As some of you know, and as some of you don’t, I am banned from refined sugars, dairy, and gluten.
The refined sugar-banning is due to my very bad skin reaction when I eat it. When I was younger (up to about 17) I had no problems whatsoever. I’m not sure what set off the allergic reaction, maybe hormones or something, but gradually, each time I ate something that contained refined sugar, I would wake up with very painful, long-lasting cystic pimples on my face 1 to 3 days later. At the beginning I didn’t make the connection with sugar, I just thought it was a phase I was going through, and I had no idea it wasn’t normal to have baseball-sized (yes, I’m exaggerating a bit, but that is how big it felt), angry red cysts on your face that didn’t go away completely until at LEAST 6 months later. After I moved to Germany, it got profoundly worse, maybe because of the lack of sun and ocean (I found that when I visited my mom in July last year my skin got way better). At some point I noticed that each time I would pig out, the pimples got worse. So, right after Christmas in 2013, I decided to stop. People, rifined sugar is a straight up addiction. It was horrible for me. After a week I felt like I was about to die. It’s not like I had never gone a week without refined sugar, I just think it was the fact that I was conciously doing it that made my brain want it all the more. Yes, I had cave-ins, relapses, whatever you want to call it. It was so hard to resist dessert when at a restaurant with family and everyone else is eating chocolate cake or soufflés. Today, it has been well over a year since I ate anything with refined sugar in it (intentionally, at least. My sister-in-law accidentally gave me a pea sized fruit candy that she thought didn’t have sugar in it, but that doesn’t count), and I am pleased to announce, that my skin looks so much healthier, and my self esteem has shot straight up.
But those cystic pimples weren’t my only problem. Since as long as I can remember, I have suffered from eczema. Guess where! Yup, smack dab in the middle of my face. Always around my nose and chin area, and for those of you who don’t know, eczema’s favorite color just hapens to be…..red! At some point (I think I was 11 or 12), it finally died down a little, but it would still get irritated an flare up at times. When I was 17, Franz introduced me to Rescue Cream. It burned a little upon application, but it made my eczema go away! There wasn’t even a trace of it. That bliss would only last a few years, sadly. In January of 2014, I started going through a really hard time, full of stress with a sick sister-in-law and a crazy ass-hole (excuse my French) boss. I felt sick every morning when I woke up, and sometimes even the whole day long. Stress is a huge factor in eczema agitation. It came back with a vengance. Most of my life it had either been on my chin or under my nose. Now it was both. I didn’t know what to do. in November of last year, my pimples were all the way gone, but my face still looked awful because I hadn’t managed to get rid of my eczema, not even with Rescue Cream. Around Christmas, I decided to take myself off of gluten, and to start drinking Aloe Vera Juice and Omega 3 oils daily. Now, in February, my eczema is almost gone. I only have a tiny speck on the right corner of my chin. When I eat gluten, it gets a little more itchy and red, but luckily dies down within 1 or 2 days.
So to those of you out there who suffer from these same problems, there IS a solution. Not everyone wants to or can take medicine and pills and tons of chemicals, and I totally get that, it’s right up in my alley. But you have to know, it takes a strong will and motivation. Now, I am almost afraid of sugar. I look at it as a poison. Substitutes that have worked for me are agave nectar, honey, and recently coconut palm sugar (it’s not totally unrefined, but has a low glycemic index, and I haven’t had a reaction to it so far). Eliminating sugar from my diet has had tons of other side effects. My cramps during menstration used to be crippling, so bad that I couldn’t walk or move, and usually had to throw up from sheer pain. Now they are still a discomfort, but only for a day or two, and I’m not anywhere near feeling nausea. My energy levels are up, my mood is much improved, pimples go away faster, should I get one…the list goes on.
I just want people out there to know, that there are tons of other people experiencing these things, but they are too afraid to try something. It won’t happen over night, but it will definitely be worth it.