About a week ago I went to Ho Chi Minh and the food there blew my mind. But the question is, given the humidity, the quality of food, the water, mosquitoes, weather, is Vietnam bad for acne?
Here's what I'm going to be talking about today:
- All the other stuff
Let me tell you, WOW was I surprised. You'd think that going to a 3rd world country (as of writing this article), that your skin would actually suffer, but actually ...
PART 1: WEATHER
Yeah it was humid with highs of 93 °F to lows of 73°F but it felt a lot more like ...
That's pretty much what it felt like. And pretty much all the time. You'd leave the house and immediately, within minutes start sweating. If you did any sort of activity, like look at your watch or tie your shoelaces, your shirt would immediately be doused in your own sweat.
It was uncomfortable.
I think the people there were used to it, but for us who were just visiting it just felt like a consistent warm, stickiness all the time. And if you're a clean freak, you'd probably be slightly irritable just because of how dirty you would feel with the warm humidity.
And keep in mind, this was in the middle of November, guys.
So naturally, if you have acne and know what it feels like to feel "dirty" and covered with zits, it basically makes the feeling worse. When I was in humid countries before and breaking out with acne, I always felt like I needed to shower. My face would constantly feel oily and I just felt ... disgusting.
It didn't rain much while we were there, even though the forecast predicted a lot of rain. When it did rain, there were just light showers and soon after the sky cleared up. Apparently this wasn't normal but we were told that we brought the sunshine over from America.
In Ho Chi Minh, the air quality was pretty bad. From all the moped scooters of the 8 million inhabitants, the air quality became heavy in smog and you could definitely smell it when you were walking around the city. Many of the locals wore masks but surprisingly, there wasn't much acne. Most people were dark from being outside, but they didn't have pimples.
And if you know anything from what I teach, you'll realize that weather (even weather that causes you to sweat heavily) is not the cause of acne. And it was proven in this case when my wife stopped breaking out. She had recently developed leaky gut and we were working on clearing her skin. Suddenly, in Vietnam, her skin started improving drastically.
PART 2: Food
My wife had some family in the city and they took us around to certain places to eat or we would eat home cooked meals. Also, before Vietnam, I noticed that I've recently been having some stomach problems because of the new food we've been eating. We were eating out a lot, things like ramen, pho, curry places, and pretty much anything else you could find on the must try list.
And because we live in Los Angeles and Orange County while being busy with work, we ate out ... a LOT.
But the interesting thing is that my stomach and my wife's skin immediately got better when we got to Vietnam. And I really think it has to do with the food. What do I mean by that?
The diarrhea stopped. For me, the bloating stopped, I stopped having gas, there was no more diarrhea (yes, there was previously a lot of diarrhea before coming to Vietnam), and I could eat and drink pretty much anything I wanted without having any sort of digestion issues.
No more breakouts. For my wife, her skin cleared up. She didn't have digestion problems or problems in the toilet like I did before, but it was immediately noticeable in her skin. The breakouts stopped almost immediately.
I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT.
But in hindsight, it all makes sense. Here's why.
The food is dirty there. Yes, this is true. Some of the vegetables and fruits are loaded with heavy pesticides and much of the locals know where to stay away from. Therefore, luckily, my wife had relatives there and they would direct us as to which places were safe to eat at and which places to avoid.
Only recently has Vietnam welcomed Monsanto, a GMO food giant, back into crops. So while the poison is about to spread, it hasn't quite spread yet. Essentially the food is still just ... regular food. It hasn't become some mutated version of what "looks" like food but will ultimately give you cancer food yet.
And it was crazy, I've been lactose intolerant for years now. Suddenly, I was eating all sorts of dairy desserts, yogurt, and for some reason I was fine. I didn't have nearly the same reaction as I was having in the United States.
My stomach and all the bloating stopped almost immediately, we're talking days here. And my wife's skin healed very quickly, her breakouts stopping within days of arriving.
That's another amazing thing: when your body is given the right combination of food to heal, it'll do it's job on it's own. You WON'T be able to STOP it from healing, even if you tried.
And it's not like we were eating healthy either. We just arrived at a place that I had never been before and I wanted to experiment and try all the weirdest recipes that I could try. Anything that was fried or broke all my rules of being part of the acne free diet here in the United States, I didn't care. I wanted to experience a different culture and I thought that there would be some sort of repercussions, if not on my skin then at least in my digestion and stomach.
But there was nothing.
Even when I drank heavily and ate food, my digestion was barely affected. It was like I was 21 years old again.
And I'm telling you, it's not like that here in the United States. Before I left, if I mixed alcohol and food, my stomach would be upset. Actually, my stomach seemed to be getting more and more sensitive to all the foods here. Interestingly enough, I know more than the average person and I was trying to eat pretty clean too.
I would do juices, I would drink kombucha, I would stay away from dairy and alcohol, etc.
However, I still had a lot of digestion problems.
That's why I couldn't believe it when I was in Vietnam, breaking all the rules of diet, and my stomach was doing great!
PART 3: All the other stuff
It also scares me as to how far processed has the food become in the United States?
To what extent has everything in America become poisoned? Whether you eat at home or you eat out, all the ingredients are so mutated by GMO, processed, fillers, guar gum, stabilizers, sodium, MSG that it all looks and tastes great ... YES ... but we are literally being poisoned RIGHT under our noses.
I knew the food was bad but I didn't know how BAD it really was until I could eat whatever I wanted and my stomach was still fine.
My wife could eat whatever she wanted and her skin still improved.
This is not to say that if you went to Vietnam, you could just eat anything and your health is going to improve. That's not what I'm saying here. You still have to be careful in what you pick and make sure you make wise decisions when you choose what to put into your body. There's a lot of dirty food, stuff that might make you sick, vegetables that aren't properly cleaned or have sat out in the sun too long.
What I am saying is that if you live in the United States, in an effort to make food faster, cheaper and easier to produce, we've been able to feed thousands of people. We've been able to make food more affordable so that we can spend more time working. We're masters are GMO.
If you're not familiar with GMO, it stands for genetically modified organism. Which, in a nutshell, means that we've mutated the food to make it cheaper, faster, and easier to produce. The end result when you do this to foods like corn, soy, or wheat is that it might look or taste like corn, soy, or wheat but it screws up the body in ways we're just beginning to really understand.
Many times, these foods have caused a lot of problems in society such as diabetes, obesity, tumors, cancer, who knows. It's just bad news.
If you're worried (which you should be), definitely stay away from wheat, corn and soy.
Which is in ... pretty much everything. We put wheat, corn and soy in everything. Wheat is found in all our breads, baked goods, pizza, and pasta.
Corn is in high fructose corn syrup which is used to sweeten a lot of desserts and drinks. Corn oil is used to cook a ton of food. And if there isn't corn in it, say ... you're eating protein, a lot of the animals are fed corn feed. And there you have it, you almost CAN'T get away from it.
Then we have soy, which if you're Asian, can be a big problem since it's genetically modified. Asians use it for everything! It's also now used as a protein supplement.
So what's the solution here? Move to Vietnam? Stay in the United States? I'm not sure, but it is time to learn more about what we're putting into our bodies and be more wise with our skin and our health.
And that's what these articles are for, just food for thought (no pun intended) and hopefully, I can ignite a little bit of change in you.