Tuesday Things

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1. After dealing with them for years, the “chicken skin” bumps on the back of my arms have completely disappeared.

jar of organic coconut oil

The medical term for these bumps is keratosis pilaris, and while it’s a pretty common skin condition, it can be difficult to get rid of. Oddly enough, I think I have my pregnancy to thank for my improved skin, because I became diligent with a whole-body skin care routine in the hopes of preventing stretch marks.

My skin care routine is pretty simple–> I dry brush my entire body before getting in the shower, and then generously apply coconut oil to my skin while it’s still soaking wet, even before toweling off, so the moisture is locked-in. After doing this consistently for a month, I noticed the bumps on the back of my arms and the top of my thighs have completely disappeared! This is obviously not the most scientific method to figuring out a “cure” for this skin condition, since my pregnancy hormones or supplements may have also had an impact, but I plan on keeping up this routine long after my pregnancy is over. I love having such soft and smooth skin!

2. If you ever have to take an iron supplement, this one tastes surprisingly delicious.

bottle of floradix liquid iron supplement

My doctor asked me to add an iron supplement to my diet, since my little one seems to be stealing my body’s usual supply, so I opted to try this Floradix liquid iron supplement. Because it’s in liquid-form, this vegetarian supplement is easily absorbed and avoids the additives and preservatives found in capsules. I also think it tastes great, despite the slight metallic after-taste.

3. After grinding my own buckwheat flour for months, I decided to try a store-bought version to compare.

buckwheat flour cookies

The two cookies pictured above were made using the exact SAME recipe. Crazy, right?

The one on the left is the version I made with my homemade buckwheat flour (using raw buckwheat groats) and the version on the right is made with Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Buckwheat flour. As you can see, the store-bought version is pretty different, even though both flours are made from only buckwheat! I have to say, I prefer the flavor of the home-ground buckwheat flour more than the store-bought version, but it is definitely more convenient to just pick up a bag of flour at the store.

I look forward to experimenting with this seed-based flour more in the future!

Reader Feedback: What are YOU up to this week? Tried anything new?

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Comments

Danelle

Woah. Just from reading your description of keratosis pilaris I could tell that this was something that I have. Just did some googling. Yep! I’ve had this for probably a good 15 years or more, since I was a teen. Have it all over my thighs, and also the back of my arms. Can’t believe I didn’t know it has a name and is an actual skin condition! Definitely going to start trying out your method and see if it helps me.

That’s now the fourth skin condition that I have. Greeeaaaat.

Anna

Do you wait to towel dry after putting on the oil? I have bumpy arms too and just recently discovered what they actually were. I am trying to be more diligent with my skin care, but with 2 small children I all too often find myself just lucky to get 5 mins to shower.

    Megan

    Yes, I barely towel dry at all. I rub the oil into wet skin, then towel dry my hair and gently wrap my body in the towel so I don’t drip everywhere.

Penny

Thank you for doing a comparison of the two buckwheat flours! Did you find the Bob’s flour more dry, as well? So far, I have only tried two recipes, but both times, I have found that I need to add more water then the recipe calls for in order to make the dough workable. I’m so disappointed – I bought a big, expensive bag that I feel like I have to use up before I can buy groats!
What do you use to grind your groats? I would have to use my blender, and I’m not sure that it would get them fine enough. When I grind flax or chia, I end up with a few seeds that are still whole.
Thank you for sharing about the keratosis pilaris and the iron. I have that problem as well, and I’m anemic, so I will be picking up a brush and that supplement as soon as possible! Could you share what to look for in a brush?

    Megan

    Yes, the Bob’s flour is slightly different, so I’ve been working on making recipes specifically for it! It’s definitely a lot of trial and error…

    I usually use my Vitamix to grind my own groats, and it works great!

    In regards to dry brushes, I always use the brand I linked to in the post above. I like brushes with stiff bristles, so it will exfoliate well.

Rebecca P.

I have KP too! Usually during the Summer the bumps disappear and I don’t have to worry about it. But during the winter months I will definitely try dry brushing and coconut oil!

Cassidy

Ooooh, girl. I’ve got about the worst KP on my arms that you can imagine. I’ve never tried dry brushing, but I’ll give it a shot and see! 🙂
I prefer olive oil on my skin, so I’ll keeping using that along with the dry brushing.

    Joanna

    I could be wrong, but I think that the coconut oil’s antibacterial and anti fungal properties would help with the KP. I have the same problem and find the coconut oil is helpful.

      Cassidy

      You don’t say? Hmm…maybe I’ll give the coconut oil a go. Thanks, Joanna! 🙂

Marion Horan

I’ve suffered for this my entire teen years and most of my adult life until a friend who studied esthetics diagnosed me. What “cures” me is daily in-shower exfoliating with either a pumas or rough brush (I have a two sided foot scrubber from sally hensen that I use, just rotate the sides) followed by a grain-free, dairy-free diet.

Pregnancy is such a mysterious and wonderful thing how much alters our bodies chemistry. Congratulations and best of luck for the remainder of your terms to be happy & healthy.

Jil

Unfortunately nothing you do with help with stretch marks as they are hereditary. But moisturizing with help with the itch that comes from your belly growing. 🙂

Michaela

Megan try some meat especially organ meats I know it taste no good but I am pregnant too and when I eat meat only wild salmon and organic grassfed lamb and lamb duck liver, look and nutrition data duck liver full of iron and it is very well absorb and actually duck liver taste good not like other liver. I was not succesfull with plant sources of iron like chlorella etc., and do not want to take supplement so liver and some meat was for me the best otion

Marisa

what are you doing for stretch marks…I am 32 weeks pg and have started to notice alot of them eventhough I have been deligent with putting stretch mark cream on my skin every night before bed. This is my second pregnancy the first one I was able to treat all my stretch marks with the same cream and they vanished after baby…

    Megan

    I’m not sure if there’s really anything you can do that’s proven to prevent stretch marks, but I’ve heard the best plan of attack is working from the inside out– in other words, what you put in your body is more important than what you put on the outside. I’ve been drinking lots of hydrating green juices and smoothies, avoiding processed foods and sugar as much as possible, and increasing my healthy fat intake, along with lots and lots of water each day. The dry brushing and coconut oil after the shower is the only thing I actually do topically for my skin.

    I have no idea if these things will work for the rest of my pregnancy, but so far, so good!

Meagan

That’s SOOO odd about the buckwheat flour? What do you think makes it turn color? Maybe the grain goes rancid since it’s packaged?

    Megan

    I think it’s because the Bob’s flour isn’t make with raw buckwheat groats– I assume they are toasted or cooked in some way before being ground.

      Kelly

      You are right about the buckwheat flours. Most bagged buckwheat flour is toasted 1st and that is what gives it the dark color and deeper flavor that I don’t care for as well as the raw ground groats.

Kathryn

I had the bumps on the back of my arms for years as well, but I found when I upped my Vit D3 (5,000 IU) they went away. If I slack off on the D3 they come back.

Marquelle

Would you recommend the Floradix iron over the Garden of Life Raw iron? What is your opinion on the garden of life iron? Thanks!

    Megan

    I haven’t tried the Garden of Life iron supplement, so I can’t compare the two. I do take the Garden of Life prenatal vitamins, and love those!

Mel

Hi Meagan,

I would also be interested to see if you have any natural remedies for cellulite. Maybe you can do a post once?

Thanks!

Mel

    Megan

    Sure, I’ll post about that in the future!

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

LOVE coconut oil immediately after the shower!

    zosia

    Do you find it absorbs well and doesn’t leave your skin oily?

ab

I’ve always read keratosis pilaris is a result of vitamin D definciency. I don’t have this problem but know many girls that do.

Cindy

Hi Megan – You asked if we tried anything new this week……….Yes, your healthy fudgsicle recipe – very good! The 2nd time making doubled the recipe to make six & shouldn’t have doubled the vanilla – too strong – so working on the kinks when tasting raw. The first batch we did only made 3 instead of 4. Also tried a new crockpot teriyaki chicken recipe. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes!
When you apply the coconut oil after showering do you have problems with it feeling greasy or getting on your clothes?
Thanks for all the great recipes! It is much appreciated!

    Megan

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the fudgsicles!

    In regards to the coconut oil, I find that it pretty much absorbs into my skin completely in about 10 minutes or so. I just hang out in a towel and dry my hair while it absorbs, and then have no problem getting dressed without getting oil on my clothes.

DiLara

Mel,
I noticed my cellulite disappeared after I have been doing 5 flights of stairs 6 times once a day for 15 min for about 7 months now.

I also make a lot of balsamic vinegar dressing for my salads now, which I think has some connection with my cellulite dissappearance, because I used to drink 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar diluted in one glass of warm water with little honey every morning after I wake up years ago and it helped me before.

Autumn

Where did you get your dry brush? I’ve been having a hard time finding a good one. I have sensitive fair skin but have been wanting to try this. My daughter has the bumps too so we will try this together. Thanks!

    Megan

    Sometimes they’re available at Whole Foods, otherwise I order mine on Amazon.

Megan L

Thanks for the tip!!! I hate the red bumps I have- I am really self-conscious about it. I can’t wait till they disappear!

Jana E.

I’d love to use coconut oil for my skin again. I did so for some weeks, but discovered that my clothes and bed linen started to smell, umm, rancid after one or two days. It was even difficult to get rid of the odor by washing the linen in the washing machine.

All you coconut oil users – any tips how I can get back to my beloved moisturiser again, without the aroma?

    ealla

    maybe try adding a degreaser to your wash cycle, or some vinegar might help take out the oil. I would add a squeeze of dish washing soap to the wash cycle too.

      Jana E.

      ealla – That was a great tip! I used coconut oil for some days, and some dresses and my towel started to “be rancid” again. Today I washed them in the machine, with vinegar in the drawer for fabric softener, and they came out absolutely odorless. Now, as they are dry, they just smell clean.
      Thank you very much for your tip!

joanna

i have iron deficiency, too, and this supplement has been keeping my numbers a little higher than usual- not normal but better.

http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/store/en/browse/sku_detail.jsp?id=NT-1168&sourceType=sc&source=FG&adGroup=20-40&keyword=NT-1168&cm_mmc=Google+Shopping-_-Product+Listing+Ads-_-20-40-_-NT-1168&gclid=CO_D0fizxrgCFYie4AodbVYArg#.Ue7g6KTD_IU

I’ve gotten 19 iron infusions and 5 blood transfusions and even those don’t last me very long. I take two of the chewable tablets a day. just figured i’d post it if you end up not tolerating the liquid well.

ealla

How do you make your buckwheat flour? I make mine by first soaking them for about a day while changing the water frequently and then dehydrating them, then grinding them into flour.

    Megan

    I usually don’t have the patience to soak and dry the groats first, so I just grind them in my Vitamix. But, I do think soaking is a healthier practice!

mel

Hi,

I have had those ‘chicken bumps” since I was little. I have been using a non soap wash (GV) and moisturiser and have found that this has helped heaps. I believe its from dry skin, so keeping it as moisturised as possible is the key! Will be trying your coconut oil trick next x thanks for sharing.

Thanks Kindly
Mel

Danielle

Hi! How long do you dry brush? I usually do it for 5 min.

    Megan

    I just make sure I thoroughly cover my whole body– it probably takes 5 minutes or less.

Rebeca

Hi i noticed the iron supplement you are taking. I have been told to take iron supplements as well and have found that they do terribly in my stomach. I took one previously and stopped because of the pain. I tried the one you mentioned above since it was vegan formula and didn’t taste as bad, but instantly I get stomach pain and discomfort. Have you experienced this with that formula or do you have any tips to prevent pain and discomfort?
Thanks!

Jilly

Hi Rebeca, your comment re iron supplement is very interesting. I too found that Floradix gave me stomach pain & then realized that it contains gluten. I believe ‘Floradix® Floravital® Iron and Herb Yeast Free’ is gluten free but now I use ‘Spatone’ which is the only iron supplement that I’ve ever been able to tolerate. Hope this helps.
Love your site Megan. x

Tracy

I’ve recently read that those bumps, KP, are a sign of an autoimmune disorder. I was already diagnosed with one before I read this, and had all of the other ‘symptoms’ listed so knew there was some truth to it. The vitamin D deficiency makes sense as well, though! As the two can go hand in hand when you eliminate foods (wheat and dairy) that are sources of vitamin d to alleviate autoimmune discomfort.

Ally

Great info! Any tips on natural eyelash regrowth? Mine fall out in a tiny spot and I was told to try jojoba oil. Would love to hear your thoughts! Thanx!
Ally

Lilja

I read on mindbodygreen that these pimlpes are a reaction to gluten intolerance. I quit gluten and it went away. But I also drybrush so maybe it is a little bit of both. On the otherhand if drybrushing doesnt work for one, the other just might :).. love your blog btw

Da'Naeva

I just learned from a hollistic doctor that those bumps on my arm/your arm show a gluten sensitivity. I am assuming that by having a high metabolism during pregnancy and by avoiding gluten in your diet you basically cleaned your body entirely and that’s why you’ve gotten rid of it. But I love your ayurvedic method of brushing,too 🙂

Christine P

When you use your Vitamix to grind the buckwheat do you use a special blade/container or just the one it came with? I have a grain mill, but I’m curious about the Vitamix. I wonder if the grain mill should be set on pastry or bread grind?

Da'Naeva

Ups,just saw that someone else said the same thing already. Sorry.
A question for you because I love your blog and receipes so much:
Do you have any experiences with millet grain? Any receipe ideas? I have two little ones and they love their oatmeal. But I am looking for a great substitution.
Thank you.

    Caitlin

    I love cream of millet cereal. I dry toast the millet in a pan to bring out he flavor and then grind it to a coarse flour and wisk it into cold water and simmer until thick. The flour to water ratio is 5 parts water to 1 part millet flour. I top mine with chopped dried apricots walnuts, maple syrup, and some non dairy milk such as hemp milk.

      Caitlin

      HAHA Sorry I saw his post and had to share since it is my favorite thing.

        Da'Naeva

        Thank you 🙂 will try it out tomorrow morning!

      Megan

      That sounds delicious! I loved Cream of Wheat as a kid. 🙂

    tine

    I make millet with almond & coconut milk – 1c millet, 2c almond milk, 2c coconut milk (or 4c almond/coconut milk blend, add more liquid depending on preference, I like mine thicker) with cardamom to taste. refrigerate the leftovers and reheat with additional almond milk. It’s my favorite breakfast!

Kelly

I have read that KP is a sign of vitamin and mineral deficiency or overdose. I have read that it is linked to Magnesium, but obviously reading here, it seems it can be vitamin D3 as well.

zosia

Do you find the coconut oil absorbs well and doesn’t leave your skin oily?

Kathryn

What soap/body wash do you like to use in your skincare routine?

Kristen

I used to have KP on the back of my arms and legs and ever since I started dry brushing, taking fermented cod liver oil, and applying a blend of grass-fed beef tallow/essential oils it is gone!

erin

i have those same bumps (as well as several people in my family) and have had them for as long as i can remember. i can’t wait to try this brush and oil remedy. i have recently been trying my best to eat primally, what impact does being grain/gluten free have on this skin condition? (note: this same family also has tummy issues, which we have coined as ‘grandmother’s stomach’)

Kezia

So good about the skin on your arms – I have the same and am treating it with coconut oil too as well as a few drops of oregano oil and when i remember it works a treat! Finally smooth skin!

Sarah

Those dang bumps! I never had them until after my pregnancy. After all the crazy hormone changes my skin became dryer than it was pre-pregnancy. The dermatologist told me to use a loofah and then apply this crazy expensive prescription foam. I never went through with it because the prescription was pricy and full of chemicals. Your dry brush/coconut oil regimen sounds like the exact same recommendation sans the pricy chemical filled foam. I am going to try it out!

BTW, my midwife recommended Floradix during my pregnancy. I didn’t like the taste to much, but it I felt like I had more energy when I was taking it.

Erika

I strugled with kp for years until I realized that most cases, including mine, are due to dry skin. I started out using palmer’s pregnancy oil for super dry itchy skin, and worked wonders, until I too discovered what coconut oil can do for your skin, not only a great tanning aid but also after you’ve left the beach, it’s amazing, super hydrating treatment once a week and even cellulite started to fade.

Linda

Hi,

I read your post about “KP” – Keratosis Pilaris – and I wanted to recommend a really good moisturizer that can help you. I used to sell this product when I was in dermatology/pharmaceutical sales and its amazing. It is made with your own skin’s ingredients. (Such as: ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids). You can find it in any drugstore like CVS, Wallgreens, Walmart, Safeway, etc. Here is the website:

http://www.cerave.com/

You will never go back to anything else.

    Linda

    Btw…if you try it out get the cream or lotion (but the cream is better!) Plus, this is a great moisturizer/cream for your baby as well.

Michelle

Love your blog…my arms bumps disappeared as well during pregnancy then came back a few months after birth…my dr said it was from a liver processing issue. Since I had a placenta working for me my bumps went away along with eczema…I have since found out that I have wheat, dairy, and , eggs allergies. Now that I try not to eat those things my bumps and eczema are almost nonexistent.

Mary

I found your blog recently as I’ve just discovered food combining and I must tell all of you you’re great! The comments are so sweet and refreshing its like being in a room of best friend girl friends! Thank you Megan for bringing people together. I wanted to give my two cents about Kp I’ve had this and used a scrub brush to exfoliate then vitamin E oil. I use E mixed with my face cream at night on the dry breakout spots. A year ago we moved from Alaska which the cold weather compounds this problem. We live in Florida now and for the first time in years it’s comoletely gone. A proper and consistent Diet, exercise, and oil inside and outside the body. Thank you so much and God Bless.

Caitlin

I also have the bumps on my arms and thighs as well as psoriasis on my scalp and immune thrombocytopenic purpura (which seemed to only show up when I was pregnant). I believe my immune system has gone a bit haywire. I recently started seeing a naturopath who did food sensitivity testing on me. I was sensitive to A LOT: all gluten grains, all dairy, green beans, garlic, kidney beans, cane sugar, honey, pinapple, and very high reactions to eggs and almonds :(. Also I had high Candida antibodies although no major Candida issues. On top of it all I am breastfeeding my 7 month old so I cannot take any Candida treatment except probiotics. So far my approach has been a obviously very restrictive diet but I will definitely try the dry brushing and coconut oil thing. It seems all the medical field has to offer is steroid creams which is not acceptable to me. Thanks for sharing yoir experience Megan!

Melanie

Thanks for sharing! I have found that coconut oil has been very helpful in eliminating this skin condition. I also use a Norwex body cloth to exfoliate and I haven’t had a single bump in three years. I exfoliate my arms with the Norwex cloth and use coconut oil on my skin at night just before bed. I have found that since I no longer have any bumps (suffered for 15 plus years)that I only need to exfoliate once every other day and then use coconut oil once a week the condition does not flair up.

Eliana

What kind of soap do you use? I’ve been using coconut oil to moisturizer but im wondering if maybe switching my soap will help too… Thoughts?

    Megan

    I use pure castile soap– Dr. Bronners and South of France are two good brands!

      Jennifer

      Hi Megan,

      When you apply the coconut oil after bathing, do you rub it on directly out of the jar? Or do you heat it up first until it is an actual oil/liquid consistency and then put it on?

      I have the same coconut oil from Trader Joes in your picture and I was curious. Thank you.

        Megan

        I use it directly from the jar– usually by the time I rub it between my hands, it’s completely melted anyway!

Gina Marie

Omg, I just did this and my arms feel so much better. Thank you. If you have an Asian market close by, they sell large exfoliating cloths for about $5.00. I used to use a Dermalogica one, which was great, but since I found the Asian market on in N Plainfield, NJ I am sold on that one.

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