Clear skin now, dairy rarely

My entire life, I have never had any type of acne or break outs. Ever. Even during high school when everyone has acne or zits, I never did. I attribute it to my active and healthy lifestyle that I have always maintained. Then I went to college and the first two years I had great skin, like I always have had. Then junior year and half of senior year I had these weird forehead blackheads that were speckled all over my forehead. They looked like little bumps. No matter what face wash or cleanser or masked that I used, I could not get rid of the little buggers. I know that plenty of people say that the research points out that what you eat does not correlate with whether or not you have break outs.. but I had to test it out because nothing else made sense. I first got rid of gluten (as some of my followers know), but that didn’t really do much for my breakouts.

After that experiment, I tried to think about what has changed in my life since I started getting blackheads. There were two things: I transferred to the University of Arizona and I started eating a lot of cheese. My move to Arizona was my first thought to place the blame because I was told the dry air can cause black heads to form. However, whenever I came home (even during the long summer breaks) the breakouts didn’t clear up. So I tried quitting cheese. This was hard because I LOVE cheese. The fancy, gourmet, little cheese wheels… I can eat them by the pound. But I quit cheese (and dairy in general) cold turkey for one month. And guess what? I have never had more clear skin than any other time in my life. My complexion is bright and clean and it is worth every bite of cheese that I haven’t eaten. It’s been about a two months since I quit cheese and since then I have had a few bites of cheese here and there. However, I’ve noticed that the next day after I have cheese, I get a zit!

So for the most part, I don’t eat cheese anymore unless it’s a special occasion, and even then I limit the amount I eat to only a bite or two.

If you have blackheads or acne that has never cleared up, it’s definitely a good idea to look into what you eat as a possible suspect. Plenty of doctors tell you that there is no correlation between what you eat and your skin, but from experience, I can say there definitely is a correlation.

What have you got to lose? Try quitting some common allergen foods. Try eliminating one a month and if your skin doesn’t clear up, try the next one. Here are some common allergen foods to try eliminating:

Dairy

Grains

Gluten

Eggs

Soy

So, start off the new year with a fresh face free of acne! Merry Christmas everyone!

First hand studying the Mediterranean Diet this summer

I’ve read about the Mediterranean Diet (along with dozens of other diets/lifestyles) and I’ve even tried living it. Nothing can really match experiencing the Mediterranean Diet IN the Mediterranean. So, this summer from May 23-June 20 I will be in Verona, Italy living and learning about the the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. I will be taught each day by my professor the science behind the diet. After the lesson, we will be brought to a locals kitchen where they actually TEACH us how to make the food that we learned is so healthy for us! Then, in proper Mediterranean Diet fashion, we will all sit around a large table for lunch and dinner and eat what we have created as a group enjoying each other’s company.

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We will also visit olive oil production plants, cheese production plants and vineyards to discover where the food really comes from and how it is made. I will also be exploring the city of Verona and trying local restaurants and discovering what life is really like in the area.

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Each day, I will post the food I eat, the things I experience and the science to back it all up!

After my time in Verona, I will travel a little through out Europe on my own and discover other ways of eating and living. I believe in creating an arsenal of information by experiencing things first hand. It’s one thing to read and write about a diet and lifestyle and another to live it.

So if you are interested in my European adventure in food, make sure to follow my blog (especially this summer) to see what Europe has to offer!

When sickness strikes

I have excellent timing. My finals are tomorrow and last night, I developed a case of the flu. My body was aching, I had a fever, my head was pounding and my throat felt like it was closing up. Last minute studying is out of the picture. I still have hope of feeling better during my finals.
So starting last night, I’ve done the following…
What to do when sickness strikes (the moment you feel a single sniffle)
1. Drink plenty of lemon tea. Just squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice in a tea cup and pour in some hot water. Lemon will help alkalinize your body to get you better faster.
2. Eat raw garlic. This works. If you can stomach it, you should definitely do it. Garlic is an antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral agent. It will clear out your headaches, muscle pains, and sore throats within minutes. I eat a couple clothes a day while I’m sick.
3. Take some vitamin D. Or lay out in the sun. Many studies have found a link between low vitamin d and increased colds. This explains why people often get sick during the winter when the there’s less time to sit in the sun and get that vitamin d.
4. Nix any sugar, including fruit. Sugar feeds bacteria so while you’re sick, you want to limit your sugar intake As much as possible.
5. No milk! Dairy makes the body produce more phlegm. You don’t need more phlegm when you’re sick.
6. Take a few drops of oregano oil a day. Oregano oil is a natural antibiotic so make sure to take a few drops starting right when you feel any symptoms.

7. Drink lots of water, especially of you have a fever. Your body will be using plenty of your water stores to fight the infection so make sure to keep drinking water.
8. Take a walk. Getting rest is crucial but you also want to move around a little to keep the body working.

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I’ve been doing all of these things the moment that I felt symptoms and less than 24 hours later, I’m already starting to feel better!
When you’re sick, ditch the Tylenol and try these out. You’ll actually get better rather than mask your symptoms!

Vegan Sloppy Joes

I’ve actually never had sloppy joes before, but I found this recipe at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/spicy-vegan-sloppy-joes-recipe/index.html and it looked really different than what I normally make so I decided to try it out. The only difference in my recipe and the foodnetwork.com recipe is that I replaced the chile chili powder with regular chili powder and also added some cayenne and opted out of the bun (mostly because I was too cheap to buy a four pack of buns for one night). It was so good. I am definitely going out and buying some buns for tomorrow and making this one for my whole house (all meat loving boys) and I am positive that they will not be missing the meat.

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The recipe was so tasty, required such a small amount of ingredients and hardly any time to cook. I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys spicy food.

Plus, with such simple ingredients, it doesn’t break the bank.

Go check out the full recipe at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/spicy-vegan-sloppy-joes-recipe/index.html and give it a whirl!

Want to save some money? Eat healthy.

It’s been a while since I last posted but honestly, I have been way too busy to think about anything other than school. Now that the semester is coming to a close and less of my time is spent in a classroom, I have more time to post. Recently, my boyfriend has been low on funds so even though I have enough money to get by, we have been much more careful about how we are spending money. We buy groceries together which means whatever he can’t afford, we can’t buy (I would feel like a jerk if I bought myself all this food that he couldn’t afford). However, these past couple weeks of really monitoring my money have made me come to a conclusion: eating healthy is totally affordable.

I always assumed that I was spending more money than my other roommates who live off of delivery and Costco bulk because my food is organic and fresh. It has been assumed too often that eating healthy means that you will be spending your entire paycheck at the store (i.e. the joke that Whole Foods’ name should be changed to “Whole Paycheck”). I didn’t mind because I would rather spend my money on food that will make me live a long and vibrant life than on junky food that will cause me to break out and be depressed while saving a few bucks. However, careful monitoring of what I spend and what my roommates spend on food has led me to the somewhat shocking conclusion that eating healthy food is cheaper.

As always, there are exceptions, especially if you live off of $30/lb super food or if you choose to only eat top ramen, the bills will be drastically different. But lets take my roommates and myself as a small case study and do the math:

Today:

Me 

Breakfast: 1 apple and 1 banana (organic) $1.05 and $0.34 (respectively), 1 kind bar $1.64= $3.03

Lunch: Salad from the COOP $2.03 leftovers from dinner (chickpea stew over rice that in total cost $5 for both servings) $2.50= $4.54

Snack: A handful of organic trailmix (the bag cost $4 and I ate 1/4 of it)=$1

Dinner: Homemade black bean burgers with avocado $5.48, with steamed broccoli $1.00= $6.58

Total for the day of eating healthy: $15.15

My roommates (typical college students)

Breakfast: Bagel and cream cheese with a medium coffee, $2.50 and $2.00 respectively= $4.50

Lunch: large Meatball Sub from a local sandwich place $7.50 and a bag of chips $1.95= $9.45

Dinner: Delivery Pizza from a local pizza place= $10.95

Total for one day of unhealthy eating: $24.90

It also may seem like it takes more time to make a homemade, healthy meal, but take into consideration the amount of time it takes to order food and pick it up.

It was an interesting experiment but it made me much more confident in my decision to eat so well.