whole 30

happy wednesday sS family!

this week kim, kerry and i are embarking on a back to basics diet called whole30. whole30 is pretty much the acne safe diet taken to the next level. the idea is to strip your diet of dairy, grains, legumes, and sugar for 30 days. these foods can be difficult to digest, inflammatory and not to mention – potentially acne causing! swapping these ingredients for real whole foods allows the body can repair and rebuild.

it starts with food

here are the rules:

  1. no added sugar of any kind, real or artificial (that includes honey, agave, and stevia)
  2. no alcohol in any form (even for cooking)
  3. no grains
  4. no legumes
  5. no dairy
  6. no additives like carrageenan, msg, or sulfites
  7. do not try to recreate baked goods, junk food, or “treats” with approved ingredients (maybe the number one difference between whole30 and paleo)
  8. you aren’t allowed to step on the scale or take body measurements throughout the 30 days, although you can before and after.

find the complete list of rules, grocery shopping list, and helpful tips by falling this link to whole30.com.

why are we doing the whole30?

kim: “i am doing it for health reasons – it was prescribed by my naturopath, and to lose some weight (pre-diabetic blood sugar levels).  also, i have noticed sensitivities when i eat certain foods that i shouldn’t, so that’s a good motivator too, to not feel sick, bloated, allergies or get headaches.”

liesse: “to be the most clear and healthy version of myself. it has been very empowering to get my acne under control but along the way i fell off of the exercise bandwagon. i’m coupling the whole30 diet with a new gym membership to get my body and mind in tip top shape.”

kerry: “weight loss and energy gain!”

i am making this awesome one pot meal for dinner tonight! click the image for the recipe. i’ll be using homemade bone broth and bacon fat instead of butter.


if you have stubborn inflammatory acne or digestive issues that are influencing your skin, the whole30 diet is a great way to press the reset button on your body. if you are interested in joining us on our journey to sustainable health and clear skin, follow us on instagram @skinsalvationacneclinic or email liesse@skinsalvationsf.com



meal prep monday: low inflammatory diet!

i have officially been living the acne safe lifestyle for 6 weeks! i threw away all of my cloggy products and replaced them with ones that are sS approved, i’ve been icing 20-30 minutes every morning and night and taking zyflammend. i haven’t even had coffee, dairy or soy in almost 2 months (a serious feat for me!)

although i have noticed a HUGE improvement in my skin, i am still having some issues with inflamed acne. as a huge believer in the healing power of food i decided to put my faith in the kitchen this week and eat only low inflammatory foods.

this week’s menu doesn’t include anything that’s known to cause inflammation. it is also autoimmune protocol, paleo, gut healing and mostly candida safe.


  • dairy
  • soy
  • eggs
  • nuts & seeds (except for chia and coconut)
  • grains
  • legumes
  • nightshades
  • alcohol & vinegar (except for apple cider vinegar)
  • added sugar

my lovely boyfriend and i prepped all of this food in a couple of hours on monday. this makes breakfast, lunch and dinner for the two of us for an entire week.



  1. beef stew with rosemary & olives! adapted from this recipe using beef instead of lamb and carrot instead of rutabaga.
  2. bacon turkey butternut squash! we turned this recipe into a casserole by layering mashed butternut squash and sweet potatoes with ground turkey instead of beef. *omit the balsamic vinegar and pepper for aip or candida cleanse.
  3. coconut milk baked chicken! see our pesto inspired recipe below.
  4. grated carrot & mint salad! we left out the oil and pepper and used organic raisins instead of currants in this recipe.
  5. cucumber salad! we swapped the tomato in this recipe for avocado and used apple cider vinegar instead of white wine to keep it #aip.
  6. beet salad! see my easy family recipe below.
  7. blueberry chia seed pudding! see this easy egg free breakfast recipe below.
  8. chocolate chia seed pudding! see this easy egg free breakfast recipe below.


  1. preheat your oven to 350.
  2. cut your butternut squash in 1/2 and place on a baking sheet with whole sweet potatoes. cook until tender, about 30-45 minutes.
  3. put your beets on to boil.
  4. fry your bacon in a pan to desired crispiness. drain bacon and save fat in a sealing glass container.
  5. chop all of the onions, garlic & root veggies that you need for all of the meals. sauté in 2 pans, one for the turkey casserole and one for the beef stew.
  6. brown beef with root veggies.
  7. cook ground turkey. in the meantime chop cooked bacon. once turkey is fully cooked toss it with bacon and sautéed onions.bacon turkey
  8. remove cooked sweet potato and butternut squash from oven. peel and mash together. this will be your base layer for your casserole. top with ground turkey mixture and refrigerate. sweet potatobacon turkey
  9. add bone broth and remaining ingredients to beef stew. bring to a boil then cover and let simmer for at least 1 hour or until beef is tender.
  10. make coconut chicken.
  11. make chia seed puddings.
  12. drain beets, slice and toss with dressing.
  13. make cucumber salad.
  14. make grated carrot salad.
  15. enjoy the fruits of your labor for the next week and say goodbye to inflamed acne! 



  • 2 large sweet potatoes


  • kalamata olives
  • uncured bacon ends and pieces
  • 2 cans organic light coconut milk
  • 2 large california avocados
  • organic cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (pantry)
  • 1 bag organic chia seeds

fat avocado


  • 2 packages grass fed stewing beef
  • 2 packages 99% lean organic turkey breast
  • 1 bag frozen organic chicken breast


  • 2 white onions
  • 2 small bunches organic carrots
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 box baby cucumbers (can also use 1 large american or english cucumber)
  • 1 bag organic baby spinach
  • 1 bunch organic beets


  • 3 organic lemons
  • 32 oz box organic blueberries
  • 2 bananas


  • organic fresh rosemary
  • bay leaves (pantry)
  • organic cinnamon (pantry)
  • organic fresh basil
  • organic fresh ginger
  • organic fresh garlic
  • organic fresh mint
  • organic dried oregano (pantry)
  • organic fresh chives


  • organic beef bone broth
  • organic raisins
  • local raw honey (pantry)
  • bragg’s apple cider vinegar with mother (pantry)
  • 1 box maple water
  • organic dark cocoa powder

maple water

coconut milk baked chicken recipe

  • blend: 1 can organic light coconut milk, 1 tbs fresh ginger, 1 cup fresh basil, 3-5 cloves fresh garlic, 1 tsp celtic sea salt.
  • pour mixture into 1 whole bag of frozen organic chicken. shake to coat chicken.
  • arrange in single layer on deep baking dish. cook at 350 for 30 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
  • remove from pan, dice chicken breasts in cubes & toss in coconut milk sauce from baking dish.

beet salad recipe

  • boil 1 bunch of whole beets in water until you can easily pierce them with a fork (30-45 minutes)
  • remove from water, slice thin and toss with 1 tbs olive oil, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp celtic sea salt & 2 tbs chopped chives.

blueberry chia seed pudding

  • blend: 1 cup maple water, 1 cup light coconut milk, 2 cups blueberries, 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • mix in 1 cup chia seeds.
  • refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. serve cold.

chocolate chia seed pudding

  • blend: 1 cup maple water, 1 cup light coconut milk, 2 tbs cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 banana, 1/3 cup chia seeds, pinch celtic sea salt, pinch cinnamon,
  • refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. serve cold.


*skinSALVATION has no affiliation with any of the brands, stores, or blogs mentioned in this post. these resources are from my own personal research and preference.

meal prepping on the acne safe diet

a huge part of getting and staying clear is living the acne safe lifestyle. that means managing your stress, getting quality sleep and fuelling your body with acne safe foods. it can be difficult to know exactly what’s in your food when you eat out, which is why we recommend preparing as much of your own food as possible. for someone like me who commutes to work in the mission from the east bay every day, that can be a challenge. the last thing that i want to do when i get home at 9pm is make dinner. that’s why i spend a few hours every monday meal prepping for the entire week. a personal trainer once told me, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”


here’s my grocery list and recipes from this week to inspire you! my boyfriend and i make each of these dishes separately and then mix and match breakfast, lunch and dinner. we generally spend around $120 per week on groceries which gets us though all 7 days (around 45 meals between the 2 of us) if we were eating out at inexpensive to moderately priced restaurants in the bay area that would be $450 or more!

hope you enjoy!




  1. lemony chicken soup! we changed this recipe by using potatoes instead of orzo, chicken breast instead of thighs, and bacon fat instead of olive oil.
  2. avocado chicken salad! we used shredded chicken breast instead of eggs in this recipe
  3. fried cabbage with bacon! we saved the bacon grease to cook with throughout the week. see the recipe here
  4. apple cabbage slaw! we swapped the maple syrup in this recipe for a shredded apple, used white cabbage and left out the jalapeño.
  5. broccoli salad! see our family recipe below
  6. paleo turkey meatballs! we swapped the sirloin from this recipe for 99% lean organic ground turkey
  7. spicy marinara sauce! we added tomato paste and fresh basil to this recipe


  1. preheat your oven to 350, wrap your chicken breasts in tin foil and bake for 20-30 mins, until they are cooked through.
  2. fry your bacon in a pan to desired crispiness. drain bacon and save fat in a sealing glass container.
  3. chop all of the onions, garlic & root veggies that you need for all of the meals. sauté in 3 pans; 1 for the marinara sauce, 1 for the soup, and 1 for the fried cabbage. complete cabbage and refrigerate.
  4. add remaining ingredients to soup and marinara sauce and let simmer for 1+ hour (until you’re done cooking and cleaning).  alternatively, you can dump all the ingredients into a slow cooker and have that going for the better part of a day, or even overnight on low.
  5. remove chicken from oven, shred using a fork and set 1/2 aside for the soup. combine remaining ingredients for the avocado chicken salad and refrigerate.
  6. blanch or steam broccoli until bright green. while it’s on the stove, make the dressing and chop up your olives and tomatoes. chop broccoli, combine ingredients and refrigerate.
  7. make paleo turkey meatballs and put in the oven to bake.
  8. then, using all the veggies you prepped in step 3, assemble your apple cabbage slaw and refrigerate.
  9. remove paleo meatballs from oven and add to marinara.
  10. add shredded chicken to soup.
  11. enjoy the fruits of your labor for several days!




  • breakfast: 2 eggs with broccoli salad OR gluten free oatmeal with blueberries
  • lunch: avocado chicken salad with arugula, apple cabbage slaw & a spoonful of raw slaw
  • snack: watermelon OR cherries AND 2 hardboiled eggs
  • dinner: paleo turkey meatballs with quinoa pasta and spicy marinara sauce OR lemony chicken soup




  • quinoa pasta (whole foods)
  • 1 bag fingerling potatoes (whole foods)
  • bob’s red mill gluten free oats (whole foods)


  • kalamata olives (thursday farmers market in the mission)
  • uncured bacon ends and pieces (trader joe’s)
  • cold pressed organic sunflower seed oil (whole foods)
  • 2 large organic avocados (trader joe’s)


  • 2 lbs 99% lean organic ground turkey breast (trader joe’s)
  • 2 large packages free range organic boneless skinless chicken breast (trader joe’s)
  • 2 dozen free range organic eggs (thursday farmers market in the mission)


  • 2 heads organic broccoli (trader joe’s)
  • 1 bag shredded white cabbage (trader joe’s)
  • 1 bag organic baby arugula (trader joe’s)
  • 1 box heirloom cherry tomatoes (trader joe’s)
  • 1 bag organic carrots (whole foods)
  • 1 bag organic celery hearts (trader joe’s)
  • 2 yellow onions (trader joe’s)
  • 1 head garlic (whole foods)


  • watermelon (whole foods)
  • 16 oz organic blueberries (trader joe’s)
  • 2 organic gala apples (trader joe’s)
  • 1 bag organic sweet red cherries (whole foods)
  • 1 grapefruit (trader joe’s)
  • 2 lemons (trader joe’s)
  • 2 limes (trader joe’s)


  • 1 bunch organic parsley (whole foods)
  • 1 bunch organic cilantro (whole foods)
  • fresh basil (from our kitchen plant)


  • raw slaw (trader joe’s)
  • organic chicken stock (whole foods)
  • organic canned tomatoes (trader joe’s)
  • organic tomato paste (trader joe’s)


broccoli salad recipe

  • blanch 2 heads of broccoli in boiling water until semi-soft (2-3 minutes), then cut into bite size trees
  • cut cherry tomatoes in quarters
  • cut kalamata olives in half
  • in a sauce pan, combine: 2 tbs sunflower seed oil, 1 tbs minced garlic, and 1 tbs red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. simmer until the garlic turns golden.
  • toss all ingredient together and chill. store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days


*skinSALVATION has no affiliation with any of the brands, stores, or blogs mentioned in this post. these resources are from my own personal research and preference.

gelatin: an amazing superfood reinvented!


not the kind of gelatin we’re talking about. well kind of, but without the artificial colors, condensed milk or booze.


by kerry watson

when most people think of eating gelatin, images of bright green jello come to mind. i tend to think of the ghastly tomato aspic that my grandmother would always bring to our holiday parties growing up. but, gelatin wasn’t always relegated to the bottom shelf of the dessert aisle, in between the food coloring and the frosting in a tube. in fact, it was once a staple of healthy traditional diets around the world.

powdered gelatin products, these days, are usually derived from pigskins or cowhides.  but, when it comes from a healthy grass-fed animal source, it has a multitude of healing properties. this type of gelatin is a great substitute for labor-intensive bone broth which is fast becoming the new superfood of 2015.  most people don’t have the time or energy to make their own bone broth which involves sourcing pasture-raised, grass-feed beef (or free-range chicken, duck or organic pork) bones, roasting them in the oven (for richer flavor, but is an optional-but-totally-worth-it step) and then slow cooking them in a crockpot for a few days (or overnight).

tomato aspic

gelatin is essentially bone broth that has been dehydrated and powdered. it’s chock full of collagen, cartilage, minerals and protein; however, it’s important to note that all gelatin sources are not the same. i’m a fan of “great lakes beef gelatin” which is a kosher and grass-fed product (and available on amazon). this is the one i like to use for all my gelatin recipes.

as i’ve mentioned above, gelatin has a long list of health benefits making it a wonderful addition to any healthy diet. some of these include:

  • skin, hair, nail health and anti-aging: gelatin is an abundant source of collagen. the amino acid profile and protein make-up of collagen is what builds and maintains skin elasticity and tone. it also promotes cellular regeneration in all connective tissue. collagen is not absorbed into the dermis topically but taking it internally enables the body to utilize it in the extracellular matrix which contains tightly packed collagen fibers. the density and strength of these fibers are what prevent lines and wrinkles and it’s what keeps the skin looking youthful and rejuvenated. collagen also helps in wound repair making it an excellent food ingredient to eat before and after a sS signature facial.
  • liver cleansing: glycine is an amino acid that is found in very high amounts in gelatin. our bodies need an enormous amount of glycine to transform toxic chemicals from our environment into benign substances so that they can be eliminated as waste from the body. glycine, along with other amino acids converts to a super anti-oxidant amino acid called glutathione. this amino acid happens to be a very important component in the liver’s ability to remove toxic elements from the body.
  • intestinal health: studies have shown that gelatin has the ability to heal damage and inflammation in the small and large intestine (aka, leaky gut – which a lot of our acne-prone clients seem to have). it has a very high and bioavailable mineral content. this makes it a great source of nourishment to anyone with an impaired ability to absorb nutrients.
  • healthy hormones: glycine, helps to regulate insulin production and prevent blood sugar imbalance. it is converted by the body to glutathione which plays an important role in the removal of excess estrogen which can build up in the body from from environmental toxins or dietary sources like soy and from taking birth control pills. an elevation of estrogen is a risk factor for hormonal acne break outs and for more serious conditions like estrogen-dependent cancers.
  • joint health:  high in glycine and proline, both highly anti-inflammatory amino acids which (together with vitamin c) help strengthen cartilage fibers and are incredibly wound healing (thus being able to help repair leaky guts).
  • added protein: for those who crave nutritious, on-the-go breakfasts (or meal replacements/supplements), gelatin is a great source of protein – 6 grams per tablespoon! – that can be easily added to smoothies and shakes (some gelatins may be fussy about temperature, so you may have to experiment).  it helps build lean muscle, is easily digestible, helps keep you full, boosts metabolism, and is soy and dairy free!  you can try adding it to any smoothie, but this is the first recipe we’ve seen with it in it: dairy-free pumpkin nog smoothie!

there are many delicious ways to add more healthy gelatin to your diet. for further information, you can check out weston price’s stance on it here.  i’m playing with recipes all the time. below is a recipe that i modified from one that i found here.



1/4 cup grass-fed beef gelatin
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries


Place lemon juice and strawberries in a blender and blend on high until completely mixed.



Pour into a saucepan.

Add the honey and slowly add gelatin while whisking or mixing with a hand held mixer.  Turn the heat on low, and continue to whisk the mixture for 5-10 minutes, until it becomes thin and everything is incorporated. Take off the heat.  (You’ll want to use low and slow heat to be sure that the gelatin is completely melted and incorporated, so that you don’t end up with hard-to-chew bits of gelatin in the finished product).

Pour into silicone molds or a small baking dish.


Set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firm up.

If you used a small baking dish as a receptacle, cut into bite-size squares. Otherwise, remove gummies from their molds and enjoy!


smooth moves..

sometimes everybody needs a little help being regular.  not that it’s because we’re “getting old”, but because the modern day diet is full of processed foods made of chemicals our bodies aren’t made to digest, with a healthy dose of stress and sedentary jobs thrown in!  and if you are doing the candida cleanse, it is super duper uber important that you are getting your 2-3 full evacuations a day for best results!

stress affects everyone in different ways but for me, i know that my digestion gets all out of whack.  i get that nervous “knot in my stomach” feeling, my mind and mouth have no problem eating yummy comfort foods but my tummy says otherwise.  when we are stressed, our stomachs contract and digestive juices don’t flow as freely, so our food doesn’t digest as thoroughly and efficiently as it should.

not this lady.. especially with that dehydrating coffee!

who looks like they’re more active and thus, more regular?!

sedentary jobs of the modern day also add fuel to this fire of indigestion and constipation.. humans evolved running around in the wild either catching dinner or running away from it (imagine: back in the cavewoman days, cruisin’ the fields of africa – you know that saying, hunt or be hunted.  yum that bird looks delish.  let’s run and catch it for dinner.  or, yikes there’s a cheetah – RUN!).  so all of our desk jobs typing at a computer not only give us posture problems and carpal tunnel but because we aren’t as whole-body physically active, our digestive guts aren’t getting that massage they’d normally get if we were.

enter things like exercise, drinking enough water (caffeine is a diuretic and does not count) and eating whole, nutritious, non-processed, home-cooked foods.  but what if you are already doing these things and you are still backed up?  well check out our other posts on candida and getting your digestion going and see if those yoga poses or supplements help you out.

we’ve heard of old-people metamucil, but if you are already eating organic ground flax seeds in your oatmeal, chia seeds in your smoothie, onions and garlic in your stir fries, whole grains like quinoa or oat bran and apples, bananas and prunes as snacks, you should already be getting a good amount of food-based fiber which would trump the powdery stuff.  don’t forget the probiotics of your cultured veggies (we sell the perfect pickler, check it out to make your own pickles!) and good old kyodophilus probiotic capsules to help break down your foods, assimilate nutrients and promote regular elimination of waste and toxins.

smooth move teas at rainbow grocery

try integrating these digestive teas.  ginger, peppermint and licorice teas are good, and these are worth a try!  a tea company called traditional medicinals makes these “smoothe move” teas – i’ve tried the original smooth move, which made my stomach cramp.  but i recently tried the peppermint variety which didn’t cramp my tummy and uh, did the job.  like, multiple times in a day, with ease!  and they make a chocolate version, which we have yet to try.  i found them at rainbow grocery, but you can find them at whole foods or probably even safeway.

let us know what you find works for you to get the poop out!