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Why Mindset Is The Most Important Part Of Any Clear Skin Eating Plan

Posted Jun 03 2009 9:44am

girl eating sushi Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been talking to and interviewing a lot of people who’ve managed to clear their acne holistically. The one element that remains the same with each one of these interviews so far has been a change in diet, which has made me realize even more so how important diet is for clearing acne holistically.

However, the one thing I’m always wary of when giving any kind of diet advice for the skin, is how healthy your relationship is to the food you consume. The last thing I want is for you to develop a feeling of guilt or a problem with eating certain foods. Personally, I’ve been there and it’s not a good situation to be in. Feeling bad about eating one of the foods you “shouldn’t be eating” is worse than eating the food itself. So I’d rather you eat it and enjoy the experience with no guilt or negative feelings whatsoever.

Probably the best example of what not to do is my own personal story. About a year and a half ago I took my macbook for an outing to do some work in a cafe. I was hungry so wanted to order off the menu but there was nothing on there that was okay to eat according to the strict clear skin diet that I was following. But I was starving so ordered some plain wheat bread toast and felt guilty the whole time I was eating it, then even more guilty after I’d eaten it. Looking back on it now I realize that I had a very unhealthy relationship with food. I hate to admit it but this mindset that I was holding back then doesn’t seem too dissimilar to an eating disorder.

I can’t stress enough to you how important it is to never feel guilty about anything, especially not about the food you’ve just eaten.

The mind/body connection

chicken I had a very interesting conversation with my Chinese herbalist recently. He was talking to me about being vegetarian, and how vegans and vegetarians can sometimes develop an intolerance to animal products simply through mindset. An unhealthy vegetarian for example who’s say low in Vitamin B12 and Iron still feels strongly in their mind about not consuming meat. Yet their body craves the nutrients found in the animal products. This results in your body and mind disagreeing with each other, and therefore a possible physical negative reaction much like a food allergy if the animal products are actually consumed.

I’m certain this reaction can happen with any food. So if you truly and strongly believe that if you eat a block of chocolate then you will get an acne breakout, then you know what? You’ll probably actually get one. Because you’ve created the mindset where your think this food is the cause of your problem skin. Now I’m not saying that food allergies or intolerances are untrue, I still believe that food intolerances are one of the leading causes of acne. I’m just saying that if you create the mindset where you have a strong belief that certain foods, even those that you are not allergic or intolerant to, will give you acne once you’ve eaten it, then it’s likely going to happen.

But in reality if you’re eating a relatively healthy wholefoods diet most of the time, then eating the odd slice of white wheat bread, brownie, wedge of cheese or whatever your comfort food is, then you’re very unlikely to experience any kind of breakout for just consuming that food the one off time. Of course if you have a dairy intolerance and you eat an entire two liter tub of ice cream then perhaps this will cause a problem for you, but that’s a completely different scenario and yes you may get an acne breakout from that. And of course if you eat junk foods and inflammatory foods most of the time then your skin is going to show it too. But as I said, these are completely different scenarios to what we’re trying to achieve.

Probably the most important thing to remember is to be as confident and happy within yourself as you can be, and to feel good and positive about the personal choices that you make. After the meditation retreat I was recently on I made a choice as I was leaving Byron Bay to stop into one of my favorite cafes and order a big chunk of banana cake with chocolate sauce and cream. Definitely not something I eat every day, or even every week ..but wow did I enjoy it while I was eating it and the memory of that meal experience still puts a smile on my face :) Oh and no, I did not get an acne breakout from eating it either, and I’m CERTAIN that’s because I didn’t believe it would break me out and I don’t eat like that every single day.

So my point out of all of this rambling is to emphasize three things-

  1. It’s important to eat well most of the time. Your body IS a temple and you MUST nurture it with good nutritious organic foods.
  2. Don’t feel as though you have to be on a extraordinarily strict diet to clear your skin. Sometimes following the rule “everything in moderation” can lead to a happier and less stressful existence which will in itself improve and clear your skin.
  3. Mindset - the mind/body relationship you have to the food you eat is often the most important thing. Learn to cook with love, eat when you’re happy and feel good about what you’re eating (even the naughty stuff). Your positive frame of mind will work wonders for your skin.
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