Stress, Waiting, the Gut, and Skin…the Connection

It’s been two weeks since I have really been paying attention to my body and really listening to how I feel after I eat. I have been following the low reactivity chart of foods from Lyn-Genet Recitas The Plan. I plan to follow her 3 day cleanse, but I haven’t had a chance to set aside time to prepare food. The other side to this is the social aspect. In order to commit to a strict eating plan, even if only for 3 days, I can’t have any social commitments that include food. When food wasn’t a huge issue for me, I took for granted the social connection food has.

I have been eating a lot of chicken, flaxseed flatbread, Orgain smoothies, chia seed pudding, salads, broccoli, nuts, and I have found that chocolate in small quantities does not seem to aggravate me. What does seem to aggravate me is stress.

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Last week, I had another outbreak of skin issues. I blamed it on excessive chocolate and coffee a couple of times. Maybe. But, maybe it was stress. Or a combination. I believe the skin reflects the condition of my gut, and my gut is strongly influenced negatively by stress. Situations in my life right now are requiring me to wait and trust. This comes with stress.

A dear friend of mine told me I am a worrier….I don’t normally consider myself a worrier, but I realized as I was talking something through with her, I was fretting over details beyond my control. This is worry. Wake-up call for me, a much needed one. Today in my morning devotion, it spoke of waiting as being an active act of worship, not a passive thing. During waiting I have to realize that some things are out of my control. I must pray. I must trust. I must believe that His will for my life is always best. I must accept His timeline, and my timeline often do not align.

Less worry=less stress=less acne…..so I wait in trust and thanksgiving in my clearer skin. It helps to refrain from chocolate (excessive amounts). And, to use my favorite skin care combination. St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin mixed with avocado oil or olive oil and then applied  to the face does wonders.

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Waiting has lessons. Less worry, more faith.

stress verse

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Exposed

Exposed. My skin is exposed, and when it is covered with adult acne, I feel exposed. Like these adorable banana men we made at Wednesday night kids’ church, I feel as exposed and vulnerable as this banana man.

banana man

Stress. Lack of sleep. Changing my eating habits…a little more rice and gluten-free bread than normal and less meat. Travels. My skin is a direct reflection of my inward GI health. I have greatly reduced the amount of chocolate I have eaten, but I decided for a week to take brown rice and black beans which I love to work for lunch. I guess my body prefers more protein. I am not a huge fan of meat. My nutritionist says my blood work indicates I have a lower level of hydrochloric acid in my stomach which makes breaking down meat more difficult. Thank you….evidence based truth to why I love chicken more than any other meat much to my family’s chagrin. She who cooks determines the dinner course.

But, I digress….my skin is broke out and my hair does not feel as healthy. I am on vacation right this very moment as I write this at 6 a.m. and my family sleeps peacefully…I do not feel stressed, maybe tired of riding in the car, but not stressed.  So why is my skin so stressed?

I am 35…at what age will this acne stop? Is it chocolate? Coffee? Lack of sleep? Stress? Too many grains even if they are gluten-free? Dairy?

I had success with clear skin when I first went from a typical American diet to a cleaned upped diet with way less processed food. I’m still eating like that. I do confess…I quit coffee for a week, and my skin did start to clear up. Like I said, I am on vacation right now meaning I have no routine. When I return…hopefully relaxed and refreshed, I plan to experiment some more…I will wean myself from coffee and make some bone broth which also seemed to help my skin in the past.

Exposed. The skin speaks, exposes my food issues. I already am mistaken as being much younger than I am…the infamous red dots do not help! I do not want to see them staring back at me in a mirror. Life experiences have matured me as a person…I want my skin to reflect the same. I know my self-worth is not measured by the appearance of my skin, but I can not help but feel exposed. And, that I do not like that.

Anything you have found helpful for this issue?