When I was a teenager struggling with acne, I took a topical approach to finding the answer to clear skin. Never truly taking the time to research what could be causing my breakouts, I tried several skincare regimens and never saw the results I hoped for. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I decided to take an internal approach to identifying the root of the issue. The first of four areas that I researched and incorporated into my daily routine was diet.
I first learned about Whole30, an elimination diet designed to help people live their healthiest lives, at 22 years old. The program challenges you to eliminate foods that have been scientifically proven to be problematic when it comes to cravings, metabolism, digestion and the immune system. At the time, I was working in broadcast television and my skin was the worst it had ever been. I eagerly committed to eliminating the following things from my diet for 90 days (the program calls for one month but I believe in trying something for three months to see if it truly works for you):
- Added sugar, real or artificial
- Carrageenan, MSG or sulfites
- Baked goods, junk foods or treats
At the time, I didn’t see an immediate improvement in the condition of my skin. However, as time has passed and I’ve continued to eat a mostly Whole30 diet (who doesn’t love a good slice of pizza and a mimosa or two every now and then?!), I have learned that dairy and gluten contribute to my skin and digestive issues. While the program helps you determine which foods to avoid, there are also foods you can incorporate into your diet that have anti-inflammatory effects. Some of my favorites are:
- Berries: Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are tasty and versatile. You can add them to your breakfast plate or throw them in a salad for some extra flavor!
- Fatty Fish: Salmon is my favorite fish and there are so many tasty ways to prepare it.
- Avocados: This “healthy fat” food is another versatile fruit that tastes great on top of egg whites, protein bowls and in salads.
- Nuts: My go-to snack when I’m craving something crunchy is almonds and walnuts!
It is one of my 2020 goals to make one new recipe every week that incorporates the anti-inflammatory foods I love. While I’ll be sharing those recipes here on Modern Beauty and Mimosas, I’d love to hear what foods you enjoy cooking up in the kitchen! Please share your favorite gluten and dairy free recipes in the comments below. Happy cooking!