How I’m Handling Acne With Diet + Sweet Potato Casserole Protein Shake Recipe

As a teenager and young adult, I was fortunate to have clear skin. Of course there would be the occasional pimple here and there but for the most part, it was clean and clear.

Over that past 6 months something has changed. Each day seems to hold some mystery to it… “will I wake up and see a new zit today?”

My face, while not plagued with acne and scars is much different than it was. Now, it’s a rarity if I don’t have a few pimples on my face. And my skin is very sensitive (not just my face, my entire body). Sometimes my entire body itches, and all I can do is sit on my hands to avoid giving in.

What gives?

It’s something I’ve become increasingly self-conscious of especially when shooting videos and taking pictures on a weekly basis.

Make-up can only cover up so much, and my photoshop skills don’t allow my to touch up my complexion (or anything with my body for that matter).

After researching and talking with Dan, we’ve decided I needed to take some action and make some changes.

I’ve been reading a lot this week on nutrition and acne issues, one great source has been my friends at PurelyTwins who have been experimenting with their own diets, hormones and acne issues for quite some time now.

What I’ve learned is this… it’s going to take some experimenting. It’s going to take commitment and it is going to take time.

I can’t make changes to my diet and expect a flawless completion in a day or two. Damn.

I’ll be doing more research today to add the final touches to my meal plan (having a meal plan will help so much). But so far here are a few rules I’m going to try to follow.

The Great Natural Acne Experimentation Diet

  • Cut back on fats (specifically omega 6’s). This means no nuts, seeds, grains and even avocado. What will I do without peanut butter?! After 2 weeks I’ll add in avocado back to my diet. Omega 6’s are great for you, but it’s likely I’ve been getting too many which can cause inflammation. My goal is to balance my Omega 3: Omega 6 ration.
  • Cut out sugar. I’m going to actually cut out fruit (after today’s Fruity Friday), honey, syrup, and of course normal sugar. After 2 weeks, I’ll slowly add back in fruit to see if it has any affect on my face. I sure hope not. I love my fruit.
  • Cut out soy. This isn’t going to be hard at all since I don’t eat much soy (tempeh every once in a while). Because of the phytoestrogens in it, soy can affect hormones which can of course influence acne.
  • Cut out gluten. I went gluten free for about 8 weeks and felt not much different. Since I have had gluten foods in limited amounts, but I’m willing to try again with the other rules.
  • Cut back on raw veggies. Believe it or not, I’ve read several places that eating vegetables raw can be an irritant for some people. I eat a lot of raw veggies since going vegan, so I am curious to see what happens.
  • No vegetable oil, including olive oil. I’ll only be using coconut oil for a bit to see how it goes.

I am not doing this to lose weight, I am working to get my body in a healthy state. Someone once said that unhealthy symptoms on the outside means something is going on in the inside.

So we’ll see.

Along with the nutrition, I’m still looking into a healthy face care program to try. I’ve heard good things about topical niacin? If you have any suggestions, I am all ears!

What will I be eating? I’ll share more on that next week!

Sweet Potato Casserole

I could care less about pumpkin pie or stuffing at Thanksgiving. To me, sweet potato casserole is where it’s at.

It’s really a dessert, but with casserole tossed in to the name. That of course makes it okay to have on your dinner plate, right?

Well, I am almost tired of pumpkin EVERYTHING so I decided to bring my favorite Thanksgiving food to the table in shake form.

May I introduce you to my new best friend…

sweet potato protein shake

I posted a picture of this shake on Instagram & Facebook and it didn’t take long to realize I needed to share this baby! This honestly beats any pumpkin pie shake I’ve ever made hands down. A-Ma-Zing!

Sweet Potato Protein Shake


  • 3/4 cup canned sweet potatoes (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or more/less)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 small handful pecans
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Vega)
  • 1 handful ice


  1. Blend it all up and enjoy!
  2. I topped mine with roasted chestnuts that I made the other night, however I really wanted a BIG toasted marshmallow for the top!


What products do you use on your face? 

Favorite Thanksgiving food?


  • soy is a big one! and grains. They really affect our bodies and skin. Way to tackle this friend. Your bites will help. hehe

  • I’ve suffered from adult acne over the past several years or so. SO frustrating and I’m definitely very self-conscious about it! I’m looking forward to hearing how you make out with changing things in your diet. This is something I’ve been considering myself.

    The smoothie sounds delish by the way!

    • It is so frustrating! It seems like every time things clear up something new pops up, literally!

  • Lucie

    I found myself with adult acne and after speaking with a dermatologist and an enthestician, we found it to be hormonal acne. Cutting soy was key along with two daily supplements of vitex (you can buy it at any vitamin or health store over the counter). Acne completely cleared up within 2 months.

    • Thanks Lucie! I read about Vitex some place else too, so now I’ll definitely check it out!

      • Lucie

        It is very inexpensive and as an added bonus, I hardly have any PMS anymore-cramps almost completely eliminated

  • Rebecca

    I get those nasty underground zits that will last at least a week, and then leave me with a nice red spot for the next month (at least). Tea tree oil is one of my favorite things for blemishes & acne because it’s gentle but is VERY effective.

    While I try to use as many natural products as I can, I’ve found that many of them do nothing to keep my acne away (the whole Yes To line, Burt’s Bees, etc.), probably because they use salicylic acid which my skin doesn’t seem to respond to. There are some products by Kate Somerville which are wonderful, but expensive – -specifically the AntiBac clearing lotion which has benzoyl peroxide in it to help fight acne.

    Other than that, I’ve been experimenting with putting either argan oil or coconut oil on my face at night, usually coconut because it’s more economical, AND I can cook with it AND use it as a body moisturizer AND a hair defrizzer 🙂 I’ve actually been very pleasantly surprised with how it’s been on my face…my face looks really glowy, moisturized and healthy when I wake up. I don’t think I would use it during the day, but I’ve really been loving it at night.

    I do notice that when I drink lots of water, eat really well and exercise often, my skin responds pretty well. Also, another cool tip — put honey & yogurt on your face as a mask (it’s not as awful to rinse off as it sounds, trust me!), it’s been known to help clear up acne because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and will make your skin really soft as well. The lactic acid from the dairy in the yogurt is also a great skin smoother and also minimizes redness.

    Best of luck to you!

    • Thank you for all these awesome tips! I’ll look into everything! I’ve been contemplating using the coconut oil on my face!

  • Katie Langan

    Hey! I hope you’ve been well!
    Have you thought about probiotics? I developed some adult acne too a couple of years ago. Took antibiotics for our wedding and it totally went away. That tells me that mine is probably not hormonal, and that maybe I have an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria. I tried fermented saurkraut but it made it worse, so I am not sure which strains might be right for me. I started eating probiotic yogurt every day, which is really the only dairy I’m eating now. I am looking at taking supplements but it’s hard to narrow down all of the different strains/options and also avoid my allergies. It’s definitely trial and error, but I feel like this makes sense, for my symptoms at least. I am considering seeing a naturopath as well for it.
    It stinks!!

    • Hey!! Its good to hear from you! I will look into probiotics. I was getting them from Athletic Greens but now looking for a new source. I’ll see what I can find! Thanks! Hows everything going? Looks gorgeous out there!

  • sorry to hear that you are having skin issues, we feel your pain and frustration!! We are so honored that we inspired you to try new things and figure out what may be causing your acne. It’s a long road, but promise it will be worth it!! Hang in there 🙂

    If you have any questions, you know where to find us! We are here to help and support you every step of the way! We have noticed huge improvements in our skin lately, so from our most recent tips, those things have really helped. And by taking out soy, watching your sugars will help!

    • Thanks ladies! I will def reach out if I need help! It means a lot!

  • I think testosterone may have a big part in this, at least for me. Weight training, especially intense lifting sessions, increase testosterone levels that can cause breakouts. I cut out whey & casein protein and have fallen back to 3x a week weight training.

    Are the breakouts near your chin area? It could be it…. anyways, that’s what’s been working for me to clear my skin back up. I hope you find the solution!!

    • Thanks! I do often get them “around” my chin, and along my “smile lines” from my nose to my mouth. You’re right, it def. has increased since my training has intensified. Something think about!

  • Melissa

    I’ve always battled adult acne, especially post-partum. I found cutting dairy helped get rid of the cystic acne, and then I started using Paula’s Choice products. My skin is not perfect, but really, really close with those two changes!

    • Thanks! I’ve been dairy free for 2+ years now so for me, I know it’s not the dairy 🙁 But I’ll check out the Paula’s Choice! Thanks.

  • Stacy

    Hi! I, too, suffer from hormonal acne (the deep blemishes that appear around the mouth and chin) and have gotten soooo much relief from Green Pastures Blue Ice Royal Butter Oil / Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend. I get nothing from “promoting” this product, I just really believe in it. I am a HUGE skeptic when it comes to this stuff, believe me… and I heard about this stuff years before I broke down and tried it. I thought there was no way something so simple could make a difference. I wish I had just ordered it from Day 1… it’s been so worth it.
    You MUST be consistent with it… I started with 4 capsules/day (2 in the am, 2 in the pm) and had ZERO breakouts after the first 3 weeks of starting this regiment (I sent a reminder to make sure I never missed a dose as others had mentioned that consistency was the key). I was breakout free for 2 whole months while taking the 4 capsules (and that’s NEVER happened… I always had a zit either on it’s way IN or on it’s way OUT in the past). Since I’m frugal, I tried to get away with just 1 or 2 capsules/day and the acne started to come back slowly… so now I’m back to 4 capsules/day and acne is not a problem. Since it’s the only thing I changed about my diet/routine, I’m pretty sure I can safely say I have the supplement to thank for the improvement.
    As with ALL things in nature… every collection of molecules is completely different from the next… so take this (and any) advice with a grain of salt and be your own scientist. The ONE thing I would say about your approach is that it will be hard to tell WHICH of those changes you’re making is to credit for any improvements if you were to make them all at once. I like to change ONE thing at a time so I can really test it… and then move on if it doesn’t work. Eliminating a LARGE number of foods at once and then trying to add them back in over time can also cause metabolic damage. I have plenty of friends who can no longer tolerate (healthy) foods they used to eat regularly because of elimination diets that cut out large food groups at once. However, I know you have lots of experience with this, so, really, I know you’ll make super smart choices.’ Good Luck to you… I wish you the best!

    • Thank you so much! I will def. check into it!! Love this advice.

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  • Eveliz

    I am so happy I came across this. I’m currently suffering from acne. Like you, I didn’t get bad acne in my teens or early adulthood but now… UGH! I didn’t realize diet had much to do with it though I don’t feel my diet has changed much other than eating better and better quality foods.

    Do you feel like this helped?

  • evelizgarcia

    How did you end up getting rid of acne? Did the experiment work? I’m struggling with it right now. Like you, I didn’t struggle with this as a teen (occasional zit here and there). For most of 2014 it’s gradually became worse. I’m looking for help/guidance.

    • Yes, mine eventually cleared up, though its been back here and there. It was hormonal for me and I was put on new birth control actually last week for a slew of other issues as well.

      Good luck! The diet changes definitely helped!

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