Why I’ve Started Eating For My Skin & Body

For the past few months, I have been reassessing what I once thought was great about my own metabolism: that I can, within reason, eat pretty much whatever I like without putting on too much weight. I feel like this luxury has made me forget that the true importance of eating food has got nothing to do with weight: its entirely about eating what's right for your body. At least for me anyway.

 

When it comes to my skin, I have been prescribed every drug and cream under the sun, along with countless visits to dermatologists (who have seriously help the problem), but none of which truly seem to get rid of it. It's improved over the years, but at the end of the day, I'm a 22 year old who still has to conceal spots every single day and I'm done with it. The last thing left to try is to make some serious changes to my diet.

 

Then there's my body. By this, I mean the way that my body feels on the inside: my energy levels have a tendency to peak and then plummet, leaving me shaky and tired, and I've had recurring stomach problems for the past few years. Again, I feel like a few changes to my diet may see the end of these issues. Some of which have already disappeared after only a few months.  

 

In this post, I want to share why I have finally started eating for my skin and my body, the changes that I've been making to do this, and also how I've been getting on so far. While some of my new goals have been easier to achieve and maintain, it's not been the easiest of journeys for other goals.

Sugar

Making drastic changes to my sugar intake has been, by far, the most difficult challenge for me.

WHY I'M CUTTING DOWN

My daily sugar intake is way way above the RDA, and I honestly feel that this is affecting my skin and my health and it is all my own doing. I only have myself to blame when I have a new breakout or when my blood sugar levels plummet and I'm left wobbling on the tube. I can cry and cry about the state of my skin, but when I'm the one absorbing endless family size bags of Wine Gums, and eating NutriGrain Raisin Cake Bars as soon as I get into work, do I really have the right to complain?

It's freaking me out because I feel like every time I get a new spot, or my energy levels plummet, my body is surely crying for help from within and I can't really ignore it anymore.


THE CHANGES I AM MAKING

I have started to eat rice cakes and almond butter, instead of sugary cereal bars when I'm hungry at work, because guess what? Almond butter has zero sugar, tastes deliciously sweet and actually keeps me fuller for longer than bars that send my insulin into a peak before dramatically plummeting into a sugar low.

I will NOT be buying any more bags of Sour Patch Kids - I do not care if they're only £1 in Sainsburys - it's not happening anymore. I'll really have to make sure I stick to this when I'm with Aaron...

I will still allow myself to have the occasional bit of chocolate, or slice of cake. I just think it's important for me to cut it right down. 


MY EXPERIENCE SO FAR

On the first day of my new year cut down, I made it through the day without a spoon of sugar in my coffee, and without any sugar laced cereal bars or cheeky biscuits whatsoever. And that was the day I experienced the worst sugar crash ever - I got home from work and cried, and felt the most irritable I have felt in a long time.

I have found half the battle with cutting out sugar, is having something to replace it with. I'm CONSTANTLY hungry - I cannot stress this enough - so a sugary snack is the quickest, easiest fix for me. But, having back up plans, like rice cakes and almond butter, or cups of fruit tea has helped an enormous amount.

Dairy

WHY I'M CUTTING DOWN

When I have too much dairy, I get eczema. Glam, I know. Why this hasn't irritated me enough to cut out dairy in the past, I don't know. But, recently, I started to think that if dairy can do that to my skin, surely it could be causing my breakouts too. I have read a lot about acne being linked to dairy, so I feel like, along with cutting out sugar, this has to be worth a try. For the sake of the damn acne!

I have also suffered with stomach problems in the past, and again, feel like cutting out dairy could be the answer.


THE CHANGES I AM MAKING

I have entirely cut out dairy milk, and have replaced it with rice milk. Rice milk is my favourite alternative to have in tea as it doesn't have a strong flavour like almond and soy milk tend to have. However, I'll have soy and almond milk if all else fails. Soy cappuccinos really aren't the best, but I can live with it... 

 I have also cut out dairy butter, and replaced it with anything else I can get - at the moment I'm loving olive spread (that couldn't sound like more of a dull sentence to read on a fashion and lifestyle blog. I really do apologise...).

Yoghurts were something I rarely ate anyway, so staying away from them altogether isn't a challenge. I've just swapped them for coconut yoghurts, as and when I fancy them.


MY EXPERIENCE SO FAR

After a few months of cutting out dairy, I'm not sure if it has helped my acne yet, but my eczema has entirely gone. I can still get it as a reaction to scented soaps etc., but that is now the extent of it.

Since replacing all milk with rice milk, any stomach issues that I had have entirely disappeared which is incredible! This is the main reason I'm keeping this up, because, not to be too dramatic, this has been a bit life changing for me... 

Meat

Before I start talking about cutting down meat, I do want to say that I haven't yet cut it out 100%. I am working towards that, but I am still having fish, and meat on the odd occasion.

WHY I'M CUTTING DOWN

This is where I feel I haven't got my shit together. I know that I am cutting down because I love animals and because I do not need meat every day, let alone multiple times a day. However, when people ask why I'm doing this, I kind of lose my nerve and don't know what to say other than those two sentences. Ultimately, I love meat, and I get far too anaemic to give it up altogether without having a seriously good contingency plan in place. This makes me feel like I am a walking contradiction, because if I do actually like meat, why am I bothering to give it up?


THE CHANGES I AM MAKING

I'm only eating meat on the rare occasion, if at all now. Otherwise, I am mainly replacing it with fish, Quorn, tofu etc.


MY EXPERIENCE SO FAR

I have found cutting out meat to be genuinely really easy, except when I go to restaurants. That is where all of the damn temptation lies and I find it so hard to turn down the chicken wrap in Nando's, or the pancetta pizza in Pizza Express. But the main thing is that I am still managing to turn it down, and I do feel better for it. Over Christmas, I ate SO much meat, and felt so slow and sick because of it. My sister and I had a long chat on the way home after Christmas and all we could talk about is how we could just feel all the meat sat in our stomachs, and it felt disgusting. We both decided to cut it back, and have felt so much better for it.

Cya later sugar, meat and dairy...

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