30 days to healthy living and beyond: how I’m feeling and is it all it’s cracked up be?

Let me start by saying, this is the healthiest I’ve been in years. If you’d have seen me this time last year, I was a completely different person! My eczema took over my life, made me so poorly and I was so unhealthy despite eating nothing but veg all the time for at least 3 months.

!NOT A BEFORE/AFTER!
November 2019 (sad, sore, on a restrictive alkaline diet) VS November 2020 (happy, healthy on the 30 DHL, coping with my eczema)

I’ve spoken about this a lot but last October I went through the worst flare up I’d had since being hospitalised with my skin when I was 10. I was home bound, writing my dissertation in bed when all of my housemates were living the year 3 uni life and partying. Even when I felt well enough to go out for some drinks and dress up I was riddled with anxiety and felt SO self conscious about my bright red, cracked skin. To try and help my symptoms I went on the alkaline diet which basically cut most food out of my diet and left me losing weight and still not feeling healthy or happy. The alkaline diet might work for some people but to me it wasn’t sustainable and I was bored of what I able to eat which led to me not eating much at all.

Between then and now I have been eating a ‘normal’ diet, drinking coffee, overloading on gluten (which never serves my gut well) and not thinking about the gut/brain/skin connection. I was happy for most it because I managed to find ways of coping with my skin and the summer definitely helped with that but autumn/winter came and my skin started to decline, like it did last year but no where near as bad. I thought doing this 30 days to healthy living programme would allow me to feel good and therefore make my eczema more tolerable, which in some ways has happened.

I am on a course of phototherapy to manage my skin and give me some relief but I definitely think this eating programme has reduced the inflammation in my body and my flare ups this month haven’t been as intense!

So what is the 30 days to healthy living and beyond programme you might ask:

It is a simple programme created by Arbonne whereby you cut out coffee, refined sugar, gluten, dairy, soy and alcohol for 30 days. You also have to swap out white carbs like potatoes and rice for complext carbs like brown rice and sweet potato. The idea is to reset the gut and give your digestion system the best possible chance at digesting your food and reducing common symptoms like bloating and wind (two things I suffer with a lot). Gluten is a big trigger for me, heavy meals like pasta and pizza always leave me feeling uncomfortable and sometimes in pain so I really needed this programme to give my gut a break. HERE is an information guide if you wish to find out more.

I have never found a direct link between diet and my eczema, it’s mainly external factors that influence the state of my skin but I knew this would be worth a shot just in case it relieved my skin. I think the main thing that has helped my eczema are the supplements I have bought to support the plan. These consist of:

Protein powder, probiotics, greens powder, fibre support powder, fizz sticks and the herbal tea. All of which can be bought as a pack at a discounted price. Then separately I bought the skin elixir which is a collagen booster and this has massively improved my skin barrier!

For me, it was vital to follow the programme with the recommended products so I could get the full benefits. Every morning I started the day with a greens/glow drink which would consist of mixing the greens, probiotic, skin elixir and a fizz stick into water and sipping it before food. My replacement for coffee was in the form of the fizz stick, a pomegranate flavoured drink that contains naturally derived caffeine and gives you a sustained boost of energy without the sugar level spike or slump.

Main points I’ve taken away from doing this:

  1. My digestion is amazing, no bloating has occurred in the whole month and feel like my body is able to digest food as it should.
  2. I have really enjoyed planning my meals and creating them, knowing what goodness is going into my body.
  3. My eczema flare ups haven’t been as intense which hopefully means that there has been less inflammation in my body.
  4. I have had a good amount of energy everyday, no afternoon tired moments!
  5. Learning more about the importance of gut health.
  6. I have picked up so many healthy habits and I know what my needs to thrive now.
  7. It’s sustainable. Cutting out the 6 main things is the hard part but once this has been mastered you can easily continue this by introducing what your body can tolerate, for example, I will now be limiting my gluten intake as I know this is responsible for my bloating and stomach pain.
  8. The supplements you can buy are AMAZING and because they are in powder form you body is able to absorb the goodness a lot quicker which means their benefits happen quicker too.
  9. It’s worth investing your time and money into, if you want to feel as amazing as I do right now then I really recommend you jump on board.

The one thing I have really loved about it is getting excited about my meals and snacks and planning and preparing them. I’ve eaten a wide variety of food and some sweet treats that have been totally approved by the plan to give me that sugar craving.

A sample of some of the meals I was having

In summary, yes, it’s all what it’s cracked up to be and I’m so excited to do it again in a few months after I’ve indulged over Christmas and the new year.

Please feel free to send me a DM on instagram if you want to ask me any questions about anything I have mentioned above!

L x

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