Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl

234 comments

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My skin is not a happy camper lately.

I don’t know what’s up, but I know it’s ticked off. Angry. Inflamed. What’s the problem? That, my friends, is anyone’s guess. When a girl has puffy, itchy eyes and rashes on her face, it’s time to slow down and pay attention. If you’ve ever been the detective for your own strange skin reactions, you know just how daunting this process can be. Everything is questioned.

Not surprisingly, my family doctor suggested an allergy elimination diet and to examine my environment for possible culprits. I’ve switched our detergents, soaps, shampoos, and I’ve retired make-up for the time being. That was the easy part. The elimination diet and food journaling, on the other hand, are proving to be rather difficult as a recipe developer. It’s my worst nightmare actually.

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Of course, skin flare ups could be from a billion things, including stress. I’m a big fan of stress-relieving practices, but I’m not so good at carrying them out in my own life. When life gets crazy and deadlines are looming, I often left my own health slide in the process. I know I’ve said it a million and one times, but I need to work on this.

As I’m leaving my doctor’s office she says, “Above all, DO NOT stress about the rashes. Stress is the absolute worst thing for your skin.”

[Is it just me or do you get more stressed out when someone tells you not to stress? ahh]

She’s so right though. I need to take a chill pill.

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Of course, breakfast is a natural way to start the day on the right foot. I’m a big fan of breakfasts that can be made in advance, such as Green Monsters (just give them a good stir in the morning), raw buckwheat porridge, vegan overnight oats, and this chia pudding. Even though they take just a few minutes to throw together before bed, I’d fallen out of the habit of prepping them. But man oh man, it makes such a difference to wake up to a nutritious breakfast ready to be enjoyed!

The recipe below makes 2 servings so you can share it with a loved one or wrap up the leftovers for your next craving, which if you are like me won’t be far off.

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Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl

I like mashed banana in this because it thickens the mixture while adding a lot of volume. If you aren’t a banana fan, you can omit it, but you might need to reduce the milk and I also suggest adding in your own sweetener and/or other fruit in its place. This porridge is especially creamy when made with Homemade Almond Milk. The thickness of the chia pudding will vary based on the kind of almond milk you use, so you can add more if necessary. If your pudding is too thin for you liking you can add more chia seeds and let it sit for 10 more minutes. Finally, if you aren’t a fan of the tapioca-like texture of chia seed pudding, try blending it until smooth.

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Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

Chia mixture

  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 – 1.25 cups almond milk (it’s great made with Homemade Almond Milk)
  • 2 small bananas, chopped small
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • two pinches of cinnamon

 

Toppings:

  • 2 tbsp raw buckwheat groats, soaked
  • 2 tbsp raisins, soaked
  • 2 tbsp whole raw almonds, chopped and soaked
  • couples pinches of cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds

 

1. Mash bananas in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in chia seeds. Whisk in the almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon until combined. Place in fridge overnight to thicken.

2. Add buckwheat groats, raisins, and chopped almonds into another bowl. Cover in water and soak overnight in the fridge or on the counter.

3. In the morning, place your desired amount of chia pudding into a bowl. (Note: at this point, you can blend your chia pudding if a smooth texture is desired, but I don’t bother). You can add more almond milk if you want to thin it out in the morning. Or, if it’s too thin, add more chia seeds to thicken it up. Drain and rinse the buckwheat/almond/raisin mixture. Sprinkle on top of chia mixture along with a pinch of cinnamon and a tablespoon of hemp seeds. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup, if desired. Store leftovers in the fridge for 1-2 days.

For nutritional info, see here.

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Have you ever dealt with a strange skin reaction or allergy? What did you do?

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{ 234 comments… read them below or add one }

Marielle | Vega in Vianen February 18, 2013

Hi Angela,

I have, actually! I used to have a little acne, but it is almost gone now. It started to get less and less when I stopped eating meat and fish and when I switched birth control pills, so who knows… Maybe a combination of both did the trick? At the moment I am ‘suffering’ (really, it is just a little annoying at worst) from feeling itchy. I’m still blaming the cold weather and my lazy attitude towards putting baby oil on my skin often enough, but it made me think. Especially now I’m much more conscious about animal-products and try to eat much less of these, resulting in a lot of new food which may cause all kinds of reactions. I eat chia all the time, which I though would keep me hydrated ;) My skin should be radiant by now! is what I think ;) What are you ommiting from your diet first?

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Nicole January 15, 2014

Marielle-

I am dealing with adult acne and have discovered that it is due to a hormonal imbalance in my body, as well as needing certain fats and nutrients. I am reading a book by a certified nutritionist, Ann Louise Gittleman, who explains that her clients respond well consuming oils rich in EPA or GLA in combination with zinc and vitamin A. The title of the book is, Before the Change: Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause.
I am still in the process of healing/building my health up, but I hope this may help. Also look into bioidenticals.

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Vanessa March 10, 2014

Hello — to Nicole’s point on Vitamin A, I found that drinking fresh carrot juice (or even store bought brands like Odwalla) helps with adult acne. Of course, just be careful not to overdo it with too much Vitamin A!

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Nicole January 15, 2014

sorry, the recommended nutrients were relating to skin, hair, and nail issues:)

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Coreen S February 18, 2013

The dry winter air is doing a number on my skin/hair/nails too. An allergy on top of that is rough! Hope you figure it out soon!

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Grace February 18, 2013

My fiends and I were just talking about chia seeds. :). Thanks for the great recipe. Sorry to hear about your allergic reactions. I really haven’t had any skin reactions since I was really young. Stress, I do know about. Taking time ( 10 – 15 seconds ) to do some focused breathing and grounding through out the day has helped me. Good luck!!

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Grace February 18, 2013

Goodness.. My friends not my fiends.

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Mandy February 18, 2013

I had chronic acne for 20+ years, and it turns out that it was caused by a dairy intolerance (clearly not an issue for you). I had a feeling that dairy was the culprit, but that was confirmed by an elimination diet. The elimination diet was tough, but I really did feel good when I was on it (just bored because I love to cook and try new things!).

For my other skin sensitivities, which are numerous, it’s been a lot of trial and error. And a lot of hydrocortisone (the best way for me to calm a nickel allergy…)

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Andrea February 18, 2013

Mandy, I’ve also had acne that would flare up because of diary, even though I didn’t eat all that much of it. Now that I’ve cut diary out (I do still eat meat, not a lot of red though) my complexion is much more clear. I also stopped using facial wash and now just splash my face with water in the morning, wipe dry, and put some witch hazel (can be purchased any supermarket/convience store for a couple bucks) on a cotton ball and wipe my face with that. It is soooo much cheaper and a natural way to clear your face. I encourage anyone to try it!

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raechel @the rebel grrrl kitchen February 18, 2013

This looks sooo comforting and delicious! Definitely seems like a good remedy to stress…I hope it works for you!

I’ve been having terribly dry skin lately, which is a result of both the winter and a somewhat misguided attempt to cut a ton of fat from my diet (I’ve been doing an 80/10/10 kind of thing). Fortunately, I decided to listen to my poor dry skin and started incorporating more fat back in, which is helping. One of my first “fatty” meals was a chia seed steel-cut oat breakfast! : )

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Laura Thomas February 18, 2013

Raechel,

I’ve been hearing a lot about 80/10/10. Would love to hear your experience with it. Is it something you might (or maybe have already) shared on the blog?

Laura xx

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raechel @the rebel grrrl kitchen February 18, 2013

Hey Laura! Yep, I talk about it on the blog. Just do a search on the main page and it should come up.

The short version of my opinion is that I think it has a lot of benefits, but it’s really not something I find to be sustainable—at least not in the winter in the mid-west!

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Nicole January 15, 2014

Do not omit FAT from your diet. We need at least 30% of our intake of food to be sourced from FAT. As much as 50% is highly recommended to work towards. Remember not all fats are equal. Rather than follow some goofy diet as 80/10/10, do periodic cleanses with vegetable juices, herbal teas and tinctures, etc.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is a great source of saturated and omega-6, flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, sesame oil, raw butter(yes, butter), palm oil, cod liver oil, krill oil, etc.

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Brandy February 19, 2013

I tried 80/10/10 last summer. For the first 2 weeks I felt amazing. I had tons of energy, my skin completely cleared up, I lost a couple pounds. But then for the next 2 weeks I felt like hell. I had zero energy, my skin dried up and started breaking out, and I started to gain weight. After a full month (2 great weeks, 2 horrible weeks) I went off the diet. All I wanted was protein all the time. I was eating full cans of beans for lunch and dinner. I was even craving eggs, which was really strange since I don’t like eggs at all.

After being on such a restrictive diet my body held on to every little thing I put into it. I ended up gaining 15 pounds and I’ve been struggling to lose it since July.

So I personally do not recommend the diet. I’ve realized that anything so restrictive and so extreme is not good for you. But I also think that every single person is different, so what works for some might not work for others.

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Nicole January 15, 2014

Good for you. Fats are important. I am dealing with adult acne and have discovered that it is due to a hormonal imbalance in my body, as well as needing certain fats and nutrients. I am reading a book by a certified nutritionist, Ann Louise Gittleman, who explains that her clients respond well consuming oils rich in EPA or GLA in combination with zinc and vitamin A for skin, hair, and nail issues. The title of the book is, Before the Change: Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause. She has many other books, besides the one mentioned.
I am still in the process of healing/building my health up, but I hope this may help. Also look into bioidenticals, especially for weight issues.

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Nicole January 15, 2014

Raechel-

Lowfat & nonfat diets are never a good idea. All that advertising for cutting fat has caused us women alot of misery. Without sufficient quantities of two very special fatty acids, your body cannot manufacture all kinds of important substances, including stress and ovarian hormones. Basically you can suffer serious damage to your health.
If you are having issues with weight, I would recommend having your hormones checked.

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 18, 2013

My skin goes through crazy periods. One thing that’s really helped is tea tree oil. It’s great for bug bites, zits, and random irritations. I just dab a bit on the affected areas before bed at night.

Love these chia puddings! It works well with pumpkin, sweet potato, and butternut squash too!

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Nicole January 15, 2014

Get your hormones tested:) Look into bioidenticals:)

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Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} February 18, 2013

Yum, this looks like the perfect thing to wake up to. Thanks for the tip on blending it… I think that might be the secret to get myself to enjoy cold breakfasts with chia seeds. Sorry to hear about your skin troubles – feel better!

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veganlisa February 18, 2013

Ange, I really hope you get the answers soon. A few years ago I discovered a sulphite allergy. My entire mouth became so swollen I could hardly talk. It took awhile to figure out I had bought raisins that weren’t organic. I had a few exposures until I found the culprit. I wish you great luck your detective work. I think relaxation and sleep work wonders when our body is trying to cope.

Take care.

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Tara February 18, 2013

Hi Ange,

I have never had any problems with my skin…until last year around Christmas. There were odd bumps over my arms, legs, and stomach, and I had no idea what it was. My dermatologist was out of hypotheses, as well! I simply took to putting cold compresses on the areas (as they would get hot all of a sudden), and also applied coconut oil which really soothed the area. It’s always hard to say which change/elimination it is that works on having the skin clear up, but the coconut oil felt really nice, took the itch away for me, and it seemed to clear up days later. Again, hard to know if it just needed time, coconut oil, or if my body simply needed to lay back in bed with not too much to do, but it eventually ran its course.
Good luck :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 18, 2013

Hi Tara, It’s funny you mentioned coconut oil! It’s been a lifesaver for me and it’s the only thing I’ve put on my face that doesn’t sting the irritated parts. Yes it feels oily to have on the skin, but it does help so much!

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Moira February 18, 2013

I had some skin issues last year – wasn’t sure if it was eczema or contact dermatitis or what (mainly on my hands). I’ve eliminated sodium lauryl sulfate products (which seems to be everywhere!) – started to use Dr. Bronner’s Magic soap for most things, and found that Egyptian Magic Cream is a good moisturizer. But, oddly enough, the one thing that has seemed to really help is taking a Vitamin C tablet before I eat! I read about this in a Whole Living magazine article. Apparently Vitamin C acts as a good neutralizer for nickle sensitivities (and you see higher nickle content in non-processed diets full of veggies…ironic that sensitivities come from healthy eating, hey?!). I had been trying a lot of things, and as soon as I started taking Vitamin C, my hands cleared up within week! I was flabbergasted, but it really seems to work for me…

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Terry March 5, 2013

SLS was the culprit causing my peri-oral dermatitis. I had tried all kinds of creams from my doctor(s) and finally went online to figure it out. It is in everything that lathers, and then some (estrogen cream?). I also avoided using toothpaste with flouride.
I also used to get a dry itchy patch on my elbow that wouldn’t clear up with any prescription creams. I bought a product called Look, No X E M A! It’s made by Nature’s Acres in North Freedom, WI and it worked like a charm!

I didn’t know about taking vitamin C for nickel allergies. I will give it a try!

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Anele @ Success Along the Weigh February 18, 2013

I hope your allergy clears up or you can at least pinpoint it soon. That has to be frustrating. When the seasons change, I get this rough patch on my eyelid for a few weeks. Its the weirdest thing and I suppose I should actually, you know, get it checked out. Thanks for the reminder on that.

In the meantime, a big chia breakfast bowl doesn’t sound half bad!

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Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} February 18, 2013

This looks like a great breakfast! I love overnight oats and this seems similar. What’s the reason for soaking the almonds/raisins/groats? Easier digestion I’m guessing. I’ve had some buckwheat groats sitting in my cupboard for months and have yet to use them, this must change soon!

Good luck figuring out what’s going on with your skin. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 18, 2013

Yes you guessed it. Soaking helps break down the enzyme inhibitors/tannins/phytates to allow for better digestion. I hope to do a post on this soon.

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Tiffany February 18, 2013

Hi Angela,

Have you tried rubbing coconut oil on your skin? I’ve found that if I rub a small amount on my skin before bed it helps reduce any bumps and redness. Give it a try, if anything it will just moisturize :) (pure aloe vera might help too)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 18, 2013

Yes it’s working like a charm :) The only thing that doesn’t burn or itch when I put it on.

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Ruby February 18, 2013

I have Celiac Disease and have visited so many forums. I used to get rashes and hives and even sores on my head. Tons of hair loss. Could not figure out what it was. Then I found out that gluten in products..makeup..skincare…hair products could be causing that. I changed everything to gluten free.All disappeared. I have contacted cosmetic companies and skincare companies and many of them are changing their formulations to remove gluten. If you look at their FAQs page it is usually there. Even if you have a slight sensitivity to gluten it may effect you. Hope this helps! I know how frustrating it can be. Love your blog!!! Having Chia Seeds for breakfast right now!!!

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Marissa@ohhhsolovely February 18, 2013

i second this. i had scalp problems for years, and could not figure out what is was. until, i happened, just for the heck of it, to go GF 1.5 years ago. guess what, no more problems with my scalp & i just feel so much better overall. i was not diagnosed with a problem with gluten, but i know from how i feel that it was causing many problems for me. i’m sure if you are food journaling, you & your doctor will get to the bottom of it. good luck!

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Ruby February 18, 2013

Just to help further. There is a place called Redpaw.net. I was in Loblaws one day and a lady I met raved about this place. They do allergy testing. My husband and I went and they tell you everything you are allergic too. It is absolutely amazing. The only thing she recommended to my husband was to take Oil of Oregano. 6 years later he is still preaching about this place.
They have a location in downtown Toronto and one in Mississauga. If everything else fails you might want to contact them. Take a look at their website.
http://redpaw.net/. Good Luck!

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lauren February 18, 2013

Angela I am so sorry to hear about your skin! I have hives for 5 MONTHS several years ago and I still have not figured out the cause. The doctor’s tested food allergies too but they said it was likely due to stress. I too have a hard time slowing down an taking care of myself when I get stressed out :(
Magically one day the hives stopped coming as frequently and then they were gone. I hope you find an answer soon!

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Amy February 18, 2013

I have chronic idiopathic urticaria as well, it crops up every other year or so and lasts from summer to winter. It’s a joy :(

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Kathy in NH October 11, 2013

I also got the Giant Hives that came out of nowhere for 6 months and was on cortisone for 6 mo. then they took me off it and I got pregnant a month later and they went away. They thought I would get them back after the birth but they mysteriously disappeared and never came back. They sent me for all kinds of tests including the allergy tests that gave me a long list of things I was allergic to but never bothered me at all. They tested for food allergies and said I wasn’t allergic to any foods. The allergy doctor was completely puzzled and never found out why I got them. The only difference now is I can get poison ivy which I never got before. No hives for over 40 years. Strange!!!

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Joanna February 18, 2013

Hi Angela,
I went through the same thing about 9 months ago with a severe eczema outbreak (first one ever) on my eyes and face. I did an elimination diet and it turned out to be gluten and dairy that i was allergic to. Haven’t had a problem since cutting out grains and dairy. Best of luck to you.

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Laura February 18, 2013

Ah, I have dealt with the inflamed skin reactions thing in the past for sure. I was lucky in being able to trace it to something pretty specific. Any refined soy product (soy milk, anything with soy protein isolate) makes my skin freak out, so no more soy lattes for this one. In the meantime, this product from Toronto based Pure + Simple (an awesome natural and ayurvedic-minded skin care line) was a life saver for me. It was like instant-calm for my face:
http://www.pureandsimple.ca/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=1531&category_id=555&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=27

And chia! So high-vibe skin friendly with all that omega 3 and hydration action. This breakfast sounds so tasty, Angela.

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Kristin February 18, 2013

I’m dealing with a skin flare up right now. I have a rash in some areas, and in some I do not. This same thing happened when I was stressed (surprise) when I was looking for a job 5 years ago. At the same time, I was eating oatmeal every day for breakfast, and then got an allergy test done and that was the sort-of conclusion. My husband just went gluten free, so I had been eating oats. I stopped eating them but I’m still itchy. He just started school so I could be stressed from that… I’m not really sure either! I ate your overnight oats for the longest time too at one point and wasn’t itchy. I’m thinking stress is the culprit.

Best of luck, and this looks delicious!

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Melissa February 18, 2013

I had to cut out wheat, dairy, nightshades and soy for another health related issue and as a result my skin cleared up. I used to get this nasty, rashy, blistery mess around my mouth and nose which was always brought on by stress but now that I’ve changed my diet, I can be stressed without the rash popping up : ) Just need to work on the stress mgt. now!

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Rachael February 18, 2013

I also cut out grains, dairy, soy, and legumes and have had the BEST skin of my life :) I also get breakouts when I have too much sugar from fruit/dark chocolate. Good luck on clearing it up!

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Jessica February 18, 2013

Hi Angela!

I know that the last thing you want is probably more advice, but….

I had a ton of skin conditions before I got my blood tested for food sensitivities. I had eczema, psoriasis, some occasional acne, dryness everywhere! I knew that it had something to do with food allergies because I ate really clean and only used natural products, etc. etc. A simple blood test (which is a lot faster than an elimination diet, albeit sort of expensive) gave me my results.

After finding out about my sensitivities (which make up a long list of common and not-so-common allergens) both my digestion and my skin are almost completely normal. It took about 2 months to heal, and I do notice that if I do have a bit of non-friendly food here or there I start to get a bit of dryness, but now I feel like I can control it!

Hope you figure things out soon. I know how frustrating it can be.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 18, 2013

Hi Jessica, I appreciate you sharing your experience! Is this blood test the same thing as a allergy scratch test? I’ve heard there are a couple different allergy tests but I’m confused what the difference is. I’ve had the scratch test done a few years ago and nothing came up.

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Jessica February 18, 2013

Hi Angela – nope, it’s not a scratch test. It was actually prescribed by my naturopath. They send you to a lab to get some blood drawn. The blood is then analyzed for immune responses when different food proteins ( I had a panel of 150 most common foods, and there are Vegan panels available too) are introduced to it. Although it is not recognized as infallible, I had great success with eliminating the foods that produced the most significant responses: wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, some nuts and legumes. I had some real weird ones too, like pineapple! Who would’ve thought.

They suggest that you usually eliminate the foods in the “red zone” for at least 6 months, and then slowly reintroduce one at a time to see if they produce responses for you. When I did reintroduce a bit of soy or dairy, they definitely provoked significant responses in terms of digestion and skin irritation, all reactions that are connected to auto-immune activity.

Anyways, just some “food” for thought. Again, the tests are not proven to be extremely accurate (although in my case, I think it did a great job and other people have had similar successes), but for me it was worth it because then I could really concentrate on the “red zone” foods to eliminate and reintroduce.

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Rebecca February 18, 2013

Oh, Angela, I feel your pain, so so much. It’s been a lifetime of suffering for me, but this last couple of years has been the worst (or maybe I’m just done putting up with it!), which is what started me on this new, more extensive journey find out why and to stop it. I started with wheat, and have been wheat/gluten free for a couple of years. It didn’t help much with my eczema, but it did help with my gut. Turns out it’s NOT normal to be gassy all the time. Who knew?

I moved on to getting rid of detergents. The only detergent I use now is in my dishwasher. I haven’t made that switch yet. I do think that has helped a lot. But my greatest improvement has been when I gave up dairy. The last 6 weeks or so has been a lot better.

I’m SUPER interested in what Jessica has posted about. Gosh, wouldn’t it be awesome to just not eat certain things and have clear skin???

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 18, 2013

Thank you Jessica, I will definitely look into it!. As I said, the scratch testing came back negative for me a few years ago, so it would be nice to try something else out. I’m so glad it was helpful for you!

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Jaime February 18, 2013

I had the blood allergy testing done too. It was pretty amazing what came back. I then went to see a Holistic Allergist in Oakville, as there was no way that I was going to be able to eliminate some of the things that were bothering me (e.g., all natural sugars). Turns out there were way more when the allergist did her testings on my. She uses BIE (Bioenergetic Intolerance Elimination) to treat the allergy and get rid of it forever ever! I am a new woman thanks to her!
http://naturalallergysolutions.com/

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Rachel February 18, 2013

It sounds like I have just recently had the same type of testing as Jessica. It was called ELISA testing, which is a way to test delayed allergic reaction to foods. In my case 154 foods were tested and 15 showed up. I eliminate these foods for 3 months and have started eating on a 4 day rotation. (This is a challenge being I am single.) Then after three months I can start adding in the eliminated foods one at a time and see what happens. Some of the foods I have to elimnate include ones I was eating almost daily like almonds, various legumes, and vanilla. I had already eliminated Gluten and Dairy, but gluten still showed up. Anyway, this may be a good direction to go to at least get an idea if there are foods causing your skin issues. These types of testing can also be done for environmental things you cold be sensitive to like pollens and molds. I wish you the best!!

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Laura February 18, 2013

Hi Angela,
I think the test that Jessica is talking about is called the ‘Mediator Release Test (MRT). I’m just finishing up my certification to be able to run this test for clients, what she is describing sounds very similar. It’s a really good test, and does test for 150 foods and chemicals.
Laura

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Ana February 22, 2013

Hi Angela
I second Jessicas on te allergy blood test. I have done it for me and my son and we found out about other allergies we were not aware of. For example, Inknew that I could not eat gluten, and that was positive, but one of the biggest ofender for me was buckwheat, and I had no idea. My son had the same, and some plus dairy (which we knew since he was very young), plus other things too.
It is an easy test, but expensive, however I felt it was worth it.
Ana

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Danielle February 18, 2013

Hi Angela,
If you are going to have allergy testing, I would suggest you have blood tests. Scratch tests can be helpful but can also show that you are allergic to several foods simply because you eat them regularly. Blood tests are better for determining true food allergies.

I have also suffered from mysterious allergies. It can be very hard and intensely frustrating. The best thing I ever did was go gluten free and start alkalizing every morning by starting my day with citrus before any other food entered my body for several hours after. Doing this not only dramatically improved my health, hair and skin, but also helped eliminate a pre-cancerous condition in a very short time. Good luck!

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Karen March 11, 2013

I had Carroll Food Intolerance Testing (is a blood test) done through a naturopath and found out I’m dairy, soy and sugar intolerant (including foods that contain it). The test cost around 70.00. Maybe there is something similiar in ON you can look into. I’m on an elimination diet right now and she says my skin issues on my face, red patches around mouth and nose, should begin to clear after 2 weeks or so. Good luck to you!

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Shundara@ SavyNaturalista February 18, 2013

I think I am having an allergic reaction to citrus fruit those darn grapefruit.. I have patches every where I try to drink lots of water to clear it up.. I hope you find the culprit soon.. I love the chia bowl such a easy breakfast especially if your in a hurry…

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Katie February 18, 2013

I’ve had eczema since I was 12 and it started when I had to wear uniforms for Junior High. We thought it was a reaction to the material of my uniform skirt since I had it only on my legs but it got to the point that by college, even the wind blowing against my legs would make me itch. When I moved to Hawaii, it was like my skin was in Heaven because I didn’t have one flare up the whole 5 years we lived there. Come to find out (since no one else would give me answers) that by putting all the clues together, I’ve realized that my skin can’t handle cold, dry weather and all that comes with it! Plus, Ive realized I itch less when I cut back on the starches in my diet.
I hope you find some answers! I know what it’s like to be stressed out not knowing what’s wrong (imagine being 13 and having to explain your monster looking legs to your friends =( )

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Momo February 18, 2013

Hey Katie,
It could be something called cold urticaria. My sister has this, she has red itchy bumps all over her body all winter or when she stays in cold water for too long in summertime. Unfortunately Germany isn’t exactly Hawaii, so she needs to take anti histaminica basically every single day. Maybe you should read a little about cold urticaria because if you’re not careful it can get a bit dangerous too – for example when you’re eating vegan ice cream too fast (because its so yummy!) your throat might react allergically and you might not be able to breathe…

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Tiffany March 2, 2013

Katie–
Are you gluten free? I had a horrible rash on my thighs for about 8 years until I went gluten free, and then it disappeared. Apparently it is supposed to only happen to middle aged men with celiac disease, but it happened to me at 12 with celiac disease. Could be something worth looking into. Since I’ve been gluten free I haven’t seen that rash EVER again! Good luck!

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Andi February 18, 2013

Hi,Yes I have had skin rash/excema issues my whole life. A really big culprit are peanut products.Of course growing up I had peanut butter sandwiches every day so it was so great to find out that eliminating the peanuts was such a great improvement. I think most people associate nut allergies with breathing and anaphylaxis ,but they can also affect the skin and not bother the breathing.
The skin on my hands reacts pretty violently to dust and molds so for example working in dirt without gloves tears my skin apart literally. So for example working in a dusty attic or crawlspace makes my skin go bonkers.
Re reactions to laundry products,my father could never tolerate any laundry products with enzymes and even “”free and clear” products caused him to react. He finally found that he could use the Sun and Earth brand after trying multiple ,multiple products.Believe me my parents are not drama people ,so it was very real reactions he was getting and my point being that “regular” and “natural” products could be a problem and it required a lot of trial to find a product that didn’t make his skin go crazy.Since it is your face ,laundry products or what is in your pillow could def. be a factor.
I also react violently to lanolin(which is in a lot of “natural” products)and needless to say wool and I don’t get along. That may not be an issue for you since you are vegan but it tears my skin a part. I also can’t wear wool. i wear a wool dress coat ,but have to have a scarf at the neck so the wool never really touches.
Hope you can figure it out.Believe me I have total empathy because it can be so frustrating and for me also very painful because my skin would tear and crack and swell up and it takes a lot of work to sort it out.Good luck!

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Laura Thomas February 18, 2013

Angela,
I’ve noticed that my eczema has been having a flare up (probably due to my fist winter so far north in years!). So glad you shared this recipe: I’ve made a variation on lots before but somehow it fell out of my breakfast rotation. I’m hoping that bringing it back may help my skin through the NY winter until it can get some sun! In the past I’ve added a little raw cacao to the mix so it feels a little sinful without being bad for me at all. Another suggestion is to perhaps add a little raw maca in to help keep you balanced through the stress.
Be well,
Laura xx

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Laura Thomas February 18, 2013

Oh and I wanted to say, beautiful pictures as always :)

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Sarah L. February 18, 2013

Ugh, I’m with you on the skin stress thing. I’ve dealt with breakouts of various magnitude my whole adult life so far, and it becomes a vicious circle: breakout, stress about skin, stress causes more breakouts, stress about those. I can tell when I’ve had a breakout just by looking through my search history: corn and acne, gluten and acne, sugar and acne…obsessing over it really!

I hope you get your rash resolved soon, and in the meantime, go out for a walk and think about how gorgeous it is outside today, and not about what foods could be causing your allergies. :) Unless it’s the cold weather that’s making your skin act up… haha

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 18, 2013

Well I love that idea. I’ll have to put on a scarf!

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Isa February 18, 2013

Thanks Angela, that looks super yummy.
My DD never knows what to eat for breakfast lately. Fed up with toasts and “normal” porridge… not many cereals she can have… so that might do the trick.
Isa

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan February 18, 2013

Mmm mmm, this is looking perfect for our impending snowstorm! I have had my fair share of skin flare ups, best of luck, hope everything gets better!

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Ali February 18, 2013

Oh I hear you here! I used to have horrible acne and I get very awful dryness around the corners of my eyes, the corners of my mouth, and my hands crack and bleed. Some of this was due to not knowing I was Celiac and some was due to an almond allergy but it was a long road. My eyes are sore and puffy all the time and I am experiencing all the dryness noted above and extreme exhaustion again and I haven’t changed makeup, soaps, food, etc. so I’m not sure what’s going on. Time for me to work a little harder to see if I can get it to clear up. :(

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Amanda February 18, 2013

Great recipe! I’m experiencing some very similar skin issues. I’ve also tried to do an elimination diet and I’m trying to consume fruit, veggies, nuts, and seeds for now. If you are looking for a breakfast/lunch I recommend this sweet potato recipe. It’s stuffed with chard and topped with avocado.
http://www.wholeliving.com/216877/2013-action-plan-week-2/@center/216880/2013-whole-living-action-plan
I’m sure you could make some wonderful modifications. Good luck problem solving!

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Jana February 18, 2013

HI Angela,

absolutely love your blog! Making a slow switch to a vegan diet and your recipies are really
inspiring!
In regards to the skin issues, dry flaky skin can be also a result of a in-house winter heating. Other than that,one thing I can really recommend for any skin issues is Bulgarian rose water ( chemical free). It s naturally antiseptic, cleansing and healing. I dont use any other face cleansing product and I dont overindulge in make up or cosmetics. Also amazing for dry skin is Moroccan argan oil ( get a good organic 100 % one). It s great for wrinkles, dry skin and also hair. It s a little miracle.

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Terry February 18, 2013

Oh Angela, I’m sending you healing vibes!

I’ve had problems with my skin that I eventually figured out were connected to my digestion. I did use an elimination diet and discovered several things that send me right over the edge–the nightshades, which others have mentioned. Also, oatmeal and lavendar–of all things. I retest myself every couple of years. Some items go off the list and others come on.

As to stress mgmt, I use epsom salt baths (without essential oil in case of allergy), meditation, and quick daily breaks with closed eyes, deep breaths, and thoughts of a favorite relaxing memory (memories of being half-asleep on a hammock at the end of a hot day while visiting my adored grandmother is my fave.)

As for doing an elimination diet, why don’t you take us along on your journey through your blog?

Wishing you every good thing!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 18, 2013

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate reading about your experiences!

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Raquel February 18, 2013

Love this recipe idea, so simple!
And as far as the skin problem.. I actually had a similar problem just three weeks ago. My face broke out in a strange rash – it was swollen and had tiny red bumps all over it. I went to my doctor, took medication, switched to very mild face cleansers and moisturizers and also eliminated makeup. It cleared up a few days after that! We will never really know what caused it though :/ Now I am back to wearing makeup but still using very mild cleansers and moisturizers. Good luck, hope your skins feels better soon!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 18, 2013

Firstly, that first photo deserves to be on the cover of a magazine!! Secondly, I totally hear ya on these skin issues Ange. I’ve broken out like crazy lately and although it’s not a rash that I’m dealing with, it’s equally as frustrating and I believe that stress is a HUGE culprit. I also went to my doctor who suggested a course of peels and I’m still weighing the pros and cons and doing my research. I don’t think this all-over-the-place weather we’ve been having is helping us either. Skincare in the spring and summer seems so effortless to me when compared to the cold months. I hope your elimination diet helps you nail down what’s been aggravating your skin (and ps. long overdue email coming your way today!)

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Sarah February 18, 2013

I used to have a pretty bad rash on my face- i got it while visiting India and carried it back with me to the States (grr). It was really uncomfortable and frustrating since I normally don’t have skin problems. But with some changes it went away. I do have to say that I kick started it with a steroid cream (can’t remember the name), and it really worked with no side effects! If you don’t feel comfortable with that ( I didn’t ,but I was so stinkin’ desperate), this is my usual skin care regimen. Ever since doing this for over two years I haven’t had one skin problem.
Morning:
Facial Cleanser: Dr. Bronner’s Shea Castile Soap
Moisturizer: Nubian Heritage Shea, Frankincense, and Myrrh Lotion
Exfoliator: (2 or 3x a week) Burt’s Bees Citrus Scrub
Weekends: Living Clay 100% Bentonite Clay Facial (just mix equal pts. clay to ACV)

Everyday: Drink half your bodyweight in water (oz.). Add some lemon juice, which will help cleanse your skin. Have you tried putting green tea bags on your skin? It helps me a lot! Just use the bag after you’ve brewed your tea.
That’s it! I just use a night cream in the evenings. Hope this helps girlfriend :)
p.s.- I also try to have a 75% raw lifestyle, which definitely helps. But I wasn’t raw when my rash went away, but it has helped keep my skin clear.

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Bethany :0) February 18, 2013

Hi Angela!

I’m so sorry to hear you’re having some skin reactions! I’ve dealt with eczema my whole life, and in the past 3 years it’s been increasingly worse on my hands and face, leaving me to grasp for any number of reasons in my search to deal with the reactions holistically and without prescription creams and ointments. Like you said, it’s nearly impossible to pin down. I too have switched out every topical-related item and was on an elimination diet including about 15 foods for several months. Not to mention the cleanses I’ve done (which made my rashes worse), the sugars I’ve cut out, the acupuncture and homeopathy. I’m sad to say none of it worked for me, and I’m still dealing with the strange skin reactions today. Stress is also a huge factor for me. Even when I don’t realize it, I think I’m dealing with major anxiety, and I too need to follow through on my stress-relief techniques that I love but often don’t make the time for. I did learn in the process of my search through a GI test that I had parasites from abroad from several years ago that I was able to get rid of and that were a big contributor to some of my reactions.

Aside from that, though, what I learned is that even though I couldn’t pinpoint my exact allergies, I did find a few foods that seemed to make my situation worse like soy and nightshades, and I try to avoid them as often as I can (although my favorite foods of course involve nightshades to some extent). I learned that by trying to figure out what was going on in my body made my life much more stressful and made me a more neurotic person in the end, exacerbating my allergies. Today I try to do everything in moderation and use a lot of coconut oil on my face and body (including doing the coconut oil face wash technique I found on Pinterest). It all helps, but I often just have to remember to be patient for it to pass and use my prescriptions on my eczema to keep it in check.

I really hope you’re able to determine the culprit as I know how awful and embarrassing it feels to get the rashes on your face! My best advice is to not get too carried away about trying to figure out the food trigger (eliminating too many foods at one time and then relapsing with major cravings) because it may make the rashes worse. I’m still dealing with neuroses I picked up from doing an elimination diet a year and a half ago. Try to take the elimination in stride. From following your blog from several years, I know you’ll be able to stay creative enough with the elimination diet. I hope some day I can find the same kind of discipline to re-try the elimination and get some real answers! I would love to follow our elimination journey as Terry, above, suggested. It would be such an inspiration even just to learn down the line if you found your trigger foods and how you went about staying sane during an elimination diet.

I wish you so much patience and courage during your elimination! I really hope you’re able to pinpoint your issues and resolve your skin reactions!

All the best,

Bethany

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Jennifer February 18, 2013

Hi Angela!
Your blog is amazing! I absolutely love the foods and photos you post. I don’t normally respond to blog posts, but I thought I might be able to point you in the right direction. It sounds like you are ‘glowing’ a little too much! :)
I’m not sure if you have heard of Ayurveda or not, but you may find your answer in that. Check with an Ayurvedic practitioner, or take a look at the resources we have posted on our blog, AyurvedaNextDoor.com. Good luck!
Jennifer

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Lauren (@poweredbypb) February 18, 2013

I had a irritating rash + dry skin develop on my eyelids a few weeks after I moved to Dublin, I couldn’t work out whether it was food related, an allergy, exercise related or something else. I suffered with it for a few weeks but it hasn’t come back since, I think stress may have been the cause. I would totally recommend coconut oil.

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Sarah February 18, 2013

I’ve dealt with really sensitive skin for the last few years. I have had to be so diligent about my diet and higene since I stared getting flare ups. One thing that bothers my skin is temperature and moisture changes in the air. Another is letting sweat sit on my skin for too long after I exercise – that always leads to rashes! After I workout, I have to rush home, shower, and apply coconut oil or eczema-strength moisturizer ASAP. If I don’t, I get dry, irritated patches that allow bacteria to seep in. Never good!
Also, I am sensitive to artificial sweeteners, dairy, alcohol, and caffeine. All of those can trigger reactions for me!
Have you read the blog skinspot? She is an awesome resource and I’ve picked up great tips from her posts.
Good luck! I know skin issues are no fun!

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Jamie February 18, 2013

This looks great!!!! I’ve been looking for new breakfasts that are portable for work!

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