Maybe you started to read this blog post because you think you will find the perfect answer here. Well, that’s not an easy one.
There are so many different diets out there, we can easily get confused. One day you find out something is so good for you, and the next day you read an article which says that’s the worst thing you can do for your body. If you struggle with diet, trust me I know how that feels.
In this post, I would like to share my experience with you and tell what helped me to find the balance and the lifestyle I want to follow.
Let me give you a little bit of background of my diet choices, what kind of food I was eating before.
Like most of the people, I was following a regular diet with meat, animal products, sugar, processed foods. I ate a lot of sugar, sweets, I was addicted. I remember when I used to make a dessert at home, I always made double amount, just to make sure I have enough:)
Crazy addicted. I was barely exercising, I didn’t really care about diet. Sometimes I did some crazy diets which allowed me to lose weight, but the weight came back.
When I was 22 years old, I went to New York for a while, and that time I came across veganism, plant-based diet. I have to mention that I didn’t know anything about health or nutrition, I didn’t even know what vegan meant. I thought there was vegetarian and that’s it. You need to know that all my life I wasn’t happy with my body, my soul. In my childhood, just like a lot of people I had issues, I’ve never been the prettiest person, every time we went out with my friends, I was the last person who was noticed by guys.
I had acne all over my face. People said it was nothing, but it was devastating for me. I’ve never had self-confidence. I tried all kinds of beauty products, nothing really helped. I had problems with my menstrual cycle, so I always thought my hormones were causing my problems. I was on the pill for a month, but I stopped (thankfully) it. It gave me headaches, and I gained weight, it was not worth it.
That was the case in America, my skin looked horrible, I gained weight. I knew that I was eating too much junk food, so I thought I should do a detox. I searched online for a detox plan which I could do for a couple of days to get rid of all the bad stuff I was putting into my body, and then I’m good to go. Well, we can’t do that in a couple of days to maintain a healthy body. I came across Kimberly Snyder The Beauty Detox Solution Book. I read good reviews about it so I went to buy it. It was really new to me, I’ve never thought that meat, dairy and animal products could be bad for you.
You need to know that I was willing to do everything to get a beautiful skin. I’ve never taken medications to improve my skin. My main goal was to clear my body and finally get the beautiful skin. I didn’t know it was more complicated.
Reading the book, I thought, oh my God, do I really have to follow this diet for the rest of my life? I couldn’t imagine living without dairy and meat. But it totally made sense. Every word she wrote. So I started a plant-based diet following Kimberly’s advice and tips. But I did it for like one week only. That time I worked 12 hours day, I had only one day off a week, I didn’t have any time for myself, it was a crazy period of my life, so I didn’t continue it.
I went back to Hungary, I started it again, but I didn’t have a job, and well it’s hard to afford a lifestyle without money. Especially I didn’t even know where to start, what to buy.
In September 2013, I got a job, I worked at a shopping mall, at a beauty store. I was eating everything, my skin was still bad, I lost weight, but I still wasn’t satisfied. I had stomach aches and I have to mention my menstrual cycle gave me bad cramps all the time. It was also irregular my whole life.
So finally at the end of February 2014, I had enough, I went plant-based overnight. Actually, to tell the truth, in the beginning, I still ate some goats cheese. I was eating honey on and off.
When I started the plant-based lifestyle, I immediately saw the benefits. I’ve never had problems with my digestion, but it got better. I lost weight, I felt better in my body. But I want to be really honest with you guys, I didn’t see a big change in my skin, I didn’t thrive at all.
Time has passed, I still had acne, it got even worse, sometimes I had stomach aches as well. I went to see doctors and doctors, even if I don’t believe in medications, I wanted to figure out what was wrong. I thought I might have an overactive thyroid because I kind of had the symptoms. But it wasn’t the case. The dermatologist said it had to be my tonsils. Because I had acne on my neck as well. I went to see an ear, nose and throat specialist, but I didn’t have any problems with my tonsils. In the meantime, I went to see my gynecologist for an annual check-up. The results came back, I had an infection, so she assumed that’s why I had cystic acne on my neck. I got to mention we took a blood test, my hormones were working fine, but my menstrual cycle wasn’t regular at all.
So I started to take antibiotics for the infection, and my skin got better around my neck area. It wasn’t perfect, but definitely better. I hate medications, but I was so desperate, I was willing to try anything. My skin got my obsession.
I also need to tell you that I had no energy, I always felt dizzy, I had problems with my blood pressure, I was weak. I went to take a blood test. I was iron, B12 and vitamin D deficient.
I wasn’t paying attention to my diet, I was vegan but I ate a lot of junk food. I thought as long as it was vegan it couldn’t harm me. Well, that was a big mistake.
After realizing I had vitamin deficiency I started to take supplements, I got a little bit better.
The other thing I did and it was the worst that I ate late dinners and I went to bed right after that. I worked for the beauty company for 3 years, and I got home around 9:30-10PM. Well, that was the point when I ate so much, and after the shower, I went to bed in 30 minutes. I talk about this later why it was that bad.
In June 2016, I planned to visit my brother in the UK who has been lived there for six years now. I got the tickets, I was so excited to see him and go for a vacation. Four days before my trip I got the chicken pox. I know, it’s crazy. I haven’t got it when I was little. So I had to cancel the trip and stayed home for 2 weeks. I was so upset, I really needed that trip to get away from my life. I’ve had enough. I think everything happens for a reason, so I knew I had to figure this out. I knew I wasn’t eating well, I needed to focus on my health. I started to eat more raw foods, fruits, salads and I only had cooked food for dinner. It was so good, I started to feel a little bit better. But I knew that diet is one thing. You can put the healthiest food in your body, if you’re not happy with your life, nothing is going to change. I knew I had to change the circumstances. I decided to move to the UK, to my brother in September. We talked about it earlier but I just didn’t want to. But I felt this was the right time. I have to mention that in Hungary it’s not that easy to be vegan. I mean we have good stores and restaurants, but if you want to eat a lot of fresh veggies and fruits, well prepare yourself you can’t afford it, or you don’t even want to eat that produce. So I was willing to go move abroad to get my health back.
During that time one of my friends became a raw vegan and she suggested me to read 80/10/10 book by Douglas Graham. That time it totally made sense to me. Finally, I realized what was wrong with my vegan diet. I ate too much fat, I didn’t eat whole foods, I ate a lot of vegan junk food. I was so happy, that finally, I found the solution. I got so inspired, it was summer time, so I was able to get fresh produce.
I felt amazing, my skin got so much better, I had energy, I lost a lot of weight.
But I couldn’t continue it. My mom is so awesome, she always supported me, but when she saw me losing so much weight she got so scared, after a certain point I had no energy, my stomach was bloated all the time no matter what I ate, I didn’t look good. I didn’t have energy because I didn’t eat enough.
Second of all, I lost so much weight, I even got to a point when I thought “oh, this is too much.” But I was happy that I was so thin. I’m 168cm (5’6) tall and my weight was 53 kg (116 pounds).
I felt so bloated especially after my dinners when I ate a lot of vegetables. My stomach hurt all the time. I know the transition comes with bloating but it was really uncomfortable. So after more than one month, I stopped the fully raw diet. I started to eat steamed vegetables and rice etc. for dinner. I ate raw fruits during the day. It’s important to mention that I kind of developed an eating disorder, and I had a really bad relationship with the food. I used to love eating, and then it became a torture. I was afraid to eat because I knew I was going to get bloated again. I couldn’t accept this was the only way to have a good health, a beautiful skin. I was so upset because a lot of people are healthy and beautiful and they eat so much bad food. How is that possible? So I was desperately trying to find a better solution for myself. My health became my obsession. I kinda suffered from orthorexia. It took a lot of time to recover from that period of my life.
The time came I moved to the UK, to my brother.
After one month I started the raw till 4 diet which suggests eating raw fruits and vegetables for breakfast and lunch, and at dinner time you can eat cooked foods such as potatoes, whole grains like rice, and legumes like beans and lentils. I wasn’t consuming 3000 kcals a day, I usually ate 2000-2200 kcals, but there were times when I even ate more because according to the diet you should eat a lot. I was not even hungry, but I was stuffing myself with food because I thought this was the right thing to do. I started to eat more fruits during the day, and I had cooked meal for dinner without oil. I reduced the salt as well.
Months past by, I was eating a lot of fruits, which I love, and my skin started to get worse. I mean really bad, I had cystic acne again. I cut back on fat, at Christmas I ate so much fat, I also ate a lot of homemade rawnola with raw cacao, which made my skin horrible. I was blaming the oats, I haven’t even thought that maybe the fat in the cacao was the problem.
I’m sure I was going through some detox, but it was unbearable. I did 30 days fully raw challenge, my skin got so much better again. During that time I came across Anthony William Medical Medium books which I was obsessed with. According to the symptoms, I had/have Epstein-Barr virus and Streptococcus.
So I started to take some supplements he recommended, and the really helped, but still, something was wrong. I also stayed away from corn, soya, gluten, grains also. He says if you have any kinds of inflammation in your body you should avoid these things.
So basically, I was following a vegan diet containing mostly raw foods. 80-90% of my diet was raw. I consumed 2000-2200 kcals a day, I was eating constantly, my body didn’t even have time to digest the food, I was already eating something else. I gained weight, I always felt so heavy and I was depressed and moody all the time. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. My skin got better, but I didn’t feel good.
I got to a point when I thought maybe I should be a little bit more open to other things. That was the hardest thing for me. I genuinely thought the raw foods were the best things for my body, I had all the answers and everyone else was wrong.
Even though I felt bad, I was telling myself, my diet was right, you could not do better than that.
I was always interested in Ayurveda, but I didn’t really know what it was about. I came across online Sahara Rose and her book. I bought it and I started to read it. There were things that I agreed with, but that voice in my head kept telling me, “no, you know better, she’s not right.” I also knew this knowledge was 5000 years old, so maybe those people who invented it knew better than me:)
I started to incorporate a few things she said, and something happened. I started to feel better. My mood changed, I was happier, I was not full all the time etc. I realized I was sensitive to cacao, which I’ve never thought of. That time I started to drink hot chocolate every day, and I noticed my skin got so much worse. I realized later, that it’s because of the fat. I used to consume raw cacao every day, and I didn’t even think that the fat in cacao can make my skin worse. According to my dosha which is Pitta, I shouldn’t have coffee and cacao. Well, I stopped drinking coffee more than two years ago, but when I read about the cacao in her book, I was like, “no I’m not giving up on that.” But then I gave it a try, I stopped using cacao, and my skin looked so much better. I couldn’t believe it. Off course, I was following her other suggestions. So I thought okay, this was working out, I should start doing it properly. I was really open, so I tried the foods she recommended for my dosha which was grains, gluten, and soya as well. I didn’t really eat soya, but I was eating a lot of grains and gluten. But even she says Pittas should avoid nuts, nut butter, and they should keep the fat intake low. I started to eat a lot of oil and nut butter so my acne started to get worse again. Although I lost weight, I felt better in my body, I wasn’t bloated all the time, I stopped overeating, I ate way less. Following the Ayurveda’s principles helped a lot mentally.
Recently I’ve read Nina and Randa’s book, called The clear skin diet. Well, I heard about them before, they cured their cystic acne with a really low fat, high carb, plant-based diet. So I gave it try. I started it, and I can’t talk about it highly enough. After two days I already started to see the results on my skin. I couldn’t believe it, even my colleagues gave me compliments. I still have a long way to go to clear my skin, but seriously this is the best diet ever for me. What I also noticed, that I digest the food super fast (I also have to eat more to fill myself up, and more often), I lost weight, my energy level is really high, and I just feel so good. I will post about this diet a lot, and share recipes. This is what is working out for me currently.
The bottom line is that you have to find what is the best for you. I know it sounds so cliché, but really this was my hardest lesson I had to learn. Even though my mom kept saying this from the beginning. Try new things, listen to other people’s advice if you want to, but don’t do it just because they told you to do it. Listen to your body. I didn’t listen to mine at all. Don’t make the same mistakes, that I did.
Try out new things, experiment with diets, but you don’t have to follow every single thing that the diet tells you. Find out what works for you. I pay attention to my body and I eat what it feels good.
I’ve been plant-based for 5 years, I’m not going to say I was vegan the whole time, because I was still consuming honey on and off. Also, I use some beauty products that contain beeswax, so I’m not going to say I’m 100% vegan. I don’t like the labeling, I eat this way because I want to.
I know maybe you thought you were going to find the perfect answer to the question mentioned above, but the only person who knows the answer is you.
I hope that made you think a little bit, and maybe you got inspired to make some changes, and I can’t wait to share more information about diet, lifestyle, beauty.
Thank you so much for reading,