In the summer of 2011, I was in a toxic relationship that was taking a toll on my body. The stress was manifesting itself inside me and coming out through my pores, literally. My skin, which had always been clear in college, had become the horror story it was in my teenage years.

My sister had taken Accutane, but the side effects were too serious for me to want to try it. My dermatologist wanted me to go on antibiotics, but I didn't want to ruin my microbiome. I was desperate, but I still wanted a holistic approach.

I thought that ending my relationship would do the trick, but my skin stayed stressed out. Finally, after much searching, I discovered I had leaky gut. Instead of flushing out toxins properly after ingesting food, certain irritants inflamed small tight junctions in my gut, allowing some of the toxins to "leak" through the resulting holes. In the end, I knew this toxic release was making its way to my skin.

UGH. What was I to do?! One of my doctors helped me repair from the inside out, I found a dermatologist who shared my holistic philosophy, and after six months my complexion was even and my breakouts are minimal. I healed my gut, and here are five tips that can help you do the same!

1. Consume more blended foods, such as smoothies.

Smoothies are an easy way for your body to digest nutrient-rich foods without damaging them with cooking, especially cooking with fats like oil and butter.

2. Cut the gluten.

It's not as hard as you think! There are so many alternatives in the grocery store, restaurants and even in beer these days — it just takes willpower!

3. Make flax oil your new best friend.

It's lube for your insides, and (not to be too graphic) will make everything slide through the right pipes.

4. Don’t eat processed foods.

This one may be a no-brainer by now, but the chemicals and modified "natural" ingredients in most processed foods can wreak havoc on your gut and cause a multitude of health problems.

5. Eat more fermented foods.

Foods like kimchee, Greek yogurt, and kombucha can help restore the good bacteria in your gut, creating a healthy microbiome.


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