Ever since I can remember, I’ve been basically vegetarian. I’d like to claim this was for ethical reasons, but in all honesty, I just don’t like meat.
I might dabble with the occasional sausage or bacon butty, but when it comes to ‘proper’ meat, my stomach starts to turn.
There have even been times when I have flirted with veganism – as soon as I discovered vegan chocolate, it seemed barely different to my regular diet, which was heavy on veg & legumes.
However last month, I woke up to a horrific allergic reaction.
There have been many a time when I’ve been accused of being overdramatic, but this is not one of those times.
Admittedly the swelling went down within a week, meaning I could once again open my eyes and move my face, which is always good. However nearly two months later, I’m still sporting a ‘tide mark’ on my face from where the redness was and on my arms, I’ve got a heavy bout of eczema thanks to the stress. What can I say, I’m just a natural sexpot.
Since my initial reaction my mum, boyfriend and I have spent an inordinate amount of time googling. Whilst we wait for my hospital appointment, we’ve been trying to figure out what may have caused it, how to heal it and most importantly how to reduce the risk of it happening at my wedding in six months.
So far, all of our research has pointed to the gut-skin axis.
What is the gut-skin axis, I hear you ask? In short it’s the theory the bacteria in your gut affects your skin.
Often it is described as the bacteria ‘leaking out’ of the gut and attempting to exit the body through the skin. Some people argue this is why eczema sufferers feel the need to scratch – to subconsciously get the toxins out of their skin, just like other people would pop a spot.
Now that’s a lovely thought for you.
Within these studies of the gut & skin, dairy is often seen as demonic whilst grains and legumes are viewed as ‘skin disruptors.’
This basically leaves you with the Paleo diet, and after a bit more research I stumbled across the idea of the ‘Personal Paleo Plan’ or the ‘Paleo Reset’ which in short means following a strict paleo diet for a minimum of 30 days before you even think about re-introducing any of the banned foods.
If you’re wondering what you can eat on the Paleo diet, it’s the following:
- Organ Meats (Slight vom.)
- One Caffinated Tea or Coffee per day (before 12noon)
- Low Sugar Fruit In Moderation
- Nuts In Moderations (excluding peanuts)
Things that aren’t allowed at any costs include:
- Grains (eg pasta, bread etc)
- Legumes (eg chickpeas, beans etc)
- Any added sugar
- Basically any processed foods or drinks.
Some people go so far as to claim that daily your intake should be approximately 40% meat, 40% Veg and 20% fruit & nuts to really reduce the symptoms of eczema.
As a non-meat lover this is going to be hard but I’m hoping to power through and share the results with you in the middle of February – so keep your eyes peeled!