Month: January 2010

Getting Used to This New Diet/Lifestyle

You know, sometimes it takes being desperate to make a big change in life.  For me, it took the misery of suffering with an irritating and embarrassing condition called ezcema.  I was definitely desperate enough to make some changes.  After 11 days of an extreme change in diet, I can honestly say it has worked!

The skin on my affected fingers and hands actually is soft now, rather than feeling like hard plastic or tree bark.  I am lovin’ it!  But, some of the nice side effects that I wasn’t expecting are:  weight loss, incredible energy, clear thinking, and best of all — hardly any more hot flashes!!!  I can barely believe it.

For the 11 days I was pretty much a die-hard with the prescribed diet in the Beat Eczema plan (except for a few mistakes), but I have had a couple of events that I’ve gone to in the last few days where I couldn’t eat the right kind of food for my diet.  So, being hungry, I went ahead and ate what was offered, even the desserts.  I wanted to see what happened.  I will say, “So far, so good.”   I think one must be very strict until getting the desired results, then a day off the diet won’t set you back so badly.

But, I will not continue to test this on purpose.  I like the way I feel with this diet plan.  I even went to a European market and bought some Polish fermented food — some sauerkraut, red bell peppers and pickles.  They all taste so good.  I wasn’t expecting to like it all so much, but I was pleasantly surprised.  These do not have any vinegar but are fermented with brine water.

My sprouted buckwheat groats turned out to be really tasty.  Who knew?!  After becoming sprouts and drying out on a cup towel on my kitchen counter, now they will last me about 6 weeks in my refrigerator.  That is good, because as they expanded each day I ended up with a whole jar of them.  It will take me that long to eat them all!

Still can’t believe I have soft skin on my fingers!  If you have eczema, it is worth the effort.  I hope you’ll try it.  To get the entire diet and plan, you can download it from the website:  If you have any questions about my experience in this fight against eczema, just comment on this blog and I will be happy to share.

5 Responses to “Getting Used to This New Diet/Lifestyle”

  1. Stephanie says:

    Is sprouting really difficult? I bought a special glass jar with a stainless steel mesh lid but haven’t had time to sit down and learn how to actually do something with it yet.

  2. Valerie says:

    What do sprouted buckwheat groats taste like and how do they help the skin?
    Is fermented food better for you because of the high level of enzymes?

  3. bbriscoe says:

    Stephanie, sprouting is not hard at all, but you must be at home to rinse the sprouts every so often. It is a different time frame with each kind of sprout. With the buckwheat groats, I needed to rinse them every 8 hours, and they were ready in about a day and a half (instructions said 1 to 2 days). You can see a sprouting chart at

  4. bbriscoe says:

    Thanks for asking about buckwheat groats, Valerie. They don’t have a strong taste, but the taste they do have is a delightful, almost nutty taste. They are a strongly inflammatory food, which is the goal of the “beat eczema” diet. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium and manganese. They provide some fiber and some protein as well.

    Yes, the reason for the fermented food for digestion is because of its high value of enzymes and probiotics.

  5. bbriscoe says:

    Forgot to mention, Valerie, that a good source of info on the buckwheat groats is

This is so exciting!

Upon starting this Beat Eczema program, I really doubted it could work in 10 days, but I’m here to tell ya that I’m 90% there.  My fingers feel like skin now instead of plastic.  There are still a few little places that are rough, but not the entire fingers.  No more itching.  No more hot, swollen fingers.  No more skin cracks that are painful.

It has been exciting to watch this transformation, although it was slow in coming (I’m not too patient).  I will keep up this way of eating strictly until I get 100% recovery of this condition.  Then, I may let myself have some breaks from it and see what happens.  I intend to never veer far away from this lifestyle of eating enzyme-rich, nutrient dense food.  But I won’t be a prisoner of it either.  Breaking away from it will be an occasional exception, however, rather than a habit.

I have felt so light and alive!  My thoughts are clearer, my skin brighter, and I’ve lost some weight as well.  My energy is up and I’m sleeping so deeply.  If it were for only these benefits, I would choose to eat this way.  But, the best result is the relief from eczema, which was my original goal.

Since the 10 days are over and I’ve gotten about 90% improvement, I may not blog about it every night but perhaps a few times a week.  I will probably do little tests going off the diet to see what happens.  When I do, I’ll write about it so you’ll know.  But for now, if you have eczema I hope you will repeat what I have done and get the same fantastic results!  To get the entire program, you can download like I did from  I would love to have you report your own results right here on my blog as an encouragement to others.  Let’s cheer each other on.

2 Responses to “This is so exciting!”

  1. Stephanie says:

    I am glad to hear you are on the path to recovery!

    I’ve been on a kombucha kick lately. It is fermented and maybe that would be an additional source of nutrients for helping you kick eczema…

  2. bbriscoe says:

    I absolutely LOVE kombucha and have tasted probably almost all the flavors. You know, it was hard to remember every single thing that went into my mouth, although I tried to write much of it down. But, during those 10 days of the trial, I did drink probably two Kombucha. I don’t drink an entire bottle at one time. It takes me usually three days to finish a bottle. Kombucha is filled with wonderful protiotics and enzymes. Glad you mentioned this, Stephanie. You go, girl!

Guess what – it’s working!

I woke up this morning and took the wrap off my right index and middle fingers to find nice, soft skin.  Now, this has happened on other mornings, but during the day the skin on these two fingers would get hard, rough and scaly and also develop new skin cracks.  Today was different!  No new skin cracks, and I actually had a sensation of feeling skin when I rubbed the two fingers together, rather than it feeling like tree bark.

I hardly picked at any rough spots at all during the day as has been my habit.  Before today, I could hardly quit picking at the dead “scales” of skin, trying to get these tiny, sharp pieces of skin off to feel fresh skin underneath.  It’s a little like when you have a sunburn and it begins to peel.  You can’t keep yourself from peeling it, right?  That’s what it’s like.

Also, something else I noticed was that there was very little redness and heat in those two fingers this morning.  By the end of today, there was no heat at all — indicating that the inflammation had left.  I had begun to not be a believer in this Beat Eczema diet plan, but it is regaining my trust.  The program suggests that, if the diet is followed strictly, one should have this thing beat in as little as 10 days.

Tomorrow is Day 10, and I am hopeful that their claim is right.  Tonight I will reapply the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream and wrap the fingers with Saran Wrap, as I did last night.  It seemed to work nicely.

Here was my food intake for the day:

Morning — a mixture of blueberries, blackberries, diceed apple, banana, pecans, raw local honey and cinnamon for breakfast.  Carrot juice mid-morning.

Lunch — a delicious salad consisting of spring mix field greens, sundried tomatoes, sprouts, diced red bell pepper, sauerkraut, pumpkin seeds, grated raw sheep cheese, and a sprinkling of kelp for flavor.  I used an Annie’s Naturals dressing (Pomegranate Vinaigrette).  Later, I had a handful of walnuts as a snack.

Dinner – Raw Corn Soup (from the Beat Eczema program).  This contained 2 ears of raw corn blended with warm water, an avocado and Celtic salt, served with finely diced red bell pepper sprinkled on top.  I was surprisingly pleased.  The avocado not only enhanced the flavor but also added a thicker texture.  Who knew?

Perhaps Day 10 will be the magic day . . . will let you know!

Best Day So Far

I woke up this morning with very soft skin again after removing the plastic wrap from my fingers.  This time the softness of the skin continued longer throughout the day.  I’m not sure why, but the skin began getting scaly again tonight.

This morning, I ate some organic berry apple sauce, then some organic plain yogurt with blueberries, blackberries, pecans, raw local honey and cinnamon.  Mid-morning I drank some fresh carrot juice.  For lunch I had a spring mix salad with sprouts and live sauerkraut with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds.  Afternoon snacks included slices of apple with organic peanut butter as a spread, and a handful of walnuts, rasisins, and dried pineapple.

I splurged for dinner and had Basmati brown rice and lightly steamed broccoli again with a side of sprouts.

At work today at the spa, one of the nail techs suggested I do a hot parafin wax treatment on my hands after exfoliating them with a scrub.  Then one of the estheticians put some skin healing cream on them and gave me a sample.  This all seemed to help a lot.  I will apply this skin healing cream (Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream) tonight instead of the Golden Salve and see what happens.  It is very greasy at first, but once it dries it forms a harder protective coating while it heals.  Will be interesting to see in the morning.

Still waiting on baby soft skin

Wonder how long this is going to take?  I want results NOW!!!  Aren’t we all like that?  It took my body probably years to manifest this eczema and I want it gone overnight.  Of course I do.  Why not?  Welll, I’m a week into this project, and I will not quit yet.  I’m not only doing this for myself but also for others who may come behind me and want to do something about their skin with the same problem.  So, I’m in it for you too, baby!

Okay, for breakfast after working out  at the gym I had another blueberry/blackberry smoothie with organic local honey, flaxseed meal, small amounts of pineapple juice and kefir, ice cubes, and one small addition — a T. of a green drink (superfood) powder called Green Zone by NSP.  I also ate a handful of walnuts and a handful of pumpkin seeds (both containing lots of EFAs).

Lunch was salad again:  organic mix of field greens, sprouts, sauerkraut, grated raw sheep cheese, pumpkins seeds and some Basmati brown rice.  Dinner was awesome!  Half of a baked organic Yukon Gold potatoe with some very lightly steamed broccoli (still crunchy with enzymes intact), sauerkraut on top of field greens and sprouts — all seasoned with organic kelp.  This was a delicious meal.  I’m also remembering to take my flax seed oil gelcaps daily – 8/day (a lifesaver!).

I still can’t believe I’m not wanting bad snacks inbetween meals.  Even if my hands don’t get significantly better, this diet is worth it for the weight loss, the clarity of mind, and the brighter skin (face).  Still waiting on baby soft skin on my hands.  They seem to be slightly better each day now, but the difference is so subtle.  I will once again apply Golden Salve salve tonight and wrap the fingers with Saran Wrap to keep it from rubbing off onto my clothes or sheets.  This morning when I unwrapped the fingers, the skin felt so soft, and the skin cracks were healed.  Once again, during the day though, there came new skin cracks and new scaliness.

Signing off til tomorrow . . .


2 Responses to “Still waiting on baby soft skin”

  1. Im not going to say what anyone else has previously mentioned, but I do want to comment on your information in the theme. Youre genuinely well-informed. I cant think how a lot of this I just wasnt aware of. Thank you for bringing a lot more details to this topic for me. Im truly grateful and actually impressed.

  2. Found some great info here today.

My hopes were dashed

After almost a week with no cooked food, I set my hopes on eating a meal with organic Basmati brown rice — the rice with that buttery, yummy flavor (actually in the “Beat Eczema” meal plan) – while watching the Cowboys play Minnesota today.  Not only did the Cowboys lose miserably, but my rice, after two hours of cooking, using the method described on the Beat Eczema website, was still swimming in water.  So I ditched that effort until later and changed my plan.

I knowingly ate something inflammatory but quick!  A little pasta never hurt anyone, right?  Especially since it was whole wheat pasta.  And all I put on it was olive oil and some crushed garlic and kelp for flavor.  I also sauteed some fresh spinach with olive oil and garlic.  Now that was good.  Then, finally my biogenic food for this meal was some live sauerkraut.  Yuk!  I will have to learn to like this stuff.

Now, the whole point of this discussion is to learn what to do right to beat eczema, and this may mean learning from my mistakes.  So, let me tell you that this pasta substitution was a definite mistake.  After this meal, the eczema patches on my hands got red and itchy again.  It took awhile for this to calm down.

Perhaps I should back up and talk about breakfast.  I had a blueberry/blackberry smoothie mixed with some raw local honey, flaxseed meal, organic plain yogurt, pineapple juice and some ice cubes.  And, oh yes, remember that I was going to apply the honey to my fingers and wrap them with Saran Wrap overnight?  The results were okay but not as great as the Golden Salve (from NSP) I’ve been using.  I’ll just stick with that.  It has been amazing for preventing infection and healing split skin overnight.

While waiting on the failed rice attempt, I made a snack to munch on:  an open-faced avocado sandwich (recipe found in the Beat Eczema diet).  I really liked this.  You should try it.

I also began my first soaking and sprouting experience with seeds today.  I tried some buckwheat groats –soaked 6 hours, then put in a sprouting jar — will have to rinse them before bedtime.  There was a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on, since rinsing is required every few hours.  Quite a time investment this is.  After today, I think I’ll just buy my sprouts.

Okay, for dinner there was more sauerkraut, this time mixed in with my long-awaited buttery-flavored Basmati rice and a salad of field greens and sprouts.  My beverage was carrot juice.  Not bad.

What is amazing to me, a die-hard chocoholic, is that now when I pass by the good chocolate in health food stores, I am not even tempted.  This food I’m eating is so full of nutrients that I am satisfied with very little of it, and I am not craving carbs or chocolate the way I used to.

Can’t wait for my hands to tell the story of how good I’m eating.  I guess it takes awhile.  I’m not so good at patience, but I’m learning.  No change in the hands today, except that short reactive episode in response to the inflammatory food.

5 Responses to “My hopes were dashed”

  1. Valer says:

    I love your food prep diary, glad your cravings are gone!

  2. bbriscoe says:

    Yes, they are still gone on this the 8th day, and it feels great. My mind is so clear and I feel lighter.

  3. You hit the nail on the head with that one, awesome read! Keep up the good work.

  4. These are very nice tips that I will try out, I am glad I ran into it. Thanks.

  5. You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren?¯t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

Flax Seed Oil to the Rescue

Just as I suspected, the flax seed oil did the trick (I took 8!).  I no longer have the deep cracks in my skin that burn when I do a massage and/or wash my hands, and I actually did five hours of massage today.  There are some small skin splits but they are not deep.  Hoping they will go away tomorrow after having taken the flax seed oil for two days.

My skin was still very scaly, so I used an exfoliating scrub to get some of that dead skin to flake off, then kept it moisturized.  I continued to need to moisturize quite often.  Hopefully, tomorrow (Sunday), the fact that I have no massages will give my hands a rest from the irritating massage cream.

Now let’s talk about what I ate since we’re trying to learn from my experience and mistakes.  For breakfast, I had a bowl of blueberries, blackberries, and pecans with a small amount of organic plain yogurt sweetened with a tiny bit of raw honey.  As a mid-morning snack, I sliced an apple and spread some organic raw peanut butter on a few slices.

Lunch was a salad of baby romaine greens, pumpkin seeds (full of essential fatty acids plus high a zinc content), raw sheep cheese, walnuts, and wheat grass cut into tiny slivers, with an organic pomegranate vinaigrette from Annie’s Naturals.  An afternoon snack was an Apple Pie-flavored Larabar (raw food snack bar).

Dinner was almost a repeat of lunch, just because my packed out schedule kept me from having the time to prepare something more creative by the time I was really hungry again.  I was building a lasagna for a friend who just had surgery, and I included some spinach.  Since I already had that out and washed, I just threw some in a bowl, grated some of that good raw sheep cheese over it, cut up some sun-dried tomatoes, added some walnuts and doused it with the same pomegranate vinaigrette — a salad with a little different flair than lunch.  OMG . . . that lasagna smelled soooo good, but I resisted!

Before signing off tonight, I thought I’d let you know that as I was just now surfing for the above links, I read on the raw honey website that it is good as a salve for ECZEMA!!!  I absolutely love discovery!  Let’s try it tonight.  We’ll find out in the morning.

3 Responses to “Flax Seed Oil to the Rescue”

  1. Howdy, your site is on air in the radio! Good job mate. Your posts are truly great and bookmarked. Regards

  2. Ashley says:

    hey, nice blog…really like it and added to bookmarks. keep up with good work

  3. Fruit Smoothie Recipes usually are enjoyed by all

Oops – Shouldn’t have done that!

Day Three (I skipped writing yesterday).  In order to be a purist with this eczema diet, in preparation I stopped taking all supplements before embarking on this journey.   One of the key secrets to keeping skin softer is taking essential fatty acids (EFAs), such as Omega-3 fish oil, flax seed oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil.  I have been alternating these kinds of gelcaps in my regimen of supplements for 15 years, ever since I discovered they changed my hands from feeling leathery to fairly soft.

I realize that EFAs, as well as vitamins A and E, are suggested in the “Beat Eczema” cure.  But, I thought I’d add them later after finishing the apple detox — WRONG!!!  Yesterday I really suffered with deep skin cracks that are so painful I could hardly get to sleep last night.  I finally thought to get up and apply some Golden Salve by Nature’s Sunshine Products (NSP) and wrap the affected fingers and hand with Saran Wrap overnight.  This worked like a charm.  When I took the wrap off this morning, the skin was smooth and soft.  However, during the day the scaly, red, rough skin with deep cracks reappeared.

So, guess what I’m adding back into my routine tonight — you guessed it . . . some EFAs.  What I have on hand is Flax Seed Oil, also by NSP.   I do muscle response testing, so I tested myself and found that I needed a whopping 8 of these babies a day!  Wow!  I’ve never tested for that many.

I’ve not been bored with eating just organic apples because Whole Foods has such a variety, and I must have gotten a couple of each kind.  Also, drinking plenty of water has been very important to accomplish this detox.  But since tomorrow is Day Four and I can add some healthy new foods to my eating plan, I’ll certaily take it!

Sign in tomorrow to see what goodies I’m going to eat.  I don’t even know yet!  Probably will involve some grass (wheat grass).

7 Responses to “Oops – Shouldn’t have done that!”

  1. I appreciate you sharing this blog post. Fantastic.

  2. Hi, Good content throughout the site. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my information gathering. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject?

  3. Home Detox says:

    Hi, been browsing for a few days now and wanted to write you a short note to say what a good resource I believe you’ve got going on here, carry on the excellent work.

  4. Rehab says:

    Enjoyed reading this post, good of you for sharing.

  5. Hi, what vitamins help clear up skin? I know vitamin c does but what others? and also how many can you take a day of different vitamins? Because some days I take vitamin c, calcium, my regular vitamin, and another one I cant think of right now. My mom tells me to take vitamin c so I don’t get sick and calcium because I don’t drink enough milk…so what helps skin and is there a limit? Thanks in advance.

  6. bbriscoe says:

    You can take Vit C to bowel tolerance (loose stools = too much). For calcium, take a good bioavailable form (citrus source is good). Calcium carbonate (from gravel) and di-calcium phosphate not so good. For skin, Vit A and E are great. Flaxseed oil and the herb horsetail are great for skin. Also, plenty of antioxidants.

  7. bbriscoe says:

    Yes, the best one I’ve found is the one I mentioned in some of my blogs on this subject:

How I plan to beat eczema

Today, I am starting a new blog about beating eczema.  This condition has plagued me now for almost a year. It started out small with just one spot on my right index finger.  But over the last year has spread to the middle finger next to it, as well as in the webbing between my pinky and ring fingers on both hands. I have just this week noticed a small patch on my left middle finger and on the knuckle of the hand of that same finger.  A rather large patch (about an inch and a half in diameter) graces the inside of my left wrist.

These eczema breakouts begin with tiny bumps that itch intensely. The scratching for relief then causes the skin to be red, swollen and cracked in places, and causes new eruptions. After that, the skin can get leathery and scaly. This really is no fun for a massage therapist like me.  Fortunately, it is not contagious.  The work I do then irritates my skin further and exacerbates the situation.

Until now, what I had done was a few topical remedies that I made for myself using shea butter and a few essential oils (tea tree, peppermint and clove). This brings some relief, but it does not stop the outbreaks. Moisturizing my skin helps, but most lotions burn because of the open skin splits. I have found (from Ulta) an “organic virgin coconut nourishing body cream” by the brand name 100% Pure that moisturizes well and does not burn.

Because I am also a Certified Natural Health Professional, I have been asked by others what they can do for their eczema.  Embarrassed because of failing to control my own, I decided to embark on a journey of researching and implementing what I found – not only for myself but also for all of you who suffer with it as well.  Supposedly, 24% of America’s population suffer from one kind or another of this irritating and embarrassing skin condition.

Apparently, as with most other conditions, diet plays a major role. In my research, I found a specific diet for eczema at that I have just begun today.  To do this, I purchased all the items needed  before beginning (mostly from Whole Foods).  This way I won’t set myself up to fail by not having what I need at the different stages of this very strict eating plan.

My plan is to journal this self-project, so that I can remember what I did that worked and didn’t work.   My mission is to help others who want to beat eczema.  So, I will try to give a daily report of what I am doing and how it is working. If it works, you may want to try it too.

8 Responses to “How I plan to beat eczema”

  1. Beth Barghini says:

    Great site Brenda.. you will help alot of people!

  2. This is a great start, Brenda! I really wish you luck on your journey as you battle this condition.

  3. bbriscoe says:

    Thanks, guys. My goal really is to help other people. Appreciate your comments.

  4. I saw many websites but yours is awsome, bookmarked for future referrence.

  5. Ian Marter says:

    Terrific site, where did you come up with the information in this write-up? Im pleased I found it though, ill be checking back soon to see what other articles you have.

  6. I don’t agree with everything in this article, but you do make some very good points. I’m very interested in this topic and I myself do alot of research as well. Either way it was a well thoughtout and nice read so I figured I would leave you a comment. Feel free to check out my website sometime and let me know what you think.

  7. Thank you for this article. I just started breaking out in eczema last year for the first time and havent found out my trigger yet. I already dont consume gluten/wheat (or other grains), sugars, soy or dairy. I might have to do a total elimination diet plan…

  8. bbriscoe says:

    I feel your frustration. Try eliminating or substituting some of your household items, like soaps, shampoos, household cleaners, etc. for those with less or no chemicals added.

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