“Living holistically doesn’t just mean eating well and exercising, its about entire body health. Mental health, physical health, and overall well being. You can eat cleanly and exercise all you want, but if you’re not happy or don’t feel good in your own body then your not living to your full potential. It’s about being happy and confident; mind, body, and soul.”
Hey guys! Welcome, or welcome back to the blog! This week I wanted to take some time to introduce the brand new Banish Warriors for Banishacnescars. If you're not aware of what a "Banish Warrior" is, they basically share their own journeys in dealing with acne while embodying what the company stands for; strength, empowerment, determination, and courage.
Each warrior is unique in their own way, from healing themselves internally through diet and focusing on the external esthetic factors of skin to being a lover for makeup and a positive ray of sunshine for all acne sufferers. The four warriors each present a unique personality and outlook when it comes to what truly defines them as the embodiment of Banish. This week, I sat down with each of them individually in one-on-one interview and got to pick their brains.
Today I got to talk with Alyssa (IG handle: @holisticlyss), dietician and holistic healing advocate. Just recently starting her Instagram a few months ago, she plans to use her platform to spread the message of living a balanced lifestyle and what that means for her; mind, body, and soul. I asked her, what got her interested in nutrition, does she think it can effect your skin, and what’s her number one tip in living a balanced lifestyle? To find the answer to all of these questions and more, keep reading below!
nutrition as a lifestyle
Unfortunately for most people it typically takes something going wrong in their health for them to fully take the plunge of eating clean and living holistically. This wasn’t the case for Alyssa. She grew up in a family of nurses, being extremely health conscious and educated on nutrition, it has always been a part of her life.
Alyssa always thought she would follow in her family’s footsteps and become a nurse later in life, until she discovered her love for nutrition. She started out taking a few classes in college and hasn’t looked back since. For her, food is extremely healing it can either hurt you or help you depending on your diet and lifestyle. That being said, she isn’t a fan of extreme diets.
Putting too many restrictions on yourself can be stressful when it comes to dieting. She believes in balance, if one week you want a burger- then eat a burger! But if you want to eat salmon and veggies, eat that too. You shouldn’t deprive your body, mind, or soul of what it wants or you’ll end up feeling frustrated. If you are cutting out certain food groups it’s extremely important to do your research, with so much conflicting information online it’s hard at times to decipher what’s healthy, and what’s not.
“Dieting is about listening to my body and finding out whats right for me. I need that balance in life, I find that people who diet don’t always stick to it because it’s usually too restricting. Most of the general population want a super fast and easy way to lose weight but dieting isn’t the answer, a healthy lifestyle is; and that takes time. Start by making small changes and then incorporate good foods as often as possible. Of course for people who NEED to cut out certain food groups it’s totally understandable. If it’s messing with your mind, body, and soul however, it may be time to re-evaluate if your current diet is actually benefiting your overall well-being.” (Alyssa)
If you’re anything like me, you either too strict with your dieting or too lenient. Far too many times I’ve fallen off the wagon, what starts as one night of drinking quickly turns into a month of over indulging in drinks and fried fatty foods. I asked Alyssa how she continuously stays on track and she answered honestly. She doesn’t!
Alyssa thinks it’s completely normal to go off track from time to time and that if you do slack on your diet, you shouldn’t beat yourself up too hard about it. Being a full time student and a working woman, she completely understands the struggle of balancing school, work, healthy living, and managing time for family and friends. Like all of us, there are times she goes to Trader Joe’s multiple times a week and meal preps for days. Then there are other days where she gets sucked into the whirlwind of life and lives off of In and Out. It’s called mind, body, and soul balance.
“I remind myself that it going to be okay, were all human. Its going to be fine, don’t beat yourself too hard. Sometimes life gets in the way and its not always easy. We can’t always be perfect, life isn’t all meal prepping and going to the gym five times a week. Sometimes it’s calm and that’s okay too. It isn’t always going to be easy and sometimes you have to take a step back. If you’re going through a hard time it will get better and you will get back on track later. It’s important to take small steps everyday and most importantly, don’t stress out.” (Alyssa)
food for healing your skin
Take one look at Alyssa’s Instagram and the first thing you’ll notice is the food. It’s portioned appropriately, amazingly lit, and platted to 100% perfection. I don’t even really like eggs, but after seeing one of her #toasttuesday posts featuring one of those bad boys sunny side up, I was suddenly craving them all day. Although her photos look professional, Alyssa hasn’t always had a passion for food photography. She recently started her page after going through a hard time with school and life in general. She was in a dark place and needed an outlet to get her mind off of everything. As a dietetic she always already learning about nutrition and making delicious food on her own so she thought, why not share it with the world? And from there, @holisticlyss was born!
As she continued to eat a balanced diet, Alyssa began to notice a change in her skin. Slowly but surely with a clean diet, her acne completely cleared up! She still gets a few pimples from time to time like all of us acne prone people, but nothing like before. Although dermatologist often dismiss this link between food and skin, she strongly argues otherwise. This she knows from first hand experience, as a previous worker at In and Out, she would frequently eat their burgers. Sometimes, up to three times a week! Mix this with standing around frying grease for 8 hours a day and you’ve got yourself a recipe for an acne disaster. She admits, that this time period of her life was the worst her skin has ever been.
“What you put into your body directly effects your skin. I mean think about it, if you I drink more than two glasses of wine you’ll wake up with dry lips or a huge pimple. If you don’t drink a lot of water you can feel it in your skin. If you smoke, you’re skin will be dry and prone to wrinkles. If you eat larger amounts of dairy you could have higher levels of inflammation, triggering breakouts. It’s crazy how much food effects your body, good or bad.” (Alyssa)
The journey to clear skin extends further than her diet, it’s also about learning how to destress and be kind to yourself along the way. The mind is a powerful thing, stress takes a huge toll on your skin whether you think it does or not. It’s a vicious cycle, you stress out, you breakout; you breakout, you stress out. So how do you get it to stop? Well everyone’s different but for Alyssa it was all about self acceptance. She began focusing on her own wellbeing and self image, and started caring less about what other people thought. Always being worried if there was a new breakout and constantly touching her face looking for a new pimple were two of the hardest habits to break. But once she did, she realized what a toll it was taking on her skin.
“ Once I started relaxing my skin started clearing up, pair that with eating well and I really began to see results.” (Alyssa)
on a mission to spread confidence
So why a food instagram? Why talk about diet and nutrition as a way to heal? For Alyssa it’s not just about sharing her story, but helping others to find their journey along the way.
“I went through an acne journey myself, and I remember how crappy I felt about my life. All the things I would do to myself to try to clear it, and I see a lot of people doing the same. I just want to show people that healing is possible through nutrition and help people that are struggling find a solution. I never had a support system when I was going through my hardships so I just want to give back and be that for someone. I’be gained confidence along my journey and I want to spread that confidence and positivity to others who are in the same position I was in.” (Alyssa)
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Kali Kushner, known as the Instagram alias myfacestory, is a natural beauty advocate in the greater Cincinnati area who is passionate about using organic skincare and holistic remedies to heal acne from the inside out. Her dedication lies in her own chronic acne struggles as she continues to restore herself while helping those around her.