Is the food we are eating causing the problems we suffer with our skin?
I recently took some time off to think about this subject and spending some much needed time with my children. I have been so busy it has been all about work and homework and barely enough time for fun. One thing we always ensure is that we eat our meals together at the table.
We have never really been a fizzy drink family, although I used to drink Coca cola by the bucket load but gave up with smoking about 8 years ago so the occasional bottle of Coca cola is a treat in our home. The kids are happy to drink water, fruit squash, fruit juice and fizzy water. But we still suffer with dermatitis
I chose to dine with my kids as it a nice way to bond we chat about every thing over the dining table and the kids quite literally rate my cooking. This goes on the list mom this needs to come off the list mom. (the shopping list) This not only gives me a insight into what the children are eating but how to manipulate them into eating their veggies.
Tia has always been my fussiest eater so much so it affected her health a lot, she had to have regular visits with the Doctor who prescribed a Medicine called Movical to help with bowel movements as she was underweight and not eating. Fast forward to lockdown where we had no access to medication and just good old fruit and veg. Instead of forcing Tia to eat the veg she was encouraged to try and eat a little piece and I was met with resistance. She indulged in breads and cheese and bowls of cereal so her weight naturally started to increase. Great but we were still having problems.
A few years ago I was eating breakfast at a hotel where I worked, after eating a yoghurt and croissant I was left feeling bloated uncomfortable this was normal so I used walk about to help digest or remove the feeling in my stomach. One day I was having my usual breakfast and literally started to itch. scalp, arms and behind my knees, it was so itchy and got gradually worse, so i managed to find some moisturiser and cool the feeling away. Not linking it to food I assumed it was the washing powder so we swapped.. Then once again eating the yoghurt my arm felt like it was being burnt with hair straighteners I removed my sleeve and found brilliant red bruising on both the insides of my arms it was red and inflamed.
A few days later sat in front of a doctor she said its not an intolerance reaction I went for blood work and kept a food diary, having young children we drank full fat milk, so I drank a small glass of milk same reaction it was dairy but then I ate a piece of cheese no reaction. (Thank God because I love cheese.)
The results came back no intolerance recorded, so what was causing the problem?
So I googled 'Is milk bad for eczema?' &' Can you develop food Sensitivities'
The result were as follows..
"Some studies show that these might make eczema worse -- especially for babies and children. Peanuts, milk, soy, wheat, fish, and eggs are the most common culprits. Because kids need a well-rounded diet, don't stop giving them foods you think might cause eczema flares."
I switched to soya milk products but kept cheese and haven't looked back.
Back to Tia she was mostly consuming Cows milk and cereal and not much fruit or veg, her skin was dry and she was still how can I say constipated. So one week I swapped her cows milk for Soya milk in her cereal and hotchocolate. Once again we found the answer she was more regular her skin cleared up and she started eating a more varied diet and was willing to try more food groups. Tyrese was also onboard and since we transitioned the distance between the children's allergic reactions has increased, they are able to use the occasional scented product and getting no reactions.
Tia at age 7 first day back at school wearing her actual age group In the summer just after lockdown still wearing for 4-5 as 6-7 year old clothes were too big.
So can we literally eat our skin healthier? My answer at the moment is maybe!????
I experimented with taking Tyrese off his normal Almond oil moisturising routine and moved him to Johnsons Cream and he developed rashes and the grass allergy I posted about in a previous blog. So topical treatment is still necessary for us. I also noticed when I eat to much dairy my scalp still itches terribly. We have been experimenting with vegetable based body washes and castile soaps which have been working very well and not leaving us feeling greasy. This week I have seen a lot of improvement to the reaction on my lips with coconut oil and avocado butter.
As I get older I have found I am having more reactions to food, I recently had a few bouts of stomach cramps that lead me to think I was developing a wheat intolerance, I was literally in excruciating pain until the food was digested. So I stopped eating my beloved bread... The result was no pain but left craving bread so then I'd indulge in a bagel.. yum and nothing I ate some pitta bread nothing... Then I ate some seed sensations toast and here comes the pain. Back off the bread again thinking that it was a limit I reached. Maybe I could only eat some bread? So cereal for breakfast it was muesli with nuts, raisins and rolled oats. Pain again is it the oats? Maybe..?
One day at work I was offered a protein seed bar it was delicious later on that afternoon the stomach cramps came back... like clock work. AHA its nuts... just like the bloating with the yoghurt it was a warning that an intolerance has developed.
So yes we are what we eat, but if we look at the diets of the human species over the centuries we only ever really started eating wheat and dairy when humans began colonising, our intolerances are just our bodies evolving to the ever changing world of convenience. We are stressed eating junk food and refined sugar these are usually to blame, so removing certain food groups from your diet is no real drama if you want healthy skin, reactions are just your body saying it doesn't like the food you ate. Reactions or dermatitis is possibly your bodies way of saying we haven't evolved that far yet. So lets be grateful that alcohol has yet to become and allergen and hope it never will be!!
If you want to learn more about this a brilliant documentary called ' FAT, SICK AND NEARLY DEAD' talks in depth about skin irritations, health problems and evolving your diet. Recommended watch.
Self Care.... so once again I speak of self care finding the things that don't work for you is very important I was very miserable for months before I discovered the reason behind the bloating and keeping a reaction food diary really helped. Nowadays its a little easier planning meals as the children now only drink soy milks so no need to keep nipping out to the shops and they practically eat everything now.
Tyrese is a good vegetable eater always has been. When he had Polish food day at his nursery when he was 2 he was the only kid who ate pickles, all the other kids were grossed out.
Once at his Junior school they asked him to bring a fruit snack, he wouldn't eat the tangerines I gave him, so one day I took him to the supermarket and asked what he wanted. He pointed at the peppers and the chilli's. I said no baby choose a fruit. He started to get upset so I said ...okay fine. The next day preparing his snack I felt a tinge of embarrassment. My son wants a box full of mini cucumbers, large sweet chilli's and Lemon slices.
During the walk home I asked what was it like a snack time today.. a little more nonchalant than I felt. He said I opened up my box and started eating and then looked up and all the children were staring at me, I don't know why? I stifled a laugh and said that's okay did you share? I was dying of laughter on the inside.
This memory still tickles me now.
So with Tia we tried everything she just spat it out or vomited. So I started making up bowls of chopped fruit or veg and setting it on the table and she'd come over watching me an Tyrese eat it and I'd say lick it give a taste, then next chew it drink the juice and spit out the bit you don't like. Each milestone was celebrated and now she actively seeks our applause. It doesn't work for everything but its a start....
One step at a time...
I don't own the rights to this video so may be removed.
As always Take care and Love Yourself.