It was so typical.
Like always, things had gone great with Ashley’s new omega 3 treatment at first. The oiliness had dissipated, her skin had started to clear up, and for the first time in years she’d felt a spark of optimism.
Unfortunately, her excitement had caused her to do what she always did whenever there was a glimmer of oily skin hope, she said the hell with testing the water and jumped in with both feet - if some fish was good, more fish would be better and she’d defeat the oiliness monster in no time.
So she bought herself a case of sardines.
And the perfect omega 3 fish binge began.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday – all Ashley had to do was hold her nose and enjoy the results.
But on Sunday she hit a wall.
Inflamed blotches of red dotted her arms and face and Ashley’s stomach sank.
She’d overdone it with the sardine splurge.
This happened every time she pushed too hard and the lousy reaction was disheartening but really not surprising; see some results, amp up the process, body’s negative response brings her crashing back to Earth.
But this time was even more devastating. She needed the omega 3 to achieve balance. If she couldn’t achieve this balance she’d be a human oil slick forever.
Why did this have to be so DAMN difficult?!
It was time to visit Star again.
An hour later a couple of tears rolled down Ashley’s face as she stood in front of Star’s porch telling the little body/spirit expert about her reaction. Star listened quietly while a warm ocean wind blew across the driveway.
“Relax, Ashley. Go home and for the rest of the day do not eat anything with any fat in it,” Star said after Ashley had stopped venting. “Only let water touch your skin and revisit me tomorrow at this same time.”
Ashley nodded and wiped her cheeks.
“And Ashley, don’t do any research, just relax. Tomorrow we’re going to rebuild from this.”
Ashley nodded and Star’s mouth stretched into a small smile as she turned and went back inside.
An hour after battling traffic, Ashley was back at home doing exactly what Star had told her to do. No fats, just water on her skin and she’d laid down on the couch with HGTV quietly on in the background.
But she couldn’t settle down.
Time wasn’t on her side, and with less than 7 weeks to the wedding, relaxing and doing less wasn’t what Ashley thought she needed.
So she called her brother to get his take on things.
“Star’s right, Ash,” Tommy said between sips of one of the whacky green smoothies he liked to make, “resting really is the only thing you can do now.”
“I don’t get it though, why?” Ashley asked.
“Look, there are only 3 stages your body is ever in. You’ve hit the stage of exhaustion and the only thing you can do is stop what’s causing the stress and let your body naturally heal. Trust me, rest is the key.”
“Yeah, I guess,” Ashley sighed, “I just really need this to work, I can’t be wasting time doing nothing.”
Ashley shuddered as she heard her brother take a gulp of smoothie, “It’s all part of the process, Ash,” Tommy said, “Let’s just hope Star’s right about you getting your body back to balance being the most important thing.”
“Yeah,” Ashley said staring out the window at the darkening sky, “let’s hope.”
The next day, Ashley walked back into Star’s house an anxious mess. As Star went to get some tea, she gazed out at the ocean view and then over the multi-colored pyramid paintings that lined the wall; Ashley scrolled to the dermatologist’s number in her phone - she eitherleft here with answers or the good doctor was getting the call.
“How are you, Ashley?” Star asked bringing a couple of mugs out of the kitchen.
“You know, good as I can be,” Ashley said.
“All right, so let’s talk about your body for a moment,” Star said handing Ashley a mug.
“How long have you been dairy intolerant?”
Ashley was confused – not a new thing at this point – and took a sip of tea, “Um, a few years now, how did you know?”
Star waved her hand like she was swatting away the question. “Did removing the stress of dairy solve your intestinal problems?”
“No, it didn’t solve them. I did feel better though.”
“And then you got zapped with gluten intolerance soon after that, right?”
“Yeah, like a year or two later. HOW do you know this???”
Star just kept going, “You tend to get sensitive a lot to the world around you, right? Especially to food?”
Yeesh, maybe Star really couldread minds.
“Yes,” Ashley said shaking her head and taking another sip,
“I’ve been told I’ve got leaky gut syndrome so I have to be really careful about what I eat. I can’t seem to shake it either even though I drink a ton of bone broth.”
“And allergies too, right?”
“Yep, I swear I react to everything; I should be in a Claritin commercial.”
Star nodded and Ashley noticed Star’s perfectly painted indigo fingernails as she ran her hand through her hair.
“So, would you say that the healthier you try to eat and live, the more you’re aware of a growing number of sensitivities?” Star asked.
Ashley’s heart jumped, “Yes! It drives me crazy! I know I eat better than most people, and my reward is being punished for any tiny mistake. If I don’t do everything perfectly, my skin suffers big time. I mean, I’ll have quick moments here and there of my face going back to normal, but the littlest thing sets me off. At this rate in a few years I’m going to be reactive to the whole damn planet,” Ashley felt a lump in her throat and her eyes get wet as twenty years of anxiety, despair and frustration flooded her over her, “It’s so frustrating!”
Star’s face stayed as even as the sea behind her. “Let’s look at you skin right now, okay?”
Ashley wiped oil off her forehead and stared at her shiny wet fingers. “It’s because I’m stressed.”
“It is and it isn’t. There’s something else going on that’s a bigger factor right now.”
“What’s that?” Ashley asked drying her eyes with the back of her hand.
“Okay, this past week you’ve consumed enough omega 3 fatty acids to satisfy your body for several days, yet right now, the type and excess of oil on your face reflects your body’s inability to use them. This means you’re not seeing any of the benefits from the food you eat,” Star said.
“So I could eat all the fish in the world…” Ashley said.
“And it wouldn’t matter,” Star said. “Your face would look exactly the same as it does now.”
Ashley stared at Star wanting to hear more.
“Look at it like this,” Star said, “a specific area of your body has stopped working, and because of this your body can’t process the fats you eat.”
“But fats have never been an issue for me,” Ashley said.
Star turned and led Ashley back to the chairs they’d sat in the other day. “Let me explain,” Star said as she sat down, “your digestive system has become inefficient at breaking down foods, this has brought on the gluten and dairy intolerance you’re dealing with. This inefficiency starts with your inability to properly break down fats. When you can’t break down fats, your body sends signals to slow down acid production.”
Ashley leaned forward in her chair, “Five years from now it’s autoimmune diseases we’re talking about with you.”
Ashley’s jaw dropped.
“This WILL get worse if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, Ashley.”
“Is there anything I can do?” Ashley asked.
“Of course there is,” Star said sitting back and taking a sip of tea, “we turn your inner furnace back on. That will get your body properly digesting fat again and should solve a lot of your food sensitivities in the process.”
“But I’ve already taken a million different supplements to try and do this – probiotics, betaine hcl, digestive enzymes, plus there’s all the fiber and bone broth I’ve loaded up on.”
“For all the specific issues those supplements address, they don’t cover this one,” Star said.
Ashley felt a touch encouraged that they were finally narrowing something down. “Ok, so what’s the solution?”
“Well, the solution starts where your body gets stuck. We need to rebuild how your body digests fats. Right now, the bile your liver produces is too thick to do its job correctly - this triggers a chain reaction that shuts down your entire digestive tract.
Ashley rubbed her tense neck, “I’ve never heard anything about this before.”
“Most haven’t, and it’s a problem that catching up to a lot of people real quickly these days.
“So if I thin out my bile, my food sensitives go away?”
“It might take time to get things working properly again, but yes, there’s a chance many of them disappear once your inner furnace starts running the way it’s supposed to again.”
“I’m very much hoping you have a wonderful technique I can use to accomplish this…”
“I do. And you only need 3 ingredients: beets, apple cider vinegar and ginger.”
Ashley tapped the info into her phone, “So is this something I’ll have to do forever?”
“No, all you have to do is turn your furnace back on. After that, your body takes over. All you have to do is keep treating it right.”
Feeling a lot better than she had when she first looked in the mirror this morning, Ashley stood up, walked over to the window and looked out at the water, “So what do I need to do?”
“It’s not that tough,” Star said, “10 minutes before you eat any meal that contains fat, take a small bite or two of raw beets along with a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar and small piece of fresh ginger. Then, once a day, immediately after you completed this triad, eat a small meal that includes the good omega 3 fats your body needs. Make sure to keep the meal light, and you might need to find a new source of omega 3 fats until your body recovers from your overdose bingeing session. A few weeks of this and your furnace should be burning fats efficiently again.”
“Ok, I’ll give it a shot,” Ashley said and started heading for the front door.
“Oh, and Ashley,” Star called out.
Ashley stopped and looked back.
“Make sure you keep your detox progressing,” Star said with a wink.
“Right, thanks, Star…”
Once outside, Ashley got in her jeep and started typing into her phone:
Oily Skin Detox Rule #4: Avoid Mega Doses of Any One Food, Ingredient or Supplement.
Oily Skin Detox Rule #5: Consume One Easily Digested Light Meal High In Omega 3 A Day, Properly Supported With Beets, ACV and Ginger beforehand.
When she got home she gave Tommy another ring.
“So, Tommy, it looks like I get to turn my refrigerator into a beet and ginger farm. It’s going to be rough trying to make this work.”
“It doesn’t have to be, Ash. They sell what you need as powders so you could just make a quick smoothie each day.”
“But I still have to eat out sometimes, Tommy, and I’m not carrying a blender around in my purse.”
“You don’t have to, just get yourself a blender bottle, buy the powders and you’ll be ready to roll when you need them.”
“That actually sounds pretty good. So they sell the supplements I’m looking for in powder form?” Ashley asked.
“Of course. Athletes use beet juice powder like crazy and you can find it pretty easily – the bigger sizes will last you for months. Same thing for ginger root. As far as apple cider vinegar goes, you can get it in powder and capsules, but with that it’s probably more beneficial to take it as a liquid like Bragg’s.”
“Okay, that’s helpful stuff. I knew you were a useful brother,” Ashley said.
“Anytime, Ash. Hang in there.”
The next day, Ashley prepped her first ‘easy fats’ meal. She had her omega 3 fish choice ready to go. She slammed her shot of apple cider vinegar and nibbled down a couple of raw beets and ginger root. Ten minutes later she managed to eat her canned herring with the help of some fresh salsa.
Hard work, but not impossible.
A few days later she was back over at Jessica’s talking about her new regimen.
“So the idea is to give my body meals where I know I’m going to break down the food, so the food has to be nutrient rich.”
Jessica sprayed some water on the little cactus sitting on the kitchen’s marble island and pushed her glasses up, “Is that when you take your supplements?”
“Well, I haven’t been taking many of them lately,” Ashley said.
“Ashley,” Jessica said setting the bottle down, “you need to be supporting your body with at least the basics for oily skin. If nothing else, find a vitamin B complex to help you deal with the stress.”
“Well, I’m sure the beets have vitamins in them.”
“Sure they do, but you need to be sure your body is getting the right ones in the right amounts. A good B complex is crucial.”
“Okay, I may pick some up. Hopefully these beets do the trick in the meantime.”
“Speaking of beets, did Star mention anything about the testosterone boost you get from beets being a bad thing?”
“No, she didn’t mention that.”
“Okay, well you should look into it. I’m pretty sure oily skin is all about having too much testosterone on your face and beets increase testosterone, so I’m wondering if that’s making your skin oilier.”
“I have no idea,” Ashley said, “but I don’t think they are.”
“Okay, well I’ll look into it for you and let you know later in the week what I find out.”
“That’d be great, Jessica.”
Ashley went home and found her brother waiting for her.
“Got you an early birthday present, Ash,” Tommy said.
Tommy held up a blender bottle, a container of powdered beat juice, powdered ginger and powdered apple cider vinegar. “I even got you some storage jars that you can use to keep the different powders separate until you blend them.”
“Thanks bro! How’d you get all this?” Ashley asked taking the bottle.
“It’s called the internet, Ash.”
Her brother hung out for another hour before going home and when Ashley got into bed that night what Jessica had told her about testosterone causing more oil on her face kept racing through her head. She thought about pulling the laptop out but decided to quit while she was ahead and leave it for another time.
Besides, I’m a female, how big a deal can testosterone be?
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