As you open the envelope with your name handwritten in gold ink, it feels like you’ve just received a small gift. It’s an invitation to a holiday party. The party only happens once a year, and is the much anticipated highlight of the season. You feel giddy just thinking about the chance to wear those sparkly heels and little black dress. It’s a time to shine and be seen.
Deciding what to wear, will it fit and also look smashingly good, can a big enough challenge without having to worry about how your skin looks too. Yet, the morning of the party comes. You wake up, brush your teeth, then glance in the mirror and bam, right smack in the middle of your nose appears a huge zit, yikes! All you can think about is how everyone will be staring at the shiny red bump as if you were Rudolph the red nose reindeer!
Since we’ve got time before the party, instead of a quick fix or bandaid, let’s talk prevention.
First step: when you look in the mirror don’t to take what you see at face value. Our skin is really a reflection of what’s happening inside our body, It’s a red flag only in a different form. The zit, acne, rash, red skin or puffiness serve the purpose of pointing us to something.
In other words, what’s happening on the inside will be reflected outwardly on your skin. So no matter how much topical treatment or cover up you choose to use, if you don’t take a look inward, the pimples or redness will keep surfacing conspicuously when you least expect it, especially at times like the holidays with the constant pumping of both adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol.
Stress alone is enough to cause a break out, but it’s impact is much more significant when it is coupled with foods that bring about pimples or skin issues like rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and puffiness.
Now more than any other time of year, convenience is the name of the game when comes to eating. Easy, grab and go food is often the meal of choice. Unfortunately, though convenience usually means sacrificing quality. So, we end up eating more sugar, processed foods, unhealthy fats, and common food triggers.
By food triggers I mean delayed, hidden food intolerances or sensitivities which are acommon cause of skin issues like acne. Dairy, soy, and gluten being three of the top triggers. Dairy is found in yogurt, cheese, dips, sauces, chocolate, most desserts, protein powders, and butter which is often used on everything from vegetables to meat.
Soy is a constituent in many foods, usually in the form of soy lecithin or soybean oil. It’s known for being a good source of plant based protein and is revered as a healthy alternative to dairy especially for vegans. Some people switch to soy milk in their coffee thinking it is a healthier option, only to end up with belly aches and acne.
Last but not least is gluten. Gluten is the sticky protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and oats (not designated gluten fee). It’s in every piece of bread, cookie, cracker, and bowl of pasta. Gluten is another trigger or pro-inflammatory food that causes acne at any age.
Bottom line is that the connection between what we eat and our skin can not be overlooked or taken for granted. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet, including identifying and removing hidden food triggers, will clear skin from the inside out.
So, what’s a girl to do during the holidays to avoid a pre-party break out?
- Eat real, whole foods like vegetables, lean protein from fish, chicken, and turkey.
- Snack on almonds, walnuts or cashews.
- Add avocado and nuts to your salad instead of cheese and croutons
- Instead of eating candy, get a good quality dark, raw chocolate that will be dairy free, soy free, gluten free and processed sugar free, like Gnosis or Fine and Raw chocolate
- While shopping at the mall, bring some nuts or a gluten free bar to keep you energized without caving to the soft pretzel or ice cream stand. Check out these gluten free, soy free, grain free bars made with nuts and honey
- Stay hydrated to help keep your skin from drying out or breaking out while at the same time avoiding the mid afternoon slump. Drink half your body weight in water every day. Add ginger and lemon to your water to give yourself a daily boost in circulation and alkalinity, like a mini daily detox drink.
- Before going to a holiday gathering or party, eat a healthy snack or mini meal.
- If you have a juicer, make green juice with cucumbers, celery, dark leafy greens, ginger, and an apple.
Most of all don’t ever underestimate the power of food! If you stick to eating whole foods and avoid common triggers, before you know it, you will wake up with a radiant glow instead of having to put one on…..