arw89

Day 12 - things only worse, want to quit

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Hey guys,

 

Sorry for a negative post but I really feel I wanna write this here.

 

I am 24 years old and have had spots since being a teen. However, two years ago when moving from New Zealand to Germany with my boyfriend, my skin was still spotty (although a tolerable amount) BUT it also became red and bumpy, looking like something similar to rosacea. At the same time, my digestion was terrible and I always either had constipation or the other extreme.

 

Some time earlier this year, my digestion became better but the skin problems persisted. Some days my skin makes me anxious to go outside for fear of negative judgement of the redness and bumpiness.

 

For this reason, I decided to try the Whole30 because my skin seemed to get slightly worse when I ate lots of bread, and I also had a lactose intolerance as a baby (overcame it at 3 years old).

 

From Day 1, I had so much wind, constipation and red, raw skin on my face. Things only seem to be getting worse. It's terrible to not have a satisying trip to the toilet for weeks... And the redness on my face is spreading (right now I have no pimples, just looks like nappy rash on my face).

 

I went to a deratologist one time in Germany and he told me he didn't know what I had because the skin problem is NOWHERE else on my body (the rest of my skin is perfect in my opinion). He gave me some cream to use for 2 months but it didn't help much.

 

My energy levels are good but this is the only positive point to my Whole30 journey so far. I am so confused about what I can do to make my skin and digestion better. I am really let down because I thought the Whole30 would solve all of my problems :(

 

Can any of you relate or have any advice? I would really love to hear it.

 

Thanks guys,

 

Amber

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Hi There!

 

Remember:  Very often things do get worse before they get better.  That is especially common when your body is healing.

 

Rosacea is considered an autoimmune disease.  So you might consider at some point in following the autoimmune protocol for the whole 30.

 

I also have rosacea.   Most days it doesn't show at all anymore.  Right now I am having a flare up as I went a little offroad on the weekend.  I'm not worried as within a few days it will be cleared up.  I stick to mostly whole 30ish type eating.

 

Are you able to post a couple of days worth of meals so we can help you troubleshoot?  Let's say you are eating lots of eggs, tomatoes and nuts.  All 3 of these items are perfectly healthy foods.  But for those who have autoimmune conditions they cause inflammation.

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I would just say that no one eating plan works for everyone. 

 

I know people who have cured their fibromyalgia and acne and many other conditions with a raw vegan diet. 

I'm not advocating giving up, but do remember that it is possible that this way of eating does not work for your body. 

 

It is possible that you are having a healing crisis and it will get better. 

 

See the links in my signature for information on the Auto Immune Protocol if that is of interest. 

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Thanks for your reply!

 

I keep trying to remind myself that it will get better, but I am getting more disheartened as my skin grows worse every day.

 

I wasn't aware of the autoimmune protocol but will look it up.

 

Here are a few days worth of meals (my food choices don't vary much, so the other days look very similar to this):

 

Day 3 12.10
Pear, apple, kiwi, 1 onion, 250g chicken, 1/2 can cubed tomatoes, 3 pieces garlic, 1/2 cucumber, 2 bananas. 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 orange pepper, 1/4 cup mushrooms, 1/4 cup carrots, 1/4 cup tomatoes, 1/2 avacado.

Day 4 13.10
Pear, apple, kiwi, black tea, tomato stew with 2 medium white potatoes, 600g carrots, 1 avacado, 1 piece garlic.

Day 5 14.10

Kiwi, pear, 3 eggs, tomato stew + large potato, 1/2 pepper, 200g chicken, 1/2 can tomatoes, 1/2 pepper, 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic.

Day 6 15.10
Kiwi, pear. 1 large potato, tomato stew, 400g cashews, 2 bananas.


Day 7 16.10
Pear, 1/2 cucumber, 3 eggs, kiwi, 2 bananas, 250g mince, 1/2 pepper, 2 pieces garlic, 1 onion, 1/2 can tomatoes.

 

What a shock that tomatoes, eggs and nuts cause inflammation.. and how unfair!

 

Amber

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Hi Amber and welcome to Whole30 - I'm sorry that things have been feeling worse for you.  Your food log does give some indication of why that might be.  For one thing, you are not eating very much food. For another, your meals do not follow the meal template for Whole30. I can sum it up for you here:

 

1. Eat a palm-size or two of protein (note that nuts are a fat source on Whole30)

2. Eat a thumb-size or more, possibly way way more, of fat

3. Eat 2-4 cups of vegetables

4. Do that three times a day (more if you are more hungry), aiming to eat Meal One an hour or less after you wake up in the morning.

 

Based on what I'm seeing from your food log, you eat about one full meal every other day by Whole30 standards, and one partial meal (missing protein) the other days. You're missing two full meals per day on the days you eat protein, and you're missing three full meals the other days.

 

Beyond this, I would echo what Carla said above about the kinds of foods that can cause inflammation.

 

But darlin', you really really really seriously need to eat.  Give it a try and come back here to get more tips, inspiration, support, and to let us know how it's going for you.

 

And go eat. Like, now.  Eat up!

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Thanks to both of you for recommending the autoimmune protocol. I will very likely try it next.

 

Here are some recent pictures taken with my camera phone so you can see the rash on my skin (it causes me no irritation or discomfort).

 

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azb38y.jpg

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Thank you AmyS. I always feel full and have lots of energy so I assumed I was eating enough. I will begin to eat a lot more, follow the protocol much more closely and avoid autoimmune trigger foods. Although, I am a bit scared of more constipation/bloat to follow.

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Yes, omg where is the protein  :(  :(

 

I also see a very heavy fruit/fructose load and you're very heavy on the nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes) which are definitely not auto immune friendly. 

 

I know its so hard when its your face (I have been there) but if you can I would stick out the 30 days. I think being gluten and dairy free will really help you. 

I would also eliminate nightshades, cut down on fruit (I would eliminate it altogether but that may be too hard for you) - maybe stick to low fructose fruits like berries - and SIGNIFICANTLY increase your proteins and additional veggies. 

 

I knew a gal who lived in Wanaka for the summer (I am also a Kiwi). She worked at a fruit stand. And she couldn't figure out why her skin got so bad. Until she stopped working at the fruit stand and it cleared up.....

 

Its so hard to know what the triggers are until you cut them all out and reintroduce. 

 

Good luck, I have much empathy for you.

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skin problems can be TOUGH! These ladies have given you some good advice: cut way back on fruit, try to follow the meal template for protein and fat and vegetables three times every day, but I'll add one more: try to be patient. Skin troubles often get worse before they get better as the body purges via the skin. It can also take a good long while to clear--30-90 days wouldn't be unusual. Don't quit before it has a chance to work.

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Thank you Deb and others for pointing out that my fruit and nightshade (had never used that term before now) consumption is way too high. Getting rid of those will be a huge effort as I really do eat them every day!!! I will be trying to forumlate meal plans that do not include fruit, tomatoes, potatoes or peppers.

 

missmary thanks for your message, I will re-work my diet plan and then I will stick with it this time. Seeing how I was doing so many things wrong the first time around, I will feel better sticking it out now.

 

MeadowLily I will be immediately eating more protein (although I was initialy scared of this because it's said that protein sources can contain a lot of hormones that could further mess up my skin and digestion?). I will be cutting out eggs for now as to be honest as my egg consumption has risen, my skin has become worse. I already enjoy eating chicken and beef but have never really bought other meats. Can I eat more tuna and sardines from a can too? These would be nice, easy and cheap options for me.

 

Thanks everyone for all your help so far, you are all amazing.

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All these suggestions are en pointe and you have some of the best moderators and members around weighing in on our troubles.

 

I'll venture towards something a bit different and that would be to advise you to consider using the Oil Cleansing Method. Basically the theory is that all the commercial cleansers, toners and astringents that "they" want you to be using is stripping your face of the natural oils thereby making your skin produce more oil to make up for it. Once you go to an oil cleansing method and figure out what is the best combo for YOU, the results can be remarkable. Based on my own research due to my own skin, I would venture to say that you may have a bit of KP (keratosis pilaris) which is when keratin gets trapped in the pores creating bumps and sometimes odd whiteheads that aren't quite the same as a standard pimple.

 

Anyway, I wrote a whole post about my experience with OCM and how I figured out what combo was best for my skin. It includes links and before and after pics.

 

http://fittyvsfatty.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/oil-cleansing-method/

 

Might be worth a try in combo with figuring out your diet.

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I just want to second the oil cleansing method and underscore the importance of cutting out tomatoes and peppers especially. I've suffered from acne for nearly 30 years and after more than a year of mostly W30 and only putting products on my skin that I could safely eat, my skin is very clear except for monthly hormonal flare ups, and I can tolerate the occasional tomato or pepper (garlic and onions and other nightshades can also be a problem as has already been noted, but for me tomatoes and peppers cause the most inflammation) without problem.

 

And yes, it often gets worse before it gets better. But seriously, eat to template and cut way back on the tomatoes and peppers, maybe try the oil cleansing method if it interests you, and be patient. Good things will happen.

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Thank you Deb and others for pointing out that my fruit and nightshade (had never used that term before now) consumption is way too high. Getting rid of those will be a huge effort as I really do eat them every day!!! I will be trying to forumlate meal plans that do not include fruit, tomatoes, potatoes or peppers.

 

missmary thanks for your message, I will re-work my diet plan and then I will stick with it this time. Seeing how I was doing so many things wrong the first time around, I will feel better sticking it out now.

 

MeadowLily I will be immediately eating more protein (although I was initialy scared of this because it's said that protein sources can contain a lot of hormones that could further mess up my skin and digestion?). I will be cutting out eggs for now as to be honest as my egg consumption has risen, my skin has become worse. I already enjoy eating chicken and beef but have never really bought other meats. Can I eat more tuna and sardines from a can too? These would be nice, easy and cheap options for me.

 

Thanks everyone for all your help so far, you are all amazing.

Protein will really help you.   Yes, to the tuna and sardines.  Try some salmon, too.  Fresh fish would be optimum if you can swing it, but buy what you can afford and eat some beef...something other than hamburger would be preferred.    Too bad you live so far away, my husband, Bear would fix your freezer right up for you. 

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"These would be nice, easy and cheap options for me."   

 

Can she afford good quality grass-fed beef?

 

If she cannot, a beef steak or roast would be preferred.   My husband is very familiar with ag and processing plants.   A single pound of hamburger can contain the DNA of 200 different animals.    There's less spoilage with a single piece of meat and it stays fresh longer.

Hamburger spoils quickly because of the over-processing of the meat....exposure to air and grinding.  Hamburger is usually nothing but the trimmings off of the carcass.

 

Processing plants use mixtures of cull cattle or canners, cutters, utility...and only the trimmings off of choice and prime are used to increase the fat content in hamburger.

 

Bologna bulls are used as the base for bologna because you can add 30-50% more to their weight with water.   As a test, lay a piece of bologna out for 2-3 days and watch for the shrinkage.  It will make bologna jerky.

 

Would you like to know what's used for a popular canned chicken soup?   

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Ok, Meadow. I agree, if she is buying conventional beef, then hamburger isn't a great option. If she is going for grass-fed organic, etc. good quality ground meat is likely to be cheaper then steak and just as good from a nutrition standpoint.

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If you cannot afford top quality grass-fed beef....

 

Buy yourself a brisket and chuck roast.  If you have a butcher at your grocery store...have them grind the two together for good/standard hamburger.   It will be better than what you buy directly out of the counter.  It should hold longer,  the taste and quality is an improvement that you will appreciate.   Once you try it, you will come back for more.  As far as hamburger goes...you will like serving your family the best version you can afford.  ;) 

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Your worsening of you skin issues might not be food related at all, I know loads of expats who complain about this sort of thing and most have attributed it to the different water and/or different products (soap, face wash, detergent, etc)

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I have always had skin problems which improved immensely when I increased my consumption of olives and olive oil and coconut oil. Fish and fruit and cashews and oranges make my problems worse, as does coffee and coconut. Eggs and pumpkin seeds seem to help... High in zinc. Good luck

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For your digestive issues you might want to try digestive enzymes and probiotics. Also when your body detoxes it gets rid of all the junk in your cells any way it can, through the skin, through sweat, through your intestines. It can definitely get worse before it gets better. I think reducing nightshades is a great tip. I hope your skin clears up soon.

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Thanks a lot for suggesting the OCM ladyshanny, I have never heard of it before! I definitely have some of the hard bumps that could be KP. I will try this method next week when I have time to go buy some oils.

 

Thanks LadyM. It's going to be really hard to cut out nightshades, tomatoes especially, but I will do it.

 

Thanks for OK-ing fish MeadowLily and I think I will be trying to go for single piece steaks rather than ground mince as often as I can (or buying organic ground mince as missmary suggested). I wish you lived closer too because your offer sounds wonderful!

 

annabel, thanks for your different viewpoint. I thought this too, but my diet did change a lot when I moved (had lots of fruit in the mornings whereas before I only ate toast or cereal for example). Also, when I eat more bread my skin gets worse, the same when I eat way more fruit. Actually, since cutting fruit for just 2 days, my digestion already seems better (I think my skin problems may be linked to my digestion problems because they both arrived with each other when I arrived in Germany last year).

 

melbournegirl, I can relate about the nuts and fruit, but fish really made ur skin bad? That is surprising from what I've heard about fish being a good skin-friendly food. I think I might try the autoimmune protocol which means no eggs for me either.

 

TinaR your advice makes a lot of sense, I will be searching for a good, cheap probiotic to take (hopefully daily). I am definitely going to reduce nightshades as much as possible too, thanks for your encouragement.

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If you cannot afford top quality grass-fed beef....

 

Buy yourself a brisket and chuck roast.  If you have a butcher at your grocery store...have them grind the two together for good/standard hamburger.   It will be better than what you buy directly out of the counter.  It should hold longer,  the taste and quality is an improvement that you will appreciate.   Once you try it, you will come back for more.  As far as hamburger goes...you will like serving your family the best version you can afford.  ;) 

Addendum, Amber.

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