the bones you get are from organic, grass-fed animals will make sure you're not inadvertently making bone broth with hormones, icky chemicals, antibiotics, etc. I also take powdered collagen almost every day, mostly in my smoothies but also dissolved into teas, in my avocado pudding, etc. It dissolves completely, and is tasteless. I love this brand, from Nature's Fare. 
    credit
Last, but certainly not least
  • Fermented Foods. Personally, I friggin love anything pickled or vinegary, so I am LOVING all of the research coming out that links a happy digestive system to fermented foods: sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, kefir, apple cider vinegar, pickled vegetables, etc. I am the girl who literally eats sauerkraut and mustard as a snack, so this is right up my alley to know one of my favorite snacks is really good for me. Fermented foods deliver plenty of good bacteria (probiotics) to your gut, keeping your "microbiome" - the community of microorganisms in your stomach - balanced. A balanced microbiome regulates the immune system, metabolism, sustains the gastrointestinal tract, supports mood and brain function, produces crucial vitamins and nutrients, and helps us maintain a healthy weight. Probiotics are essential for good digestion, which in turn helps to keep skin clear. I eat sauerkraut as mentioned, but I also top it on my salads in lieu of dressing, I have been taking a tsp or two of ACV in my water first thing in the morning, and I love sipping kombucha throughout the day. I also take a probiotic every once in a while. 


There you have it! A few snippets of the changes I've made that have made a substantial difference. The skin regimen I've been using has been icing on the cake to take my skin back to a glowy, vibrant texture - however I didn't want to band-aid the situation, I wanted to make little key switches to make it lasting. The picture below was taken last night, after my serums were applied, with zero makeup or retouching. Something I would NEVER have willingly done a year ago. A healthy gut is a very happy girl.


Now, let's hope that by blogging about it I didn't just jinx my skin, but of course I'll be sure to let you know :)

* also - "disclaimer" - the above worked for me, but I did not see a dermatologist, I am not a dermatologist nor am I a nutritionist (yet ;) ). Take all of this with  a grain of salt, because I am in no way an expert, just an expert of what works best for my body.*

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