4 weeks, and lots of changes!
I think success depends on which type of acne-sufferer you are. I had acne from age 12 to 23 or so. I originally got rid of the cycle using the regimen, but now I'm successful through diet and avoiding picking, though I am not perfect in this.
I am also on a high carb, low fat vegan diet. My goal in doing this was never to clear up my skin. I had a terrible addiction to sweets. For several weeks, I would drive home on my commute and imagine getting my next chocolate or candy. Once I got home, I would indulge so much (while laying on the couch), that I would not want to make dinner or do anything productive. I decided that if I said no to dairy and sugar, I would also end my addiction to sugar. Then I thought, "If I end those, why not cut out meat as well?"
After much research, here's what happened nearly overnight:
I cut out:
- Daily coffee and tea (mostly for the tannins that interfere with iron absorption-- though I do have the occasional tiny glass of vegan red wine)
- High fructose corn syrup, white sugar, brown sugar, and any other types of processed sugars
- White bread and bleached or unbleached white flour (I am not GF. I choose to eat whole grain products like rice, bread, and pasta)
- Dairy and meat (of course)
- Preservatives and processed food
- All candy (gelatin and high fructose corn syrup) and nearly all chocolate
I now eat:
- Beans and legumes
- I do still cook with oils like olive oil and coconut oil, but I don't use vegetable oil anymore. I'm looking to find an alternative with a higher smoke point to cook with.
- Nutritional yeast, almost daily
- A 1/4 of nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts) every day
- Kale and leafy greens several times a week
- Homemade, fresh meals all week
- Hemp powder in a smoothie each morning
- Many helpings of quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, and other grains that I'm currently exploring (amaranth, barley, etc.)
- A supplement of B12 (1500mcg) every few days
- Skin was red and spotty. I haven't really had full-blown acne in a while, but I would wake up to find 4-8 pustules every morning. They were scattered over my face. I have a weakness for scratching spots as hard as I can, which explains my hyperpigmentation. My previous diet included meat, some processed foods, foods with preservatives, an addiction chocolate and candy, whole grains, an assortment of fruits and vegetables, and dairy every day.
- I would hit an energy wall and need food by 10-11 a.m., which is not so good while working with children
- I would hit another energy wall at 5 p.m.
- I'm still teetering on being underweight, but I had a bloated belly most days
- Tight, bright, mostly clear skin. I wouldn't quite say it glows (yet), but it has a different texture than it did before.
- Soft skin. It's not excessively oily or bumpy.
- Fewer pustules (1-2 daily)
- No more redness
- Lesions heal within 24-48 hours instead of 72+
- No more bloating. My tummy is flat.
- I have energy from the moment I wake up at 7 a.m. until 11-12 a.m., and I don't need 10 hours of sleep to feel refreshed
- I feel fuller, faster.
- I enjoy cooking more. It's probably just a placebo effect, though I did get excited over cooking a tomato and kale and lentil soup the other night. I don't think I'd ever tasted anything that good.
- I am more aware of the conditions in which most pigs, cows, chickens, and turkeys, live. I am also more conscious of the conditions sheep, ducks, and other materials-based animals live in.
I'm definitely keeping up with this diet. I'm excited to see how it goes in the coming months and years, I hope.
Despite all the incredible positives, here are some negatives:
- I still fear what others (whom I have not told) will say about my new dietary regime.
- I am terrified of having to fight with someone who doesn't see eye-to-eye with veganism.
- I needed to learn to cook all over again. Foods that were once familiar are now foreign.
- Telling my parents, my sister, my boyfriend, and his family were all difficult experiences. I'm lucky that I feel supported by these people now. The last time I went pescetarian, I did not have the support from all of them.
- Traveling to another country, halfway across the world where English is not a main language.
- Eating out in restaurants as a vegan takes more planning.
- It's essential for me to to meal plan each week, or I'll be eating bread and peanut butter some nights if I'm not careful
- The cost of eating vegan properly is more expensive than eating a diet with dairy and meat. Legumes and beans are cheap and hearty, but nuts and seeds and alternative milks add up. The good news, is that the savings from not buying processed foods and chocolate and candy end up buying you hearty meals.
And, perhaps a neutral point to end things off:
- I made a grilled cheese sandwich with homemade bread, daiya cheese, and spread. I felt uncomfortably full after eating it because I hadn't had something so rich in a few weeks.