My workout of the day: putting cherries soaked in high fructose corn syrup + red dye on over 2,000 cookies, and dipping several hundred others in chocolate ganache loaded with partially hydrogenated soybean oil.
I'm supposedly gluten intolerant and big into eating right, and I work at a bakery. Cognitive dissonance much? :p
I've been getting more acne nodules than usual, in weird spots like under my eyebrow and on the edge of my chin. I'm thinking it may be the yogurt I ate almost every day last week, even though it was organic/grass-fed, or the MyChelle Pumpkin Renew Cream I'm sampling. Or even going off of the Aczone (hope not, because I really don' t want to use it again!). I'm looking into the oil cleansing method but it kind of scares me tbh, haha.
Found grass-fed ground beef at Trader Joe's for $1 cheaper per lb than at Whole Foods, yay! Not a huge difference, but I like that it's slightly more fatty than Whole Foods' beef, too (85% vs. their 90%). Tastes gamier, too; it'll take some getting used to! Also got some bacon for the first time in a while, and some macadamia nuts. I got some cramps in my abdomen after eating some of the nuts this morning, which was odd since I haven't felt those in a while. I'll see if it happens again.
Been feeling awfully moody lately, on the verge of tears with just a few minor bits of stress. It's too early to be PMS, but my cycles have been out of whack since starting this diet, so who knows. Maybe high cortisol causes this?
My hair seems to be slowly metamorphosing into a Brillo pad in the back. Yuckers.
Going to get the bloodwork done tomorrow. Boy oh boy do I love needles! :rolleyes: I'm hoping/praying this round of tests will finally get to the bottom of things.
Also, been eating a lot of purple sweet potato. So yummy!
The more reading I do, the more I come to the conclusion that the course of Cipro I took last year, coupled with the week of antibiotics I took after getting my wisdom teeth out and the few years I was on amoxicillin as a child, pretty much carpet-bombed my gut, leading to some sort of dysbiosis, and the dysbiosis, in turn, lead to thyroid problems.
So, new focus: building up the good bugs and taking out the nasties!
I've tried HCl, digestive enzymes, and Primal Defense before and they didn't help. I also drank kefir and ate sauerkraut and kim chi, but didn't notice an improvement, and they may have actually made things worse. I'm looking into VSL#3 and other fermented foods, as well as other ways to tweak the balance of bacteria. I should start eating more raw veggies.
I made an appointment with my doc for the 13th, and will see what he has to say about all of this.
[QUOTE=QuirkyPixy;277096]@ flash and jazmin: Thank you both so much for sharing your experiences with acne. It's always nice to hear from people who've overcome their long-term acne issues without something like Accutane; gives me hope that I can, too! I will look into the products and treatments you recommended.
jazmin, my cleanser contains oils already, but I like the idea of using coconut oil! Your skin sounds veeeery similar to mine, so it might work well for me. So have you cleared from using the oil cleansing method? And did you have blackheads/comedonal acne as well? I get every single type of acne imaginable, (along with every type of acne scarring imaginable; thanks for the genes, dad!) so it's been challenging finding something that addresses all the different types at once. [/QUOTE]
Hi pixy! I actually did use Accutane, which is why I feel I can say with authority: DO NOT DO THAT! Also: because of the recent litigation that the pharma co that makes it didn't disclose that it seems a possible side effect is development, years-later, of Crohn's disease, which is life-altering in a way acne can never be. That said, it did seem to help for a few years, but two years ago, the acne came roaring back, and refused to settle down until I finally gave up all cleansers/antibiotics/products and only used cleansing oils.
It got a lot better right off the bat with olive oil/castor oil cleanses daily, with occasional olive oil/salt scrubs. But it was still rough and scaly and red, just less pimpley. (And yes, I get every kind: comedones, blackheads, cystic, whiteheads, whatever, also large pores and rough scalyness.)
Then I (a) became Primal and (b) started cleansing with one of the following:
(1) coconut oil only
(2) coconut oil + castor oil
(3) coconut oil + Acne Aid (an essential oil mixture I get at the co-op that contains oils of rosemary, lavender, tea tree, and thyme.)
My skin is near perfection now. Soft, pale/not red, blackheads reduced, no whiteheads or pimples.
Try it! Just for a month. Can't be worse than anything else you've tried for a month, and will probably heal you up incredibly. But you have to resist the temptation to scrub, to use drying products, or antibiotics. These all just delay your healing, because they are so irritating to the skin. And as an acne sufferer, I know it can be almost psychologically impossible to put oil on your face. Oil has been blamed for acne, but it's not the cause. Just like fat in the diet has been blamed for fatness, when it's not the cause.
I just kept saying to myself: yes, it's grossing me out to put oil on this zitty skin, but at least it's not toxic and I promised I would try it for a month. And now, I look forward to my coconut oil cleanses because they are so soothing, and I really notice a reduction in redness/inflammation an hour after doing one.
Plus, if your skin is ever feeling really rough or gross, you can do a gentle salt/oil scrub, which will satisfy that need to "clean" your skin. Make sure to get all the salt off afterwards, then put on a thin layer of coconut oil to moisturize (dab with a towel if too greasy), and your face will feel like a baby's bottom. Fabulous!
Anyway, good luck with your skin, and let me know if I can help you in any way...
Hey jazmin, thanks again for the help! I'm testing the waters by moisturising with the coconut oil in the morning after applying Aczone (weaning off of it) to see if it clogs my pores; so far, so good! I'm still scared of oil cleansing because I read a thread on acne.org where most people seemed to break out in cysts after trying it for three weeks; I couldn't really deal with that right now. But, maybe I'll ease my way into it and see what happens!
I'm trying to veer my focus away from my skin, as it stresses me out to the nth degree. However, it's hard when I'm getting all of these scarred pores randomly in my T zone and around and on my nose. I've never scarred like this before and have no idea what's causing it, plus the scars are front and center on my face, so I'm kind of in panic mode trying to stop them. I'm thinking I'll drop everything for this weekend and just wash/moisturise to give everything a chance to calm down. Sucks, because I was just reaching a spot where I was OK with my skin, and then WHABAM! Random scarring. Oyyyyy.
I kept a log on acne.org to discuss my skin issues for over a year but just closed it down because I want to stop dwelling on my skin problems. So I'll try to keep this log from devolving into a bitchfest about my acne from now on. The goal here is a focus on overall health.
On that note, my mouth has tasted like death lately. Maybe I need to drink more water? I've been stressed out, and I think that contributes. Hands and feet have been extra-cold, too. But my energy has been pretty good, all things considered.
Diet is unchanged, aside from occasional macadamia nuts and bacon. I'm so sick of eggs, though. I need a new breakfast.
I'm currently looking into new stuff to do because my social life is basically non-existent, as I moved back to my parents house in the 'burbs after college and all of my friends have moved off or live within a fairly long commute. Capoeira keeps calling to me, and kickboxing looks like fun, too. I need more strenuous exercise than walking around and lifting things at work. I also might take a continuing ed. course at a local college to keep my brain busy, as when I have too much spare time it tends to wander too much...
Also, my dad is now reading The Primal Blueprint book after I kept bugging him to, though he keeps trying to discount Mark's points when he's only on Chapter 2. :P I hope he'll get something out of it, because his side of the family has a history of heart disease and cancer and it worries me that he eats so many grain products and uses stuff like "heart healthy" Earth Balance spreads. He wants to lose about 10 lbs he put on recently, so I think he might give it a try.
Good luck with your dad and the PB! I just gave my mom a copy. I don't know if she's reading it yet. I hope so. Keeping my fingers crossed...
What you said about breaking out in cysts is not something that happened to me, but I see how it could. I also think most of the people who do oil cleansing use olive oil, which I think is OK, but it's full of omega-6 fats, which I understand are pretty inflammatory. That may be why people don't get the greatest results with olive oil. I didn't, although my skin did improve quite a bit, it never healed completely until I switched from olive oil to coconut oil.
Yeah, timing a possible breakout is probably a good idea, huh? No fun being all zitty in the holiday photos. Been there, done that, more years than I care to remember!
Not to take up too much space in your journal, but I will share with you something another forum member shared with me about why acne can get really bad soon after starting PB:
About the zit issue. When your body, particularly your liver, is overwhelmed with toxins it encapsulates them in fat and stores them away as a self defense mechanism. It can't work fast enough to get rid of them all. When you go low-carb you switch over to burning fat which is good but the side effect is that the stored toxins have to get out somehow. Most go out in urine but some come out your pores as well. This may be what is causing your zits. Stored up toxins from your Krispy Kreme days are trying to get out. Once you burn off all that old storage fat, this should go away. In the mean time, don't think, "Darn, there is another zit spoiling my pretty face!", but instead, "Yay! There are some more toxins getting the heck out of my body".
And, my skin does seem to be following your theory. It has cleared remarkably in the past couple of weeks. I know there may be another flush of toxin release/breakout, but I will be ready for it this time. And you know what else was interesting? The huge, infected zits I broke out in, almost a month into PB, were totally unlike any I'd ever had before, even in my many years of acne. They were probably that way because they were infused with toxin-laden fat! So that may be why they were soooo inflamed, so swollen, and took soooo long to heal, leaving red scars like none I have ever experienced. Like chemical burns, almost - I guess that's kind of what they were, little chemical burns.
What has really helped too has been the addition of coconut oil to my skin at least once a day. The nice properties of it really seem to soothe my "burned" skin. And really, in the past couple of weeks, it is almost totally healed. Which is awesome, because maybe it's a sign that I am almost detoxed from the Krispy Kreme days!
OK, enough from Jazmin! :) I will stop bugging you about coconut oil. I am like an annoying coconut oil evangelist!
Haha jazmin, no worries! Your posts are super-helpful! Coconut oil is pretty awesome stuff; so many different uses. :D Plus it smells yummy, even though it's kind of odd both moisturising and cooking with it because I end up smelling like my dinner. Breaking out during the holidays would be kind of bad, but I'd rather avoid a serious breakout altogether because it will scar, no doubt about it. That's why I'm being such a pansy about trying the oil cleansing method, though it is tempting!
That theory about toxin release is interesting. Not sure if I buy it, but I definitely believe that switching to primal eating/living can throw the body off-balance before it stabilizes again, resulting in things like exacerbated acne for a bit. I'm five months in and still breaking out badly, though, so if that toxin theory holds any water then I'm loaded with 'em! :P
I've been moisturising with coconut oil 2x daily for a few days now, and it's a lot more moisturising than the emu oil. Think it may be giving me some small pimples, but my skin's probably just getting used to it. I also skipped out on the Retin-A for the past two nights to give my skin a rest. I think the scarred pores are my skin's way of saying "Hey, back off!" Everything just looks so red and irritated.
Still focusing on improving my healing overall. Decided to start taking Vitamin C again, starting off with 1,000 mg 1x daily. Trying to eliminate negative thought patterns and reduce stress, and making sure to get daily exercise even if it's only a 20 min. walk. Also trying to get more active in life overall again
It amazes me how papery my skin and lips are with all of the fat I eat and water I drink. Not sure that there's anything else I can do for those, 'cept slather on the coconut oil.
Trying to find a good recipe for the skate wing I got from H-Mart. Sauteeing it in white wine and butter seems like a good idea.
Really gotta make some bone broth...I just need to figure out a good way to crack the marrow bones I got.
Sleep has been good; getting to bed before 11 on most nights, up at 8. Lots of vivid dreams. Sometimes when I first wake up the images from my dreams carry over into waking consciousness, almost like a hallucination; it's been happening more often since going primal. For example, when I woke up this morning, I saw a small dinosaur on my bed crawling toward me for a few seconds before I realized I was awake, sat up, and watched it disappear. Other times I've seen giant shadowy spider creatures on the ceiling. It's all very bizarre. I think they're called hypnopompic hallucinations, and I have no idea what causes them, but they certainly get my heart going!
Had a bunch of non-primal stuff at a holiday dinner party last night: red rice beer, tiny sandwich, a bit of cheesy mashed potatoes, and a few spring rolls. 20%, woooo! Felt really sick about 5-6 hours after eating and couldn't sleep, but it eventually passed.
Going through a bit of a sea-change with my life right now and stressed as hell over it. Deeeeep breath.
:) It will all work out. :)
Something I was reading this morning:
Breathing...breathing...breathing....ahhh, crap. Still stressed. :p
Thanks for the blog link, jazmin! That reminded me that I want to eat more fish. I've already tried most of the supplements she mentioned with little effect, but I do think that eating fish helps!
Aaaand I'm breaking out like a teenager- more pustules than usual, lots of inflamed stuff big and small, one even on my neck and another on my shoulder (odd). Got some more of those scarred pores on my chin and cheek; I have hope that they'll fade significantly with time because they're pretty shallow, but still. Boooo. Anyway, not dwelling on it, even though it's pretty sore. There's not much I can do but keep on truckin'!
Today I volunteered on Thompson Island in Boston Harbor and nearly impaled myself on broken [I]Phragmites [/I] reeds because I am a clumsy bugger. We worked in a frozen marsh, kicking the base of the dead grasses to snap 'em and then bunching them up and tossing the bundles aside. But soon after we started the ice began breaking and we had to wallow through broken ice chunks and marsh mud while trying not to jab any of the other volunteers with our seven-foot-long pointy sticks. So of course I ended up almost falling face-first in the muck. Caught myself on some broken grass before it was too late, and now my arms have some mighty-fine scratches. :o PB rule #8 win! Overall though, it was fun times!
Eggs definitely make me sleepy. Hrm hrm hrm.
On the health front, I got some more labs back from my doc:
Vitamin D: 86 ng/mL (30-100) (doc sez "great!")
Ferritin: 40 ng/mL (11-307)
TSH: 1.25 uIU/mL (0.34-5.60)
Free T3: 2.33 pg/mL (2.50-3.90) [b]LOW[/b]
Free T4: 0.99 ng/dL (0.54-1.24)
So the doc wants to trial me on a low dose of some T3 thyroid meds to see if they help my symptoms. I have an appointment with him on Monday and will probably pick up a prescription for Armour or Cytomel then. I'm wondering why my TSH is "better" than before but my free T3 is crappy. Mostly, I'm happy to finally have some proof that there is something weird going on with my thyroid and that I'm not a freakin' hypochondriac.