Have almost chalked up my first year on a vegan diet; though in a bid to clear up a stubborn skin condition which has plagued me for about 30 years, namely facial spots and boils, (not acne,) my diet is somewhat more invovled than a simple vegan diet. After doing a full seven day fast and the ph balance diet (see post below) my spots gradually started coming back.
I went into research mode.
I suspected gluten may be an issue and so informed myself on a gluten free diet. It definitely had an effect, but the stubborn spots still persisted.
I next looked into histamine intolerance, and this also seemed to fit, so after much research I further cut my diet to get rid of histamine producing foods.
I have followed a macrobiotic diet for around three years now also.
This regime has not left me with many options come teatime, but it has worked! My skin has cleared up.
I hope this post will help others who have similar skin issues.
Here are the basic what not to eats:
Vegan: No meat, fish, animal products, dairy products, eggs.
Macrobiotic: No Deadly nightshade family vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, spinach, beets and avocados.
Gluten Free: No Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley.)
RyeTriticale (a cross between wheat and rye.)
Avoid unless labelled gluten free:
- Cakes and pies
- Cookies and crackers
- French fries
- Imitation meat or seafood
- Processed luncheon meats
- Salad dressings
- Sauces, including soy sauce
- Seasoned rice mixes
- Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
- Self-basting poultry
- Soups and soup bases
- Vegetables in sauce
- Be cautious of:
- Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others
- Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
- Play dough
Histamine free: NO
- Pickled or canned foods – sauerkrauts
- Matured cheeses
- Smoked meat products – salami, ham, sausages….
- Beans and pulses – chickpeas, soy beans, peanuts
- Nuts – walnuts, cashew nuts
- Chocolates and other cocoa based products
- Most citric fruits
- Wheat based products
- Ready meals
- Salty snacks, sweets with preservatives and artificial colourings
- Most citric fruits – kiwi, lemon, lime, pineapple, plums…
- Cocoa and chocolate
- Beans and pulses
- Wheat germ
- Additives – benzoate, sulphites, nitrites, glutamate, food dyes
Diamine Oxidase (DAO) blockers:
- Black tea
- Energy drinks
- Green tea
- Mate tea
- Yoghurt – depends on the bacteria culture used
- Egg white – it is a histamine liberator only when in its raw state
- Yeast – even though it does not contain histamine as such, yeast serves as a catalyst for histamine generation during manufacture. There is no yeast in the end product.
Ok so what does that leave to be able to actually eat?
For breakfast i have organic puffed millet, organic puffed rice, organic buckwheat flakes or gluten free cornflakes. (corn is not ideal, but my local health food shop is often out of buckwheat flakes.)
Lunch, Gluten free rice cakes with tahini, as a dip.
Dinner, 1, Short grain brown rice, organic crushed garlic, grated organic carrot, Himalayan salt, tahini, fresh squeezed organic lemon, organic green seasonal veg, (kale, courgettes, brocoli, etc)
2, same as above but with millet or buckwheat instead of the rice.
3, Once a week treat, baked potatoes or roast potatoes with fresh crushed garlic and olive oil, grated carrot and green veg.
4, once a week treat veggie burgers, on bap with humous and lettuce with roasted parsnip and sweet potatoes.
Basically i have the rice and veg two days running then potatoes on the third day, followed by two more veg rice days then a burger day. This is the basic pattern.
The burger buns are the main rebellion on my diet, but i think bread once a week is ok. Also the potatoes are not great but again, once a week balanced by the rice and veg seems to be ok.
I thought this diet would be restrictive and i would find it very difficult to follow, but amazingly that has not been the case. I look forward to every meal, and the stable of veg and rice, with green veg, tahini, salt, lemon and garlic is absolutely delicious. Words cannot describe how good the fresh organic vegetable taste.
It has been a big lifestyle change in that now i do shopping roughly once a week at the local health food co-opoerative, i am really lucky to have a fantastic local HFS. The unicorn in chorlton, manchester, uk.
I thought it would be difficult to stop eating out, but i do not miss it one bit. Maybe once a month i might have a falafel in pitta bread from a local iraq eatery, but even that does not compare to home cooked organic food.
I did have to make some sacrifices socially and whilst establishing myself in this diet i did not socialize much with family and friends around meal times, but since establishing my new habits, this is no longer a problem, i do not crave crap food anymore.
Oh, i forgot, the seventh day treat is sometimes chips! Yes chips from the local chippy. My system seems to be able to handle them quite well. They are a good option if caught out and about without healthy foods, every now and then a bag of chips is not too bad.
I do not feel like i will have to be so strict for the rest of my life, it seems to me to be like a level building up, when i eat crappy foods, that level reaches a certain height and i break out, but if i control it through healthy eating that level stays low and controllable.
I feel my system will cleanse itself further on this diet and in the future my skin will react much much less.