I have struggled with eczema for most of my life. I’m sure as any eczema sufferer reading knows, eczema can be a real pain in the butt. My personal eczema journey led me to Karen Fischer and her book The Eczema Diet and her Skin Friend supplements, which along with a commitment for change, healed my skin from the inside out.
A few recent ‘naughty’ weekends indulging in gluten, alcohol and appalling food (yes, I mean crispy chicken and hot chippies), as well as stressful circumstances, have welcomed back my old adversary in an angry red, oozy rage.
I’m sure many sufferers out there can relate—beyond ﬂare ups—the broader pain which affects us not only physically but also mentally. I would go to work wearing a long sleeved shirt in 30°C (86 °F) weather, cancel plans with friends, cry and generally retreat from life.
This can also affect our family and loved ones as they watch the suffering from the sidelines.
The return of the eczema brings on all the bonus extras—pain, stress, shame, misery, frustration, sadness and insecurity. At times, you feel helpless seeing no end in sight as if the eczema will be there forever.
Let me tell you now (this is a sneaky giveaway to the end of this story)… this is not true, you can heal your skin, develop resilience and live the life you’ve always wanted (minus the mansion on some Island in Greece with a personal masseuse!).
After my whinge, I decided it was time to pull myself together and actually do something about it, apart from watch soppy romantic movies and complain to my poor mother.
I picked up Karen’s most recent publication, The Eczema Detox, and started my journey to reclaim healthy skin. Although I had done the program years ago, then I was a 14-year-old teenager who most days snuck in a 7/11 slurpee and ice cream behind my mother’s back, so this time was going to be different. I was older, wiser (I like to think so) and ready to learn more and commit (because at first it is hard to change).
The eczema program is well supported with research and clearly outlined in this fabulous, insightful book. Not only does it draw you in with the big juicy pancakes on the front cover (tell me who doesn’t like pancakes, eczema or no eczema), but every page is full of such valuable and informative information that is clearly outlined and easy to process. Some things you’ll find in the first few chapters include ‘the itchy dozen worst foods for eczema’, ‘before you begin do this now’, ‘FAQ’, ‘choosing your program based on your needs- skin supplement program, the eczema detox program or the Food Intolerance Diagnosis (FID) program’. In addition to this, the book shares the most up-to-date research on eczema and other skin conditions.
I value evidence-based information, we all should! Myself and my parents have spent so much money on stuff that holds no evidence. We eczema suffers are known for falling into easy fixes that don’t fix the underlying issues.
Based on my personal needs, I followed the Eczema Detox program. Although you might be incredibly disheartened after reading the ‘itchy dozen worst foods for eczema’ realising all your favourite foods are now a no-go, you’ll soon realise (once you’ve flicked to the recipe section) that these lifestyle changes and choices will not leave you deprived. It’s just about making different choices now.
Eczema is a healing process and I now realise there is no quick fix to this complex condition. It also becomes easier to embrace as the healing begins.
Feeling my skin and energy levels improve lifts my spirits, bringing me out of the darkness (and out of my room!), encouraging and making it easier for me to continue with even more determination than before.
The most challenging aspect for me was to give up a few of my favourite food groups—chocolate, coffee and being a young twenty something…alcohol. However, the book offers alternatives and once I tried them I realised this new diet was achievable. Some examples include Carob Protein Balls (recipe found on the Skin Friend blog), carob tea and fresh juices.
As for the alcohol…nothing gets you more buzzed than watching your eczema fade away!
So after all I have been through, what I am trying to reassure my eczema friends is that this program delivers what is needed to ‘kick eczema on its head’, with information, nutritional support, supplements, truly delicious recipes (my Dad steals my Carob Protein Balls) and results. Not only is my skin looking great, but for me more importantly, I feel so much better in both my head space and energy level (and I can wear a singlet again!).
So enough talking, put down that donut and start your journey to heal your skin from the inside out, today.
Article by nutritionist Bonnie, Copyright © The Healthy Skin Kitchen. Recipes for the FID program feature in Karen's new book The Healthy Skin Kitchen.