My Pegan Pick #1!


In shifting from a vegan diet to a pegan (paleo + vegan) diet over the past few months, I’ve been introduced to some really great products that helped with this lifestyle change. I want to start sharing them on a weekly basis, in case you ever have an interest in switching to a dairy-free, gluten-free, meat-on-the-side, sugar-free diet, or if you just like trying something new!

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So much for minimizing stress.

I was proud of myself last night. I checked off every box of my self-proclaimed “MUST DO BEFORE BED” to-do list (See: Day 64. I should have this down by now.). When I went to set my morning alarm, I knew I could set it for a little later in the morning because I was so prepared. My minimize stress plan was in full effect.

And yet, on the second day back to work after a 10 day break, I was wide awake (without an alarm) an hour early stressing out about the prom contract for my senior students. And how I am going to afford to pay for prom with the limited funds we have available. And how many students I can reasonably expect to participate in prom. And who the DJ is going to be. And what the prom favor is going to be. So, after desperately trying to convince myself to stop worrying and go back to sleep, I begrudgingly got up and started my day. *Don’t worry, I was still late to work.

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Day 64. I should have this down by now.

As much as I loved having the last 10 days off, I am a little excited to be back to work because of the structure it affords. I kept a pretty decent schedule when on vacation (didn’t sleep too long or stay up too late), but my eating schedule was all off. As I’ve mentioned before, I have to hit certain macronutrient (protein, fats, carbs, etc.) and phytonutrient (compounds found in plants) targets each day, and I usually plan three meals and two snacks (mid-AM and mid-PM). Throughout my time off, I noticed that I would eat breakfast relatively late and then my whole day of meals would shift and one would usually get skipped. This wouldn’t be a big deal if I was still meeting my targets, but I was not. I feel like after so much time on this diet, I should have this whole process down by now. It was acceptable to slightly miss the targets when I was first learning, but now? It’s been 64 days. I should be hitting every target, every day…

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When you have to sit out, and Sunday of rest.

Hola! Though today is (sadly) the last day before I head back to work tomorrow, I was fortunate enough to spend the last three days with two of my best friends. They came to visit from Buffalo, and we had a glorious time couch-sitting and hanging out around Cleveland. Their visit took the concept of minimizing stress to a new level; I was totally relaxed and really enjoyed the doing-nothing-ness.

Their visit also opened my eyes to yet another consequence of a very strict elimination/detox diet. Our lives literally revolve around food. Now, please keep in mind that I suggested and/or planned all of our activities, but the weekend looked like this…

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What not to say to someone with cystic acne.

Posting my two month check in yesterday was liberating! I know my skin is nowhere near perfect, but I’m so astounded of the progress it has made due to my dietary changes. Food really does heal. I can’t wait to get my health coaching certification and help others come to this realization…but that’s a story for another day.

I still have a long way to go to heal my face completely. I don’t want to speak for every cystic acne sufferer, but after I booked my appointment with the Functional Medicine Center and started speaking openly about my skin (instead of pretending it wasn’t bothering me 100% of the time), I started noticing the comments from my friends, acquaintances, and everyone else I interact with on a regular basis. Five comments in particular really stand out, so I’ve compiled a lovely list of “What not to say to someone with cystic acne”…

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Two months down!

It’s been two months since I began my elimination / detox diet in an attempt to heal my cystic acne from the inside out. To recap, the list  of “NO” food groups includes:

  • Legumes
  • Grains (except 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa or 1/3 cup of cooked rice as of March 4, 2016)
  • Dairy
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Fruits (other than a select handful of low-glycemic fruits deemed acceptable)
  • Caffeine (except 1-2 cups of green tea as of March 4, 2016)
  • Soda
  • Sweeteners (natural or artificial)

This might seem like a radical approach, but let’s consider the alternatives: accutane, or a blood pressure pill that may or may not work, and I would have to be on it for the rest of my life. I pick trying the functional medicine approach.

So, without further ado, let me take you through a timeline of my skin over the past three years, ending with my progress to date!

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