If you've been following my blog since the beginning, you may know that I struggled with acne about a year ago. It wasn't a severe case, but my confidence levels were definitely still affected, and it was always on my mind. I was constantly upset and frustrated at my skin, as anyone with acne would be. During this period of my life, I was completely convinced that handling things the natural way would cure me. However, my idea of a natural cure involved products like witch hazel, tea tree oil, coconut oil, and paraben - free makeup.
Although these topical solutions are AWESOME (I still use some of them!), I was missing the whole point. I made no effort to change my diet, as I believed I ate a fairly healthy diet already. I considered myself a pescetarian, which meant that I did not eat meat but I did eat fish. So I continued to slather on coconut oil and feel sorry for myself.
Eventually, I was so fed up with the lack of improvement that I went to see my doctor. I was prescribed some antibiotics and a topical cream, which did work. For awhile.
You see, back then, stupid me didn't realize that you can't just stop taking your antibiotics whenever you start feeling better. But that's what I did.
Everything was fine for awhile; I was happy, my skin was mostly clear, and I was no longer constantly worried about my skin.
But then it came back. And WORSE.
This time around, painful cysts formed deep under the skin, and several at a time. They may not have been too noticeable to the people around me, but I could feel them, and they HURT. Once again I was back to scrubbing my face relentlessly, in hopes that one day I would wake up and see a clear face in the mirror.
At this point, I was constantly researching website posts and YouTube videos on the vegan diet. Eliminating dairy and eggs from my diet made sense to me; it would not only be better for me, but also for the planet and the animals. I was genuinely interested in the lifestyle for quite awhile (see my last post: http://littlemisshealthy.weebly.com/blog/im-vegan for more info), but I was still apprehensive to fully commit.
Until now. Nina and Randa, two vegan youtubers, have been my biggest inspirations to fully immerse myself in this lifestyle. They were raised vegans, but at age 20, they broke out in horrible acne. It was completely unexpected, since they had been eating a plant-based, mostly whole foods diet their whole lives. The problem, it turned out, was fat; even the good kind like avocados and nuts. The excess fats in combination with hormones were what was triggering their acne. I've included their video on it below for those of you who are interested in their story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Qdwn2itsgg
Suddenly I realized that the natural cure that I sought after didn't lie solely in creams, cleansers, and toners; it had to begin with what I was putting into my body. Everything they said made complete sense to me.
So is my acne cured yet? Currently, the answer is no. I have only been eating a high carb, low fat vegan diet for 11 days now, so I do not expect my skin to be perfect at this point! However, I have noticed changes in not only my skin, but how I feel since I began eating this way. I feel fantastic and I don't crave any junk food whatsoever. Carbs are your friend!
But that's besides the point. By cleaning up my diet and switching up my skincare routine (post coming soon), I am positive that I will achieve clear skin in the near future. In addition, I have booked an appointment with a naturopath to determine if fats are the exact cause of my acne. Whatever the case may be, I believe that it's completely possible to heal yourself from within with the food that you eat. And that is exactly what I intend to do.
Remember to eat your veggies and have a lovely day xx
I Feel My Best When...
I have a smoothie and toast with peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon for breakfast
I work at least once a week
I sweat at least 5 days a week
I spend time with my cats
I have quality conversations with people I love: "Great minds talk about ideas; average minds talk about events;small minds talk about people" (- Eleanor Roosevelt)
I prepare my lessons beforehand
I constantly learn new things
Others smile at me
Others trust me
I chill out and just listen to music
I spend time appreciating nature
I feel strong
I eat nutritious, colourful food
I practice yoga
I make my bed
I play Clue with my family
I spend time to make my food
I help others
I save most of my earnings
I spend time with my friends and act silly
I make little achievements
I'm on time
My room and bathroom are clean
I wear no makeup
Also, when I wear makeup occasionally
I use highlighters and colours to organize my work
I give genuine compliments to others
I feel confident
I spend time with children (why I love my job!)
I try to: "live simply, so others may simply live" (- Gandhi)
I wake up at the same time every morning, even if I don't set an alarm
I feel genuinely grateful for all I have in my life
Well this the contents of my brain right now, but this list could go on :). These are the things that make me feel like the best version of myself, so really, I should incorporate all of these things into my daily life. What makes you the best version of yourself? Comment below.. :) When you reflect and incorporate what makes you flourish into your life, you'll notice you not only feel more successful, but also happier. Try it :)
Good morning! :)
I've been sick these past few days (again!) but I'm starting to feel much better. I have one more dance to compete at a festival this weekend. I competed my lyrical trio on Thursday and my jazz group yesterday, which we received silver for in both. Silver's been the colour of the weekend; golds have been rare and platinums even rarer! It's the new gold ;). Today, we had acro group and we did really well although it was a bit crazy onstage. Good news is we received gold and an "Outstanding Performance" award, but bad news is the younger girls' acro beat us haha.. They really did look fabulous though, and they're such sweethearts! Their little number to "Sugar Sugar" was the cutest and I'm happy for them :) They rocked it and deserve the recognition. Now, I just have lyrical left tonight. The fact that I'm feeling significantly more alive makes me that much more excited!
Anyways, that wasn't the point of this post. If you've read my past posts, you might know that I've been using coconut oil on my skin to cleanse and moisturize. Although I still use it on my body, I've stopped putting it on my face.
I've never had too many issues with my skin, but starting this year it started to break out constantly. Mainly on one side of my forehead and then sometimes beside my mouth and on my chin. My mom noticed and asked me several times if I wanted something for it, but I just brushed her off, because I believed my natural ways would solve my issues. At the time I was using coconut oil, tea tree oil, and witch hazel. (The witch hazel rarely, though. I kept forgetting about it). I was on a no-parabens frenze, and I didn't let my acne bother me, because I was all "pro-natural."
However, last week I finally reached my breaking point, and I blew up after I got two gross under the skin pimples, because I finally realized my situation was only getting worse. I was definitely over-dramatic about it, but I was just so fed up with my skin freaking out at me and having to wear makeup to feel secure about myself. I just kept thinking, "Why me!? Why do I only have issues, Airlie doesn't!" I'm not giving my meltdown any justice so let's just say I was quite frustrated and unhappy last week. Picture that, then multiply it by 20 and that's how I was acting.
So on Wednesday, my mom took me to my doctor to see what he had to say, and it was pretty cool because I talked to him through video because he's in England right now. I pretty much skyped my doctor haha. The nurse that was in the room woth me zoomed right up to my face though so he could see my skin in HD, which I saw on the screen as well. Yuck :( but my doctor's fab so it wasn't that bad, I just felt disgusting and I didn't want to see my skin so up close!
He ended up prescribing me some antibiotics and a topical cream, and then I also picked up a new cleanser and moisturizer at Superstore while my prescription was being filled. Sadly, at this point I didn't care what ingredients were in the products as long as they cleared my skin. I ended up choosing Spectro, because it's dermatologist recommended and for sensitive skin. And the ingredients aren't all that bad :)! So far it's been good for my skin. As for the antibiotics, I won't know for awhile how effective they are because I only just started them. I'm a little scared of antibiotics..but if it's going to help my skin then it's worth a shot. I just don't want my skin to relapse once I'm off them if my body builds up a resistance.
So, in order to keep my skin clear once I'm finished, I've decided to experiment with my diet. Starting today, I'm cutting back on/cutting out dairy (I'm still eating eggs) for a month, and I'll see where that takes me. It's worked for other people, so maybe it will work for me. I really hope these new changes work! I need to listen to my body. Although I'm all for natural living, it's not necessarily always the best thing. Ahh the joys of being a teenager. Ha..
Hope you've been wonderful xx
Sometimes, you just have to put on your runners, turn on your music, and let your thoughts fly. A sweaty body and a clear head makes for a happy me, and it was just what I needed today. I decided on running stairs, spontaneously and because I can. I have legs, why not use them? It was out of boredom, and it led to pure enjoyment rather than resentment. It triggered thoughts on life, so right after I finished my workout of course I had to write them all down.. :)
I'm a firm believer in the notion that everything happens for a reason. I like to think of myself as a philosopher when I think about life and how I'm living mine... Haha. I free myself when I peer in at my actions with the perspective of an outsider. Even the messy, ugly, repulsive things that make me want to run and hide hold value, because ultimately, they happened for a reason and they've taught me lessons I will carry all through the rest of my life. Every horrible situation is unique, so of course each shape the "victim" uniquely. Life is your biggest teacher. Is that not beautiful?! The fact that there are millions of different thoughts running through a million different brains right now is amazing. Some of us are making bad decisions, regretting past actions, or messing up things that have been going well. But some of us our also celebrating a job well done, falling in love, or finding courage to walk away from a bad situation. Every aspect of life; the good, the bad, and the ugly, teach us. Embrace it, learn from it, and fly. You deserve happiness, but sadness is unavoidable and you just have to face it and remind yourself that this is happening for a reason, and things will look up. Sometimes I feel like I need to free myself from myself, and thinking this way helps. Through icky times, always remember to LOVE yourself. I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here, but I want to share ten lessons I've learned in the past couple of months. This is actually a future family studies assignment, but after thinking about life like I do, I have ten that I find valuable so I thought I'd share.. :)
Lots of love,
It's been one of those weeks... I find myself constantly sleepy and my legs feel likd dead weight as I trudge through life. Buuuuuuut, there really is so much to be happy about, so here's a quick list of things that make life awesome.
1. My cats: they love me no matter what; and all they expect from me is food and love.
2. Music: it has the power to turn me into an emotional mess. If you haven't already you need to listen to Lana Del Rey's cover of "Once Upon a Dream" for the upcoming movie, Malificient. What are you waiting for, go listen to it now!
3.Laughter: laughter is a very strange thing...the fact that something funny triggers it is hilarious. Each person's laugh is unique and I love that, it's fantastic.
4. Inspirational people: People are great, especially lovely, kind, inspiring people. I have to remind myself that I'm constantly surrounded by people like this and that I'm incredibly lucky to have them in my life.
5. Peanut butter: can we all just take a moment to appreciate peanut butter?! (The natural kind, of course!)
6. Flannel Pj's: so comfy, so cozy<3
7. Water: I have clean, cold water and if I want to then I can boil it to make tea. Why do I take this for granted? I really shouldn't. Water is so important.
8. My body: It's all there and it functions. What it looks like is irrevelant, what it can do is. I can run, jump, swim, dance, and do whatever I want without pain. And that's what matters.
9. Trees: I love weeping willow trees, they're so mystical and gorgeous. Very random, but I think they're beautiful.
10. Opportunities: they pass by all of the time, sometimes unnoticed. But the fact that they're even there is such a blessing. Anything can be accomplished; the opportunity is there. What's missing is the drive and courage to seize it.
Well that was just a list of 10 off the top of my head, of course there are a thousand more. Comment below what you think makes life beautiful. No matter how big or small they may be :) Don't just trudge miserably through life, because if you don't open your eyes you may miss the little joys that make it awesome.
1. Moccasins: These are actually my sister's, but lately I've been living in them; they're super comfy and quick to throw on! We can all probably agree that I haven't been making fashion a priority lately; my usual outfit consists of leggings, an oversized sweater, my hair tossed into a bun and these slipper shoes on my feet. They don't have great support, if any, so I should be wary of that, but lately I've been loving them.
2. Lulu headbands: I've always been in love with these. From school to volleyball to dance to running to work... Chances are I'm probably wearing one if my hair's up, which is 80% of the time. I've been really liking this pink one this month, I love the brightness and it keeps my too long bangs off my face and out of my way!
3. Gingerbread tea: This stuff rocks. I received it from my aunt for Christmas, and my sister and I went through the whole box in less than a month. Usually I'm more a fan of plain-tasting tea, but I adore this so much. It's cozy in a mug, mmm. I wouldn't really say it tastes like gingerbread, but it sure tastes delicious.
4. Lulu Wunder Unders: I don't mean to put lululemon on here twice...but no joke I've been wearing these at least 4 times/week...that should say something about how much I love them. I can't resist comfy clothing, especially because they're so versatile.
5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: I haven't finished reading this book yet (by Ransom Riggs) but so far I'm addicted. Definitely get your hands on it if you can! This is his first novel as well, which amazes me that much more. Check it out, even if you don't usually like reading :) You won't regret it!
6. Just Dance 2014: My family has so much fun with this Wii game. My favourite dance on it is the Aladdin one...hehe. It's a fun way to get moving, especially if you love dancing!
7. Frozen Pineapple! Soooo good! If you pack it for lunch, it'll be perfectly thawed by the time lunchtime rolls around. You can also throw it in a smoothie :)!
8. Vanilla Snowflake room spray, by Bath and Body Works: this makes my room smell so good! It floats throughout the rest of my house, spreading the yummy-ness. One spray is more than enough, don't go overboard with these things!
9. Harry Potter Clue: an awesome spin off the classic game Clue, I played it with my mom and sister all the time during winter break. Whenever we have nothing to do at home, we go crazy with it and we have so much fun.
10. Teachers: lately, I've received a ton of support from my teachers at school. I'm so grateful; they're always there for me and the rest of their students, and always rooting for us. It makes me really happy that there's such a loving, supportive environment to learn and grow in. They care about us and do so much for us, sometimes we fail to recognize and appreciate that. Go teachers!
11. Blendtec blender: I'm addicted to making smoothies! This not only does that, but it can also be used to make dressings, soup puree, cashew cream, and more. It's amazing, and I can't wait to try out more recipes on it.
12. Small Quantities of or No Makeup: I've probably only worn eye makeup four times this month, and when I did I actually got annoyed by it for smudging. It's been refreshing and quite the time-saver in the morning. Everything that you put on your skin gets absorbed, and some cosmetics contain nasty chemicals and parabens. Not to say that makeup is bad, I think it's a great way to enhance one's features and boost self-confidence. But I've actually been enjoying life without makeup, it's nice.
So that concludes my favourites for this month! It's a little bit early, but it's near enough to February. Also, if you actually read all the way to here so far, please leave any requests in the comments if you'd like, and I'd be happy to give them a shot!
I hope the rest of your Friday is fantastic :)
This year so far, I find myself constantly having things to get done, and my life has turned into this giant to-do list. I'm easily stressed out, but in these times I have to remind myself that "today is beautiful." In fact, everyday is beautiful. It's beautiful because you have the power to make it an adventure, something worth living; where every little aspect is treated as a gift, a privilege, and a joy. Even the negative experiences that keep wriggling their way into our lives can have the power to help us, if we treat them as challenges rather than curses. And how do we do that? We look at them as adventures! For example, something that has been manifesting my thoughts is my volleyball refereeing practical on the weekend. It might not seem like such a big deal, but to me it is. I'm not going to lie, I'm completely terrified. This is something I've never done before, and the possibility of failure freaks me out. But if I don't do it now, then when will I? The fact that I even have such an opportunity is a blessing, so why am I letting the fear of failure deter me from success? The butterflies in my stomach should be of excitement, but rather, they've formed out of nervousness. But really, it'll just be a big adventure. I'll be refereeing a volleyball game! I will be calm and confident, and I'll actually enjoy it. Adventures are fun, and since it'll be an adventure, it'll be fun as well. If you change your mindset, failure doesn't seem quite so scary. If I do fail, I'll be okay. I can pick myself up and try again. Life goes on, and if I want to reach my goals then I have to be willing to take risks. Risks are adventures, and adventures are life. My whole life is, and will be, an adventure. Failure just happens to be part of it. I encourage you to take a moment and think: are you living an adventure? If not, why aren't you? Moments pass, days go on, and wonderful adventures go untravelled. The simplest moments can be adventures: buying groceries and picking up a new food, trying a new recipe, cleaning your room and challenging yourself to keep it that way for a week; the possibilities are endless. This was raw writing, but it released some of the negativity I've been feeling, and it's opened my eyes on my attitude towards my life currently. Enjoy each moment and appreciate everything life has to offer you. Health is more than just your eating and exercise habits, it's your mental health as well. You are all deserving of a life filled with adventures, you just have to let them happen. Release the fear, let go, and jump right into this beautiful thing we call life.
Have a wonderful night and a beautiful Friday tomorrow, I hope it's a lovely adventure.