I think I’ll be skipping over the lack of posts recently.  Of course I have guilt and apologise but I’ve no excuses so let’s just move forward….Since my last post a LOT of really cool things have happened and I also somehow managed to get to the happiest I’ve ever been in terms of personal contentment last year, which was a Brucey Bonus!  I don’t know if it’s an age thing or just that I put a lot of effort into being happy on my own, doing new things and creating new memories.  I also moved to the best house with the best housemates. Whatever it was I’m in a really good place now and feel like I’m ready to waffle on again on this blog. There’s always something to write about skin and diet and there’s no point me trying to deny the fact I’ve been pretty rubbish but it’s summer which means lots of happy posts filled with sunshine and new treats. Oh and and probably hayfever.

Travel Essentials

The summer is always a bit of a double edged sword with sensitive skin and Eczema.  The sun works wonders for me but with the longer days and (hopeful) change in wardrobe comes the dreaded pollen count, and for some reason this year has been pretty bad for me so far. I’ve been lucky enough to have two epic holidays already this summer.  One was a travelling holiday around Thailand with the man (which was incredible beyond words and I don’t know why I’ve never done it sooner) and the other was a nice relaxing holiday in Turkey.

I hate having sensitive skin and Eczema when I go away.  Not only do I have to literally take a vat of moisturiser but I also have to take lots of suncream (face AND body) and also all the usual ‘sensitive’ products.I think I should really do a separate post about suncream- I am still yet to find one that doesn’t react with my skin. I don’t know about anyone else but I often have a mad allergic reaction to suncream and come out in a crazy heat-rash style thing all over my body.  Which is about as appealing as finding the last mouldy, dried up lemon in the fruit bowl when trying to make a good gin. NOT the best- especially when you’re trying to look fairly reasonable in a bikini! In Turkey I had a bad reaction to the Boots Soltan brand and last year Piz Buin left me looking like I’d been dipped in acid.There are a few products that I don’t reach the airport without:

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Ultrasun Face SPF30 (for sensitive skin- actually doesn’t irritate my face) Therapeutics moisturising cream (£13.99- one of the BEST budget creams I have ever used, can’t rave about this brand enough, it’s NEVER irritated my face and works wonders) Elemis SOS cream (£52.50, it’s pricey but there just aren’t the words to describe how amazing this product is, it’s my skin saviour and I couldn’t go without it, I can use it even when my skin is irritated) Weleda Sea Buckthorn body wash (£7.95) and Weleda sensitive hand cream (which goes everywhere with me now, although I can’t use it when my hands are particularly bad.  I will do a whole separate blog post about Weleda as it’s a brand I’m new too but I’m already addicted!)

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I will do another post about Weleda as I recently tried out their products and the Buckthorn body wash was one of my faves!

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Besides suncream, Therapeutics and Elemis are my ultimate favourite face creams.  My skin would be lost without them, also I’m addicted to hair accessories- who wouldn’t want a watermelon head scarf??!

Like the chump I am, in the excitement of being on holiday I forgot to take a before pic of my hands- but I did take an after shot.  They’re still a bit rough and dry but the splits are all healed! (They do look pasty but I’m not a total sunworshipper!

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I’ve not been using any steroid cream (screw you doctors and Derms) and I think basically the mass improvement in skin is my body’s way of telling me to pack my bags sharpish and move to a coastline of warmer climates.  I genuinely think the sun does wonders for my skin, mood and pretty much improves life all round.  I’m so envious of all the traveller Instagram accounts I follow and also of all my Insta friends who live by a beach. I recently spoke to another blogger who has eczema and she said hers dramatically healed on holiday, how about yours? I think a huge improvement on my skin is reason enough alone to swap a Victorian semi for a beach house…xxx

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So as a result of my exclusion ‘diet’ I’ve embarked on a mega lifestyle change in terms of what I eat. The thing is I kinda get bored easily and its not always fun to just wolf down a few apples.  I’m a busy person and always on the go so I’ve invested in a Breville Blend Active and it’s Uh-MAZING!!!

There are heaps of other blenders out there, I just wanted a simple one that would mix everything, pulp and all, and crush up anything frozen I have.  I’ve had juicers before but you lose so much just drinking juice and you miss out on all the good stuff!

Buying fruit and veg in bulk is handy for making smoothies and juices, so I always go to markets or hit Aldi and Lidl, although in this heat everything goes off kinda quick- even in a fridge for some reason, which is even more reason to eat your greens and eat up all the fruit.

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Mmm, FRUITY!!!

Banana and Blueberry Choco Smoothie

So my first yummy concoction had to be made up with my favorites- Blueberries and Bananas and what’s a little treat without a treat- so I added some cheeky chocolate of course.

Here’s what’s in it:

  • One banana (frozen)
  • Two massive handfulls of washed blueberrys (my hands are teeny tiny so I chucked in a load more- why do people with Eczema have such tiny hands????!)
  • One and a half dessert spoons of milled Linseed, with sesame, raspberry and blueberry (this gives it some ‘bits’ so it’s not just a smooth ass smoothie)
  • Koko dairy free chocolate milk (add as much as you want but don’t over fill, if you want a thicker smoothie obviously add less and vice versa)
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Be prepared- freeze those little fruits the night before- but don’t forget to chop the banana, they are impossible to slice once frozen (yes I did break my best knife trying to chop them- I’m a chump I know)

 

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Add it all together and give it a good whizz!

 

 

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The finished product, yum yum YUM!!!

I’m going to venture into making juices from vegetables so I will add updates as I go.

Smoothies are great as a brekafast drink, to take to work, as a snack to fill you up and also really good in this hot weather!!!

I genuinely do feel better for drinking these, and there’s infinite combinations to get all the goodness- just make sure you wash all your fruit first and where you can choose organic.

To purchase the Blend Active try

Amazon

, bargain central.

My skin seems to be on the up a little (scared of typing this as I might jinx it but it’s kinda fitting that as I’ve started to eat better and exercise regularly my skin is improving… funny that…)

Have a great week everyone,

Jemma x

So yes it’s been a while since I last posted.  I WAS doing really well on my exclusion diet- I discovered not eating dairy really sorted the rash type Eczema that appeared all over me, and strangely (or not) I discovered that the lack of processed food in my diet really paid off!

I laid off dairy for a month and sort of followed The Eczema Diet book (see past post).

Here’s the results after a month:

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Skin on arm after quitting dairy : )

 

 

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Hands before exclusion (I’d been to the stables so excuse the nails…), and below hands after (skin is still dry but the splits have gone!):

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I felt like I was really making progress, when you’re careful with your diet you start to be careful with everything else- like regular moisturising, only using good products etc. Then I got struck with two things- one I kinda saw coming, which is the dreaded HAYFEVER, and the other I definitely did NOT see coming and I will write about that in my next post… The summer for me is always tough, anyone with Eczema knows heat= sweat and often irritated skin.  My hayfever is very much driven by tree pollen, I get horrific rashes for no reason and even red lumps under my eye.  This year has been particularly bad, even the skin on my face got all red and cracked.  No amount of exfoliating or moisturising treatments have seemed to heal it.I went to the doctors and was prescribed some supersonic antihistamines.  I hate getting MORE things on prescription, having Eczema is so frikin expensive! After two weeks on constant scratching I’ve now quite the antihistamines and low and behold my skin is improving.  I’ve stopped using any sort of perfume at the mo as my neck is super sensitive. How have you all got along with hayfever?  It’s so annoying.  I work outside a lot and I actually had to film a piece about hayfever too and I was sneezing like a trooper.  Its easier to deal with if you can stay indoors but I’m an outdoors type of girl. I swear I never used to get it.  I know I’m literally allergic to air sometimes but I have a horse and even though I cant fill the hay nets I’ve never had it this bad.  It does affect your life and it really gets me down.  Summer means shorts, dressed and more skin on display, no fun if you have Eczema or any sort of skin condition.  I think we should get a special clothing allowance- especially after all the money we pay on prescriptions!!!! Good luck this summer- it’s tough out there! xx

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ARGH!!!

It’s the itch that can never be itched- the never satisfied scratch! I seem to have gotten into the habit of waking up clawing myself : ( I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been stressed and upset/eaten the wrong things/slept in bed covers washed by something I’m allergic to or if I’m actually just allergic to myself!

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My skin would be in SERIOUS trouble right now if I had claws like this!

I’ve been trying so hard not to scratch but sometimes I do it without even thinking. The first thing I do when I wake up is scratch and then I get mad at myself for doing it.

What does everyone else do to try and stop this?

When I stay at my boyfriends I wonder if I’m allergic to his duvet, but then most of the time I’m fine.  There’s just no consistency with Eczema whatsoever.

I’m thinking the diet will help but it’s very early days.  I wonder if heat affects it- as spring is here the nights and mornings are certainly warmer.  I hate sleeping fully wrapped up.  Maybe I need to go back to being a child and sleep in gloves.  I remember my mum used to sew ribbons on so we could tie them, or I’d just wake up without the gloves.

I seem to have developed a rash all over my stomach too.  I’m trying to keep a record of everything I eat and how I feel but it’s tough.  There’s so many factors that affect Eczema.

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My stomach (although it’s pretty much all over my body right now)

After reading about people coming off steroids I really want to do this but I just can’t yet.  I’ve also read blogs of people who have quit moisturiser.  I am ADDICTED to moisturiser and can’t imagine not using it.  I’m going to try not to use it on my stomach and see if it just heals somehow.

How is everyone’s Eczema?

Love J x

Well I managed to fail my first attempt at the exclusion diet!  It was all going so well- two weeks of pure good food and I did actually notice a difference in my skin starting.

Then it all went wrong…

I think my main advice to anyone thinking of trying to adapt to a new food ‘lifestyle’ is this: BE PREPARED.

I had done a massive food shop and bought all the fruity and vegetable goodness I needed but as this ran out and I didn’t bother making food to take to work- I soon was caught with my pants down.

Trying to avoid dairy is so hard, it’s in everything.  The only way you can successfully do this is to make your own food and ALWAYS BE PREPARED.

I also think it’s vital to get support from your friends and family. My boyfriend hates vegetables but we do eat pretty healthy when we’re together, Sunday dinners are impossible- everything is soaked in butter etc!  No more Yorkshire Puddings for me now!

It’s also very tricky trying to grab food on the go unless you know you’re going somewhere that you can buy fresh food from.  There are several cafes in the city near me that offer gluten and diary free options, but they’re not always easy or cheap.

I also managed to fail a little by thinking ‘one teeny weeny piece of cheese wont harm me’, and then it becomes using milk when my dairy free milk has run out, etc etc and so forth the situation snowballs.

Snacking is also another issue, unless I took fruit/veg snacks with me to work when hunger strikes I wasn’t ready and in weaker moments I reached to the vending machine. NOOOOOO.

I’ve also been going through a bit of a tough time too, there’s a lot of emotional things going on in my life right now- friends, relationships, death.  I also had to have Lletz treatment too, which I still feel slightly shaky and emotional about.  It’s really affected me.  I lost my amazing Mummy to cancer and anything associated with that frightens me. I think we all need emotional support at times.

When I’m sad and upset I know my skin suffers, my hands are terrible again and I’m constantly scratching.  I wake up clawing myself most nights and I look tired and worn out.  I think Eczema is very emotional driven and it’s a viscous circle- your skin looks bad- this upsets you and then your diet, well being and everything else suffers and it gets worse – then you get more upset- and your skin gets worse…

I’ve restarted the ‘diet’ but I’ve decided diet is the wrong word.  It’s a lifestyle change.

I’ve printed out a list of acidic food and ‘good foods’ for me to eat and I also have this saved on my phone.

It’s tough but I want better skin and I want to know what it is that is irritating it, and if it is indeed food related. I seriously recommend reading the The Skin Cure Diet before embarking on an exclusion diet.  It opened my eyes to a lot and the link to yeast and Eczema is fascinating. I think there are so many blogs, doctors, health sites and all sorts out there it’s easy to get confused.  When I was looking into elimination diets there are so many do’s and don’ts you just have to decide what you want to do and go from there- in other words: KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Basically I wont be eating any food I’ve seen advertised!  Possibly with the exception of bottled water, it’s going to be tough but I want a better me, no scrap that I want to be me at my best…

‘Food is your best medicine’.

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Here is what my skin looks like now:

(again most pictures aren’t that great- I need to buy a macro lens for my camera.  So much for being a pro photographer hey!)

Hands

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Body

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Feet & Legs

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