I love my skin. The way my skin feels changes the way I feel. When my skin feels good I feel amazing!
But It hasn't always been this way. Having suffered with severe eczema most of my life since birth, it was something I struggled with for a very long time. It would fluctuate from bleeding through my clothes at school and being in skin hospital to having clear skin through university, being bed ridden and bandaged for 3 months to feeling like I had burned skin every time I moved. Constant medicated creams and bath oils that smelt of paraffin (they are actually all made of paraffin), greasy clothes, greasy skin, greasy sheets. My hair fell out, my eyebrows fell out and…. well hair everywhere fell out. And the TIREDNESS, constantly so tired, no energy to do anything or go anywhere.
I know now what that tiredness and heat was, inflammation and toxin overload in my body. Being unable to clear my excess load, my body was in effect pushing toxins out through my skin.
It took me 3 years (and a nutritional medicine course) to completely heal my skin. My first step was to reduce overall inflammation and toxin load, I had to change the way I ate, my lifestyle and reduce my stress levels. Progress was slow at first with little change in my symptoms. I had underlying liver and gut imbalance which I wasn’t aware of and it wasn’t until I had functional testing done and re-balanced these systems that there was a noticeable improvement in my overall health and skin. I tried different diets to find the one that suited me best, different supplements to support my personal nutrient profile. The hardest part was the maintenance! When my skin improved I would start drinking beer and eating things I shouldn’t. When I was stressed I would eat pizza and drink beer. When I was out with friends I would drink beer. I basically just wanted to drink beer all the time, and when you have a sensitivity to yeast it’s not the best idea!
So now, even though I have some scars to remind me of my past pains, I am so grateful my skin is now healthy happy and functioning properly!
Everyone’s health journey is different, and if you are on your own you can check out my Functional Foods page for foods to eat for skin health. Below are a couple of recipes that help to reduce inflammation and encourage toxin removal from the body. Happy Eating!
Beetroot and Turmeric Soup
Beetroots contain a powerful phytonutrient called betanin which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity as well as supporting detoxification. Turmeric is part of the ginger family and contains curcumin which has been widely used for thousands of years in the management of inflammatory conditions.
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion chopped
handful of greens (e.g.chopped cabbage or spinach)
2 medium peeled chopped beetroot
1 small peeled turmeric root or 1 tsp turmeric powder
sea salt & pepper
half a lemon
1 small sweet potato peeled and cubed
600ml bone broth/veg stock
In a soup pan, saute the onion and cabbage in coconut oil until soft. If using turmeric powder add now and mix for 1 minute.
Add the stock, bring to the boil and add sweet potato and beetroot. If using turmeric root add now. Simmer for 10 mins until veg is soft
Take off the heat, blitz with hand blender until smooth. If too thick you can add some water now to your desired consistency. Season to taste, mix and reheat if necessary.
Turn off the heat and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Grilled mackerel with Chimichurri sauce and Cauliflower Rice
This is one of my favourite dishes! Ready in 15 - 20 minutes and so tasty you want to eat it every week! Mackerel is a good source of omega 3 oils which provides anti-inflammatory support. Paired with the folic acid rich parsley in the chimichurri sauce and cauliflower which is a cruciferous vegetable, this meal delivers nutrients needed for both liver detox and inflammation reduction.
4 mackerel fillets
1 large cauliflower
1 tbsp coconut oil
For the chimichurri sauce:
3 handfuls parsley
2 tsp dried oregano
4 garlic cloves
2 spring onions
1 fresh chilli
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil
sea salt & pepper
Preheat grill to medium/high heat
First make the chimichurri sauce by blitzing all the ingredients for the sauce in food processor until you get a coarse paste. Set aside, Rinse out food processor to use for next step.
Remove outer leaves from cauliflower, wash and cut into chunks to fit into food processor. Process until you have coarse rice sized pieces.
At this point, place your mackerel fillets skin down on a tray, season and place under the grill for 4 minutes until cooked through.
Steam the cauliflower rice in a pan with coconut oil, medium heat with lid on for 5 minutes until soft. If it sticks you can add 1 tbsp water. Careful not to over steam or you'll get a soggy mush!
Take off the heat when done, season and mix.
Serve with the grilled mackerel topped with chimichurri sauce and mixed salad or steamed greens.