How to Get Clear Skin & Other Healthy Tips from Someone Who Inspires Me

Hey POPsters!

Happy Tuesday! Today we have a very special guest. He’s a friend and someone I seriously look up to.

Doctor by day.

Entrepreneur by night.

Now, that’s my style! I am fascinated daily by his achievements and boggled by his energy to do so much! Most people can’t even do one, let alone do both and be successful at them. Everyone, please meet Dr. Jonathan Carp AND President of Miracle Noodle!

Today Dr. Carp will be answering some questions about how to achieve clear skin and will also share his thoughts on healthy living. Without further adieu…let’s meet him!

Introduce yourself!

I am a dermatologist who has an interest in nutritional and lifestyle medicine and also practices conventionally. That means that when a patient comes in wanting to avoid pharmaceuticals I can guide them with lifestyle changes and special nutritional changes that have been documented in the medical literature. Of course, you know me because I also the President of Miracle Noodle so I have two jobs that I both love!! I am very lucky!

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What foods do you recommend eating and not eating for clear skin?

Well, as far as acne goes, what matters is the glycemic load of the food. The simplest way to explain this is, the glycemic load of your food is how fast your blood sugar rises after eating something. Whenever you have a carbohydrate that has been processed in any way, the glycemic load increases. Candy, sweetened drinks, clear fruit juices, white potatoes, all processed wheat products including chips and packaged foods, white pasta, most breads are some of the foods that will make acne worse. You can look up glycemic index and get a listing of foods that have a high value.

Dairy also plays a role because we think it raises something called IGF-1. So, low dairy, low sugar is the way to go. For those who are near vegetarian or want to pursue that I recommend a book called Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, MD. For those who can’t imagine giving up meat I recommend a book called The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. Both of these diets can help to clear up your skin and lose weight even if nutritionally they disagree on a lot of points.

   

As far as keeping the skin at its best, eating foods with a high nutrient density score means you are getting loads of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Leafy greens like kale, collards, spinach are at the top of this list. This can even minimize the development of wrinkles and even sun spots especially if combined with a zinc based sunblock for the face.

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How important is sleep to maintaining overall health?

Sleep is very important. You get a release of GH (growth hormone) during proper sleep that can be interfered with when you don’t sleep well. GH in addition to promoting muscle growth also helps the immune system, promotes lipolysis which is fat burning, and reduces the levels of stress hormones that can cause you to gain weight. [Quick Cassey interruption: I know, I know! I am guilty of not sleeping enough!]

Hydration – how does drinking water help us lose weight?

Part of what makes you feel full is stretch receptors in the stomach.   As for water, well for some people it can help you to feel fuller but the best way to do that is to eat some leafy veggies.  They hydrate you since they contain a lot of water, the fiber bulk can make you feel full and they low in calories. 

Why do some of us still have acne even though we’re far beyond our teenage days?

Well, there are lots of factors involved with acne including diet, hormones, and genetics. Women unfortunately cycle hormonally monthly whereas the hormonal aspect in acne for men usually fades after puberty. Sorry ladies, as if it isn’t hard enough to be a woman as it is! :) Nonetheless, I have yet to have someone who didn’t follow my nutritional suggestions who didn’t improve their acne dramatically.

What’s your daily diet like?

My diet is very clean but cheat on occasion like anyone else. I eat around one pound of greens per day. I make a super smoothie in the morning which consists of frozen blueberries, a banana, raw cacao (chocolate) powder, some green powder, flax seeds, and a vegan chocolate protein powder mixed with chocolate almond milk. You can tell I like chocolate :) There are lots of ways to enjoy chocolate without sugar and dairy in the mix. I’ll mix up the fruit and this week mixed cranberries with the blueberries, very good!! Mid-morning I snack on raw nuts usually almonds or walnuts. I then eat a humongous salad with chick peas and tons of veggies. I may have an apple with raw almond butter later in the day and for dinner, I will eat usually eat fish or rice and beans. I eat fish a couple of times per week – usually have sushi once per week [Quick Cassey interruption: you guys should have seen me eat sushi with wasabi in LA last week. I normally don’t touch it but decided to “try new things”. I basically cried throughout our whole dinner. I’ll stick with my Sriracha] and eat chicken, beef and eggs occasionally though not that regularly. I don’t eat any dairy at all and almost no wheat. You need to find out what works best for you. With all of the disagreements about nutrition out there, what is clear with nutrition is that we should all be eating more vegetables especially leafy greens and that we eat too many processed carbs and oils. The processing of oil makes most oils harmful and remember oil is a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon with few nutrients just fat. I am not against eating fat but get it in its original packaging, nuts, seeds, and avocados. Liquid fat (oil) even as olive oil is a major calorie load. Processed carbohydrates are also a major problem and probably the biggest food disaster of all. In addition to the acne we discussed above they are implicated in diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

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What’s your typical exercise routine?

My routine which works for me is as follows. 2 days a week I walk or lightly jog on the beach or walk on a treadmill on an incline for 1 full hour at a time. It is very low intensity but its relaxing time for me and it gets me outside and in touch with nature. I do high intensity training 2 days a week, one night I box and one morning I do all out sprints on the beach that are 20-40 seconds at a time for what turns out to be only 12-20 minutes. There have been some studies that showed that even very short and infrequent high intensity workouts work really well. I think a lot of people actually over-train but that is another discussion. I am a big fan of body weight exercises which I do almost everyday pushups, pullups, one legged partial squats etc. I do weight training twice per week on the 2 other days and take one day off per week though I end up usually spending some time on the beach. I am missing pilates in there however and need to work in a few of your workouts IF I can handle it!! :) [Quick Cassey interruption: we need to get the doctor doing some POP Pilates!! Who agrees!???]

Fave healthy food: Kale!! I love me some kale!! You know, when I first tried kale I hated it but it really grows on you to the point where I just love it now. It sounds crazy, I know. When your body wakes up to eating high nutrient density food, you find that your body starts craving it and somehow it just starts tasting delicious!! Really, I am not the only one this has happened to!! :)

Fave “bad” food: I have 2 foods that I have absolutely no control over myself with. I become like a crazed, rabid wild animal!! Seriously :) Chocolate chip cookies and a good key lime pie. I could and have devoured 2 full plates of cookies and an entire pie!! Once I had this very nice elderly patient who baked me and all my nurses and the other doctor and his nurses chocolate chip cookies. The nurses know I eat cleanly so they kept them in my office. They hadn’t met the beast yet so they thought they were safe!! When I walked in to my office, the beast came out and I ate the whole thing!! :) I didn’t feel well for 3 days!! Everyone has to cheat sometime, you can’t be perfect, just please only give me a slice or one cookie:) [Quick Cassey Interruption: OK, this is good sabotage material]

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Fave color :) Ocean blue, I love the beach!

Thank you Jonathan for this very informative post. We all learned a lot today. If you guys have any questions, please leave them in the comments below!

Also, quick note! Miracle Noodle will be sponsoring the POP Pilates Meet Up this Saturday Dec 3rd! Everyone coming will get a bag of noodles to try out. Awesome. Also, if you haven’t gotten your tix yet, there are literally like only 6 left and it’s gonna be a packed room! This will be fun. Here’s the link for more info on the event.

Come to the Bryant St. Sports Basement in SF at 12:15PM with your mat and your coolest fitness fashion wear! We will be working out, live streaming, and eating! Sports Basement is sponsoring food and drinks. Also 10% of all purchases made that day will help benefit BuildOn, an organization I personally support. The team helps build schools in some of the poorest countries in the world. Everyone deserves the right to be educated.

I will update you guys more on the live stream and where to go later. I need to sleep. I have to film a video for Fitness Magazine tomorrow that they just told me about today. It is also due by end of day tomorrow, edited and everything! They want me to do a Post Thanksgiving Tune Up total body workout. Haha, this will be my THIRD Thanksgiving themed video in 7 days! Oh well ,the more the merrier right?

<3 Cassey

Comments

  1. Thankfulness to my father who stated to me regarding this weblog, this weblog
    is in fact awesome.

  2. I definitely agree that diet plays a huge role in the appearance and health of your skin. I’ve been wanting to completely take out diary and wheat from my diet to see if it makes a difference for me.

    Thanks,
    Healthnut Nutrition

  3. Loved the post(:
    I really wanted to ask you some questions .
    My weight is normal but i really want to tone up my body, especially my legs.I do pilates almost everyday and some cardio after. My meals are something like this:
    6:30 am – breakfast (cereal with milk/oatmeal with fruits/yogurt with fruits)
    9 am – snack (fruit, usually an apple and some nuts)
    1 pm – lunch (avocado sandwich with tomatoes and lettuce)
    at 4 pm i eat a second lunch (fish\meat with rice or spaghetti and sliced vegetables )
    i work out at 6 pm and afterwards i eat a light meal- yogurt with fruit or boiled egg with vegetables.
    I wanted to ask you if my ”diet” is healthy or maybe i should workout earlier (around 4 pm) , eat something light afterwards and then eat a big dinner (meat\fish and a side dish) two hours later?
    Another question I wanted to ask- after i started working out regularly and eating balanced meals my body has changed(in a good way, i got a flat stomach and toner legs) but i lost about 6 pounds, i really like my body now but i need to gain a little bit of weight back . how can i do that and still stay skinny ?
    I really hope you’ll answer my questions, it means a lot to me.
    Thanks,
    Mandy

  4. I thought the interruptions, especially the sushi story, were slightly rude to the guest but thank you for the information on natural ways to get rid of acne. I suffer from adult acne and it’s so frustrating and embaressing. I will look at the glycemic indexes of the foods I’m eating.

  5. Emily Patterson says:

    Dr., could you please expand more on your advice for exercise, and what you said about your thinking that many people over-train? I have been trying to find information about this lately because even though I don’t think I’m over-training, my body seems to be indicating otherwise. My diet and exercise is exactly in-line with advice on this blog and other tips out there (clean eating, no processed carbs, processed oils only in great moderation).

    I work out 5-6 days a week for an hour at a time. I alternate days with body weight exercises, circuit training with weights, HIIT, kickboxing, and pilates… I have a high-stress life but try to get adequate rest. Despite this, I am in a constant state of soreness and exhaustion, particularly in my lower back and hips. Could the culprit be over-training? I have done trials eliminating dairy, gluten, all sugars, etc. from my diet, but I have found I feel the same if I eat these foods in moderate amounts, so I don’t think it’s a food allergy issue.

    Do you have any thoughts to share on the matter? Thank you!

    • It could be over-training or it could be improper form on one of your exercises. If you are doing high intensity cardio like HIIT and kickboxing more than a couple of times per week you are probably over-training. Do you have soreness when walking down steps? HIIT never has to be done more than 20 minutes to get the best effect. Give me some more details or friend me on Facebook and we can chat about it.

      Regards,

      Jonathan

  6. As soon as I gave up dairy a few years ago my skin looked a million times better :)

    • Yes, it makes a huge difference for a lot of people. Most people don’t realize that if you are eating lots of leafy greens you get plenty of calcium so you don’t have to worry about that.

  7. haha “the beast” my friends and I call that monster “Gluttonya.” (Ghettofied for gluttony)

  8. thanks for a great article my skin is a mess at min despite 3 months of eating really clean v little dairy and v little wheat. i always had a pretty healthy diet so its not a big change. what could be the prob? also what do you recommend for scarring(minor, from teenage acne)?
    thanks v interesting!

    • Well, there are hormonal issues and genetic ones that play a role but I would find an online glycemic index scale and look at the things you are eating more closely. Also look carefully at the ingredients of the things you are eating for hidden sweeteners.

  9. sorry cassey but i don’t think at all that this is true, i tried different diets over years but nothing helped until my doctor prescribed me very strong hormonal pills. i think claiming that perfectly normal foods (i’m not talking about hamburgers obviously but things like rice, potatoes and dairy products) are bad for you stresses people even more out and you can’t eat nothing but green leaves and lean protein!

  10. Thank you so much for this wonderful article :)

    Ever since I started eating “clean” for two months now with lots of salads and fruits (with cheat days every now and then) and started up-ping my water intake to 2.5 to 3 L everyday, my face looks fresh and brighter. I feel less bloated and I find myself being more energetic and able to focus/concentrate better :)

    Great job Cassey, and thanks so much Dr. Carp!

  11. Thank you for this article! My skin is a hot mess :)

  12. This is a great post! I suffered through teen acne and adult acne. Some of the dermatologists I’ve seen said food has nothing to do with acne, but a couple say it does. I KNOW it does from personal experience. Healthy eating promotes clearer skin, and when I’ve eaten poorly it shows up on my face. Fatty dairy foods like cheese is one of the biggest culprits.

    • Hey Kat, interestingly, it is not the fat in dairy that makes acne worse but might be the protein and hormones in the dairy. Its true that just a few years ago Dermatologists (and even now) say diet plays no role, but in the last couple of years studies have shown diet plays a role. You could have told them that though! :) Only makes sense!! :)

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