Episode 60: Eating Yourself Beautiful
Beauty comes from within and that means the foods we eat play a critical role in our inner and outer health. Jass Stupak shares how we can combat skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema through our diet.
The content of this podcast has not been evaluated by Health Canada or the FDA. It is educational in nature and should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult a qualified medical professional to see if a diet, lifestyle change, or supplement is right for you. Any supplements mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please note that the opinions of the guests or hosts are their own and may not reflect those of Advanced Orthomolecular Research, Inc.
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Welcome to Supplementing Health, a podcast presented by Advanced Orthomolecular Research. We are all about applying evidence based and effective dietary, lifestyle and natural health product strategies for your optimal health. In each episode, we will feature very engaging clinicians and experts from the world of functional and naturopathic medicine to help achieve our mission to empower people to lead their best lives naturally.
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[02:03] Cassy Price: Hello everyone. Thanks for tuning in to Supplementing Health. I am thrilled to be welcoming back Jass Stupak today to discuss inner beauty and skin healthy foods. For those of you who have not yet met Jass, she is a certified holistic nutritionist originally from Ontario but now lives in Vancouver, BC who found her passion for nutrition and skin through her own health journey with candida and acne. If you haven’t listened to her previous episode, I would urge you to learn more about this topic by checking out episode 19 of supplementing health. Now, without further adieu, let’s get chatting. Hi Jass, welcome back.
[02:42] Jass Stupak: Hi Cassy. Thanks so much for having me.
[02:45] Cassy Price: So, to get started would you mind explaining what inner beauty means to you?
[02:51] Jass Stupak: Yeah. So, inner beauty I would say that is where everything begins. If you are looking for clear skin and stronger hair you want to make sure that you are working from the inside out. I think that this is something that we always talk about, we always hear about how everything we eat will show on the outside and it is honestly so true. I get so many questions in my DMs or my email regarding supplements for hair, skin and nails and everyone looking for just a supplement but to honest everything starts from within. I think that diet plays the biggest role as well as stress in the body. When we are thinking about inner beauty, we really want to consider what we can do before taking on a supplement and also what we can do before trying out a new skin care routine or new makeup and that kind of thing. I think inner beauty is something that we don’t focus too much on and I think it can make the absolute biggest difference in our lives.
[03:54] Cassy Price: I completely agree. There are kind of two categories with inner beauty which is the physical inner beauty which involves the improvement of physical health from the inside out like you were talking about and then there is also mental inner beauty which is the mindset around it. Foods can affect both. So, do you have suggestions on foods that are just staples or things that affect both your physical and mental inner beauty that you should really be cognisant of?
[04:24] Jass Stupak: Yeah. I would say especially physically you can see it on your skin when you are eating well or when you aren’t eating well. You can see it in the way you move with your fatigue, or performance at work. Then mentally you can really take a look at it from so many different viewpoints, but I think when it comes to our mental health and mental beauty a lot of also stems from, regardless of what food you are eating, it really depends on the impact and how you look at that food. If you have a negative outlook on food, it is really going to affect that mental health which in turn is really going to effect your inner and outer beauty. Foods that I would say have a huge impact, and I think that is the first thing that people are curious about, what we should remove from our diets. So, I know it is hard and I know that it is something that a lot of us don’t want to hear but dairy I would say is definitely the first one. Dairy causes a ton of reactions in the body. For the most part depending on what dairy you are eating especially if it is something like soft cheeses it is going to essentially stick to the gut lining and form this mucus membrane which in turn really impacts everything else that you are eating.
[05:47] I have noticed it for myself and my clients. As soon as we take dairy out of the diet, they notice a huge difference physically and mentally. I also would say alcohol and sugar are a huge one. Sugar of course, we hear so much about it and how we should be taking it out of our diets. Then there is a lot of us who aren’t very conscious of it, but I seriously think that sugar plays a huge role in our physical health but also in our mental health and I think it is often overlooked because sugar is in everything. Once you start looking at labels or anything like that you will notice that there is sugar in everything. It is pretty crazy.
[06:30] Cassy Price: As you were mentioning before, poor physical inner beauty can manifest itself externally in the form of different skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc. The last time we spoke we talked about candida overgrowth specifically and how that can result in acne. I was curious can candida be at the root of rosacea as well?
[06:52] Jass Stupak: I definitely think it can be. Rosacea is basically a skin condition that predominantly shows on someone’s cheeks and under their eyes. It is a very red tone. When you look at candida in the body, candida is a yeast overgrowth in the body and it typically shows as excessive heat within our digestive system. When you look at rosacea as a predominantly red and tender skin condition, that is basically resembling candida from the outside in. I really do think that if you are suffering with rosacea, looking into a candida cleanse can be something that could get to the root cause of that skin condition.
[07:39] Cassy Price: What are the signs and symptoms that are unique to rosacea verses acne? Sometimes acne can show up as red and blotchy and tender as well, right?
[07:50] Jass Stupak: Yeah. I think with rosacea something that is different in comparison to acne is that it is not always present especially when someone has rosacea, and they are feeling super stressed or they are eating trigger foods they are going to notice that super red and tender complexion and it can often also result in feeling excessive heat in the body whereas with acne it is typically shown on the face for quite some time until it has healed. So, rosacea is one of those that I think if you have it is something that is constantly present, but it can get worse and worse or it can slowly start to dissipate as well.
[08:45] Cassy Price: Okay. That makes sense. What other causes are there for rosacea outside of candida overgrowth?
[08:53] Jass Stupak: I think a lot of it really stems from stress but also from foods. So, diet. I think a huge part of rosacea just in terms of how it begins is dysbiosis which is essentially bad bacteria in the colon. A lot of foods can really impact rosacea, alcohol being one of the biggest ones. I think as soon as you take out alcohol you can really notice that the redness is not as prevalent. Spicy foods are definitely a huge trigger point, so garlic, onion, curry spicing and all of that. Taking that out of the diet you can see a huge difference. In terms of causes, I just realised you were talking about causes and not triggers, I would say a huge one is also medication and antibiotics because those at the end of the day are impacting your gut health. It just goes back into inner beauty as well. Whenever we do anything to negatively impact the gut it starts to show on our skin. Another part of rosacea as well is that it is genetic so if you have any genes in the family with rosacea, typically if you are going to be negatively impacting your gut health, rosacea is going to be something that can frequently come up.
[10:19] Cassy Price: So, if it primarily caused by dysbiosis then, can it be cured?
[10:25] Jass Stupak: I definitely think so. I think that all skin conditions can be cured. Personally, for myself I remember I went to the doctor when I had really bad dermatitis, perioral dermatitis, and I remember him telling me that it was chronic and he said “yeah, you are pretty much going to have to suffer with this your whole life and sometimes it is going to get better and sometimes it is going to get worse but there is nothing we can really do about it.” I remember leaving the doctors office feeling so off. I was like “there is no way that this is chronic.” Knowing that I am a nutritionist and that there is so much more to it, so I did a lot of research and since then I have been able to help so many of my clients overcome eczema, acne, psoriasis, rosacea is a huge one. I really think that at the end of the day if you are putting a huge positive impact on your gut health you can truly get rid of any skin condition.
[11:25] Cassy Price: So, as you mentioned gut health is a key player in inner beauty overall not just your skin conditions. So, what are some of the steps that people can take to support a healthy digestive system to support healthy skin?
[11:37] Jass Stupak: So, I would say firstly I don’t think this is talked about enough but really reducing your stress levels. I think especially what we are currently dealing with in the world today, it is so important to put your mental health first. Whether that is going out for walks, meditation, journaling, reading more, disconnecting off social more than you typically do. I think it is really important for us to put that first because stress impacts our gut to an extreme that you would never believe. I also think, again going to diet, diet is huge. I think it is so important for us to ask ourselves, I know it is so much easier to go and grab takeout from Cactus Club when you are feeling super stressed, or you are in the middle of work, but I think all of us also know that we never actually feel good after eating takeout super quickly. So, just making sure that you are giving yourself time to meal prep healthy foods and putting your money towards healthy foods because you know that is going to impact your entire lifestyle. Also, a huge one is making sure you are having proper bowel movements. At least going to the bathroom, at least once a day. I think a lot of us, I have experienced this in my practice is that most of us think going once a week is normal. It is not. That is considered constipation and some people would actually even argue that going once a day is considered constipated.
[13:14] So, making sure that bowel movements are regularly happening every single day. Really listening to your body and giving it what it needs. If you feel like you are craving a ton of sugar all of the time, instead of feeding your body that sugar, try to get to the root cause of that and whether that is working with a nutritionist or trying to figure this out on your own, doing a candida diet would be incredible. I think all of us would actually benefit from doing a candida cleanse. I personally practice one at least once a year. So, just really homing in on that holistic lifestyle because your gut is honestly the most important part of your body.
[14:01] Cassy Price: For sure. It is incredible the connections that we see between the different systems within the body. A lot of those steps that you mentioned actually can help to reduce inflammation in the body overall, right? Inflammation we hear is a huge part of a lot of acute and chronic conditions. So, what specific role does excess inflammation play in a lot of these skin conditions that we have been chatting about?
[14:32] Jass Stupak: I think that with inflammation in the body a lot of us don’t really, I don’t think it is talked about enough, we often think that inflammation is something that you experience if you have arthritis or you are above the age of fifty, that is when we really start to talk about inflammation but all of us experience inflammation whether that is from what we are eating, from stress, medication, antibiotics, the birth control pill and all of that is causing inflammation. Essentially what happens in the body is that as soon as it gets to a point where the gut is super inflamed it is going to travel towards to skin. Our skin is the largest detox organ in the body. So, as soon as we start to see acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, that is our body essentially saying “hey, wake up, I need you to support me because all other detox pathways aren’t working efficiently.” So, as soon as you are noticing let’s say you go out drinking with your girlfriends one night and you start to notice that you are getting an acne flareup that is inflammation in the body, and it is basically telling you to take care a bit more. With rosacea specifically because we have that red inflamed skin condition it is basically really excess heat caused by inflammation in the body travelling up towards the face trying to find an escape. That is why again with rosacea you want to make sure that you are eating lots of cooling foods so lots of fruits, vegetables and having peppermint whether it is tea or an extract as well as camomile to bring down that inflammation.
[16:30] Cassy Price: Another factor that helps to address inflammation in the body is essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6. Are there other benefits to skin health overall that increasing your intake of healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats can have?
[16:47] Jass Stupak: Yeah. So, with omega 3s and omega 6s they really help to create hydration in the body which in turns helps to support our skin health. So, a lot of us often hear about water really helps to hydrate our skin but it is actually omega 3s and 6s that allow us to do that. Of course, omega 3s and omega 6s are really important for so many other factors like digestive health, hormonal health and are really helpful for reducing inflammation so having those in your diet whether you are having them as foods or taking them as a supplement can really help the overall picture of inflammation.
[17:28] Cassy Price: What are some dietary sources of these fatty acids that people should start including in their diet?
[17:34] Jass Stupak: So, for example, omega 3, some really great examples would be mackerel, trout, salmon, herring, mostly seafood is a really great source of omega 3s. One thing to note is you want to be cautious of how much you cook these. You want to obviously cook them to an extent where they are safe to eat but the more we cook them and if they are overcooked you are not getting enough omega 3s so in that sense I would recommend taking a supplement if you were someone who doesn’t eat seafood or you aren’t getting enough of it per day or per month. Omega 6s, sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, lots of healthy oils. Those are some examples.
[18:27] Cassy Price: The ratio of which you have omega 3s to omega 6s is important as we right? So, do you know what the ratio should be or what people should be aiming for?
[18:39] Jass Stupak: So, I have seen a lot of research on this, and I have seen a lot of different backgrounds. I personally feel like it is so dependent on the person and again if it is for hormonal imbalances especially that one you want to have a decent amount of omega 6 in your diet but in order for omega 6 to really thrive in your body you need to have those omega 3s whereas with inflammation you want to make sure you are having more omega 3s verses 6s. So, I think a good rule of thumb is just making sure that you are having at least one of those per day.
[19:19] Cassy Price: Okay. Awesome. Earlier on you were saying that you want to try and get most of your nutrients obviously from your diet and making healthy food choices. When does it start making sense then to start supplementing for skin health specifically?
[19:33] Jass Stupak: I think supplementing for skin health is something that you can take a look at earlier on in your journey but one thing I really want to stress is that supplementation does not make sense if you are not getting at least one bowel movement per day. It is so important for us to be detoxing our body on a daily level. This is a really great way for our bodies to naturally do it. So, for example, if we are taking on supplements but we are not getting those daily bowel movements it is just going to be cycling through the body and it can become toxic or just a waste of money in that sense. So, that is one thing I would really strive for and once you are having those healthy bowel movements you can definitely add on some supplements. I think some of the best supplements for skin health is borage oil. It is incredible. Borage oil is an amazing omega 6. I actually love the AOR Borage-500. That one is incredible. It is really great for hydrating the skin and overall just helping with the inflammation that is really in the system that we need to take care of. I know collagen is something that everyone talks about and I think it has a good rep for a reason. I think collagen is amazing for just supporting skin, hair and nails. I personally have noticed a huge difference especially with nail health when it comes to collagen. Then also vitamin C. Vitamin C is very difficult to get in our diet because it is so easily denatured. As soon as we add in heat or excessive cold to vitamin C sources it denatures.
[21:21] So, for example in the wintertime we are often cooking our meals. So, red peppers are an incredible source of vitamin C but for the most part during the wintertime probably we are cooking or frying it or whatever it is so in that sense it actually denatures it. I think it is crucial for us to be taking a vitamin C supplement in the wintertime to help increase that vitamin C store. Also, vitamin C helps in the formation of collagen, so they really work well together.
[21:59] Cassy Price: Awesome. As a bit of a side bar, we are circling back a bit here. You mentioned that regular healthy bowel movements are crucial to that detox process and supporting the system’s ability to absorb your nutrients overall. So, outside of increasing your water intake and increasing your fibre intake, are there other things you suggest for people to help reach or attain that goal for a regular daily or multiple time a day bowel movement?
[22:30] Jass Stupak: Yeah. I think there are definitely a lot of things that you can do. Firstly, starting off with diet again. I know I keep going back to it, but diet plays an incredibly crucial role in our health as we all know. If you are someone who is struggling to get bowel movements, I definitely recommend taking a look at what you are eating. Something I really love to do with my clients is get them to write down a three-day food journey and actually right down every single symptom that they feel after their meal, whether it is positive or negative and then also write down when they have a bowel movement. It is really easy to track what is actually going on on a day-to-day basis when you have it written down. Personally, for myself, even if I am feeling really low in energy, I will actually write down what I have been eating for the past two days and I will look at the journal and I’m like “oh, okay, that makes sense. I barely had any protein.” So, having to write it down it really helps you connect with your body and what you are actually taking in. So, I recommend some of the foods you can take out of that diet are dairy and gluten. Those are probably the two most common food triggers especially when it comes to constipation. Then of course having lots of omega 3s and omega 6s, that is going to help to lubricate your bowels and increase bowel movements. Another thing that I also really like adding on to my diet or my client’s diet is apple cider vinegar. With Apple cider vinegar you want to be very careful. You want to really dilute it but the way that I take it is I will take about a teaspoon or tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and about two to three tablespoons of water and I will take it like a shot or drink it.
[24:22] Jass Stupak: This is something that really helps with breaking down foods a lot further than what we are used to. In that way it will really help to increase bowel movements because for the most part a lot of us aren’t chewing our food. So, what happens in the digestive system is that it is working overtime trying to digest that food for you. The aftermath of that can be constipation.
[24:50] Cassy Price: Okay. That makes sense. When you mention apple cider vinegar, I know there are ACV gummies that are out there and there are multiple different types of ACV. Are there specific attributes that someone should be looking for in the apple cider vinegar that they do decide to take?
[25:12] Jass Stupak: Yeah definitely. With apple cider vinegar it is important to get it organic and with the ‘Mother’ as well as having it in a glass jar. It is important for it to be in a glass jar. I think in Costco you can get it in a massive jug of it and I believe it is in plastic, but I think it is super important to make sure it is in glass because you don’t want to expose yourself to xenoestrogens which can cause an imbalance in hormones over time. I really think that the best way to get apple cider vinegar in your daily lifestyle is just through the liquid, the real thing. It doesn’t taste good whatsoever but it doesn’t have any added ingredients in it, no added sugars, no artificial sugars verses some things like apple cider vinegar gummies that are filled with a ton of ingredients and you are probably only getting a tiny amount of apple cider vinegar in with that gummy and it is not doing anything close to what the real thing would do.
[26:23] Cassy Price: You mentioned that cooking can denature foods specifically like vitamin C. If you are cooking with ACV could that denature it as well? Does it have to be the raw version, or can you use it in different recipes? I know I like to use it in my taco meat seasoning or on my brussel sprouts.
[26:43] Jass Stupak: Yeah. In all honesty that is a really good question and I actually don’t know the full extent to that. I would assume that if you are using it in cooking and you are heating it, it probably would denature some of its value. I think it is always best to take it in raw, but I do still think – I am assuming that if you are having it in foods in that sense it is still helping with your digestion.
[27:11] Cassy Price: Okay. Awesome. I think we are getting close to time here so did you have any exciting groups or anything coming up? I know you just finished your three-day detox group, sugar detox, that you had going on. I was curious if you had any new exciting ones coming up that you wanted to share with the listeners.
[27:31] Jass Stupak: Yeah. That was so much fun. I actually just launched a membership site not too long ago and doors are currently closed but for anyone who listens to this podcast, if you are interested in getting in, we are going to be talking about a lot of high level holistic nutrition information especially revolving around gut health and supplements. So, if you are interested and you are listening to this podcast send me a DM on Instagram. It is @nourishwithjass and I would love to see if it is something that I can get you in sooner than later.
[28:05] Cassy Price: Awesome. Thank you again for chatting with me Jass. It is always lovely to converse with you and I appreciate you taking the time to share all of this information about inner beauty and ways that we can work towards supporting that outer beauty at the same time.
[28:20] Jass Stupak: Thanks for having me Cassy. It is always a pleasure.
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