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HelloKitty1987

I need help changing my diet...

I know I need to make a diet change. I've been eating a lot of junk recently, and I just feel sluggish, fat, depressed, and my skin is just bad. I follow the regimen closely but it's still not perfect and I'm always battling a break out or dry skin or both. I don't know that changing what I eat will solve all these problems, but if it could help with even one of them that would be great. I know I need to make a change, only problem is.... there is a lot of confusing information out there.

I already do not eat

  • White bread
  • Red meat
  • Soda

I know that I definitely should:

  • Eat a lot more vegetables, especially green ones
  • Reduce my sugar intake

When I have done this before, I felt better, but it didn't have much effect on my weight or skin that I could tell. I feel like I need to make more changes, but reading about different diets and nutrition on the internet has just left me even more confused. "Low carb diets are very dangerous!" "Everything gives you cancer!" "This diet will solve all your health problems!" "Raw food is best!" "Meat is filled with disease!" "Wheat is killing you!"

I really don't know what to believe. I just want a healthy way of eating that I can follow for my lifetime.

So I'm asking everyone, which of the following is it most important to eliminate from your diet for acne and overall health:

  • Processesed Grains (or certain grains in particular) - I don't know if I could do this for my whole life, but if eliminating something specific like gluten really made a difference, I could probably handle that
  • Dairy - this would also be really hard, I LOVE CHEESE! I already only drink organic skim milk (the only thing I always buy organic because it tastes much better to me) but I believe it might be affecting my acne, so I would be willing to try going without it
  • Meat - this would probably be easiest for me to do, except it would be hard to completely give up fish. I love sushi!

I think giving ALL of these up would be pretty much impossible. I associate getting rid of processed grains and diary with the paleo diet, and getting rid of dairy and meat with veganism.

So I want to know:

  • Which of the things listed do you find it most beneficial to eliminate from your diet? If it's processed grains, any of them in particular?
  • Is there any danger in eliminating any of these from your diet? Do you need to make sure to eat anything to replace what you're missing (like protein in a vegetarian diet)?
  • How long do you have to give the item up for it to have an effect on your skin, body, or health?

I'm afraid to post this and get really radical responses. If your diet is working wonders for you and you are really excited to share it with others, that's great, but please be kind and calm about it. I really need clear and helpful information.

Finally, I am thinking of trying out the different diets over a year. Perhaps 3 months without dairy, three months without processed grains, 3 months without meat, and then 3 months with no dairy or processed grains. Would that be long enough to see the effects from each diet? Would changing it around like that be crazy and cause my body to do crazy things? Should I change the order? This is just an idea and I'm very interested in learning more about nutrition and changing it around. Any advice is appreciated!

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Eat lots of veggies, some fruit, meats like beef and lamb, fish, eggs, and good fats like coconut and avocado, and you'll probably be good. Just try it for a month and see how you look and feel. Basically, I think a paleo diet has the best chance of clearing almost anyone's skin.

This website is helpful: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/

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You're most likely to be able to enjoy cheese out of most dairy products. If you don't have a massive problem with dairy (try cutting it out and then adding it back in later), you'll probably be able to eat some. Even if you have problems with lactose, cheese has a low amount and may not cause you problems. However if you have problems with lactose and you're drinking milk, that could definitely give you issues. Just try eliminating dairy and gluten and lay low on the sugar and then add things back later. There is nothing wrong with eating fish and red meat. If you're worried about it, eat a variety of foods. Have some avocados, chicken, fish, nuts (as long as you're not allergic!). The main problems with red meats are with processed ones. Don't be afraid to have a fresh steak once in awhile.

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If you want to cut bodyfat and have great skin, try doing the following (providing you're not allergic)

-Cut dairy/gluten

-Cut sugar/saturated fats

-Cut processed foods in general

What to eat:

Carbs - wholegrains(brown rice, oats, museli .etc), fruits (not too much fruit), green vegies (go nuts)

Protein - lean meats (chicken, fish, turkey .etc)

Fats - olive oil, avocados (monosaturated is good)

When to eat:

Eat every 2-3 hours, and never miss a meal.

Food combining:

The basic rules that helped me are:

-Don't combine starches and proteins in the same meal

-Eat fruits on their own

Do some light/moderate cardio every day - this will help with food digestion, and there's a million other health benefits I'm sure everybody is aware of.

Sooner or later you will not miss the shit food you have been eating, and you'll fel about 100 times better. Don't do any of that low-carb crap, I've been able to maintain a very lean physique by just balancing what I eat.

If you would like an example of what a day might be for me:

-Wake up, interval training 20-30 mins

Breakfast - oats with stevia instead of sugar and almond milk instead of dairy

-Snack - small piece of fruit/berries

Lunch - chicken/vegies salad with drizzle of olive oil

-Snack - small piece of fruit/berries, decaf coffee if i feel like it or some tea

EXERCISE - 45-60 mins

Dinner - same as either breakfast or lunch

-Snack - can of tuna

Water for the rest of the night until bed.

As you can see it's not that easy to get bored if you vary up your meals.

Hope this helps

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Here is what works for me - perhaps it'll work for you, too.

I eat a lot of veggies - mostly raw. I've found that eating more cooked veggies doesn't give me the energy buzz of raw. In terns of acne, neither cooked nor raw break me out.

I eat a bit of fruit. Fruit does not break me out, though it does cause problems for some people. I also don't eat a ton of it anymore.

I eat unprocessed meats for the most part. I'll still eat moderate amounts of bacon and sausage, but I eat mostly canned tuna and unprocessed chicken, turkey and beef. Contrary to popular belief, beef is not the devil.

I drink water, decaf coffee, decaf teas, almond milk and occasionally orange juice.

If I eat ANY grains (whole or otherwise), dairy, refined sugar or large quantities of soy, I will break out. And though I refrain from calling myself a paleo foodist (I simply think of the way I eat as simply my diet), a lot of people certainly have cleared their skin this way and some have cleared their skin by simply eliminating certain things, like gluten or dairy. Even if you choose to keep eating grains, eat them in moderation. Most grains are processed and hold a minute nutritional value.

Also note that:

1. Grass-fed organic meat is best. This is not always affordable or available. All the same, meat is not bad for you unless it's pumped full of hormones, corn syrups, sugars and other unnecessary additives.

2. Saturated fat is not inherently bad for you.Tropical oils like coconut oil, for example, contains a ton of saturated fat and has many health benefits. Trans fats are the fats to be most concerned with. http://www.ajcn.org/content/early/2010/01/....27725.abstract

3. You do NOT need to eat every 2-3 hours (assuming you don't have low blood sugar problems). Eat whenever you're hungry. You don't need a set schedule. Eating every 2-3 hours is no more beneficial than eating every 4-5 hours or even every 6-7 hours.

4. Low carb is not "crap". It is very beneficial and very helpful for some of us because it is also a low glycemic diet. Certain things, like grains, have the potential to really affect some of us. If I eat a single cookie or a single slice of whole grain bread, I'll break out. No, this clearly doesn't necessarily apply to everyone, but it's an option. Grains are not necessary to your health anyway. The healthiest carbs to consume are from fruits and vegetables - not grains.

5. You don't need long strenuous periods of exercise. A lot of people have had success with interval training - which doesn't include long periods of stressful cardio. Try simply walking more each day and engaging in interval training for brief periods every now and then along with push-ups, squats and so on.

6. Get plenty of sleep and sunshine.

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Two questions

1) Is there any danger in not eating any grains? Assuming you're eating lots of vegetables and lean meat instead, not just tons of bacon and ice cream.

2) What regimen should I follow while trying out this diet? Just wash my face and moisturize, no BP?

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You need to drop the fear of fat before you'll see any results. Fat is one of the healthiest things you can eat, whether its from butter or coconut or dripping off some greasy bacon. It's real, natural, food. It's life. Overcome this and everything will make sense.

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Eat grassfed fatty cuts of meat (beef, lamb, bison, chicken, turkey etc), if you cant get/afford grassfed opt for leaner cuts of meat.

Wild caught fish, particulary salmon which is super high in omega 3 which is very Anti-inflammatory.

Lots and lots of non starchy greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus etc. Stay away or atleast limit starchy vegetables. Some people also have trobles with nightshades (Potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers and some more) due to it being inflammatory

Free range eggs is very good to.

Fruit in moderation if you can tolerate it, even though I would start out with very small amounts of fruit in the beggining and only eat low fructose fruits like blackberries, blueberries and lemons.

Lots and lots of spices and herbs. Black pepper, oregano, basilika, turmeric, cinnamon, himalayan salt etc. Watch out for cayenne etc if nightshades give you problem.

Only oils I would use is coconutoil, olive oil and maybe some avocado oil. Particulary coconut oil is amazing for acne due to it being very anti bacterial and anti viral.

I would lay off all dairy, atleast in beggining, very known to cause acne, whetever it is due to lactose intolerance or to the high hormone conent, dairy is also very hard for the body to digest which takes away energy that could be used to heal the body instead. If you really need something thats like dairy I would use coconut milk which is amazing.

Watch out for nuts, some people tolerate it and some dont, and if you tolerate it keep it in low amounts anyway due to its very high content of omega 6 which is inflammatory in abundance.

Absolutely no proccesed foods at all, meaning no fast food, no bread, no candy, ice cream, chips and all other junk, usualy if something has more then two ingrediants its proccessed :P

No grains at all, you can read here about how bad it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-grains-are-unhealthy/.

Generally stay away from tubers due to high starch content.

Stay away from all sodas, fruit juices etc and only drink water and coffe/tea in moderation.

Might have to supplement with fish oil to get omega 3-6 ratio closer to 1:1 if you dont eat much fish.

Vitamin D3 if you dont get 20+ minutes of full skin exposure of mid sun every day. Most people dont get this, and even if you do it might not be enough, 1000IU/25lb of body weight is a standard recomendation.

A multi vitamin could be good to cover all the stuff you might be defficient is.

Probiotic is always a good idea due to the flora is usally fu**ed after eating bad food whole life.

Digestive enzymes is also really good, helps your body digest food properly which is very important for vitamin/mineral absorbation.

Other then that fat is your friend and were majority of your caloric intake should come from, also eat very low carb and medium protein. Under 100g carbs a day but preferably under 50g a day in the beggining to get kick started, a warning though is your gonna feel very sick first couple of weeks on low carb diet, known as the "low carb flu", this is due to the body adapting from using carbs as fuel to using fats as fuel, and this is a good thing because fat is such a more supperior fuel its not even funny.

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-Cut saturated fats

What to eat:

Carbs - wholegrains(brown rice, oats, museli .etc)

When to eat:

Eat every 2-3 hours, and never miss a meal.

Please explain why no saturated fats, this is conventional wisdom at its best, people just throwing it out with no reason why except they heard it on tv. Coconut oil and animal fats is nothing to be afraid of and really should be the base in any healthy diet..

To eat wholegrains is also conventional wisdom at its best, I would suggest reading this article as an example of how bad grains really is for you: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-grains-are-unhealthy/ Whole grains being very healthy is nothing more then a very succesfull advertising campaign if you ask me.

And lastly why should you eat every 2-3 hours, whats your reasoning of this? I guess you gonna say to keep blood sugar in check but if you eat low carb this will be no problem at all. Personally and I know many people succesfully do aswell is intermediate fasting, which basically is eat during a 8 hour period during the day then no food for 16 hours. Its really amazing how much energy this gives me and lots of other people.

Other then this I agree with everything else and im sorry if im coming of like an ass which is not my meaning.

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after 3 months anything can become a habit, if you do it repeatedly. Your taste buds also change. i used to love ice cream, cookies, and pizza when i was little and now my palate changed over this year to only like fresh tasting food. So i only eat plant based food and steam my vegatables.

I dont have an acne problem anymore..you just need to tell your brain to do it, and your body will follow, dont ask yourself any questions.

Oh and i dont eat out or buy pre-made proccessed stuff you see on the shelves, all fresh from the produce isle!

Edited by yvonnelilly

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It's funny how this person was already confused with all the conflicting ideas that are being shuffled around and yet again everybody in this thread is saying different things. I guess you have to pick what diet you want to do. Even if you eat what you believe to be a pristine diet, there will always be somebody that will say you are totally unhealthy for eating that way. I know which way I prefer to eat but there are some disadvantages to eating a strict diet (obviously). A very important thing to remember is really that any food can cause you to break out if you have a sensitivity to it. Also it is important to stick with a diet for a decent amount of time before giving up.

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Can I just say that I feel sorry for the OP being bombarded by all of this information, especially so much of it conflicting.

My advice is to just try one of these diets (whoevers you choose) and see what works for you. Personally the stuff I suggested is what worked for me, and that's why I posted it, so please just eff off nobody wants to discuss this for hours on a thread designed to help somebody - keep it to the other threads.

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You need to drop the fear of fat before you'll see any results. Fat is one of the healthiest things you can eat, whether its from butter or coconut or dripping off some greasy bacon. It's real, natural, food. It's life. Overcome this and everything will make sense.

I'm not actually afraid of fats, what I meant was, I could see why someone would say a low carb diet was bad for you if you only ate tons of bacon and ice cream and didn't eat enough vegetables as well. I think bacon is fine, as well as other fats. I've just heard/read that low carb diets are "dangerous," and I'm still not sure of all the reasons why, but it would make sense to me that it is not a good idea to start a diet which would cause you to lose weight if you're not getting everything you need for your nutrition. However, the paleo/primal diets that I have read about from links on this forum do NOT seem to be unhealthy diets, but I think you could have a techinically "low-carb" diet that was unhealthy.

I didn't mean that I was going to give up fats. I was wondering if there was a problem with omiting carbs from an otherwise healthy diet. Sorry to be rambling on and on, I'm just not sure I'm making sense.

Anyway, thank you Lima and CheyCheyenne for being concerned, and everyone else for your advice. It has been very informative, even if some of it was conflicting. I think I am going to try the paleo/primal/caveman diet, see how it affects me, and then slowly try adding certain foods back in to see how they affect me. I think it would be great if I ate mostly vegetables and meats, but was also able to eat a little bread, pasta, or cake occasionally. I think this would just be such a healthy improvement from my current diet, to eat a little bit of pasta with a bunch of veggies, instead of just a huge plate of pasta with no veggies, even if it has no effect on my acne at all.

I am still wondering - is there any real danger in not eating grains?

I remember reading Dan say that when he tried out this diet, his skin was great while he was still losing weight, but when that stopped and his body sort of "leveled out" the acne came back very badly. Did anyone else have any similar experience? Any reason this might have happened? I will keep this in mind while trying out the diet. If I lose weight I will wait until I stop losing weight before trying various foods again.

Also still wondering about what skincare routine I should follow while trying out the diet...

And finally, to women who have had success with a diet improving their acne... do you still get acne around your time of the month?

Anyway, thanks for all your help!

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So this is my current plan:

STEP ONE, I'm going to try as strict a paleo/primal/caveman diet as I can. I realize there might technically be differences between paleo and primal diets, but I'm going to try to eat mostly vegetables, a lot of meat, fish, eggs, some nuts and fruit. I'll try to eat as little "processed" food as possible. I realize cooking something at all is "processing" it, but I mean as much as possible, nothing that was cooked/baked by someone else, no added sugar or chemicals. I want to just buy raw ingredients and prepare meals myself from fresh vegetables, meat, eggs, and nuts. For at least the beginning of this project I will try to cut out all grains and dairy. I will also try not to eat TOO much fruit, and very little starchy vegetables. I'm not sure about beans and legumes. Mark's Daily Apple says no, so I guess at least for the beginning of this project I will not eat beans either.

I am certainly eliminating a lot of foods! This should be what I will eat on an average day. I took this sample menu from http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-sample-menu/ and I'm just editing it a little for what I like to eat.

Breakfast: 3 or 4 egg omelet with mushrooms, maybe spinach, broccoli, onions, peppers. Maybe a banana as well. I have never been a coffee drinker and don't think I will start.

Lunch: THE BIG SALAD (any Seinfeld fans out there? ;) ) Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, carrots, chicken, and oil and vinegar dressing.

Snack: Pistachios or almonds.

Dinner: A good cut of meat (chicken, duck, tuna, lamb) and vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower)

Comparing this with my current diet, I'm pretty sure I'm going to lose weight. This is okay with me, I would like to lose 15-20 lbs. I could lose up to 25 or 30 and still be in the "acceptable weight range" for my height. I am going to work my way up to eating this strictly. I am going to increase my vegetable and meat consumption and decrease my grain and sugar consumption immediately, but I will do it gradually until I am following the diet I described above.

I will keep careful record of how I feel, how much I weigh, and my skin condition. Assuming that I lose weight, I will wait until the weight loss stops and evens out for several weeks before I move on to the next step.

STEP TWO: I will then try adding certain things back into the diet to see how they make me feel. If my skin stays clear on the original diet, I will see how these things affect my skin. I am still figuring out how I will do this step, but I'm thinking something like adding the variable food 2 or 3 meals a week, and see how that goes. I don't know how long I should wait to see if a food variable had an effect, probably 2 or 3 weeks to test the acne effects.

This could take a VERY long time to test out all the different foods I would like to add back in. As I said, I am still figuring out this step and I am open to advice. Right now I am thinking I would test kinds of foods together. Do a few weeks trying cheese, if that goes all right, a couple weeks trying milk, if that goes well, a few weeks trying kefir milk or yogurt. Then I would try various starchy vegetables, then beans. Eventually I would try certain grains again, perhaps starting with brown rice, working my way up to whole grain, gluten free pastas.

I don't know if I should try eating more and more of the variable foods until I'm eating them in large quantities to try and determine exactly what causes break outs for me. Eating them just a few times a week would let me know that I could eat those foods occasionally without fear of a breakout.

Of course, it's possible that I will still have acne while following my primal diet. If so, oh well, if it makes me feel healthier otherwise, it will be worth it.

This is going to be quite a challenge! Anyone crazy enough to want to try this with me?

WHY do I want to do this? Based on the responses I got in this thread, I think following the primal diet, and eliminating diary, pretty much covers all the foods different people think cause acne. If I have missed any and have listed any dangerous foods in my sample diet, let me know!!

I'm just going to try this out and see how it works for me. If after following the primal diet for several months I do not notice any effect on my acne, I will probably not do step two. If it doesn't affect my acne but I lose weight and feel good, I will probably just add other foods back in moderation if I so desire, but I won't do at as carefully as if I was trying to see if specific foods affected my skin.

My whole plan is very much a work in progress, and I am open to all advice. I am very interested in others' experience with the primal diet, and what skin care you use if your acne is kept under control by your diet.

Finally, some info about me:

Female, 23 years old, caucasian. I am 5'4", currently weigh 145 lbs. I have moderate acne, mainly on my chin, but also on my cheeks and temples. My skin used to be very oily, but in the past year or so has become more dry.

Sorry this post is soooooooooo long. Thank you to everyone for the advice you have given me already. I will keep you updated with my progress. I seriously doubt anyone will want to do this with me, but I would love it if someone would like to try it out. If you are at all interested, don't worry that you have to start tomorrow. I will take awhile to really get into the primal diet, so you have plenty of time to think about it. I will also not be mean or angry if you give up at any point. I really want to try and stick it out, but I understand that this is a really big challenge. Thank you everyone!

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Sorry to post even MORE, just wanted to mention.... I did not list beef or pork in my sample menu not because I think they are bad for you, but because I honestly just prefer the taste of chicken and fish. I know, I'm weird. Anyway, I probably will try at least some beef occasionally, since I'm going to need variety doing this diet!

Again, I'm not saying any of the foods I eliminated are horrible for you, I'm just trying to get rid of every food that MIGHT cause acne and see what happens.

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I am still wondering - is there any real danger in not eating grains?

I remember reading Dan say that when he tried out this diet, his skin was great while he was still losing weight, but when that stopped and his body sort of "leveled out" the acne came back very badly. Did anyone else have any similar experience? Any reason this might have happened? I will keep this in mind while trying out the diet. If I lose weight I will wait until I stop losing weight before trying various foods again.

Also still wondering about what skincare routine I should follow while trying out the diet...

And finally, to women who have had success with a diet improving their acne... do you still get acne around your time of the month?

Anyway, thanks for all your help!

Grains are not necessary for optimal health. You can get all the vitamins and fiber from other foods (vegetables). If you're worried about losing weight, you will at the beginning but don't be alarmed. If you're usually on a typical high-carb starchy diet, your body will drop water weight when it uses up the carbs.

I don't know about acne getting worse after going off the diet? I don't suppose you should worry about that as you should be change that you will stick with.

You might want to try the regimen. I have tried using minimal products and skipping washes to rinse with water and it definitely hasn't helped. That's just my opinion. However, if you eliminate your food sensitivities and follow the paleo diet you may no longer need any topical treatment. It all depends on yourself.

And I really can't answer the last question...my acne has been pretty consistent lately and I don't break out more/less before my period (if I even get it).

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I cut out 80% of dairy from my diet, I try to stick to gluten-free options, I stray from processed foods, I eat meat/eggs (animal protein) 3 times a day, lots of veggies, healthy fats, and fruits. My skin looks the best it has in 4 months.

I try to eat throughout the day and maintain a balanced feeling of energy. Also drinking lots and lots of water helps all the cravings you might be having.

I want to point out that my diet used to be much more strict, but the stress it caused me to sticking completely to my regime may have counteracted the positive effects of following this diet plan. I think it is very important to incorporate an enjoyable, dairy-free, gluten-free diet in conjunction with a good exercise regime. I've recently started working out more and I can see results in my skin already.

Good luck! If I can follow a strict diet plan as a junior in high school I am positive you can too. I'm no expert, I only have my experience to share, but I hope it was somewhat useful!

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Two questions

1) Is there any danger in not eating any grains? Assuming you're eating lots of vegetables and lean meat instead, not just tons of bacon and ice cream.

2) What regimen should I follow while trying out this diet? Just wash my face and moisturize, no BP?

1. There is absolutely NO danger in not eating grains. They are not essential to your health in any way, shape or form. Though you should be eating lots of vegetables regardless and fatty meats, such as fish, are quite fine as are other meats which are grass fed and organic.

2. Whatever regimen you feel most comfortable with. I just wash with Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty bar and use Alpha Hydrox's 10% cream for wrinkle prevention every so often. Though I can advise to probably let go of the BP. I have noticed that when I was using it, the acne that I did get would leave a lot more scarring and the red marks took A LOT longer to disappear. The few times I have strayed on my diet and gotten a few spots, I noticed that not only did the red marks disappear completely within a week MAX, but left no trace of a scar. Point being, if you find a diet that works best with your body, you shouldn't need a topical solution for clarity.

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Hey :). I hear ya lady! All this diet stuff is stressful.... but I think it sounds like you have a good plan so far.... honestly though... I think I would elminate pistachios, they arent so great for you.... there's something in the processing of them that's not good.

Also... if you are cutting out grains make sure to eat LOTS of good fats and veggies to keep your bowls movin haha.... you could get constipated if you dont. Eat spoonfuls of coconut oil, but make sure you eat them with a meal... it could make you feel sick if you eat it alone, it's a very strong antifungal and if you have canidida it could give you crazy die off symptoms.

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