Saturday, 13 January 2018

2018: The Year To Holistically Cure My Acne

Holistically curing acne with gut health

Hello lovely people, it's been a while...

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are ready to smash a brand new year! I know I have been a bit elusive over the last month and, if I'm being completely honest (I have to be since I named this thing 'authenticallyolivia') I needed a break. I needed some time away from stressing myself out with blogs and vlogs and Instagram posts and I basically took some time to be selfish and not worry about deadlines etc.

During this time of relaxation, I decided to chill back out with everything again and remember that I started this as a hobby. I did begin to get a bit swept up with numbers and schedules and growing my blog and taking some time out made me realise that it's not worth it if it's going to stress me out. I'd rather keep my blog little and ticking along if I'm going to be happier that way. So, for the moment, I will be posting as and when I feel like it and I won't be posting on a strict schedule - hopefully, that is a good arrangement that will keep me happy and stress-free!

This post is about holistically curing my acne and I'm going to talk briefly about my findings (there'll be more to come when I actually get into it and learn more) but a great place to start is de-stressing. I can't remember a time where I wasn't stressing about something so I've really been trying to train my brain to chill out. That did start with scrapping the schedules and as well as curing my gut I am going to introduce meditation and yoga back into my days which, I'm hoping, my skin will thank me for!

Right, let's get to it!

As you may know, if you've been reading for a while, I've dabbled in a paleo-based diet, contemplated Roaccutane and basically got really stressed about my skin. After many trials and tribulations, I've decided I'm not going to take Roaccutane (it scares me and I'm just really unsure about it) and I'm going to really work hard at curing my acne holistically. I know, I sound like a Buddhist wannabe but how amazing would it be if I could be the best version of myself with no weird concoction of drugs but just with real food and calming techniques?

So, I've been doing a lot of research into gut health and how it affects basically everything. Weight loss, fatigue, mental health, sleep, skin conditions, digestion, fertility, the list goes on! I've been reading up on how I should be feeding my gut with probiotics through fermented food and supplements and cutting out all 'toxic' foods from my diet.

I cut out 'toxic' foods (which to put it basically, are processed, unnatural foods) when I followed a paleo-based diet and I know my body thrived off it. My digestion improved, I had way more energy whilst exercising and I felt generally happier. Tom urges me to go back on that all the time because he noticed a difference in the amount I stressed about food and exercise and how I generally just felt well. He said it was the healthiest he'd ever seen me and I was... so why did I stop? I guess I got slightly disillusioned. I felt these great benefits but it wasn't hitting what I really wanted to change. My acne. I still had acne and my weight didn't really seem to shift either. I seem to be able to eat as much as I want and not put anything on but then I can be really good too and not lose any either... This not only indicated to me that there was something missing but also made me feel like I might as well eat what I want and find a drug that can target my skin because it obviously wasn't my diet that controlled my skin condition.

Now, this is where I'm hoping that the answer I've been looking for is healing my gut because I really have given it a battering over the years. I've taken long courses of antibiotics for my acne and recurrent UTIs and I've also been on the contraceptive pill since I was about 15. These are all things that will be destroying the good bacteria in my gut which leads to bad gut health and, subsequently, acne.

I'm only guessing after researching how I destroyed my gut in the first place and I put it down to a number of things. Growing up, I ate processed food. This doesn't mean I lived off oven pizzas and McDonald's, I'm talking bread, cereals, 'healthy' breakfast bars, things that are staples in our diets but aren't natural. Like most, I was given courses of antibiotics to fight illness or discomfort and the one thing that I think really triggered it? Stress. It can't be solely hormonal for me because I didn't develop acne when I started my period or went through puberty or whatever. My acne developed in my later teenage years when I can pinpoint that I was most stressed.

So, what now? I don't have to just live with a damaged gut - 2018 is the year that I'm going to set out to heal it. I want to put all the good gut flora back in through prebiotics, probiotics and fermented food and I'm so excited to document my finding to help others that may be struggling with similar issues to me.

So, I'm ready to really take control of my overall health and (hopefully) cure my acne completely holistically. You can all watch me learn, fail and hopefully succeed! I start on Monday and I will post what I'm eating for the week as well as (hopefully) a vlog or two on how I'm finding it.

Now, let's do this! (insert muscle emoji here)

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