Acne and a Natural Toner recipe

AppleCiderVinegarTonerI have struggled with acne my entire life. Looking back through my pictures from middle school through college, the first thing I notice is my constant acne. I recently learned that this is a common complaint from Lyme patients.

Lyme disease is the cause of multiple factors that influences acne. First, the skin is the largest detox organ. Lyme causes a build up of toxins, especially for those patients who have heavy metal toxicities. Also, not all of the bacteria is flushed out through the GI tract. Either dead or alive, the Lyme bacteria likes to hide out in the skin. The toxins and bacteria have no where to go and get built up in the skin causing white heads. Second, Lyme causes inflammation. The inflammation in the skin causes red bumps, cystic acne puffiness and facial redness. Finally, Lyme causes hormonal imbalances and stress. I am sure you all know about the mood swings and severe PMS symptoms that go along with the hormonal imbalances. Stress is triggered not only from the intense situation and variety of symptoms but from the Lyme itself. Lyme causes the body to process stress differently or ineffectively, often resulting in physical manifestation.

I have found that in order to treat my acne, I had to stray away from all the over the counter beauty products at the store.?????????????????????????????????????????? They are all full of unnatural chemicals that either cause adverse reaction to my sensitive skin or never really work. As well as finding natural beauty products, I also had to maintain a clean diet. I always notice a few extra pimples after I eat something not-so-healthy. Do you ever notice that? There is a connection! The food we eat definitely affects the way we look. Not only that, but all the toxins and processed chemicals in foods trying to detox their way out of a body that does not detox well end in major pimple alert!

To fight acne and create healthier looking skin I have found a recipe for an all-natural toner that really works wonder. It is a combination of Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and water. It is a cheap, healthy and natural alternative to all of those toxic toners available at the pharmacy and beauty department. Not only are you saving money, but you are providing your body with a simple and natural way to clear skin.

Apple cider vinegar has so many beneficially and healthy qualities. It reduces oily skin without drying it out, helps to regulate the pH balance of the skin, lowers inflammation, and reduces the size of pores. More importantly, it contains anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties that helps prevent and treat acne and other skin infections. Likewise, the lemon works as an anti-bacterial as well. It also contains vitamin C that helps to lighten dark patches and scars, boost collagen production and fight acne bacteria and blackhead. Lemons are great at evening the skin tone and cleansing. BRA-00132-1

I use this toner every morning and every night after thoroughly washing my face. I would recommend starting just at night for the first couple of days to see how your skin reacts. And it takes a little time to get used to the smell of the apple cider vinegar. Before I give you this all-powerful recipes I must recommend buying only Raw, organic, Unfiltered and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. It contains the “mother” of all healthy goodness. You can easily find it at most stores. I personally use the Bragg’s brand.

Natural Toner Recipe

Fill a container (I use a small one I bought for a dollar at Target) with:

-for oily or acne prone skin:

  •            1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 water
  •            Juice of 1/2 a small lemon

-for normal skin:

  •           1/3 apple cider vinegar and 2/3 water
  •          Juice of 1/2 a small lemon

Apply to any acne prone area.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Toner

  • CheapToner
  • No unnatural chemicals
  • Tones skin texture
  • Reduces redness
  • Reduce wrinkles
  • Unclogs and shrinks pores
  • Fights acne
  • Lightens dark patches, acne scars and sun spots
  • balances skin’s pH levels
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Removes excess oils

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an incredibly diverse part of my daily routine. I use it in so many ways! Before I go into it too much… Did you know that the word ‘coconut’ or ‘coco’ comes from a Spanish word the means skull. The early Spanish explorers called it coco or “monkey face” because of the three coconutindentations on the hairy nut resembling a monkey! Fun fact about me, I love monkeys!

Many people have stayed away from coconut oil because of the recent “no fat” craze. Because coconut oil is high in saturated fat many people believe that it is bad for you. The opposite is actually true, coconut oil provides so many nutritional and functional benefits. The saturated fat in coconut oil is different from the dietary saturated fat found in other foods and oils. The predominant fat in the american diet is comprised of Long Chain Fatty acids (LCTs), where as coconut oil is made up of Medium Chain Fatty acids, also know as, Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are metabolized differently than LCTs. They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract where they are turned into ketone bodies. These ketone bodies are used as a high-quality quick energy source rather than being stored as fat in the body.

Ketone bodies are directly utilized by the brain and converted into life giving energy. Research has found that MCTs or ketones are a preferred source of energy over carbohydrates for people struggling with blood sugar issues, seizures or Alzheimer’s like symptoms, including memory loss and deteriorated brain function. It can even help with the “brain fog” that is common among Lyme patients. This is because the ketone bodies provide an alternative form of fuel, as compared to glucose, that recharges the metabolic processes within the brain. The quick charge of energy helps with concentration and engagement of daily activities. I know I need this jump start when I am going through treatment or just trying to get through my day.

Coconut oil, full of healthy saturated fat, does more than just give your brain a boost. One of the types of saturated fats it consists of is lauric acid. Lauric acid provides two major benefits for the body. First, it helps to improve bad cholesterol levels which is the primary cause of heart disease. Second and the one that is most beneficial to me and other Lyme patients, lauric acid is converted into monolaurin in the body which boosts the immune system to kill viruses, fungus and bacteria. Not only does it kill the Lyme (borrelia burgdorferi) and similar co-infections but it can also help Lyme patients who are also struggling with staph or yeast infections, influenza, Epstein-Barr, and so many more. It is an all around amazing immune booster and invader killer! Doesn’t that sound like the ultimate soldier to have fighting this war that is going on in our bodies? I know I want that soldier on my team!

Just as it fights infections in the blood stream and is a defense with the immune system, coconut oil is also very beneficial to the GI tract. It can help relieve symptoms of gallbladder disease, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Stomach Ulcers, Cystic Fibrosis, and Pancreatitis… just to name a few. The antimicrobial properties in the coconut oil can help in dealing with the various bacteria, fungi and parasites that cause the problems up and down the GI tract. Research has found that the antioxidants found in coconut oil are very effective at reducing inflammation. This is important not only for the GI tract but for the body as a whole. Inflammation plagues the entire body of a Lyme disease fighter, everywhere from the brain, to the joints to the GI tract. I have noticed a definite difference in the inflammation of my joints. Many people suffering from diseases like Arthritis, CRPS, Lupus and MS also would find benefits in using coconut oil as an anti-inflammatory.

To finish off I just want to say that I have only begun to talk about the benefits of coconut oil. I think I could go for days just talking about how good coconut oil is for you.  Coconut oil has been used for centuries not just for dietary use but also topically. I use it daily in my hair and on my skin (I will touch on this in another post). Here is a few other things that coconut oil is used for:coconut-oil1

  • supporting the thyroid
  • stabilizing blood sugar
  • increase absorption of B-vitamin, the fat soluble vitamin: A, D, E, K, beta-carotene and some amino acids.
  • can help to reduce seizures
  • improve sleep
  • prevent or reverse eczema
  • decrease cellulite
  • weight loss
  • moisturizer
  • dandruff
  • gingivitis
  • boost circulation

With so many benefits don’t you just want to go gobble down a whole bottle?! I do! Unfortunately that would not be the best idea. I do however recommend, based off personal experience, ingesting at least a teaspoon a day of coconut oil. I personally do not like the taste of coconut oil by itself, though many I have talked to do. I use it as a replacement for other oils in the kitchen for frying, baking or in salad l_sa-7014dressings. On days when I make a smoothie I blend in at least a teaspoon of either melted or solid coconut oil in with my fruits, veggies and protein powders (based on your personal preference to texture). There are so many recipes that you can substitute coconut oil in to. Check out pinterest for some new and exciting ideas. Before you head off to do some major pinning (yay for pinning!) I just want to recommend using only organic unrefined coconut oil. When it is refined it has been dried and bleached and therefore looses those wonderful healing properties I just talked about.

Coming soon… Ways to incorporate coconut oil Outside of the kitchen. Have a blessed and healthy day!

Enhancing your Water

One of tlemonwaterhe biggest things that has helped me with each day is my morning routine. I have learned through experience and through listening to different lifestyle coaches, that starting each day fresh really helps improve the rest of my day. So along with making my bed, feeding my dog and taking my pile of pills, I also start each day with my “special” drink. I say special because of the amazing benefits I get from it, not because it has anything special in it. Actually it is pretty simple: water, lemon, honey, chia seeds, and pink Himalayan salt.

In order to receive the full benefits of this I believe we have to have a solid foundation and that is found by drinking Alkaline water. I won’t go into that too much in this post but I think it has amazing healing properties. Drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your body. After all, our bodies are composed of 60% water. By drinking more water we are supplying our bodies with one of the vital ingredients to health.

By adding lemon to the water, you are supplying your body with numerous healing properties that can benefit a body trying to fight against Lyme. One of the top benefits is the amount of ascorbic acid or vitamin C lemons contain, roughly 80-90 mg. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Personally I think vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins for Lyme patients. Lemons also contain antioxidants called bioflavonoids that can help to improve digestion, cleanse the liver, prevent kidney stones, reduced insulin sensitivity and calm upset stomachs by supporting the hydrochloric acid in the stomach that helps to break down foods. They enhance the absorption of iron, help to clear skin, and can help to relieve stress. Lemon juice should be included in every lyme patient’s morning routine.

By simply adding lemon to your water you are aiding your body in so many functions. Lucky for us, there is even more we can do. Honey is a great addition to lemon water that has been used for centuries. Most of the time we hear to add honey downloadwhen we experience sore throats to help coat against that burning feeling we get. But there is so much more to honey that just that. Little bits of honey can help to increase metabolism and boost energy levels. Honey is a natural source of simple sugars and carbohydrates (energy givers) to help keep you active throughout the day. As we all know, energy and fatigue can be one of the biggest struggles when fighting lyme. Why not start your day with a little boost. Finally, locally produced honey can help to activate your immune system. Local honey contains pollen spores picked up by the bees and introduces a small amount of the allergen into your system. Therefore it can help to build an immunity to it and activate your already tired immune system.

Salt added to the water is another great way to start the day. I personally recommend pink Himalayan salt over regular pickling-salttable salt or even sea salt because it is believed to be the purest form of salt. It contains less sodium, it is not stripped of its minerals and does not contain synthetically produced iodine. Salt contains 80+ hearty minerals including magnesium, calcium, potassium, biocarbonate, bromide, and so many more. These minerals are vitally important to help your body use the macronutrients (carbs, fats and proteins) consumed, as well as, to sustain numerous chemical reactions. Salt helps to balance blood sugar, keep your bones strong, regulate your metabolism, boost your immune system, improve digestion, and increase hydration. It may sound weird to want to drink salt water but the benefits are so much greater than taste and mixed with lemon, honey and chia seeds you don’t even taste it!

My final recommendation for your morning drink is chia seeds. When I first heard of chia seeds I immediately thought of the “Chia Pet” introduced in the 90’s. Anyone else have that reaction? Chia seeds come from a plant originally used by the Aztecs. They are filled with wonderfully nutritional and health benefits. They are one of the best sources of fiber. Fiber is important for Lyme patients because most of us struggle with some sort of GI issue, myself included. Fiber helps to keep food moving through the GI track as well as feed the friendly bacteria in the intestines responsible for digestion. Chia seeds are low-carb and high in protein. They contain more protein than most other plant foods TChiaSeedshey also contain more omega-3 fatty acids per gram than salmon and are high in manganese, magnesium, zinc, niacin and thiamine. My favorite part of them is the fact that they expand in water and give you a nice full feeling without having to eat too much of them. Which lets face it, as a Lymie, some days you just don’t want to eat.

This ‘special’ drink is a great way to start your morning. I always start with it on an empty stomach to get the best results. It really changes the way I go about my day! I also sometimes change it up. It usually takes me about 2 hours to finish it but some days I will do smaller amounts of water and just do the lemon and honey depending on what benefits I am really going for. I will also change the temperature of the water, warm/ hot or more room temperature. I don’t recommend drinking cold water. It makes it harder on your body to absorb it because you have to use a lot more energy. (Don’t listen to those weight loss adds about drinking cold water!) Feel free to try variations and see what you think! Definitely write me a comment if there’s something else you put into your morning elixir!


25oz Water

1/2 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

1/2 Tablespoon chia seeds

Start on an empty stomach. Mix well. Let sit for about 10 minutes to let the chia seeds soak. Shake before each drink. Drink throughout the morning.

Life with Lyme

I have been sick for over 14 years. Three of those years paralyzed in a wheel chair and every single day of every single year spent in complete all-over body pain. My life consists of non-stop visits to doctors and hospitals. No one klyme_disease_ribbonnew what was wrong with me. Then on March 5, 2014, I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Lyme disease. This disease is the cause of all my medical problems: the daily pain, being paralyzed, seizures, fatigue and even things like being deaf in my left ear.

Chronic Lyme disease is an extremely complicated and extensive disease. Some fight their entire lives trying to beat it while others have had their lives cut short. But that is not an option for me. I am working with my doctors and we have developed a comprehensive treatment plan which could take years of tough treatments. There is a chance that if I fight hard enough and if my body has what it takes, I will beat Lyme and live a normal life — free of pain.

Treatment so far had consisted of countless medications including oral and IV antibiotics, nutritional IVs, hyperbaric chamber, Ondamed, and herbal therapies. While all of this is contributing to me getting better, I firmly believe that incorporating the right kind of diet and exercise program is a huge part of my health plan.

I am currently studying to be a Holistic Nutritionist. My dream is to one day touch the lives of other lyme patients and encourage them with diet and exercise as they battle this awful disease. Follow me as I learn in class and on my own about how food and lifestyle affect the nature of Lyme Disease and supporting diseases. I am excited to begin this journey to health not only for myself but for my fellow Lymies!