Chip away at the unnecessary.
What do I mean by that? I mean removing items from my life that no longer serve me.
Whether my body is telling me that a food or beauty product item is no longer meant for me - through a negative reaction or symptom; such as acne, hives, rashes, indigestion, IBS or IC; I'm choosing listening to the signals from my body instead of finding ways around them by treating the symptom. I'm searching for the underlying cause and seeking permanent change.
Some examples: one issue I'm experiencing at present is breakouts under my eyes, but only when I wear mascara. Also hives around my stomach, mostly when I eat the wrong thing (anything even bread like, even if it's gluten free). My skin, it’s too dry even with moisturizing, and it is taken on a slightly yellow tint. My acupuncturist says that it is from my spleen and my liver fighting each other, which may be true. I wanted to believe that it came from using argon oil instead of coconut oil for skin. Likely it's because of a beta carotene overdose - I eat too many carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes and other high beta carotene foods. I was hoping to alleviate more dryness with using argon oil and make my skin softer and smoother, which it did; maybe instead of trying to change my skin I need to listen to the symptoms that my skin is using to tell me something - eczema, dryness, acne. These are all warning signs that a bigger problem lives below the surface.
The acne riddle seemed easy enough to solve, I stopped using makeup all together. I've noticed a severe reduction in breakouts around my eyes and maybe even less dark circles too. Almost like the repetitive blackening of mascara settled into my skin tone and made me look like a little raccoon. Am I happy with this decision? No. Whether it’s conditioning, or my own biased, I still believe I’m prettier with mascara. I know the purpose is to be beautiful inside first; I’m working on changing that mindset.
The dry and yellowing skin is going to be a much more challenging problem to solve. I am of the belief and am developing it further, that as long as I am giving my body what it needs in terms of nutrients it will survive and thrive. Food is the first medicine. Herbs are their aide. However living in a dryer, colder state like Colorado presents an extra challenge. My moisture is literally being drawn from my body faster than I can consume it. When we are born we are more water than most other things. Death is the act of drying out to some extent. I know hydration is important and I follow the rule of ½ my body weight in ounces as a guideline for the minimum amount of water I need to consume. Is it the water’s quality? Is some sort of protective oil barrier like argon oil, or coconut oil necessary? Have I aided my body so much for so long that the systems in charge of regulating dryness no longer function? I don’t have these answers, but I’ll continue to research and experiment.
There is so much information available out there on “why” you should use “what” for your skin. What I'm not finding is more information on my belief, your skin should be self-sustaining and a reflection of total body health. It shouldn't need consistent lathering. If every person on this planet went through the amount of oil I do just to keep their skin smooth and silky it's no wonder we’re often viewed as a wasteful species and bringing the earth’s resources down with us. I’m trying to cut back, oil every other shower. Somedays just a quick rinse in shower. Alternating a quick rinse shower with a deep clean shower is actually helping to some extent, or at least it was until COVID19 ransacked our ability to manage our own microbiome. Right now our current culture is more "kill is with soap, all of it, anything." This has me fearful on an entirely different subject, the microbiome. Our own little world of symbiotic relationships is on the brink with our constant disinfecting. There will be trickle down effects but all we can do in the interim is manage to the best of our ability right?
Trying new things, changing up the diet AGAIN, leaves me asking when does this end? I don’t think it does. I think it’s a process of constant tweaking and slight adjustments. Mindfulness in how your body feels, food logging and journaling, tracking symptoms when they arise, making note of how I feel after I eat and trying to eat only what energizes me. I have been told that on a cellular level female genes and hormones are altering every 5-7 years. Which means body’s will shift, change and adapt over time. Additionally, we can always strive to feel a little better, a little more achieved, a little closer to our endgame? Doesn’t de-cluttering our lives include thoughts, foods, habits and routines that no longer serve us?
Basically less-is-more is what I'm testing and I'm using myself as the experiment. I don't know what's right for anybody else, but I do know I'm trying to listen to my intuition, the messages from my body, and try new approaches. The "try new things" part is the scariest, but without stepping out of my comfort zone there's never change or growth, and without growth there's no happiness. No time like being locked up at home, close to my favorite toilet, to really see how different foods effect me right?
Chip away at yourselves apples, find your core and support it.