Clear Skin Detox

About a week into 2013 and things are going well. I’ve started my job helping out at my parents’ office while living at home and looking for jobs of my own.

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Lately I’ve been focusing a little more closely on what I’m eating. The plethora of holiday foods in the past couple months have been wonderful for my taste buds, but not so great for my body.

And I’m not necessarily talking about weight gain, although I suspect there was been some of that (I never weight myself because I obsess too much). No, the biggest problem lately has been my complexion.

I’ve always struggled with acne, but eating a healthy vegan diet has allowed me, for the first time in my life, to maintain clearer skin without the use of prescription medicines. However, a lot of vegan junk food I’ve eaten lately is wreaking havoc.

So it’s time for me to focus on those whole foods again! Below are the foods I’ve been trying to consume a lot of lately and also those I’ve been avoiding, based on others’ research into what are best. (Note: do not get discouraged if you don’t care for some of these. Focus on the ones you do like, and other whole foods in general!)

1. Green, leafy veggies.

Since I don’t always feel like eating salad for a meal, I’ve been making green smoothies in the morning. My favorite so far:

    Morning Greens Smoothie

1 large banana, frozen
1/2 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup fresh kale
1 fresh celery stalk
1/2 cup water

Blend all ingredients thoroughly.

2. Whole grains. 

My favorites are oats, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta.

3. Fresh fruits.

4. Fresh veggies.

5. Beans.

Foods I avoid or decrease consumption of:

1. Refined sugar.

2. Refined flour.

3. Refined oils (See a pattern here?)

Like olive oil, vegetable oil, etc. I also tend to stay away from any high-fat foods, like nuts and avocado, because a low-fat diet makes my skin glow!

4. Coffee.

Yeah, it breaks my heart to write this. I heart coffee. And I still continue drinking it, but have been focusing on getting enough sleep as much as possible so that I don’t need quite as much during the day. And when I do drink it, I make sure to have my bottle of water handy to replace that water loss caffeine causes.

So this is my skin “detox” plan I always turn to after too much junky foods. I’ve been focusing on it for the past few days, and I’m already having awesome results!

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Thoughts on 2013

Happy New Year, friends!

My sister and me!

My sister and me!

Since last night, I’ve been thinking about new year’s resolutions, like most everyone else. I’ve always been one of those people who makes changes as they come and doesn’t focus too much on change specifically on the 1st each year, but it’s nice to think about what this year could be like. Also, two years ago today I did actually have a new year’s resolution: to go completely vegan, and it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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Our New Year’s vegan snack spread

Something I’ve also been thinking about is how my view of health and fitness has changed over the years. I’ve talked about this on other blogs before, but I’ve struggled with my body image and eating habits for many years until a little after I went vegan.

I’ve always enjoyed working out, but for most of this time it became so much of a necessity to get in a great workout at the gym that I didn’t feel okay if I didn’t. It became one of the most important things to me, taking precedence over friends, family, downtime. And if I didn’t eat 100% “healthy” (a word whose meaning has changed a lot for me over the years), I wasn’t able to enjoy whatever I was doing or whoever I was with. I am someone who loves food and loves to eat, and often, so I’m guessing this feeling of “needing” a workout would come from feeling like I needed to burn off the excess calories I was consuming.

Well, in the past couple of years and since I started eating a vegan diet, things have changed. I still love food and still love feeling healthy, but it doesn’t feel like a struggle at all anymore. In fact, I actually workout — as in, hardcore workouts at the gym where I feel exhausted after — a lot less often… which would seem backwards to most, but for me… I’m finally at peace. Not to say that I’ve become a couch potato. I still enjoy yoga in my living room, walks with my dog, and playing those dancing games on the Wii that my family has. But these are things I wouldn’t have felt up to before because I would be consumed with getting a “good” workout in that evening instead of something “light” like these activities. But now, I’m enjoying my life and my time with others, and I’m still staying active and healthy — and actually healthy, now that I’m eating fruits, veggies, beans, whole grains, things that are nourishing to my body and aren’t junk that needs to be “worked off”. Even when I eat vegan candy or junk food, like we did last night, I’m able to enjoy it and realize that I’m still gonna be okay and eat well the next day.

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My mom!

So, my New Year’s resolution for this year, and each one to follow, is to take care of myself and enjoy my life.