so what can I eat....?

When it comes to healing acne with nutrition, there is a lot of talk about what you can no longer eat. The first things to leave your diet are gluten, dairy, processed foods and refined sugar. To a lot of women that is a bit overwhelming. However, it is true that these foods are inflammatory in the body, especially when eaten in excess, which we tend to do. While it's important to reduce our intake of inflammatory foods, it is equally as important to increase our intake of foods that reduce inflammation and are full of antioxidants.


When I first began changing the way I ate to heal my skin, I almost fell into a state of depression around food. I knew the foods I shouldn't be consuming, but I didn't yet have a strong taste for the foods I needed to be eating. I longed for the comfort foods I grew up with. Because of this I oftentimes felt hungry, but didn't feel like eating. This struggle left my body lacking a great deal of nutrition. In fact, my body was so nutrient deficient that my hair started falling out. Hair may be our crowning glory, but our bodies don't recognize it as being necessary for survival. Therefore, it's a go to place for the body to stop sending nutrients when necessary. It wasn't until I visited a Naturopath (although not before I ended up with a bald spot on the side of my head) who informed me that I simply wasn't nourishing my body well.

foods for clearer skin #acne #clearskin #nutritionforacne
The amazing thing about your body is you can teach it what foods you want it to crave! How? I'm glad you asked! The concept is simple. Feed your body the foods it should be having and thanks to metabolic reprogramming you'll be craving those foods in about 30 to 90 days. So cool, right? The old adage, 'you are what you eat' is correct. Your cells are literally made up of what you feed them! Now that you know, the next step involves making a decision.


Do you want to keep eating the way you are and look the way you currently do OR do you want to change the way you eat and kick acne to the curb? Making this decision was one of the smartest moves I ever made. You can read more about that here


For now though, let's talk about what we want to be feeding our bodies to support skin health. Finally, we're going to talk about what we can EAT!!


This list is in no way exhaustive, but if you're struggling with where to start it's a good jumping off point. Take small steps. Don't go buy a ton of produce you've never cooked with before. Start with the fruits and vegetables you know and are comfortable with. Find a few recipes that suit your tastes and build from there. I often eat the same few dishes for several weeks before I tire of it and find something different to add in the mix. I recommend you do the same.


  1. Lemons lemons are one of the most cleansing, detoxifying foods. Juice from a fresh squeezed lemon provides support to the liver and and aids digestion. The liver is a our main detoxifying organ, so it's vital to support it in order to clear up acne. I encourage you to get the juice of 1 full lemon per day. Enjoying fresh squeezed lemon in your water throughout the day is one of the simplest ways to do this.
  2. Turmeric. This Indian spice is anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant. It keeps red blood cells from clumping and increases circulation. Better blood flow is vital to keep the skin glowing. Turmeric acts as a blood cleanser which helps prevent acne. I find you can add a dash of this to oatmeal or Juice Plus Complete. You can learn more about that here. By also adding nutmeg and cinnamon you won't taste the turmeric.
  3. Arugula. Arugula is high in vitamin A, which may not only improve acne but also helps protect the skin from free radical damage. This dark leafy green is alkaline and will help cleanse the blood and lymphatic system. Arugula does have a strong flavor and is a bit peppery. I prefer to mix it with a portion of organic spring mix, which contains baby lettuces and spinach. It helps balance the flavor.
  4. Bell Peppers. Bell peppers are a wonderful beauty food and if you aren't already eating them I recommend you start. I have to be honest. I never cared for raw bell peppers until I reprogrammed my body and now I love them. One of the simplest ways to consume them is chopped in a salad. Red bell peppers are particularly high in vitamin C. Not only is this beneficial to help banish acne, but it also helps regenerate collagen in the skin which may slow down the aging process. I do recommend you opt for organic with bell peppers as they are one of the more heavily pesticide laden foods.
  5. Onions. Onions are an amazing food. Not only do they add great flavor to many dishes, they also contain properties that help cleanse the liver which is crucial for the health of our skin. It's beneficial to eat this food both cooked and raw. The two onion varieties I use most often and that contain the most health benefits are yellow onions and red onions. Yellow onions have the most sulfuric compounds while red onions are high in antioxidants, which we can see from its bright purple color. Here is a great article on the best way to store onions https://draxe.com/onion-nutrition/
  6. Garlic. Garlic helps support your body's detoxification system and may aid in digestion; two things necessary for clearer skin. Garlic contains an enzyme called alliinase and a sulfur-containing substance called allicin. Pressing garlic activates the release of the these anti-inflammatory substances. In the store you'll see containers of pre-chopped garlic for sale. I recommend you opt for purchasing the whole garlic (bulk garlic) instead. Not only is it more cost effective, but also so much of the health benefits happen when pressing the garlic and then fade away shortly thereafter. Buying pre-chopped garlic isn't going to give you the same anti-inflammatory effects.
  7. Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon. Salmon is so beneficial for the health of our skin and it is a large reason why I don't advocate for a strict vegan diet. I dedicated an entire blog post to this amazing fish. You can read that blog post here. 




Remember, when it comes to clearing your skin, changes probably won't happen overnight. One of the biggest components is restoring our internal health and those changes are then reflected in our skin. Opt for whole foods whenever possible and you'll begin to see positive improvements.


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Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, acne coach, acne scars, acne treatment, clear skin, clear skin diet, health and wellness, health coach, hormonal acne, how to heal acne, nutrition for acne, what to eat to heal acne.

Is a Vegan diet really best for healing acne?

When I first wanted to heal my acne through nutrition, Google became my best friend. I honestly didn't know much about nutrition, and I definitely didn't understand how food affects our body and our skin. One of the first concepts I encountered while researching adult female acne was a vegan diet.

Vegan noun, a person who does not eat or use animal products.

While my cystic acne was at it's height in severity, I went vegan for many months.  In the beginning I did notice some improvement in the appearance of my acne. However, in the end being vegan didn't win out for me. While my diet is still largely plant based, I don't eliminate all animal products. I want to share with you my thoughts on the vegan diet, specifically as it relates to acne. 

nutrition for acne


The benefits of a vegan diet can be the large number of plants consumed. When you're not consuming animal protein, you need more fruits and vegetables to fill you up. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants which help fight inflammation in the body. Acne is a sign of too much inflammation in the body so, logically, it makes sense to consume more fruits and vegetables. The problem that often arises here, and the reason I put can be  in italics, it's easy to be vegan and lose sight of nutrition. It's easy to become so focused on whether a not a food is vegan that you forget to evaluate nutritional value. Technically, Oreo's® are vegan. Although I don't think anyone would argue that eating these cookies will help clear your skin. I've seen many times, including in myself, where consuming a vegan diet quickly turns to lots of vegan baked goods, pastas and baked potatoes. These things are fine in moderation but they aren't the super-foods needed to boost our immune system, and can give acne a kiss good-bye.

The downside to a vegan diet is its neglect of healthy fats. When researching a vegan diet I was quite alarmed at how many proponents of this diet still had the low fat mentality that plagued the 90's. The concept of following a low fat/no fat diet is outdated information that was never actually correct. In fact, during the 90's when the low fat craze really took off, heart disease increased as people's waist lines grew. Why did this happen? Most likely it was due to high insulin levels. Instead of eating healthy fats, which keep you fuller, longer, people were eating low- fat crackers, highly refined pastas and low- fat yogurts. All these things spike our insulin levels which leads to excess belly fat, AND many people felt constantly hungry because the very thing that helps keep us full fat was removed from food. What I'm discussing here pertains to weight gain and heart health but, please make no mistake, it's also connected to the appearance of your skin. Warning signs of internal excess inflammation in the body, such as acne, should help us connect the dots: a low-fat/no fat diet won't give us the skin, or the overall health we want.

Vegan diets also eliminate the intake of wild-caught, sockeye salmon. I really can't overstate its benefits to our skin health. First, wild-caught salmon provides a hefty dose of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids simply means our bodies don't make these fats, therefore, we must get them from food.  Omega-6's are also essential fatty acids. However, because of deficiencies in our food supply these days (such as eating grain-fed instead of grass-fed beef, or consuming processed foods containing unhealthy, shelf-stable oils) we are ingesting too much omega-6's and not enough omega-3's. The ratio of these oils should be 1:2 omega 3 omega 6. Unfortunately, our modern diets tend to have a ratio of 1:10 of omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) to omega-6 (inflammatory). [William Sears, MD, The Inflammation Solution,©2015]

Vegan diets also lack astaxanthin. Here we go again with salmon the prize winning fish! Astaxanthin is another reason to love this fish. Astaxanthin gives salmon its beautiful pink color. It's a nutrient that has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Astaxanthin paired with beneficial omega-3's in wild-caught salmon make this fish vital to our diets. Notice I keep writing wild-caught. It is important that you avoid purchasing farm-raised salmon. It doesn't contain the same amounts of the powerful antioxidants. In fact, farm-raised salmon may have pink color added, so it appears more like wild-caught.  I also take a fish oil supplement and have noticed a difference in my skin, hair and nails.

Tip: On the days you enjoy salmon for dinner it's okay to skip your fish oil supplement. This will help you stretch your budget a bit farther as well!

Lastly, I encourage you not to place yourself in a "diet camp." What I mean specifically is avoid anything that promises weight loss as its single goal.  It can lead to an all or nothing mentality, in which you feel guilty if you are ever in a situation that makes it impossible to eat and still stay within the diet's strict guidelines. What I do encourage, instead, is focus on real, whole-food nutrition. Shop the perimeter of your grocery store. Opt for organic produce and meats when possible.  If unavoidable, be very selective in the purchase of processed foods. If you're curious what to look for when purchasing processed foods, you can read more here




Have you ever tried, or are you currently following a vegan diet? Have you noticed an improvement in your skin, hair, and nails? How are you currently eating, and how does it make you feel? Please comment!

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Posted in Acne, Nutrition. Tagged as acne, acne coach, acne remedies, acne scars, adult cystic acne, best diet for acne, heal acne holistically, health coach, nutrition for acne, skin health.

when change is slow to come & you lack support

We live in a world of quick fixes. It seems like everywhere you look there is an advertisement for something that will help you to "look good and fast." This can be tempting and many of of us fall prey. After all who doesn't want to look good in a bikini by Friday or have perfectly clear skin in only one month? I know there was a time in my life when I fell for this stuff all the time! And guess what? Some of it worked! The problem was nothing worked for long and then I was right back where I started.

Today I want to talk to you specifically about treating acne and how those changes may look.

We tend to think of acne as being only an external issue. After all, it's clearly visible on our skin so a really good face wash should clear that up, right? It's not that simple. Acne is often a sign of a deeper internal issue. Where I see women face trouble is they only address the visible signs the acne. By failing to look deeper their acne continues to resurface causing them to move on to the next greatest skin care.

Our skin is an organ. In fact, it's our body's largest organ! When we view our skin this way, instead of simply an outer barrier, it's rather silly to think our skin doesn't paint a larger picture.

change is slow to come & you lack support


For years I was on an acne skin care line. My face remained clear as long as I continued using the product and it worked for 8 years! This led me to believe my acne had been eradicated. I thought it was gone and all I had to do was continue to buy this certain face wash. I could not have been more wrong!! The acne skin care line was simply a band aid, masking a much bigger problem. All at once the product failed to deliver it's usual results and I was left with an enormous mess my skin had never looked worse. I was devastated.

For the first time in my life I was forced to look at other options. I naturally tried a few other skin care lines all to no avail. After a bit of research I learned there was a holistic side to healing acne. What?! I had never before even considered that there was a root problem to my acne, never mind addressing it.

The most important shift I made was my mindset. You can read about that here. The second shift was changing the way I ate. I created a plan and stuck with it for a solid 6 months no cheating, no slipping. What I noticed were slow changes and sometimes the healing was cyclical there were a few times my skin 'purged' during this period.

Because of this, some people thought I was nuts. Some questions I received:


Shouldn't your skin be completely clear with all the dietary changes you've made?


Is your body getting proper nourishment?


Why are you doing this to yourself? Aren't you miserable? You know I have a friend who sells acne skin care. You should call her.



Maybe you've heard a few of these yourself?


I do believe all these things were said with good intentions. Spoken by those who cared about me, it really was an act of love not malice. However, I knew deep down inside that I was on the right track and I had to tune these voices out.

I have seen this same scenario with my clients who are working so diligently to get to the root problem of their acne. Family members and friends think they are nuts! I think the two main reasons why are:

  1. People still largely view acne as only an external problem and one that can only be treated through skin care.
  2. Healing acne holistically from the inside out takes time and results don't always come quickly.


What do you do when you face these roadblocks?

It's important to remember who you are doing this for. You! You deserve to look and feel your best.

It's important to remember that external remedies are only a band aid. It's not that you can't use them, it's that you have to also address the underlying issue or you will never truly be free of your acne.

It's important to quiet the external voices. Don't try to argue or reason with those who find your new dietary lifestyle to be crazy. You'll never win the argument! It's better to smile, thank them for their concern and move on. Which brings me to my final point don't overshare!

I know this may seem odd because when we're trying to lose weight or step up our fitness game, we're often encouraged to tell lots of people so we hold ourselves accountable. Treating acne is a whole different ball game; one that is often misunderstood. Because of that it is better to not overshare with too many people. Having one or two people close to you who you trust is the best option. They can help hold you accountable and offer encouragement and support. This support may not come from immediate family. It's nice if it does but it doesn't always happen that way.


Where are you on your journey to healing your skin? What approaches have you tried? Do you feel you have proper support? Leave a comment I'd love to chat!














Posted in Acne. Tagged as acne, acne scars, acne skin care, acne treatment, heal acne, heal acne holistically, health and wellness, how to eat to heal acne, skin care.

Feeling Powerless Over Acne

I've openly shared my life long struggle with acne. Battling cystic acne has been a part of my life since I was a teenager. What I haven't shared as openly is how utterly powerless I felt to stop it.


Here are a few of the things I have been told about my acne:

  • Nutrition has nothing to do with it. Changing what you eat won't clear your skin.
  • To keep acne under control you'll always be on some type of medication or acne specific skin care.
  • Your acne is hormonal so therefore it's out of your control.


So basically there is nothing you can do except spend a lot of money on lotions, potions and pills.
No wonder I felt so powerless!


Do any of these sound familiar? Have you been told these things?




I'll never forget the day I looked in the mirror and decided to take control of my acne. It's like a switch was flipped in my mind and I completely changed my attitude about the whole situation. Knowledge is power and I decided to arm myself with as much knowledge about the body, nutrition and the way foods affect the body as I could. I implemented what I learned and guess what? The appearance of my skin improved! I was getting fewer and fewer breakouts. The redness and inflammation in my skin was lessening. Most importantly I no longer felt like a victim of my circumstances.


As I've continued my research I'm honestly amazed at just how much nutrition does affect the way we look, including our skin. I've also discovered a few other key areas, besides the foods we eat, that greatly affect our appearance.




Let me ask you. How do you feel about your skin? Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror? Being open to learning more about nutrition and the way food affects the body (for better or worse!) is the first step. When you're ready to take that step let's talk!  

Posted in Acne, Health, Nutrition, Wellness. Tagged as acne, acne scars, feeling powerless, healing acne holistically, health coach, prevent acne scars, skin care coach.

This Could Change Your Life

What raises your blood sugar levels more? Whole wheat bread or table sugar? Read on to find out.

"I could never go gluten free. I like bread too much."

"I've tried gluten free bread and I can't stand the taste."

"It's too hard to eat in a restaurant if you don't eat gluten."

"I don't have a gluten intolerance. I never have to run to the bathroom when I eat it."

Do any of these sound familiar?! These are among the top comments I hear when discussing gluten. There's a lot of buzz out there among the word gluten and there seem to be three camps of people: Those who are gluten free and are completely sold that it's improved their health, those who feel it's fine for other people to be gluten free but it's not for them, and lastly, those who believe that gluten free is a trend and will soon die out.

going gluten free

What is the truth? Is gluten bad for your health? If you're not intolerant should you be eating it?

I first discovered the concept of a gluten free diet when I read the book Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD. This book opened my eyes to an entirely new concept and much of what he wrote seemed to be written directly for me.
A few things I learned:

  1. The wheat we eat today is not the same wheat our grandmother's ate.
  2. Even if you have a seemingly perfect diet, you may still hold on to body fat if wheat is in your diet.
  3. Wheat is the dominant source of gluten protein in the human diet. There are other grains containing gluten but as a general rule we consume those much less frequently.
  4. Whole wheat bread increases blood sugar as much or more than table sugar.
This last one was a real eye opener for me. I've had blood sugar issues my whole life. It's one reason it's hard for me to ever feel full for long. Up to this point, wheat made up a large part of my diet. I consumed pastas and breads without thinking twice. I exercised really hard so I figured, why not? After reading this book I learned exactly why not. I chose to remove gluten from my diet to see if there was some truth behind what I'd read. At this time I really didn't understand all the in's and out's of gluten. I now know that I had not removed 100% like I thought I had. Despite this, I still lost some weight, my tummy was flatter, and my blood sugar levels were much more stable than they'd ever been.

Of course, it was difficult living without gluten so this new lifestyle quickly dwindled and I went back to my old habits. Until I experienced a great loss in my life, which spurred on my cystic acne (which I had fought off and on since my teen years). When creams and face washes weren't doing the trick I decided to take a more holistic option. I began researching on the internet what worked for other women with adult acne. A common theme kept recurring; Remove gluten and dairy from your diet as the first step.

I battled and struggled with this. I remembered how great I'd felt when I gave up gluten before, but truth be told I didn't want to do it again. It was too difficult. It was easier to eat in a restaurant if I was able to eat gluten. I didn't really have a problem with gluten, right?! There can't be that much truth to this idea. Long story short, I went back and forth A LOT before I finally realized I wasn't doing myself any favors and cut gluten from my diet 100%. No longer was I allowing a once a week treat of regular bread or cutting myself slack when eating out. I realized to see the changes I wanted it had to be all or nothing.

Here is the truth about identifying food intolerance and identifying foods that cause inflammation in your body. After all, too much inflammation in the body is where illness begins. If you want to know if eliminating gluten will make a difference for you, you have to completely eliminate it 100% no exceptions. The length of time you do this for really depends on your symptoms. If you have acne, eczema, rosacea or any other skin ailments then the longer the better. My acne clients do it for six straight months. If you're having GI discomfort you may notice a difference within a few days.

Here are other symptoms related to gluten intolerance:
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • ADHD like behavior
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Bone or Joint Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Acne 
  • Dermatitis
You can read more about it here: Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity

For some clarification, a gluten intolerance can exist even if you don't have Celiac disease or another type of autoimmune disorder. The problem with the bread of our grocery shelves today is it was made to be shelf stable. This equals a higher gluten content. Also, when you see the word "Enriched" on a label it often means "deprived of nutrients." Enriched means some of the nutrients that cause the food to spoil faster have been removed and replaced with chemical ingredients so the food will be shelf stable. (Dr. Sear's, The Inflammation Solution).



Does cutting gluten from your diet seem scary or unmanageable or simply something you just really don't want to do? I get it. I once felt the same way. It's important to remember that you can always introduce back into your diet. If you eliminate if for two weeks and feel zero changes, start eating it again!

I highly encourage you to give this a try! 

Tell me, have you ever eliminated or considered eliminating gluten from your diet? 


Posted in Acne, Diets, Food, Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Wellness. Tagged as acne, acne scars, gluten, glutenfree, heal acne, healing acne holistically, women's adult acne.

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