Having a dilemma? In dire skin straits? In the middle of a skin situation? Feeling a little lost?
Here you'll find some of the questions I most commonly receive from my clients between visits...
While you're eliminating foods like dairy, gluten + sugar, here are some of my fave websites for recipes + inspo!
- Pinch of Yum
- Cookie + Kate
- Live Love Nourish
- Love Food Nourish
- Elsa's Wholesome Life (please note not all recipes are GF/SF, but it's easy to make swaps!)
...and here are some books I love:
- Skin:Food by Mi:skn Clinic (with a sneaky feature of yours truly!)
- Elsa's Wholesome Life by Ellie Bullen
I also strongly recommend that you save yourself some time + hassle by doubling, or even tripling, recipes. Preparation is everything! It may mean some extra prep work at the time, but then you've got leftovers for lunches in the fridge / pre-made dinners in the freezer. Voila.
P.S. Not even quite understanding what gluten is, and what it is + isn't in? Here's a handy handout for you.
You need something healthy, GF/DF/SF, and full of protein, and you need it quick.
I've gotcha. Try:
- boiled eggs
- hummus + veggie sticks (FYI, hummus is SO easy + cheap to make yourself!)
- roasted chickpeas / fava/broad beans (pop in the oven with all the spices your heart desires)
- tinned tuna / salmon
- chia seed puddings
- overnight oats
- apple slices + nut butter
- hummus or nut butter on brown rice/quinoa crackers (I love topping mine with almond butter + a little bit of banana or blueberries)
- coconut/almond yoghurt + cinnamon (great for sugar cravings) + seeds + berries
- handful of nuts + seeds
- homemade bliss balls (choc coconut or lemon are my go-to faves)
...and, if you're in the supermarket and super desperate:
- Chia Pods by The Chia Co
- Sweet potato chips by Kettle
- Buckwheat crispbread by Orgran
- Bars by Food for Health
- Bars/balls by Tasti
- Lentil bites by Macro Organics
- Coconut snacks by Coconut Essence
- Hummus by Pilpel
- Cashew cheese by Botanical Cuisine
- Seaweed by Ceres Organics
- Brown Rice Crackers by Ceres Organics
- Cheeky Cacao Balls by Macro Mighty Bites
- Original Fruit-Free Muesli Bars by Carman's
Again, preparation is everything. Have some snacks in your fridge + pantry just in case, but also in your desk drawer or work fridge, in your handbag or uni bag, in your car...
- soy sauce? Yes, but I'd recommend an organic tamari (which is GF) like this one instead. Regular soy sauce can have some hidden baddies in it (including sneaky old gluten), so just be careful.
soy milk / products - look, organic soy in small amounts is fine. In fact, some evidence supports that small amounts can be very beneficial to health. Evidence also shows, on the other hand, that too much soy can impact your health + hormones (as it acts as a 'fake' oestrogen), so please do not go overboard - a dash in your tea or coffee here or there, or some tofu/tempeh for dinner 1-2 times per week is fine.
And always organic, because conventional farming sees extensive use of pesticides and other baddies, which can have negative health impacts. Not to mention the GMO debate.
- goat / camel / sheep milk or cheese - look, I'd steer clear: these won't contain as much lactose (a common dietary allergen), but they will still contain growth hormones (because they're still breast milk for baby animals needing to grow to their full size as quickly as possible for survival - you do not need these growth hormones)
- oats - technically oats cannot be called 'GF'. They contain a protein called Avenin which can (though not always) trigger an immune reaction in those with coeliac disease, but the majority of the issue with oats not being able to be deemed totally GF comes mainly down to the high risk of them being contaminated with other gluten proteins (during processing). I believe that the benefits of oats - their fibre, vitamin + mineral content - outweigh the risk of gluten contamination in many cases, so, as long as your body does not react negatively to oats: go for it! I'd just recommend that you opt for organic where possible.
You have fun, silly!
In a perfect world, and for perfect results, you'll follow all of my recommendations all of the time.
In the real world: you take on board as many of my recommendations as possible for you, whilst still enjoying your life.
If things are just too complicated to stick to 100% of the time, please do not fear - I'll never tell you off. I'm a realist as well as a Purist. I'll hold you accountable to what you can do, and we'll work around the rest.
Having said this... I do fully endorse giving things your very best go. As with anything in life, you'll only get out of working with me what you put in. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
And, besides, vegan and/or gluten-free options are everywhere nowadays!
You go, Glen Coco! Paying real attention to what's happening in your body is an amazing thing indeed.
Maybe you're noticing more bloating than usual. Maybe your stress has creeped off the richter scale. Maybe you've had a weird itchy spot on your left arm for the last two days.
Write it all down. And we'll chat through everything at your next consult.
I've probably mentioned that we need to collect as many pieces to your puzzle to get the best view of your health picture as possible. So I'd love your help to collect these as we go!
Don't panic. And no need to double-up. Just continue as normal - a dose here or there won't make a huge difference.
However. If you're consistently forgetting your supplements, this will make a difference. So, my best advice in this case is to make it simple for yourself:
- Use an 'old-lady' pill carrier, and keep this in eyesight (honestly, this is what I do, and don't knock it til you've tried it!)
- Keep your supplements in your cutlery drawer or with your crockery/tableware in the cupboard - every time you eat, you'll need to get past the supplements to get what you need
- If your supplement's kept in the fridge, pop a post-it note with your other supplements/cutlery/crockery
- Pop your powdered supplements in a glass (or glasses) the night before, so you're ready to go the next day
- If you're not home for your breakfast/lunch/dinner dose of your powdered supplement, pop it into a glass jar, then into your bag - simply add water + shake later!
I love that vital.ly is so easy for my clients to use - it's why I've chosen them to supply my dispensary. I'll almost always make sure that I put enough of the supplements on your script onto your vital.ly account for you so that you can order them as you need - you can just login any time, and go!
If for some reason you can't see any repeats on your account (or we had to reschedule your last appointment, or I've just made a whoospie and incorrectly calculated how much you'd need between consults), please drop me an email and I'll get your script topped up quick smart for you!
As a qualified Naturopath, I'm also bound by my association to not supply practitioner-only supplements without a consult. For this reason, but also to ensure I'm caring for you in the best way possible, I generally cannot prescribe a completely new supplement, or re-prescribe old supplements, if I've not seen you in a while.
If I ask you to make a time to come and visit me, your old pal, again before topping up your script, it's only because I've got your best interests at heart. Promise.
Look, I wish I had a magic wand. It would have saved me a lot of skin strife over the years myself, and I'd also probably be a squillionaire by now, writing this from a day bed around my pool in Hawaii (or actually, not even writing this - doing something waaaayyyy more luxurious) having resolved every living person's skin complaints in an instant.
I would LOVE for this to be possible. But let's be realistic.
a) It takes 28-42 days for your skin cells to renew. This means you're going to need to put in the hard work for 4-6 weeks to ensure that the next skin cells coming through are going to be healthier than the current ones. And, depending on the health of your skin, you might need to continue chipping away for another cycle or two, too.
P.S. We're just talking skin cells here - hormones work in cycles of 3 months (100 days), and gut health can, in some cases, be an even longer-term project. Something to keep in mind.
b) Not following your elimination diet completely? Look, I get it: it is hard to eliminate foods from your diet, and there are always going to be social events and fun things and tasty treats to tempt you. Please remember that the elimination diet is not a forever thing - it's a 'for now' thing.
Please also remember that triggering foods (and their impacts on skin + overall health) can take a while to move through + leave your system: gluten, for example, can take up to 3 days to move through some peoples' intestines + out the other end, but gluten antibodies (which will rear their little heads if you're even somewhat intolerant) have a half-life of 3-4 months. Yep. That 'just one' cupcake suddenly doesn't seem as appealing now, does it?
c) I have given you all of the tools + advice that I think will help you right now (based on what I know about you, your current health, your lifestyle, etc.).
Unfortunately I can't visit all of my clients' houses every day and do everything for them. It's up to you to take my recommendations on board, and put them into action.
Remember that I'm here to support you from the sidelines, cheer you on, and keep you accountable - which is why I recommend we book (and keep) regular check-in appointments.
d) Please be patient + kind with your body. Stressing about your skin will only set you backwards. I know that not stressing about breakouts/flare-ups/general-skin-blahness is something much easier said than done, but it is so so so important that you remember, recognise + respect that your body is going through some stuff. Start thinking about your body as a best friend, and start treating + talking to it with the same care you would your best girlfriend. Together, you + I are starting to give her the TLC she deserves.
e) It's hard to 'fix' everything going on in your body immediately. Remember, your skin is your largest organ - if there's something going on with your skin, it's likely an indicator of something going on beneath. We've gotta get to that beneath bit first!
And we will. Slow, steady steps will always trump a mass annihilation of everything going on in your body, trust me. Slower changes will bring lasting healing and lasting benefits to you in turn.
No worries! You can send me through an email any time, and myself or my assistant will help you to reschedule.
Otherwise, feel free to pop online to scope out all of my available alternative appointments - book whichever suits you, and then just let us know which you'd like to keep/cancel :)
Please just keep in mind my strict 24 hour cancellation policy. You hate copping unnecessary fees, and I hate having to charge them (I also hate losing income 😪) - so it works out best for both of us (and for my other clients who may be waiting for an appointment to open up) to give as much notice as possible when changing an appointment!
While the above are common questions, I understand that everyone's different + unique, and that their questions can be too.
I'd highly recommend jotting things down as they come up between your consults with me. Whether it's a question or query, a concern, a weird symptom you've noticed, something getting better or worse, a memory about something health-related from your childhood, or something you forgot to tell me about last time but remembered on the drive home... I'd love to discuss it with you!
So please bring those thoughts + questions with you to our next catch-up :)
If it's about something urgent, though - like you think you've reacted to a supplement, or just been diagnosed with a new condition, or your medications have changed, or you just found out you're pregnant (congrats! but we'll likely need to stop/change supplements) - please send me through an email, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
In the case of a 😨😱 medical emergency 😨😱, please do not send me through an email - just get straight onto a GP or 000. They are waaaaay better equiped when it comes to legit emergencies of the medical kind.