Category Archives: Skinspiration

Acne and Sugar – does eating sugar cause acne?

acne and sugarAcne and sugar.

This is a tough one, my love.

I’ve got quite the long standing relationship with sugar myself – and to be completely honest with you – it hasn’t always been easy.

I’ve been known to struggle with an oreo addiction and/or have one too many sour patch kids on a bad day.

And I know you might struggle with the same thing – and I can’t blame you!

The abundance of sugar in our daily life; sodas, fruit juices, ice cream, cake, cookies, bread, ketchup, the list goes on… makes it really hard to remove all together.

However, I know you might suspect that it’s really impacting your skin, so I wanted to share a few tips that I’ve learned about how to slowly remove it from your diet, and also, what happens, exactly, when you eat sugar.

But first, because a dear reader (thank you Yelena!) asked me to clarify a bit for you, I wanted to go over what I mean when I say “sugar”, below.

I do NOT mean naturally occurring sugars that you’d find in fruit. I mean artificial sugar – the white sugar found in all of our processed foods, white breads, pastas, cookies, cakes, chips, etc.

The bad type:)

NOW. While I’m giving you the following overview of what exactly happens when your body ingests sugar – do NOT, by any wild stretch of the imagination – think that I am “sugar shaming” you if you happen to have a doughnut today.

That is SO not the goal here. Making big food changes like removing sugar is HARD and it takes TIME and oh, you just happen to be a human, in the meantime, so, immediate change is usually quite impossible and quite unrealistic.

One day at a time:)

(If you’re on the #healyourfacewithfood challenge you are “technically” off sugar for the next 30 days, but again, you’re human, I get it, buh-LIEVE me.)

SO. Without further ado, let’s discuss Acne and Sugar – and what exactly happens when sugar enters your blood stream:

  • The second you take a big bite out of a doughnut – aka glucose – your body sends a signal to your pancreas that it will need to be on “insulin duty”. Meaning, very soon, your blood sugar is going to rise (a little or a lot, depending on how big that doughnut was) and your pancreas will need to secrete insulin to manage your rising blood sugar levels.
  • Once insulin has successfully performed its job, your blood sugar levels will slowly lower and stabilize. Now. This process is all well and good – and kinda beautiful if you think about it – but where we can get into trouble is if and when we ingest TOO much sugar, too quickly – too often.
  • If and when you continue to eat a ton of sugar over a long period of time (think: decades, not, months) you can start to develop “insulin resistance”. This means that your cells may not be able to use insulin correctly anymore and as a result – your blood sugar rises – a lot, and dangerously. As insulin struggles to be absorbed by your blood, your pancreas naturally gets tempted to produce more insulin (because its getting signals that its not being used properly and knows there is a problem…) and the circle goes around and around until you get into some serious trouble.

Have you ever had a big plate of pasta/bread/cookies, etc. and felt exhausted afterwards? That’s your blood sugar/insulin at work.

  • This cycle of spiking your blood sugar (by eating a ton of sugar) and then drastically dropping your blood sugar (your pancreas releasing insulin), is what creates that feeling of exhaustion and depletion.
  • Your liver also plays a role in regulating your blood sugar levels. It stores excess glucose from the bloodstream to be used later (let’s say you go on a long run tonight, you’ll need some “reserves”). But, like any other organ, the liver also has a limited storage capacity.
  • Having excess sugar in your blood is an overall-bad-thing; it even affect tiny blood vessels in many of your body’s organs like your heart, brain, kidneys and eyes.

NOW. How does this chain reaction of sugar-insulin impact your acne? I talk about it in depth in my Clear Skin, My Way Program (coming soon!) but here are just a few of the ways it impacts your skin:

  • The spike in blood sugar levels leads to skin inflammation and acne breakouts. It increases other hormone levels of insulin – specifically Insulin Growth Factor 1 – that encourage an overgrowth of cells in your body. This is NOT good because having an overgrowth of cells at your pore is usually the first step in a breakout – without too many cells at the pore – you’re less likely to have a zit. MUY importante, mi amor.
  • Excess sugar in your blood stream also depletes the collagen in your skin on the cellular level. Collagen is essential for “aging gracefully” (notice I didn’t say “not aging” because I think you can be stunningly beautiful at any age) and it allows your skin to stay supple, elastic and vibrant.
  • The imbalance in blood sugar levels can make you a bit moody; kinda like when you feel super anxious in the morning and then exhausted in the afternoon? That’s most likely due to imbalanced blood sugar levels and believe me – this up and down moodiness is happening on a cellular level – which deeply impacts your hormones. (For more info on how to treat acne after stopping birth control, head here).
  • Studies have shown that there’s a relationship between high-sugar diets and free radicals in the body. Free radicals are not good as they’re responsible for creating cellular inflammation. To ward these babies off, try to always opt for fruits and/or veggies instead.
  • Too much sugar can also lead to an overgrowth of yeast in your body – which can cause a candida problem – which can cause rashes and redness on the skin.

SO. What can you do if you’re completely-utterly-totally addicted to sugar and really want to stop eating it?

Well, my first advice is to always take things day by day – but after that, I’d recommend starting to substitute fruits in for artificial sugars – as it’s been the most pain-less way for me to remove sugar from my diet.

What do you think – will you remove sugar from your diet completely? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

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Does alcohol affect acne? A Happier Hour for your skin

does alcohol affect acneYou LOVE your social life.

You like partying and going out and meeting people…. you organize the happy hours for work.

But, I know you’re having trouble with your skin and I think you might feel a teeny bit of guilt every time you do go out and party a bit.

What if what you’re eating and drinking is making your acne worse?

……I’ve got some ideas for you, my love.

I wanted to give you my “rules of the road” to maintain healthy skin while at happy hour – because I’ve been there too.

I had a super fun social life, lots of parties and events to go to… but I also felt super guilty about the food I was eating and the drinks I was drinking because I was petrified all of it was making my acne worse.

So, I wanted to help:)

Let’s party.

(disclaimer: I do NOT advocate for underage drinking and I am NOT a doctor, so make sure to take a gander at this disclaimer for me:)

3 rules for a Happier Hour for your skin:

1. Manage and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

2. Eat foods that help – not hurt- your digestion.

3. Stay hydrated.

Let’s chat about these a bit more about these 3 rules really quickly.

1. Manage your blood sugar.

glycemic index and your acne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s have a quick chemistry lesson.

When you drink alcohol, your blood sugar rises.

When this happens, your pancreas releases insulin to counteract the glucose in your system. This is a normal process, and it’s a sign of your body is doing it’s job well.

However, when this process happens too much, and with increasing and decreasing severity and intensity, your blood sugar levels start to get a bit wonky.

Glucose levels dip and spike and the chain reaction this causes in your body can negatively contribute to your acne.

So the goal with all of our happy hour selections will be to minimize this blood sugar rollercoaster as much as possible (which will also help you avoid the hangover in the AM #yourewelcome).

2. Eat foods that help – not hurt – your digestion.

ayurveda for your acne
like this delicious kombucha recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know about you, but certain happy hour food selections used to totally mess up my ahem, digestion.

Either, a few hours later I’d start “going” like CRAZY (you know what I’m saying) OR I wouldn’t go at all, for like, days. (Again, you know what I’m saying, those pizza bites man).

SO, with our happy hour food selections we want to make sure we grab foods with a lot of fiber in them if possible, and we want to try to avoid the super “binding” foods likes bread, fried dough, cheese, dairy, etc. (I know, those are some of the best parts ABOUT happy hour, but believe me, you’ll thank me for this later.)

3. Stay hydrated.

does alcohol affect acne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in the day when I was a happy hour queen, my hangovers were terrifying. So, I developed a little system that allowed me to be out and about at night, but not curled into a ball the next day

I drank one 8 ounce glass of water for every alcoholic drink.

If you want to make sure your skin doesn’t become completely dehydrated and terrifyingly grumpy (which totally gets in the way of acne clearing) you MUST drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink.

I can’t over emphasize this rule enough.

This rule will super help with your potential hangover the next morning (as in, will help you not have one) and will help to prevent moisture loss. This can help damaged skin heal from acne and protect against wrinkles in the future. (#yesplease).

So without further ado, here are some delicious Happy Hour Drink Recipes that will fill you up, but won’t completely destroy your skin.

4 Drinks For A Happier Hour for your skin:)

does alcohol affect acne

 

 

Vodka soda with a lime:

This CAN be boring, but thats ok! This is a “clean” drink comparatively speaking, so it won’t spike your blood sugar as MUCH as something like … a frozen pina colada would.

Cosmo martini (SUPER light on the cranberry juice):

Again, if you keep the cranberry juice light, you’re really just grabbing some vodka with a little flavor which is the simplest and cleanest drink, so great for your skin.

Martini gimlet, up, with extra limes:

First things first, this will pack a POWERFUL punch, so make sure you’ve eaten a ton before you imbibe with this one (also, see the disclaimer at the beginning, I do not condone underage drinking at all, ever:) but this drink usually tastes very clean (just gin and pure lime juice) and doesn’t have a ton of sugar/syrup in it.

A good Malbec?

Yes please. Red wine (in moderation) has antioxidants so it can actually contribute to your overall health (again, in super moderation.)

Dry red wine usually has lower levels of fructose in it, so a really deep, dry red can actually positively to your bod (but only if you’re drinking in moderation:)

5 Drinks To Avoid At Happy Hour:

does alcohol affect acne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Pina Colada

  2. Sex On The Beach (so many juices and sugars, oh, my, no.)

  3. Long Island Ice Tea (just. don’t.)

  4. Mai Tai

  5. Beer

General rules:

Anything here that has a COLOR – like a green, syrupy mojito, or a bright yellow fructose-filled-syrupy-frozen Mai Tai, or has fruit juice OR a ton of syrup, is a skin-killer and hangover-creator and should be avoided at all costs:)

Final-very-important-thoughts on happy hour:

I need to have a big side note around the entire happy hour scene and drinking alcohol in general, before I leave you.

Alcohol can be great. It can be a way to relax, unwind, celebrate.

Alcohol can also be really toxic, and if left unexamined, certain habits around it may or may not become unhealthy.

I say this because, as I was writing this, I kept checking in with myself.

I don’t really drink anymore. But there was a time in my life when I drank a lot.

Sometimes it was healthy, celebratory drinking, other times, not so much.

And I want to make sure I’m really clear about why I wanted to share these fun drinksies with you.

Sharing these simple drink recipes came out of a desire to help you respect your body in a much more profound way, without having to change your entire life.

Keeping your blood sugar balanced, making sure your digestion is running well, staying hydrated… those are not things that I do just because of my skin.

They’re things that I do out of respect.

This body of mine, this body of yours, it’s the second most important thing in my life (to my soul, I put soul at level-1-importance, body at an insanely close level-2-importance) and I want to help you treat your bod with as much care, love, respect and actual devotion as possible. (I’m dead serious about the devotion part. I am devoted to the health of my body and all of it’s systems, and I think it’s the best way to live!)

So the goal of this post is to help you still be YOU; to enjoy your life, party with yo’ frens, have the busy and wild life you want, while still respecting your body’s needs.

Because generally speaking, anything that’s good for your skin and acne clearing (staying hydrated, keeping blood sugar levels balanced, managing digestion) is also great for your body.

I talk about this on the blog a lot, but the goal isn’t “perfection” around skin clearing.

The goal is to create consistent, healthy habits that lead to a happier, more balanced you – which then hopefully helps to balance and clear your skin at the same time.

I hope some of these ideas help you to have a happier and healthier happy hour:)

IF you want to grab some recipes for Happy Hour, that won’t completely kill your skin, head here, to the “free stuff” section and grab some skin clearing goodies now:)

does alcohol cause acne?

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Do peanuts cause acne? Nuts for clear skin

do peanuts cause acne
Hehehe, this little guy is NOT worried about breakouts.

If you’ve done some research online (and I know you have, that’s most likely why you’re here:)! you may be wondering to yourself… “…do peanuts cause acne?” 

I wanted to help you answer that question today.

However, first, full confession:

I used to think raw nuts were basically one of the most boring foods, EVER.

They were bland, kinda dry… they weren’t really my thang when I was growing up.

However, when I first started my all-natural-healing-journey, I got seriously into them.

Every health person I followed seemed obsessed with them, and since I wanted to be healthy, nuts it was.

NOW, I recommend nuts for my acne clearing loves because even though they’re boring, they do something amazing for your bod (and therefore, your skin): the right kind of nut fills you up without spiking your blood sugar.

This is my favorite thing about raw nuts, and why I ALWAYS have a big-old-bag on me.

They IMMEDIATELY satiate any hunger pains, which is KEY when you’re healing your acne naturally and you’ve started to wean yourself off old (and bad-for-you) food.

If and when you decide to start to heal your acne naturally, you’ll probably struggle a little bit with cravings at the beginning, so having these blood-sugar-balancing-buddies around will really help.

HOWEVER. (BIG-LOUD-HOWEVER.)

There is one nut that you might want to avoid when you’re healing your acne naturally, and I wanted to give you some science behind it + some yummy alternatives.

This nut, I am sad to say, is Sir Peanut.

If you’re anything like me, you have a deep and intense love for peanut butter, so this may come as a not-so-enjoyable-shocker, but let’s explore WHY peanuts may negatively affect your acne, and then figure out some action steps for you, ok?

Do peanuts cause acne?

do peanuts cause acne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full disclosure, I think so.

One of the first nuts I recommend you remove from your diet as you’re trying to heal your acne naturally is peanuts.

I know, I know. Peanut butter is freaking insanely delicious and how-will-you-make-it-without-it?!

In fact, Carly, from the Clear Skin, My Way Program, couldn’t believe I was asking them to get off the nuts when I did (but she was happily surprised when she was totally fine and saw awesome improvements in her skin!).

Here’s why peanuts might be negatively affecting your skin:

Typically, I’m guessing here, the way you eat “peanuts” is more through peanut butter, than anything else.

This is problematic because when peanuts are processed into peanut butter, they lose basically all and any healing properties they may have had in them, and a ton of artificial sugars get added in instead.

As a result, eating peanut butter can spike your blood sugar quite significantly, which is no bueno.

Peanuts also contain agglutinin which can seriously and negatively impact your tum.

Agglutinin is a fancy word for a peanut protein (a lectin) that can seriously disrupt your digestion.

In fact, it can even aggravate your stomach so much that it creates tiny holes in the lining of your tummy (think like, microscopic little tears) which allows food items directly into your blood stream.

This is bad news, you do NOT want food, or anything really, to enter your blood stream this way, so it can be very detrimental to your skin.

When this happens, it can result in “leaky gut” – have you every heard of it before? – which basically means your stomach lining is compromised and you can’t absorb foods the way you should. (Also, should I write a blog post on this…? Let me know in the comments below.)

Peanuts may also contain aflotoxins. When I first read about aflotoxins in a book on how to heal your acne naturally, I was horrified.

Aflotoxin is a toxin created by mold; it’s found often in the soil of corn crops, along with peanut butter, and the presence of it relates back to the growing, processing and storage of peanuts.

A lot more precautions are being taken around this mold, but considering that the peanut butter is already potentially hurting your belly and giving you some leaky gut, think of how aflotoxins could impact the mix?!

So, peanuts (and peanut butter) can significantly and negatively impact your blood sugar, they can significantly and negatively impact your digestion because they contain a potentially irritating protein, and they may contain a harmful toxin.

So…. yes, they may negatively impact your skin.

If you think peanuts might be hurting your acne, and/or making your breakouts worse, don’t worry. I’ve included some steps you can take at the bottom of this article, so we’ll head there after I give you my 2 favorite alternatives to peanut butter.

Try cashews instead!

do peanuts cause acne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love these babies for a deliciuos midday snack, they’re so smooth and yummers.

Here are few reasons why cashews may help acne instead of hurt it:

When you snack on cashews, you up the amount of monounsaturated fats in your body, which may help to lower inflammation.

Cashews are also naturally low in sugar, which, when you snack on them instead of a chocolate chip cookie, can help to manage your blood sugar better.

Cashews also contain the minerals selenium and zinc, which are super helpful in supporting clear skin. (Read here about zinc and how it impacts your skin here!).

Check out the “peanut butter aisle” for some cashew butter – make sure it’s naturally sugar free though! – and give it a try instead of the peanut butter!

Try almonds instead!

do peanuts cause acne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almonds are basically like a holy food for me.

I mentioned it above, but let me rephrase, to drive the point home here.

I get CRAZY hangry sometimes if I don’t eat every 2-3 hours.

Its just a fact of life. I’ve tried different ways of eating (I’ve done everything, veganism, paleo, etc. etc. I’ve done it ALL) and anytime I’ve tried diets where I couldn’t eat consistently (as in, there was more than 4-5 hours between meals), it was bad news bears.

(To be clear, hangry is when you’re so hungry that you’re angry and cranky, a mental space I used to basically LIVE in before healing my acne naturally! Hahaha!)

Here’s where almonds came in.

As I started to realize that it would be better to work WITH my body, than against it, I started to hunt around for the perfect snack that wouldn’t hurt my skin, but would still help me feel full.

Like, a small orange doesn’t always cut it, ya know?

And I finally found the perfect snack combo; a filling fruit + almonds.

I write about this a lot, but I love to continue to mention it in case you’ve ever missed it; I have a banana and almonds with me at ALL times.

They ARE my midday snack and without them, I’d be a crazy hangry person between 10-12 AM and 2-4PM every day (everyone in my life can attest to this truth btw).

If you’re struggling a little bit with what you’ll eat for a snack as you’re starting to heal your acne naturally, this is my first and only recommendation: add in a big handful of almonds and a green apple every day and VOILA, instant blood sugar management and no more crazy person. (Wait, who, me?)

Here’s why almonds are so fantastical:

They’re CHOCK full of vitamins, specifically Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps to prevent cell damage.

They also contain a ton of omega 3s, calcium and magnesium, all with anti-inflammatory properties.

And finally, in my biased opinion but humble opinion, I love how almonds can help you with hunger.

IF I’m approaching hangry, almost hangry, or actually hangry and I have a big bunch of almonds and a banana in my pocket, I know I’m ok. I just grab the banana + a big bunch of almonds and I’m all set; I feel full-er and can definitely make it to the next meal time.

They’re my favorite snack and I think you should try to have them with you at all times!

So, what can you do now, that I’ve potentially destroyed all of your peanut-butter-loving-dreams?

Follow these steps:

  1. Slowly walk to the kitchen while attempting to accept your fate; that the peanut butter has got to go (for now at least, especially if you think it’s negatively impacting your skin). Throw away all of the peanut butter things; spread, peanuts, all of ‘em.

  2. Get in your car, wipe away your tears, and head to Whole Foods and/or a health food store.

  3. Once in the health food store, buy a big package of raw almonds and a big package of raw cashews. *They must be raw, you won’t get the same benefits if you’re grabbing really processed nuts*.

  4. Grab an all natural and naturally sugar free “almond butter” and/or a ‘cashew butter” in the same aisle as the peanut butter.

  5. Pick up a bunch of celery in the produce section on your way out the door.

  6. Head home and make your first peanut butter substitute snack; almond butter on some celery sticks.

  7. Bite into said snack and realize, as we all eventually do… “Hmmm….. This almond butter thing might not be so bad!”

  8. Download this free clear skin diary so that you can keep note of how your skin looks when you remove peanut butter and try to take really consistent notes. Removing peanut butter may have a huge impact on your skin, so you want to be sure you’ve taken good notes!

 

Are you going to complete the above steps today? Leave me a comment below and let me know you’re going to start substituting cashews and almonds for peanuts!

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Does zinc help acne? 5 steps you can take if a zinc deficiency is causing your acne.

Does zinc help acne-When I was healing my acne naturally, I would try ANYTHING people suggested, at least once (Except accutane, I never tried that one, because I was deathly afraid of it).

I ingested so many random things, and put so much crappola on my face, by the end I had no idea where to even start with solutions.

I wish people had pointed me to actual scientific studies, actual results, that helped people heal their acne and what they had actually done to get those results, because I would have been a much happier gal (and probably would have healed faster!).

So today I wanted to share information about a very important vitamin, Zinc, and how it can affect your acne, because a deficiency in it MAY be contributing to your skin woes.

Does zinc help acne? Let’s discuss.

What IS zinc, exactly?

According to medical news today, Zinc is an “essential trace element” that has substantial biological importance for plants and animals and helps stimulate the activity of 100 different enzymes.

It’s found in cells throughout the body, helps to make DNA and proteins, zinc is a pretty big deal.

It also helps to trigger new growth of white blood cells, that are key for our immune system, and it also helps to fight off inflammation and infection (which is key when you’re struggling with grumpy skin).

Also, your body is very sensitive to the amount of zinc hanging out in your cells.

Even with a slight zinc deficiency you can see hair loss, diarhhea, weight loss, stunted growth… a whole host of problemos. (<— yes, problemos, because I live in Spain and I am obviously already fluent in Spanish:)

These are a few signs of a zinc deficiency, btw, as I just mentioned above:

Hair loss

Weight loss

Stunted growth

Adrenal fatigue

Leaky gut

So, does zinc cause acne, and even more, how does this affect your acne, you’re wondering?

While studies haven’t not been entirely conclusive (we’re getting to those in a moment, just you wait ;), there does seem to be evidence that links vitamin A and zinc, and therefore, acne.

Essentially, zinc helps transport vitamin A in your blood, and it also helps the enzyme that converts vitamin A to retinol.

Does any of this sound familiar? If you ever used Retin-A for acne healing, I did, you might know that the active ingredient is Tretinoin, which belongs to the family of “retinoids” that encourage cell growth and turnover which is good when you’re struggling with acne. See a more detailed explanation of why acne starts, here.

Vitamin A is quite important for your acne as well, more on this shortly:), (click here to download a list of vitamins for acne) so together, they pack a powerful acne clearing punch.

If you’re deficient in either Vitamin A or Zinc, you may be suffering a bit more with your acne than normal.

Here are the results from 2 studies on acne and zinc, with links back to the site they were found on, the most important parts in bold for you:

Some conclusions from study #1:

“The effects of oral zinc sulfate (corresponding to 135 mg of zinc daily) alone and in combination with vitamin A (300,000 international units) daily on acne lesions have been compared with those of vitamin A alone and of a placebo. The number of comedones, papules, pustules, and infiltrates were counted at each visit. After four weeks, there was a significant decrease in the number of papules, pustules, and infiltrates in the zinc-treated groups. The effect of zinc plus vitamin A was not better than zinc alone. After 12 weeks of treatment, the mean acne score had decreased from 100% to 15%. The mechanism for the effect of zinc therapy in acne, to our knowledge, is not presently known.” (source)

Some conclusions from study #2:

“Acne vulgaris is the most common cutaneous disorder affecting adolescents and young adults. Some studies have reported an association between serum zinc levels and acne vulgaris. We aimed to evaluate the serum zinc level in patients with acne vulgaris and compare it with healthy controls. One hundred patients with acne vulgaris and 100 healthy controls were referred to our clinic. Acne severity was classified according to Global Acne Grading System (GAGS). Atomic absorption spectrophotometry was used to measure serum zinc levels. Mean serum level of zinc in acne patients and controls was 81.31 ± 17.63 μg/dl and 82.63 ± 17.49 μg/dl, respectively. Although the mean serum zinc level was lower in acne group, it was not statistically significant (P = 0.598). There was a correlation between serum zinc levels with severity and type of acne lesions. The results of our study suggest that zinc levels may be related to the severity and type of acne lesions in patients with acne vulgaris. Relative decrease of serum zinc level in acne patients suggests a role for zinc in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris.”

Ok, so now you’re wondering if you’re zinc deficient and how you can proceed from here, #amirite?

First things first, let’s chat about what you’re eating, because that’s always the best place to start if you’re worrying about a vitamin deficiency that may be a result of diet choices.

Here are food sources with a ton of zinc in them:

Beef
Lamb
Pumkin Seeds
Sesame Seeds
Lentils
Garbanzo Beans
Cashews
Turkey
Quinoa
Shrimp
Spinach
Shittake Mushrooms
Asparagus

So, my next question is, are you eating beef and/or meat often? As well as beans and grains like quinoa?

If the answer is no, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan who is not that into beans, and have some significant acne happening, you may be struggling with a zinc deficiency.

Here are 5 steps you can take if you think you might be slightly zinc deficient?

Here is what I’d do if I suspected I was struggling with a zinc deficiency:

  1. I’d buy a multivitamin with zinc in it, look for anywhere from 10mg-20mg. You don’t want to go overboard either, so do your research prior. (Here are 2 blog posts on other vitamins you check check out as well vitamins for acne part 1 and vitamins for acne part 2:)

  2. I’d schedule in at least 2 new sources of zinc to your diet, daily.

  3. If you’re a vegetarian/vegan, add in quinoa, garbanzo beans, asparagus and spinach.

  4. If you’re a meat eater, add in the above + beef and shrimp as well.

  5. Right before you start all of these changes, download my clear skin journal for adult acne triggers, to keep track of how much zinc and other foods you added in, as well as how your skin responds.

  6. ^^^^^ This step is super important my love, what is measured is improved and the reverse is true as well. If you add in 5 million changes all at once, and don’t keep track of much, you won’t be able to tell what’s creating the results that you see. Download my favorite tool for identifying acne triggers, now!

OF NOTE, BIG, *BIG* NOTE:

#1. I cannot ever advise you medically as I am not a doctor, so ALWAYS discuss any supplement changes with your doctor first:)
#2. Whenver I’ve taken zinc on a super empty stomach, I’ve gotten really sick. I find this goes for almost all of my vitamins actually, it’s better to take them on a super full tum.

Also, if you’re wondering how other people are feeling about zinc, check out some of their 200+ reviews on acne.org here.

What do you think, will you start to add in some zinc today for acne help? Leave me a comment below and let me know:)

How to tell if you’re losing your mind, a checklist

16How to tell if you’re losing your mind – a checklist.

(I mentioned I’d be sharing more personal details about struggling with things besides acne here, but in case you missed it, check it out.)

So a few years back, I devised a system of sorts.

Backstory:
I had just gone through a really shi#&^% breakup with a really shi#&^% guy, and things were bad.

I was really depressed, had lost a lot of weight; things were looking bleak.

I was finally able to see my way out of that space in my life, but even as I started to navigate the healing process, I would still occasionally have “down days”.

BUT I couldn’t always tell what the down days were really about; was I just missing my ex-boyfriend? Or was something else going on?

Sometimes I would wake up in the early AM’s and be really stressed out….because I couldn’t tell if I was like actually losing my mind, or if I really was just incredibly unhappy…. basically, I couldn’t tell which way was up.

So I devised a little CHECKLIST of sorts, to help me really understand what was going on with me, so that I could fix it and heal in a productive and healthy way for myself.

I still use this checklist every single time I’m going through anything difficult.

I thought I’d share it with you, because even though it’s kinda funny and not crazy serious, I actually use this often when I’m wondering about my current mental state (because we all have bad days right?) and whether or not I’m just grumpy OR, if there is a big issue I’m struggling with that I’m just not addressing.

Here are 4 questions you can ask yourself if you’re feeling super off and wondering if you’re heading towards a breakdown or a breakthrough: (hint, if you are going through a breakdown, however intense, I can promise you that it’s leading to a breakthrough;)

Question # 1. Am I pms-ing?

This is an important question.

I know that by addressing it though, I may offend you, but bear with me here.

For ME, I know that when I’m 3-5 days (or less) OUT from my period, honestly, all bets are off.

NOT to say that this gives me full license to go bat s^&%t crazy and run around naked; no; rather, it’s just important for me to know that I may be feeling REALLY off because of something that’s going on chemically with me.

And for you, just being aware of where you are in your cycle can be really important.

Also, every month is different for me (depending on how well I’ve been eating, how much I’ve been traveling, etc. throughout the month) so there’s no hard and fast rule here, but if I feel like I’m losing my mind, and my period is in 2 days, I know that it might just be some chemical stuff going on with me.

Question #2 Did I drink alcohol last night? Or the night before?

Alcohol is a depressant. When I drink, it makes me sad; usually.

It makes me off kilter, off my game, it’s NOT a good thing for me to ingest regularly. Cutting it out of my life significantly has made huge improvements.

Does alcohol do that to you? Maybe start making a mental note of how you feel after you drink. For some people it’s really no big deal and for others it’s really negative. It’s all about how it impacts your body specifically.

Question #3 Have I worked out today? Yesterday?

If you’re feeling extra stressed an/or extra anxious, you may need to release some of that through a workout.

And that’s ok! This is one of the healthiest ways that I personally know how to handle my stress and it’s really, really good for you.

If working out distresses you, and you haven’t been in a week, it kinda makes sense that you’d be feeling extra crazy aggression towards the man who just stepped on your pinkie toe on the subway, right?

Question #4 When did I eat and sleep last?

Real talk: “hangry” is a real thing.

So is feeling totally loco because you’re sleep deprived.

If you’re feeling really moody and or lashing out at innocent people in your life (haha) do a quick check in and ask yourself if you’re #1. starving (and therefore have low blood sugar and your body is just crying out for help with your mood) or #2. exhausted.

If I am either one of those things (although, they usually come in a pair) I guarantee you that I’m not thinking clearly and/or will be in a strong “mood”.

Here is how I use this checklist.

If I’m having an off day, and run through these 4 questions and I realize : #1. That my period is due tomorrow, #2. That I drank a lot of alcohol last night and #3. I haven’t worked out in a few days, and #4. that I’m starving and exhausted, I KNOW that my crazy-anxious-am-I-losing-my-mind-feeling is due to external factors like, well, haha, all of the above.

I’ll immediately try to head to the gym, drink a ton of water and go to bed early to get all of the hormones in check.

However, if I’m having an off day and I run through these 4 questions and I realize #1. My period isn’t for weeks, #2. I haven’t drank in days and #3. I’ve been working out consistently #4. My food and sleeping sitch is on point…. I KNOW something is probably really up with me.

And I’ll try to go somewhere quiet (ideally alone) to figure out what it is; what I’m struggling with, why I’m so upset and/or what the real and/or core issue is.

I usually also head over to this meditation as well and do a big check in.

Because, here’s what I’ve realized too; if you’re feeling down, not happy, a little off, BUT your body is doing fine “chemically”… you’re usually feeling badly because something big is going on, that your body and your mind really want you to take a gander at.

I think it’s incredibly important at times like that to create a safe space for yourself and start to do that, because the sooner you check in with what’s really going on with you, and the sooner you’re honest about it, the faster you can start to fix the situation, and/or heal from some type of heart break and/or gain the clarity you need.

So, what do you think about these 4 steps, are they giving you a little clarity on something you might be struggling with right now in your life? Let me know in the comments below:)

 

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What the “summer body” means to ME.

What makes you feel closer to life? AKA: What having the “summer body” means to me. I have to tell you, I’m freaking exhausted right now. I can’t WAIT to lay my head down on my currently-un-made-bed (just did laundry) and fall blissfully asleep. But I have to ask you something first. What makes you feel… Read More

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