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Finances are tight right now but I hope to begin the following regimen shortly.

The goal: I am hoping to improve the health and appearance of my skin, my general health and candida issues, and hoping to lose a little bit of extra weight.

The plan:

Externally:

I would like to eventually be using something more natural that I will have made myself but for the moment, I will use a gentle, PH-balanced product to cleanse, a more gentle product to treat the acne, and a moisturizer. Twice a week, I will exfoliate and use a mask. I will let you all know the products I will be using once it is confirmed.

Internally:

I would like to try to follow an interesting and simple clear skin diet I had found quite some time ago. Diet is one of the toughest challenges for me so I feel this could serve as a basic guide and I think many of the recommendations overall are sound and I think they can benefit my general health as well. On my own, I was focusing on trying to limit sugar, fried and fatty foods, and red meat as a start but I think having recommendations like this will be helpful and easier. I also want to start the day with hot water and lemon.

Dos

Water:Have six glasses each day.

Colorful fruit and vegetables:Have five daily servings, including red/orange/yellow vegetables and fruits, purple foods, green foods, onions and garlic,and ‘seed’ foods such as peas.

Fresh seeds:Each day have one tablespoon of mixed fresh seeds, e.g. pumpkin, sunflower, sesame or ground hemp/linseed.

Essential fats:Have a tablespoon of cold-pressed seed oils daily and oily fish three times a week.

Fiber-rich foods:Eat plenty of whole grains, root vegetables, lentils and beans.

Organic foods:Eat organic as far as possible.

Alternatives to dairy products:Try sometimes using alternatives to milk and cheese such as Soya, milk and tofu.

Vegetable sources of protein: Include some Soya, beans, lentils and sprouted seeds.Yoghurt: Have low-fat, live, organic yoghurt.

Alcohol:Avoid completely or limit your alcohol intake.

Tea and coffee:Have no more than two cups a day.

Vegetable oils:Limit vegetable oils to a little olive oil and/or cold pressed sunflower or other oils.

Red meat:limit red meat to no more than three times a week. Have fish, organic chicken or game instead.

Grain foods:Limit foods made from wheat, oats, rye, etc. to one or two portions each day.

Don'ts

Sugar:Don't add sugar to drinks and cereals, and avoid sugary foods such as soft drinks, sweets, jams, many cereals, biscuits, cakes and desserts.

Refined carbohydrates:Don't have foods containing white flour, such as bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries and pasta.

Chemicals:Don't have foods containing chemical additives. This includes most canned, preserved or processed foods.

Fried foods:Don't have fried foods. Boil, steam, bake or lightly grill them instead.

Fatty foods:Don't have foods like butter, cream and ice cream.

Processed fats:Don't have processed foods as most of them contain trans-fats.

Smoking:Don't smoke at all.

Following these guidelines, a day's meals might look like this:

Breakfast: Natural, live yoghurt with chopped fresh fruits and a handful of pumpkin seeds or a muesli made from oats, fresh hazelnuts, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds and raisins with natural yoghurt and some apple juice.

Lunch: A baked potato with tuna fish, tomato, celery and spring onion, with olive oil and lemon juice or a big rice salad with many types of fresh vegetables, cottage cheese, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper.

Dinner: Grilled fresh fish, chicken or lean meat or a vegetarian alternative made from beans, lentils or Soya. Serve with a large helping of freshly steamed or lightly stir-fried vegetables. You can also 'steam-fry' vegetables by using just the tiniest drop of oil and adding a couple of tablespoons of water, to, in effect, steam them.

Snacks: Fresh fruit, raw nuts and seeds (e.g. almonds, hazelnuts, Brazils, pumpkin and sunflower seeds); raw vegetables (e.g. carrots, broccoli, celery) with hoummous.

Drinks: At least six glasses of water, herbal and fruit teas (beware of artificially flavored or sweetened ones), fresh fruit and vegetable juices, occasional 'smoothies' - freshly made with fruits/fruit juices and yoghurt or Soya milk.

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Starting last week, I began to watch what I am eating more. It is still far from where I would like to be in terms of a regular, healthy diet but I feel good about my effort. I am trying to keep a sort of food log. I have tried this before but it didn't work too well but now I am trying to be more consistent. It is a bit disorganized - sometimes I am jotting down things on different pieces of paper - but at least I am trying to do it as much as I can. I really feel this is helping me keep track, see what I may be missing that day and what I need to work on still.

After the first week, I knew I really needed to work on the water. I hadn't been doing so well where that was concerned. I also wanted to decrease the sugar more. I only managed to exercise once. It is hard to say whether it was accurate but it seems like I might have lost 2 pounds.

At the end of the second week (now), I am once again finding myself needing to increase the amount of water (drinking water now). A few days have been a bit better but in general it really needs to be better. One thing I am proud of is the little changes. I think I have been doing a lot better in terms of reducing fried things and portions as well. I have been trying to have salads and greens to have nutrients in my diet, having healthier choices as much as I can. I occasionally have flavored coffee, and I think it would be good to decrease this too. I also think certain things like sauce in a pita or cream may not be the best for me either. I want to continue to try to eliminate whites as well. I haven't gotten to do the lemon treatment because I haven't gotten the lemons yet but I may try to get them tonight.

Overall so far, I think I have been doing well for the beginning. I have been preoccupied this week and haven't exercised yet. I will try to walk up the stairs later instead of taking the elevator and maybe go for a half hour walk. The week isn't over yet. I am also trying to drink up this 750ml bottle of water. Not quite a liter, but still good for me.

I am using these samples of products with more natural ingredients to try at the moment (in my signature). We'll see how these go for now.

I am starting slowly but I would ultimately like to be incorporating more of the DO's from the diet in my first post, and continue to eliminate more of the things that aren't the best.

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