Last month I was very concerned about my skin’s reaction to the amount of a sugary sports drink I consumed during my race, coupled with the white bread pizza I ate later that day in celebration. Interestingly, nothing happened. I expected my skin to explode on me, but nada. The next week, I drank some dry white wine…still celebrating. My skin didn’t appreciate that much. A constant annoyance is the monthly hormonal spike related to my cycle. Some months, the acne related to that isn’t bad, but this wasn’t one of those months.
It’s the middle of the month and I’m just now writing my monthly skin/acne update for August. That is never a good sign. My skin took a big step back during August and I’ve been procrastinating at writing this post. It was too depressing for several reasons.
THE GOOD: I have remained successful at staying away from sweets, white flour, white rice and the other laundry list of foods I can’t have, but I have a confession.
THE BAD: I developed a massive addiction to the ‘sea salted cashew’ that started out slow this summer, but got really ridiculous in August. I remember reading that nuts are on the ‘eat with caution’ list, along with cooking oil, in terms of acne production. I didn’t worry about that because prior to this summer, nuts were never a big part of my diet due to the high caloric count. Since I’ve lost a lot of weight due to my diet change, the caloric count in foods have taken a back seat (here enters the sea salted cashew). Cashews became my after breakfast snack, my after lunch snack, my before dinner snack and any snack in between I deemed necessary.
THE ACNE: Early on, I couldn’t narrow down what was causing my acne flare-ups. It was primarily appearing on the sides of my face, close to my ears. I had made a slight adjustment to the products I was putting on my hair (a bit more shea butter) and I sleep on my sides a lot. So, I figured too much Shea butter was coming in contact with my skin and I need to do a better job at cleaning my satin pillow cover and head scarves daily. That didn’t work. I’m nearing the end of my marathon training, so I figured I need to do a better job at replacing my fluids/water. That didn’t work. Earlier in the summer, I had added Sea buckthorn oil to my face moisturizer, so I went back to my usual. That wasn’t it either.
I held on tight to my supersized can of cashews and thought it couldn’t be…it couldn’t be. Unfortunately, it was the cause. My skin started to clear up within days of giving them up. You have no idea how much it pains me to admit. It’s sad to know how sensitive my skin is in this food and acne rollercoaster. It’s like walking a tightrope. It’s highly likely I can eat some nuts without a reaction. I’ve read eating raw is better and I may give it a try at some point. I need to wait until I’ve completely overcome my addiction. I miss them terribly.
So, I’ve stuck with my no sugar, dairy, white bread or white pasta diet, but I did slip up once and ate some Spanish rice. (Oops. It wasn’t a lot though, just a delicious side dish.) Thank goodness I don’t have bad news to report for July. I’ve been running a lot more outside this summer and my skin rejected the sunscreen I used earlier in the month. I got some minor flare-ups in return, but it cleared and didn’t return when I switched sunscreens. Don’t tell anyone, but I don’t wear sunscreen on a daily basis. I know, for shame!