“Are you embarrassed?” I was asked for the third time that day. “No, I’m not embarrassed, I appear to have developed hormonal acne and rosacea; sorry if my face offends you” was my annoyed response.
Truth be told, I was embarrassed and wanted to cry. I had grown up with lovely olive coloured skin and not a spot or pimple in sight and midway through menopause I developed an extremely sore and red face that blistered and burned. I didn’t want to go anywhere or be seen as it was extremely debilitating as it literally was ‘in your face and on mine!’
I used all sorts of creams, remedies and therapies however none of them worked and in hindsight made the condition worse, partly because I was focussing on it.
I had been on a plant-based diet for a number of years and felt amazing, albeit for this ‘in your face’ condition. I researched for hours, days, months and probably about 18 months before I came across an article for Gut Health - this turned out to be my golden bullet!
My happy place is in my kitchen; I love inventing and being in my own mindful place. I researched and I went shopping for organic vegetables and bought my first organic SCOBY that I named Vera and lo & behold, Vera is now the mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother of all my SCOBY offspring. (SCOBY acronym is Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast). I started making Kombucha and would have a small glass each evening with dinner and within two weeks my skin stopped burning and the pain dissipated.
I was now on a mission… this journey has been one of trial and error over several years now and I believe I have cracked it! Yay for patience, determination and the power of self healing!
The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, believed that all disease starts in the gut and there is a plethora of research and evidence to show that he may have been correct.
There are new studies coming out continuously about our gut bacteria and how it’s important for our overall health. It is believed that 80 percent of our immune system is in the gut, and a well-balanced microbiome means that when the immune system is strong, and you are less likely to get ill and better able to heal any illness you might have. Gut bacteria manufacture about 95 percent of the body's supply of serotonin, which influences both mood and GI activity.
Research shows that by changing the gut flora can have a positive effect on your mental wellbeing when fermented foods are eaten on a regular basis. These foods aid digestion and restore the colonies of healthy bacteria (flora) in the gut. Studies have shown that fermented foods can lessen and reduce allergies. They also reduce plaque bacteria in the mouth resulting in fewer cavities and healthier gums. When people include fermented foods in their diet, they tend to lose weight more easily. Fermented foods are also reported to help with health conditions from asthma to auto-immune diseases which are massively on the increase. Nowadays, many people eat food that is in my opinion substandard, fast food is a way of life, as are ‘ping’ microwave dinners and vaccines are massively on the increase and as a result; or so the theory goes, our immune system can go haywire, leading to autoimmune disorders, allergies and some brain conditions. Autism isn’t thought of as an immune condition, but there is evidence that immune dysregulation and inflammation play a role in some cases. There is much research in this area at present and I personally know of some families that are trying to improve their diets by using homemade fermented and probiotic foods to improve overall health in the family and support those with ASD and ADHD.
If you want to try fermented foods and drinks, I do recommend that you make your own produce for it is far superior than shop bought. I have experimented with organic vs non organic and again, organic is far superior to non organic.
I make and consume fermented drinks such as Kombucha, Water Kefir and ACV in my green tea or water. Krauts, Pickles and Kimchi, Sourdough or sprouted seed bread, sauces, salsas and fermented cheeses and a daily shot of plant-based milk Kefir which I also use as yogurt as these items give my gut the microbiome it needs for a strong immune system and no more acne or rosacea.
I am a huge advocate for adding these foods to ones diet. I coach people in this lifestyle and I also teach workshops which I will link below. If you are local to Wiltshire and want to join me, please click the link for more information on courses available, alternatively you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a beautiful day and don’t forget to consume your ferments!
With love and appreciation, always x