Can you change your mood by changing the food you eat? I would argue; yes! Because the gut-brain connection is incredibly strong! 🌿
One of the things that fascinates me the most about holistic health, is how it’s all connected! Your entire body – body and mind – is connected, and one thing affects the other, and the other way around, it’s incredibly fascinating!
As much as 90(!!)% of serotonin is made in your gut! Serotonin is the “happy hormone”/neurotransmitter, that is responsible for making you happy.
Let me just say that again – 90%!
What can we derive from that fact? That the food you eat and digest literally affect your mood!
You can thereby INCREASE your emotional well-being and happiness by eating more “gut friendly” food, such as whole foods, vegetables, fruits, fermented foods, probiotics etc. – the things that makes your gut health better! And by improving your gut health you will thereby – in the long run, also be able to improve your overall well-being!
Isn’t that just amazing?
Not to mention that eating “gut friendly food”, can also help if you have digestive problems or skin issues – because, it’s all connected! 🌿
Alana Olivers is a very inspirering woman who I’m following on Instagram & Youtube. We have very similar interests, within health, skin, and the whole mind body connection. Alana works as a skin coach and is just such a positive person, and I am so happy to have created such a beautiful ‘online friendship’ with her, without even having met her in real life. I find Alana very inspirering, and she has so much knowledge within the field of skin & health, which she is going to share much more of in this interview.
Dear Alana, will you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who you are and what you do?
I was born and grew up in Switzerland but I now live all over the world. I am a skin coach (I help others to make their skin look and feel its best) and I run my own company in Switzerland where we produce 100% natural, personalized, cruelty free, vegan skin care. My passion is to empower and help others see how amazing their bodies’ healing abilities are and to show them how much modern medicine underestimates what the body and skin can do all by itself, without any pills, just by giving it the right ‘fuel’ and treating it as a whole.
I am an introvert who loves to read books about health, the skin, the brain, genetics, epigenetics, psychology and the mind, who didn’t have a social media account until 24 years old and now tries to figure out how it works while still feeling weird in front of a camera every time 🙂 .
I believe that our health is the biggest wealth we have in life and that we should appreciate and respect our body and trust in its abilities and I hope to inspire others to see that the same way.
You share lots of skincare tips on your Youtube and Instagram, what made you become interested in skin? And, how did you gain the knowledge that you’ve learned?
A couple of
years ago I was diagnosed with something which made me spend a lot of time in
the hospital getting treatments and surgery which ended up weakening my immune
system massively. Apart from my completely weakened body, I started to get skin
rashes and acne, my body overreacted to literally everything and no skin care
helped. I tried everything from affordable to extremely expensive skin care,
but somehow it just made things worse.
I started to look into the ingredient lists and I was shocked to find out how
many chemicals were in there. I knew that there had to be a better way. I
started to read all the books I could get my hands on about healing the skin
and the body. I cleaned up my diet and my lifestyle as well as making my skin
care myself to make sure I can control all the ingredients.
I decided to take courses in natural skin care, nutrition, holistic medicine,
holistic healing etc. and I used every free minute to read everything about the
skin and what influences its healing and wellbeing. Soon thereafter people
started to take notice that my skin got much better and became interested in
what I did, and I started to coach them with their own skin and through word of
mouth I got more and more clients. That’s when I decided to make a Youtube and
Instagram account to share what I love most with more people 🙂
What are your 5 best skincare tips?
The foods you consume far outweigh the skin care you are applying topically, so make sure to heal your skin from within before spending money on something which can only (in the best case) help with the symptoms of your problem.
NEVER be afraid of using oils on your skin. If you are choosing the right oil for your skin it will be the best thing you’ve ever done when it comes to skin care (and it won’t clog your pores)
Be as gentle as you can and don’t overdo it with products (9 steps skin care systems were created by companies which want to sell you a loooot of products). Your skin was built to protect you from the world, it is an awesome organ and it just needs your support (not you trying to take over its job 🙂 )
Never forget that your skin is just part of a whole organism, your body. You can never heal the skin without healing the body, and as soon as you heal your body, your skin will be healthy as well.
80% of what you apply to your skin will be absorbed directly into your bloodstream. So make sure that the skincare you apply only contains ingredients which you would also feel comfortable with if you would have to eat it.
What is 1 thing you have experienced that most people do not think about when they want to improve their skin, which actually has a huge impact on how your skin looks?
the gut health. The health of our digestive tract influences the health of our
skin directly. Many of my clients are a little surprised to say the least when
I ask them about their bowel movements since they booked a consultation which
should cover their skin problems. But your gut is an organ which is responsible
to eliminate (literally:P) everything your body doesn’t need and the digestive
tract also has the vital job when it comes to absorb nutrients and vitamins.
If your gut is overwhelmed or constipated it can happen that part of your
already digested food gets reabsorbed into your bloodstream which leads to
inflammation which in turn can lead to acne and/or rashes and eczema. It is so
important to take care of your gut health, to me it is the seat of our health,
If your gut isn’t healthy your whole body (including your skin) is out of
balance. So, make sure to eat enough pre- and probiotic foods, avoid processed
foods and junk foods and lower your sugar intake. After taking antibiotics make
sure to use probiotics to bring the “good bacteria” back into your digestive
Do you have some daily rituals that you do every single day?
YEEEEEES 🙂 ! I am all about rituals, I believe that without creating small rituals around the things you want to improve in your life nothing really happens. The habits which made the biggest difference in my life are:
I always start my day with a 10-20 minutes Meditation and I usually also finish my day like this (it is one of the best rituals I have every implemented into my daily life).
The second thing I do is that I start every single day with lots of warm water (I either add lemon, ginger, turmeric, apple cider vinegar or some sort of tea to it, whatever I have on hand that day).
I also work out every single day since I believe that an active lifestyle is so important for a healthy body (and beautiful skinJ), I either run, go on a bicycle, go for a hike or do yoga.
Another ritual I have is that I read or listen to an audio book every day (usually before bedtime, and always when I commute) for at least 30min – 1 hour.
What is your skincare routine like?
My skin care routine is extremely simple. I use the oil cleansing method to cleanse my face in the evening. After that I always have a look at my skin and decide what it needs that day. That might just be some fresh Aloe Vera or a serum, or a mask, Vitamin C, or a product/DIY which contains AHA or BHA to exfoliate my skin (I only exfoliate my skin 1x a week). After that I just apply my 100% natural night cream and go to bed.
In the morning I usually don’t wash my face at all. I use some rice water toner (I have a recipe for that on my channel) and then I either apply some of my day cream (if my skin feels dry that day) or just leave it at that. Once to twice a week I go to the sauna and apply some manuka honey as a face mask. That’s basically it 🙂
You have also created your own skincare line. Can you tell us about the products you have created?
My Skin Care Company is based in Switzerland and is called “Natural Choices”. And this is exactly what the products are all about. They are 100% natural, cruelty free and vegan, they are free from chemicals and preservatives as well as silicones and parabens.
I think our skin is so different from everybody else’s. That’s why all the products are personalized (that means a person comes for a skin analysis or has a skin coaching session with me and after that we choose each ingredient for each product specifically for that person and then creates a unique product).
The benefit of that is first of all that we can address the specific skin problems with ingredients which matches the specific needs of our client, and also that we can change the formulation once the skin starts to get better (as well as making adjustments for Winter/Summer time).
Which books have changed your life?
Super Genes (Deepak Chopra M.D & Rudolph Tanzi Ph.D.)
The Four Agreements (Don Miguel Ruiz)
The Telomere Effect (Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn & Dr. Elissa Epel)
What is your best advice for people who are dealing with skin issues and are feeling insecure because of their skin?
For sure it
is always hard to deal with skin problems just because it is usually not
something you can easily cover up and everyone sees it so you feel exposed and
judged, at least that is how I felt.
The most important advice I can give is to try to shift your perspective about
it. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is truly life changing.
Don’t see the rashes or pimples or dry flakes as something your body does against you but as something it does FOR you. Try to see it as the language your body communicates with you. It tries to tell you that something is wrong, that for example your digestive tract or your liver is overwhelmed (breakouts, dull skin f.e.), or you don’t get enough sleep (dull skin, dark circles), or that your body is chronically inflamed (rashes, eczema, acne).
If you look at your skin problems from that perspective, then first of all you can figure out the cause for it and solve your problem at its root instead of just treating the symptoms, plus you enter into a much deeper relationship with your own body and will soon learn to read every sign it gives you and act accordingly.
Once you have been able to heal your skin you’ll be so much stronger and grateful for the process you had to go through because other people will never get the chance to learn this.
Which 3 people have inspired you most in your life?
He is one
of the leading figures when it comes to the body mind connection. His books
introduced me to Ayurveda, to mediation and taught me how important our mindset
is for the healing process of our body.
inspired my whole childhood into my adult life until now. Not him directly as a
person but his movies. I sometimes still find myself scrolling through Netflix
ending up watching Mulan or the Beauty and the Beast. I am a Disney Girl :p
and me went through a lot together and have an extremely strong relationship.
He unknowingly teaches me new lessons every single day but the most important
thing he taught me is probably that being yourself and to stand up for who you
are is certainly not always the easiest way but that it is always worth it, and
in the end the most rewarding.
If people want to learn more about you, or support you in any kind of way, where can they do this?