Solving the Eczema Problem: 6 Keys

Solving the Eczema Problem: 6 Keys

Since I was an infant my body has suffered from an auto-immune skin disorder called eczema.

And I’m not talking about a dry patch here and there.

It came in waves and phases of histamine firing, skin bubbling, itching, cracking, bleeding, peeling agony. Back of my knees, inside my elbows, neck, face, and hands…

Throughout my childhood my parents, obeying doctors’ orders, slathered me with prescription-strength topical steroid creams and commercial lotions. I suffered terribly through high school and college and into adulthood.

I began my pursuit of natural healing in 1997.  I had it kicked for a long while having observed a diet and supplement regimen to rid my body of over-growth of yeast (candida albicans), detoxifying drinks and coffee enemas (yes, I was desperate – vying for the extreme options cancer patients were getting results from it -it did seem to help but I can’t endorse this practice as there isn’t science to back it up).

But 7 years later the eczema came back. With a vengeance. All over my body.

I was desperate. I couldn’t live like this.

I went to see the best dermatologist in Atlanta. When he saw me he brought in his associates and interns telling them this was the worst case of eczema he had ever seen. Then, he proceeded to shoot me up with the most high-powered steroid treatments available – three different injections.

I got immediate relief. My skin cleared up and healed. For 2 weeks I felt like a normal person.

Then the side effects of the steroids started kicking in. And the eczema came back.

The next 6 years my health declined rapidly and I believe many of my issues were a result of those high powered steroid shots on top of years and years of cycles of steroid creams, pills and antibiotics taken as a result of infections due to supressed immune system.

Since 2009 I have been hunkering down into the clean and green lifestyle step by step, bit by bit.

Though I still get an occasional flare up on my fingers and on my neck, I can tell you that I believe I have solved the eczema problem.

It’s a rather complicated equation. I’d really like to boil it down to 6 keys, hoping this helps others.

6 Keys to Solving the Eczema Problemitching

1. Food Alert: In the beginning of healing your body you absolutely have to go on a very strict elimination diet and you may need to take some supplements to aid in healing the gut. I recommend you see a naturopath who can do some testing to see what your body is reacting to and help you with some appropriate supplements.  Here are a list of foods you most likely are reacting to:

  • wheat and anything with wheat in it
  • gluten altogether – any grains with gluten
  • canned foods (chemicals and some metals in the cans leach into the foods)
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • artificial sweeteners (except stevia – stevia seems to be ok)
  • soy
  • peanuts
  • hydrogenated fats, commercial oils
  • alcohol
  • coffee
  • cigarettes
  • fish with high metal/mercury content
  • non organic meats
  • nightshades
  • shrimp and all shellfish

Yeah, yeah…. I know it sounds daunting. But if you want to heal your eczema you have to get serious.

This is what you CAN eat generally:

2. Clean-n-Green Environs: It’s important to do your best to eliminate the toxic chemicals from your home and work environment as much as possible. Here’s a cheat sheet and some tips:

  • Replace dish liquid with Castile soap. You can scent with a bit of pure-grade essential oils
  • Make your own laundry detergent (just try to use the unscented bar of castile soap)
  • Make your own glass cleaner with
  • Clean your surfaces and tub/shower with
    • 1 tsp borax
    • 1/2 tsp washing soda
    • 1 tsp liquid castile soap
    • essential oils as preferred- I use Purify from doTerra 20 drops
  • Fill your house and office with air cleaning plants such as Boston Fern, Pothos, Peace Lily, Dracaena, Bamboo Palm
  • Essential oils for air freshening and cleaning with a diffuser

3. Clean-n-Green Skin, Hair, Personal Care: If it’s poison to eat, don’t put it on your skin.  Throw out and stop buying commercial products. Here are some ideas:

  • You need some ready-made products on hand. I have fallen in love with Gilly’s Organics. I use the Good Clean Suds, Better for Body Butter everyday as well as her shampoos. She’s a friend and colleague of mine who started creating home-made products that were clean and green in her kitchen and now she’s selling them! And most importantly, these products have helped me heal my skin and keep it smooth and calm – no itching.
  • You can replace hand soap, face soap and body soap with liquid castile soap.
  • Use witch hazel as your toner for face cleansing
  • Look for cosmetics made with all natural, organic plant ingredients
  • Brush your teeth with baking soda and a bit of peppermint essential oil or order Earthpaste (I love Earthpaste)
  • You can use coconut oil as moisturizer anywhere on your body

4. Hydrate from the inside out: Every day be sure you are drinking enough purified water.

5. Keep the bowels squeaky clean and work on healing the gut: This is essential. While there is debate on what is a healthy frequency, I refer to revered Dr. Joseph Mercola on this one.  Read about how to know if you have healthy bowel activity and how to heal your gut.

  • Eat lots of high fiber fruits and veggies every day at every meal
  • Supplement with an insoluable fiber and plenty of water
  • Take magnesium citrate to relax the muscles of the intestines
  • Take a probiotic on an empty stomach in the morning 30 minutes before you eat
  • Drink 16 ounces of warmed water with juice of 1/2 lemon through a straw upon rising in the morning

6. Learn to Relax… Get a Grip on your Stress:  Last but not least, this key is key… You must train your mind and body to relax on a daily basis. It’s something that does not come to you automatically. You have to practice.

  • Download my free guided meditation to relax right here on this website and stay tuned for a whole series of downloadable guided relaxations coming soon here.
  • Practice gentle, restorative or yin yoga. Look for a class in your area or check out the many downloadable yoga classes here
  • Practice meditation.
  • Choose to embrace a mindfulness practice.

Solving the eczema problem requires patience and dedication. You can’t expect overnight relief but these 6 keys will be the foundation of your healing journey….

Your itch-free guide,



Leptin and Weight for Women over 40

Leptin and Weight for Women over 40


Leptin levels and weight loss go hand in hand for women over 40.

Leptin plays a significant role in many different systems of your body,  especially important for the process of releasing excess weight and overall appetite regulation. Leptin’ s job is to communicate to your brain how much fat your body has and needs. Leptin also responds to exercise intensity and duration, as well as the amount of chronic inflammation in your body.

[right][/right]Typically, women have at least twice as much leptin as men and there is theory that suggests this causes women to develop “resistance” to leptin.

In other words, leptin may not be able to communicate accurately with the brain when the body is resisting.  To make matters worse, when women embark on a typical diet, their leptin levels drop drastically causing miserable cravings and crashes in energy.

Here are some tips for helping leptin do it it’s job so you can release that excess fat without the miserable cravings and energy-crashes that come with extreme dieting.

1. Get more (and better) sleep. Inadequate or poor quality sleep can really mess up leptin levels according to research.  A very simple but effective strategy for increasing leptin sensitivity is to ensure that you’re getting enough quality sleep.  A proper “sleep hygiene” routine is key. I do recommend, from personal experience, trying a combination of melatonin, magnesium citrate to help you sleep if you have trouble. Of course, consult with your health care practitioner first!

2. Move your body – GENTLY at first!  Heavy lifting NOT required. Even low intensity regular exercise supports leptin levels and helps leptin tell your brain to go ahead and start releasing that excess fat. Do NOT do heavy duty cardio workouts in the beginning as this only creates more stress for your body. Think gentle, easy movement like brisk walks or swimming.

3. Step away from the snacks! Contrary to what we have heard on other programs, snacking in between meals is often found to mess with our leptin levels.  In the beginning of releasing excess weight, we want to give the body a chance to heal. Eating throughout the day only taxes the body.  Eat 3 meals, spaced out with at least 3 hours in between and make sure your meals are high protein and chockfull of nutrient-dense, high fiber, non-starchy veggies.

4.Focus on Omega 3. Eat or supplement with Omega-3s (clean fish, grassfed meats, chia seeds) and avoid sources of Omega-6  (vegetable oils, conventional meats, grains, etc) to get inflammation levels DOWN and help support healthy leptin levels.

5. Rethink the Drink! When we drink alcohol it’s like injecting straight sugar right into our blood stream. Straight sugar in the bloodstream wreaks havoc on the balance of all our hormones including insulin and leptin.

If you want to read more please check out the book Mastering Leptin by Byron and Mary Richards.



Weight Loss for Women Over 40: Mind your Mind

Weight Loss for Women Over 40: Mind your MINDlady meditating sunset

A holistic approach to releasing excess weight from the body requires examination and addressing yourself as a WHOLE person.

Holistic weight loss for women over 40 requires taking a close look at the thoughts we are thinking, the beliefs we are operating from, the actions we are taking often without awareness in relationship to the physical body and the spirit of who you really are. 

Let’s take a peek at the power of your MIND…

Your thoughts are directing and attracting your life experiences so you might as well learn to harness the power of your thoughts consciously and healthfully, right?

Here are  just 3 simple tools to train your brain…

Mind Your Mind…

1. Catch and Release. Begin observing the thoughts that pop into your head. Notice thoughts occurring just as you over-hear a conversation at the next table in a restaurant. Tune in. Pay attention and remember this: You do not need to BELIEVE everything you think…. Catch your thoughts and make a choice as to whether to keep the thought or throw it away, let it go, release it.

2. Flip the script. Ever heard of “stinkin’ thinkin’?”  This is when negative, discouraging strings of thoughts run through your mind. When you are able to catch “stinkin’ thinkin'” and consciously STOP and turn it around to a statement of thanks. For example, if you notice yourself thinking, “Ugh, I hate my body! None of my clothes fit anymore and I look so fat!” you would catch that negative train of thought, and consciously and decidedly flip it to, “I am so grateful for this body. I am grateful my legs carry me around, my arms are able to hold my child, my eyes are able to see this beautiful sky…” A regular practice of flipping the script will begin to yield less stress in your mind and body and more peace.

3. Be gentle. Once you start really noticing the thoughts that happen unconsciously you might notice a pattern of thinking that is very harsh, critical – even cruel. Choose to be gentle. Here, not only do you flip the actual script of thoughts, you soften the tone of your thoughts. Being gentle with yourself means to allow yourself to feel compassion for the pain you have experienced in your life and for the trials you may currently be experiencing.  You may notice you have a lot of harsh judgments of others as well. Choose to be gentle in your mind instead.

Mindfulness practice begins with deciding to really pay close attention to what you are thinking without beating yourself up for what you notice.

Holistic weight loss for women over 40 begins in the mind.  We work on observing what thoughts are driving our experiences and we consciously shift and change what we are thinking and the way we are thinking.

Losing weight (and keeping it off!) happens when the mind shifts into a groove of observing, accepting what is in order to allow for change in actions to take place with ease and alignment.