A new enemy.

It’s been about a year since I started taking my skin seriously in terms of identifying and eliminating the causes of my constant breakouts. I reached the conclusion that the main culprits were sugar and dreaded dairy, so I made efforts to limit my consumption of these items (with lots of backsliding as I can resist everything except for temptation). I’ve been relatively good, but a week ago my face was attacked by a rash of pimples and I could not understand why. I racked my brain but could not remember eating any excess sugar or dairy in the past week. I thought perhaps it was due to my forthcoming period, and I did what I always do when my skin acts up when I’ve been good-ish- say what the hell I might as well binge on sugar and cheese, and got my favourite chocolates, gummy bears, and even asked for cheese in my burrito.

It has since occurred to me that I might have to add one more item to my eat in moderation list. For the week leading up to my breakouts, I had spaghetti every single day for dinner (so yummy!). Could this be the reason for my skin woes? A quick google search concluded that it was in fact the reason for my skin problems. Refined grains such as white pasta, and white rice have a high glycemic index which means they increase blood sugar which then increases insulin levels which then increases oil production which causes acne. What is even the point of life? Rice and pasta are pretty much the two food staples in my life (along with white bread to complete the unholy trinity)- at a point in my life I was eating either rice or pasta everyday. The bright side to this is that maybe pasta was the culprit all along and I can go back to having cheese? Hmmn.

I have also learned that vitamin A is important to having clear skin. The post I read claimed that it was not dairy that caused acne, but dairy consumption without adequate vitamin A to counterbalance it. So now I’m drinking a glass of multivitamin effervescent tablet every day and hoping for the best. Probiotics are also supposedly good for the skin but this is dairy so I’m not sure what to do. Soy is my go to dairy alternative but word on the street is that it is not good for the body either. Oi! Thankfully there’s oat, almond, cashew, coconut to choose from.

In summary; avoid all refined sugars, consume more probiotics, omega 3, and vitamin A.

One day I will have clear skin, but that day is not today.

Got milk?

I’ve been meaning to post for ages but instead I sat and watched the days pass me by; valentines day, pancake day etc. I’m going to sum it all in this one post. Last year I wrote a post for Shrove Tuesday in which I discussed what I was giving up for lent. I’m reviewing the post and of course it all largely the same things that I intend to give up this year. Yay for consistency. Nay for never following through.

Anyway, apart from mopping and brooding over my life what else I have been up to? Nothing much, I’ve just been chilling, trying to form new habits and desist from bad ones. For Valentine’s Day, I did nothing but stay in bed and eat a grande bowl of pasta and slow cooked brisket ragu. I was happy and eagerly looking forward to Tuesday, this day being pancake day which really is my own Valentine’s Day. Last year I decided at the last minute to have some pancakes and I got some from the store on my way home. This year however, I was prepared and I got my supplies ahead of time. For breakfast I had fluffy American pancakes and eggs, and orange juice; and for dinner I had French crepes with chocolate, fruit, and ice cream. I was happy and bloated.

That was my last meal splurge and my last experience with dairy for a while. This is one of the main changes I have made in my life, and pretty much the last resort in resolving my skin issues. Even before Lent I had stopped consuming dairy and limited my sugar to help with my acne, and I found that my breakouts reduced drastically. The dark spots are still there of course but my face was not a pimple battlefield as it was before. I did relapse a few times-once when I bought a packet of Rich Tea, and then the next day when I bought a cake. What I realised is what I’ve always known: I have no self control when it comes to food. The biscuits were nice, but the cake was dry as hell yet I devoured it all in one go. The breakouts came back in full force, and they came back as well after my valentines day-pancake day binge fest. I accepted these pimples because all that food was an au revoir to my old life. I’m glad I did it because now I know for sure that diary is the devil’s liquid. It was actually interesting to see my skin change after consuming dairy; the angry pimples and angry red spots. It was a mess. The last of my pimples from the pancake fest are just clearing up. I do hope one day I can go back to consuming dairy in moderation but to be honest if I ever clear my skin I would never risk it by going near dairy again. Plus the dairy free life is alright, and all the dairy free alternatives are pretty good. Of course sugar is also another thing to give up but dairy seems to be the worst.

Without further ado, here are the things I am giving up for lent. I have copied out the things I tried to give up last year for Lent (in italics below) and added my current thoughts.

Reduce my screen-time: I aim to achieve this by reading a book instead, and avoiding mindless gossip. I’m taking this seriously this year. I’m trying to do this by putting my phone down more. The thing with living alone is that I have filled the void with sugar, television, and technology (my phone). I knew I was obsessed with my phone but it wasn’t until I spent Christmas with my friend that I realised just how bad it was. I am literally always holding my phone, even when I dash off to the toilet or downstairs to get my food. She called me out once for always holding my phone and while that ticked me off a bit I knew she was right. I spend so much time staring mindlessly at my phone, even as I am tired and my eyes are burning. There are times when it was past midnight and my brain was fried but I would continue scrolling through Instagram even though there was nothing to see. It was crazy. Anyway I deleted Instagram and I am now trying to wean myself off my phone. I also need to wean myself off of mindless gossip because I really don’t care about any of these things and they do not concern me.

Plan my meals and replace junk with fruits. I must understand that dinner is enough; there is no need to always have a snack. It’s also okay to say no thank you when offered a snack; it really is okay sweetie. Haha I have done a reasonably good job with this lately. Apart from the biscuit, cake and pancakes I have actually been pretty good. I went to the shop recently and there was a sale on Oreos biscuits so I instinctively picked it up. After completing my shopping I had a change of mind and put it back and got some carrots instead.

Fuck milk! I believe this is self explanatory.

Read more: I aim to read three books in this forty days. Back in the day I would have considered this to be rookie number. I will try to read but I’m too lazy and would rather watch television. That being said, three books this Lent seems doable. Let’s go!

Write for an hour everyday-Whew my restlessness is going to make this one hard! Not going to happen. Unless we count the writing I do for work. I will try to write more on the weekends. I actually need to because this is all I want to do. Every time I am doing something else I just want to be in bed writing. Yet when I get the time to write I watch television instead.

Talk to someone (family/friends) at least twice a week-I snuck this one in at the very last minute. I was going to write everyday but I chickened out. I do need to talk to people-other than myself. It cannot be healthy to go a whole week without any meaningful conversation. Hmmmmmmn I don’t know about this. I would rather text.

In short, this Lent I will cut out diary, reduce my reliance on my phone, and seek to be healthy in body and in mind. So help me God.