Which is Better: Smoothies or Juices?

 

This is a confusing question, isn’t it? For instance, smoothies have been around for a long time, but we keep hearing about how many of them are unhealthy because they are high in sugar.

 

Juices, on the other hand, are newer to the health scene. Stores dedicated to juicing are opening and it seems like a new juicing health revolution is starting. Have you seen the film Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead that is all about one man’s journey across the US drinking only fresh juice?

 

But then we hear about how juicing is ALSO high in sugar AND is missing all the fiber found in the whole foods used to make the juice.

 

The advice to eat more fruits and vegetables is valid. So, are these drinks healthy or not?

 

The short answer is yes and no. Yes, they can be healthy, but not if too much fruit or sweeteners is included. Also, it’s important to use each at the right time of day, for the right purpose and in the right quantity.

 

Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of each. Then I explain how I use each of them in my own diet.

 

 

Smoothies
Pros:
  • Include the whole foods so they retain all the fiber. The fiber keeps you full and also slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream
  • Provide an opportunity to included sources of fat (such as avocado) and protein (such as hemp seeds or protein powder) making your smoothie a complete meal. Healthy fats and protein also slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream
  • Require only a blender, which is a common appliance in your kitchen

 

Cons:
  • Can be too high in sugar if too much fruit or sweeteners are used

 

 

Juices
Pros:
  • Removes all the fiber so that the nutrients in the fruits and vegetables are absorbed quickly by the body

 

Cons:
  • Can spike your blood sugar quickly since there is no fiber to slow absorption
  • Are not a complete meal since they don’t contain any protein, healthy fats or fiber
  • Require a specialized appliance that most kitchens don’t already have
  • Are expensive to purchase commercially

 

So, how do I use them?

 

I use smoothies as a complete breakfast. Some of my favourite ones that have a balance of macronutrients and are very low in sugar are:

Blissful Blueberry Smoothie

Supergreen Breakfast Smoothie

Strawberry Beet Smoothie

 

I use juices only when they do not contain fruit (except lemon or lime) and only on an empty stomach. This is so that the nutrients can be absorbed quickly into my body. Also, I use juice as a snack and don’t use it to replace a meal.

 

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to use these nutrient-rich beverages. If you would like some further ideas on how you can eat for energy and weight loss, I have 2 free recipe e-books to offer you.

5 Day Sugar-free Meal Plan and Guide

20-minute Blood Sugar Balancing Dinners

Which Fats are Good and Which are Bad?

 

If you’ve been reading about health and nutrition lately, you’ve probably read things like “eat more fat” or “butter is back”.

 

But before you load up your grocery cart, it’s important to understand that all fat is NOT created equal!

 

Fat is one of the three macronutrients (the others are protein and carbohydrates). Some fats are important for healing and others cause us harm.

 

Healthy healing fats support your brain, hormones, immune system, heart health, and moods. Bad fats harm all of these body systems.

 

The fats from whole foods that are the least processed will be the healthiest for you. Pretty obvious right? However, in order to be able to create change, you will need to know which fats we’re talking about and how to incorporate them into your diet. Read below to get you started:

 

Healthy Fats

 

 

Health promoting fats are in the following foods and consist of mono and polyunsaturated fats as well as saturated fats.

  • Nuts and seeds (including hemp, flax, and chia)
  • Fish – Selecting small-species, wild caught fish will help you reduce your exposures to mercury levels that can accumulate.
  • Seaweed
  • Pasture-raised/grass-fed animals/eggs – Yes, the pasture-raised/grass-fed part is important here. Why? Because the fats in animals raised in conventional/overcrowded feedlots are of poor quality due to the unnatural and junk-filled food they are fed. Don’t forget, “you eat what your meat eats”. Check out what your meat is eating here.
  • Olives
  • Avocados
  • Coconuts – Coconuts are a source of saturated fat. And yes, even though you may have read otherwise, coconut oil is a healthy source of fat to include in your well-balanced diet.

 

 

Extra virgin olive oil is agreed by most to be one of the healthiest options. It is great cold in dips and dressings, and can also withstand a moderate amount of heat. By definition, if the “extra virgin” label is used, it must:

  • Be cold pressed
  • Not contain any refined olive oil
  • Possess superior quality based on chemical composition and sensory characteristics.

 

These standards ensure higher quality. Plus, the minimal processing helps to maintain some of the antioxidants in the oils. What a win!

 

Now tell me: What’s your favorite fat and why?

 

Harming Fats

 

 

Fats that harm are from:

  • Seed and vegetable oils like safflower, soybean, and corn oils
  • Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated

Hydrogenated oils are particularly bad; this is because they contain small amounts of “trans” fats. Studies show that even small amounts of trans fats lead to insulin resistance, inflammation, belly fat. They also drastically raise the risk of heart disease. Yikes!

 

Don’t forget, we’re not just talking about the bottles of these fats used for home cooking. We’re also looking at the processed foods that contain them.

 

How to Include Healthy Fats

 

First, ditch any foods in your cupboards that contain safflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, or any hydrogenated oil. Soybean oil alone accounts for over 75% of oils consumed by Americans, so it’s likely you have some foods in your cupboard that include it.

 

Second, try substituting one of the health-building oils whenever you have a recipe that calls for the other stuff. Try flax or extra virgin olive oil as a salad dressing, avocado oil in your cooking, and coconut oil in your baking. To learn more about which oils to cook with click here.

 

Third, make healthier versions of your go-to processed foods. Here are some great recipes to get you started.

 

Replace…

 

Store-bought mayo with Easy Homemade Mayonnaise

Your candy fix with Chocolate Mint Fat Bombs

Pre-packaged salad dressing with Orange Hemp Seed Salad Dressing

Potato chips with Cheesy Kale Chips

 

Interested in more recipes including healthy fats? Sign up to download my dinner recipe book for free (all recipes can be made in 20 minutes or less!!)

>>>>>>>>>>>Download the recipe book here.

How to Keep Snacks Healthy

 

 

Do you ever find that you make great, healthy choices at mealtimes; only to have it all fall apart at snack time? You start your day with a healthy breakfast and a salad for lunch, only to find that you are fatigued and craving snacks mid-afternoon? Or you make it to dinner, but then you are starving and find that you are snacking all night?

 

You are not alone. Knowing what to eat and when can be a real challenge. But with a few simple tweaks, craving unhealthy snacks can be a thing of the past. If you see yourself in this situation, try some of these strategies to support your healthy eating habits both at mealtime and in between.

 

Eat Enough of the Right Foods at Mealtime

 

 

We often have it backward on when we eat the majority of our food. We eat less in the morning when we are getting our bodies up and going, and then we eat more at the end of the day when our bodies just want to wind down and relax. We would do ourselves a favour and reduce our afternoon and evening craving if we ate more of the right foods earlier in the day.

 

To keep us satiated, each meal should be full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These foods also help to modulate blood sugar fluctuations and keep energy steady. If we eat a typical high carb breakfast of toast or cereal or a salad for lunch that is missing the protein and healthy fats, we are setting ourselves up for cravings later in the day. Follow this meal plan to give you some guidance.

Stay Hydrated

 

 

When we are dehydrated, we feel fatigued. And when we feel fatigued, we often grab a snack because we misinterpret our fatigue for hunger. So, the next time you want to grab a snack, have a glass of water first, then wait 15-20 minutes and see if you still feel hungry. Often the water can satisfy the body’s needs. And as a bonus, it will keep your skin looking its best!

 

Choose Satiating Snacks

 

When we let ourselves get too hungry, our blood sugar drops and we tend to grab something that will bring it back up quickly. Unfortunately, this sudden rise in blood sugar comes with a subsequent crash leading to further fatigue and cravings. By selecting snacks that are nutritious, delicious and satiating, we can keep our energy strong throughout the day.

 

 

Here are some great snack ideas. Some are just grab-and-go and others are linked to a quick, easy recipe that I have personally tried and loved!

  • Nuts or seeds – either raw or roasted
  • Hard-boiled eggs – easy to make ahead of time and have handy in the fridge
  • Avocado – the healthy fat in avocado is satiating and energizing
  • Salmon salad and julienned vegetables wrapped in a nori sheet
  • Kale chips
  • Homemade beef jerky – recipe to come! (store bought has too much sugar)
  • Low carb flax bread – I make mine as sandwich bread in a loaf pan (greased with coconut oil) which needs a bit longer in the oven. I bake mine for 35 minutes.
  • Sunflower seed crackers
  • Vegetable sticks with a low carb dip

 

Want more ideas for staying on the healthy eating track? Download this free 5-day meal plan.

Sweet Potato Toast with Pesto

 

I love this recipe as an appetizer or side dish to a simple soup or salad lunch. And the best part is my kids like it too!! An added bonus is that it is made from healthy ingredients, so it is a win for everyone. Some of the highlights include:

  • Sweet potato is unparalleled as an antioxidant, helping to prevent free radical damage in the body. It’s high fiber content and adiponectin also make it a good regulator of blood sugar. Check out another sweet potato recipe here.
  • Basil is not only a delicious herb to add to many recipes, but also has anti-bacterial properties that come from its volatile oils making it a natural food preservative. It is also nutrient-rick and anti-inflammatory producing cardiovascular benefits.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is a healthy monounsaturated fat that has been extensively studied as an important part of a healthy diet. When EVOO is included in the diet, researchers have seen improvements in blood sugar control, heart and liver conditions, as well as improvements in cognitive function.

 

Sweet Potato Toast with Pesto

This snack is quick and easy to make if you have the pesto done ahead of time. It is also delicious served along side a soup or salad lunch.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 snack servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes peeled and sliced (a mandolin works well)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes cut in halves or quarters

Instructions

  1. Place sliced sweet potatoes in the toaster oven and set to toast. You will likely need to toast them through twice. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.

  2. While the sweet potatoes are toasting, place next 5 ingredients in your food processor. While it is running, pour olive oil to desired consistency. Add sea salt to taste.

  3. Slice cherry or grape tomatoes in halves or quarters.

  4. Assemble the toasts by placing sweet potato slices on a plate and top with pesto and then tomatoes. Serve and enjoy!

 

Nutrition and Mental Health

 

With the increasing incidence of mental health conditions, it’s good to reflect on supporting our mental health and that of our loved ones. The statistics are staggering, as depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability, with more than 300 million suffering with it worldwide. That is an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2017!

 

Good mental health for everyone takes some time and effort but is well worth it as studies have found significant improvements in quality of life in people who have made changes to their diet, supplements and mindfulness practices.

 

Since mental health symptoms are rooted in inflammation, blood sugar instability and poor gut health, they can be significantly improved with a few key changes. Below are the top contributors to negative symptoms as well as some key foods to include to improve your mental wellness.

 

Avoid the Following

 

Caffeine

 

Caffeine increases cortisol (stress hormone) and lactate, elevated levels of which are linked to anxiety[i]. It also depletes vitamins & minerals that are important for brain function and contributes to insomnia. Examples of caffeine-containing foods include cola, energy drinks, coffee, chocolate, and tea.

 

Refined Sugars and Starches

Eating refined sugars and starches creates spikes and crashes in blood sugar that is associated with depression. It also creates inflammation in the brain and body. Foods to avoid include cake, cookies, crackers, cereal, juice, white bread, white rice, and white potatoes.

 

Grab this guide that will give you the tips, tricks, and recipes you need to reduce your sugar intake.

 

Food Sensitivities

Eating foods that you are sensitive to causes the production of antibodies, causing inflammation and damage to the GI tract. In particular, gluten-containing foods create inflammation in the body and contribute to neurologic manifestations, which can lead to anxiety and depression. It is important to work to identify and eliminate food sensitivities in order to heal your gut and improve symptoms.

 

Ensure Adequate Consumption of The Following

 

Healthy Fats

 

Healthy fats reduce inflammation to promote brain health, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve memory. Fat is also required to provide energy, satisfy your appetite, and to help absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Healthy fats include foods such as fish, walnuts, flax, coconut oil, and avocado.

 

Fermented Foods

 

Unhealthy gut flora has a detrimental impact on brain health leading to anxiety and depression. Fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, and kefir introduce beneficial bacteria to the GI tract. This will help to rebalance the gut flora reducing inflammation and negative mental health symptoms.

 

Sufficient Protein

 

When we don’t get enough protein, our brain can’t produce enough neurotransmitters to function adequately. Protein also helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Great protein sources include eggs and wild salmon, as these are also high in B vitamins, which reduce the severity of depression and anxiety.

 

 

Lifestyle Factors

In addition to the nutritional elements above, other lifestyle factors such as yoga and meditation are helpful for improving cognitive functioning. Studies suggest that this is from structural alterations that meditation produces in the brain.

 

Don’t forget to pick up the sugar-free guide that will get you started with the changes you need to make to get yourself back on track.

[i] Murray, Michael T., ND, The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Atria Paperback, New York, 2012, p. 315.

What Oil Should I Cook With?

 

There is a lot of conflicting information about fats and oils. Which are healthy? Which should I cook with? What should I watch out for? This is an important issue to consider since ingesting damaged oils can lead to disease conditions such as high blood pressure.

 

Read on for information on the basics of cooking oils, and recommendations on which are best for which purposes.

 

It’s important to remember that when it comes to cooking, all oils are damaged by heat, light, and air, however, some fats hold up better than others. The main considerations with the healthfulness of oils and how to use them in heating is the smoke point and the amount of refining they have had.

 

Smoke Point

 

It’s common to see an oil’s smoke point printed on its label, however, the smoke point is actually the temperature when the oil begins to smoke continuously, so, at this temperature, the damage has already started to occur. Heating creates the production of free radicals causing chemical changes such as the production of trans-fats and other toxic products. These are difficult for our bodies to detoxify leading to an increased risk of high blood pressure, and heart disease.

 

Oil Refining

 

Refined oils typically have a higher smoke point, but they are also devoid of important nutrients such as vitamin E, carotene, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, as these are destroyed in the refining process. In addition, they are often made from inferior, pesticide sprayed plants and may also contain traces of the refining chemicals used[i].

 

Tips for Cooking

 

 

Luckily, there are ways to mitigate the damage done during the cooking process. While most recipes call to put oil in the pan first, that is actually the most damaging thing to do for oils! Instead, place your food in the pan first, then add your oil after. If you need to use a liquid before placing the food in the pan, use water or broth.

 

Want a meal plan that guides you on which oil to use for which purpose? This guide has recipes to follow that will make choosing your oil a no-brainer.

 

Also, use this handy checklist when deciding which oil to use for which purpose.

 

Saturated fats hold up against heating better than other fats. These are the best choices for cooking.

e.g. butter, ghee, tallow, lard, and refined (expeller-pressed) coconut oil, high heat avocado (click here to see the one I use)

 

Monounsaturated oils can be used with low heat but will get damaged at higher temperatures. Since it can be hard to know how high your fry pan heat is, avoid using these oils in cooking.

e.g. virgin avocado, sesame, virgin coconut and extra virgin olive oils

 

Cold-pressed, unrefined polyunsaturated oils contain high levels of essential fatty acids and are essential for health, but should never be heated. Ensure you choose these oils from the refrigerator section in dark, glass bottles.

e.g. flax, hemp, and walnut

 

Processed polyunsaturated oils are heavily refined, with nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits removed. They may also contain traces of chemical solvents used in the refining process and should be avoided[ii]IMPORTANT NOTE: most processed foods contain these oils, so check your ingredient list before buying!

e.g. soybean, corn, canola, grapeseed, and regular sunflower/safflower

 

Don’t forget to download your free meal plan to guide you in using the right oils for the right purpose.


[i] Erasmus, Udo. Fats that Heal Fats that Kill, Alive books, Tennessee, 1993

[ii] It is sometimes possible to find GMO free, naturally refined versions of these oils.

Tips to Reduce Afternoon Fatigue

 

Do you feel fatigue set in by mid-afternoon? This is a common problem. And, as you reach for that pick me up such as a coffee or granola bar snack, you may be unknowingly exacerbating the problem. Read on to find out what creates the slump in energy, why the traditional “pick me ups” are counterproductive, and what you should do instead.

 

Our internal circadian rhythm regulates our wake and sleep cycle by adjusting our hormone levels. Our energy levels respond to these cycles with dips and rises throughout the day. It is actually normal to have dips in energy levels around both the 2 am and 2 pm mark! However, if you are well rested, the effect of these dips will be less intense.

 

There are a number of factors that can cause our natural rhythms to intensify that afternoon slump (and sometimes a corresponding wakefulness at night). Here are my top dos and don’ts to maximize your afternoon energy so your day can be great!

 

THE DON’TS

 

Reduce sugar consumption

 

 

Of course, sugar is a culprit! I have written about the negative health effects of sugar here, here and here. But sugar also has a significant impact on your afternoon energy. How it works is like this …

 

  • you eat a food that is high in sugar
  • your blood sugar spikes too high (your body doesn’t like this)
  • your body overreacts with insulin (a sugar storage hormone)
  • the glucose is sent to storage and is not readily available for energy
  • your energy drops

 

So if you have consumed a breakfast and lunch that is full of refined carbohydrates (think muffins, cereal, juice, white bread, pasta, and rice), you’re likely headed for the dreaded slump.

 

Use this sugar-free and delicious meal plan to get you started on the right track.

 

Reduce caffeine

 

 

While research studies have shown some beneficial effects of coffee on certain conditions, if you are experiencing afternoon fatigue and poor sleep, it is likely that your body may be a slow metabolizer of caffeine leaving you at increased risk for negative health symptoms. Poor sleep and fatigue are two common symptoms associated with caffeine, discussed in more detail here.

 

 

THE DOS

 

Eat healthy fats, protein, and fiber

 

 

The nutrients that can even out blood sugar spikes are proteins, fats, and fiber. These 3 all provide for a slow release of energy so that you feel satiated and are less susceptible to energy slumps throughout the day. Making sure you have adequate amounts at each meal is important. Examples of foods to include are:

 

  • Proteins – eggs, antibiotic-free poultry, wild fish, grass-fed meat
  • Healthy fat – nuts, coconut oil, avocado
  • Fiber – legumes, flax, chia

 

Drink more water

 

 

Are you drinking enough water each day? We are all unique and need slightly different amounts of water for optimal health, but many of us fall short of what we actually need. Drinking adequate amounts of water has great benefits for your skin, but did you know that your fatigue can also be a sign of mild dehydration?

 

Take a break

 

 

Sometimes a simple change of scene can re-energize you, especially if it takes you outdoors and into the sunshine. The body responds to light by signaling the internal clock that it is time to be awake. So, grab that herbal tea and take a quick walk outside at lunchtime to reset your energy for the afternoon.

 

Go to sleep by 10 pm

 

 

The body responds to darkness by increasing melatonin levels which promotes sleep. This is where the blue light of our devices can hamper our sleep, setting us up for fatigue the next day. Put tech devices away 1 hour before bed or use an app like flux to reduce the effects of blue light and help your body get the rest it needs. I’m still working on this one!!

 

Want a meal plan that can help you to maximize your energy throughout the day? Download this 5-day guide here, follow the recipes and let me know how you feel after 5 days!

 

Do you have a “Bad Memory”?

 

Like many people, I sometimes get the feeling that my memory isn’t what it used to be. Do you ever get that feeling too? We often assume that our forgetfulness is just a fact of life due to aging, but memory loss is not inevitable. Actually, there is a strong relationship between diet and lifestyle factors and cognitive decline. Read on for my tips to boost your brain health through nutrition.

 

Peppermint Tea

 

 

Peppermint tea is not only delicious but also boosts both long and short-term memory. As an added bonus, peppermint is also used as a digestive aid, reducing gas and increasing bile function. As an alternative, you can use aromatherapy of peppermint essential oil as it helps increase alertness. Enjoy your peppermint tea throughout the day, but to wind down before bed, switch to something more calming such as chamomile.

 

Turmeric

 

 

Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory herb commonly used in curries that also happens to be associated with improvements in working memory. This study found memory improvements using turmeric in amounts as we normally would in cooking. If you don’t like curry, no worries, there are other ways to enjoy turmeric! Try this popular turmeric tea recipe from Meghan Telpner.

 

Berries

 

 

Berries have a high level of antioxidants and vitamin C that are beneficial to brain health. Specifically, pomegranate and blueberries have shown benefits for memory improvements in those with memory complaints. I love including berries in smoothies, chia parfaits and on salads. This recipe from Damn Delicious is one of my favourites.

 

Healthy Fats

 

 

Optimal brain function requires key nutrients such as essential fatty acids. Many of us grew up with the incorrect messaging that fat was bad and would “make you fat”. Staying away from fat and consuming “low fat” products can be detrimental to our health. It’s easy to include healthy fats in our diet by snacking on nuts or seeds, adding avocado to salads, and combining coconut oil in our smoothies. In fact, coconut oil is associated with a boost in brain function after just one dose!

 

Download this meal plan with recipes and guide as it includes multiple coconut oil recipes you will love!

 

Lifestyle Factors

 

Diet doesn’t act alone in supporting our brain’s health. Lifestyle is a key component too! Adequate sleep and exercise are both associated with improved cognitive and memory function. And, since exercise improves our ability to get adequate sleep, it is doubly important! Make sure to choose an activity that you enjoy so you will make it a part of your life and look forward to it.

 

In the meantime, don’t forget to pick up this delicious meal plan!

4 Easy Nutrition Habits with BIG Impacts

 

Do you have health goals, but they seem too overwhelming to achieve? Do you want to make a change, but don’t know where to start?

 

“The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain

 

The hardest thing about making a change is getting started. By starting with something easy, we get momentum and encouragement to continue. To get you going, I have created this simple meal plan that has recipes with no more than 20 minutes of prep. Grab it here today.

 

I have also compiled the 4 easy nutrition changes listed below. Pick the easiest one and get started TODAY!

 

Drink 8 glasses of water

 

 

Everyone is unique and 8 glasses is an estimate, but our bodies depend on adequate hydration for our systems to function; it is essential for life. Unfortunately, our thirst sensation can sometimes go unnoticed, or be mistaken for hunger. When you’re fatigued, try drinking water first!

 

Other symptoms of inadequate water intake are constipation, joint pain, high blood pressure, excess weight and many others[i]. Also, drinking lemon water first thing in the morning can help kick-start your digestion for the day, and increase nutrient absorption from your food. Try taking a stainless water bottle with you wherever you go and drink it throughout the day.

 

Eat healthy fat

 

 

Unfortunately, our grocery shelves are filled with many processed products including partially hydrogenated fats, and fried foods containing toxic fats that are harmful to our bodies. These products give fat a bad name! Also, many of us received the message growing up that fat will make you fat. This is NOT true!!

 

Healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, olives and coconut oil are important for many functions in our body, particularly our brain health, and help keep us satiated longer between meals. Coconut oil, in particular, is a medium chain triglyceride, the burning of which increases metabolic rate. Try adding coconut oil to smoothies, snacking on nuts and adding avocado to a salad.

 

Eat a high protein breakfast

 

 

Eating a high protein breakfast not only starts your day off with great energy but also reduces food cravings and late night snacking on high sugar and process foods. There are so many great ways to add protein to your breakfast. Ideas include:

  • Eat more eggs
  • Add nuts and seeds to smoothies
  • Eat dinner for breakfast

 

Make Veggies half your plate

 

Non-starchy vegetables are the food group virtually all of us could use more of. Vegetables are nutrient dense powerhouses that provide essential vitamins and minerals in a low-calorie package.  Have salads for lunch, snack on cut-up vegetables, and serve them as sides for dinner. One place many of us could up our vegetable intake is at breakfast. Click here for a list of ideas to try.

 

Do you have an easy-to-implement, healthy habit that has worked for you? Want a quick easy-start guide (where the dinners take less than 20 minutes to prep) to get you started? Complete the boxes below and it will be delivered to you!


[i] Batmanghelidj, F. Your body’s many cries for water: you’re not sick; you’re thirsty: don’t treat thirst with medications. Falls Church, VA: Global Health Solutions, 2008.

 

Skin Care From the Inside Out

 

Our skin is one of our hardest working organs. It protects us from the environment, maintains temperature and fluid balance, and also is an important part of our immune system and vitamin D production in the body. When we look at our skin, we are getting a view into the overall health of our body. Yes, all the sayings about beauty coming from within are true!

 

Your skin reflects your health, and it can be a source of stress for us when it is not looking its best. Therefore, it pays off to develop healthy habits for taking care of your skin before symptoms develop. Often, when unwanted skin conditions arise, we immediately think that we need to do something on the outside. However, using products with harsh ingredients or too frequent washing can often make matters worse.

 

Our bodies are built for healing themselves when given the right tools to work with. To achieve your best skin possible, we need to get the bad stuff out of our diet, and more of the good stuff in. Here are my top diet tips for tuning up your skincare routine to achieve your best glow.

 

Eliminate The Bad

 

 

Reduce Refined Sugars and Flours. These are the bad guys. When you go for packaged baked goods, candies, pasta, white bread and even homemade cookies and squares, you are consuming a large amount of sugar and refined starches. These foods create inflammation in the body and impact the skin by increasing the speed of aging and exacerbating conditions such as acne.

 

Need help getting started? Check out this sugar-free guide and meal plan that includes 5 days of recipes that are so delicious, you might not miss the sugar.

 

 

Reduce Trans and Oxidized Fats. Likewise, trans fatty acids and oxidized fats increase inflammation in the body and consumption of these foods is associated with increased incidences of wrinkles and acne. Examples of these foods include margarine, fried foods, products that contain hydrogenated vegetable oils, and some milk products.

 

Increase The Good

 

 

Drink More Water. The positive effects of staying well hydrated are often seen in the skin. When the body is well hydrated, the skin appears plumper and wrinkles are minimized. The general guideline is to consume about 8 glasses of clean water per day, but if you workout frequently you may need to drink more to replace lost fluids.

 

 

Eat Healthy Fat. Consumption of foods that provide the body with healthy fats is an important component of maintaining healthy skin since they reduce inflammation and provide the building blocks for many components of the skin. This Japanese study showed that higher intakes of healthy fats were associated with increased skin elasticity and decreased wrinkles. Some healthy fats to include in your diet are salmon, eggs, avocado and nuts and seeds.

 

 

Eat Antioxidant-Rich Foods. Antioxidants help to prevent or stop cell damage from free radicals in the body including the skin. But how does this actually work? Our bodies can maintain an appropriate balance of free radicals as long as adequate antioxidants are available. But when that balance between free radical exposure and access to antioxidants is interrupted (either by illness, increased environmental pollution, or lack of antioxidants) our skin suffers. Make sure your daily diet includes foods rich in antioxidants to maintain your skin’s health. These include vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and dark chocolate (70%+).

 

Have you found natural remedies and food changes that have worked for you? Check out this guide to help you get started…