It’s something that millions suffer with but seems like you’re the only one with it. It’s a pain that no one understands unless they’ve had it. It completely transforms you.
It completely transformed me.
I have been dealing with eczema for over 11 years, if not more. I never thought anything of it as it always came and went. Up until a few years ago, it drastically became to overcome my every day life. It never went away like it used to. Then around March-April of 2019, I began to get dry patches on my face that were itchy and irritating. No moisturizer worked plus it burned. As it got drastically worse, I began to do research. It became obvious that I was dealing with psoriasis, as many who deal with eczema can also have psoriasis. But this was on MY FACE. The first thing people look at and judge you by.
As it got worse, I became desperate. I began to share it on my profile and so many of you have reached out about similar struggles. As this new year rolled around, I decided to do a monthly post of what has helped me, what I’ve learned, why I do it, and so on. I had begun to eat cleaner and get serious about my lemon water and celery juice every day and I’ve noticed little baby signs of healing. However, I still get new itchy patches somewhere on my body and a new sign of acne. As upsetting as it is to have it look like my body isn’t healing, I know and feel like it is. There are good, bad, and worse days, but here’s to not giving up!
I hope some of this information that I plan to share monthly will be helpful to those who suffer OR simply to those who want to live a healthier lifestyle. Read below for pictures, recipes, a peek at my food journal, etc.
“But the truth is that we are coming closer to the time when no one will be free of having a symptom or condition at some point during their lifetime.”
But that, my friend, is totally fixable. It’s just all up to you.
Then & Now: From 1st sign of Psoriasis
I have so much more going on than just on my hands and face but you get the jist. One part of me will seem like it’s getting better but at the same time, I have more itchy patches on other parts of my body. At one point, my face was really bad to where it also covered my eyes and made them swell badly. My vision was blurred and any kind of light made it worse. I couldn’t sleep no matter how tired I was and how hard I tried. Sleep just didn’t come, wouldn’t come. Which then, sleep was something I tried to do often as it was something to escape the burning and throbbing and I was always tired since I couldn’t sleep. Happy to say that although I still don’t sleep as well as I should be, I have definitely gained a little more energy! My hands have cleared up some but we recently had a cold front so they flared up once more, along with my arms. It’s a never ending battle, it seems like.
One day though, it really will end.
How My Diet Changed & Why:
Well if it isn’t obvious by now why I had to change my eating habits, then it’s because of this horrible auto-immune disease. I’ll be honest, I always ate better than most people I know. So to have something like this and symptoms of a leaky gut – it just seems strange. But I guess everything happens for a reason, right? I actually also had cholestasis during my pregnancy and had to get induced. I was told that if I were to get pregnant again, it’s very likely that it will happen again. So there’s another reason for me having to change my diet.
Basically, what I do is have warm lemon water to start the day. I wait 15-20 min. and then drink my celery juice (which is supposed to be 16 oz. but for now I juice one celery bushel which sometimes is 16 oz, sometimes it’s less). I wait another 15 min. and drink a tablespoon of cod liver oil. By the time I do all that, I usually feel good enough to not have breakfast. Plus, I’m horrible with coming up with breakfast foods that I can eat and not get tired of, so I tend to skip it unless I’m leaving the house and need something to fuel me up. I now stay away from gluten, diary, chicken egg, baker’s yeast, almonds, garlic, cauliflower, and nightshade vegetables (plus some). I took a food and gut test from Viome to see what my body is sensitive to (which is a lot of things but I’m at least cutting out the foods that are extremely inflammatory for me) in order to steer me in the right direction. Sugar is also a no-no and instead I use maple syrup, honey, cinnamon, or something like coconut sugar in place of cane sugar. All these changes are very drastic for me so I started slowly eating less of what I can’t have before the new year. Once January 2020 hit, I tried to be all in. Unfortunately, I still sometimes have a small setback or two. If I don’t plan ahead on what’s for dinner or we are out and need to grab a bite to eat, it’s nearly impossible to find something that isn’t sensitive for me. But one step backward and two steps forward, right?
New Faves That Help Me Stay On Track:
Juicer – I’ve tried 4 different kind of juicers and this one is by far, my favorite. Easy to assemble and wash! Having celery juice everyday is a game changer if you suffer with any kind of health issues. Having a juicer you like helps. Check out Medical Medium for more info!
Thrive – but seriously. Leo and I both discovered our favorite mayo, taco shells, candy, and cereal. ALL ORGANIC, GLUTEN, and DAIRY FREE. Idk about you, but I have my random candy and sometimes just want cereal cravings. Also, my husband is literally anti-anything vegan so when he says it’s good, it’s good! Thrive really does have some good stuff! If you struggle with staying on track with eating healthier, Thrive is a good place to start. Much easier than going to the store and being sucked into the aisles of what you need to avoid.
Mineral Water – I stopped drinking store bought juice and obviously try to stay away from soda because of all the sugar. So instead now we buy mineral water. Reason being? To make yummy homemade soda! Drinking water 24/7 gets tiring so juice some fruit or buy 100% cranberry concentrate, add mineral water, some honey or maple syrup for more sweetness and now you have a better juice/soda than anything store bought. If you don’t want it bubbly just add regular water instead! 101% worth the extra steps if you’re trying to cut back on sugar! Bonus tip: if you juice berries, save the pulp by freezing it and add to your homemade dessert/ice cream.
Dulse – Yes, it’s a seaweed. Yes, it looks and smells like fish food. But I’m not kidding when I say that it adds a yummy flavor to dishes. Instead of using so much salt in dishes, adding dulse is a great alternative! It does something amazing like go into the deepest of the deep parts of your gut and attaches itself to heavy metals and doesn’t let go until it’s out of your body.
Things I’ve Learned:
- My go to resources are Anthony from Medical Medium and Zach Bush, MD. I listen to the Facebook/Insta live videos and podcasts when I get a chance. I don’t have the liver rescue books just yet but I’ve learned a lot just by following along and catching up every now and than
- It’s how I learned about celery juice, Vimergy (a great brand to get supplements from), recipes, and the danger that probiotics can have
- Also, this very easy 4 minute workout (that I have yet to try) releases nitric oxide, making it a very beneficial workout
A Look At My Food Journal: It’s not gonna be perfect
B – celery juice
L- quail eggs with chicken lettuce wrap, a mandarin orange, water with lemon to drink
D- quinoa with tilapia , cabbage & pea salad, juiced strawberries with mandarin oranges to drink
S (snack) – blueberries, walnuts, mandarin, vegan chocolate chips with green tea
B – lemon water and celery juice
L – quail eggs and pure beef hot dog, with baby carrots, cucumbers, water with lemon to drink
D – minestrone soup (aip) with lemon water
S – brown rice puff cereal with coconut milk, pea chips, a couple organic gummy worms, fig energy ball
B – lemon water, celery juice, apple slices and baby carrots
L – minestrone soup (aip), lemon water
D – chicken drumsticks & brown rice with cucumber, radish, and avocado salad, cranberry/orange mineral drink
S – iced coffee with coconut milk and maple syrup, dried cranberries, dates, coconut caramel, chocolate covered coconut strips
B – lemon water
L – lemon water and a couple bites of cornmeal
D – Chic-fil-a grilled delux sandwich with gluten free bun, lemon water, 1/3 cup of mac & cheese, half handful of fries
S – dark chocolate covered strawberries with green tea, some organic gummy worms
Some Recipes I Love:
Minestrone Soup – I first tried this soup when visiting my sister and it’s now one of my favorites. I altered the recipe to an AIP friendly version that’s still so fulfilling!
>>>> Saute celery, carrots, parsnips, and onions in avocado oil. Then add sweet potatoes, squared chopped cabbage, kidney beans, and chickpeas. Add broth of your choice and then add water. Add chicken. Season with your choice of seasoning! I used dulse, salt, pepper, coriander, fresh thyme and oregano, and a dash of cumin. Boil until chicken is done and vegetables are soft.
Tilapia or Chicken Drumsticks with Brown Rice – Wanna know something crazy? Until recently I have never tried brown rice. It’s now my favorite kind of rice (yay)!
>>>> After I soaked and rinsed my rice, cook in water or broth as per usual. For tilapia season with salt, pepper, and turmeric and fry in avocado oil for a couple min on each side. Same seasonings for drumsticks except I added vegan mayo also. Leo wanted to cook them on a skillet so he did that for a good 20 min, rotating the drumsticks in avocado oil.
Radish & Cucumber Salad – We actually have this salad along with our chicken and rice. I haven’t made this salad in awhile and the idea came from my mom. We used to eat it as kids all the time except it also has boiled eggs in it. I have to leave that out though so it makes it an even easier salad to make!
>>>> Chop cucumbers (I like to chop my veggies into quarters or smaller, depending. I don’t like bulky veggies as I like to get allllll the flavors in one bite), chop radish, chives, and a little bit of white or yellow onion. Add to a bowl and add vegan mayo, salt, pepper, and fresh dill. Add avocado if you like avocado (my husband doesn’t)!
Fried Onion Rings – I totally have to brag about these fried onions. I used to make the ones from Natasha’s Kitchen, but since eating healthier to heal, I decided to alter the recipe a little to an AIP friendly version and just use the same concept. Turns out, we love the dairy free version even better!
>>>> In a small bowl, add cassava flour, salt, pepper, dulse, and turmeric. In another small bowl, add a cup or so of coconut milk, a tablespoon or so of lemon juice (white or apple cider vinegar works too just not as healthy or yummy;), and a tablespoon or so of cassava flour to turn the milk into a thicker mixture. Dip peeled and cut onion rings into the milk bowl first (I like to keep the onion in there for a minute or two for a better taste), then place into flour mixture so that the whole onion ring is covered with the flour. Fry in avocado oil until perfectly golden and a little crispy! Serve right away (they cool down fast) with vegan mayo and if you can, mix that with ketchup to get a yummy dipping sauce.