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Fuzzy,
If Grains are a problem for you or Carbs/sugar, then make sure your salad dressings are all natural (if you can) and aren't made with DISTILLED Vinegar, or containing other ingredients, like sugar or dairy, if that breaks you out. =)

For the REST of you =P

There's PLENTY left to eat depending on what your food sensitivity is. Now a food sensitivity is considered either an ALLERGY or an INTOLERANCE.

If you are [b]ALLERGIC[/b] to something (you'll love this Lone) it is because the food you eat contains around 10 - 30 Glycoproteins (sugar proteins) and depending on the food item, several of them can be HIGHLY allergenic. An allergic reaction is an immune response that happens almost immediately or within a few hours and even the tiniest most minute amount can be deadly for some!

If you are [b]INTOLERANT[/b] to something, it is because your body has a Digestive System Disoder or Gastroentestinal Imbalance and is unable to properly breakdown or use that particular food. Considering that most hormonal disorders are a result of a missing or defective enzyme, that makes PERFECT sense! With an Intolerance, it could behave like an allergy, or take days or weeks for it a reaction to occur.

So with the above knowledege, perhaps you can understand how it is possible for us as acne sufferers, to have problems with at least ONE food item. Personally I have found out that while I can eat chocolate, Soda breaks me out in Cysts, as well as Cherries (I love those) and either Gluten grains or ALL grains (why I haven't eliminated that last 1%. While I do still eat some refined foods, if I happen to eat (refined) Cereal (like Corn flakes, rice crispies, Corn Pops, etc in Organic Milk) I found that I get acne in my ear lobes. So I usually only consume a box of cereal every 2 months or so. However, by just avoiding the above (still on Spiro), I am now 99% clear, and because I dropped eating Wheat (among other grains) and consequently balanced more of my hormones, that also ELIMINATED my Painful, horrible, crying on the floor crippling menstrual pains that I have been dealing with since I was 11 (23 now). =)

So for those two things ALONE and for the possibility of being healthier in my future, I will Gladly stay on some form (perhaps stricter) of this diet ALL my LIFE! Here's what I get to eat on a Gluten-Free or Low Grain diet(I primarily only eat rice, corn and occasionally oatmeal):

Water (90% of the time)
100% Fruit Juice (usually diluted with water)
Tea, rarely coffee (usually decaffinated)
All Dairy (organic Milk and sometimes organic yogurt)
Meats, Fish, Poultry
Most Nuts, except peanuts and cashew (legumes)
Most Vegetables (usually no raw tomatoes)
Some beans (string beans, pork & beans, chili beans)
Fruits (temp. avoiding bananas)
Dried Fruits (my candy substitute)

GF GRAINS: Corn, White Rice, Brown Rice, Oats, Sesame, Potato, Arrowroot, Amaranth, Quinoa, Buckwheat, Montina, and there's more (usually found in healthfood stores)

GF Cereals (regular grocery store brands have some)
GF Soups (regular grocery store brands have some)
GF TV Dinners (rare...usually the gluten derivatives are the problem)
GF Pastas (made from Corn, Rice, Qunia, Buckwheat, Soy, Potato, or etc...)
GF Cookies
GF Muffins
GF Breads (still haven't found my perfect bread yet..)
GF Soy Sauce (it's really good)
Salsa, Spaghetti sauce
Corn Tortillas,Tacos,taquitos,chips,
Fries
Salads
Fried Chicken, Fish or other fried foods(no batter)
Rice Cakes
GF Granola Bars
Ice Cream (rarely now)
GF Communion Wafers

This list can go on. There's a group of people known as Celiacs (the name of their disease) and they MUST follow this diet (some noticed their skin cleared too)or they will get very sick and possibly die. As a result, over the years they have perfected recipes for OREO COOKIES, Stuffing, Pizza. practically anything, even Chicken Nuggets! They nor I, and others, are deprived! Infact for my 23 birthday a coworker made for me GF Brownies and they were pretty good. ;-)

The only downside to this is that you would have to cook most of your food from scratch or from a GF Mix. It's cheaper and it usually tastes better. However, if budget isn't a problem, then you can buy some of the Ready Made Gluten Free or Wheat Free Meals, cereals, cookies, breads, etc. Some companies, make really great tasting products (some don't).

Of course, there are lists available that tell you what Ingredients are safe and which aren't, along with what Food Brands at your Local Grocery store, carry GF Items so that you don't have to read the ingredient labels. Campbells and Hormel make some of them. If in doubt, sometimes they list the allergen in Bold or there's even a note at the bottom. Of course, you dont have to go this far (I do), unless it works for you. Then you'll want to avoid as much gluten and it's derivatives as possible. Hmm, you want to know what a Gluten derivative is, right?

Starch
Malt
Flour
Vinegar
Alcohol
Protein
Gluten (corn gluten is safe)
(there's lots more- search for a list)

These can be made from MOST grains, so which grain did the company use? Usually the company will specify the grain or give you more information so that you can make the right choice. Such as, Distilled Vinegar, Malt Vinegar, or Red Wine Vinegar. When in doubt, I avoid it, unless I really want it and there's no other GF ingredients in the product. You can also weigh the "risk" based on how it's used in the ingredients, is it in a sauce or just at the bottom of the ingredient list. [b]My breakouts decreased further, the more I avoided the derivatives.[/b]

Now that I've thoroughly overwhelmed you, remember go slow, you can just let this info sit in the back of your head. I did NOT jump into this, I thought about it for a month (been on this for over a year now), planned what I was going to eat, and then slowly proceeded. Hey, I'm a college student so my meals aren't balanced. I eat whats available in my house and is GF. I grab fast food (salad or tacos usually, chicken wings), grab fruit, nuts, etc. I buy canned food still and I also occasionally buy prepared & packaged GF foods from Sun Harvest (Whole foods, etc) or directly from the company, so I know which brands are worth it and arent. About half of them even offer [b]Sampler Packs[/b] so that you can test out different GF foods, that's how I did it. Some GF brands are just as affordable as the "normal" food, such as Kinnikinick and can even taste Better ;-)

Therefore, I've eliminates half the carbs, some of which are troublesome for those with Allergies/Intolerances and my skin is happy. I crave less sugar, eat far less sugary stuff, but I still get plenty of it in my diet.

Vegetables, fruits, some beans, rice, corn, and a few other safe grains all still provide me with carbs. IT's sorta the easy -hard way to avoid carbs. Hard as in, Gluten/Wheat is in 90% of food (homemade, or fast food). Easy, because all you've gotta do is mainly avoid Wheat, barley, and rye (there's a few more) and you are all set ;-)

As you can see, I'm not overly stressed about Refined Foods, Hydrogenated Oils and additional sugar, even though they have been shown to raise IR problems. I avoid them, and most "bad" preservatives as much as I can financially afford to. There's just so many combinations of dietary approach one can take and still be successful or not. I think that's why some of you get soo upset if "diet" doesn't work for you. The best advice I can give you is to think about whether you have truly eliminated that suspect food 100% from your diet or if you are even following a diet that would be good for your skin.

Take care


P.S. I also a take a soluble vegetable fiber supplement because I eliminated my main source of fiber (whole grains/wheat). It could be because I don't eat enough acceptable grains, but since people safely & successfully follow a Grain Free diet, it's probably because I do not eat enough vegetables (fiber). So until I up my veggie intake, I MUST do this. See I am still a work in progress =P

[This message has been edited by SweetJade1 (edited 09-07-2003).]





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