So the other night I was waiting for Jerry to come home from work, and I was scrolling through the list of options on Netflix.  For those of you that have Netflix, you know this program is both a blessing and a curse.  So many options!  By the time you get done scrolling, 20 minutes have passed and you don’t want to watch anything anyway!  I finally decided to take a look at the documentary section and happened upon “Food, Inc.”.

What spawned after watching that film was a slew of other documentaries about nutrition in America and how it affects our overall health and well-being.  In fact, I watched so many films that instead of my conversations starting with “I saw this thing on Pinterest”, they are now “I was watching this really cool documentary on food”!  Note to reader:   I’ve decided that talking about enjoying these documentaries is not so much a reflection of the fact that I am getting older, but that I am so excited to learn (that sounds much better doesn’t it?).

One documentary that stood out in particular was called “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.”. This film is about an Australian man named Joe Cross who was not only 100+ lbs. overweight, but also has an autoimmune disease known as chronic urticaria.  This disease is likened on the film to getting a mosquito bite.  Usually, the skin will swell (edema) and become red (erythema) in the location of the bite as the body’s response to quarantine the infection.  Joe’s disease was like mosquito bites or hives all over the body at any time or for any reason.  He found himself on a truckload of pills to manage his chronic inflammation and the potential for Type II diabetes.  After going to several different doctors and trying all sorts of methods of healing from massage to seeing a witch doctor (where do you find one of those anyway?), Joe remembered how his skin healed as a child.  When his body was young and healthy, any cuts or abrasions would heal quickly because the health on the inside would manifest itself on the outside.  In the film, he chronicles his path to beating his chronic urticaria by juicing and consuming fruits and vegetables for 60 days.  He not only was able to get off his truckload of pills, but was able to drop 100 lbs. or more of excess body fat.  His story has inspired and motivated countless people to try the same method of healing the body from the inside out with nutritious food instead of just taking a pill.

Now, some of you may think that Joe’s story is extreme and an isolated occurrence, but it really begs the question:  how closely related is our skin and our food?  If organic skin care products that are free of extra chemicals and fragrances are good for the surface of the skin, aren’t organic healthy foods just as powerful?  If we all agree that eating more fruits and vegetables is a part of a healthy diet that will enable our body to function properly, then it stands to reason that a healthy internal system will produce a healthier external appearance.  So instead of having my bowl of cheese grits in the AM (hey, Weight Watchers said it’s only 3 points – don’t judge!), I take a selection of fruits and veggies and put them into my blender with some water and drink up!  I feel just as full as having my bowl of grits and I’m packing in nutrients that I perhaps wouldn’t get otherwise.  I am noticing that my skin is brighter and I have seem to be having fewer breakouts than I typically do.

My challenge to you is to try incorporating more natural/basic/ingredients you can pronounce/in its raw form foods into your diet.  See if it makes a difference in the way that you feel.  Learn all you can about taking care of your body to genuinely keep yourself healthy.  I’m certainly no expert, so the proof is in the pudding (don’t eat pudding) for you to see for yourself.   Maybe you add a few years more on to your life, and as a side benefit, wake up to seeing healthier brighter skin than before.

Priya Crumpton
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