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[b]idealist[/b],

Thank you for this post. I've never had a major acne problem, but I always seemed to have a few pimples. And for the longest time, I bought into the what the "experts" said, which is that diet and acne have no connection. But now I know better. Not only do I think diet is the root cause of acne, I think it's the root cause of many of today's leading health problems.

To eliminate and prevent acne, I've committed myself to cleaning up my diet. But it hasn't been easy. Like you said, we live in a fast paced world and while I've gotten better at avoiding convenience foods that come in a package, I'm still looking for something simple and quick. If something requires too much preparation time, I don't bother with it. I know that's a lousy attitude, but I've always felt that eating healthy shouldn't feel like work. Also, there are a lot of specific foods I'd gotten used to eating. Cottage cheese was a food I had to eat daily because, as someone who lifts weights, I had a hard time meeting my daily protein without it. But I decided I'd rather be skinny and acne free than muscular and covered in pimples. Giving up sugar has been hard as well since I'm a serious chocolate addict. But I tell myself how it'll rot my teeth and make me fat along with give me acne. I've also come to realize the same thing you did, that one must have patience and try a plan for months and not be tempted to give up just because they don't see results in a couple weeks. People can't expect to lose a lot of weight in a few weeks. By the same token, they can't expect to heal their skin in a few weeks either.

And lastly, I think you're 100% correct in saying that pills and creams are not the answer. Certainly acne soaps should be included as part of proper cleaning regimen, but they can't make up for a bad diet.

But I did have several questions that maybe you can assist me with. First off, you mentioned that you eat grains, but no cereals. Are you counting oatmeal as a grain or cereal and is it safe? It's become part of my standard breakfast and I'd hate to have to eliminate it. Also, you mentioned that you eliminated anything made with flour. So does that mean whole wheat bread is forbidden, despite being a whole grain? Sometimes in a restaurant, a sandwich is the healthiest option. Lastly, as someone who's a big believer in the practice of eating small, frequent meals, I was wondering if you could give me any suggestions on small, healthy meals that I could take to work, but not spend much time preparing. At this point, I eat breakfast and dinner at home and go out to lunch. The other meals are the hard part. No more cottage cheese or protein bars for me. What ideas do you have? The only things I can think of to pack are a piece of fruit and a bag on nuts.
hi out to lunch. answers to your questions:

"Are you counting oatmeal as a grain or cereal and is it safe?"
When i said cereal i meant the highly processed stuff that comes in a box and is marketed as containing whole grains. stuff like cheerios (LOL, i ate cheerios for YEARS thinking it was a real healthy food). if you take a good look at the ingredients in these products you'll notice that there are a lot of refined stuff in there, not mention fortified vitamins. i don't believe in these "vitamins" or any fortified food. all the vitamins you need are NATURALLY found in whole foods. i think plain old oatmeal is fine, but there is some debate about the amount of gluten in it. some people have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity. as for having it as part of your standard, i'd try to mix it up a bit (i think eating too much of one thing OVER and OVER again is not good -- the body needs balance). try eating buckwheat or brown rice for breakfast. i know it seems strange, but that's our society having tought us we need something sweet to start of the morning. but in other cultures whole grains or even things like salads are common for breakfast.

"you mentioned that you eliminated anything made with flour. So does that mean whole wheat bread is forbidden, despite being a whole grain?"
for me, yes, any bread is out. not to say that I NEVER EVER eat it (i could never give up pizza!) i really reduced the consumption to a little as possible, about once every few months. with bread too though even those "whole grain healthy" breads, take a GOOD look at the ingredients. often times there is a mix of whole with regular flour, weird softeners and leaving agents, and once again, fortified vitimins.

"suggestions on small, healthy meals that I could take to work, but not spend much time preparing."
this is a tough one, even still for me. i usually snack on things like apples, pears, some nuts, seeds or grains. but i often get board and feel unsatiated. for a while i was eating small salads for a snack at work. i got tired of it after a few months.

hope this information helps?

i'm glad you stopped eating those protein bars, those are not good. amazingly, i think the majority of the food sold at health food stores are not healthy. somehow we've been brainwashed into thinking "food" can be packed up into these miracle bars, shakes, etc.





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