Making sacrifices

Not for Camp NaNoWriMo this time. I’m signed up in our cabin of Camp people from last year, but between taking an online class, prepping for our bout on the 22nd and a trip to New York the following week, I knew I wasn’t going to get much done, so my role will be more of support this go around.

As such, I set my word goal at 15,000, or 500 a day. I’ve been wanting to blog more regularly, despite the fact that I pretty much do the same thing every day every week (some combo of work, practice, etc.). I thought this might force me to write more in some capacity. It’s still too early to tell whether the fiction fairy will visit in the night and give me inspiration or whether something will happen in derby or work that will be worth writing about, but at the very least I will have food to talk about because I was put on a dairy ban for the month.

I’ll back up a bit. I have always had crappy skin. Breakouts, dryness, easy sunburns, breaking out when I’m outside for a period of time too short to get a sunburn, the works. It sucks, and there’s been a constant back and forth with my mom for at least seven years about what I should do about it. We’ve tried different programs, dermatologists, etc. and spent a lot of money. But on the grand scheme of things, I have more important things to worry about.

The most recent iteration of this ongoing fight started last year when she recommended that I go to a naturopath doctor that her coworker, who also had crappy skin, had results with. I was skeptical but humored her and asked the coworker about it. $250 bucks an appointment. Noooooope. I don’t have that money laying around, and if I did, it would go toward food or loans, not fixing my face with methods I’m not entirely sure I trust.

I get paid every two weeks and have a handy dandy spreadsheet with when all my bills are due so I know what is paid when. March was one of those months where I get three paychecks instead of two because 26 is not divisible evenly by 12, so I hemmed and hawed and eventually humored my mom and made an appointment for the end of the month (March 28 to be exact) so I could use some of that extra paycheck instead of spending 2+ months worth of my leftover income in one go.

The appointment itself was fine – we had a good long chat about family medical history, my skin weirdness, etc., and it was determined that my crappy skin might be the result of liver function things rather than hormonal since it was consistently bad regardless of my birth control situation and liver problems run in my family. I was given a liver supplement to take, fine, whatever. And then the doc also suggested going dairy free for a month to see if that helps since casein (the protein in milk) sometimes messes with skin.

I eat vegetables and stuff, but dairy is a significant part of my diet. Milk, cheese and yogurt are go-tos for healthy-ish snacks (well, healthier than cookies, anyway), and I like ice cream like any reasonable lactose-tolerant human being. I was not a happy camper. This isn’t like being lactose intolerant where Lactaid or lactose pills would solve the issue. This is no dairy at all. No milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, or anything that contains milk derivatives like sodium caseinate or whey. Which is like everything, as it turns out.

This experiment is not the best scientifically since the no-dairy thing started the same time as the liver supplements. Technically I was given a choice as to when to do this month with no dairy, but if I was going to have to do it, I wanted to get it out of the way. And I’m not going to lie, I’m still skeptical about the impact of a dairy protein on the fact that I have the skin of a greasy teenage boy. But in theory, that skepticism should reduce or eliminate any placebo effects, so if my face still looks like crap at the end of the month, then I know it doesn’t work, and if it does, then I use the following month to see whether the change was the result of the no dairy or the liver supplement.

I’ll try to keep the griping to a minimum — I will have more details about what I’m eating (or not) in tomorrow’s and future posts — but this challenge should at least give me something to write about. We’ll see if I make it to April 28.

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