The Lightbulb Moment!

Welcome back & Happy New Year!
So, in my previous blogs, I’ve spoken of dealing with eczema day to day and about having a baby boy who developed eczema at just a few months old. I have also, hopefully painted a picture of my life growing up with eczema and how it affected me, my family and life.

I’d like to fast forward to today – where are we at now?!

Quite frankly I’m feeling the most incredible I have in my whole life!
After 40 years my body is clear, yes CLEAR of eczema! I’m still working on my face as that still isn’t 100% all of the time however, it certainly isn’t the constant bright red & flaky tomato face I’ve lived with for the majority of my life! When I say my face, I actually mean I’m working on my gut…more on that shortly!
As for my little man? Well, he looks as though he’s never known what eczema is. All those uncomfortable, itchy, sore sleepless nights are forgotten & thank goodness he isn’t currently affected in any way shape or form! Oh, other than the fact he has to stand still for a couple of minutes in a morning & again in the evening whilst we apply his moisturiser. Which, if you know my boy, is inconveniencing him somewhat as he just won’t keep still! I’m sure you parents out there can relate?!
We’ll take the little wriggle monster over the tired, itchy & sore monster any day!

Ta dah! You can see there is quite a difference in us both.
I don’t have many photos to show of my skin…I was the master of avoiding Photographs for many years but, you can certainly see how inflamed I was! & just look at my little man – wow!

What is it you’ve been doing I hear you ask?
I’ve simply been looking into how we can look after our ‘Gut Health’.
Over the next up & coming blogs, I’ll cover various aspects of what we’ve done, how we’ve done it & why. Hopefully I’ll convince you all, eczema sufferers or not, that looking after YOUR gut health is key to living happy & healthy! A bold statement I know!
I am so very passionate about this little journey we are on that I want to share it with you & continue, as I still have a long way to go, to share more as I learn!

What sparked my interest?
Looking back the first thing that got me interested was an article on ‘This Morning’ featuring the picture of health that is Liz Earle!
There she was stood in the kitchen talking about beneficial bacteria & looking after something called our microbiome. She spoke about how she had been researching & finding out that what is going on in our gut effects our skin, mood, weight etc etc…I specifically remember when she said ‘the microbes on our skin (incredibly) directly communicate with our microbiome!!!! Whhaaaattt?!
Phils face (the silver fox) was a picture & was representative of what my face was probably doing at home! This was the point I sat forward in my chair & pressed record on the remote, that was it…I NEEDED to know more!

Liz Earle went on to show us how to make ‘Live’ yoghurt & talked about probiotics to help us to get ‘good bacteria’ in our guts, all the while I strangely got an excited feeling in my tummy!? It was also the first time I’d heard of something called Kefir which she spoke about, again a moment to remember Phils face, this time not for the ‘wow amazing info’ face but for the fact he ate some of the live Kefir cultures! Hilarious!

Within weeks I’d made my first batch of ‘Live Yoghurt’ & have made it weekly ever since! It’s delicious!
That, I believe was in November 2017?! I also found out about a book that Liz Earle had written called ‘The Good Gut Guide’ & therefore dropped a few hints to the hubby that it may be a nice Christmas present!
On Christmas day I was showered with lots of amazing gifts, the lucky lady that I am, but…there it was THE BOOK! It was the gift I was most excited about & couldn’t wait to pick it up!
Throughout January I started to read it & take it all in, jotting notes down about this & that. Then, at the start of February 2018 that was it – we embarked as a family on our good gut health journey. I can honestly say it’s changed our lives!
We weren’t actually particularly bad eaters, we had lots of home cooked meals etc but we certainly weren’t doing anything to help & nourish & feed our gut correctly either!
Like most people we were in a nice comfortable little routine of eating the same meals week in week out, we’d always have the reserve of fish fingers in the freezer for those ‘quick’ meals but nothing too ‘unhealthy’ to be fair.
I’ve always been a mummy who has been conscious of the amount of sugar the kids eat & the little ones only ever drink water with the exception of a watered-down juice every now & again at a party for instance.
Looking back now though, as a whole we were falling slowly into the way of life of ‘it wont hurt’ ‘go on then, we’ll have a treat’ ‘I haven’t got time to cook’ etc etc. little things like putting ketchup on the plate without the kids even asking for it is another example. Letting them have fish fingers a few times a week instead of the odd occasion like I’d promised myself…… that was before the exhausted mummy version of me provided dinners! Basically, going for easier (or so I believed) options in all honesty! Not pushing for the kids or ourselves to try new fruit & veg. I was pleased they already ate quite a few to be fair so again, for ease, I left it at that – stick with what we know hey? The hubby & I went from the occasional take away to a weekly one, I’m sure you get the picture & it may be sounding familiar to you?
Following the festive period we embarked on our gut health journey on the 1st February 2018 starting with the six week plan clearly set out in Liz’s book. All with the hope that it would help mine and my boys skin.
So? What’s the deal with gut health? I’m sure by now you’ll have heard about it in one way shape or form recently? It probably looks & sounds like another ‘fad’ healthy route to go down that may disappear before we know it, then the next one will arrive?!
However, here’s the difference. This particular topic, route, lifestyle is only just getting started. We have so much more to learn! What we do know is that the science behind all the claims is growing with approximately 30 new papers & research coming out PER DAY!!!! More studies & research that are happening the more evidence we are getting is showing that this is indeed THE way to go.
The gut microbiome has pretty much everything to do with how we feel & function!
Its only recently that the science has found some understanding of what is actually going on inside our gut which has been a complete unknown for so long.
Along the way I’d love to explain to you what I know as simply as I can. This is tricky because:
1. I’m no expert, I’m learning daily myself &
2. Its actually a very complex subject.
HOWEVER, my aim is to simplify & share, baby steps at a time & hopefully you’ll come on this journey with me like so many of my wonderful Instagram followers!?
Yes, I started to look at this because of our eczema but wow, the more I know the more I’m thrilled to have found this. Especially for my children! Who, I must say are on board with this whole thing & have adapted brilliantly!

I’d like to point out at this stage that I have never been a believer in fad diets of any sort. I’ve never done slimming world, weight watchers or believed in the horrendous skinny teas & Coffees etc…ugh I shudder at the thought of all of the above! So, this is no fad, nope, not welcome here! I felt the need to say that for those of you that don’t know me & to ensure you this is real for me. I honestly believe in the power of mother nature & in food being there to nourish & to help us grow & also to help us heal & fight disease!

For those people who’ve seen my transformation & from my Instagram followers I get asked so much about the weight loss & I do as much as possible steer clear of talking about it as I honestly don’t believe it should be about weight. At least it shouldn’t be the driving force from an aesthetic point of view anyway. For me its about HEALTH, both physical & mental. I get asked to post my weight loss photos, which I haven’t as yet, I’m sure I will at some point soon because it may be the turning point to inspire someone to follow on this journey too & that in itself is positive. But like I’ve said it doesn’t sit quite right because for me being slim doesn’t necessarily mean healthy! We are way too focused on our looks these days! Although a ‘side effect’ as it were of looking after your gut health will most definitely be a healthier & slimmer version of you! If we stopped looking for shortcuts to look good & concentrate on health the ‘looks’ will come anyway!

One ‘transformation’ photo I can’t post & wish I could is how I FEEL! Now THAT is the shot that would turn you all around, I’m sure!
I am finally me again. After years of suffering both physically and mentally with eczema, thanks to some good gut loving…Misty is back!!!!!


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