Cheese Face

Enjoying the best foods for our unique bodies and feeling rested can make a huge difference in our look and feel. Consuming foods (even in small quantities) that we do not tolerate well can cause us to lose sleep, feel sluggish, puffy, and cause digestive problems that can affect us on many levels. This puffiness or inflammation is also happening inside your body as well as on your face. Painful joints and a bloated feeling are part of the bargain!

For much of my life, I ate without regard to whether that food might contribute to my well-being. When I went to dinner with friends, I ate something similar to what they ate. I also ate more often in the evening because that is when most socializing happens. (Optimally, I do not eat after 3 PM.) If they had two glasses of wine, so did I. If there was a cheese course, I enjoyed a bit of each. I must admit that I slip back into my old ways occasionally, but all I have to do is look in the mirror after losing sleep for most of the night to remember why I have been trying to make better food choices.

Side by side pictures, taken two days apart, tell the story much better than my words. After eating the wrong foods late in the evening a few times last week, my face showed my poor choices for all the world to see. There are weeks when I don’t even buy groceries because my calendar is so full, I won’t have a chance to eat them before they are no longer fresh.

The photo to the left is how my face looks when I eat cheese and have a glass of wine for several days in a row. Cheese, bread, and processed foods with wine are never good choices for me. (When I am a guest in someone’s home, I eat a small amount of what is offered.) The photo on the right shows the difference after only two days of returning to eating fresh greens, vegetables, seeds, grains, nuts, and a few fruits with lots of filtered water. My face is now back to the one I recognize. The puffiness, sunken eyes, and poor skin quality has diminished. I feel much better after getting a good night’s sleep, and I look much better too. One photo was taken in natural light, and the other was taken inside. Since it has been raining on and off for days, I have no other choice at the moment.

I always share my journey (good and bad!) and what works for me as an example only. I will never tell you what you should eat or wear because we are all unique, but I do hope by sharing my choices and results, helping you make thoughtful decisions that serve you well and help you become more healthy and happy and looking your best.

All of my makeup and skincare products are from Beautycounter here. (I am a Senior Manager at Beautycounter.) That being said, I think you can see that it matters not what you put on your face if you are putting junk in your body.

I am wearing an original fit Portofino shirt from Express with Chico’s straight-leg jeans. The shoes are from last year by Franco Sarto. The belt and bag are several years old. The light and breezy tee shirt material vest are old.

  1. Wow, what a difference! You are so giving and brave to show us the effects of your food and drink choices. Uncanny!
    Thank you also for the reminder that even my favorite blogger has “slip ups” that need a little course correction. No beating ourselves up over it- let’s just get back on track!

  2. I think you are a little too hard on yourself, Susan. Other than the under eye area and lighting, which you explained, the two pictures are not terribly different. You look good in each.

    1. I agree with Kathy. You look good in both pictures. I could never eat such a restricted diet, but it works for you. I think you said in another post that Mr. Mickey eats the way you do. You’re fortunate in that regard. In my home we don’t eat dinner until at least 7 pm because that is when my husband arrives home from work, and I enjoy sitting down to dinner every night, just a part of our lifestyle.

  3. I always love seeing your posts. Question: if we don’t have dairy is there another way to get enough calcium for our bodies?

    1. Top 10 Calcium-Rich Foods include.
      1) Raw Milk
      1 cup: 300 mg (30% DV)

      2) Kale (cooked)
      1 cup: 245 mg (24% DV)

      3) Sardines (with bones)
      2 ounces: 217 mg (21% DV)

      4) Yogurt or Kefir
      6 oz: 300 mg (30% DV)

      5) Broccoli
      1 ½ cup cooked: 93 mg (9% DV)

      6) Watercress
      1 cup: 41 mg (4% DV)

      7) Cheese
      1 oz: 224 mg (22% DV)

      8) Bok Choy
      1 cup:74 mg (7% DV)

      9) Okra
      1 cup: 82 mg (8% DV)

      10) Almonds
      1 oz: 76 mg (8% DV)
      Cow’s milk is good for helping calves grow up to be big and strong, but not so great for humans. Here is a good article about milk.

  4. For me, it’s keeping carbs to a low level. You are correct that each of us must figure out what works best for oneself. Cheers to a healthy week!

  5. Thank you for your post. It’s good to think about our diets and what helps keep us as healthy as we can be. That journey can be unique for each of us. I love that you share what works for you. Through your sharing I have been exploring my diet and trying to find what works best for me. I do love the power porridge! It took me a little while to love it, but I look forward to it now and miss it when I’m away from home. Thanks for sharing so many aspects of you life with your readers. I’ve learned a lot about aging with grace.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Lynne. I’m not an expert on anything nor do I have all the answers. I just share my experience in hopes that it will help others think more about healthy eating and other things that might be important to them.

  6. Sorry to differ but I love and eat cheese almost daily, enjoy my wine and other drinks am older than you and don’t notice any puffiness of my face and eyes. I am a firm believer of all things in moderation. I do stay away from fried foods and never eat fast foods. I don’t like to demonize any food group because through the years, I have seen many food groups previously thought to be unhealthy all of a sudden become the go-to foods.

    1. Each person’s body is different. I am just showing what happens outwardly to me as an example. I plan to go back to avoiding all dairy because the joint pain returns whenever I have any.

  7. Susan, I was so excited to see the listing for calcium sources today. My primary care physician wants me to use dairy for extra calcium because of my osteoporosis. My husband and I have been using goat’s milk yogurt which is easier for us to digest. Although goat’s milk products may not be a good choice either…have to do some more research. We do buy organic grass fed cheese and really love goat cheese. There again, consumed in limited quantities. A picture is worth a thousand words and I admire you for showing what happens with a no-so-good food and drink choice. Although I will agree with Miss Kathy – you do look pretty in both pictures. This is totally unrelated to today’s post: A blogger posted about the damage caused to car seats, skin, purses, underwear and even walls because of wearing dark wash jeans. Several ladies chimed in with their own stories. Have you had this happen? I was concerned because of dyes coming off on the skin, which is our largest organ.

  8. I appreciate your tips on eating healthier and on fashion. Thank you for the time you take to help me not only look better but feel better as well. I have a question about jeans. I know that you have basically quit wearing the pull on style but I love the comfort of them. I love the fit of jag jeans with the exception that after I sit down I have to pull them up. I need to purchase a new pair of jeans but would like your input on how to avoid this issue. Thank you.

    1. I still have and wear the Jag jeans with tunics in the summer for the reason that they have the smooth front. (I have the same pulling them up issue as you.) In the winter I wear the longer straight leg style to stop at the top of my foot. The ankle pants will likely be returned to when the weather heats up.

  9. You look great in both photos but I do see what you mean about the slight puffiness….amazing! I can tell a difference in my face as well after having had wine a couple days in a row and not eating my best…It is amazing!

  10. Just love reading your blog Susan. Are you wearing an Express Portofino shirt in this photo? I am considering ordering two of these shirts but am measuring between a medium and a large in size. I am almost identical to you in body shape and size, and am busty. Do you wear a large in these shirts?

    I have learned so much from your blog and you have also verified so many of my thoughts on what looks good on me. Thanks!!

  11. Always a pleasure reading your blog Susan. You inspre those of us struggling to find an identity at 60+. Keep on blogging! X

  12. I’m glad you feel better when you eat right but, in my opinion, you look better in the photo to the left. Sorry!

  13. I so enjoy your blog Susan. We are the same age and I take away a lot from what you have to say with regard to style, beauty and everything else in between. I don’t want to look like a 20 something and certainly don’t want to look like my Grandmother either. Thankful that you are there to teach us. I too notice the difference in my appearance when I eat certain things. Mainly too much sugar.

  14. I think a lot of us would be very happy to have the face on the left, Susan. Really. 😉 Having said that, however, I do see what you mean and it is amazing those photos were taken only two days apart. I can easily see the added puffiness in your entire face, not just around the eyes. Thank you for another real learning experience!

  15. Thank you for this great information. You have helped me to understand the role that the right food, exercise and sleep play in the way that my body looks and performs.

  16. You are so correct about being careful about what you eat. I am on a medical diet quite different from yours (no grains, some vegetables limited, only a few legumes, etc.), but when I am careful I look and feel much better. Yoga and meditation also helps.

  17. I thought there was a difference between pictures of years – not days!! What a nice reminder. Also I tried to order the red vest and cannot find how I am to register??

  18. I’m 70 and like you I’ve identified certain food sensitivities over the past few years that affect my skin, and cheese is one of them. I debated whether to have some lovely extra old Vermont cheese with my lunch today and I went ahead. I’ll pay the price. Cheese, sugar, night-shade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers etc.) trigger pimple-like breakouts of rosacea along my hairline within half an hour of eating them. Can’t eat like I used to. Know exactly what you’re talking about and thanks for sharing.

  19. Susan are you wearing a Portofino shirt in this photo? I am interested in ordering one and I measure between a medium and large. Since we have an almost identical body shape I am wondering which size you are wearing. I am busty and do not want the dreaded gap between buttons but do not want it too large either.

    I enjoy your blog and have learned so much from you. You have verified my feelings about what looks best on me. Thanks!!

  20. This post is so timely. Have noticed inflammation and sleep disturbances after certain foods. It seems like flour is causing the problem.

    I was wondering if you drink coffee or tea.

  21. You look amazing!
    I love the white shirt and would give anything to find one that does not gap. I, too, am quite busty and petite. Any suggestions?

  22. Hi Susan, I love the vest you’re wearing. I was wondering when you will be getting more size Med. in? Also, I’m trying to decide between Med. and Large. Do they run a little big or true to size? You look great, as usual, and thank you for all the helpful information. Pam

    1. I am wearing a medium. I think they run a tiny bit large because I can also wear the small. I had not planned to get more of them, but since they have been so popular, I will try to get more vests in bright colors for summer.

  23. Isn’t it interesting how different our bodies are? If I don’t eat something late in the evening, I won’t sleep! I have to be careful what I eat though. Anything sweet will keep me awake for hours.

  24. Although I think you look lovely in both pictures, I can definitely see the difference. Food, stress and lack of sleep are a big issue for me right now which of course are closely connected. Your post is timely and inspiring.

  25. Wow, you look amazing and inspiring story too. I just turned 50 and am really doing some self reflection and your blog just really has struck a note for me. Thank you!

  26. Amazingly your one glass of wine will last for days!

    The photo to the left is how my face looks when I eat cheese and have a glass of wine for several days in a row.

  27. I need a really good eye wrinkle cream. Can you tell me which is best from your product line? I also need a good moisturizer for under my makeup and a good night cream. I am 60 and need better products but must stay on a reasonable budget. Thanks for your suggestions. PS I have three friends with the same dilemma!

  28. The before and after photos are astonishing! Nothing like photographic evidence to seal the argument for a cleaner eating habits. Wow. Thank you for posting these.

  29. This is FANTASTIC ! And. so ironic. Stay away cheese is exactly what my Cardiologist said to me. Watch the moo !!

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.