If you’ve read my previous posts on this series, thank you so much for allowing me to share this healing journey with you! I do it because my quality of life has greatly changed since, and it is my hope that you are inspired to become a conscious eater and a healed, wholesome, better version of you.
Before I go on, I’d like to mention that healthy and conscious eating has definitely become a trend and some people are tired of it, BUT if there is one trend you should pick up on, THIS ONE IS IT. Besides, to call it a “trend” underestimates what this really is all about. This is an AWAKENING. We are slowly becoming much more aware of what is going into our bodies, and we have the power to change the entire food industry by the nutritional choices we make. We are the consumers. We make the demands. So, unashamedly jump on the band wagon, your body will thank you!
After having adverse reactions to a dermatologist’s prescription for my eczema, I had abandoned the option of topical steroid-filled ointments. I was on the hunt for holistic solutions. I was inspired by the many stories of others who healed themselves from all types of ailments (even cancer!) by understanding the root of their illness and changing their diet.
Food is so much more than something we put into our bodies to calm the hunger pangs, and it’s so much more than pleasure too! It’s important to acknowledge that sometimes what our bodies need won’t be the most pleasurable thing to eat, especially compared to foods that have been altered in such ways that they contain additives which many of us have actually become addicted to. This is not to say that if you choose to eat healthier you won’t enjoy your meals. I enjoy what I eat now more than ever because I understand that what I eat is for nourishment and healing.
After doing a bit of research for natural ways to heal eczema, I stumbled upon a book titled The Eczema Diet: “Discover How to Stop and Prevent the Itch of Eczema through Diet and Nutrition”. Well, that sounded just about right to me, so I immediately ordered it.
Written by award-winning author and nutritionist, Karen Fischer, who runs the Eczema Life Clinic in Sydney, Australia, the book goes into the fundamentals of healing eczema from the inside out. Truly, the condition of our skin is an indicator of what is happening from within. Skin conditions usually occur because the body is trying to get rid of an overload of toxins that the liver can not handle. So, it attempts to release these toxins through other means, in the case of eczema suffers, the skin.
As I read the list of foods that Fischer indicted were possible triggers, it all made sense! My eczema had peaked because of the “ab diet” I was on. I had introduced a lot of dark greens, an overload of diary, artificially flavored and low quality whey proteins, and glutens. This diet change, plus the stress I was undergoing with my responsibilities at the time, were all the leading causes to the severe flare ups.
While I have read a lot of other information about healing eczema through other sorts of nutritional changes, I am going to share what helped me. I do not believe there is only one way to heal an illness. Our bodies our different. They function differently. They have different needs, different strengths and weaknesses. However, I do believe that detoxifying the liver and healing the gut are key for all eczema suffers.
The following is Fischer’s Six-Step Anti-Eczema Program:
1) Reduce your chemical load
2) Reduce blood histamine level
3) Balance your fat ratios (omega-6 & 3)
4) Improve gastrointestinal health
5) Promote liver detoxification
6) Restore acid-alkaline balance
The nutrition plan was divided into 3 Stages:
Stage 1 involves the restriction of foods that contain gluten, additives, preservatives, MSGs, high levels of salicylates and diary. This included the elimination of many dark greens and a wide variety of fruits which contain salicylates, a naturally occurring chemical.
Stage 2 begins once your skin has cleared, which will vary for everyone. My eczema had cleared after 6 weeks. During this stage you begin to introduce more foods into your diet so that you may identify your food sensitivities.
Stage 3 is an “unofficial stage” during which you can add wheat and dairy back into your diet. I introduced them back into my diet, but in very limited amounts.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated the first six weeks. Often times I was in need for a quick snack and my options were few. And let’s not even get started with the social gatherings or outings. I was confronted with other’s negativity. “I don’t see your skin getting better. That diet isn’t working. It’s not going to work. You’re getting too skinny.” Did I mention you lose a few pounds? HA. No one seemed to understand what I was doing or for what reasons. They didn’t know how uncomfortable I felt to be in my own skin. But I remained PATIENT with my body, and after 6 weeks my skin drastically transformed. Not only was the eczema gone, so were all the scars from the constant scratching. My skinned had totally renewed itself, and it reflected a healthier me, from the inside out.
Here I was as happy as ever showing off my radiant shoulders shortly after my skin cleared. Sadly, all of my before pictures are gone, otherwise, I would have definitely done a comparison.
With the food you intake you have the ability to assist your body as it fights to keep you alive, because that is precisely what your body is doing EVERY SINGLE DAY. Our bodies are a gift. They are resilient! The body contains an entire army of powerful warriors that want us to function to our full capacity. What a wonderful Creator we have to have given us this mighty machine of flesh and bones!
I remember reading an excerpt from the book, Total Remission. One man, who was dying from cancer, decided that instead of hating the cancer he would love it. Sounds crazy, I know. But I was so intrigued by this thought, especially because as the saying goes “cancer sucks”. But his thought was, why not love that cell that has become sick and mutated. And it just made sense to me. Whatever the disease, why not internalize love for our bodies that are fighting to keep us alive and functional. Instead of feeling anger or frustration, let’s be patient with our bodies and give it the weapons it needs to fight better through healing foods. (The man, btw, was healed from cancer.)
LISTEN to what your body needs, which isn’t exactly easy, but it can be learned. For example, a few days ago I stepped out early in the morning at 6AM to throw out the trash. I’m not usually out of the house at that time, but as I felt the coolness of the morning and took a few steps towards the garbage bins, my body felt good. So, I plan to listen to my body and take an early morning walk sometime this week simply because, it felt good.
Be an ally to the body that works so hard to keep you well. Eat the wonderful foods that earth gives us because our loving Creator knew exactly what our bodies would need!
I am so thankful for my body. For its ability to move, to feel. For eyes that see, for lungs that inhale and exhale, for a brain that helps me reason, for a heart that pumps and beats to its own tune. Let’s not take our bodies for granted. Be good to it, for its trying it’s very best to keep you well.
May your day be graciously adventurous,